Friday, February 28, 2014

Davy and Goliath VS. Gumby and Pokey.

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Art Clokey in the 60s (October 12, 1921 – January 8, 2010)

In keeping with my tradition of using friday for light fare, mostly film review, I decided to have a battle between two children's shows that I thought were  most creative. These are creative because they don't just draw the cartoons, they created miniature worlds in clay and they move them around physically. So they have little model worlds and everything in it has to be a tiny model; even facial expressions require a second doll for that expression.

One is a plodding Christian Children's cartoon,Davy and Goliath. The morality of each episode is heavy handed. It's a nostalgic childhood memory, each episode is filled with charm and skill, but the moral hangs heavy over the production, from the opening "A mighty Fortress is Our God" to the closing credits with production team of the Lutheran Church in America, it's a trip to Sunday School in moving clay. Against that image we have Gumby and Pokey which is one of the most creative cartoons ever made. Like Davy and Goliath, Gumby is done in clamation, but it's rawkus and anything can happen. It's the thoroughly creative brain child of an acid dropping hippie. While Davy and Goliath were directed by Author Clokey, Gumby and Pokey were created by Author Clokey. I saw an interview of him talking about his drug taking. It's not there now. I can't prove it because it's been taken down but I saw it.

That's right both are done by the same guy. Clokey's work on Davy and Goliath was commissioned by the Luthern Church in America and he was no alone in producing the script. His work with Gumby was a labor of love. Still both are loaded with charm and creativity. Was he an acid dropping hippie? One might think so watching Gumby and Poky. They go inside books and find whole worlds there. They are baked inside pies after being attacked by pastries. They melt down the drain while taking showers and come out poured into the kitchen sink by Gumby's parents.

Gumby has the  head sloped to one side so he would not appear as a fallac symbol. The name of the company called frama visions based upon the Sanskrit word for "love." "Gumby is an act of love to children." In one episode Gumby acquires the midus touch but instead of turning things to gold he turns them into art works, they actually pop into little mini sculptures that really look like they could be real art works. In one episode when they go inside a book the world the come out in is a planet in outer space it's already inhabited by another kid who is reading the book.

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Gumby and Pokey

Clokey put a lot of creativity into Davy and Goliath but it's more restrained. The little world is amazing because in miniature it looks just like a real world. Their little houses look modern 50's style houses inside. They have little door knobs, they have little tooth brushes. Davy is always getting into some kind of danger from his own stupidity. He's locked in a refrigeration freight car and carried to another tow. Goliath is stranded on the edge of a water fall and Davy has to swim out and save him. He's cornered by an escaped lion in his own backyard while sleeping in a pup tent. He's trapped in a cave and the caves looks realistic. Davy and Goliath taught a lot of lessons on accepting people of color and people who were different. Coming in the late 50's and early 60s that made this show very progressive for children's programing. It put them at odds with huge portions of the south.

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Davy and Goliath

Unlike the insulting show Lassey that wants us to think a good dog can solve any problem, Goliath knows nothing, he never solves anything, he can't even run for help, all he does is speak to Davy (only Davy understands him) in a low confused sounding voice and says thing like "I love you DaaaaveeEEEEEEEE!" or "I want some some food now.Daaaaave-eEEEEEEEEEEE!"

As it says on the Gumby world website: "Gumby creator Art Clokey was a true visionary and stop motion pioneer whose explorations in film had a profound impact on filmmakers worldwide for generations. Take a spin around the all new to discover more about Art Clokey, Gumby and friends." Clokey started Gumby in 1955. He's named after "gumbo" the word they used for a kind of clay the made at some relative's home in the country when he was a kid. Even though I can't prove it because the interview has been taken off Youtube there was one where hey himself said he had left his family in the 60s to join the counter culture. He now regrets that.

His Bio on Wiki says: " His son, Joe Clokey, continued the Davey and Goliath cartoon in 2004. In March 2007, KQED-TV broadcast an hour-long documentary Gumby Dharma as part of their Truly CA series."

official Davy and Golith Website


Gumby and Poky
In the Dough (where they are attacked by pastries)

Gumbasia (Cloaky's student film) (like Disney's Fantasia--this was mid 50s)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Are Natural Scientists Smarter than Religous Beleivers? Richard Lynn at it again!

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There seems to have come to be a lucrative field for passing off atheist propaganda as "scinece." There are numerous studies doing this and most of them are what we might call "inadequate." A new one has been added that claims that scientists who study natural science tend to be more intelligent than those who do social sciences becuase they tend to be atheists, it assumes atheists are smarter based upon flawed discredited studies like the one I took apart a few months ago. This new study is called Intelligence and Religious and Political Differences Among Members of the U.S. Academic Elite Author: Edward Dutton (University of Oulu) and Richard Lynn (University of Ulster)[1] Dutton says of himself: "I read Theology at Durham University (BA 2002) before beginning a PhD in Social Anthropology of Religion at Aberdeen University (PhD 2006)"[2] We have met Lynn before, "Atheism IQ Scam Bad science and Racist Assumptions,Kanazawa, Nyborg, Lynn, and Hamilton." AW, Jan 2, 2012

Lynn is one the atheist racist squad, he's done much more in the past promoting ideas of the intellectual superiority of white atheists over religion and people of color. Lynn lent data to Kanazawa who was cenered for racist views by BBC. Lynn supports Euginics and told the BBC "It's time for a 're-think' on eugenics."[3] Along with R.Vanhanen,He wrote IQ and the Wealth of Nations in which he basically said that poor nations are poor because they have lower IQs, and they tend to be colored because colored people are not has smart.[4] [5] In an article by Barry Mehler (Soutern Poverty Law Center) Lynn is quoted as saying:

What is called for here is not genocide, the killing off of the populations of incompetent cultures. But we do need to think realistically in terms of "phasing out" of such peoples. If the world is to evolve more better humans, then obviously someone has to make way for them. ... To think otherwise is mere sentimentality.
— Richard Lynn, professor of psychology, University of Ulster-Coleraine, Northern Ireland[6]

 Mehler says:
 What is clear is that the academics who see inherent IQ differences between racial groups have lent support — unwittingly or not — to overt white supremacists. In some cases, this support has gone so far as to become an unapologetic academic embrace of professional racists.
 Now Lynn has assisted Dutton in this new study that supposedly shows that atheists are smarter than Chrsitians and physicists and physical scientists are smarter than social scientists. All of that is based upon IQ.

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We can't get the article online yet, Colleen Flaherty,  quotes the article as saying, “There is sound evidence of a negative correlation between intelligence and religiosity and between intelligence and political extremism,” ... “Therefore the most probable reason behind elite social scientists being more religious than are elite physical scientists is that social scientists are less intelligent.”[7]
In an interview, Dutton said social scientists aren’t stupid, or necessarily extreme in their politics or possessing a belief in God. But, statistically speaking, they have lower IQs than their colleagues in biological and physical sciences and are likelier at elite U.S. and British institutions to be extremely conservative or liberal or religious, or both. Dutton said that there are many similarities between political extremism and religious fundamentalism; in other research, he uses the term “replacement religions” to describe the phenomenon.
Several things are wrong here. First of all the idea that one holds an extreme opinion becasue because it's different from some cultural norm is a very problamtic and most likely ideolgoically based idea. Such allegations are usually ideologically motivated. Secondly, He's assuming IQ is a valid measurement of intelligence, a proposition thoroughly disproved. I've written on this many times. First there is the Atheist IQ scam which seeks to make atheists seem smarter than Christians. Then there's the Zuckerman Study on comparision of IQ between religious and non religious people. The study itself was thoroughly discredited, and the concept the link bewteen IQ test scores and prediction of intelligence was disproved in Part 2.
The article goes on to quote Dutton on the intelligence of physical scientsits: "'[Physical] scientists are overwhelmingly atheist,' Dutton said. 'This is predicted by their high IQ, which allows you to rise above emotion and see through the fallacious, emotional arguments.' Arguments about God are all emotional arguments, he added." They base the assumption of the truth of the information on the IQ of the people who teach it. That really has nothing to do with the truth content of the disciplined. The same qualities that they assert phsyical science professors have of rationality and no extreme options might also be indicative of a physiological need for tranquility and/or inability to relate to people that governs the selection of their study matter. In other words like Sheldon on "Big Bang Theory" tv show they chose phsyical sciences not becuase they are more true or they themselves  are smarter but because they socially inept. We also see that Dutton knows little about God arguments. How could anyone think the ontological argument is emotional? Obviously he's never read about it. I also want them to compare IQ of physical scientists to those of mathematicians. Mathematical Genius Godel made ontological arguments for God.

It is not a foregone conclusion to assume that most physical scientist are atheists. That statistic is more limited to the NAS rather than all scinece degree holders.If Church attendance is a measure of belief science degree holders are morel likely to go to church than are non science degree holders: "The scientific fraternity conducted a poll and found that on any given Sunday 46% of Ph.D. holders in science can be found in church. That compares with 47% for the general population "[8]
The Dutton-Lynd study seeks to make claims to be ground breaking based upon it's meta analysis tying together three areas never before linked: Natural scientist, IQ compared to social scineces, religious beliefs. Flaherty says:

The paper is a meta-analysis of existing data showing several things: that natural scientists have higher IQs than social scientists; that low intelligence “predicts” political extremism and religiosity; and that physical scientists at elite institutions are less likely to believe in God or be politically extreme than their counterparts in the social sciences.
The connection between all three research areas has never been made until now, Dutton said. But – in just one example of potentially problematic methodology – the logic can’t be extended to academe in general. Several studies cited in the paper drawing from a wider mix of colleges and universities than simply the most elite show that life sciences professors are more likely to attend church than their peers in the social sciences, not less. The paper assumes this is because professors at elite institutions are smarter than their peers elsewhere.
That could mean it's ground breaking it could also mean it's bringing together ideas not brought together before because they require stupid assumptions. One assume make is that phsyical scientists are atheist because atheism is more rational and less emotional. The study purports to use IQ as it's soul meaure of intelligence, but then it seem they also use rationality, lack of emotion, they study of subject matter. One example is of obviously biased assumptions is where Dutton tries use assert that their data would used to clear the controversial anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon who has been lambasted for his book Nobel Savages.
The government of Venezuela what Chagnon wrote about the Yanomamo tribe to justify their oppressive measures toward the tribe.[9] Chagnon has been criticized for not taking the responsibility to think how his work by effect the people he lived with, who allowed him to observes their lives. Some resigned form NAS when Chagnon was admitted to it in protest of his membership. Dutton asserts that it would never be a controversy if doctros (ratioanl unemotional smarter non religous people) were making the decisions.

Still, Dutton said the data is intrinsically valuable and has certain real-world applications. For example, he said, it could explain the backlash against notorious anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon upon the publication of his book, Noble Savages, last year. Fellow anthropologists criticized Chagnon’s methodology and conclusions in his research on the Yanomamö tribe in Brazil and Venezuela, and one prominent anthropologist resigned his post at the National Academy of Sciences after Chagnon was elected as a member.  

Dutton said that Chagnon’s controversial findings regarding the tribe likely would not have incited such an “emotional” response from medical doctors, for example.[10]

The data could explain the baclash? How? One has nothing to do with the other, of course what he means is people who are upset about what happened to the tribe are stupid. Smarter people (presumably those who agree with him) would not be upset. Why would they not be upset? would that be perhaps because primitive brown people don't count? The the study is valuable because it would explain to Dutton that smart people would agree with him? That example makes no sense because short of saying "smart agree with me" it doesn't prove anything. That's not proof smart people would say anything, he just asserting they would agree with his view because they are smarter. That's the way I thought when I was 10 years old.

Meta analysis

Dutton and Lynn, like the IQ test to which they allude, by Zuckerman, and others of their circle use a method called "meta analysis." Part of the allure of the Zuckerman study was that it was the first big meta analysis of IQ studies. Meta analysis is a technqiue for combining the results of different independent studies. Meta analysis works best in health care,[11] it's not certain that IQ data would work in the same way. Logically the system depends entirley upon the quality of the work, and a thorough inclusion of all relevant data.

The danger of unsystematic (or narrative) reviews, with only a portion of relevant
studies included, is that they could introduce bias. Certain (perhaps favourable) reports may be more likely to be included in a review than those which show no significant differences; and informal synthesis may be tainted by the prior beliefs of the reviewer. Meta-analysis carried out on a rigorous systematic review can overcome these dangers –offering an unbiased synthesis of the empirical data
Yeaton and Wortman show us that meta-analysis is a newly popular method that lacks sufficient standards.[13] People are getting carried way with it and trying to make it do all kinds of things. One of the major problems seen by this fascination with the new statistician's toy is that it can be used to mask the problems of individual studies by hiding hem in the statistics of a group of studies. That sounds like the old trick of grading on a curve to get the class average up.

Meta-analysis on in the social sciences typically report findings on a side range of independent and dependent variables providing a single mean overall reliability score at best.This practice masks the unreliability of individual variables especially those used to calculate measures of effect size that are critical to inference about treatment effectiveness.[14]
It's not just masking individual studies but whole variables One variable that is obviously masked by Dutton and Lynn is IQ as a predictor of intelligence. This has been criticized, along with their whole data gathering procedure. Flaherty quotes two critics:

Elaine Howard Ecklund, a professor of sociology at Rice University who co-wrote the 2007 study on religion and science professors at 21 elite U.S. research institutions that is key to Dutton’s argument, said via email that she also was “pretty unimpressed by the methods used in this work to access intelligence. It seems sensationalist rather than scholarly.”
Drawing lines between the data to make conclusions about intelligence and religious and political life is “not so simple,” she said.

William H. Swatos, managing editor the Interdisciplinary Journal on Research and Religion, an independent, peer-reviewed online publication affiliated with Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion, said Dutton’s and Lynn’s paper was not typical, either in subject matter or rigor, for the journal. “That was a hard one,” he said, noting that earlier drafts of the paper had even more inflammatory language. But, as both authors have “real” academic credentials, he accepted the article in the interest of scholarly debate and “openness,” he said.[15]
So this is not the great panacea that guarantees all the answers. As a matter of fact I had proved that the Zuckerman IQ study actually leaves out important counter studies to hide the cumulative average.  Zuckerman isn't just masking variables with statistics he's actually leaving out whole studies.

Here are some of the problems I found with the Zuckerman IQ "Meta-Analysis:"[16a]

Problem 1: hints biased interpretation of data

The most recent period of studies (this century) appear to have their biases. Above I alluded to the possibility of bias in the early period (1920's-60s). Now it's time to find examples that might indicate the probability of this bias. Zuckerman and his colleagues quote the first Argyle study (1958), For example,  the first Argyle study found that "intelligent students are much less likely to accept Orthodox beliefs and rather less likely to have pro-religious attitudes."[16b] That could just as easily mean that "Orthodox includes conservative religious ideas but not theologically liberal ones." Does "rather less likely to have pre religious attitudes" equal being atheists? One could self identify as a remember of a religious tradition and have some attitudes that are classified as "not pro religious." I have atheists habitually asserting that liberal theological views are not pro religious. One site on the net where an atheist has argued the IQ issue for a long time, and he makes that assumption. The Inconclusive nature of Argyles findings is born bout by the fact that his second study (with Beit-Hallahmi--1997) draws no conclusion in the matter of the corrolation between intelligence and religous belief, saying "there is no great difference in intelligence between religious and non religious." [17]

How do Zucekrman et al classify that? Do they count the first study as "pro-negative" (correlation between intelligence and religion) and the second as no correlation? What of the implications of the first study in relation to a more liberal understanding of religion? Moreover the Thomas Simington Study (1935) finds that: "There is a constant positive relation in all the groups between liberal religious thinking and mental ability There is also a constant positive relation between liberal scores and intelligence." Thus establishing the link that liberal theological types are high IQ scorers. Oddly enough Zuckeman leaves out this study. Not listed on his bibliography.[18] Thus there is good reason to suspect that they are only using studies that measure the conservative end of belief thus are leaving out the IQ ranges of the more liberal theology inclined. They might also be leaving out the more deeply spiritual as their definition of belief seems to revolve around a more literalistic supernatural "agent" rather than mystical experience. I can't help but remember a statement from one of the studies on mystical experience:

 Overall then we have reason to believe that the studies finding negative correlations has anti-religious biases of the times. They didn't accept liberal theology as religious and sought to compare secular thinking to conservative forms of religion, or they supported the savannah theory genetics and thus see atheism as an advance in human revolution (among other biases). While the 60's studies that tend to find a positive correlation (religion and intelligence) might also have the bias of its own day we would have to examine the specific data to determine its significance.
Problem no 2: Leaving out all the major coutner studies.
There is also a point to be made about the numbers of studies and what's being left. Rathi claims that Zuckerman found 53 out of 63 studies with negative correlation. That's overwhelming unless the 63 studies are bad and the other 10 are good. While that's probably not likely we can raise more questions about the quality of the studies used. Another striking feature is the conspicuous absence of studies known to have findings of a positive correlation. Several studies that I know are positive in correlation are not found in the Zuckerman study:no Simington, no pratt, no Rummell, no Corey. All of these are found in the list by Steve Kangus (the atheist list) (see Note 17). Using his list (some of this were put in the wrong category) I have 6 negative (that high IQ not religious) vs. 17 either positive (High IQ are religious) or no correlation. Yet Rathi counts only 10 that dont' support Zuckerman's correlation. That means somewhere seven studies at least are being overlooked. Fancis says in his first study that the  greater number was with the negative. That doesn't mean the quality studies were negative. So even though it may be that the majority of studies find negative correlation, that doesn't prove that this is the answer. The studies left out (I know there are more than 10 that are not in line with the negative) are conspicuous by their absence.

Zuckerman et al says the reason for leaving studies out is:

Studies were included in the meta-analysis if they examined the relation between intelligence and religiosity at the individual level, and if the effect size (Pearson r) of that relation was provided directly or could be computed from other statistics. For several studies, intelligence and religiosity were measured, but the authors did not report the relation between these two variables. Authors of such studies were contacted to obtain the relevant information. If authors did not respond to our first request, two more reminders were sent. When necessary, second and/or third coauthors were also contacted. Studies that examined the relation between intelligence and religiosity indirectly (e.g., comparisons at group levels, comparisons between scientists and the general population) were excluded
Simington seems to report it. We can't really know more without actually getting hold of the studies but I think this is enough to raise concerns.

Summary: four arguments have been made to the effect that the Zuckerman study may have some problems that bear scrutiny.

This has major effect upon Dutton and Lynn because they rely totally on IQ as their only measure of intelligence. Their whole study stands or falls upon the issue of IQ studies. Yet the Zuckerman study was supposed to be the best, teh biggest, the most complex and the first meta-analysis ever done taking account of all the IQ studies. It's a exercise in bias and full of so many holes it could pass for Swiss cheese. How could this not indicate the weakness of Dutton's work?

all web pages accessed 2/13/14 unless otherwise noted.

 [1] Edward Dutton and Richard Lynn. "Intelligence and Religious and Political Differences Among Members of the U.S. Academic Elite." The Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion,
 Volume 10, Article 1 (2014). URL:
Author:Edward Dutton  (University of Oulu) Claims to have studied theology at Durham.  Richard Lynn (University of Ulster).

 [2] Edward Dutton, "Edward Dutton," Academia. edu,

 [3] "Call for Re-Think on Eugenics," BBC News, Firday 26, April, 2002. URL

 [4] Richard Lynn And Tatu Vanhanen, IQ and The Wealth of Nations,Westport Conn.: Prager Publishers 2002.

 [5] Richard Lynn and Greg Misenberg, "National IQ's Calculated and Validated for 108 Nations."
 Intelligence 38, Science direct PDf online 2 June (2010) URL:

 [6] Barry Mehler, "Academia at the Forefront of Racist Ideals, White Supremacy." SPLC (Soutern Poverty Law Center) Intelligence Report, Winter, 1999, 93.

[7] Colleen Flaherty, "Are Natural Scientists Smarter?" Inside Higher ed, Fed 12, (2014) online:
Flaherty is a Reporter,who covers faculty issues for Inside Higher Ed. Prior to joining the publication in 2012, Colleen was military editor at The Killeen Daily Herald, outside Fort Hood, Texas. She also has covered government and land use issues for newspapers in her home state of Connecticut. After graduating from McGill University in Montreal in 2005 with a degree in English literature, Colleen taught English and English as a second language in public schools in the Bronx, N.Y. She earned her M.S.Ed. from City University of New York Lehman College in 2008.

[8] Alan Lightman, Origins: The Lives and World of Modern Cosmologists. Cambridge Mass.:Harvard University press, 1999).

[9] Greg Laden, "Nobel Savages: Napoleon Chagnon's Fierce Book." Greg Laden's Blog, Science Blogs, April 5, (2013).

[10] Flaherty, Op Cit.

[11] Ian K. Crombie and Huw  T.O. Davies, "What is Meta Analysis?" What is...? series, published by Sanofi-aventis,  second edition, no date, URL
Iain K Crombie PhD FFPHM Professor of Public Health,University of Dundee
Huw TO Davies PhD Professor of Health Care Policy and Management, University of St Andrews.

[12] Ibid.

[13] William H. Yeaton and Paul M. Wortman, "on The Reliability of Metanalycial Reviews: The Role of Inter-coder Agreement" 1993 Pdf
William H. Yeaton, Ph.D. in Psychology, works as independent consultant on study methodology. U. of Michigan, Paul M. Wortman,Ph.D. psychology, State University of New York Stony Brook.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Flaherty, Op Cit.

[16a] Metacrock, "New Zuckerman IQ Study, Are Atheists Smarter?" Cadre Comments, august 25, (2013)

[16b] Miron Zuckerman, Jordon Silberman, and Judith Hall, "The Relation Between Intelligence and Religiosity: A Meta Analysis and Some Proposed Explanations." Personality and Social Psychology Review. Sage Publications (August 6, 2013 online first version of record). URL:
these Notes are from the original article

[17] Steve Kangus, editor, Liberalism Resurgent,  (accessed 8/12/13) this is a page combatting the myth that religious people are more intelligent. The site apparently sees religious belief and scinece as oppossies and as opponents, mutually exclusive.
note was no. 17 in original article.

[18] The Simington study was originally listed on the original website I was rebutting (see previous note). that was years ago and the site has changed its list over time. He now includes studies that show no correlation as though that proves his point. It is actually a disproof as he is trying to that atheists are smarter. No correlation means there's no link bewteen intelligence and beilef. The list still includes Simington.
note was no. 18 in original artilce

Monday, February 24, 2014

Places of "the pump," The Heart in Bibilcal Terms

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On CARM poster "Stiggywiggy" (I didn't make up his name) does battle with a group of atheists who want to eliminate the term "heart" as reference to mind or inner being, but to use it only as reference the biological pump:
 Elsewhere in another thread today I saw Mudcat attempting to discuss matters of the heart with some atheistic type guy, who was feigning ignorance as to what Mudcat might mean when he referred to the heart. We all know the verse about how a "man believeth in his heart."

"If you believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord, you shall be saved." We're all familiar with that biblical sentiment. This atheist thought he'd be real cute and started talking about how the heart is nothing more than a muscle, a mere physiological pump.

Once again, I can't help wonder if these guys really believe that. If so, when they hear certain songs, are they translating it this way in their heads:
 I Think Stiggie is totally right here and this is monumentally silly. The desire to control the speech is a suppression of free ideas and exchange. These guys know that the culture uses this phrase "the heart" to mean more than just the physical organ. They try to speak this way to control thinking. It's a form of brain washing. An atheist who calls himself "Deist" gives a half backed explanation but it reveals more about his agenda than the Chrsitians agenda:

No, they use this word "heart' as if they have some sort of secret. It's like a decoder ring that only they possess. No one has any 'heart' unless they have and believe in Jesus. They use the word as a magic word that means whatever they want it to mean. "Jesus enters my heart" is a meaningless phrase, and yet they toss it around to ward off non believers and they post mocking threads when we call them on their chicanery and point out that they are not saying what the 'heart' is. The 'hearty' becomes a gobblygook word that means whatever the poster wants it to mean. How can anyone question "matters of the heart"? Christianity thinks it's THEIR word, and it's their veiled slam at non believers suggesting that their clique has something that they can't describe (and won't) but they have 'heart' and we don't.
That's quite ludicrous to think it's spoken as though a secret. Everyone in the society knows what it means. It may be that most Christians don't have a clear idea of what it is. We all know the general idea. It's silly to speak as thouh Chrsitians are the only one's who use this word. Stiggy has an amauzing ilst destined to drive home this point:
Once again, I can't help wonder if these guys really believe that. If so, when they hear certain songs, are they translating it this way in their heads:

Your Cheating Pump

My Pump Belongs to Daddy

Achy Breaky Pump

Pump of my Pump

Unchain My Pump

Every Beat of My Pump

Young at Pump

How Can You Mend a Broken Pump

Piece of My Pump

Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Pump Club Band

PumpBreak Hotel

It's a Pumpache

Surely all those songwriters were not evangelical Christians, unduly influenced by scriptural bias. But let's assume they were. Let's assume that all romantics are Christians. What about novels? I don't think Joseph Conrad was a Christian. So why wasn't the title of his great book Pump of Darkness? Nor was Dee Brown, who didn't write Bury My Pump at Wounded Knee, nor Carson McCullers, who didn't write The Pump is a Lonely Hunter.

The ancient Greeks did not know about the circulatory system, or blood vessels, they knew nothing about the physical organ that pumps blood. They only knew about the relationship bewteen ideas, things that made them excited, or afraid, or happy, or moved their emotions, and the thumping in the chest. For that same reason they saw the chest as the seat of intellect. They did not know about the brain. Thus we have ideas like "think with your heart." The word was Karida, form which we get our term "Cardiac."

Strong's Concordance
kardia: heart
Original Word: καρδία, ας, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Transliteration: kardia
Phonetic Spelling: (kar-dee'-ah)
Short Definition: the heart, inner life, intention
Definition: lit: the heart; mind, character, inner self, will, intention, center.
HELPS Word-studies
2588 kardíaheart; "the affective center of our being" and the capacity of moral preference (volitional desire, choice; see P. Hughs, 2 Cor, 354); "desire-producer that makes us tick" (G. Archer), i.e our "desire-decisions" that establish who we really are.
[Heart (2588 /kardía) is mentioned over 800 times in Scripture, but never referring to the literal physical pump that drives the blood. That is, "heart" is only used figuratively (both in the OT and NT.]

The battle ground for belief is in the heart. We could say things like "search the deepest part of your mind" but we have come to associate the heart with feelings and emotions while we still  tend to think of the mind as intellect and all business and maybe the exclusion of emotion. That's why "search your heart" sounds more compelling. Intellectual arguments are only enough to clear away the clutter and enable us to get to the deeper level of feeling. We can also use the intellecutal arguments as a shield to prevent ourselves form ever getting to the "heart level."

The deep recess of the mind that we call "the heart" houses the will. Will is desire. Atheists have  desires that conflict with God's will, or they think they do. That's the basis of the battle ground. The one thing atheists are always saying is that any sort of impersonal God is not God. The one thing they see as making God God is having a will for them to struggle against.

My theory of religious experience has always assumed that we experience God at a subliminal level. We don't know it consciously and to discuss with others we must encode it in cultural constructs because it's a reference to soemthing is beyond our understanding. If there is any validity in this notion it requires that there be a center of knowing deeply in the mind beyond our conscious understanding, thus subliminal requires "a place in the heart." I think that's the real reason for the atheist refusal to think about this term. Not only do they want to control the vocabulary so they can control the issues but they also want to keep away from anything that will remind them of the conviction they feel about the reality of God.

Deist comes back:

Originally Posted by Deist View Post
Seems funny that Christians use it as a nonsense word when they contend "Jesus is in their heart". When asked what that means, they get all mad and defensive. When I suggest that all it means is that "Jesus is in their mind" they go ballistic.
It's true that people might have different concepts of what it means to be "in the heart." We have to be specific at some point. There is no passage that explains it in the Bible becuase the assumption is they know what they mean by Karida. How could God be in your heart? If the heart is the mind, the deep recesses whatever or wherever it means, the place where are true desires are formed, then the power of God reaches us in that place and influences our thinking and our feelings. That's pretty obvious really. The bluster about it's like a secret word and so on is just his ignorance. He's jealous of our relationship with god.

Of course I would be remiss in talking about the heart without mentioning the parable of the sower (Matthew 10:1-9). A sower scattered seeds, some fell in rocky ground some in good ground so on. Jesus tells us the soil is the heart (v 15, v 18, "18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart"). The thrones are the cares of the world that choke out the word (the seed). This is a perfect illustration of what I mean by saying the battle ground is in the heart. It's at that level that the Gospel will be chocked out or will find good ground and thrive. What chocked it? the riches and cares of the world. "22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. " The rocky ground 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.

What we see there is a correlation between the things that occupy our attention (the nature of the soil, what kind of soil is your heart?) and the wiliness to accept the Gospel and our ability to cultivate it.
23 "But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

He also tells a parable of the weed:

24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

That really makes it sound like we have a passive role. If it falls on good ground we understand it and everything is fine. Is there anything we can do to make sure we have good ground? Charles Finney thought so, he preached a famous sermon on "breaking up the ground." We have to take an active role to cultivate the ground that receives the word. Since we are dealing with our deepest desires we need to search our hearts and determine what means the most to us. How deep intrenched is our love for the cares of the world?

To break up the fallow ground, is to break up your hearts--to prepare your minds to bring forth fruit unto God. The mind of man is often compared in the Bible to ground, and the word of God to seed sown in it, and the fruit represents the actions and affections of those who receive it. To break up the fallow ground, therefore, is to bring the mind into such a state, that it is fitted to receive the word of God. Sometimes your hearts get matted down hard and dry, and all run to waste, till there is no such thing as getting fruit from them till they are all broken up, and mellowed down, and fitted to receive the word of God. It is this softening of the heart, so as to make it feel the truth, which the prophet calls breaking up your fallow ground.
The major warning Finney issues is not to thin we can turn on and off emotions and feelings. The feelings will follow. The thing we have to control is what we set our desires upon. I urge the read to read the entire page of that Text:

Finney, Lecture Three: How to promote a Revival.
that is specifically about breaking up the ground.

Friday, February 21, 2014

From Here to Etenity, the hard way: or...

 "Come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you a machine gun."
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 IMBd page on war movie From Here to Eternity

I don't know if this should go on Atheist Watch or here. It's really a complaint about both the right wing religious front and the atheists. Huff post quotes this lonney tune who they take to be indicative of all Chrsitians think. A General--never heard of him-- "Jerry Boykin" who says:
The Lord is a warrior and in Revelation 19 it says when he comes back, he's coming back as what? A warrior. A might warrior leading a mighty army, riding a white horse with a blood-stained white robe ... I believe that blood on that robe is the blood of his enemies 'cause he's coming back as a warrior carrying a sword.
Of course that's a total mutilation of the Bible. There's no indication ever, in any way that the blood assocatied with Jesus in that scene or any other is any but his own. Blood has a special symboilc significance in Chrsitanity, as a symbol of the Holy sacrfice of Jesus on the cross, God's grace. It is the symbol of God's love, grace and healing power. Turning that symbol into a violent representation of wordly motives such as reverenge and war is treating the boold of Jesus as an unholy thing. What dos the book of Hebew say about that?
Hebrews 10:29 

How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? (NIV)

The mighty army following him is the army of martyrs who gave their lives for the Gospel. The worldly army of sinful humanity shoots it's enemy and sops up their blood. The army of the Lord allows the enemy to shoot them, while praying for their souls. As Paul says "when I weak I am strong." Not "when I'm kicking ass I"m strong."(2 Cor 12:10).

Of course this general shows us his great Biblical scholarship by showing the Biblical basis for the anti-gun control line. I bet most of you didn't know that being against gun control is in the Bible. Of course it is. Not did the early Christians oppose any sort of bow and arrow control legislation prepossessed by Caesar but it says clealry be agaisnt gun control. The General shows the way:

Now I want you to think about this: where did the Second Amendment come from? ... From the Founding Fathers, it's in the Constitution. Well, yeah, I know that. But where did the whole concept come from? It came from Jesus when he said to his disciples 'now, if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.'

I know, everybody says that was a metaphor. IT WAS NOT A METAPHOR! He was saying in building my kingdom, you're going to have to fight at times. You won't build my kingdom with a sword, but you're going to have to defend yourself. And that was the beginning of the Second Amendment, that's where the whole thing came from. I can't prove that historically and David [Barton] will counsel me when this is over, but I know that's where it came from.
Of cousre it was a litteral satment about how the chruch needs to really fight and kill the liberals..., I mean poor people,...I  mean Obama supporters,... I mean enemies of the gospel. Of cousre his reading of the second amendment is probably second hand, since it says "in a well organized militia" not "every individual citizen should have a gun." That has nothing to do with Jesus' telling the disciples to buy swords. When it came time to use the sword he forbade it and undid the damage it did. Jesus told them to do that as a "signature fulfillment." He said that's what it was. It was so that the prophesy would be fufilled that he numbered among transgressors. He says this. That means he's saying 'Here I am I am the guy the prophesy is about." Nothing to do with having an army and fighting.

This is the kind scripture twisting idiocy that has created the New Atheist movement and divides the people of God and makes the Gospel look so stupid to modern people. At the same time, does the Hoff guys really expect us to think guy is representative of Christianity? He's a general come on! What do you expect a General to think? How many statements by Helmutt Koester has Huff post ever put up. The world today is a circus with clowns on every side. I thought Boykin might be from Texas, then we could write off his looney nature as the norm for his people, but  he's from North Carolina.

 photo Lt_Gen_William_G_Boykin_zps7a3a7f4c.jpgLieutenant General William G. "Jerry" Boykin (retired) was the United States Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence under President George W. Bush from 2002 to 2007 and is a conservative Christian political activist. During his 36 year career in the military he spent 13 years in the Delta Force, including two years as its commander, and was involved in numerous high-profile missions, including the 1980 Iran hostage rescue attempt, the 1992 hunt for Pablo Escobar in Colombia, and the Black Hawk Down incident in Mogadishu, Somalia.[1] He is an author and teaches at Hampden-Sydney College, Virginia.[2] He is currently executive vice president at the Family Research Council.[3]

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tillich's Implied Ontologcial Argument

Paul Tillich

(August 20, 1886 – October 22, 1965)

What follows are examples of my own attempts and the attempts of others at making God arguments based upon Tillich’s ideas and implicit arguments. The first one is based upon Duane Olson’s idea of Tillich’s implied ontological argument. The second and third arguments are based upon my own first understanding of what Tillich was saying about God and being itself. This is the crude understanding I had leavening seminary. These are supposed to be examples of “talking points” not “proofs” of God’s existence. They are demonstrations of aspects of the depth of being, indications that being has depth. We can use this concept, indications that being has depth, as the orientation for God arguments, rather than “proofs” of “God’s existence.” Tillich never put these ideas together in this way to call them “arguments” but these are ideas I take from Tillich, although without being put over as “arguments.” In fact here they are not so much arguments as “points of embarkation” to move into the realization process. That is the process that leads to “realizing God.”
Several authors have tired to demonstrate that Tillich’s understanding implies a ready made ontological argument:
Paul Tillich’s name is not ordinarily included in a list of thinkers who have made a significant contribution to the ontological argument. Those who find affinity with Tillich’s thought have tended to overlook what he says about the arguments for God’s existence, influenced perhaps by Tillich’s sometime statements about the improper nature of such arguments.[1] Those who work with the arguments for God’s existence have tended to avoid Tillich’s ideas, perhaps for the same reason, or perhaps because his critique of the “existence of God” seems to belie a connection with arguments attempting to prove God’s existence. Despite this overlooking, I contend that Tillich made a significant contribution to the ontological argument and that it is important to examine this contribution for several reasons. 1) Tillich sought to reconceive the argument from its traditional interpretation in which the argument is understood as attempting to prove the existence of a theistic deity on the basis of an idea of this deity. [2]
In addition to Olson’s version there Is also John M. Russell at Methodist Theological School in Ohio.[3] I am only able to obtain the Olson article so that’s the one I’ll deal with. Olson argues that Tillich works with the classical correspondence theory of epistemology. Truth is correspondence between subject and object. “The focus of Tillich’s main argument is not on concrete judgments, or any truths in any field of knowledge, but on the fact that the subject has the capacity to make judgments about reality. This capacity involves applying a correspondence-norm, or a norm of truth, to a concrete subject-object interaction.”[4]
The indubitability of the norm of truth is shown by a reductio argument regarding the process of knowing. In different places and in different ways Tillich points out that denial and doubt in knowing presuppose the norm of truth.[17 in the article] I want to systematize Tillich’s reductio argument at this point to show that all major theoretical postures presuppose this norm.
We can imagine four major postures taken by a subject to any theoretical judgment. One could affirm the judgment, claiming it corresponds with reality; one could deny the judgment, claiming it does not correspond; one could doubt, question, and debate the judgment; or one could claim a decision cannot be made about the judgment. All of the options presuppose the subject’s ability to apply a correspondence-norm, or norm of truth. Certainly one must apply a norm to affirm a judgment. One must also apply a norm, however, to deny a judgment. Any negative judgment presupposes and lives from the positive bearing of a norm of truth by the subject. One cannot deny that a judgment corresponds to reality without presupposing the subject’s ability to make judgments about reality. Doubting, questioning, or debating a judgment presuppose a norm of truth as well. One could not debate the veracity of a judgment without presupposing the capacity in the debaters to determine that veracity. Doubting or questioning a judgment is only meaningful under the presupposition of a norm that gives validity to that questioning and doubting. Finally, the claim that one cannot know whether a judgment is true presupposes the bearing of a norm to determine how or why a decision cannot be made.
It is important to note that the argument for a correspondence-norm, or norm of truth, is on a different level than arguments about the specific nature of the correspondence between subject and object. The correspondence itself may be conceived in terms of naïve realism, idealism, or a multitude of positions in between. Every theory about the nature of the correspondence, however, relies on the presupposition of a correspondence-norm that would make it possible to formulate, and affirm, deny, debate, or declare uncertain that theory. Put differently, the theory of the specific nature of the correspondence between subject and object is another field of knowledge that is subject to the ultimate criterion of knowledge, which is what is disclosed in the idea of a correspondence-norm.
To claim that the capacity to apply a norm is indubitable is the same thing as saying the subject bears an indubitable awareness of truth. In other words, when one analyzes the major postures toward judgments and shows how a norm of truth is presupposed as something borne by the subject in every posture, one is pointing out an awareness of truth the subject has, though it is something the subject may overlook, especially in doubting or denying particular truths. Through the reductio argument, one focuses attention on the fact that the subject bears a norm of truth, thus raising it to conscious awareness. I speak more below about the character of this awareness, but for now I simply affirm something Tillich presupposes, which is the identity between the affirmation that the subject bears a norm of truth and the subject’s awareness of this norm.[5]
The awareness of the norm of truth is the awareness of something transcendent and unconditioned, beyond the dichotomy of subject/object. This transcendent unconditioned is beyond both subjectivity and objectivity. But subject and object participate in the unconditioned, and it is a transcendent unity that makes possible all concrete affirmation, denial, down and uncertainty in the process of knowing. It is being itself appearing in the theoretical function as that which transcends subject and object. The norm of truth is not limited to subjectivity because it is used to judge the correspondence with objects. Since the subject bears it, it is not merely objective. It is not an object at all in the sense of being anything with which the subject can have a synthesis.
The subject cannot condition the norm of truth, but is conditioned by it. The subject can deny or debate or doubt any particular truth but cannot deny either her own capacity to apply a norm of truth itself. Nor can the subject down the concept of truth. The certainty about the norm of truth is different from any other contents of knowledge. The norm is grounded in necessary truth. One could not challenge the concept of truth except in terms of the untruth of truth, which implies a truth; the notion of truth, to be meaningful, but also contain the assumption that it’s opposite is untrue, and vice versa.[6]
As supplementary arguments Tillich asserts that the quest to know drives the seeker on toward an end goal of total knowing. The unconditioned nature of the norm of truth is implicit in all knowing and in the desire to know.
Let’s try to summarize what this argument is really saying by isolating and enumerating it’s most basic and necessary points. This is not an attempt at a formal presentation of logic, but merely a way of summarizing, a thumbnail sketch.
Remember from chapter 4 that Tillich identified God with truth based upon God’s eternally necessary nature and the eternal and transcendent nature of the Platonic forms and God’s self revelation in Exodus 3:
(1) Tillich understand’s God to be the unconditioned, eternal, transcendent, ground of all being;
(2) Truth is an unconditioned norm based upon the correspondence theory; truth is correspondence between subject and object.
(3) The norm of truth is self verifying sense; truth as a concept cannot be untrue unless the concept of truth is affirmed in contrast to the possibility of untruth. Any particular truth can be doubted but not the concept of truth itself.
(4) Due to this unconditioned, necessary, and indubitable nature the norm of truth is understood to be transcendent of subject and object, and transcendent of any particulars of nature.
(5) The transcendent unconditioned is equated with God in Tilich’s understanding of being itself (from 1); the existence of such a norm is demonstrated in the nature of the norm of truth.
(6) Therefore, we have a rational warrant for understanding the ground of being as synonymous with Tillich’s understanding of “the divine.”
Tillich basically makes the argument himself, in Theology of Culture where he talks about God construed as truth (see chapter 4, Augustine on Being itself). Then he says:
Augustine, after he had experienced all the implications of ancient skepticism, gave a classical answer to the problem of the two absolutes: they coincide in the nature of truth. Veritas is presupposed in ever philosophical argument; and veritas is God. You cannot deny truth as such because you could do it only in the name of truth, thus establishing truth. And if you establish truth you affirm God. “Where I have found the truth there I have found my God, the truth itself,” Augustine says. The question of the two Ultimates is solved in such a way that the religious Ultimate is presupposed in every philosophical question, including the question of God. God is the presupposition of the question of God. This is the ontological solution of the problem of the philosophy of religion. God can never be reached if he is the object of a question and not its basis.[7]
This is the part not quoted in previous chapter:
The Truth which is presupposed in every question and in every doubt precedes the cleavage into subject and object. Neither of them Is an ultimate power, but they participate in the ultimate power above them, in Being itself, in primum esse. “Being is what first appears in the intellect…” this being (which is not a being) is pure actuality and therefore Divine. We always see it but we do not always notice it; as we see everything in the light without always noticing the light as such.
According to Augustine and his followers the verum ipsum is also the bonum ipsum because nothing which is less than the ultimate power of being can be the ultimate power of good.[8]
Tillich never calls this “my ontological argument.” He may or may not hint that it is somewhere but I have not seen that. He does not, to my knowledge, put this over as a version of the OA. Yet I feel that it is and it’s essentially what Olson is talking about.

 [1] footnoe in the Olson article by Olsen where he states:
In one of the more significant recent monographs on Tillich’s thought, Langdon Gilkey flatly states “[Tillich] denied that an argument for the transcendent power and ground of being was possible” (Gilkey on Tillich (Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2000), 105).  Gilkey never discusses Tillich’s use of the traditional arguments.

[2] Duane Olson, “Pual Tiillich and the Ontological Argument,” Quodlibet Journal vol. 6, no 3, July-sep 2004, online journal, URL: visited 8/4/10
Olson has two foot notes in this quotation which are important to examine:
1) “In one of the more significant recent monographs on Tillich’s thought, Langdon Gilkey flatly states “[Tillich] denied that an argument for the transcendent power and ground of being was possible” (Gilkey on Tillich (Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2000), 105). Gilkey never discusses Tillich’s use of the traditional arguments.” (2) “In his detailed and extensive volume on the ontological argument, Graham Oppy mentions Tillich’s name only once in the literature review, and he never analyzes any of Tillich’s statements (Ontological Arguments and Belief in God (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 275). To Oppy’s credit, he discusses a type of argument to which Tillich’s is related. I comment on Oppy’s analysis of this argument in the final section of this paper.”
[3] John M. Russell, “Tillich’s Implicit Ontological Argument” Sophia, Netherlands: Springer. Vol.2 No. July 1993, 1-16. Online: URL
visited 8/4/10
[4] Olson, Ibid.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid, Olsen foot notes two sources at this point, in thinking of the indubitable nature of the norm. He sites Tillich’s Theology of Culture, 23, and the same source page 13, for the latter: This explains Tillich’s somewhat obscure statements that “God is the presupposition of the question of God,” and “God can never be reached if he is the object of a question and not its basis (Theology of Culture, 13).”
[7] Paul Tillich, Theology of Culture, 12-13
[8] Paul Tillich, Theology of Culture, op cit, 14

Olson's fn 17: 
He [Tillich] credits the insight that the norm of truth cannot be denied to Augustine (Theology of Culture, 12), and the insight that it cannot be doubted to Matthew of Aquasparta (Theology of Culture, 13).

Monday, February 17, 2014

St. Augustine's Notion that God is Truth

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St. Augustine

I've been discussing the concept of St. Augustine that God is truth. This upsets the atheists more than anything I've seen in some time. The real import of the issue is about Tillich's implied Ontological argument. I will discuss that next time. This is necessary precursor to that material.

St.Augustine  (354-430)

…St. Augustine’s view that God is being itself is based partly upon Platonism (“God is that which truly is” and partly on the Bible—“I am that I am”). The transcendence of time as a condition of full reality is a central theme…[in Augustine’s work].[1]

            Of course Augustine was one of the seminal thinkers of all Church history. Along with Aquinas he’s probably one of the two most important theologians of all time. He might be called the last thinker in the tradition of the classical age. His view of the Trinity cemented the Orthodox position and set the Western view of Trinity on it’s trajectory diverging from the eastern Church. His work The City of God is one of the greatest theological master pieces of all time, and to think it’s a letter to friend (a letter the size of the New York Phone book).
            Augustine expresses the concept of the super-essential Godhead many times and in many ways. Augustine was a Platonist. In that regard perhaps his greatest innovation was to place the Platonic forms in the mind of God. That is a major innovation because it trumps the Neo-Platonistic following after Plotinus, who conceived of a form of the forms. In Augustinian understanding the equivalent of the “the one” the form that holds all other forms within itself is the mind of God. Augustine never made an argument for the existence of God because for him God was known with certainty and immediacy. God is immediately discerned in the apprehension of truth, thus need not be “proved.” God is the basis of all truth, and therefore, cannot be the object of questioning about truth, since God is he medium through which other truths can be known.[2] Tillich said:

Augustine, after he had experienced all the implications of ancient skepticism, gave a classical answer to the problem of the two absolutes: they coincide in the nature of truth. Veritas is presupposed in ever philosophical argument; and veritas is God. You cannot deny truth as such because you could do it only in the name of truth, thus establishing truth. And if you establish truth you affirm God. “Where I have found the truth there I have found my God, the truth itself,” Augustine says. The question of the two Ultimates is solved in such a way that the religious Ultimate is presupposed in every philosophical question, including the question of God. God is the presupposition of the question of God.  This is the ontological solution of the problem of the philosophy of religion. God can never be reached if he is the object of a question and not its basis.[3]

            Augustine says God is truth. He doesn’t so much say God is being as he says God is truth. But to say this in this way is actually in line with the general theme we have been discussing, the one I call “super-essential Godhead,” or Tillich’s existential ontology.  Augustine puts the emphasis upon God’s name as love, not being. Since he was a neo Platonist he thought of true reality as beyond being and thus he thought of God as “beyond being.”[4] This makes no sense in a modern setting since for us “to be” is reality, and to not be part of being would meaning being unreal. But in the platonic context, true reality was beyond this level of reality and what we think of as “our reality” or “our world” is only a plane reflection of the true reality. We are creatures of a refection in a mud puddle and the thing reflected that is totally removed from our being is the true reality. It was this distinction Tillich tried to preserve by distinguishing between being and existence.  
            Augustine looked to the same passage in Exodus that Gilson quotes in connection with Aquinas. Augustine’s conclusions are much the same about that phrase “I am that I am.” This is one of his key reasons for his identification between God and truth. He saw the nature of God’s timeless being as a key also to identifying God with truth. The link between God and truth is the Platonic “one.” Augustine puts the forms in the mind of God, so God becomes the forms really. The basis of this identification is based partly upon God’s eternal nature. From that point on it’s all an easy identification between eternal verities, such as truth, eternal being, beauty, the one, and God. The other half of the equation is God’s revelation of himself as eternal and necessary through the phrase, for very similar reasons to those listed already by Gilson, between I am that I am and being itself (or in Augustine’s case the transcended of being). “He answers, disclosing himself to creature as Creator, as God to man, as Immortal to mortal, eternal to a thing of time he answers ‘I am who I am.’”[5] 
            From Psalm 101:25 he ponders the phrase “generation of generations” rather than the choice of saying your years is endless.” He concludes that this Psalm is not merely saying God is living through a parade of endless years but that God is timeless. He concludes that the generation of generations is a timeless generation. He concludes that God’s years are his substance, they cannot be separated from God himself (as we see ‘substance” can be a way of saying “being). “God’s years are God’s eternity, his eternity is God’s very substance.” Thus God is not only eternal but his being his essence coincide, his eternal nature is the same as his being. Thus God is eternal necessary being.[6]

Two issues have been of greatest concern to the atheists on CARM: (1) The issue of "the basis of what is" and (2) the issue of correspondence means "not exactly."

On the first issue I made the argument that God is the basis of all that is, therefore, God is more truly what than the contingent things that dependent upon him for their existences. They seem to think that the basis for something can't participate in that of which is it is the basis. Since the basis of something can't be the basis if it doesn't exist, the basis of all things would have to be one of those "all things" that does it or it can't be the basis of them. While the basis of cheese may not be cheese, but "milk" the basis of all that is, must be or it can't be the basis of anything.

On issue two, correspondence includes a variation or a latitude, that latitude invokes two poles, a like and not like. So as one thing corresponds to another it can do so exactly or only a bit. So there's a leay way there and it has a likeness poll and and a no like poll. That is not a basis for excluding an exact likeness. There can be 1x1 correspondence. The atheists of course, desperate to have something to argue, tried to insist that a correspondence can never be exact so I am wrong ot use the equal signs in my title: God = truth.  I consider that a knit pick. Maybe so, I can always tweak it. The correspondence between God and what is is exact since God is part of what is.


[1] Reality: Readings in Phlosophy. Indianapolis, Indiana:Hackett Pulbishing company, inc. Carl Avren Levenson, John Westphal, editors, 1994, 54
[2] Donald Keef, Thomism and the Ontological Theology: A Comparison of Systems. Leiden, Netherlands: E.J. Brill, 1971, 140.
The “two Ultimates” discussed are philosophy and Religion.
[3] Paul Tillich, Theology of Culture, 12-13
[4] The quotation above from the Levenson and Westphal book says Augistine believe God was being itself, Marion seems to say that Augustine put God beyond being. I think it’s debatable as to which he did because he didn’t say directly which it was. I’m assuming Marion is probably right just because of the time in which he lived and because he was a Platonic thinker.
[5] Levenson and Westphal, Ibid. translated by Edmond Hill
[6] Ibid, trans in Enarrationes in Psalm. 101