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 ?

Epicurus.

Any thoughts ?

Tags: Epicurus

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Remember those early photos of Sapolsky? 

TED Robert Sapolsky: The uniqueness of humans

http://www.ted.com/talks/robert_sapolsky_the_uniqueness_of_humans.html

Sapolsky Religion Lecture

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPblR4bWCoxlkSb0RPva3i22bo2eu...

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.

The difficulties of diagnosing mental or physical illness in someone seven centuries after his death based on the hearsay reports of others are enormous, but that diagnosis even if accurate would not constitute evidence against the value of Aquinas's work. Summa Theologica is a work of considerable brilliance that cannot be dismissed simply on the suspicion that its author might possibly have suffered from epilepsy.

Evidently Aquinas had little else to occupy his time apart from thinking.  

Though his Summa is entirely baseless.  It is based on false assumptions and it's arguments are often irrational because the underlying assumptions are indeed false.

Essentially it is an extremely clever smoke screen and obfuscation of reality to counter and confound criticism of his lie based religious doctrines.

Thus it became and essential basis for the Catholic church to ward off logical criticism by confounding it with irrational rationalism (Aquinas's).

He was extremely clever in countering rational criticism of Christianity with surreptitious rationality.  But his whole underlying concepts and arguments are actually irrational.

His only brilliance was his use of Aristotelian logic to confound rational criticism of his irrational beliefs.

Yet much of his Summa is nothing but garbage twisted to appear as real knowledge.

 Looked through it when studying theology back in the mid 70s and really wasn't impressed with it.  In fact it was his abstracting reality in order to assert and support his Christian concepts that I found a little disconcerting and made me feel that something must be wrong with Christianity itself.

I have always been a completely rational individual from birth, my parents noticed this when the first thing I would do from the age of 4 was to pull apart all moving things given to me in order to see how they work.  No toy lasted a week without me figuring out how to pull it apart to see what makes it tick.

Aquinas didn't push my buttons at all, I pulled apart his mind while reading it and found naught but delusional, irrationality dressed up to appear rational.

I don't consider Aquinas to be as intelligent as Aristotle.

Yet Aristotelian logic has noticeable faults, but Aquinas faults are canyons!

 

I have always been a completely rational individual from birth

That seems extremely dubious.

Looked through it when studying theology back in the mid 70s and really wasn't impressed with it.

For one of your brilliance a brief glance was probably more than sufficient.

Well Allan, I was brought up in a theistic, church going family, but as I stated, from the outset I was always a little dubious about the rationality behind my own family's beliefs. I was often sent out of Sunday school class for questioning the teacher.
I spent much of my early life confused because my family, my Christian school other religious children around me all believed, yet, somehow their beliefs and concepts still appeared delusional to me.
Maybe it was because I started reading science books and idolizing scientists from the age of seven. My parents at the age of six gave me a "How & Why, Wonder Book" and I was instantly hooked.
I started experimenting and reading science, I have continued ever since.
By the age of 10 I had devoured a complete scientific encyclopedia set.
Yet my parents sent me to a private Christian school because I received a very high IQ score, which was where I didn't want to go. I was much happier at the local public school. That is a possible reason for my Anti-Theism.
As far as Theology and Aquinas goes, we were being spoon fed his teachings and concepts in class, because our priest worshiped Aquinas, almost as much as his god. So I had already a knowledge of what Aquinas was on about.
Yet, I rode my bike to the public library to find better science texts than existed at our school. This is where I discovered Voltaire, whom I found to be brilliant.
Reading Aquinas in comparison to Voltaire was a let down.
I am still a strong fan of Voltaire's and I consider him far more rational and brilliant than Aquinas.

Epicurus was far more intelligent than Aquinas.

If Aquinas was so intelligent, he would have realized he was producing excuses for irrational delusion and supporting a non-existent god.   But, he was not smart nor knowledgeable enough to pick the dirt from the shovel.  

Picking philosophers is really about who floats your boat.  Aquinas sinks mine, because I actually believe him to have been a completely deluded idiot, time will prove me right!  

I prefer the wisdom of more modern, far more knowledgeable and infinitely wiser philosophers:

Such as A.C. Grayling: From "The Form of Things" entitled:
"God and the European Constitution."

"Defenders of religion believe that without it humanity would lose a grip on two treasures: morality and spirituality. This belief is a measure of the extraordinary success the Church has had in making us forget that traditions of thought far richer than its own exist to teach us about both: two and a half thousand years of philosophy, the arts and literature, overflowing with insight and instruction into the deepest and most beautiful possibilities for human life, little of it depending on belief in Zeus or Osiris, Brahman or Baal. Indeed, superstition has been a barrier to our benefiting from this wealth: only the free mind has a chance to do so, though happily that wealth itself is the resource for helping the mind to become so.
In the light of such reflections, the idea of incorporating reference to religion, which Europe has fought so hard and long to liberate itself from, in the wording of its new constitution, is unacceptable. Let those who accept a religion observe it privately, but let them not impose it on the rest of us."

Picking philosophers is really about who floats your boat.  Aquinas sinks mine, because I actually believe him to have been a completely deluded idiot, time will prove me right!  

I prefer the wisdom of more modern, far more knowledgeable and infinitely wiser philosophers:

What kind of new information do you expect that would prove your claim that Aquinas was a "completely deluded idiot?"

What would you say are the principle reasons that account for modern philosophers being more knowledgeable and infinitely wiser?

I posted a discussion about Thomas Aquinas. I quoted his Summa Theologica where he recommends the death penalty for non-believers and heretics after the first or second warning. So apparently Aquinas was just another intolerant Christian.

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