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

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

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

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


Any thoughts ?

Tags: Epicurus

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Wow! Your assessment of Aquinas' role in the development of Christian theology is the opposite of just about every historian of Christian thought.

I'm a student of neurology and this is becoming neurology's assessment of Thomas Aquinas, his theology and indeed monotheism in general.
Authors to read on this: V.S. Ramachandran, Oliver Sacks, Robert Sapolsky and many others are of similar opinion to my statement.

Christian thought is based on theology or hallucination based lies, not logic.
Aquinas's contribution to logic was surpassed in other cultures and western thought would have evolved regardless of Aquinas's existence.
What wouldn't have evolved without Aquinas's existence is his dumber than dumb apologetics (lies).

Aye M8! :-D~

BTW: Christian thought is "Irrational Nonsense".
No rationality exists in Christianity.
All the good bits of Christian thought or Jesus's teachings had existed half a millenium in other cultures.
Christianity truly had nothing new to offer human existence.
It was just in the sales pitch.
A more saleable item, just like the marketing of Bill Gates's MS-DOS winning over the market ahead of the better constructed and more functional DR-DOS.
Christianity used some very clever, underhanded tactics to get converts, thus the origins of such things as Christmas and Easter which were pagan festivals overtaken by Christianity because nobody wanted to celebrate anything to do with Jesus at the time so they had to incorporate their celebration into existing celebrations and gradually dominate those festivals, which they ultimately failed to do because many are moving back to the pagan origins, forgetting about Jesus entirely.

Aye M8! :-D~

You had me going there for a while. I did three Google searches:

1) "V.S. Ramachandran" Aquinas

2) "Oliver Sachs" Aquinas

3) "Robert Sapolsky" Aquinas

I looked at the top ten hits generated by each of these searches. The closest connection I found was this quote:

I've listened to a whole series of Robert Sapolsky.  Have you read Thomas Aquinas?

To be blunt, I find your claim regarding these authors not credible. I therefore challenge you to provide a citation supporting your claim.

The remainder of your two comments I find to be anger-fueled screeds devoid of logic or evidence, a mere pile of vituperation. It is exactly this kind of mindless hate that I find objectionable. Atheism doesn't need to go postal against religion, because atheism has truth on its side.

I like this reply to the same question Chris.
Yet, deciphering the visions, hearing voices, actions etc of Aquinas, such as the one highlighted in this question all point to a brain malfunction.
The two most likely from a neurological aspect are schizophrenia or temporal lobe epilepsy, because in the diagnosis of all patients suffering such phenomenon has pointed to temporal lobe disorders or lesion.
Removing the lesion in all cases where it has been undertaken has removed these voices of god from the patients.
Stimulating those regions electronically and magnetically creates very close hallucinations and voices. Though certain drugs like mescaline have also produce similar temporal lobe activity.
So there is also a possibility of something in the food, drink or even air that Aquinas was consuming.
Like the volcanic gasses that produced the visions of the "Oracle of Delphi".
Dr. Simon McCarthy-Jones has mentioned Aquinas as a hallucination sufferer in his notes and writings.
Article: McCarthy-Jones, S. (2011). Seeing the unseen, hearing the unsaid: Hallucinations, psychology, and St Thomas Aquinas. Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 14, 353-369.

He has been mentioned as such in lectures and neurological articles.
Which is very likely the source of the question above.

BTW: Ramachandran, Sapolsky and Sacks don't individually single out Aquinas, they generalise to include practically all religious visionaries throughout history, including present day religious leaders. It's Aquinas's life story and accounts of his visions/voices that declare him to have temporal lobe damage of some form when diagnosed at
a neurological level.

I and my colleagues are aiming to push this stream publicly to force public awareness of the power of such brain damage and it's implications for belief in superstitions, such as religions.

We hope to achieve the outcome of having religion to be confined to the same level of consideration in our society as Astrology and Numerology, where it belongs.

Thus our hammering this topic in forums and public sites around the globe, in the name of public awareness.
I believe all atheists should brush up on this neurological aspect of superstitious belief and use it publicly as well.

It would do the world good to come to a realization that all superstitions are brain malfunction based concepts.

OK, so you have verified that you were making it up when you claimed that V.S. Ramachandran, Oliver Sacks, Robert Sapolski diagnosed Aquinas as having a neurological disorder. Whatever the case, you are presenting a purely ad hominem argument. Aquinas' work speaks for itself, and historians of Christianity are in broad agreement as to the immense effects of his work on the evolution of Christian theology. There is also a very powerful case, which I have already alluded to, that Aquinas stimulated the development of Western rationalism and helped advance the process that eventually led to Western science and technology. Call him crazy, but he did a lot more to advance civilization than most people. 

Three of my favorites. V.S. Ramachandran, Oliver Sacks, Robert Sapolsky. Their questions tickly my imagination, and then when they do their research, they make sense. They are so different in personality. You really have a way of presenting reminders of exhilarating reading. 

It has always seemed to me that Epicurus's riddle is the simplest way to raise the main problem of theodicy—how do you justify the belief in a good and just god in the presence of manifest evil? The standard Christian answer is that this world is a test and that the balance toward good is restored in the promised afterlife. To answer that there is Ingersoll's little verse:

Happiness is the only good.

The place to be happy is here.

The time to be happy is now.

The way to be happy is to make others so.

This was the basis of a remarkable essay by John Leslie Mackie, and it is known today as "the argument from evil" in the growing arsenal of answers for people who ask, "Why are you an atheist."  It is my all-time favorite argument against the existence of God.  No believer can counter it.  Alvin Carl Plantinga smugly responded by saying that nothing's wrong with God, it is man who chooses to be evil. God gave man freedom of choice.  Let me answer for Mackie: "If God allows man to choose evil, why didn't God make sure man would always choose to be good." Nuff said.

I don't know, the argument from evil has always stuck in my craw. It works great when you assume a beneficent god, but some religions see their god(s) as morally neutral. They created teh universe, they rule the universe, but they permit the exercise of evil as a human failing. There are lots of variations on the concept, but the Indian idea of karma, or the Indonesian idea of tanagadalang, reflect this thinking.

By the way, when I discuss these ideas, I'm not endorsing them; I treat them in the way that a mathematician might treat some alternate logical universe that doesn't actually exist, but still has logical properties that perhaps consistent. An example would be N-dimensional universes, although these are logically more feasible than any of the religious universes.

Do you suppose a scientist goes into a question with the intention of proving his/her hypothesis is correct? 


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