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Featured Science vs Religion, I will solve this debate for you once and for all.

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by FocusedIntent, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    For the time being, I'm going to ignore the biblical quotes and just proceed with the two statements that I took from you, and in which you claim you can see no contradiction. Those statements were:

    "4. IMMUTABLE: God is perfect in that He never changes nor can He change with respect to His being, attributes, purpose, or promises."

    "Out of the council of His own free will - He chose to create that which exists, including time - according to His own good pleasure."

    I would point out, first that if God's creation includes time (which you assert), then God must exist (somehow) outside of time. If that is the case, then it is impossible that all of time (as we temporal creatures know it) is immediately NOT known to God. That would include, of course, the creation, which includes in God's own immediate apprehension, the Fall, the sins of mankind requiring the destruction by the flood, the repopulation of the earth from the Ark, and of course the eventual end-times (again) as described in Revelation.

    It also includes, just to be clear, the knowledge that most of those souls created by this god will be (or to one outside time, already are) condemned to eternal (or to one outside time, omnipresent) torture. Did not Christ himself say, in the Gospels, to those who didn't particularly like his preachments: "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of Hell?" But to a God outside of time, it is already known that they will not (or to God, do not), and that all this preaching is already moot -- everything being, to the God outside time, already (within time) decided!

    Aside from all of that philosophical tortuousness, isn't the creative act "out of His own free will" already an admission that He cannot exist outside of time? And that He can change, in giving in to "His own good pleasure?" To create according to one's own good pleasure, after all, is to effect something that satisfies (that is, changes -- presumably for the better) an inwardly perceived need, is it not?


    A further word on "His attributes," which you mention above, but do not describe -- what are they, exactly? As Anselm once proposed, does not God possess all perfections -- or to say it in our modern way, doesn't God possess the very best of all possible attributes, in the greatest degree? For example, courage, or continence. Surely God must be the epitome of courage, and must never be incontinent (give in to the whims of desire), mustn't He? God would be first and foremost among those able to show restraint, no?

    Let's examine those two attributes, courage and continence. Sextus Empiricus said: "For a man, they say, is continent not when he abstains from an old woman with one foot in the grave, but when he has the power of enjoying Lais or Phyrne (two notorious Greek courtesans famed for their beauty) or some such charmer and then abstains." So, even if God is continent, it must mean that He has to struggle and is at least open to change for the worse! Otherwise, He cannot possess the attribute of continence. As Empiricus said, "if there are some things which are hard for God to abstain from and hard to endure, then there are some things which are able to change Him for the worse and cause Him vexation."

    And lo and behold, we do note that God can be vexed -- the Bible itself tells us that this is so, on not a few occasions! And it even says, in its own words, that God changed: "for God repented that He had made man." In fact, twice the Bible says that God repented for something he had done in the past (Genesis 6:6-7 and 1 Samuel 15:11), and at least eleven times it says He repented or would repent of something He was about to do in the future (Exodus 32:12-14; 2 Samuel 24:16; 1 Chronicles 21:15; Psalm 106:45; Jeremiah 4:28; 18:8; 26:3, 13, 19; 42:10; Joel 2:13-14; Amos 7:3, 6; Jonah 3:9-10; 4:2).

    I won't belabor the courage point quite as much, but it should be very clear that courage, to be an attribute possessed by God in the highest degree, absolutely implies that there is something that He has to be frightened of and that He is able to overcome that fear.

    And is that "immutable?"
     
    #161 Evangelicalhumanist, Oct 9, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
  2. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    Yes, but as yet no evidence of a "creative intelligence" that does not enjoy at minimum the characteristic of existing physically, and being examined. Every creative intelligence known so far (at least as far as I'm aware) shares that characteristic.
    I don't yet think that Quantum Mechanics is changing the search for simplicity of explanation. I just think, rather, that we are at one of those points where there's a bridge, a Connection (remember that old series by James Burke?) that brings some perplexing mysteries together. As I recall, Newton managed to use gravity to help us understand the notions of Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo. Tidied it all up quite a bit, actually.

    (But I admit, though I read as carefully as I can, my science and math are not quite up to the task to really "get it.")
    Then I wonder why you no longer hold them? What changed? Did you become less well-informed, or less capable of critical thought? Or was something demonstrated to you that you have not yet disclosed for me to see?
    Well, I am certainly prepared to admit to being human, and thus to having (and expressing) emotions -- even when it concerns my beliefs and my rudimentary attempts at philosophy.

    And I confess, it is quite frequently frustrating (and emotion) that so often those arguing for matters of faith do not even address the arguments made against -- usually labelling them wrong without bothering to read them, understand what they said, refute them or even to cite them. I don't mind an impregnable wall, if I know that's what it is. It's when it pretends to be something else, tempting me to hurl projectiles against, that I give vent to an emotional outburst.
     
  3. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    Oh, yes. I happily concede that point to you!
     
  4. Guy Threepwood

    Guy Threepwood Mighty Pirate

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    Which is more than can be said for multiverses isn't it?, which exist only in philosophical speculation, inherently beyond any possibility of ever being examined in any realm.

    But for either hypothetical explanation- the origin of 'nature as we know it', must by definition transcend 'nature as we know it', right? In this sense isn't 'supernatural' a box we want to be able to check?

    It's natural to search for a simple explanation, the simplest explanation is usually the most tempting, but 'simple mechanisms' like classical physics are our superficial observations of reality, underwritten by necessity, by something more sophisticated, less self explanatory. Just like this intuitive user-friendly software, requires a nested hierarchy of sophisticated information systems to support the simple superficial mechanism we see.

    i.e. trying to explain gravity with classical physics was doomed to failure, it's an insurmountable paradox, like trying to account for the creation of a watch using only clockwork... or life using only adaptation- these are all design functions, not design methods.


    I realized I was not as smart as I thought I was, my belief was not 'intellectually superior', and that two intelligent well informed people can look at the evidence critically and come to two different conclusions. Mainly critiquing my own beliefs instead of everyone else's for a change, and that's quite difficult for a belief that explicitly resists acknowledging itself as such.


    I know exactly what you mean, I used to be extremely rude and patronizing to theists, as bad (almost) as any atheist here, and I honestly do not feel any of that frustration from the other side of the fence
    because I no longer consider opposing beliefs as inherently inferior, lacking critical thought, 'irrational beliefs v default truths' or worse still 'dishonest' that's where all the frustration comes from is it not?
     
  5. Rick B

    Rick B Active Member
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    Just to be clear, when you state "the knowledge that most of those souls created by this god" these souls were not technically "created" they were the result of natural procreation. That is an important distinction because the result of natural birth is:

    "And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest." Ephesians 2:1-3

    Because "by nature" we all come from our first parents: Adam and Eve. "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned" "For the wages of sin is death" Romans 5:12; 6:23

    We are sinners by nature and by choice. Therefore we earn (wages) the result of our rebellion against God and His Law which was forewarned. It is a deserved everlasting punishment (not capricious torture) because it is the willful disobedience to the eternal God's will and the willful rejection of the only means of escaping that sealed judgment.

    You assert: "But to a God outside of time, it is already known that they will not (or to God, do not), and that all this preaching is already moot -- everything being, to the God outside time, already (within time) decided!"

    Yes, He knows all things at once. But He has chosen to work out His plan in glorifying Himself by demonstrating a full revelation of His attributes in His creation within a limited time frame until the consummation.

    All this preaching is not moot. For:

    "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
    1 Corinthians 1:18-21
    "But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;" Titus 1:3
    "How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?" Romans 10:14

    No, it is not. God is in need of nothing. He is totally self-sufficient.
    "To admit the existence of a need in God is to admit incompleteness in the divine Being. Need is a creature-word and cannot be spoken of the Creator. God has a voluntary relation to everything He has made, but He has no necessary relation to anything outside of Himself. His interest in His creatures arises from His sovereign good pleasure, not from any need those creatures can supply nor from any completeness they can bring to Him who is complete in Himself." A.W.Tozer

    To assert that God has the attribute of "courage" implies that He fears something. To assert also that He has "continence" implies an inner turmoil that He is attempting to overcome. Both are fallacious "strawmen" in no way applicable to the God of the Bible.

    This question, again, is the "Loaded Question" logical fallacy: The question attempts to limit direct replies to be those that serve the questioner's agenda. The fallacy relies upon context for its effect: the fact that a question presupposes something does not in itself make the question fallacious. Only when some of these presuppositions are not necessarily agreed to by the person who is asked the question does the argument containing them become fallacious.

    "God is not a man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind" Numbers 23:19 NASB

    "And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent." 1 Samuel 15:29 KJV

    So how are we to reconcile these seeming contradictions?

    Calvin states the following: "The repentance which is here ascribed to God does not properly belong to him, but has reference to our understanding of him. For since we cannot comprehend him as he is, it is necessary that, for our sake, he should, in a certain sense, transform himself. That repentance cannot take place in God, easily appears from this single consideration, that nothing happens which is by him unexpected or unforeseen. The same reasoning, and remark, applies to what follows, that God was affected with grief. Certainly God is not sorrowful or sad; but remains forever like himself in his celestial and happy repose: yet, because it could not otherwise be known how great is God’s hatred and detestation of sin, therefore the Spirit accommodates himself to our capacity."

    Bruce Ware says anthropomorphism is “a given ascription to God [that] may rightly be understood as anthropomorphic when Scripture clearly presents God as transcending the very human or finite features it elsewhere attributes to him.” We know that God does not lie, nor does He repent (Numbers 23:19). The plain reading of the text shows this much to be evident. The problem, if we are honest, is not with Numbers 23:19, but with the passages that seem to contradict it—namely, Exodus 32:14 and Genesis 6:6. It, no doubt, makes greater hermeneutical sense to see anthropomorphism in the “repenting” passages, so that we may accept all of Scripture. There are no other alternatives. That is to say, if we do not see anthropomorphism in the “repenting passages,” then we are left with the necessary obligation to deny Numbers 23:19 outright. But if we do see anthropomorphism in the “repenting passages,” then we can affirm Numbers 23:19 and other passages like it. Therefore, the line is not arbitrary; it is necessary."

    Matthew Henry says it most succinctly: "Men change their minds, and break their words; but God never changes his mind, and therefore never recalls his promise. And when in Scripture he is said to repent, it does not mean any change of his mind; but only a change of his way."
     
    #165 Rick B, Oct 11, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  6. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    Addressing this one question only, this is one of those places that I must confess myself 100% agnostic. I don't know. I have a sneaking suspicion, which will probably never go any further than being just that, that perhaps our intellectual capacity has evolved in such a way that we are incapable of grasping anything at all that might be causa sui -- the cause of its own self.

    Certainly I can allow that something of that sort might (maybe even must) be possible, but I cannot fathom what it might be like. Certainly I can allow that anything we might consider to be "God" might be some such thing. But I must also allow, in that case, that it may just as well be the case that some causa sui thing might be anything but god-like, at least as far as any of our human notions of deity are concerned.

    Where, then, does that leave me in terms of what I "ought" to do about it, or how I "ought" to worship it, conceive of it, or whatever? Absolutely nowhere, is where. And it is for that reason that I feel I can safely leave it out of my considerations about right and wrong, and about what the world is like.

    What cannot be reasonably contemplated ought to have no place in our considerations. At least as far as I can see.
     
  7. Guy Threepwood

    Guy Threepwood Mighty Pirate

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    I appreciate the thoughtful response, that sounds very reasonable to me.

    And I agree, the question of causa sui, as you put it, is always the ultimate paradox we arrive at with any explanation right? (where did that come from?), yet apparently there is a solution somehow.. because here we are !

    But don't we, in a sense, represent the closest thing we know of, to self explanation? Much of our lives, if we are lucky, represent our will. The technology we are using, reflects more than anything else, our simple desire for there to be such a thing...

    Creative intelligence itself, is a phenomena that exists, it can achieve things 'nature' alone never can, because of this unique capacity for self-realization, the true creation of things- unrestrained by otherwise infinite regressions of cause and effect. Because purpose, will, desire, intent can only exist in consciousness, then only consciousness can create what is not otherwise an inevitable result of cause and effect.

    In other words, I think creative intelligence the closest thing we can get to, using known mechanisms, as a solution for this paradox.

    Whether or not you agree, I agree it is a matter of personal faith, but beyond that, I also believe that you are not left entirely to your own devices on this, there is nothing preventing this creator from communicating with you directly, it just makes much more sense for him to wait for you to open that communication- then all this becomes a little less academic!
     
  8. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    Of course, by the same reasoning, nobody outside of Adam and Eve then have any “technical” right to refer to "my Creator." “The Creator,” possibly, but nothing more.

    I hate to have to do this to you again, but what possible use could it be to try to convince me of anything whatever using quotes from the Bible.

    I have tried to make it clear to you over and over that the Bible is – to me – proof of absolutely nothing except that some human beings could write down their thoughts. And go visit any library in the world, you’ll find (believe me) ample proof of that. And those thoughts have been profound, or lunatic. They’ve been seemingly true and obviously false. They’ve been works of pure imagination and exacting science. They’ve been hopeful and fatalistic, brave and cowardly, beautiful and harshly ugly. All of the world’s writings, in all of its languages, are a stupendous collection of us telling our stories.

    There are, literally, thousands of books telling humankind’s belief stories. You happen to accept one collection of books – neither the earliest nor the latest, nor the worst nor the best, nor the most cohesive nor the least cohesive. However, on that last point, I must say that there are many, many other books about what people have believed that contain far fewer absolute contradictions than the book Christians today call “The Holy Bible.”

    I’m not going to list those contradictions, that’s been done about a billion times. I don’t expect you to read them, either, because I’m certain you’ve seen them before and simply found a reason to claim “this obvious contradiction isn’t a contradiction for --- well, some silly reason. And I’ve read a lot of those silly reasons. It is the chiefest proof, to me, that the millions upon millions of words written by Christian Apologists trying to explain the inexplicable that there is indeed something very wrong with an idea like Sola Srittura. Well-written, coherent philosophy doesn’t need apologetics to defend it from its own failings.
    This, for the record, I consider to be one of the most heinous pieces of pure rubbish in all of religious belief. If you steal something from the corner mart, please believe me, I will never, ever consider your son or daughter, much less your grand-children or far-distant progeny to be thieves. They inherit your genes, not your guilt.

    The very idea of “original sin” infecting all of us is totally contrary to every decent philosophical argument. It deserves the deepest scorn I can summon up, and trust me, it gets it.
    I can’t even work out if this has any meaning at all. It certainly follows no logic known to me, nor does it state anything that you can provide evidence for – even in the words of the Bible, because they Bible does not say that. Those are (just like all those other religious writers, they vast majority of whom you do NOT BELIEVE) your words, and nobody else’s. And just as you don’t believe the vast majority of other religious writers in history, I don’t give any credence to your writing, either.

    All this preaching is not moot. For:
    I’m going to leave all the rest of your preaching, because it’s filled with more of the same: Bible quotes (why not Qur’an, Guru Granth Sahib, Book of Mormon, Urantia Book, Gilgamesh, Inana and the Hulupu Tree or Baghavad Gita? Because they are all wrong, and your favourite writers are all right? Prove it!)

    But just one, for the road. You wrote “"God is not a man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind" Numbers 23:19 NASB”

    Yet, the Bible wrote: “God saw that it was good” (Gen 1:31) and “It repented YHWH that he had made man.” (Gen 6:6) Mind ----- changed.

    (PS: edited to add this - by the way, if God sees all of time all at once, how is it possible that he could see "that it was good" when the majority of it (the future part) was not good?" No sense whatever can be made of this.)
     
    #168 Evangelicalhumanist, Oct 13, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
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  9. Milton Platt

    Milton Platt Well-Known Member
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    You have presented two separate concepts. I don't see anything paradoxical in either concept as stated.
    which meaning of the word are you referencing:

    a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true.
    "in a paradox, he has discovered that stepping back from his job has increased the rewards he gleans from it"

    Or......
    • a statement or proposition that, despite sound (or apparently sound) reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems senseless, logically unacceptable, or self-contradictory.
      "a potentially serious conflict between quantum mechanics and the general theory of relativity known as the information paradox"
    Or.....
    • a situation, person, or thing that combines contradictory features or qualities.
      "the mingling of deciduous trees with elements of desert flora forms a fascinating ecological paradox"
     
  10. Rick B

    Rick B Active Member
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    @Evangelicalhumanist

    You are exposing the glaring hypocrisy with which you proceed in your replies. For you decry:

    "I hate to have to do this to you again, but what possible use could it be to try to convince me of anything whatever using quotes from the Bible."

    And:

    "I have tried to make it clear to you over and over that the Bible is – to me – proof of absolutely nothing except that some human beings could write down their thoughts."

    And:

    "I can’t even work out if this has any meaning at all. It certainly follows no logic known to me, nor does it state anything that you can provide evidence for – even in the words of the Bible, because they Bible does not say that. Those are (just like all those other religious writers, they vast majority of whom you do NOT BELIEVE) your words, and nobody else’s. And just as you don’t believe the vast majority of other religious writers in history, I don’t give any credence to your writing, either."

    And:

    "I’m going to leave all the rest of your preaching, because it’s filled with more of the same: Bible quotes (why not Qur’an, Guru Granth Sahib, Book of Mormon, Urantia Book, Gilgamesh, Inana and the Hulupu Tree or Baghavad Gita? Because they are all wrong, and your favourite writers are all right? Prove it!)"

    The glaring hypocrisy lies in the fact that you ask:

    I then proceed to go to my ultimate authority and present that authority's account and you recoil in revulsion and spit out your venomous rhetoric against it. Complete foolishness. Don't pretend to claim umbrage. For you, yourself, used those very Scriptures that you despise, to try to support your position. "Double Standard" Logical Fallacy

    Where did the information about "creation, the Fall, the sins of mankind, the destruction by the flood, the repopulation of the earth from the Ark, and of course the eventual end-times (again) as described in Revelation", inform you if not from the written revelation of the Bible?

    Once again this is gross hypocritical inconsistency. It's OK for you to use the Bible against me but you cry foul if I use it for support.

    Joel 2:13-14

    13 And rend your heart and not your garments.” Now return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness And relenting of evil. 14 Who knows whether He will not turn and relent And leave a blessing behind Him, Even a grain offering and a drink offering For the Lord your God?

    Jonah 3:9-10

    9 Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish.” 10 When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.

    These sections offer no refutation for the explanations of such language to accommodate His finite creatures. God warns of the punishment of sin and rebellion. Some heed that warning. God withholds the forewarned just deserts. And as you noted He knew from eternity past what would occur. So just as I offered in post 165: Matthew Henry says it most succinctly: "Men change their minds, and break their words; but God never changes his mind, and therefore never recalls his promise. And when in Scripture he is said to repent, it does not mean any change of his mind; but only a change of his way."

    This last post is a conspicuous example of the fact that you do not respond like someone who participates in a reasoned, civil, meaningful, direct debate but one who exhibits his feelings of hatred for the Christians, the Bible, and the God he believes does not exist. Your post is not a meaningful direct response but only a vitriolic diatribe attempting to release the pressure you feel by your suppressing the knowledge of the God you know exists but hate.

    Your reaction, of course, demonstrates the truth of Romans 1:18-32 edited:

    "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. Professing to be wise, they became fools,...And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.”

    YOU: "Of course, by the same reasoning, nobody outside of Adam and Eve then have any “technical” right to refer to "my Creator." “The Creator,” possibly, but nothing more."

    This is "Non-sequitur" and a "Fallacy of Composition". It does not follow my response: "Just to be clear, when you state 'the knowledge that most of those souls created by this god', these souls were not technically "created" they were the result of natural procreation." You are also committing "Secundum quid et simpliciter" by taking an attribute that is bound to a certain area and assume that it can be applied to a wider domain than was originally intended.

    YOU: "There are, literally, thousands of books telling humankind’s belief stories. You happen to accept one collection of books – neither the earliest nor the latest, nor the worst nor the best, nor the most cohesive nor the least cohesive. However, on that last point, I must say that there are many, many other books about what people have believed that contain far fewer absolute contradictions than the book Christians today call “The Holy Bible.”

    "Blind Authority Fallacy" - Asserting that a proposition is true solely on the authority making the claim while extreme cases also ignore any counter evidence no matter how strong. Actually this is your default bias throughout.

    YOU: "I’m not going to list those contradictions, that’s been done about a billion times. I don’t expect you to read them, either, because I’m certain you’ve seen them before and simply found a reason to claim “this obvious contradiction isn’t a contradiction for --- well, some silly reason. And I’ve read a lot of those silly reasons. It is the chiefest proof, to me, that the millions upon millions of words written by Christian Apologists trying to explain the inexplicable that there is indeed something very wrong with an idea like Sola Srittura. Well-written, coherent philosophy doesn’t need apologetics to defend it from its own failings."

    1."I’m not going to list those contradictions, that’s been done about a billion times...It is the chiefest proof, to me, that the millions upon millions of words written by Christian Apologists trying to explain the inexplicable that there is indeed something very wrong with an idea like Sola Srittura.(sic Scriptura) "Appeal to extremes Fallacy" - Erroneously attempting to make a reasonable argument into an absurd one, by taking the argument to the extremes.

    2. "Well-written, coherent philosophy doesn’t need apologetics to defend it from its own failings." So when Philosophers disagree they don't "offer a defense" of their position? This is "Begging the question" fallacy - where the conclusion is assumed in one of the premises.

    3. "This, for the record, I consider to be one of the most heinous pieces of pure rubbish in all of religious belief. If you steal something from the corner mart, please believe me, I will never, ever consider your son or daughter, much less your grand-children or far-distant progeny to be thieves. They inherit your genes, not your guilt."
    "Appeal to Emotion" Fallacy - use of emotion in order to attempt to win an argument.

    Finally, (on following post.)
     
    #170 Rick B, Oct 15, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
  11. Rick B

    Rick B Active Member
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    4. "The very idea of “original sin” infecting all of us is totally contrary to every decent philosophical argument. It deserves the deepest scorn I can summon up, and trust me, it gets it." Who decides what is "decent"? What is your moral standard of right and wrong? Atheism says it's up to each individual. Are you saying you are a higher and better standard? - self-contradictory to the Atheistic worldview. Have you read "every decent philosophical argument"? Or is this just more colorful, fallacious, universalistic rhetoric? It certainly is not a meaningful response or valid refutation of anything. Because the Bible speaks of "original sin" - "The very idea of “original sin” infecting all of us...deserves the deepest scorn I can summon up, and trust me, it gets it." Living proof of the noetic effects of inheriting Adam's fallen nature from the Garden disobedience. You offer no polemic presenting any external or internal evidence providing a valid argument against this Biblical doctrine, only your subjective feelings of contempt. Fallacious "Genetic Fallacy" - a fallacy of irrelevance where a conclusion is suggested based solely on someone's or something's history, origin, or source rather than its current meaning or context.

    5. "I can’t even work out if this has any meaning at all. It certainly follows no logic known to me, nor does it state anything that you can provide evidence for – even in the words of the Bible, because they Bible does not say that. Those are (just like all those other religious writers, they vast majority of whom you do NOT BELIEVE) your words, and nobody else’s. And just as you don’t believe the vast majority of other religious writers in history, I don’t give any credence to your writing, either."

    a. "I can’t even work out if this has any meaning at all. It certainly follows no logic known to me". It is plain that you don't not follow nor apparently know logical procedure.

    b. "nor does it state anything that you can provide evidence for – even in the words of the Bible". Now you will accept Biblical evidence? "Double-minded". Hypocritical again.

    c. "because they Bible does not say that." So, once again, you can use my final standard of truth against me, without any Biblical support for your assertion. Your unqualified, explicit denial is demonstrably false. You really have no clue of what true justified belief statements are:

    I STATED: "We are sinners by nature and by choice. Therefore we earn (wages) the result of our rebellion against God and His Law which was forewarned. It is a deserved everlasting punishment (not capricious torture) because it is the willful disobedience to the eternal God's will and the willful rejection of the only means of escaping that sealed judgment."

    "For the wages of sin is death" Romans 6:23

    "For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive." 1 Corinthians 15:21-22

    "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned" Romans 5:12

    "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me." Psalm 51:5

    "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. “All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;...’“Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:34-46

    “If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire, [where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.] “If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than, having your two feet, to be cast into hell, [where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.] “If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell, where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED." Mark 9:43-48

    "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Mark 16:15-16

    I STATED: "Yes, He knows all things at once. But He has chosen to work out His plan in glorifying Himself by demonstrating a full revelation of His attributes in His creation within a limited time frame until the consummation."

    "Foreknowledge: In his omniscience God knows what the future holds both for individuals and for nations. He knows and sees everything in advance and his will is carried out in accord with his plans and purposes...In accomplishing his purposes, God is able to work through the evil actions of those who have no desire to do his will...The same juxtaposition of foreknowledge, election, and predestination also applies to individual salvation. We, too, were chosen "before the creation of the world, " in accord with the foreknowledge of God...In each case foreknowledge precedes election and is intricately linked with God's will and purpose. Yet we should not think of this as some kind of fatalism or determinism. God does not force anyone to become a believer but works in a person's heart so that the individual freely chooses to receive Christ as Savior. When Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites leave Egypt, it appeared that he had no choice, because God would harden his heart ( Exod 4:21 ). But not until the sixth plague does the text say that the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart ( Exod 9:12 ). During the first five plagues Pharaoh hardened his own heart, refusing to listen to Moses and Aaron; after that the Lord confirmed him in his hardened condition ( Exod 7:13-14 ; Exodus 8:15 Exodus 8:19 Exodus 8:32 ). In accord with his sovereign purposes, God brings some to salvation and others to perdition. Herbert M. Wolf Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology

    "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

    "And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance." Genesis 45:5-7

    "For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God." 1 Peter 1:20-21

    “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know—this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. “But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power." Acts 2:22-24

    "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified." Romans 8:28-30


    ATTRIBUTES: “And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” Isaiah 6:3

    “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5

    “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

    "Anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love." 1 John 4:8

    "“Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.” Psalm 62:8

    It appears that the Bible does say that. You obviously don't know the Bible as well as you think and claim you do.

    YOU: "(PS: edited to add this - by the way, if God sees all of time all at once, how is it possible that he could see "that it was good" when the majority of it (the future part) was not good?" No sense whatever can be made of this.)

    This is a good one. So God can only engage in all of time all at once? He can't communicate in the present? When God finished His creative act He stated: "God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day." Genesis 1:31, it was true because it was prior to the fall and the subsequent curse at that point in history. Your continual suppression of the knowledge of that God whom you hate clearly renders your thinking nonsensical, incoherent, disconnected, and unsound. I have pointed out your legion of logical fallacies in our many interactions. But because of your blind enmity and willful ignorance you ignore the disclosure and continue in irrational screeds nonetheless.
     
    #171 Rick B, Oct 15, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
  12. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    I'm really, sorry, but we can't very well continue with our "reasoned debate" (which you accuse me of not being able to indulge in). And the reason is simply this: you accept as a veritable fact something that I am utterly convinced is almost entirely fiction. Or at the very least, the work of human authors, trying to understand the world, rather than the work of some deity (either on its own or through "divine inspiration").

    I offer up, as my primary evidence, the Guru Granth Sahib, the Book of Mormon, the Qur'an, the Analects, the Baghavad Gita, the Urantia Book, and A Course in Miracles. They all make the same claim as your Bible -- that they are divinely inspired and therefore by default true. And they all tell wildly different stories.

    And in my own view, many of them are far less cruel than your Bible, in what might considered permissible or required from reading -- as is exhibited by the some 38,000 Christian denominations, many of which have fought each other to the death through terrible cruelties. (That, all by its lonesome self, tells me that the Bible is absolutely not the work of some omniscient entity -- omniscience couldn't possibly get it so very wrong. Questioning humans, on the other hand, can and do -- all the time. For me, this is QED.)

    When you can provide for me convincing evidence that the Bible holds something that those other books do not, which makes it evident that it is more "divinely inspired" than those other books, I will look at that evidence. Until you can, I see no difference at all.

    When you can tell me that those, in the Bible, who killed, maimed, raped at God's command were right to do so -- and can then tell me how you would not do the same if you heard God's command to do so, and why you would not -- then I will listen.

    But until you show me how the Bible is the truest source, I see no reason why I should consider your arguments based on it as anything more than your own personal preference -- and that is clearly not "reasoned argument."
     
  13. Rick B

    Rick B Active Member
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    Do you mean we can't have a debate because I accept the Bible as my final authority and you don't accept it as your final authority?
    That is not the thesis of the debate. You don't respect the fact that I present Biblical citations regarding the issues at hand that support my arguments. As I have argued before you have not refuted with internal or external evidence using any meaningful rebuttal. At least I'm not afraid to expose what my final authority is. So here is another opportunity for you. And BTW my "accusations" of you presenting irrational argumentation, because of the myriad of logical fallacies you committed, were identified and defined and were therefore warranted.

    Just what is your ultimate authority of truth claims?

    Just like your previous post you present blanket statements like: "thousands" and 'millions upon millions" and "billions" of pieces of information. You present this assertion with absolutely no supporting citations from your "primary evidence". It's simply ipse dixit. I, on the contrary, provided so many supporting citations you complained but avoided all direct, relevant interaction.

    So, in order for me to compare your "primary evidence" to mine I'll need quotes from these sources to see if your claim (specifically, "that they (all) say they are divinely inspired") holds water.

    I'm not sure what subject matter denominations "fought each other to the death through terrible cruelties." you are referring.

    Could you offer some examples substantiating your assertion?

    What is the "it" that omniscience couldn't possibly get so very wrong? If you are referring to your allegation "the some 38,000 Christian denominations, many of which have fought each other to the death through terrible cruelties". Where is your evidence that omniscience addressed that subject at all, let alone failingly?

    If you are willing, this time, to respond to my questions I will provide Biblical support. However your "Loaded Question" which leaves you plausible denial is just a convenient back door for escape. "Impossible Certainty Fallacy" - Assuming that a research conclusion should be rejected if it is not absolutely certain. You've already stated your unequivocal rejection of the Bible and Christian Apologetics.

    Then a direct, rational, coherent reasoned debate could be accomplished.

    Again your presuppositions:
    "I hate to have to do this to you again, but what possible use could it be to try to convince me of anything whatever using quotes from the Bible."
    "I have tried to make it clear to you over and over that the Bible is – to me – proof of absolutely nothing except that some human beings could write down their thoughts."
    "I must say that there are many, many other books about what people have believed that contain far fewer absolute contradictions than the book Christians today call “The Holy Bible.”
    "I’m not going to list those contradictions, that’s been done about a billion times."

    In the thread "The Bible Declares That Jesus is God" you stated:

    "And so, I conclude that even if your God exists (though I strongly doubt it for the reasons I gave above), well, it doesn't make a damned bit of difference down here where we live anyway. It is, therefore, no longer worthy of consideration, irrelevant, and affects me not in the slightest. Just like the teapot."
    "But when I read scripture, I find such nonsense that I can only conclude it was written by humans, and not only by humans, but by lots of different humans who neither conferred with nor agree with one another, who had little knowledge of the way the world works or the human mind works, and who were not at all averse to making things up when it suited them, to add colour and excitement to an otherwise boring and unconvincing narrative."
    "Sorry, but you can continue to quote all the scripture you like, but God has said nothing whatever about ME."
    "The interesting thing about that last part, by the way, is that knowledge keeps growing, and while that knowledge is capable of changing almost everything about our world, the one thing that seems to be immune to that knowledge is ------ scripture."
    "After all, there are some 38,000 Christians sects among the major Christian denominations, and they most assuredly do not all agree with one another. For God to have chosen this method of "getting the truth out" seems pretty dumb. And for a God, it would be monumentally stupid."
    "Thanks for the sermon, but it ought to be clear, even to you, that quoting scripture is probably the least likely way to get my attention."
    "the scripture you quote has been used to defend religious beliefs that have been in conflict with one another since those scriptures were set down. They've led to disparate and warring beliefs, and therefore there is at least one thing I think I can confidently say about them: THEY ARE NOT THE PRODUCT OF AN OMNISCIENT, PERFECT BEING. I accept them, therefore, as the product of fallible humans, nothing more."
    "I am a humanist. I believe in reason, I believe in the essential worth of every human being, I hope for the best for humans now and in the future, I believe that can only happen when we learn, and I believe that learning is defeated by adherence to ignorant superstition."
    "I have demonstrated (38,000 warring sects in a single prime religion, Christianity) that scripture is provably incapable of delivering a coherent message -- and that it is therefore unworthy of the claim that it is the inspiration of an infallible deity. Therefore, you have to consider its worth from that perspective."
    "So, "the Bible declares that Jesus is God," eh? I can't help but remember that the Bible also declares that bats are birds, and the rabbits chew the cud. Oh, and that brass snake statues cure snake-bite. So, why would anybody really care what "the Bible declares?"
    "No doubt it does. But you see, I happen to believe that if there is such a thing as "what He has to say," then it could not possibly be delivered in the way that religious messages are -- through revelation to very few with the expectation of perfect transmission to many. If there is a god (as I understand the term) and if that god wants me to know something important to both that god and me -- then I trust that I know it already."
    "The Bible, the Qur'an, the Vedas and Granth Guru Sahib and so many other holy books, contain man's thoughts, not God's. Of this, I am absolutely certain for what seem to me completely clear and obvious reasons."

    But now all I have to do is "provide for me convincing evidence that the Bible holds something that those other books do not, which makes it evident that it is more "divinely inspired" than those other books, I will look at that evidence." And then you'll finally be convinced? There is your back door escape tool.

    Well, if you are willing and able to present citations from those "primary evidence" authorities which is essential for a "reasoned debate"and what subject matter evidence you have for compelling denominations to fight "each other to the death through terrible cruelties.", and what is your ultimate authority of all truth claims, I will present "sufficient" evidence and even "compelling" arguments for my position. However, having experienced your intractable, merciless resistance to God's Word I won't hold my breath that you will finally be convinced. Only the Spirit of God can free a person's mind and heart.
     
    #173 Rick B, Oct 18, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
  14. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    Well, I shall try to get to the rest of your post, but this last paragraph -- and especially the last sentence -- requires an immediate reply: if "only the Spirit of God can free a person's mind and heart," and if that Spirit has 1) not freed mine (mind and heart) and 2) is omnipotent (as I am not), then you are going to have to accept that it is His choice, and not mine. In which case, you would have to consider me perfectly justified -- by God -- in my positions.
     
  15. Rick B

    Rick B Active Member
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    Good premise up until you add the second conclusion. I reject the last sentence and will withhold my reason for not considering your Atheistic worldview's justification for your final conclusion warranted until after your response.
     
    #175 Rick B, Oct 19, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
  16. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    Yes, I mean exactly that. What if I told you that my “final authority” was Homer, and then claimed that the very fact that Schliemann discovered that Troy actually existed, this “proves” that both the enchantress Circe and the Cyclops Polyphemus also existed in reality? Would you accept that as a valid argument – something to which you could provide a reasoned argument against? Would you not say, “Homer was writing fiction, probably based on some places that he (more likely she, by the way) actually knew about, just as modern writers set their fiction in familiar surroundings?” And would you not further argue that “since its fiction, it can’t be used as a proof of anything?”

    But why do you insist that it’s fiction? Because you don’t believe what was written – especially about Polyphemus and Circe? Well, I do the very same thing with the bible, because I can point to literally hundreds of things that are utterly unreal (and therefore fictional). There were no “giants in the earth in those days,” and they certainty weren’t fathered by “angels” boffing human females. Balaam’s *** didn’t talk. Sampson’s strength didn’t disappear when his hair was cut, nor did he single-handedly pull down a temple when it grew back. These are obvious fictions. The even more obvious fictions that “the world” was created before the “lights in the heavens” are enough proof that humans were just making stuff up to answer questions they could barely understand, let alone answer.

    So, no – we cannot debate what is true using either fiction. The only way to have a reasoned debate about what might be true is to begin with premises that are at least very likely to be obviously true to both of us. If we haven’t got that, all we can do is what kids do: “Is so!” “Is not!” “Is too!” “I’m telling!|
    I spend a great deal of time citing science and history for my foundational arguments. I also admit when I don’t know something, by the way, rather than claim some “infallible source.” It has nothing to do with whether I “respect” your choice of argument, but whether I accept them as having any validity. Show me a talking ***, I’ll have another look. Show me how the Bible accurately reflects what is truly known about the origins of the universe, the origins of life, and the Origin of Species, and I’ll have another look. But the Bible doesn’t do that, because they Bible cannot do that. The humans who wrote it didn’t know. They weren’t stupid, but they did not know what they did not know. Just as there’s still an immense amount that we don’t know (how does a mind emerge from the buzzing of electrons in a chemical brain? Does that work in essentially the same way for an ape as for me? Or for a dog, or a cockatoo?). The Bible doesn’t know – it merely pronounces based on the knowledge of its writers, which knowledge was hugely inferior to what we possess today.
    I can assure that I am not about to post the contents of all of the libraries in the world, even just the science and history libraries, here on this forum. But I also assure you that if you were in the slightest interested, those libraries will make their collections available to you for your inspection. And by the way, that’s not just “billions” of pieces of information. It’s way, way bigger than that.
    Okay, let’s see an example. You believe that God created Adam out of dust, and Eve out of a rib of Adam’s (I suppose he’d run out of dust, but what the hey). That is what the Bible clearly states. Now, I say that man is the result of billions of years of evolution. I cannot give you a nice, pithy quote, but I can refer you to the works of a thousand scientists, studying immense amounts of actual information left in the geology of the earth, the chemistry, the biology, the DNA, the fossil record, and many other things. I can refer you to one “Charles Darwin” and a little tome called “On the Origin of Species” or another called “The Descent of Man.” It would be wrong of me to re-write those entire volumes here, and probably irritate the bejeebers out of the membership.
    Really? You never heard of the Reformation, or the Counter-Reformation? You never heard even the vaguest hint that various Christian denominations (let alone entirely separate religions) spent an immense amount of effort (not to mention firewood) burning each other at the stake? Try reading a history of the Tudors, and perhaps Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury (not to mention Thomas More before him).

    Or this might be fun: List of people burned as heretics - Wikipedia
    Thought I just did, but this is getting way too long, and there’s still so much to answer. I’ll be back.
     
    #176 Evangelicalhumanist, Oct 23, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
  17. Mister Silver

    Mister Silver Faith's Nightmare

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    For a debate that, according to the thread title was supposed to be solved, why is this thread running through so many pages?
     
  18. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    Well, perhaps you could find out by actually reading some of those pages...
     
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  19. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    @Rick B let me tell you a story, one based on the Bible, but which also shows you how Bible stories very likely got to be written in the first place. I'm going to tell you story of the creation of Eve from Adam's "rib." The word, by the way, said to mean "rib" is "tsela" which can and has meant anything from "protruding parts" to "supports." Any "bone" might answer the call.

    Now, the ancient Israelites were meat eaters, and thus they killed and butchered animals. They also knew a thing or two about them, and one of those things is that the huge majority of the mammals that they killed had one thing in common: a "baculum" or penis bone -- that helps to keep an erection in "working position." They also knew, by the way, that human men do not have one of these, and they didn't know of any other mammals that did not. (The South American spider monkey doesn't, by the way, but ancient Israel couldn't have encountered them yet.)

    And something else they knew -- human males have a scar between their scrotum and anus called a "raphe." This is actually the remainder of where the basic body design of humans (which is female) changes due to male hormones. We males have nipples, as well, which we have no need of. Where a vagina might have been, it closed up due to testosterone and gave us our own unique bits. Hence the raphe (scar).

    The ancient Jews knew all of this. They knew one thing more: that human males still have just as many ribs as human females. So, we still have all our ribs, but we're definitely missing a "bone" or "support" or "strut."

    In my view, it is entirely likely that the Genesis story strongly suggests that God took Adam's baculum (penis bone, which is of course strongly associated with procreation), and used that in the creation of Eve -- leaving human males without a baculum (uniquely among the mammals they knew), and a scar where the bone would have been removed.

    There's just one example of why I consider the Bible to be wonderfully interesting as an historical/cultural/religious artifact, but useless in terms of its explanatory power for anything real.
     
    #179 Evangelicalhumanist, Oct 24, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
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  20. pcarl

    pcarl Well-Known Member

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    That's what the myth maker does, begins with what he knows and experiences and then explains through story how it got to be that way.
     
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