Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tenets of Basic Christianity


Just to clear up some confusion I adhere to the truth of the following: (there is no need to respond to each point, this is just for clarification and is not exhaustive)
  • The Bible from Genesis to Revelation is true in what it covers.


  • There is an eternal good God who created the universe including life on earth.


  • He created man in His own image.


  • He made woman to have relationship with man as we are designed for relationship just as God is a relational being.


  • He said man and woman were good.


  • He said all of creation was good.


  • He gave man freedom.


  • Man used his freedom for ill and took sin into his nature.


  • Man now needed cleaning to restore his relationship with God to its perfect potential.


  • Mankind began a journey that would bring man to the place where God comes down in the flesh to live the life of man, while still being God.


  • Jesus is that eternal Son of God who showed us how to live life properly related to God.


  • He took on his shoulders all the sin ever to have been or ever to be in this world and it was buried with Him once for all.


  • He rose again with victory over all death, decay, and sin. That same victory was accomplished for mankind.




  • He returned to dwell with God in heaven until the time of His return.


  • He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and empower us to live the life He lives.


  • Anyone who puts their trust/belief in Jesus, the Risen Lord, they enter into the reality of their sins having been buried with Christ and they rise with Christ now cleansed from their unrighteousness.




  • This includes all who died before Christ came and all who ever lived. Meaning that there were people who had this kind of relationship with God because of what Christ was going to do in time before it was done in our time.




  • Scripture also tells us that Jesus preached to all the captives already dead in eternity so that none would be denied that opportunity to know the Lord.


  • Those who are now in relationship with Christ are walking this out in process upon this earth as individuals and as a community of believers that encompass all who are united with Christ no matter the denomination or church affiliation.


  • One day Jesus will return for His Bride, the Church and all sin and death and decay left in us will be no more and all of creation will be fully restored. All of the redeemed humanity and all of creation will live in the Kingdom of God a fully restored reality in abundant joy lavishing in the love of God for all eternity.

73 comments:

Kevin DeGraaf said...

Tenant is incorrect. You meant tenet.

Karla said...

Yep, your right, thanks for pointing that out.

Karla said...

I fixed it. Thanks.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

That's a good list. You should link to this post on the side of you blog, titled "What I believe" or something like that, to give people an idea where you are coming from.

"...there were people who had this kind of relationship with God because of what Christ was going to do in time before it was done in our time."

Of all the things on that list, this is the thing that I'm amazed I ever accepted when I was a Christian. I held the view that during the three days after he was put in the tomb, Jesus went to Sheol and preached to everyone who had died before he came. Seems more like an attempt to plug logical holes to me now though.

Karla said...

Hey Mike, good suggestion. I'll do that. It's not exhaustive, but it's a basic overview.

Ephesians 4 gives reference to His descent and the captives that followed Him.

Gene Edwards has this fascinating book titled "Christ Before Creation" and he goes into some of this.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Yep, I know that verse and used to do a lot of study of what some believe are references to or even appearances of Christ in the OT.

Karla said...

Yes, there is a lot of references to Christ in the Old Testament. There are several key passages in Isaiah are amazing descriptions of Him. The chances of Christ fulfilling just a handful of the hundreds of prophesies are astronomical.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: The chances of Christ fulfilling just a handful of the hundreds of prophesies are astronomical.

So.... Volume 2 agreed with Volume 1.

Go figure......

GCT said...

Indeed, ck.

That someone could write up a fictional character that seemingly fulfills prophecies from their holy books is not at all surprising. Problem is, they still didn't even get it right.

Karla said...

There is no trustworthy evidence that the writers of the Gospels were fabricating the account of Jesus. People who write fabrications are usually the heroes of the story and at the very least they don't include embarrassing accounts of their own actions unless it really happened that way and they were telling the truth.

GCT said...

"There is no trustworthy evidence that the writers of the Gospels were fabricating the account of Jesus."

Sure there is. There's the facts that people are not born from virgins, don't rise from the dead, aren't born in two different places, don't walk on water, etc. We also don't have compelling evidence to suggest that they were telling the events as they happened. They were not there, they wrote well after the things supposedly happened, etc.

"People who write fabrications are usually the heroes of the story and at the very least they don't include embarrassing accounts of their own actions unless it really happened that way and they were telling the truth."

This is just plain wrong. Look at the Greek myths or the writings of any other religious figure (Horus, Mithra, etc.) I guess you have to conclude that people who wrote about other religious figures were also writing about things that actually happened.

Karla said...

Your disbelief in miracles isn't proof that those things did not happen.

GCT said...

"Your disbelief in miracles isn't proof that those things did not happen."

No, but the fact that we don't have confirmed cases of a single miracle is a good indicator that they don't happen. In order to believe that they do happen, you need to provide some evidence that they do. Otherwise, it is illogical and irrational to believe in miracles. If it were rational and logical, then it would be equally rational and logical to believe in leprechauns, FSM, invisible pink unicorns, etc.

Karla said...

You don't seem to accept historical documents, eye witnesses, or personal testimony. So how would someone prove a miracle in your opinion?

GCT said...

"You don't seem to accept historical documents, eye witnesses, or personal testimony."

I might accept those if you had some. None of the gospels are eye witness. None of the historical documents back up your assertions. And, personal testimony is hardly reliable in instances like this.

"So how would someone prove a miracle in your opinion?"

Well, it would help to actually be able to show some evidence that the events in question happened. You've been spectacularly unable to do so.

cl said...

Karla,Good post. Lays out your beliefs very clearly, and I second Mike's advice to make it more visible.

Mike aka MonolithTMA,Hey there... tomorrow's post on my blog is a short one but was inspired by a comment you made here a while back. Just thought I'd let you know.

GCT,"No, but the fact that we don't have confirmed cases of a single miracle is a good indicator that they don't happen."How do you know? How would anyone know? Nobody had confirmed cases of asteroids until 200 years ago - would you say this lack of confirmation constituted a good indicator asteroids didn't happen? If so, I say that's poor logic.

Karla's question is spot-on, and I fully suspect that you will not be able to successfully answer because this is the same farce as the last one about proving revelation or prayer. Similarly, the best anyone can do is show that unexplainable healings take place, and this is well-documented. Any unexplained case may represent a genuine miracle, and it is also possible that no unexplained cases represent genuine miracles. That the God of the Bible healed person X, Y, or Z is not something we can confirm, especially to someone who does not believe in said God.

Karla said...

Thanks CL.

GCT said...

No response Karla?

So, you claim that events X, Y, and Z were miracles even though you can't provide any actual evidence that events X, Y, or Z happened? What do you think constitutes a miracle?

Although, I am seeing a pattern here. Miracles happen, but we can't point to any that we can say for sure happened. Religion teaches us about the world, but we can't actually tell you anything that religion actually teaches us. At least there's a consistency of shoddiness going on.

Karla said...

I have given you examples. I have given you examples of miracles I can personally attest to by experience and by observance. You haven't accepted that miracles are possible, nor provided a description of what kind of evidence you are looking for.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

I'd like a female, black doberman pinscher puppy on my doorstep when I get home today, with all her papers. ;-)

I should get home around 5 EST.

Oh, it would be great if she was already house broken too.

Of course, I'm just kidding. ;-)

GCT said...

Karla,
"I have given you examples. I have given you examples of miracles I can personally attest to by experience and by observance."

Things you can't verify or explain, which you automatically put in the category of "miracle." Yet, you have no evidence that some supernatural entity performed some action. Plus, we also know that people like Derren Brown can perform acts that look miraculous (something that you've continually ignored every time I've brought it up). Sorry, but you should actually submit these "miracles" to scientific scrutiny if you actually want to get somewhere. I think I remember what your reaction was the last time I suggested this - equivocation and changing the subject.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Here's my friend Joe's page on science and religion. You'll have to forgive his dyslexia, but it's a pretty decent list of things. I'll be honest, I haven't read it all, nor has it made me have faith in God or miracles, but it would certainly be of interest to some.

Science: menu to essays on science and religious belief

Karla said...

I assure you I nor my husband have any such Derren Brown skills. But when we pray we see people healed.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

There was no doberman last night. :-(

;-)

CyberKitten said...

Strangely enough there was a Doberman pup with a pink bow around its neck waiting on my doorstep when I got home last night!

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Doh!

Karla said...

lol

cl said...

Anyone else noticing the irony here? GCT taunts Karla for not being able to meet his challenge, yet refuses to provide criteria by which his challenge could be met...

Curious, I was just checking back to see if our challenger had yet supplied scientifically reliable criteria we might use to prove a certain supernatural being is responsible for a certain event. I had a feeling he would be unable or unwilling to do so, and again, I don't understand why our challenger doesn't realize the unscientific nature of his challenge...

GCT said...

Once again, I'm not going to engage cl, because I've had quite enough of his lies and BS. I have answered the questions posed to me, and if he doesn't like it, that's too bad for him.

As for the puppy, it seems once again that god simply has bad aim. He was probably trying to give you a puppy Mike and he missed and it landed on CK's doorstep instead. Perhaps he's cross eyed?

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Note to self: Get God a GPS for Christmas.

cl said...

GCT claims he's addressed the examples I've offered, yet I've not heard GCT supply any of the following, either here, on my blog, or his own blog, which I'm not allowed to comment on:

1) A scientifically reliable means by which we might prove an advance in knowledge resulted from revelation or prayer;

2) Responses to the particular examples I've offered of things people have learned about the real world from religion;

3) A scientifically reliable means by which we might prove a particular deity caused a particular event.

Karla? Mike? Cyber? Quixote? Do any of you recall GCT answering any of my aforementioned rebuttals? I haven't been online much this past week, maybe I missed it. If so, can anyone point me to it? And if anyone else agrees that GCT has not answered the aforementioned rebuttals, can I get a confirmation? I think this is an interesting question, and it's sad to see its resolution obscured by unclear motives.

Honestly, from the standpoint of logic and rationalism, it's odd to me that someone so committed to concepts like proof and evidence would continually shrink from the challenges they present and avoid somebody because of past issues. If anything, you'd think GCT would want to show my logic faulty or otherwise prove that I'm a liar and spewer of BS. Instead, he gets a free pass to make unfalsifiable claims, overlook responses and call names.

Karla said...

Yes, CL, due to the futile nature of the conversation I've limited my responses on this subject until GCT provides what I and you have asked for. The ball is in his court. But if he doesn't want to answer, that's fine too. We can just leave the matter alone if he desires.

GCT said...

Karla,
What questions have I not answered?

From what I recall, cl's examples have consisted of "what ifs" (like what if person X had claimed divine revelation?) which is useless as an example and which I already addressed.

To you, I mentioned that you have to verify the claims that you making (that the event actually happened) and that you need to submit the claim to scientific scrutiny. I've said this multiple times. Are you going to claim now that I have not?

GCT said...

BTW Karla,
All of your "examples" of evidence for the historicity of the Bible, etc. have been challenged and you've ignored those so far. So, if you are claiming those pieces as evidence without answering the challenges... well you can hardly fault me for not taking your word for it when the majority of scholars reject what you are saying. Further, if you claim that those are on the table and that I'm simply rejecting them out of hand, without dealing with the significant challenges posed, then that's a pretty dishonest tactic, don't you think?

Further, you claim that I have to answer cl's posts now? I'm done casting my pearls before that swine. I've pointed out numerous instances of his lies and frankly I have no desire to communicate with someone who issues threats towards me on my own blog.

cl said...

Karla,If you don't mind, maybe you could convince GCT to specifically address my points 1-3 above, as well as each of my examples of things people have learned from religion? These are also on my own blog as False Argument #25 should he claim inability to locate them.

GCT,The personal drama is entertaining and all, but I just want you to explain why you feel unfalsifiable claims constitute cogent arguments when you offer them. You claim to be so about science, but if that were true, I'd think you'd immediately realize the unfalsifiable and unscientific nature of your rubber bullets here and retract them.

"From what I recall, cl's examples have consisted of "what ifs""

That's incorrect. My specific examples of things people have learned from religion did not consist of "what ifs." OTOH, the questions about revelation, prayer and miracles that you've continually avoided did.

"I'm done casting my pearls before that swine. I've pointed out numerous instances of his lies and frankly I have no desire to communicate with someone who issues threats towards me on my own blog."

Geez, the bitterness and emotional hostility! What kind of rationalist are you?

People often boast about what they don't have. I'm rather experienced in debating you, and I know that when you really believe you're correct it's a fight to the end. So, I believe that if you really had a successful argument here, we'd be hearing it.

And there's that odd "threats" claim again. This is the second time I've heard this claim sans evidence. That some blogger who argues like they're reading Dawkins and watching South Park claims I'm "odious" or that I've threatened them doesn't really bother me, but the curiosity is overwhelming. I just want to know what that knee-jerk mind of yours considers a threat. Did I say I was going to beat you up or something? What do you consider a threat? Can you provide the evidence for your claim? Or is just another one of those unfalsifiable rubber bullets of yours?

Karla said...

Okay. Just to jump in here a minute. I really wish neither of you would respond to each other on a personal level hitting on each others credibility and ability to communicate their position.

I think this can be avoided if we stick closely to the subject matter.

However, GCT, I have drawn back because I don't want to quarrel with you. I am thinking over how to try again to talk about miracles.

In the mean time if you could humor me and tell me exactly how you would go about scientifically verifying a miracle? And by miracle, I am talking about something that has a supernatural being behind it's cause. How would this be proved?

Can science -- the study of the physical world -- prove a metaphysical cause? Isn't this the same issue as when we talk about origin of the universe?

In your opinion, can science unearth evidence for the metaphysical? Is this possible in the scope of modern science?

CyberKitten said...

karla said: And by miracle, I am talking about something that has a supernatural being behind it's cause. How would this be proved?

I doubt if it could be. In order to do so science would need first to prove the existence of the supernatural - which is pretty much contrary to science itself.

karla said: Can science -- the study of the physical world -- prove a metaphysical cause?

No.

karla said: Isn't this the same issue as when we talk about origin of the universe?

No. The origin of the Universe is not considered to be metaphysical - at least not by most Cosmologists.

karla said: In your opinion, can science unearth evidence for the metaphysical? Is this possible in the scope of modern science?

Highly unlikely I would imagine.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

If science could prove miracles they would cease to be miracles.

cl said...

Karla,"Just to jump in here a minute. I really wish neither of you would respond to each other on a personal level hitting on each others credibility and ability to communicate their position."I've been saying that to GCT for a very long time now. Sometimes when people call me names, I don't respond. Other times, I respond politely. Other times, I respond similarly. It should be self-evident that if GCT keeps his cool, so will I. The minute GCT wishes to return to rational discourse, I'm right there with him. Always have been. Good luck getting GCT to keep his cool though...

Like tends to produce like, Karla, and quite frankly, I find your selective attention interesting and your criticisms wanting. You seem to put my rather mild criticism of GCT's delivery on equal par with his personal insults like calling me a "liar" and "swine," and that's not right. Hmph.

Perhaps that's enough from me for a while. If GCT decides to rise to any of my challenges, someone let me know, as I'm dying to hear it.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

I think the point is that Karla doesn't want any personal attacks or bickering, regardless of who started it or who said more terrible things.

GCT said...

Exactly Mike, which is why I'm not responding to cl. As much as he attacks me and tries to rile me up, I'm keeping respectful of Karla's blog. If only cl would be as respectful of Karla.

Karla said...

Mike's right cl, I'm not playing favorites. All are welcome here, I just ask all, especially Christians, to be kind and respectful of others.

Karla said...

Mike said "If science could prove miracles they would cease to be miracles."

How's that? I am not defining "miracle" as something unexplained, but as something caused by a supernatural being.

Hence, a miracle is not unexplained, it is explained as being supernatural.

I would grant that science being a study of the physical world would consider it unexplained by science. That doesn't mean it isn't explained. It just means science can't.

Unless there has been a change in current philosophy and science give evidence of the metaphysical?

Are you going to weigh in GCT?

GCT said...

"How's that? I am not defining "miracle" as something unexplained, but as something caused by a supernatural being.

Hence, a miracle is not unexplained, it is explained as being supernatural. "

I don't actually have a problem with that. I wonder how you can show that something is supernatural, however.

"I would grant that science being a study of the physical world would consider it unexplained by science. That doesn't mean it isn't explained. It just means science can't."

But, unexplained is not the same is miraculous or supernatural.

"Unless there has been a change in current philosophy and science give evidence of the metaphysical?"

One is free to hypothesize about the metaphysical, but it's very hard to test for it. The closest we have come is by doing prayer studies, which have shown that prayer is not separable from natural variance or chance (i.e. it is lost in the noise and has no effect).

"Are you going to weigh in GCT?"

I think I just did.

cl said...

Karla, I was going to email this to you, but I've tried emailing you before at the address listed here to no avail, so...

"I'm keeping respectful of Karla's blog." (GCT)

Interesting, because only 7 and 12 comments earlier - and in the complete absence of anything similar from myself - he's calling me a "swine" who "lies" and "threatens" although Karla specifically asked for this type of behavior to be curtailed before. Karla, or Mike - do you consider GCT's above to be an honest claim? If not, why do both of you allow dishonest claims to persist? Is it just to not rock the boat? If that's the case, I certainly don't belong here, because to me, pursuance of truth is more important than keeping everything neat and clean.

"If only cl would be as respectful of Karla."SERIOUSLY? GCT is really claiming to be more respectful towards Karla than I, and nobody challenges this after comment after comment after comment of GCT's condescending, demeaning and insulting attitude towards Karla's knowledge of science? I'm at a total loss for words right now.

On a positive note, GCT says,

"I wonder how you can show that something is supernatural, however."Finally, the pay-off. That's part of the concession I've been trying to get for the past two weeks now, and I'm always glad to see progress. Next time, however, you might want to think this through before asking others to prove that something was supernatural, and then insulting them because they cannot.

Karla said...

Karla "Hence, a miracle is not unexplained, it is explained as being supernatural. "

GCT "I don't actually have a problem with that. I wonder how you can show that something is supernatural, however."

I am so glad we agree on something. Yes, that is the question isn't it. How can we show it? Can we talk about it as if it might be possible, what signs would be evidence of it's occurrence? I'm putting that question out there, but I'll think on it too from my end on what I could propose as a way of something being shown to be a miracle and we'll compare notes.

That will be tomorrow though.

Karla said...

I'm sorry cl, I am not sure why the e-mails aren't getting to me. My e-mail is apologeticswriter @ yahoo.com w/o the spaces. I've checked my junk mail box to see if it went there by mistake, but nothing is there.

As for your questions. I do realize that GCT isn't always respectful in his speech towards me, I know these topics frustrate him and I aim to respect him and be kind to him regardless. That's my prerogative as the host of this site. I would extend the same courtesy to you if you were speaking to me that way.

But when either of you or anyone else is speaking to someone else in the room other than me I will respond as a moderator and ask that rudeness or disrespect not continue because I welcome people from all worldviews and religions to my site. So I ask for each of you to respect each other.

What I will ignore when it's directed to me, I won't ask of others who are coming here to engage in conversation.

I also would desire that believers especially be gracious to the rest of the people in the room 70 x 7.

Thus I ask that no personal attacks on character be made to other guests in this room.

I ask that of GCT towards you and of you towards him. If GCT doesn't want to engage you in this room, that's up to him. You can still comment and dialog with others in the room if you desire. His lack of response to you doesn't stop your freedom to participate. I appreciate your thoughts and comments in these discussions.

Karla said...

I just wanted to clarify one thing, GCT, I do see your effort to be respectful. There are times where things are said that aren't "nice", but I try to take it all in stride. I don't hold anything against you.

Nor do I hold anything against CL.

GCT said...

Karla,
"How can we show it? Can we talk about it as if it might be possible, what signs would be evidence of it's occurrence? I'm putting that question out there, but I'll think on it too from my end on what I could propose as a way of something being shown to be a miracle and we'll compare notes."

I'm open to suggestion as I've always been. I'll also make suggestions, but in the end it is not up to me to determine how to evidence the supernatural. It's logically wrong to claim that the supernatural happens or is rational unless I can come up with a test/definition and show that it doesn't.

"I just wanted to clarify one thing, GCT, I do see your effort to be respectful. There are times where things are said that aren't "nice", but I try to take it all in stride. I don't hold anything against you."

Be aware that not being nice is not the same as being disrespectful. I rather think it is disrespectful for me to sugar-coat things. To not be forthright and speak my mind would be disrespectful. To not call a spade a spade would be disrespectful. To give your beliefs respect that they don't deserve is disrespectful to you personally. If I think that you are behaving in a way that is not consistent with intellectual honesty, it is disrespectful of me to not tell you and ask you to correct it.

Karla said...

Hypothetically, say someone is crippled and can't walk and this has been certified by doctors that the person will not walk again. And a Christian goes up to them and prays for them and tells them to try walking and they walk perfectly.

So how would this be tested? Wouldn't it give you great pause to consider something supernatural happened if this happened to a trusted friend? Or if you saw this happen? Or would a report from the doctor that this person had an irreparable injury that would not permit them to walk and that that injury was completely gone and they are indeed walking suffice? Would any of these be tests of a miracle in your estimation?

GCT said...

Karla,
I would ask for double-blind testing to be done. I would want to set up experiments in controlled environments to test the power of this person and see if there's something else there going on. Hearing second hand accounts of this or that is simply not acceptable. We need to study these things if they are happening. Strangely enough, however, people don't seem to want to subject their powers to scientific scrutiny.

Karla said...

Well, it's God's power working through us, we aren't commanding Him to heal, we are working with Him to heal.

What do you mean by double blind? I'm not sure that would have the same affect. But certainly when someone whether they know they are being prayed for or not, can't make their own arm grow out instantaneously, yet I saw this happen.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Double-blind+trials

Sorry, sarcasm is a major mode of communication for me, thus I love that site. ;-)

Karla said...

I understood the basic concept, but not why it fit this situation. Thanks though.

GCT said...

"Well, it's God's power working through us, we aren't commanding Him to heal, we are working with Him to heal."

That's what you are trying to show. You can't simply assert it, you have to show it. Further, I would want a logical reason why it works or doesn't work that can also be supported before I attribute it to your specific god.

"What do you mean by double blind? I'm not sure that would have the same affect."

What wouldn't have the same effect? Double blind experiments are done to take bias out of measurements. They are an essential part of experiments of this kind.

"But certainly when someone whether they know they are being prayed for or not, can't make their own arm grow out instantaneously, yet I saw this happen."

So you claim, but you've never once considered any alternative explanation for what you think you saw. Nor have you proferred any proof or had a doctor examine the person, etc. etc. etc.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

I was just being silly, sorry.

Karla said...

Mike. I know. It was funny.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

There are tons of recorded healings on youtube. Many of them are related to relieving pain or lengthening a shorter limb.

Here's somebody getting resurrected though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CIHPor_haA

Karla said...

GCT "That's what you are trying to show. You can't simply assert it, you have to show it."

Yes, I'm saying I'm not sure a blind experiment would work to show that, but I wouldn't be opposed to the attempt.

GCT "Further, I would want a logical reason why it works or doesn't work that can also be supported before I attribute it to your specific god."

I would expect you to want it to make sense. No problem there.


"What wouldn't have the same effect? Double blind experiments are done to take bias out of measurements. They are an essential part of experiments of this kind."

Would the person praying and the person receiving prayer be together in the same room? Or are you talking about a prayer experiment that has been done where some people receive prayer and others don't and some know they are being prayed for and others don't.


I wrote "But certainly when someone whether they know they are being prayed for or not, can't make their own arm grow out instantaneously, yet I saw this happen."

GCT responded "So you claim, but you've never once considered any alternative explanation for what you think you saw. Nor have you proferred any proof or had a doctor examine the person, etc. etc. etc."


No one has given me another alternative that seemed viable. No one has said they thought I was lying, no one has said they think it didn't happen. If I remember correctly the only two arguments against it being Jesus was 1) maybe it was the power of suggestion or one of those mental positive thinking things or 2) that it was another supernatural agent at work from those who don't believe in any.

I haven't heard a better alternative yet. If what I saw was an arm grow when we asked Jesus to grow it, then what explanation do you have to offer for that? And btw, that's just one example of the miracles I've seen.

Regarding a doctor, I did ask if doctor reports would be evidence for you regarding miracles. You didn't say they would be.

If she could locate her old ex rays and get a new one that would be pretty neat to compare.

GCT said...

"Would the person praying and the person receiving prayer be together in the same room?"

That depends on the experiment being done.

"Or are you talking about a prayer experiment that has been done where some people receive prayer and others don't and some know they are being prayed for and others don't."

That would probably be part of it too. Suggestion is a very large defeater to getting objective results.

"No one has said they thought I was lying, no one has said they think it didn't happen."

I think it didn't happen. Much as people who are overcome with god and start speaking in tongues weren't really overcome with god and aren't actually speaking in any language, this is a halucinogenic and suggestive event. Just as Derren Brown can convince people that he's emanating energy to them, one can convince a person that a pain has left them or that their arm has grown just that little bit, and the person being convinced actually helps the convincer do it!

"If I remember correctly the only two arguments against it being Jesus was 1) maybe it was the power of suggestion or one of those mental positive thinking things or 2) that it was another supernatural agent at work from those who don't believe in any."

First of all, do you still not understand number 2? That argument was that even if you could show it was supernatural that you couldn't show that it was Jesus.

"I haven't heard a better alternative yet."

I've seen hypnotists convince people that they were cows or pigs or having sex on stage. People can be convinced of all kinds of things, including that their arm is growing.

"Regarding a doctor, I did ask if doctor reports would be evidence for you regarding miracles. You didn't say they would be. "

I would consider objective reports from doctors. Not reports from doctors who are inclined to the same woo and would like nothing better than to have it be true. X-rays would be helpful, for instance.

Karla said...

There will be frauds in this world, that doesn't mean there isn't a real too.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

But the frauds can repeat their "miracles".

Karla said...

Yes. That doesn't negate the real. There are plenty of counterfeiters of currency, that doesn't mean that there isn't authentic currency too.

GCT said...

IOW, I'm going to believe what I believe no matter what you say or present.

Karla said...

GCT, I gathered that, but thanks for the honesty.

GCT said...

Ah, I see what you did there. You ignored the sarcasm and turned it around. Or, maybe you actually didn't get it? You did get it, didn't you? I mean, really. You're hanging onto something like this, "Well, I see that these things can be explained, but it's possible that they can't and it's possible that all this science stuff is bunk and that maybe, just maybe my god exists, so therefore he must and I'm going to believe no matter what." So much for that open, inquisitive mind you claim to have - you know, the one where you question truth to see if you can actually find it.

Karla said...

I took your statement at face value. I didn't read it as sarcastic, sorry.

GCT said...

I was responding to what you said and translating it. What you really are saying here is basically that no matter how much we learn about these types of behaviors, no matter how we can explain it, you'll simply retreat to it being fake and your beliefs being real and unexplainable. This is in direct contradistinction to your stated goals of evaluating what you believe in order to arrive at truth (as I find myself telling you once again). This is why you must take a more skeptical approach. If you assume your conclusions and shoehorn everything to make sure that it fits your preconceived conclusions, then you're not really investigating anything at all. This is what we get from theistic belief. You don't really have any claim to know anything about reality, because it's all based on what you believe and selectively accepting parts of reality to fit your belief. This is why I've harped on what we learn from science vs. religion and why we need to be skeptical. It all fits together to allow us to actually learn about the reality that surrounds us.

When you claimed that we need to take risks in gaining new knowledge, you presented it as a risk to believe in something and then confirm it. That's not risk taking. Risk taking is being willing to discard beliefs that are overturned or no longer make sense. That's the real way to knowledge and that's how science and skepticism work.

Karla said...

I will discard a belief that no longer makes sense. I have no problem doing that. What has been offered to me as alternate explanations for epistemology, morality, miracles, truth, origins, etc. has not created a situation of me needing to discard something as true. If it did, I would tell you and I would adjust my thinking to what is real.

Karla said...

Yes the risk is putting your neck out there a little to test out what is true. I am not talking about a leap in the dark. But if you want to cross a bridge you have to test it out and see if the bridge is trustworthy if you remain skeptical that the bridge will not keep you safe without feeling it out a little with one foot on the ground and the other testing it out you will never cross it. The risk isn't in staying on the one side of the bridge, though I guess that is a risk if something good waits for you on the other side, but it won't aid your arrival. If your one foot on the bridge is finding it a shaky foundation rather than secure then it would seem to pull that foot back and try another path or none at all if the path you are on is already securely founded. I've been testing the bridge to atheism and finding a very shaky foundation and the more I look into it the more firm my current foundation seems to be. I am not saying I have looked to become an atheists, but I have looked to find a firm foundation to point to, because I think most if not all truth claims have some truth in them somewhere. I don't expect you to look at what I am saying as if putting your heart into trying out Christianity, but I do say if you want to see if there is truth you may need to try the bridge out a little bit more. Or not. It's all up to you. My suggestions on how to find truth are just that. You may very well encounter it standing firm on atheism. Maybe God will send you a dream or show you Himself some other way and you don't have to try the illustrative bridge until you have an amazing encounter with Him first.

GCT said...

"I will discard a belief that no longer makes sense."

Then, discard your logically contradictory notions of god.

"I have no problem doing that."

BS.

"What has been offered to me as alternate explanations for epistemology, morality, miracles, truth, origins, etc. has not created a situation of me needing to discard something as true."

That all of your assertions are insupportable should be reason enough for you to re-evaluate. But, you place the onus on everything having to be disproven, instead of where it lies. IOW, you're claiming that I have to prove to you that god isn't responsible for morality, etc. else you're justified in continuing to believe. Yet, replace god with any other belief that you can come up, and you'll see how ridiculous that notion is.

"Yes the risk is putting your neck out there a little to test out what is true."

It is what I said it is, which is distinct and different from what you previously claimed.

"But if you want to cross a bridge you have to test it out and see if the bridge is trustworthy if you remain skeptical that the bridge will not keep you safe without feeling it out a little with one foot on the ground and the other testing it out you will never cross it."

Yet, you'll maintain (I'm sure) that your obstinate refusal to consider that god does not exist is somehow consist with putting your neck out or testing the bridge. It simply is not so.

Besides that, your bridge analogy isn't really working unless you outline how it fits in with my explanation.

"I've been testing the bridge to atheism and finding a very shaky foundation and the more I look into it the more firm my current foundation seems to be."

That's simply not true. Atheism has a solid foundation, thank you very much, especially because it makes no positive claims that require proof. It's completely philosophically sound to note that theists have not met their burden of proof. That you don't understand this concept means that your statement is simply false.

"I don't expect you to look at what I am saying as if putting your heart into trying out Christianity, but I do say if you want to see if there is truth you may need to try the bridge out a little bit more."

OK, one more time, and I'll say it slow so that you get it this time...I...used...to...be...a...Xian. You're acting as if I've never tried it out. I have, and found it seriously lacking. You, however, have not contemplated the non-existence of god, which is weird, because atheism (once again) is the most solidly logical position to hold in the absence of positive evidence for god, and since there's none of that around...

"My suggestions on how to find truth are just that."

Your suggestions are pretty well shown to be useless in that we've learned nothing using your suggestions, but we've learned so much using skepticism and science.

And, that's really the point, which you seem to be avoiding.

Karla said...

GCT, I'm sorry I've been unable thus far to show you the validity of my position. I am not looking for you to disprove God's existence. I'm asking you to show how His non-existence makes better sense of the world. To me, it doesn't. You don't have to prove your negatives, or disprove my positives, but painting a picture of the world that corresponds to reality with your negative assertions has not provided a framework, the way I see it, for the things we have been talking about that makes sense. However, I take full responsibility for failing in this conversation. My inability to give evidence to your satisfaction doesn't mean the truth has escaped me, but my ability to express it is still in a learning process. I hope it will forever be in a learning process and I learn from conversing with you guys. So I thank you all for that too.

GCT said...

"GCT, I'm sorry I've been unable thus far to show you the validity of my position."

Don't be sorry. Hell, no one can show the validity of god belief.

"I'm asking you to show how His non-existence makes better sense of the world. To me, it doesn't."

This is non-sensical. The world is as it is. If you add a god belief, it doesn't explain anything better than not adding it. It doesn't explain anything at all.

"You don't have to prove your negatives, or disprove my positives, but painting a picture of the world that corresponds to reality with your negative assertions has not provided a framework, the way I see it, for the things we have been talking about that makes sense."

Many things wrong here.

1. You are asking me to disprove your positive assertions, else you will continue to believe in them regardless of whether they are supported.
2. I don't need to provide a framework, just show how your assertions fail. You need to provide a framework, something you have failed at spectacularly. Saying, "goddidit" doesn't provide any sort of framework for anything.
3. Showing things like the evolution of morality does provide a framework to explain why the world acts as it does. You simply continue to claim that nothing can make sense without your god without realizing that you've got it backwards.

"However, I take full responsibility for failing in this conversation."

As you should.

"My inability to give evidence to your satisfaction doesn't mean the truth has escaped me, but my ability to express it is still in a learning process."

It doesn't mean you're wrong, but it does mean that you can't provide evidence for your claims and that you are irrational to continue to hold them. It means that the criticisms I've held of your opinions are correct. (Oh, and BTW, it's not "evidence to my satisfaction" that you are lacking, it's evidence, period.)

"I hope it will forever be in a learning process and I learn from conversing with you guys."

You'll never learn anything with your methods.