Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

ID as terrorism?


A friend sends this list of freakouts by Darwin’s followers some years ago, about the dangers the ID community poses:

Evolutionary biologist Massimo Pigliucci (“The Varieties of Denialism,” 2002): ID is “bent on literally destroying science as we know it.”

Anthropologist Pat Shipman (2005): I have been “prompted to take ID seriously, and this movement scares me. Now I feel like a jogger in the park at night who realizes that she is far too isolated and that the shadows are far too deep. At first I ignored that faint rustling behind me, convincing myself it was just wind in the leaves. Louder noises made me jump and turn around, but I saw nothing. Now I know that I and my colleagues in science are being stalked with careful and deadly deliberation. I fear my days are numbered.”

Physicist Marshall Berman (2005): “The current Intelligent Design movement poses a threat to all of science and perhaps to secular democracy itself.” [If ID isn’t stopped] “the curtain of ŒDark Ages II¹ begins to fall!”

Science journalist Robyn Williams (2006): “ID is, in a way, terrorism.”

Philosopher Niall Shanks (2006): “A culture war is currently being waged in the United States by religious extremists who hope to turn the clock of science back to medieval times.” “The chief weapon in this war is a version of creation science known as intelligent design theory.”

Biologist Kenneth Miller (2008): “To the ID movement the rationalism of the Age of Enlightenment, which gave rise to science as we know it, is the true enemy.” [If ID prevails] “the modern age will be brought to an end.” “What is at stake, I am convinced, is nothing less than America’s scientific soul.”

<em>Coffee</em> Tins Can readers come up with more of this stuff? The Coffee Room here is thinking of starting a Mental Health Fund for Darwin’s followers. Their problem is pretty basic: They must show that nothing in nature is actually designed, in an era when nothing in nature is turning out like we expected. No wonder they are so upset. But we can help.

We can help them set up an Anonymous group for persons recovering from Darwinism. We will provide the snacks too. Patchy Ausstechformen

See also: Michael Behe: Revolutionary. Yes, the sea is boiling hot. But no, it’s not all Behe’s fault. See also Public Evolution Summit

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More crickets chirping. Apparently, rvb8 prefers not to answer the challenges raised by his unsupported assertions. -Q Querius
The sound of crickets . . . Querius
RVB8, if you are unaware of the major censorship and unjustified career busting issues surrounding the debates over evidence pointing to design, starting with the implications of so-called methodological naturalism imposed through an ill-founded radical redefinition of science and its methods, that is itself a sign of the problem. KF kairosfocus
no, I would not, bet my life on that!I like living! But I have no problem wagering a nonexistant soul.
Oh good. So where in the Bible does it say that Pi equals three?
Ethics involves difficult moral conumdrums, your questions are easy, and becoming tedious.
Fine. Then go ahead an explain on what you as an atheist base your moral or ethical objections to the ingestion of a certain kind of nutritious animal protein. Use both sides of the paper if necessary. -Q Querius
Kairos, why do you and others here use the words, 'censored', and 'uncensored'? A good idea is a good idea, it lives or dies on its merits. In academia, 'functional specificity', or its lack is a non-starter. You can't prove an organ, or organelle is 'specified'? By whom? For what purpose? To what end? It all smacks of interferance, tinkering, and its untestable. ID goes nowhere fast, because it is already at the answer. rvb8
'Q', no, I would not, bet my life on that!I like living! But I have no problem wagering a nonexistant soul. There was once a Simpsons episode where Bart sold his soul for $5, and there were consequences; isn't fiction entertaining? And 'Q', what ethics questions? The, 'will you eat a baby' one? Ethics involves difficult moral conumdrums, your questions are easy, and becoming tedious. groovamos, I am not a US citizen, but I am a huge fan of Jefferson, Adams, Franklin etc. They were clear, and so is their writing; government has no place in private life, and private belief. If you are a US citizen why does it take a foreigner to explain this obvious truth to you? The Pledge, and the, 'In God We Trust', both arrived in the 50s, with Hoover, the Second Red Scare,McCarthyism, and a general dimming of intellect. Vy, "incapable of distinguishing between Christianity and religion?" I'm one of those who is incapable of distinguishing one from the other. A belief in the unseen, and unprovable, and the groundless hope for an afterlife, coupled to the norms and subserviant behaviour, self loathing and abject comportment! This seems to cover both! rvb8
The original motto E Pluribus Unum was much better than the religionists trying to corrupt everything.
Which "religionists" is that supposed to be referring to? Those that stand against fundamentally self-contradictory religions like Atheism or uber religious Christophobes who seem incapable of distinguishing between Christianity and religion? Vy
The original motto E Pluribus Unum was much better than the religionists trying to corrupt everything. AhmedKiaan
rvb: USA must swear an oath on a Christian Bible to become President; this of course is wholely Unconstitutional. On the dollar bill in the US are the words, ‘In God We Trust’, again, unconstitutional. The Pledge of Allegiance? Unconstitutional. I'm needing a definition of "wholely (sic) Unconstitutional" that does not depend upon leftists' interpretion of the U.S. Constitution's actual words saying something other than what the words say. You know, the so-called "living, breathing" document having the attributes of life, in other words the ability to change its mind. So can you please indicate to me the part of the U.S. constitution forbidding said motto on the currency? Without indicating any kind of change of heart on its part? groovamos
rvb8, You still are unwilling or unable to answer simple two ethics questions about your claim to be an atheist. Why would anyone take you seriously?
And finally, ‘the Bible’, is a really bad place to start scientific inquiry. It really is! It thinks Pi=3.0. Hehe:)
Really? Would you bet your life on that? -Q Querius
rvb8 @34 I think you missed the point I was making. I am never sure if people really can not see it or if they are just yanking my chain! The evidence is right in front of your eyes only you have been blinded by science https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FIMvSp01C8 DillyGill
Presidents swearing “an oath on a Christian Bible” simply acknowledges our countries' (USA) Judeo-Christian heritage. (It is not unconstitutional.) As I said on another thread. Atheism has no foundation for moral truth, therefore no basis for human rights. https://uncommondescent.com/darwinism/columbine-film-actually-addresses-darwinism-as-the-mass-murderers-motive/#comment-619979 The Judeo-Christian moral ethic is the historical basis for the western concept of universal human rights. Honest atheists agree. Of course, both economic and cultural Marxists have a history of rewriting history. How can we even begin to have an honest discussion or debate without agreeing that there is real truth in the moral and historical realms? john_a_designer
Headlined: https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/btb-answering-the-id-is-religioncreationism-in-a-cheap-tuxedo-talking-point/ kairosfocus
RVB8, Pardon, but we have heard the atheistical, self-falsifying evolutionary materialistic agenda talking points many times before. Until you can pass the Newton vera causa test of actually showing how, reliably, blind chance and mechanical necessity produces functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information per observation, it remains the case -- on a trillion member base -- that the only observed source of FSCO/I is design. That is, intelligently directed configuration. This is an empirical matter. It is backed up by the fact that an analysis of blind search challenge in configuration spaces of scale 500 - 1,000+ bits on sol system or observed cosmos scope atomic resources are utterly unable to search more than a negligible fraction, thus are maximally implausible as a means of finding isolated islands of function. Thus, FSCO/I is an empirically massively verified and analytically plausible strong sign of design as best causal explanation of origin of an entity exhibiting such a phenomenon. Similarly, complex, mutual adaptation of parts to yield function -- fine tuning -- is an aspect of FSCO/I, and it is often associated with irreducible complexity of function; whereby a core of component entities are mutually necessary and together sufficient for core function to emerge or to persist. Also, codes, algorithms and associated execution or communication machinery are manifestations of a linguistically driven process, which is directly a sign of intelligence in action as posts in this thread demonstrate. (The case of D/RNA then becomes an obvious wake-up call . . . the first contact sign, credibly, has been detected, c 1953, in a molecular biology lab and was published in Nature. As Crick wrote to his son, March 19th in that year: "Now we believe that the DNA is a code. That is, the order of bases (the letters) makes one gene different from another gene (just as one page of print is different from another) . . . ") If you dispute such, simply produce cases of FSCO/I emerging by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity, in actually observed point: ___________ . I can save you a lot of fuss and bother, by pointing out that the simplest easiest way to get there is by computer based random text generation -- and not targeted, informed search such as Dawkins' Weasel -- which has shown ability to get to about 20 - 24 ASCII characters in sense-making text, a factor of ~ 10^100 possibilities short of the 10^150 - 301 range that is the ID detection threshold. The search challenge is real. FSCO/I and related phenomena are strong, reliable signs of intelligently directed configuration as cause. It is time to move on to Robert Sheldon's point, opening up a new, fresh world of insight from unfettered, uncensored science:
[ID] is about understanding the role of information in nature . . . . It isn’t just “detecting design in nature”, because that’s the easy part. It’s understanding design, understanding information in nature . . . . ID is taking us back to our roots–looking for purpose, looking for coherence, looking for meaning. Because the fundamental property of information is coherence, anti-entropy, function.
And, an honest examination of the above reasoning chain will show that it is patently empirical, inductive, analytical, scientific and clearly not religious in character. KF kairosfocus
Dilly, and j_a_d, your point about ID being an 'underdog', or about it being victamized in court, or about it being, 'the little engine that could', is tedious and misplaced. ID is an outlier of religion. It has religious antecedents, and is supported by religion. The very notion of a 'designer', implies a God. This being the case, your position is not that of the plucky long shot, who is bullied into submition. In fact, it is the exact opposite. It is the science of evolution that is in this role. Evolution is the one that must keep its head above water, as a ravening majority seeks its drowning. It is we, the atheistic, Darwinist, materialistic, unGodly that are the underdogs; how do I know? Simple. Presidents of the USA must swear an oath on a Christian Bible to become President; this of course is wholely Unconstitutional. On the dollar bill in the US are the words, 'In God We Trust', again, unconstitutional. The Pledge of Allegiance? Unconstitutional. No, I'm afraid it is still science and rationality that is attacked, and slack-jawed belief that is embraced. Come up with some evidence for design, and perhaps the sensible courts, sensible scientists, and the sensible public will listen. rvb8
Do you remember what happened a year ago? There was a demonstration on the campus of Yale University which led to the resignation of two professors because one of them, Erika Christakas, in an open email to students expressed a politically incorrect view about Halloween costumes. A year later she is unrepentant:
Nearly a thousand students, faculty and deans called for my and my husband’s immediate removal from our jobs and campus home. Some demanded not only apologies for any unintended racial insensitivity (which we gladly offered) but also a complete disavowal of my ideas (which we did not) — as well as advance warning of my appearances in the dining hall so that students accusing me of fostering violence wouldn’t be disturbed by the sight of me.
Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/441582/yale-halloween-controversy-teaching-vulnerability-and-victimhood-instruments-control It appears then that the suppression of ID discussion and debate on college campuses is only a tiny tip of the iceberg. How much do you want to bet that the most vehement anti-ID critics are part of the same PC crowd that wants to micromanage what students say (and think) even down to the way they have “fun?” These people are not in favor of a free and open democratic society or basic human rights because open dialogue and debate undermines the irrational ideology to which they cling. Why do they vilify and marginalize people with who they disagree? Because they don’t have any real arguments. Witness the shallow pseudo-intellectual trash that the interlocutors here at UD repeatedly offer. Why are people so afraid of the truth? Unfortunately that’s a question for which I have no answer. However, I suspect the true reason has little to do with science. Happy Halloween everyone! Have a fun and safe evening. But keep an eye out for the PC goons. They are for real. Don’t let them spoil your fun. john_a_designer
I cannot rule out the possibility of design and the issue is not going to go away, I agree. Fine-tuning, the origin of the genetic code, the origin of the order that is the nature of this universe are all profound mysteries that demand explanation.
I thought this was fair-minded and insightful. Actually, I couldn't ask more from an ID opponent, at least in the willingness to engage the topic. To recognize and accept that there are "profound mysteries that demand explanation" is significant and honest. Going further though and looking for answers, I think you have to take the same objective view. So, to say that you don't think ID provides compelling evidence for design is one thing. But that does not mean that the non-Design position does provide compelling evidence for itself. In other words, there's no evidence that non-Design should be considered the default position. Both sides would have to be supported by evidence. In that case, it's much more difficult to demonstrate the power of non-Design to create the universe or to answer all of those mysteries you've pointed to. Is the non-Design case really supported by compelling evidence in comparison with the Design argument? So, we're looking for the best explanation given the evidence and data we have to work with.
The real problem that I and other atheists and agnostics have with ID is that it is closely coupled to the religious beliefs of the vast majority of its proponents. It appears to be advocated, whatever its scientific merits, as a case for establishing the supremacy of one particular theology and that is not what science is about now.
As above, I can't disagree with you here and I find this a fair and accurate criticism. My own religious views are somewhat of a minority position in ID so I do perceive and agree with what you're talking about. "Official ID" is neutral about the kind of religious belief that is compatible with the scientific evidence. But "popular ID" does seem to be linked to a particular theology. It's human nature, I guess and I can understand. The theology and world-view issues are much more personal and important to people. Of course, we see the same thing with atheism as science is often used to prop-up that particular philosophy. Evolution, for example, is used as a weapon against religion because the most important issue is not the science but rather a promotion of the atheistic worldview. I'm afraid that if my religious views were in the majority in ID I'd probably do the same thing -- actually, I have to admit that I already do it with a monotheistic view (which is a particular theology in itself, although more generalized than Christianity for example). Could ID be compatible with polytheism? Yes, it can be and there is at least one Hindu ID organization. For me, cosmologically it's much more difficult to defend polytheism, but as far as the science of ID, those kinds of discussions wouldn't apply. Silver Asiatic
Seversky @ 13 Thanks for that, to present another court room analogy I would like to propose that what scientism has done to science with its philosophical commitment to materialism would be like you walking into a court where the judge has an unbreakable philosophical commitment to you always being guilty and you are charged with a crime you know you did not commit. Are you expecting a fair trial? How will that data get treated? DillyGill
the article by News, is about how serious scientists view ID as a, ‘science stopper’. It includes K. Miller, a fellow religionist. He is Catholic like News; how does she reconcile these differences BTW?
As a fellow religionist with them both, I'd think the differences concern something about different views on how God interacts with nature. Mr. Miller believes that God exists. He also takes a Darwinian belief in biology. That problem has to be reconciled first, wouldn't you agree? What evidence does Miller have that God exists, and how does Miller think that God's creation has affected evolution and therefore his own scientific study? How would you reconcile Miller's view with the atheistic evolutionary view? Whatever answer you reach from that would then be used to figure out his problems with Catholicism and ID. Silver Asiatic
God may exist ‘serious123’, but if He/She/It, does exist, She/He/It, is extremely unhelpful in understanding the natural world. Actually, worse than useless, as It/She/He gives us a lazy answer to problems, which stifle investigation, you know, ‘God did it’, end of story!
The list of Christian and theistic scientists would disagree. Because God gives a rational order to the universe, we can expect to find solutions to problems. Silver Asiatic
Folks, To refresh and move to healthier ground, let us ponder this clip from Sheldon News just put up:
[ID] is about understanding the role of information in nature . . . . It isn’t just “detecting design in nature”, because that’s the easy part. It’s understanding design, understanding information in nature . . . . ID is taking us back to our roots–looking for purpose, looking for coherence, looking for meaning. Because the fundamental property of information is coherence, anti-entropy, function.
KF PS: RVB8, that may be a MATERIALISM stopper -- never mind that self-falsifying scheme is long since intellectually and morally bankrupt -- but it shore 'nuff ent a SCIENCE stopper. In fact the point is, welcome to the info-dense era of science. PPS: Strawman caricatures on loaded inferences the Bible says pi = 3, speak volumes. You can start from what if the hand's breadth lip and 10 cubit across go together to mean distance across and around are not on the same thing? (Carpentry precision would not allow a pi = 3 value, i.e. get a wagon wheel and a length of string. Long ago, I looked at that 4-inch lip vs diameters vs circumference of two circles [IIRC the 18 inch cubit, 4-inches being hand's-breadth] and it easily matches to carpentry precision -- where, these were folks coming from Egypt who had been forced labour builders. And that's just one piece. No, I am not going down a rabbit trail, just noting that you have been looking far too much at village atheist type objections.) kairosfocus
If ID is terrorism, then Doug Axe and Michael Behe, with their research, must be intellectual terrorists with nuclear bombs. :)
Douglas Axe - The Research (Part 1) 10-29-2016 by Paul Giem https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mp9UlC3oE3A Revolutionary: Michael Behe & The Mystery of Molecular Machines -- Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJZsQQ_Hw3I
'Q', the article by News, is about how serious scientists view ID as a, 'science stopper'. It includes K. Miller, a fellow religionist. He is Catholic like News; how does she reconcile these differences BTW? Eating babies, and morality might be how you would like to hijack the stream, but answering the question, 'what has ID contributed to science?' is my objective! ISIS, heads, and Jews? Less relevant! Try again. And finally, 'the Bible', is a really bad place to start scientific inquiry. It really is! It thinks Pi=3.0. Hehe:) rvb8
rvb8, So, as a self-proclaimed expert on ethics and what God should and shouldn't do, would you say that it's moral or immoral for an ISIS fighter to behead a Jew? What do you consider the moral basis of denying a certain type of animal protein to feed starving children? Did you know that the Bible provides us with the earliest documented description of the scientific method? -Q Querius
serious123, “I don't need to list the volume of Christians and theists that are responsible for the greatest scientific discoveries in history." No, you don't, we all know them. However, at what point did Newton lay down his thought on 'limits', and consult his Bible to help him understand the infintesimal? When Galileo was viewing the heavens did he go to Leviticus to get the location of Staurn's rings? Or did that religious book have nothing to say on the matter; or, put another way, did God not know that in his creation, He put detritus around Saturn? God may exist 'serious123', but if He/She/It, does exist, She/He/It, is extremely unhelpful in understanding the natural world. Actually, worse than useless, as It/She/He gives us a lazy answer to problems, which stifle investigation, you know, 'God did it', end of story! So, let's modify the title, not, "ID as terrorism", but "ID as anaesthetic against evidence!‘ Much clearer. rvb8
Kairosfocus, Yes, and it reminds me of the "straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel" observation that Jesus made. serious123, Too true. FWIW, I've heard the pathological bias that you described as called, ideological contamination. -Q Querius
Look Atheist, only kidding, thats just too funny to pass up The crux of the issue for people like me(my stats-- 50yo, College degree, , Universe = 13gyr, Evolution= some form occurred, ) is.... there is not a fair representation of reality being put forth by the current scientific community. I dont need to list the volume of Christians and theists that are responsible for the greatest scientific discoveries in history. It far outweighs anything atheists have done. In fact there has been a virtual standstill in the last 30 years since atheists have flocked to the fields of Origins to confirm a worldview that is in direct contradiction to what the overwhelmingly majority of all humans who have ever lived can assertain in minutes. Their bias is pathological at this point. When they admit the universe has the overwhelming appearance of Design, which they claim is the reason why every culture on earth believes in Deity, but claim it only "appears" designed --BUT then discover that the Math is insurmountably more designed looking that the "appearance--what we see with our eyes--????? Just think about that for a second. The reason people believe in God is just scientifically trumped by the hidden inner workings of reality --something no one even used to influence themselves that there was a Creator, and the same mind blowing event just recently happened with DNA. So we then we have direct conformation of dishonesty by the top echelons of the scientific community. Why? Take a look at the book stores and witness all these honest unbiased truth seekers and you will not see a relaxation of their militant views, but a nuclear uptick of Not science from scientists-- but philosophy, terrible fallacious philosophy informing the trusting public that There Is No God ! Virtually everyone of these has a book, a loud blog, and bull horn shouting from the roof tops that God is a stupid idea. Thats what fine tuning, dna code and the other things mention here has brought Thats the travesty. Its shameful and they dont see it of course. But its just flat out embarrassing serious123
Q, Locke had some choice words c 1690, too:
Men have reason to be well satisfied with what God hath thought fit for them, since he hath given them (as St. Peter says [NB: i.e. 2 Pet 1:2 - 4]) pana pros zoen kaieusebeian, whatsoever is necessary for the conveniences of life and information of virtue; and has put within the reach of their discovery, the comfortable provision for this life, and the way that leads to a better. How short soever their knowledge may come of an universal or perfect comprehension of whatsoever is, it yet secures their great concernments [Prov 1: 1 - 7], that they have light enough to lead them to the knowledge of their Maker, and the sight of their own duties [cf Rom 1 - 2 & 13, Ac 17, Jn 3:19 - 21, Eph 4:17 - 24, Isaiah 5:18 & 20 - 21, Jer. 2:13, Titus 2:11 - 14 etc, etc]. Men may find matter sufficient to busy their heads, and employ their hands with variety, delight, and satisfaction, if they will not boldly quarrel with their own constitution, and throw away the blessings their hands are filled with, because they are not big enough to grasp everything . . . It will be no excuse to an idle and untoward servant [Matt 24:42 - 51], who would not attend his business by candle light, to plead that he had not broad sunshine. The Candle that is set up in us [Prov 20:27] shines bright enough for all our purposes . . . If we will disbelieve everything, because we cannot certainly know all things, we shall do muchwhat as wisely as he who would not use his legs, but sit still and perish, because he had no wings to fly. [Essay on Human Understanding, Intro, Sect 5 (1689). Text references added to document the sources of Locke's allusions and citations.]
The rhetorical bad habit of too many of atheistical bent and fellow travellers, of selectively hyperskeptically dismissing as "no evidence" such facts, logic and first plausibles/ principles as do not fit their presumptions through inconsistent standards of evidence relative to epistemologically similarly -- typically, inductive and/or inference to best explanation -- cases that they are comfortable with, is a smoking gun. KF kairosfocus
Indeed. And as the apostle Paul noted in his letter to the believers in Rome:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. -Romans 1:18-21 NASB
-Q Querius
PPS: Actually, Plato extends the date of the demise of said parrot to c 360 BC:
Ath [in The Laws, Bk X 2,350+ ya]. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical "material" elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ --> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity]. Art sprang up afterwards and out of these, mortal and of mortal birth, and produced in play certain images and very partial imitations of the truth, having an affinity to one another, such as music and painting create and their companion arts. And there are other arts which have a serious purpose, and these co-operate with nature, such, for example, as medicine, and husbandry, and gymnastic. And they say that politics cooperate with nature, but in a less degree, and have more of art; also that legislation is entirely a work of art, and is based on assumptions which are not true [--> Foundations of law, justice and responsible freedom are undermined] . . . . [Thus, they hold] that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.-
[ --> Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT, leading to an effectively arbitrary foundation only for morality, ethics and law: accident of personal preference, the ebbs and flows of power politics, accidents of history and and the shifting sands of manipulated community opinion driven by "winds and waves of doctrine and the cunning craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming . . . " cf a video on Plato's parable of the cave; from the perspective of pondering who set up the manipulative shadow-shows, why.]
These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might,
[ --> Evolutionary materialism -- having no IS that can properly ground OUGHT -- leads to the promotion of amorality on which the only basis for "OUGHT" is seen to be might (and manipulation: might in "spin") . . . ]
and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [ --> Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality "naturally" leads to continual contentions and power struggles influenced by that amorality at the hands of ruthless power hungry nihilistic agendas], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is,to live in real dominion over others [ --> such amoral and/or nihilistic factions, if they gain power, "naturally" tend towards ruthless abuse and arbitrariness . . . they have not learned the habits nor accepted the principles of mutual respect, justice, fairness and keeping the civil peace of justice, so they will want to deceive, manipulate and crush -- as the consistent history of radical revolutions over the past 250 years so plainly shows again and again], and not in legal subjection to them [--> nihilistic will to power not the spirit of justice and lawfulness] . . . . by Heaven, we have discovered the source of this vain opinion of all those physical investigators; and I would have you examine their arguments with the utmost care, for their impiety is a very serious matter; they not only make a bad and mistaken use of argument, but they lead away the minds of others: that is my opinion of them . . . . [picking up the dialogue] Cle. What was the error? Ath. According to the true order, the tenth was really the first in generation and power; then follows the second, which was strangely enough termed the ninth by us. Cle. What do you mean? Ath. I mean this: when one thing changes another, and that another, of such will there be any primary changing element? How can a thing which is moved by another ever be the beginning of change? Impossible. But when the self-moved [--> the living, responsibly and rationally free soul that self-acts] changes other, and that again other, and thus thousands upon tens of thousands of bodies are set in motion, must not the beginning of all this motion be the change of the self-moving principle? Cle. Very true, and I quite agree. Ath. Or, to put the question in another way, making answer to ourselves:-If, as most of these philosophers have the audacity to affirm, all things were at rest in one mass, which of the above-mentioned principles of motion would first spring up among them? Cle. Clearly the self-moving; for there could be no change in them arising out of any external cause; the change must first take place in themselves. Ath. Then we must say that self-motion being the origin of all motions, and the first which arises among things at rest as well as among things in motion, is the eldest and mightiest principle of change, and that which is changed by another and yet moves other is second. Cle. Quite true. Ath. At this stage of the argument let us put a question. Cle. What question? Ath. If we were to see this power existing in any earthy, watery, or fiery substance, simple or compound-how should we describe it? Cle. You mean to ask whether we should call such a self-moving power life? Ath. I do. Cle. Certainly we should. Ath. And when we see soul in anything, must we not do the same-must we not admit that this is life? Cle. We must . . . . Ath. And what is the definition of that which is named "soul"? Can we conceive of any other than that which has been already given-the motion which can move itself? Cle. You mean to say that the essence which is defined as the self-moved is the same with that which has the name soul? Ath. Yes; and if this is true, do we still maintain that there is anything wanting in the proof that the soul is the first origin and moving power of all that is, or has become, or will be, and their contraries, when she has been clearly shown to be the source of change and motion in all things? Cle. Certainly not; the soul as being the source of motion, has been most satisfactorily shown to be the oldest of all things. [--> Fishing for the root of reality] Ath. And is not that motion which is produced in another, by reason of another, but never has any self-moving power at all, being in truth the change of an inanimate body, to be reckoned second, or by any lower number which you may prefer? Cle. Exactly. Ath. Then we are right, and speak the most perfect and absolute truth, when we say that the soul is prior to the body, and that the body is second and comes afterwards, and is born to obey the soul, which is the ruler? Cle. Nothing can be more true. Ath. Do you remember our old admission, that if the soul was prior to the body the things of the soul were also prior to those of the body? Cle. Certainly. Ath. Then characters and manners, and wishes and reasonings, and true opinions, and reflections, and recollections are prior to length and breadth and depth and strength of bodies, if the soul is prior to the body. Cle. To be sure. Ath. In the next place, must we not of necessity admit that the soul is the cause of good and evil, base and honourable, just and unjust, and of all other opposites, if we suppose her to be the cause of all things? Cle. We must. Ath. And as the soul orders and inhabits all things that move, however moving, must we not say that she orders also the heavens? Cle. Of course. Ath. One soul or more? More than one-I will answer for you; at any rate, we must not suppose that there are less than two-one the author of good, and the other of evil. Cle. Very true. Ath. Yes, very true; the soul then directs all things in heaven, and earth, and sea by her movements, and these are described by the terms-will, consideration, attention, deliberation, opinion true and false, joy and sorrow, confidence, fear, hatred, love, and other primary motions akin to these; which again receive the secondary motions of corporeal substances, and guide all things to growth and decay, to composition and decomposition, and to the qualities which accompany them, such as heat and cold, heaviness and lightness, hardness and softness, blackness and whiteness, bitterness and sweetness, and all those other qualities which the soul uses, herself a goddess, when truly receiving the divine mind she disciplines all things rightly to their happiness; but when she is the companion of folly, she does the very contrary of all this. Shall we assume so much, or do we still entertain doubts? Cle. There is no room at all for doubt. Ath. Shall we say then that it is the soul which controls heaven and earth, and the whole world?-that it is a principle of wisdom and virtue, or a principle which has neither wisdom nor virtue? Suppose that we make answer as follows:- Cle. How would you answer? Ath. If, my friend, we say that the whole path and movement of heaven, and of all that is therein, is by nature akin to the movement and revolution and calculation of mind, and proceeds by kindred laws, then, as is plain, we must say that the best soul takes care of the world and guides it along the good path. [--> yes, a cosmological design inference on a coherent intelligible complex but unified ordering of the world]

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