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Top 15 Quotes of Thomas Aquinas

Jamie Frater . . . Comments

Recently we have had some interesting discussions between atheists and religious people on some of our lists. This has inspired me to write a series of lists on topics relating to both sides of the story. To start with, I am doing this list of 15 of the most brilliant quotes from Saint Thomas Aquinas. Thomas Aquinas was one of the greatest theological thinkers of the 13th century. His impact on Christianity was so immense that his writings are still at the core of Roman Catholic seminary education. He is the foremost classical proponent of natural theology, and the father of the Thomistic school of philosophy and theology.

Quotes 1 – 5

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1. A man has free choice to the extent that he is rational.

2. All the efforts of the human mind cannot exhaust the essence of a single fly.

3. Because philosophy arises from awe, a philosopher is bound in his way to be a lover of myths and poetic fables. Poets and philosophers are alike in being big with wonder.

4. Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.

5. By nature all men are equal in liberty, but not in other endowments.

Quotes 6 – 10

Thomas Aquinas

6. Faith has to do with things that are not seen and hope with things that are not at hand.

7. How can we live in harmony? First we need to know we are all madly in love with the same God.

8. How is it they live in such harmony the billions of stars – when most men can barely go a minute without declaring war in their minds about someone they know.

9. It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes.

10. Love takes up where knowledge leaves off.

Quotes 11 – 15

Taylorimmagthomasaquinasm

11. That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell.

12. The things that we love tell us what we are.

13. Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do.

14. To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.

15. Wonder is the desire for knowledge.

Jamie Frater

Jamie is the owner and chief-editor of Listverse. He spends his time working on the site, doing research for new lists, and collecting oddities. He is fascinated with all things historic, creepy, and bizarre.

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  • Talking about religious quotes, I saw a hilarious quote by the Pope in the paper the other day.

    About atheism: "It is no accident that this idea has led to the greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice"

    It's not really that funny on its own, but when it's coming from the leader of the Catholic church…

    • domsavio

      It’s all a matter of your preferred historical point of view. Isn’t everything relative?

      • chris

        not if you like facts

      • LuceRivermore

        Well compared to all the things that religion has done, that quote is completely hilarious in any sense – even if it was said by any religious person other than the Pope. I may mention the crusades, the haulocaust, terrorism (eg. 9:11), the inquisitions and so many more… I think these, under any definable bracket, fall into the ‘greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice’ area. Don’t you?

  • Cyn

    14. To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.
    *exactly*

    10. Love takes up where knowledge leaves off.
    *love does prevail*

    12. The things that we love tell us what we are.
    *or the people. which means i am above all else, a mommie.*

    wonderful list J. course i’m looking forward to what you post re: atheism. :)

  • FekketCantenel

    My money says it’s going to be a list of Dawkins quotes, not that that troll can hold a candle to Aquinas.

    Favorite quote was #14. Good list, j.

  • JT

    5. By nature all men are equal in liberty, but not in other endowments.

    That cheeky bastard.

  • RobS

    JT, I was thinking the same thing!

    “By nature all men are equal in liberty, but not in other endowments. Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink”

  • DanOhh

    I think it was Aquinas who said, “We all have a paking space at the ‘House of the Lord’ but, you are not allowed to park in mine up in the front row.” Or maybe that was Martin Luther?

  • FekketCantenel – I will probably avoid Dawkins – his first book was fine, but then he went on a rant and lost credibility in my eyes. I will try to find a great mind from history. Suggestions welcome.

    DanOhh: Aquinas was a very humble man – that sounds very unlike him. Luther, on the other hand, was far from humble – I would say it was him :)

  • SocialButterfly

    JT: I thought I was the only one who was thinking pervertedly…lol glad to see I’m not the only dirty mind.

  • Canuck

    How about Voltaire? He has some excellent quotations about atheism, and he’s well respected by everyone.

  • I love these lists of quotes! But I’d have to say that I disagree with him on 10. =/ Hate does more often I think. But yeah, there are some really good ones here, even for those who don’t really…eh…worship. =)

  • Canuck: was Voltaire an atheist? I thought he believed in God but rejected formal religion.

  • SubliminalDeath666

    Great another boring quotes list by someone I don’t know! :|

  • EAL

    just noticed its the only list that counts up

  • Canuck

    Well, now that I think of it that is true. But still, his quotations on dogma, fanatics, witch hunting, blindly following what others tell you to do and tolerance are all very good.

  • Aardy

    David Hume perhaps?

  • JT

    If you want to do quotes by atheists/secularists but don’t want to do Dawkins (I personally love him but w/e) then Nietzsche and Russell are always good bets. Epicurus has a few quotes too. And maybe even Carl Sagan.

  • davo

    I’ve made up some good religious quotes eg:

    Scientology is the retarded kid in a room full of losers.

    • coco bird

      hahah great philosophy it’s
      very clover great comment deserve great admiration thats my philosophy ;)

  • Okay – thanks for the suggestions guys – I think the next one will be fun.

  • evan

    “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible. ”

    isnt that the truth…

  • Graveno

    To one who has faith, no explanation is heard. To one without faith, an explanation is necessary.
    This is more like it.

  • Best Aethiest quote ever as far as i know it was from House but it may have been taken from somthing else

    “Rational arguments don’t usually work on religious people. Otherwise, there would be no religious people.”

  • Mikerodz

    I love this quotes except #11 which makes me wonder, who permitted the saint to see the punishment of the damned in hell? Unless he personally talk to God himself…then..besides, it sounds a bit sadistic to me.

    • SketchesbyBoze

      The agnostic historian Will Durant, in his 11-volume “History of Civilization,” informs us that this quote is not found in any of Aquinas’s extant writings.

  • Mikerodz: much of his writing was based upon the beliefs and teachings of the early Church fathers – so presumably Jesus must have shared that information with the apostles. Additionally – a lot of his ideas also came from logical conclusions based upon other dogmas of the Church. For example:

    God says: All dogs are black

    I see a white animal with four legs and a wagging tail – even though God didn’t say it was not a dog directly, I know it is not a dog because it is not black.

    Simplistic – but you get the point I am sure :)

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  • Mikerodz

    Well put and said Jamie.

  • Mikerodz: thanks :)

  • You’re right oh so clever Dangorironhide, compared to Hitler’s Third Reich – 6 million murdered in the camps, 72 million dead world wide in WWII, Stalin’s Soviet Union – 60 million dead in purges, collectivization and man made famines, Mao’s Red China – 30 million dead also with purges, collectivization and man made famines, Pol Pot’s Cambodia – 2.3 million people murdered in the killing fields out of a population of 7 million, and North Korea under the oh so clever policies of Kim Jong Il lost 3.5 million men, women and children to famine in the 1990s – the Catholic Church is the most blood soaked institution in the history of the universe.
    Clues abound on the Internet, see if you can find yourself one.

  • phubbie

    These quotes reach out to me more than the one’s above

    You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood become a matter of life and death to you. – C. S. Lewis

    Make sure the thing you’re living for is worth dying for. – Charles Mayes

    No statue has ever been erected to a critic. – Jean Sibelius

    Remember death and the attractions of life will fade away before you. – Shenouda III

    Too many of us have a Christian vocabulary rather than a Christian experience. – Charles F. Banning

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  • WildWest

    I love these quotes…
    I don’t know anything more true than 14.
    And I feel bad for all the ignorant people who think it’s intelligent to call people with a religion losers.
    We have a varying opinion from you…no need to insult us. Believe me, I’ve put much thought into my religion, I do not follow it blindly. I have my reasons for practicing it.
    Also, well put el duderino.

  • Reg123456

    Quote 11 is complete bullshit. It depicts a spiteful angry God.

    Dangorironhide, “It is no accident that [atheism] has led to the greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice” – It's not so ridiculous when you start to do some research on the justification some people give for their crimes. I mean, doesn't it make sense to think that if someone doesn't believe in God that person doesn't have to answer to anyone, and so loses their sense of morality? That's exactly what happened in those school shootings in Europe and USA. They figure "Humans are just another form of coincident chemical reactions and are nothing more than a highly evolved animal. HEY, we kill animals and eat them, so why should killing the human animal be such an issue?"

    So look at it closely and it's not such a crazy statement AT ALL.

    • grace

      It is not crazy but it is myopic. Ask Salman Rushdie, talk to a holocost survivor, read a little something about the crusades and you’ll undertand the irony!

  • Reg: Aquinas was a Catholic theologian and philosopher – the Catholic Church (along with the Jews and the Orthodox) believes in hell – it would make sense that Aquinas would talk about it. Also – they don’t believe it makes God angry or spiteful – they believe it makes him just – true justice is when the good are rewarded and the bad punished.

  • Mauricio Ramirez

    This very same stupid guy came to the conclusion that worms were spontaneously created on a dead body. Ja! Pendejo!

  • bpower

    Reg,
    If you think that depicts a spiteful angry God you should stay away from the Old Testament.

    Most of these quotes wouldn’t look out of place on one of those tacky motivational posters.

    15. Wonder is the desire for knowledge.

    Eh, no it’s not, curiosity is the desire for knowledge. I’ve often heard religious people complaining that knowing the details of something makes its less special, the “miracle” of child birth for just one example.

    Here’s the path that theologins take,
    1) Get brought up to believe in X religion.
    2) Spent rest of life looking for justification for belief in X.

    I mean, can any Christian on this board honestly say that if they were born into a Jewish family (or Muslim,Buddhist etc,etc) they wouldn’t spend their life happily believing in Judaism?

    If you were born in Europe 3000 years ago, right now you’d be running around naked howling at the winter moon with the rest of them.

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  • devilishgrin66

    JFrater – im jewish, although hardly (i turned atheist almost immediately after being bar mitzvahed) but i thought that the jews didn’t believe in hell?

    el dude – the church might not have directly killed as many people as those other institutions but they have consented to or authorized just as many.

    Its not exactly great to look at it this way but the catholic church is also widely responsible for AIDs, through its stance on birth control.

  • B8ovin

    I find it odd when people confuse political systems with philosophical/theological ways of thinking. Because philosophically the USSR was atheistic it follows that their political system was an atheistic government? Hardly. Hitler was a devout christian, and maintained the Third Reich was a christian movement. There is no church or religion of atheism. It is a naturalistic philosophical view, that proposes humanistic and natural motives for things like “morality”. It does not follow that a lack of belief in an invisible designer or creator leads precisely to inhumanity or immorality. The fact that some governments that happened to not believe in the Christian god, or any god committed atrocities is not evidence that they did so because of that lack of belief. That is logically erroneous. Many of the same people who committed these atrocities were meat eaters. Would you then posit that meat eating is makes one immoral? Or would you have the record of atrocities committed in the name of various gods expunged? Read the eighth quote above to see the cause of these horrific deeds. Man’s inhumanity to man, regardless the philosophy of the criminal.

  • God Is Imaginary

    Indeed B8ovin. And interesting enough, the statistics for ‘immorality’ as caused by governments believing or not in any religion are actually pretty revealing. Look up european life statistics vs american life statistics in relation to religion.

    as for you, Reg123456:
    “Dangorironhide, “It is no accident that [atheism] has led to the greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice” – It’s not so ridiculous when you start to do some research on the justification some people give for their crimes. I mean, doesn’t it make sense to think that if someone doesn’t believe in God that person doesn’t have to answer to anyone, and so loses their sense of morality? That’s exactly what happened in those school shootings in Europe and USA. They figure “Humans are just another form of coincident chemical reactions and are nothing more than a highly evolved animal. HEY, we kill animals and eat them, so why should killing the human animal be such an issue?”

    So look at it closely and it’s not such a crazy statement AT ALL.”

    that is a pretty illogical stance there, wouldn’t you agree?
    especially this line…..”I mean, doesn’t it make sense to think that if someone doesn’t believe in God that person doesn’t have to answer to anyone, and so loses their sense of morality?”
    Morality is something religions do not actively demonstrate. In fact, most religions are downright hypocritical when it comes to such matters.

    As for what this does to humanity and why there should be no religion, go to this website

    By the way, the pope must have never heard of a little thing called the crusades or the spanish inquisition if he said something like that…

  • wolfus

    #14 is a great example of how religions (with the help of pompous theologians like Aquinas) have developed increasingly better ways to totally immunize themselves with *criticism* – notice that #14, if consistent, ought to apply to *every* belief one takes only on faith. It’s the most ridiculous I’ve heard: trivially true, in one sense, ans trivially false, in another. So stupid.

  • bitter crank

    bpower said:

    “If you were born in Europe 3000 years ago, right now you’d be running around naked howling at the winter moon with the rest of them.”

    No, if you were born in Europe 3000 years ago, right now you’d be a very old corpse. By the way, just what is wrong with running around naked and howling at the winter moon?

    It seems to me that T. Aquinas had an epiphany at one point, and suddenly saw god more clearly. Possibly. Anyway, if I remember correctly, what he said was “All that I have written is straw.”

    Is it possible that all the verbally abusive atheists that hit the blogs are actually former judgmental Baptists? Bertrand Russell said that you can tell what kind of a Christian you WERE by the kind of atheist you ARE.

    If you now think religion is baloney, then you should be able to be tolerate it with more equanimity. There are lots of baloney-ious belief systems around, but I only hear you complaining about one. If you are really rational (and not just angry about having to go to Sunday School) then you should act like it.

    From one atheist to another, for God’s sake, make peace with it and get on with you life.

  • devilishgrin66: Orthodox Jews believe in Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory – just as Catholics do.

  • Captain Jerry

    It does not matter what one believes. The only thing that matters is what is true. Avoid belief and strive to learn what’s real. All mystics are liars.

  • Mark

    Thomas Aquinas pwns.

  • grungefreak10

    I am very much an agnostic. It is not so much that I don’t believe in God, I just don’t believe in organized religion.

    Did evolution occur? Yes
    Does that mean that there’s no God? No
    But does that mean that simply being a Non-Christian is a crime that warrants infinite punishment? Give me a break.

  • nelson

    captai jerry is right all mystics are liars

  • stre

    number 6 from hebrews 11 in the bible

  • A

    Beautiful quotes. I don’t even know who this guy is, but very deep. I like the one about the stars living in harmony, when humans can’t.

  • mawst

    A great thinker.

    My favorite wasn’t on the list:

    “Lord, in my zeal for the love of truth, let me not forget the truth about love”
    — St. Thomas Aquinas

  • Captain Jerry

    It does not matter what one believes…
    The only thing that matters is phenomena – the material – the real.
    All mysticism comes from the minds of men – stories and myth – lies.
    All rationalism comes from attempting to understand the material universe.
    One has a choice which to believe, stories or science. One leads to the Dark Ages and the other leads to progress.

  • JaoJao

    “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible” – Think of “faith” as ‘Will, Love & Toleration’ and 99.999999% of all useless disputes of humanity would’ve been avoided. Of course explanation takes time and time is money… let’s not get into that. I already feel like punching someone again!

  • Captain Jerry

    “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary…”
    This really says it all, and simply means nothing is required for one to be crazy.
    If one listens to mystics, absolutely anything can be taken seriously from pink elephants to pixies to gods. Faith is another way of admitting that you’re nuts but still want to be taken seriously. Faith is the willingness to believe the untrue and unprovable. Faith is the ability to remove logic and rationality from your philosophy. Faith is a liability in our lives, while science, logic and rationality are assets.

  • Captain Jerry

    Per your quote: “Think of “faith” as ‘Will, Love & “Toleration’ and 99.999999% of all useless disputes of humanity would’ve been avoided.”

    Ah yes, the big lie is still told to this day while the facts prove the opposite.
    Most human conflicts have been waged in the name of faith based religious wars. The Crusades are just one sad example and the Middle East today is yet another comment on the scourge of faith.
    Faith, or belief in mysticism is one of mans most basic and original errors of thought. Once the mind is infected with faith, the brain is capable of believing almost any lie.

  • Commodianus

    @Captain Jerry

    Science can tell you what is, not what should be.

    The casual discarding of the culmination of human thought, on the science of thought itself, which is to say Philosophy, is not logical.

    Ask an artist what role scientific discovery played in their paintings or sculptures, or a poet his poems. The answers will be met first with a perplexing look, and at most a comment on pigments, brushes or chisels.

    That unexplainable aspect, that humanity is what man has pondered since his ability to do so became apparent.

    I don’t need to know biologically why I am feeling happy, sad, or excited, although I am aware of peptides, I do not need to approach with suspicion, my own humanity. I for one will allow myself to be HUMAN.

    The world you envision is sterile, and horrific. This is why you will never prevail.

  • Jerry P. T. Weaver

    Colncerning # 11; that the Saints in heaven are PERMITTED to view the self-inflicted sufferings of those who deliberately choose to oppose God, the emphasis should be on the word “permitted”. A major benefit of heaven is the free access to God’s knowledge. For the Saints, there is no censorship. They are free to know, for example, how innocents on earth have suffered at the hands of unjust men. I rather suppose that, like us, they will not choose to exercise this freedom very much at all. For more, please see http://www.ageoftheology.com

  • Captain Jerry

    To Commodianus:
    Per your quote; “The world you envision is sterile, and horrific. This is why you will never prevail.”

    The world I envision is beautiful, larger, and far more complex than human myths.
    Truth prevails.
    Reality prevails.
    Mysticism fails.
    Try rationality – unlike mysticism, it actually works…

  • Commodianus

    @Captain Jerry

    Love works.

    As for more complex, you’ll never make a dent in the infinite language of God. Genetics, Cosmology, biology. It will never be “settled”.

    The most you can do is make small advances, and enjoy.

    Peace.

  • Becky

    Since I attend a Catholic university named after St. Thomas Aquinas (University of St. Thomas, Houston) I think I should stand up for the man. For all those who enjoy Catholic bashing, and religion bashing in general, I beg of you to not accuse in ignorance. Check out the facts http://www.catholicapologetics.org/ is a good site as is newadvent and wikipedia.

    dangorironhide: Catholics have a very strong stance on justice. I am sorry you do not agree with it. People do make bad judgment calls. The Church may not have always made the best decisions, but we have asked forgiveness of groups we persecuted and ask that we are not judged for our transgressions just as we try not to judge others.

    Reg123456: God showed St. Therese of Avila souls falling into hell like leaves falling off a tree in autumn to show the reality of hell and that people actually can go to hell which in turn should motivate us to turn away from sin and into the light. He is not a spiteful God, just the opposite, He cares for us more than anything.

    devilishgrin66: The Church’s stance on birth control is Natural Family Planning. Which can be abused in the same way that the pill and other birth control’s are used. Afterall, only abstinence is 100% effective against all STDs and pregnancy 100% of the time.

    Captain Jerry: Please go read the lists of the Middle Ages. Please.

    Peace be with you all and God Bless you.

  • Captain Jerry

    Commodianus my friend and brother. I agree with you. Love works as it works in my life alongside with awe and wonder.

    The point is myth and religion do not work. The toxic effects are proven by history. For an example of the harm of mysticism today, simply examine the strife in the Middle East. A religious war is an oxymoron, and yet humans still engage in the insanity. To employ any mysticism-superstition-religion to filter human thought is to use the exact wrong tools to understand our environment and our place in the universe.

    Mystics always claim to know, yet know nothing.

  • Commodianus

    @Captain Jerry:

    I’m not going to get into a statistics war here, but suffice it to say that LACK of religion could be argued to have killed as many and more.

    Guns don’t kill. People do.

    As a Catholic, Aquinas believed in faith and reason. I doubt you could understand his works and come to a different conclusion. I furthermore doubt you could read his works and find justification for violence. But that’s because I’m operating on the assumption you are sane.

    Men bend religion to their desires: Not the other way around.

  • Captain Jerry

    I can’t find many examples of wars fought without religion. Perhaps you can? However, there is an almost endless list of religious wars.
    Guns don’t kill people? I suppose atomic bombs don’t kill people either? If everyone had a nuke tomorrow, I doubt if we could count the dead. Would we say that the nukes didn’t kill? Simply because a human pushed the button does not mean the nuke/gun didn’t do the killing.
    The point of all of this is that religion kills. Religion is the gun/nuke/bomb/death machine. Religion tells us lies, not truth. And yet, religious people always (and I do mean always) tell us only their particular brand of superstition is the truth, no matter how different it is from other religions.
    Science does not claim ultimate truths. Science is universal. Religion is cultural and local. Science is humble and strives to understand reality while religion/superstition is supremely arrogant by always falsely claiming to know truths.
    Despite the Sunday school hoopla, in all the world there is not one clearly provable case of anything mystical. NOT ONE!
    If someone wants to believe in superstition/religion there is virtually nothing which can be said, no facts that can be presented, no argument that can persuade. Folks that ‘believe’ want to believe what they were told to believe and are less concerned with actual truth. The provable is less important to a religious/superstitious mind than a reality based rational philosophy.
    Men make, and create religion. Let go of your fear. There is no magic man up in the sky watching you, or granting wishes. The real universe is far more complex, interesting and wonderful than silly made up stories.
    Peace be with you…

  • Commodianus

    Captain Jerry:

    60 million Chinese butchered by Mao.
    2 million Cambodians murdered by Pol Pot.
    6 million Ukrainians slaughtered by Stalin.
    Tens of millions of other Soviet citizens killed by Stalin’s Soviet Union.

    Atheist Nations give us a fine example. Do they not?

    One Million+ Tibetans killed by the Chinese;

    Million-plus Afghans put to death by Brezhnev’s Soviet Union.

    Again friend, your statements make me wonder if your knowledge when it comes to religion are anything but superficial. I see hints of Harris and Dawkins when you type. Both of which are complete ignoramuses when it comes to theological study. This is not to say you are one, but if those are your teachers I suggest you may have a big problem.

  • Captain Jerry

    Well done. If your point is that atheistic nations kill, I agree. The question becomes why religious nations use it to kill over nonsensical reasons.
    I feel that we both agree that leaders employ religion/superstition to motivate others to maim and kill. Why does religion allow these horrors for their own sake? I’m thinking of the crusades here. Become one of us our die. How gratifying!
    Clearly then, religion has little, or no affect on morality, and so, what good does all the story telling do? Why does religion/superstition need to lie? I attempt to be an honest and moral man in my endeavors. Belief in gods, god, pixies, spirits, ghosts and other childlike tales is not at all required for altruistic behaviors. Every non-believer I know personally seems to be a good, deeper-thinking, caring person to me.
    As for Harris I know nothing about him although I have heard of Dawkins, but only superficially – a few moments on TV. Perhaps you can give me the full name of Harris?
    I am not qualified to call an educated human an ignoramus, but I do know Dawkins is hated by the angry Christian Right which is almost a commendation. grin…

  • Captain Jerry

    For your edification, I was raised Catholic and went to religious schools on and off until college and grad school. There was virtually no point in my life when I ‘believed.’ I do not mean to insult anyone, and although I keep it to myself I find the term belief somewhat repulsive. People can believe in anything as proven by the diversity and stark differences of the religions of the world.
    As for the current god de jour in whatever religion one examines, why is one correct and all the others incorrect? One thing common to all religious/superstitious thought is that all the other religions are wrong, especially non-believers. Arrogance is common in most forms of superstition/religion. My gods are the right gods and your gods are the wrong gods, and so on…
    In any event, have a nice day my friend.
    PS: I live in the mountains of Virginia and Key West. How about you? I’m a retired airline pilot. 62

  • Paul

    TO: Captain Jerry and Commodianus

    Commodianus said: “Men bend religion to their desires: Not the other way around.”

    Of course! The explanation is really quite simple. Religion comes from the minds of men, and not from anything supernatural. That is why it is called belief, but belief has nothing to do with reality. Belief is just what it claims to be, belief and nothing more. As for understanding our place in the cosmos, it does not matter what we believe, what matters is what is true and here religion always retreats into mumbo jumbo.

    Belief is a sad joke played on the mind of man. As a kicker for the naive, they are informed with fear as a motivator. Believe or get burned at the stake, and in today’s world, believe or go to a very bad place for eternity. What bull! You are right, all mystics are liars, although they do not know this, they just keep passing the lie around anyway.

    I always thought some folks never mature intellectually – never seem to take the next step – never want to see, never stop believing in the comfortable stories of childhood indoctrination. Kids trust their parents to tell them the truth, and mom and dad go along with the baloney because they were infected too. For me, it is all about growing up and realizing there ain’t no Santa, Easter Bunny, or God. There is great comfort in understanding the world without fear of going to hell. To think as I choose. To see the world without the ugly glasses of religious tyranny shading my mind.

    We have just had eight years from a believer in the White House. War, stupidity, nonscientific decisions and just plain ignorance like most born agains. Oh let’s not get into that, the idiot is almost gone.

  • Commodianus

    @Captain Jerry:

    “why is one correct and all the others incorrect?”

    Investigating with intellectual honesty the basic tenets of the major (or even if you like minor) religions will bear fruit in regards to this. The question is are you willing to overcome your conclusions enough to decide what information you need to acquire to make a fair conclusion. And I don’t mean this as an insult, but I’ve debated atheists for years, and it seems to me they have a habit of forming a conclusion based on what they think is “evidence”, when they really have nothing more than a superficial view on what it is they’ve even decided against. One obvious point here is that Dawkins has never read Aquinas, namely the Summa Theologica. This is obvious to anyone that has studied Dawkins and Aquinas (me).

    The name you’re looking for is Sam Harris. I’m sure you will enjoy him. Again however, superficial knowledge, naivety and lack of education are blatantly apparent to the well versed in his case.

    I’m sure a similar argument could be made that “many Christians have no idea about cosmology or biology”. That’s a true statement in many ways. However there are those like me, that have studied both sides of the coin and still remain on the side of reason and still remain on the side of God existing.

    How about me? I live in Minnesota USA, a family man. Apologetic I have been doing for years now, and honestly it gets easier as time goes on.

    I was casually religious, but then a friend of mine started getting into atheism. Even with a casual belief of God, his arguments lacked logic, and he inadvertently pushed me into being more and more solid in my reasoning as his lack of depth became more and more apparent through my research.

  • Commodianus

    @Captain Jerry:

    The crusaders were reacting to over four centuries of relentless Islamic Jihad, which had wiped out over 50% of all the Christians in the world and conquered over 60% of all the Christian lands on earth before the crusades even began.

    The word “crusade” does not appear in the Bible, nor is it commanded. However, Jihad is the sixth pillar of Islam and the second greatest command of Muhammad. It is not only commended, but commanded in the Quran.

    The crusades ended many centuries ago. However Islamic Jihad is carried out to this day.

    I suggest reading more about the subject.

  • Captain Jerry

    Commodianus:

    I find the very idea of any mysticism mystifying. Are we laughing now?

    Anyway… Superstition/religion makes wild and outrageous claims. A magic man in the sky that grants wishes if you ask in the right manner is just one claim. Amazing claims require amazing proof. How about any reliable, repeatable, provable data at all?

    My mind has a choice, rationality, or superstition. It’s another way of my saying; data, or stories, phenomena, or wishful thinking, the material, or faith, the real, or religion, something that works, or something that does not work. The list is endless.

    Now the word ‘all’ is a gigantic word and I understand it’s meaning before I write the following: All mysticism comes from the minds of men – stories and myth – lies. No matter how pretty or captivating they may be, without proof they are just stories. It’s referred to as hearsay in court and is non admissible for good reason.

    Superstition has no proof of any of its many outrageous claims while science is the struggle to explain our universe with proof as its very basis. That’s not much of a contest for me. I vote for what works.

    Stay warm up there my friend. I’m traveling. Right now I’m in Key West, Florida.

  • Captain Jerry

    “The crusades ended many centuries ago.”
    Bush once referred to his war on Iraq as a crusade. White men have always enjoyed killing Arab peoples. It continues to this day, with the blessing and support of peace(?) loving, religions.

  • Captain Jerry

    TO EVERYONE:

    “The eye which can appreciate the absolute beauty of a scientific truth
    is far more rare than that which is attracted by a moral one.

    Few detect the morality in the former,
    or the science in the latter.”

    Henry David T…….

  • commodianus

    Captain Jerry, greetings I hope you are enjoying Florida.

    Christianity is not American. Bush does not represent Christianity, especially not in regard to the subject here which is Aquinas. Aquinas was Catholic. Bush is not Catholic. Most Christians are Catholic. Period. Politicians that are Catholic by and large fail in their politics to live up to Catholic moral standards (e.g. Kerry, Kennedy, Biden).

    That said, Bush does not obey the Pope, and is not defending Catholicism or it’s followers.

    As for your previous remarks, I would argue that it is quite easy to look at something someone else has already done the legwork on. Whether it be a “scientific fact” or a religious truth. The pride one has can be enjoyed much greater if one had the ability to come to the agreeing conclusion independently. That is where sound reasoning lies.

    A Superficial understanding of either science or religion will prevent this. I possess neither.

    I will admit that many people in religious circles do not have a scientific background. In contrast however, for example Alister McGrath (theist) and Richard Dawkins (atheist) have virtually an identical background.

    Watching McGrath debate Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens should in my opinion illuminate the cloud of failed logic to one that is serious about intellectual honesty and prove as it were, “one does not have to be an idiot to be a theist” Which should already be obvious for anyone that’s read Aquinas. You need not suspend reason. Just suspend your own faith in regard to what has yet to show evidence. Additionally, learn the difference between truth and fact and who is presenting what and when and you shall be on your way.

    Regards.

  • Jerry P. T. Weaver

    HAVE YOU NOTICED THAT THE COMMENTS BY ATHEISTS USUALLY LACK LOGICAL ORDER AND LOGICAL FORM, MEANING THERE ARE NEITHER TRUE PREMESIES NOR TRUE CONCLUSIONS, ONLY DOGMATIC STATEMENTS OF FAITH OR OPINION? BUT THEY ALWAYS CLAIM TO BE GEMS OF REASON. IT REMINDS ME OF THE RECENT ATHEIST CHRISTMAS DISPLAY FILLED WITH DOGMATIC DECREES EXTOLLING THE SUPREMACY OF THEIR “REASONS” WHILE NEVER DISPLAYING ANY. THERE ARE NO TRUE AND VALID REASONS IN SUPPORT OF ATHEISM, JUST BAD FALLACIES BY DECEIVING SOPHISTS MASQUERADING AS “REASON”. BELIEVE AND BE BAPTISED.
    P. S. HOUSE WAS WRONG AS USUAL WHEN HE MISADVENTURES INTO THE REALM OF THE SACRED; BUT JUST SUBSTITUTE “ATHEISTS” IN PLACE OF “BELIEVERS” AND TRUTH WILL BE SERVED.

  • Cyn

    68. Jerry P. T. Weaver –
    1. it is common knowledge that posting in all caps online is considered shouting and therefore extremely rude.
    2. per our FAQ – posting in all caps is not allowed. so do not do so again or your comment will be considered spam and treated thusly.
    3. it has been my experience, as an atheist that theists do tend to engage in rude behavior just such as what you’ve posted in all caps. which btw – in so doing negates whatever feeble message you were trying to impart.
    4. also in the FAQ you will notice we do not encourage preaching here. this is an entertainment website not your personal pulpit. should you feel so inclined to preach, get your own website, fund it yourself and preach til you are blue in the face.
    this site is for entertainment purposes only.
    considering you did not bother to read the FAQ prior to posting, its doubtful you’re familiar w/ any aspect of this site..so let me clue you in..i’m an admin here so i do moniter comments w/ respect to the FAQ.
    :)

  • Nietzsche

    Lmao #68 Jerry P.T. Weaver. Stop throwing around your buzzwords and get the fact that religious beliefs must be based on faith… so where are your “true” and “valid” reasons for believing? Put down your Intro to Philosophy book and stop imposing your worthless views onto other people. If you were a true man of faith, it wouldn’t bother you so much. Get over it.

  • Captain Jerry

    Per your shouting and misspelled quote; “HAVE YOU NOTICED THAT THE COMMENTS BY ATHEISTS USUALLY LACK LOGICAL ORDER AND LOGICAL FORM, MEANING THERE ARE NEITHER TRUE PREMESIES NOR TRUE CONCLUSIONS, ONLY DOGMATIC STATEMENTS OF FAITH OR OPINION?”

    No. Actually, I have noticed the opposite. I keep asking for some clear, intellectually, factually, reasonable, scientific proof of the outrageous and insane claims of superstition/religion. You claim that atheists are not rational, or logical and yet ask me to believe in talking snakes and other similar nonsense. Please!

  • Captain Jerry

    Dear Commodianus,
    I apologize for taking so long to respond. I’ve been traveling, and now I’m back in my mountain home in Virginia. I hope this finds you well.

    Per one small part of your post: “Whether it be a “scientific fact” or a religious truth.”

    Oh dear. Truth is a slippery subject. For a scientific approach to truth, I can measure the temperature outside my window right now – 51.5F. Depending on the accuracy of the thermometer, the temperature scale, errors in reading the scale, etc. I can determine a reasonably “approximate” temperature. If there are errors in this data it could and should be criticized by others.
    Through science, if one works at it hard enough, truth prevails. However, I can’t find one religious truth anywhere, anyplace, or anytime. Not one.

    If the basis of a so called “truth” is religion/superstition, there is no truth, only belief, and we both know how insane belief can become. People can choose to believe anything without proof, like a world wide flood, ghosts, goblins and talking snakes. What we believe is not truth. What we measure, or prove, or understand comes closer.
    Very best regards my friend and brother,
    Captain Jerry

  • gabi319

    68. Jerry P. T. Weaver – Recent Atheist Christmas Display Filled with dogmatic decrees extolling the supremacy of their “REASONS” while never displaying any.

    You are referring to the anti-religious sign housed in the Washington State Capitol, right? Remember a number of LV viewers are outside of the United States so clarification is needed. As far as that sign goes, they simply stated it was a celebration of Winter Solstice (a pagan celebration, but more importantly a valid date signifying the change in daylight vs. nighttime). Three sentences about their beliefs in no God is hardly worth the excitement unless your Christian faith is fragile enough to be felled by that.

    The state capitol also housed a Christian Nativity scene without explaining the reasons for celebrating a birth that factually could not have happened in December. Particularly the birth of one fair haired and fair skinned in a location known for its dark wiry hair and dark/olive complexion. I see you haven’t complained about that.

    And the fact that Christians were protesting the inclusion of this sign at the Hall as well as sneaking in at the middle of the night to steal the sign is a clear sign they were “extolling their supremacy” over supposedly inferior religions and nonreligions.

    That sign was not forcing anyone to convert. It took up relatively little space. I saw nothing wrong with giving every idea an opportunity to express itself.

    Does this lack logical order or logical form to you?

  • Commodianus

    @Captain Jerry (Post 71)

    You can rationally demand scientific proof for supernatural phenomena, in so much as you can demand supernatural proof for scientific phenomena.

    Personally, I don’t use one to “prove” the other. No more than I would ask an auto mechanic to teach me biology.

    Religion’s truth lies in the simple fact that it’s an effective system. The empirical benefits are debatable.

    RE: Post 72
    Truth exists beyond scientific fact. Examples:
    Poetry, Enjoyable Music, art, Parable etc.

    Scientific fact relates to a different aspect of each of these than the subjective “truth” we find.

    As for science’s relation to religion, I find that often times mistakes are made by both sides (as I think I have stated). It’s essential not to confuse the roles of each.

  • Captain Jerry

    Dear Commodianus,

    Per your comment: “You can rationally demand scientific proof for supernatural phenomena, in so much as you can demand supernatural proof for scientific phenomena.”

    There is no supernatural proof for anything, anywhere, or at any time in history.

    One can and should insist on proof for the types of outrageous claims made in regard to religion/superstition. Likewise, one can and should insist on proof for scientific claims just as well.
    Without proof, one can say anything whatsoever is true, as is frequently done by religious/superstitious minds. With religion, anything goes and the rules of logic do not even apply. Let’s talk about religious claims.
    How about a big pink bunny that holds the universe together?
    How about if you’re told the big pink bunny can violate the laws of physics, or grant personal wishes if you pray to him?
    How about if you’re told that unless you believe in the big pink bunny you will get thrown in a brier patch and tortured forever when you die?
    Let’s get to the point: What’s the difference in talking bunnies and talking snakes?
    Superstition/religion is arrogant by nature. Science is supremely humble and searches for real, demonstrable, repeatable, truth. Religion/superstition does neither. Religion is the supreme error of the human mind. It acts like a virus infects a body, or a computer, or the human mind. Religion/superstition is the absence of truth. A religious mind is a mind closed to rationality.

  • Commodianus

    RE: Captain Jerry #75

    “There is no supernatural proof for anything, anywhere, or at any time in history.”

    You seem to be missing the point. There is no scientific proof for anything supernatural, there is not supernatural proof for anything scientific. Why expect either of these to garnish what they will not?

    If you wish to equate Jesus Christ with “big pink bunnies” then your making not only a logical mistake, but demonstrating ignorance in regarding history.

    Thomas Aquinas, being Catholic would use the following term:
    Fides et Ratio

    Which means “Faith and Reason” — a concept not unfamiliar if not fundamental to science.

    “How about if you’re told that unless you believe in the big pink bunny you will get thrown in a brier patch and tortured forever when you die?”

    We can use logic and reason to determine the most likely truth in regard to this statement.

    With Jesus Christ, we know he existed. It is not a matter of faith. We have documents outside of the Bible from historians of the time, as well as the preserved history of the Church from the Church fathers.

    We know exactly how what we have today (as the Catholic Church – and it’s mutations/protestants) came to be.

    All persons involved, from Christ to Benedict XVI are documented and independently verifiable.
    Jesus to Peter, Peter to Linus, Linus to Anacletus, Anacletus to Clement I.

    Just investigating the evidence surrounding the first century should indicate that blind faith without reason isn’t required.

    Nobody doubts the Romans occupied Judea and is taken seriously.

    We have plenty of extra-biblical historians mentioning Christ (and not just one disputed of two comments by Josephus).

    Pliny the Younger
    Suetonius
    Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus
    Titus Flavius Josephus TWO ACCOUNTS – ONE disputed.

    All mention Jesus existing.

    So I do not see the similarity between Jesus and the “big pink bunny”. It is not because of “blind slavery to a mental infection” that I do so, and sir, quite honestly your assessment of humans throughout history being guilty of such a thing I find more arrogant than you can possibly claim religious people to be.

  • Commodianus

    Furthermore, I do not think sir, that you can prove (empirically) that there is an intellectual advantage to being an Atheist.

  • Captain Jerry

    Your quote: “You seem to be missing the point. There is no scientific proof for anything supernatural, there is not supernatural proof for anything scientific. Why expect either of these to garnish what they will not?”

    You’re making my point. And to repeat my point – There is no proof for anything supernatural. Claims require proof. Where is the proof?

    And, just because some guy named Jesus existed does not mean any god, gods, pixies, or godly pink bunnies exist.

    One can believe anything without proof. Where’s the proof? Show me God! Why is he so sneaky? Why does he/she/it always hide?

  • BarneyH

    I read that people belonging to organised religions tend to live longer. I’m in my sixties now but I am quite unable to accept religious stories: they’re often nice stories but simply ludicrous. What do I believe? I marvel at the majesty, enormity and complexity of our Universe. If there were a Creator, the only thing we can be sure is that he/she is a mathematician.

  • Commodianus

    RE: 78. Captain Jerry

    There is no empirical data that can convince all humans God exists. This is true.

    Logic should govern the thoughts of those in the various fields of science, and also when studying religion.

    Through logic, we can come to have a firm belief in our creator.

    This is not the God of the Gaps, it is not the God of Behe.

    In this, I would say that God does not hide. However, perhaps there is a certain criteria which I may not be able to articulate properly which does exclude some from being able to “see” God. This is nothing however that your own choices cannot overcome. Can I prove this claim? Contingent on your actions I would say yes. Without your cooperation, no, I cannot prove it to you personally.

    Throughout history man has offered several proofs for God, some indeed were Mathematical (See Kurt Godel).

    I will agree however, that a fundamentalist Biblical Literalist approach, or the flawed approaches of men like Micheal Behe, further alienate the critical thinking believers form the critical thinking skeptics.

    This is yet again another advantage of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, which through there early separation (1056AD) and long history (still existing) — we can see quite easily the difference between churches founded by the apostles, and churches found by men.

    Circa 1970s Born Againism – Circa 1990s “Non Denominationalism” both illuminate a huge contrast from the apostolic church.

    Throughout history, although many differing points of view have emerged from both systems (Catholic and Orthodox) — The fundamental truths are maintained (sacraments for example).

    The fundamentalist, Americanized, Protestantism, Science-Phobic religions of today are not what we should look to for “rational examples”.

    The Bible contains a vast amount of different sorts of work. There is a difference between knowing a parable to contain truth, and needing to believe in talking snakes.

    Again, you can produce your own proof. Base it on logic. I have been debating Atheists, agnostics and anti-Catholic/Orthodox folks for years, and while I still consider myself a novice, I posses the foundation in logic to have the ability to knock away fallacious arguments. When I knock away the fallacious arguments both for and against God from all sides, I have still through reason come to my faith — Fides et Ratio.

  • Bob Morris

    There are scientific proofs. This we know. However, there is no supernatural proof for anything because there is no supernatural. How can a leprechaun, or a pixie, or a ghost, or god that does not exist prove anything? It’s nonsensical.
    Religion is derived from man. It has nothing to do with the real world except as it causes some people to kill, some people to wage war, and some people to go to church on Christmas.
    As for the intellectual advantage to being an atheist, it is simple – Tis better to seek the truth, than be seduced by fable and myth.

  • Commodianus

    79. BarneyH

    I would agree that if there is a God he is a mathematician. I would argue vehemently that if there is a God, math is certainly one of the more logical ways to understand the nature of his work.

    Personally, I think of God as the original Great Polymath.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymath

  • Commodianus

    81. Bob Morris:

    Sure. Allow me to rephrase. How would it be logical to expect science to prove something that is beyond the scope of science (supernatural)?

  • Commodianus

    RE: 81 —

    As for the intellectual advantage to being an atheist, it is simple – Tis better to seek the truth, than be seduced by fable and myth.

    How is it that you do not see that this is not a scientific statement?

    You have no actual proof to demonstrate that this is a factual claim. Only your opinion.

  • Commodianus

    (or might I add, and perhaps more importantly – that what you are calling fable and myth is such)

  • Captain Jerry

    Adam and Eve – Serpents that speak – An Earth centered universe – A world wide flood – Mystical lands paved with gold – Ghosts and demons – Mystical flying people – Magic horns that destroy cities – People spontaneously turning into sodium chloride (salt) and the biggest self falsified lie of all, life after death. If one reads the tenants, or foundations of just about any religion/superstition it always falls apart at the base, unless of course, you’re one of those folks that believes the sort of things in my list above. I’m sorry, but I can’t even start to believe in such obvious baloney. Supply some proof and change my mind… I’m not asking for much.
    A few rare things in the Bible are actually historically correct, but it should be obvious many other stories are nothing more but wild exaggerations, fanciful delusions, stories for children and the naive.
    We live in a material universe – a universe composed of matter, and an electromagnetic spectrum that gives rise to phenomena. It is an amazingly beautiful place with rich complexity. The simple, naive, primitive, parochial, religions provide no truthful answers. NONE! Mystical nonsense moves man in exactly the wrong direction.

  • Bob Morris

    I said “Tis better to seek the truth, than be seduced by fable and myth.”

    And you replied “How is it that you do not see that this is not a scientific statement?”

    Science seeks to find the truth, about ourselves, our planet, our place in the cosmos, and millions of other things. If one attempts to use mysticism to determine reality it will fail, as it always has. Try going to the moon with prayer instead of a Saturn 5. Mysticism fails at everything except screwing up peoples brains which then screws up everything else. Look what religion did to the middle east.

  • Commodianus

    RE: 87. Bob Morris

    “Science seeks to find the truth, about ourselves, our planet, our place in the cosmos, and millions of other things. ”

    Science does not seek the whole of truth.

    Science seeks the empirically discoverable truth.

    Science can not tell me what my favorite song should be. That is also a form of truth.

    Perhaps you think science can determine our favorite song, painting or poem. If this is the world you aspire to, I would really start thinking about it more.

  • Bob Morris

    Like many superstitious folks you do not understand the very purpose of science. Of course science seeks the whole truth. This is exactly the point of science. Often, this reality takes time to discover, but man’s ignorance does not deny science, nor is it a proof for any type of mysticism, or superstitious beliefs. You have made a quite common mistake concerning superstitious beliefs.
    How about some proof for any of the crazy claims made by religion? Anybody can make up anything. Prove it and you have said something meaningful.

  • Bob Morris

    “Science does not seek the whole of truth.”
    I’ll give you just one proof to deny your statement. The Super Conducting Super Collider at Cern. It seeks no less than the beginning of the universe and how matter and energy operate.
    I do my very best to try to think like a scientist and I definitely seek the whole of truth. Most, if not all scientists I have ever known, or ever read of are in awe of the universe and want to know how it came to be, how it works and where it’s going – the whole of truth. I never find a religious person seeking the whole of truth, rather I often see them denying reality by attacking science.

    Empirically discovered truths as you call them, or data and theory as I name them are science, and reality, or the truth if you wish. Stories are not truth. They are stories. Believing stories is belief, and not reality. It is something that happens in your head and not the real world. Belief is not simply wrong, it is exactly the wrong way to determine reality, like a mental sickness.

    Science can’t tell you what your favorite song is, quite yet, but it’s close. It can also tell you exactly why one chord sounds better then another. It turns out that music is mathematical.

    And lastly, I do not aspire to any world, because as a thinking human I seek the truth. I want to know why and how the universe works. And, because science cannot answer every question is hardly a proof for pixies, ghosts or a god. It is a motivator to discover a beautiful, rich and complex reality.

  • Commodianus

    RE: 89

    Religious systems have logical proof and mathematical proofs. As for your claim that I do not understand the purpose of science I would argue that it is you that are mistaken.

    A majority of the atheist arguments against “God” existing are based in a lack of empirical scientific evidence, yet I am accused of misunderstanding the purpose of science?

    RE: 90
    I realize many people are in awe of the Cern Collider. However large it’s discoveries may be, I don’t think people like Kenneth R. Miller and I are worried about it. The reason is not some “God of the Gaps” which neither I nor Miller subscribe to. It is not the “God of explanation” that we seek to show the world.

    As for science telling me “what my favorite song is” — that’s not what I said. Science can’t tell me what my favorite song SHOULD BE. Those are very different things.

  • Bob Morris

    I do not know of any mathematical proofs for the existence of god that are valid. Most are circular reasoning, and therefore invalid. False circular reasoning can “prove” the existence of anything, even magic pixies.
    In addition, any proof of god or gods would be world wide news. Quite literally, it would be Earth shattering news. Where is it? Where are the proofs for gods, goblins, deamons, or any god? Considering the insane claims made by superstitious/religious thought, that’s not a lot to ask for…

  • Bob Morris

    Your statement “A majority of the atheist arguments against “God” existing are based in a lack of empirical scientific evidence, yet I am accused of misunderstanding the purpose of science?”

    I have never heard of any atheist argument against gods, a god, pixies, ghosts, goblins, devils, demons, magic creatures, angels, talking snakes, Thor, Zeus, and so on…
    The reason lies in the rules of logic and deductive reasoning; “No possible arguments exist to invalidate anything that does not exist.” This is known as a zero sum equation and thus invalid. In other words, nobody can prove that anything does not exist.

    Atheists simply view the total and complete lack of proof, or utter lack of any acceptable evidence for supernatural entities as non existent. The evidence is as nonexistent as the supernatural itself. For your information, the term “supernatural” is a contradiction in terms. Everything in the universe is natural.

  • Bob Morris

    Your remark: “I realize many people are in awe of the Cern Collider.”
    It’s not operational yet. There are no discoveries, just the potential of discoveries.

    Your remark: “However large it’s discoveries may be, I don’t think people like Kenneth R. Miller and I are worried about it. The reason is not some “God of the Gaps” which neither I nor Miller subscribe to. It is not the “God of explanation” that we seek to show the world.”
    Why would you concern yourself with stories and myth rather than the amazing beauty of an intricate reality? Stories are not reality, no matter how much one believes it.

  • Bob Morris

    Your remark “As for science telling me “what my favorite song is” — that’s not what I said. Science can’t tell me what my favorite song SHOULD BE. Those are very different things.”

    I agree. Soooo… What is your favorite song anyway? LOL

  • Commodianus

    RE: 92

    Which Mathematical Proofs for God’s existence have you dismissed?

    RE 93:
    I have heard several arguments from Atheists against the existence of God. Several. I’ve been doing this for some years now. “The Problem of Evil” is one good example.

    What I was saying in post 91 is that it is my opinion, in addition to what I have previously stated is, that at best, claiming “there is no scientific or other evidence” for God, or the “Christian supernatural” is a “Stramineus Homo” argument.

    We’re subjectively concluding (very frequently) what sufficient evidence would be contrary to stated nature of said deity.

    RE 94:

    I’m aware that it is slated to go online in Summer. I do follow things. See this nice video about Cern:

    http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/brian_cox_on_cern_s_supercollider.html

    You said:
    “Why would you concern yourself with stories and myth rather than the amazing beauty of an intricate reality? Stories are not reality, no matter how much one believes it.”

    Stories are a method of revealing truth. Just as the Cern collider’s discoveries of Higgs particle was explained as an analogy. This method of communication to articulate points will never die out.

    Further, there is no demonstrable proof that I cannot be a religious man, and a fantastic scientist at the same time. There is no empirical evidence that suggests atheists have an intellectual advantage.

    In my case, I enjoy both Christianity and Science immensely.

    RE 95:

    Hard to Nail down. I love music and I am a musician (albeit a poor one).

    I can be anywhere from Gregorian Chant to Psy-Trance (Astral Projection). From Mozart to Tupac, from AC/DC to Jane Siberry. From the Cure to Bun-b. Charles Mingus to BB King.

    Quite eclectic. I don’t do country though. ;)

  • Sarah

    “33. devilishgrin66 – February 14th, 2008 at 2:14 am
    JFrater – im jewish, although hardly (i turned atheist almost immediately after being bar mitzvahed) but i thought that the jews didn’t believe in hell?
    el dude – the church might not have directly killed as many people as those other institutions but they have consented to or authorized just as many.
    Its not exactly great to look at it this way but the catholic church is also widely responsible for AIDs, through its stance on birth control.”

    The vitriol of secular Jews never ceases to amaze me. Before you cry ‘racism’ or ‘anti semiticism’- I am a BLACK AFRICAN CATHOLIC, but am sick to death of secular Jews (not Orthodox Jews) spewing lies and misconceptions about the Catholic Church.

    The Catholic Church has not killed NOWHERE near as much as godless atheistic ideologies like communism has- ever.

    Here I must steal a rational persons previous input:

    60 million Chinese butchered by Mao.
    2 million Cambodians murdered by Pol Pot.
    6 million Ukrainians slaughtered by Stalin.
    Tens of millions of other Soviet citizens killed by Stalin’s Soviet Union.

    Atheist Nations give us a fine example. Do they not?
    One Million+ Tibetans killed by the Chinese;
    Million-plus Afghans put to death by Brezhnev’s Soviet Union.

    As for the HIV issue in Africa, as a BLACK AFRICAN, to hold the Catholic Church responsible for this is beyond ludicrous. In Eastern Africa, such as Uganda and the Philippines, the teaching of abstinence has resulted in a decrease in HIV contraction- whereas South Africa, which relies heavily on the lie which is ‘safe sex’ has seen an increase in HIV.

    Try arguing with facts and not anti Catholic propaganda.

    “37. bitter crank said
    Is it possible that all the verbally abusive atheists that hit the blogs are actually former judgmental “judgmental Baptists? Bertrand Russell said that you can tell what kind of a Christian you WERE by the kind of atheist you ARE.”

    Well said, Bittecrank. This has been my experience too.

  • Sarah

    “34. B8ovin – February 19th, 2008 at 2:41 am
    I find it odd when people confuse political systems with philosophical/theological ways of thinking. Because philosophically the USSR was atheistic it follows that their political system was an atheistic government? Hardly. Hitler was a devout christian, and maintained the Third Reich was a christian movement.”

    Hun, this lie has been refuted numerous times before. Hitler may have been raised Christian but he certainly was atheist when he committed his atrocities. Not to mention his persecution of the Christian Church. Nice try.

  • A Thinker

    I find it hilarious that there are people here who have not heard of Thomas Aquinas, yet feel somehow superior to him because of the power of his faith. Aquinas was one of the greatest philosophers not born in Athens, and did more to elevate man from the darkness of ignorance and superstition than any man alive today. He was the first person to reconcile Aristotelian ethics, systemic logic, and metaphysics with the teachings of Christ; he single handedly liberated Christianity from the most oppressive maxims of oppression and regression. Read Summa Theologica–his masterwork and treatise on politics, ethics, theology, justice, and metaphysics–before you pronounce judgment about such a great philosopher.

  • graatz

    @93 tsk, tsk, I can very well prove that things don’t exist. Like a square circle. Or an invisible pink unicorn. People use the word God to mean something that can’t be, such as an all-seeing, all-loving, all-powerful being.

  • Andreas

    Aquinas was an intelligent fellow operating within the realm of his indoctrination. However him and any other “great” religious thinkers do create grandious conceptual bodies of work within the context of their singular religious concepts. Therefore everything they say, as beautiful as it sounds, is only relevant to the context in which all has been developed. Hence the effort of many to extrapolate such thoughts outside the narrow scope they have been created is futile. Aquinas’ worldview was based on a set of religious axioms that can be easily dismissed if information from outside his scope of thinking is used. Nevertheless the human mind has the capacity to create appealing dictums with the elements available to it. Thus Aquinas’ must be read as a poet philosopher and appreciated in such context. The relevance of his sayings to reality is (should be) unimportant. Using anything he said to justify anything at all, it is just using beautifully formulated sentences against provable facts.
    Cheers

  • Commodianus

    RE: 101.

    What information did Aquinas require to be freed from his indoctrination, that for example, I do not have (as a Catholic)?

  • Andreas

    For once, he was restricted to the ideas available in his historical and geographical space dominated by catholicism. [Btw, the comment does not mention any “freeing”]. Our reading of his writings must acknowledge the context. Ideas developed after his time are obviously not possible to be reflected in his thinking. However our access to information developed after his time should allow us to read and understand his writing in a more modern context that takes in account all that’s available to us now. However many people still read older texts without understanding (or even attempting to) their historical and geographical context, and taking them to face value; which is acceptable for intellectual entertainment endeavors such as poetry and possibly philosophy but not beyond.

  • Commodianus

    RE: 103.

    You said:

    Aquinas’ worldview was based on a set of religious axioms that can be easily dismissed if information from outside his scope of thinking is used.

    That’s what I posted #102 in regard to. It seems to imply that given “modern thinking” he would not have held his opinions. I don’t find any evidence for this claim (as a Catholic).

  • Andreas

    Because it is not reasonably possible to find any such evidence! He does not live today and looking for such evidence is futile (unless he might have been a time traveller). But people are shaped by their environment and thus we ought to take this in account, if we are about to fully use our cognitive capacity. How many people growing in a non-religious or non-catholic environment become catholics as adults? While examples can be found it is not a common occurrence. I did not meet any but statistically it must occur. The wish to use old texts to shape our life is understandable, from a psychological point of view; it gives one solace in the continuity of our thought. It is even more understandable for somebody that grew up in an environment where antique religious texts are given such credit. [ well if you believe a patchwork of texts written over thousands of years, it is easier to give even more credit to somewhat newer texts based on the same]

  • Commodianus

    RE: 105

    You said:

    Because it is not reasonably possible to find any such evidence! He does not live today and looking for such evidence is futile (unless he might have been a time traveller).
    =====================================

    Which evidence is that? Aquinas never offered evidence for anything other than conceptual cohesion. Logic.

    You said:

    But people are shaped by their environment and thus we ought to take this in account, if we are about to fully use our cognitive capacity. How many people growing in a non-religious or non-catholic environment become catholics as adults?
    ===========================================

    I am not shaped by my environment. Intellectually I am shaped by my ability to absorb data. How many become Catholic? Millions. I’m one of them. I became Catholic via reason, not environment.

    You said:

    While examples can be found it is not a common occurrence. I did not meet any but statistically it must occur.

    You’re commuting a logical fallacy here known as “argumentum ad populam” (aka appeal to majority). Your point is fallacious.

    You said:

    The wish to use old texts to shape our life is understandable, from a psychological point of view; it gives one solace in the continuity of our thought.
    =======================================================

    I don’t just use texts. I’m Catholic. My Church has been around 2000 years and quite frankly knows more about humans than anything else on Earth. We’re not “sola scriptura”. fyi.

    As for continuity of thought, I would ask for evidence of this. There are a very minimal set of things we all agree on completely which make us one. There’s quite a bit of dissent elsewhere.

    You said:

    It is even more understandable for somebody that grew up in an environment where antique religious texts are given such credit. [ well if you believe a patchwork of texts written over thousands of years, it is easier to give even more credit to somewhat newer texts based on the same]
    ====================================

    You seem to be committing two fallacies at once here. The Genetic, as well as an appeal to Novelty.

    I’d appreciate discussing any non fallacious points you have. My suggestion would be to touch up on your argumentation techniques. You seem to write well, now learn what a valid argument is, and you may be able to get your points across.

  • raphael

    Religion is the biggest escapist fantasy.

    face reality and reach out for the truth, just as you did with Santa Claus :p

  • Captain Jerry

    Commodianus,
    I have had a change of heart. See this for inspiration:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6waXPTSrGiA

    Jerry

  • RE 107:

    You mean Nicholas, Bishop of Myra?

    Will DO sir. WILL DO.

    RE 108 – I have a video of the same dude on my youtube page:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X54O1zniJE8

    Good for a laugh.

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  • jptw

    @Nietzsche (70): re : …religious beliefs must be based on faith.”
    On the contrary I answer that this is only half true. There is a minority body of beliefs that is also able to be proven by human reason (ref. – 1st part of Aquinas’ Summa, the Catholic Encyclopedia, and the 1st part of the new Catechism of the Catholic Church). And foremost among these is whether the existence of God can be proven.

  • jptw

    @Captain Jerry (71): re : “talking snakes and other nonsense. Please.”
    On the contrary, I answer that you are very correct that a talking snake is completely outside of all natural phenomena – the precise requiremnet for a miracle. And provided there is an omnipotent God, then could not an omnipotent God perform such a miracle? It is not so much that a snake was empowered to speak as that Satan, that speaker of fallacies, was allowed by the power of God to assume the form of a snake. And yes, I have even seen a miracle. Yes, really. Would you be interested in financing a polygraph of my miracle (or know anyone who would) plus $1,000 to my charity if I pass it? Let’s get it on.

  • jptw

    @Nietzsche (70): re : “so where are your ‘true’ and ‘valid’ reasons for believing?”
    On the contrary, I answer that there is such a thing as misplaced faith, and right reason (true and valid) should stear us away from misplaced faith. And you sir have obviously placed all your faith in science and in college professors who like to trash all religions. But not all religions are alike. And just how is your science to study an object that is invisible (like air), inaudible (like a moving proton), odorless (like clean air), tasteless (like water), and untouchable (like a cubit of empty space). Now you can cop out and just say there are no such objects. But where is your scientific proof of that. You’d be just assuming, and you know what that makes you. No, your science can’t touch that question – Does God exist. You have no scientific tools with which to measure non-matter. You may want to define non-matter into non-existence, but I didn’t think science worked that way. I love science, but I know its limitations. Next time : a short proof for the existence of non-matter

  • jptw

    @Commodianus (106): Excellent work Commodianus. You keep them on point. They also use the fallacies of ad hominem, strawman, and equivocation. Too bad these who worship their little god of science know almost nothing of first logic. But we can smell a fallacy 12,500 miles away. Great nose for the truth.

  • jptw

    @jptw (112): For all you scientists who insist that non-matter cannot exist, I bring you :
    Proof That Non-matter Exists
    Let matter be defined as everything that has ever been : matter, energy, time, dimensions, parallel universes, and quantum particles – everything we find in our sensory experience.
    Primary working hypothesis : that non-matter does not exist.
    From this hypothesis, we must conclude that there exists a huge logical class of everything that was ever matter. And we know from both experience and logic that it is utterly impossible for a thing to cause its own coming into existence; for then it would exist before it existed – an absurd contradiction. And no argument is sound that contradicts its own assertions. Therefore, since this entire matterial class cannot have been caused from within its own class, then it can only be caused from outside that class. But there is nothing material that is outside this class; and outside this class of all matter there is only non-matter; and yet, we saw that the cause must come from outside this universal class. Then, the cause of all matter can only be non-matter; and to cause is to exist. Hence, even when we assume that non-matter does not exist, we must judge against that hypothesis. Hypothesis disproved and non-matter really dose exist.

  • jptw

    @Bob Morris (92): re : Mathematical Proofs would be earth shaking news.
    Or rather they should be but for the polarized nature of all such things having to do with God’s existence. Atheists are pre-disposed against it, and have considerable power in all media forms. No matter how valid they are, I fully expect to remain just another obscure theologian by virtue of media bias. And so, why be in any hurry to release them to an unworthy public? Those who need to know them have received them. Let them release them if they wish. Your bias has deprived you of them.
    Circular reasoning my foot. Aquinas starts with sense perceived causality and ends with a first cause. I don’t see the circle. Show me more.

    And fyi JPTW and Jerry P. T. Weaver are one and the same.

  • jptw

    @jptw (115): One of these listverse writers above criticized Christians for having our scriptures.
    I answer that every science has analogus writings of discoveries they deemed important. The scientists take their notes, submit them to a scientific journal, and perhaps even to many text books. And these date way back even to Archimedes and Aristotle. These are the scientist’s scriptures. And if those who love God are in turn blessed with miracles and revelations, should they not also esteem these as important enough to pass on to a respectful posterity? We shall always be extremely proud of all our true and holy scriptures. You can even meet the Lord there.

  • facehairteeth

    #7 is great. I love that in every age the hearts of men are drawn to the same God.

  • V.Somers

    Hey, what about these very eloquent quotes from Aquinas?
    "As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active power of the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of a woman comes from defect in the active power."
    and
    "If forgers and malefactors are put to death by the secular power, there is much more reason for excommunicating and even putting to death one convicted of heresy."

    You have to admire someone who can rationalize how women are so defective and also supports the death penalty for non-believers. Saint? Indeed.

  • Gustav

    "6. Faith has to do with things that are not seen and hope with things that are not at hand."

    To me this sound like "I can't see some things and other's i can't understand. And I'm not going to try it either.

    "13. Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do."

    I like how one can see this as "Believe in evidence, desire knowledge and become educated"

    "14. To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible."

    This show a lot of the mind of a strong believer and the misconception of the one who doesn't believe in my opinion.

    "15. Wonder is the desire for knowledge."
    This speaks so much against religion it's pretty funny actually :)

    —-
    I'm an Atheist and I think all religion is wrong and i have a special resentment for Catholicism.

    But in all sincerity i liked the mild manner of stating his case through these quotes. They were elegant, not always rational. But open for interpretation and not so condemning of others.

    It's a shame that the seeming friendliness and his openness displayed in these few quotes, wasn't the Catholicism that killed and tortured so many during it's existence.

    It was a nice surprise to see some thoughts out of a very religious man's point of view that wasn't sour with ignorance and prejudice.

  • Mchael Emezie

    there is a flux,nothing is static and non of this imperfection create no change to the realite of truth

  • Jerome

    When science can fill all the holes I will dismiss tge idea of a being far superior to the human animal, but that day has not come. til it does my grandfather would say, “if it isn’t true it oughta be.”

  • Carolina Diago

    Thanks for sharing. I definitely would have addes that one to the list if i’d known about it. I’ll add it to the post now. :-)

  • Raven’s shamrock

    Pillock

  • John B. Egan

    Boy! St Thomas Aquinas truly was a bore….I think I’d rather any of the Popes on the ’10 Worst Popes’ list. At least they were fun.

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    korak

  • Vagawi

    Excellent – I’m a preacher and find great material for my sermons from these quotes (including the ones from atheists).

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