Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Note To My Readers

Hey everyone, I won't be able to respond to comments for a few days. But something is on my mind and I have a few minutes to share it. This isn't an apologetic about anything, I just wanted to let you guys know, those of you that are atheists/agnostics, that I appreciate you all. (I appreciate the rest of you too, but this is a note to the atheists) Sometimes when people ask me about my writing and I mention by blog I talk about you guys. I tell other Christians that you "guys"(CyberKitten, Mike, BoomSlang, and others who pop over every now and then, as well as GTC) are looking for reality, authenticity, something more than tired old apologetics. If this Jesus, exists, you want hard evidence that you can see, taste, touch, feel, know, be sure of, etc. I tell them that I like that about you all and that you are right to ask for demonstration of this truth claim. I like your commitment to intellectual things as well as your desire for reality -- the really real. You don't want deception, lies, fabrications, false faith, empty promises, and religion. None of that worries me about you guys, it actually tells me that you will accept what can be shown to be true, but not by empty or persuasive words, but by real hard evidence.


I was out in the mall tonight with a guy from California and I saw people feel God for the first time. I saw a guy who didn't want to come near us when we prayed for two girls who were amazed by what they were experiencing come and track us down in the mall. He came up to us and said I don't believe in this, but if you show me something real I'll believe. The pastor I was with asked him to stretch out his hands and promised he wouldn't even touch him. He placed his hands about six inches above the young man's hands. I watched as the guy swayed a little on his feet and said he felt something he couldn't seem to describe. Then he said again that even though he felt something he doesn't really believe in this. He then said I have a headache right now. The guy from CA without touching him spoke to his head to be healed and it was. He said it the pain was gone. He thanked the guy and headed off with his friends and that was it. He wasn't sure what was going on, but he knew something happened.


I started thinking of you guys and I started thinking that if you really did experience for yourself Jesus you would know the reality of what I have been speaking about. However, I don't know how to help with that over cyberspace. Anyway, I'm not crafting a post, but just writing out what I'm thinking at the moment. I just really wanted to tell you that I appreciate you all letting me see into your world and taking the time out of your day to talk to me even though I say things that sound crazy and ridiculous right now. And I just wanted you all to know that I always speak well of you to my Christian friends and I consider you friends and not foe. Take care. Have a great week and I'll resume answering any comments once I get more free time.


I do try to answer comments in a way as if I am answering questions and not as if I am debating or arguing with any of you, I really don't want to even interact with people on an arguing level or debating level and if I ever sound like that I apologize because that's not who I am. It's who I was in the past, years ago, but it's not me now. I'm just a person who is really excited about God and who loves to write and God is who I write about.

168 comments:

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

And the first comment is spam from a uk based escort service. ;-)

Thanks, Karla. I wouldn't be reading here if I didn't feel respected by you, and I do.

boomSLANG said...

Oh-my-oh-my...British prostitutes! Lucky for them I can't throw rocks across the Atlantic!

('sorry, couldn't resist)

For the most part, I, too, feel respected by Karla. But sadly, she harbors beliefs that disrespect human life. The good news is that I can separate people from their beliefs, albeit, this is harder to do when the topic is religion.

Karla said...

I can think of only one time I have ever deleted a comment and I probably shouldn't have that time and I don't moderate them, but I think it would be okay to delete spam. . .

Karla said...

Thanks Mike. I'm glad that communicates.

Boom, thank you too. Actually my beliefs honor human life as full of value and worth. I see each human being as having inestimable value. I can't prove that to you. But maybe in time you'll trust me in that.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: Boom, thank you too.

You're welcome.

Karla: Actually my beliefs honor human life as full of value and worth.

As you might've guessed, I totally disagree, that is, if your "beliefs" are derived from the Christian doctrine(aka, "the Bible"). The belief that human beings come out of the womb wreched, "sinful", worthy of death(Christian code-word for "Hell" or "Damnation"), and in need of "saving", is about the furthest thing from "respect" I can think of.

Karla: I see each human being as having inestimable value.

Which is why it's deplorable that you wouldn't protest/denounce the idea that those human beings who do not/cannot harbor certain beliefs on "faith" need to be tortured with FIRE. 'Sickening.

MS Quixote said...

"and in need of "saving", is about the furthest thing from "respect" I can think of."

Respect has nothing to do with it; it's a proposition about the way things are. It's either true or false, and, if true, it certainly wouldn't be respectful to call things as they are not.

"Which is why it's deplorable that you wouldn't protest/denounce the idea that those human beings who do not/cannot harbor certain beliefs on "faith" need to be tortured with FIRE. 'Sickening."

No one here that I'm aware of believes this.

boomSLANG said...

MS Quixote: Respect has nothing to do with it; it's a proposition about the way things are. It's either true or false, and, if true, it certainly wouldn't be respectful to call things as they are not.

Greetings,

The subject at hand is whether or not Karla's beliefs are "respectful" of humanity, not whether or not those beliefs are "true or false". I am arguing under the *pretense* that said beliefs are "true" for sake of argument, and if I understand correctly, the "beliefs" to which she refers are her "Christian" beliefs. If so, then this is why/how I would cite the Xian doctrine as to how humanity is regarded by its "God", and how Karla regards it, by association.

Here is my previous statement, not partially-quoted, but in its entirety:

"As you might've guessed, I totally disagree, that is, if your 'beliefs' are derived from the Christian doctrine(aka, "the Bible"). The belief that human beings come out of the womb wreched, 'sinful', worthy of death(Christian code-word for 'Hell' or 'Damnation'), and in need of 'saving', is about the furthest thing from 'respect' I can think of."

To my understanding of Xian doctrine, humans are "inherently sinful", thus, born "sinful", and consequently, worthy of "death".

If you don't like my adjectives, then fine, feel free to offer what you think is a better description, but be sure that whatever it is, it makes clear that human beings are born displeasing to their "Creator". I mean, really, I would think that no one would disagree on this one point, especially in light of "Original Sin", and how it "repented" biblegod that he brought his "creation" into existence, and the subsequent decision to simply drown those of its creation who he found to be a disappointment.

Previously, me: "Which is why it's deplorable that you wouldn't protest/denounce the idea that those human beings who do not/cannot harbor certain beliefs on 'faith' need to be tortured with FIRE. 'Sickening."

Responds: No one here that I'm aware of believes this.

So, you're saying that no one here believes that nonbelievers will (rightfully) burn in "Hell"?

Before you answer, let me provide a little background: I am an Atheist who is unable to believe in the Christian philosophy and its "God" on "faith".

Good day.

MS Quixote said...

"it makes clear that human beings are born displeasing to their "Creator"."

Yes, I quite agree, and you could probably substitute stronger language, as far as I'm concerned. This contention, however, does not translate into Christianity being a anti-humanistic philosophy, as is so often claimed. The lack of repsect for humanity on God's part would be for God to call things as though they are not. Respect is letting your friends know when they have bad breath.

"Here is my previous statement, not partially-quoted, but in its entirety: "

Partial quotes just for brevity's sake, Boom. They're right there for anyone to see, and I don't believe I quote mined you. If this is a peeve of yours, I'll quit doing it.

"So, you're saying that no one here believes that nonbelievers will (rightfully) burn in "Hell"?"

I'm saying that no one here believes they will be "tortured with FIRE" for not harboring certain beliefs. Sure, there's a hell in Christianity, but here's what we profess for certain:

Only those who deserve to be there, will be there.

The penalty in hell precisely fits the offense.

Hell is worse for some than others.

We don't need to go much further than that. My real concern with your previous statement comes with regard to your suggestion of how or why people go there. To be clear, in Christian thought, no one goes to hell for not harboring certain beliefs. That's simply not the reason; they go because they are sinners.

"I am an Atheist who is unable to believe in the Christian philosophy and its "God" on "faith"."

No problem, Boom...good day to you as well.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

"Hell is worse for some than others."

Really? How so?

boomSLANG said...

Previously, I said: "...it makes clear that human beings are born displeasing to their 'Creator'."

So, in order for the reader to know *what* "makes clear", they need to scroll up and hunt for it, when you could simply paste the entire comment. 'Not so much a "peeve", 'just a suggestion that might make following along a little easier, that's all.

MS Quixote: Yes, I quite agree, and you could probably substitute stronger language, as far as I'm concerned.

No need to go stronger; I think my original description...i.e.. "wreched", "sinful", and "worthy of death", gets the point across.

MS Quixote: This contention, however, does not translate into Christianity being a anti-humanistic philosophy, as is so often claimed. The lack of repsect for humanity on God's part would be for God to call things as though they are not. Respect is letting your friends know when they have bad breath.

However, in pointing out to a person that his or her breath is offensive, he or she can choose to eliminate the problem, altogether. To my understanding, one can't chew on a piece of magic gum, and/or, brush one's teeth with a magic paste, to totally eliminate one's "sinful" nature. Yes, presumably, this innate, sickly nature that we all supposedly possess, can be pardoned. But pardoning someone with "bad breath" doesn't necessarily eliminate the problem, does it?(rhetorically asked).

Previously, I said: "Here is my previous statement, not partially-quoted, but in its entirety:"

You respond: Partial quotes just for brevity's sake, Boom. They're right there for anyone to see, and I don't believe I quote mined you. If this is a peeve of yours, I'll quit doing it.

I didn't say you "quote mined" me, and as I explained, it's not a "peeve"; it's just a suggestion that might make it easier for those following along.

Previously, I asked: "So, you're saying that no one here believes that nonbelievers will (rightfully) burn in 'Hell'?"

You respond: I'm saying that no one here believes they will be "tortured with FIRE" for not harboring certain beliefs.

Please bear with me.....

If, a) "Hell" consists of "fire", as in, lake of fire, and b) the sentence of "Hell" is unending, as in infinite, and c) people who don't harbor a belief in the Christian biblegod end up in "Hell", then my original conclusion seems reasonably accurate, I think.

Moreover, as I understand it, "punishment" is to teach a lesson. In other words, it's remedial. It seems to me that a "punishment" that doesn't end becomes nothing more than torture. In other words, it seems more like revenge than it does "punishment". But that's just me.

MS Quixote said...

Hey Mike,

Hope things have been well for you. You would agree that some folks are worse than others, right? If the punishment must fit the offense to be just, then it must be this way. The NT teaches it as well, if you want the biblical data...

boomSLANG said...

MS Quixote: Sure, there's a hell in Christianity, but here's what we profess for certain:

Only those who deserve to be there, will be there.


And because "God" says, and therefore, its followers say, that certain people "deserve to be there", that somehow makes it more humane?

MS Quixote: The penalty in hell precisely fits the offense.

What's so "offensive" about my being unable to believe a proposition that I can't believe?(as if that's unreasonable)

Additionally, why is it "offensive" that I was born a certain way, as if I chose to be born, let alone, chose to be born displeasing to someone?

MS Quixote: Hell is worse for some than others.

Oh, please do elaborate.

MS Quixote: We don't need to go much further than that.

True, if you don't mind my finding your arguments unconvincing.

MS Quixote: My real concern with your previous statement comes with regard to your suggestion of how or why people go there[to "Hell"]. To be clear, in Christian thought, no one goes to hell for not harboring certain beliefs. That's simply not the reason; they go because they are sinners.

The way I understand "Christian thought" is that we're *all* "sinners", and those who don't believe that "Jesus is LORD"; those who don't believe that "Jesus" is their "personal savior"; those who don't believe that "Jesus" is the *only* one who can pardon them, "go there"[to "Hell"]. In other words, I see your above rationalization as equivocation.

Previously, me: "I am an Atheist who is unable to believe in the Christian philosophy and its 'God' on 'faith'."

No problem, Boom...good day to you as well.

My goodness. Well, of course it's "no problem" for you, seeing as how *I* am the one who's (allegedly) going to be tortured in the agonizing, unending hellfire.

For people who actually believe this stuff, this is more of a sad reflection of who they are, then it is a statement about any "Divine Righteousness". That I'm finally free from such beliefs it is precisely how I am able to have a good day.

MS said...

"However, in pointing out to a person that his or her breath is offensive, he or she can choose to eliminate the problem, altogether. To my understanding, one can't chew on a piece of magic gum, and/or, brush one's teeth with a magic paste, to totally eliminate one's "sinful" nature. Yes, presumably, this innate, sickly nature that we all supposedly possess, can be pardoned. But pardoning someone with "bad breath" doesn't necessarily eliminate the problem, does it?(rhetorically asked)."

I actually agree with this, Boom. It's well stated, and I wish more Christians had the grasp of this concept that you seem to. Within Christian theology, the pardon is just one element of the overall plan of salvation. Other elements involved address and correct the very problem you've identified. If anything, feel free to criticize "easy believism" all you want with my full blessing.

And, let's not lose sight of the fact that from my view, you've been given an opportunity to eliminate the bad breath :)

"If, a) "Hell" consists of "fire", as in, lake of fire, and b) the sentence of "Hell" is unending, as in infinite, and c) people who don't harbor a belief in the Christian biblegod end up in "Hell", then my original conclusion seems reasonably accurate, I think."

a) The lake of fire reference is found in Revelation, which we can all agree is highly a highly symbolic text. There's reference to fire elsewhere in connection to Gehenna, for instance, but also reference to outer darkness. So, I'm not convinced anyone knows precisely what the nature of hell is.

b) Yes, I agree, but there's no cause to assume it's for finite sins.

c) See "easy believism" above.

I think your reasoning is fine. It's just that you're describing a sub-Christian view; one that I join you in criticizing.

"Moreover, as I understand it, "punishment" is to teach a lesson. In other words, it's remedial. It seems to me that a "punishment" that doesn't end becomes nothing more than torture. In other words, it seems more like revenge than it does "punishment". But that's just me."

I see some value in this thought, Boom, but you're assuming that it's finite sin in hell. Who's to say those who hate God don't continue hating him? Seems perfectly reasonable to me that they would.

Regardless, what I would be willing to affirm unequivocally are my three propositions. Anything contradictory to those three would not be an accurate depiction of hell, given the existence of the Christian God.

MS said...

"Only those who deserve to be there, will be there.

And because "God" says, and therefore, its followers say, that certain people "deserve to be there", that somehow makes it more humane?"

Let's try this again: Only those who deserve to be there, will be there. If they don't deserve it, they won't be there. It's a tautology, Boom...

"MS Quixote: The penalty in hell precisely fits the offense.

What's so "offensive" about my being unable to believe a proposition that I can't believe?(as if that's unreasonable)"

Boom, trust me, I'm fine with you living out your life believing you're not offensive to God. Be my guest...

"Additionally, why is it "offensive" that I was born a certain way, as if I chose to be born, let alone, chose to be born displeasing to someone?"

Christianity teaches you deserve original sin, not that it was given to you arbitrarily. if you're interested, research under "federal view of the fall."

"MS Quixote: We don't need to go much further than that.

True, if you don't mind my finding your arguments unconvincing."

I don't mind a bit, actually. What you have done that is interesting is deny the truth of a tautology.

"The way I understand "Christian thought" is that we're *all* "sinners", and those who don't believe that "Jesus is LORD"; those who don't believe that "Jesus" is their "personal savior"; those who don't believe that "Jesus" is the *only* one who can pardon them, "go there"[to "Hell"]. In other words, I see your above rationalization as equivocation."

If we're are all born sinners and on our way to hell, as you've indicated, then we don't need to reject Christ to go there, do we? Come on, Boom, your claim is refuted by anyone who never heard of Christ who is in hell, or anyone who never did that is in heaven. QED

boomSLANG said...

MS Mixote: Within Christian theology, the pardon is just one element of the overall plan of salvation. Other elements involved address and correct the very problem you've identified. If anything, feel free to criticize 'easy believism' all you want with my full blessing.

"Within Christian theology", you say? Well, if "Christians" could actually agree on what's "within Christian theology", and what isn't, that statement might actually be meaningful to me. Surely, you must know that it's one believer's word against another's when it comes to what's required for "salvation". So, I'm not sure that you speaking your opinion on the matter, albeit, matter-of-factly(like all Christians), carries much weight.

Notwithstanding, I think your "bad breath" analogy falls short for the reasons I mentioned. Even the sequel falls short....

And, let's not lose sight of the fact that from my view, you've been given an opportunity to eliminate the bad breath :)

As long as you don't lose sight of the fact that you can run to your local store and come back and show me a breath mint, a toothbrush, some mouthwash, etc. Conversely, you can't run to your local church and come back and show me an invisible man who wants to "save" me from something. 'Slight difference ; )

a) The lake of fire reference is found in Revelation, which we can all agree is highly a highly symbolic text.

Excuse me, but who's "we"? There is reportedly "symbolic text" all throughout the bible, and again, not even "Christians" agree on which text is "symbolic", "parable", "poetic truth", "metaphor", etc., and which is literal. The thing is, millions of bible-believing Christians believe that "Hell", its fire, the "gnashing of teeth" - the whole enchilada - is a "literal" place, and many seem to delight in telling me I'm going there. How lovely.

b) Yes, I agree, but there's no cause to assume it's for finite sins.

So, an atemporal "sin"? Can you provide an example?

c) See "easy believism" above.

I did, thanks. Here's what I've come up with: One guy's "heretical false teaching" is another guy's "Truth".

I think your reasoning is fine. It's just that you're describing a sub-Christian view; one that I join you in criticizing.

I don't know where you've been, but I'm critcizing the whole concept of "Hell", "Original Sin", and "Salvation". I find these concepts abhorent and unjust for the reasons I've mentioned on various threads here. If you have set out to "join" me in denouncing/criticizing these ideas, I should probably tell you that it looks exactly like you're defending them.

...you're assuming that it's finite sin in hell.

NO---I'm talking about temporal "sin" that presumably lands someone "in hell".

Who's to say those who hate God don't continue hating him?

Who's to say they do? Who's to say that all nonbelievers "hate God"? Personally, I don't believe in "God"("Yahweh"), so it would be nonsensical for me to "hate" something for which I see no credible evidence.

Seems perfectly reasonable to me that they would[continue to "hate God"].

However/whatever I "continue" to feel/believe after the fact is pointless, because I'm *already* there. Remember, "Hell" isn't remedial. I'm there, not to be taught anything, but for revenge.

boomSLANG said...

Previously, MS Quixote: "Only those who deserve to be [in 'Hell'], will be there."

My previous response: And because "God" says, and therefore, its followers say, that certain people "deserve to be there", that somehow makes it more humane?"

Your current response: "Let's try this again: Only those who deserve to be there, will be there. If they don't deserve it, they won't be there. It's a tautology, Boom..."

**So, those who end up "there" deserve to be treated inhumanely. Ah, nothing like a good "tautology" to solve it.

Previously, me: "What's so 'offensive' about my being unable to believe a proposition that I can't believe?"

You respond: Boom, trust me, I'm fine with you living out your life believing you're not offensive to God. Be my guest...

For being "fine" with it, you sure have put a considerable amount of energy into showing the error in my reasoning. Notwithstanding, you didn't answer the question.

Christianity teaches you deserve original sin..

Right, right---which is why I denounce it. The idea that one person(and a possible accomplice) made a *one-time* "wrongful" decision on the behalf of you, me, and the rest of humanity, makes a mockery of "free will".

...if you're interested, research under "federal view of the fall."

I gave benefit of doubt, and researched it. And sadly(but not-too-shockingly)I'm underwhelmed with the proposition that because "Adam" was the "head of the race", that the rest of us are "inherently sinful".

What you have done that is interesting is deny the truth of a tautology.

It's a vacuous "tautology". See here**, above.

If we're are all born sinners and on our way to hell, as you've indicated, then we don't need to reject Christ to go there, do we?

Please notice, I'm not talking about what we do or don't "reject". I'm talking about being born with a nature that we didn't choose, and being held accountible for it. I don't give a rat's hindquarters at this point if there's a "solution".

Come on, Boom, your claim is refuted by anyone who never heard of Christ who is in hell, or anyone who never did that is in heaven. QED

If I have a "claim", I'm not convinced that you know what that "claim" is.

MS said...

""Within Christian theology", you say? Well, if "Christians" could actually agree on what's "within Christian theology", and what isn't, that statement might actually be meaningful to me. Surely, you must know that it's one believer's word against another's when it comes to what's required for "salvation". So, I'm not sure that you speaking your opinion on the matter, albeit, matter-of-factly(like all Christians), carries much weight."

A non-answer. Since there are different varities of atheists, I can dismiss your claims on that basis? Not reasonable, Boom.

"As long as you don't lose sight of the fact that you can run to your local store and come back and show me a breath mint, a toothbrush, some mouthwash, etc. Conversely, you can't run to your local church and come back and show me an invisible man who wants to "save" me from something. 'Slight difference ; )"

Humor aside, here's another non-answer, defaulting to the de facto question of God's existence rather than answering the question at hand. Not reasonable, Boom.

"Excuse me, but who's "we"? There is reportedly "symbolic text" all throughout the bible, and again, not even "Christians" agree on which text is "symbolic", "parable", "poetic truth", "metaphor", etc., and which is literal. The thing is, millions of bible-believing Christians believe that "Hell", its fire, the "gnashing of teeth" - the whole enchilada - is a "literal" place, and many seem to delight in telling me I'm going there. How lovely."

Are you seriously denying that Revelation is symbolic, or that this isn't the overwhelmingly known view? As far as the rest of this comment, it doesn't matter what other Christians believe. If you want to argue with them, go argue with them. I've given you my view; that's the one that has to be dealt with.

"b) Yes, I agree, but there's no cause to assume it's for finite sins.

So, an atemporal "sin"? Can you provide an example?"

Atemporal? Who said that? Not I. I'm not responsible for your view of what Christianity is, Boom.

"I don't know where you've been, but I'm critcizing the whole concept of "Hell", "Original Sin", and "Salvation". I find these concepts abhorent and unjust for the reasons I've mentioned on various threads here. If you have set out to "join" me in denouncing/criticizing these ideas, I should probably tell you that it looks exactly like you're defending them."

No, you're critizing Hell according to Boom. And since I've defined it for you as it relates to this discussion, your now strawmanning.

"...you're assuming that it's finite sin in hell.

NO---I'm talking about temporal "sin" that presumably lands someone "in hell"."

And I'm saying that sin continues in hell, which renders your infinite punishment for finite sins accusation false.

"Seems perfectly reasonable to me that they would[continue to "hate God"].

However/whatever I "continue" to feel/believe after the fact is pointless, because I'm *already* there. Remember, "Hell" isn't remedial. I'm there, not to be taught anything, but for revenge."

Another strawman.

"**So, those who end up "there" deserve to be treated inhumanely. Ah, nothing like a good "tautology" to solve it."

I said the punishment must fit the offense. Thus, there could be no inhumane treatment in my definition, and I would reject any conception of hell that had inhumane treament. You're still arguing with your own definition of hell. Not reasonable, Boom.

"What you have done that is interesting is deny the truth of a tautology.

It's a vacuous "tautology". See here**, above."

Tautologies are self-evident. Your ** is only arguing against your own conception of hell.

MS said...

"Please notice, I'm not talking about what we do or don't "reject". I'm talking about being born with a nature that we didn't choose, and being held accountible for it. I don't give a rat's hindquarters at this point if there's a "solution"."

We're arguing about whether rejecting Christ lands a person in hell. If this is your only response, your point is soundly refuted.

Me: Come on, Boom, your claim is refuted by anyone who never heard of Christ who is in hell, or anyone who never did that is in heaven. QED

You: If I have a "claim", I'm not convinced that you know what that "claim" is.

Here's your claim:

The way I understand "Christian thought" is that we're *all* "sinners", and those who don't believe that "Jesus is LORD"; those who don't believe that "Jesus" is their "personal savior"; those who don't believe that "Jesus" is the *only* one who can pardon them, "go there"[to "Hell"].

and it was soundly refuted:

If we're are all born sinners and on our way to hell, as you've indicated, then we don't need to reject Christ to go there, do we? Come on, Boom, your claim is refuted by anyone who never heard of Christ who is in hell, or anyone who never did that is in heaven. QED

boomSLANG said...

MS Quixote: A non-answer..

I strongly disagree---it's not only not a "non-answer", but a very good argument against your position, and here's why:

Theists insist a "God" exists. Yet, Theists do not/cannot agree on which "God" exists. Furthermore, even for the Theists who agree on *which* "God" exists, they do not/cannot all agree on what their respective deities have "revealed" to them.

Again, this is a good argument, because it clearly shows that all Theists CANNOT be "right".(but noteworthy, they could possibly all be wrong)

Thus, when/if you back your argument with statements such as "within Christian Theology", unless you can offer some objective confirmation that "Christianity" is the One True Theology, and that MS Quixote possesses the One True understanding/interpretation of what is "within Christian Theology", then I'm not being unreasonable when I call whatever you're telling me into question.

You attempt: Since there are different varities of atheists, I can dismiss your claims on that basis?

As far as non-belief in "God"/gods goes, there aren't "different varieties of Atheists". It's not as if some Atheists believe in some gods, but not others. If there's an non-argument, this is surely one.

You, previously: "And, let's not lose sight of the fact that from my view, you've been given an opportunity to eliminate the bad breath"

My previous response: As long as you don't lose sight of the fact that you can run to your local store and come back and show me a breath mint, a toothbrush, some mouthwash, etc. Conversely, you can't run to your local church and come back and show me an invisible man who wants to "save" me from something. 'Slight difference.

You say.."Humor aside, here's another non-answer.."

A non-answer? I'm sorry?...was there a question?

...defaulting to the de facto question of God's existence rather than answering the question at hand. Not reasonable, Boom.

And again, what's the question? I've made my position clear over and over: There aren't ever any circumstances under which human beings should be indefinitely tortured with fire, just like there are ever any circumstances under which children should be dashed against rocks---nevermind, being "blessed" to do it.

In other words, that I've "been given an opportunity to eliminate the bad breath"(or given an opportunity to have my displeasing nature "pardoned") is immaterial to me, as I've gone on record to say that I'd denounced the "God" who implements these insane policies even *if* I was throughly convinced such a monster existed.

To reiterate, I am unable to believe that the cornerstone tenets of the Christian philosophy are the work of any "Infinitely Intelligent", "Perfectly Just", "all-loving" being. I cannot make it any clearer.

boomSLANG said...

MS Quixote: I've given you my view; that's the one that has to be dealt with.

I am dealing with your view. You brought up "Revelation", did you not? Yes, I believe so. To my recollection, you brought it up in an attempt to show that the "lake of fire" is symbolic. So then, what is your point? Am I going burn in "Hell", or not? Notice, I'm asking you; not some other Christian.

Previously, you: "Yes, I agree, but there's no cause to assume it's for finite sins."

Me: "So, an atemporal 'sin? Can you provide an example?"

You: Atemporal? Who said that? Not I.

Is not the alternative to "finite sins"(your term), an "infinite", or timeless "sin"? Again, can you put up?... can you provide an example of the alternative to "finite sins", since you suggested there is such a thing???

I'm not responsible for your view of what Christianity is, Boom.

I never suggested you were, Quix'.

....I'm saying that sin continues in hell, which renders your infinite punishment for finite sins accusation false.

Can you be specific---*which* "sin" is it that "continues in hell"? If you mean, those who "hate God", then yes, you might have a case. On the other hand, for those who are unable to honestly believe in this life time, it's the "finite sin" that earned the infinite sentence in the first place, which renders your conclusion irrelevant in their case.

And again, since "punishment" in "Hell" isn't remedial, it becomes nothing more than torture, and torture is never "Just" and should be denounced.

Me, previously: "However/whatever I 'continue' to feel/believe after the fact is pointless, because I'm *already* there. Remember, 'Hell' isn't remedial. I'm there, not to be taught anything, but for revenge."

You: Another strawman.

Another one? Where's the first one? After you find that, where am I distorting your current position in attempt to make it easier to refute..i.e..errecting a "strawman"?

You said, "people who hate God will continue hating him in Hell"[paraphrased], and thus, the infinite sentence of "Hell" is "Just". Yet, "hating God" would require belief in God, and of course, that would rule out those who do not/cannot believe in "God". Strawman? Where?

I said the punishment must fit the offense. Thus, there could be no inhumane treatment in my definition, and I would reject any conception of hell that had inhumane treament.

So, can you humor us and describe a "treament" that would be "inhumane", you know, one that you would "reject", since burning human beings with fire is not something you'd reject?

You're still arguing with your own definition of hell. Not reasonable, Boom.

I don't believe in "Hell", thus, I don't have my "own definition". Not reasonable, Quix'

Previously, me: "Please notice, I'm not talking about what we do or don't 'reject'. I'm talking about being born with a nature that we didn't choose, and being held accountible for it. I don't give a rat's hindquarters at this point if there's a 'solution'."

We're arguing about whether rejecting Christ lands a person in hell. If this is your only response, your point is soundly refuted.

NO---you might be "arguing about whether rejecting Christ lands a person in hell", but I am not. I stated my objections to the Christian philosophy, itself, above. I am not stating them again. Until/unless some objective evidence for "Christ" is proffered, what I am "rejecting" is the Bronze-aged, man-made policies of the bible-redactors---not "Christ".

MS said...

"then I'm not being unreasonable when I call whatever you're telling me into question."

I agree, but it's also avoiding the point at hand for a different one. It's called fighting withdrawal.

"As far as non-belief in "God"/gods goes, there aren't "different varieties of Atheists". It's not as if some Atheists believe in some gods, but not others. If there's an non-argument, this is surely one."

More goalpost moving. We weren't arguing the existence of God.

"To reiterate, I am unable to believe that the cornerstone tenets of the Christian philosophy are the work of any "Infinitely Intelligent", "Perfectly Just", "all-loving" being. I cannot make it any clearer."

Boom, please, I get it. This is just more non-answering. I might as well answer everything you say with "I am unable to believe naturalism. I can't make it any clearer."

Our respective positions are clear and on the record as far as I'm concerned, Boom. Have a good one...

boomSLANG said...

Previously, me: "then I'm not being unreasonable when I call whatever you're telling me into question."

MS Quixote: "I agree.."

Good. So, in the future when/if you are discussing, say, "salvation" with a non-theist, you'll know that it's immaterial to preface your subjective take on it with, "Within Christian theology".

Nevertheless, at least an ever-so-slight bit of progress with your agreement, above.

You continue: "but it's also avoiding the point at hand for a different one. It's called fighting withdrawal."

If I was "withdrawing", I wouldn't be coming back.

Me, previously: "As far as non-belief in 'God'/gods goes, there aren't 'different varieties of Atheists'. It's not as if some Atheists believe in some gods, but not others. If there's an non-argument, this is surely one."

You: More goalpost moving.

The word "more" suggests I've done whatever it is that you are charging me with, prior to now. Feel free to tell me which "goalposts" I've moved in our past discussions.

As for now, it was *YOU* who brought up "different varieties of Atheists", which I refuted based on the definition of Atheism. My refutation of that didn't/doesn't require me to "move goalposts".

You continue...We weren't arguing the existence of God.

My goodness, how redundant.

Yes, I know we aren't "arguing the existence of God". I've conceded that a few times, and to refresh your memory, I even said early on that it's not about whether or not Karla's (Christian) beliefs are "true or false".

To recap, she said her beliefs are respectful of human life. I adamantly disagreed(and still do) for the reasons I gave in great detail. It was you who jumped into the conversation, and now it's you who is making all sorts of false charges about me "withdrawing", and moving "goalposts", and dodging "the point", yada, yada.

Previously, me: "To reiterate, I am unable to believe that the cornerstone tenets of the Christian philosophy are the work of any 'Infinitely Intelligent', 'Perfectly Just', 'all-loving' being. I cannot make it any clearer."

Boom, please, I get it. This is just more non-answering.

I wasn't attempting to "answer" anything, so no, you obviously do not "get it". That was me simply encapsulating why I am unable to honestly believe that the Christian philosophy is the work of a "God", which, evidentally, you keep confusing with me "rejecting Christ" and "hating God", etc.

I might as well answer everything you say with 'I am unable to believe naturalism. I can't make it any clearer'."

Unfortunately for you, it's not that simple, since we have evidence that "Nature", and its laws, exist. Conversely, we do not have any evidence that Super-Nature is responsible for "Nature". It is the Christian Theist who proposes that there is more than Nature/more than Naturalism. It is the Christian Theist who proposes that their bible and the policies therein are of "Divine" inspiration.

In other words, the onus is on the Christian to substantiate their claims, so the "tit-for-tat" argument won't work here.

Our respective positions are clear and on the record as far as I'm concerned, Boom. Have a good one...

I'm not convinced my "position" is clear to you, nor am I convinced that you want to understand it. But, whatever.....nothin' new.

MS said...

Boom, one last request: I'm curious as to what, in your estimation, are the three most famous extra-biblical Christian descriptions of hell.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Most Christian descriptions of hell are extra-Biblical due to the lack of Biblical details on the subject.

Karla said...

Hi. I'm reading comments, but I haven't had any free time yet to jump in the conversation. I hope to find some time in the next couple days.

MS said...

"Most Christian descriptions of hell are extra-Biblical due to the lack of Biblical details on the subject."

Thanks, Mike. I agree. In your estimation, what are the three most famous?

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

I can't think of any full blown descriptions off hand, save Dante's.

The most famous is fire and brimstone, to which the Catholics added the concepts of Limbo and Purgatory as nice and not so nice waiting rooms.

Then there's the eternal separation view, little to no fire and brimstone, which I see quite a bit of, as Christians don't like the thought of their nice, non-believer family, friends, and neighbors suffering for eternity.

Then there are the annihilationists and I've actually run into quite a few of them.

boomSLANG said...

Monolith Mike: Then there are the annihilationists and I've actually run into quite a few of them.

@ Mike,

Without researching it, it appears that this group believe that the 'self'("soul") of the "unsaved" is completely annihilated at death. Is that a fair assessment? If so, at least that would be a little more believable than the whole lake of fire, gnashing of teeth, brimstone, rigamarole.

In any event, by the looks of things, it appears that many Christians have simply taken the biblical passages concerning "Hell", not at their face-value, but as they wish/want them to mean. 'Shocker, huh?

But wait, there is hope! Here is one Christian lady who actually takes the passages at their face-value. Evidentally, she has it all figured out for our reading convenience.

(Notice the little flame icons for dramatic effect. lol!)

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

We have a business near here that has "Hell is real" painted on one side and something else about hell on the other side. He'd love that site. Personally I think sites that have audio you can't turn off are hell. ;-)

To me, Biblically, hell is a New Testament invention and you can see how other cultures have influenced the view of it since then and maybe even before. I'd have to agree with the Christians who don't believe in hell as presented by their more conservative brethren.

Karla said...

BoomSlang “Which is why it's deplorable that you wouldn't protest/denounce the idea that those human beings who do not/cannot harbor certain beliefs on "faith" need to be tortured with FIRE. 'Sickening.”

Yet every time I respond I tell you as has Quixote that that isn’t what we believe. It’s not about our intellect. It’s about our being in Him where there is LIFE. The only alternative is not being in Him where there is not Life, but death and evil for evil is the absence of God, it is that which God is not. If God is good, than being apart from that goodness is not good.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: Yet every time I respond I tell you as has Quixote that that isn’t what we believe.

You told me on another thread that you find the prospect of "Hell" just as unsettling as I do. I'm not going to dig around for the exact comment, thus, that is a paraphrasing of your position.

On the other hand, your Xian constituent, "Quixote", based on my exchanges with him, is seemingly fine with the prospect of "Hell". People in "Hell" have it comin', based on a "tautology". What I found really intetesting, though, is that he said that he "would reject any conception of hell that had inhumane treament." Of course, that raised an eyebrow with me, so I asked him to provide a hypothetical "conception of hell" that he would reject, since human beings getting perpetually burned with fire is not something he'd reject/denounce. Would you like to take part in this too?

It’s not about our intellect.

What's "not about our intellect"?

It’s about our being in Him where there is LIFE.

*Your first day back, and look, 'already dishing out the irrelevant godspeak---language that is utterly meaningless to a nonbeliever. I know you don't like talking about "Hell", but unfortunately, that is the very topic at hand, and thus, talking about "remedies" and avoiding "Hell" is irrelevant for the moment.

The only alternative is not being in Him where there is not Life, but death and evil for evil is the absence of God, it is that which God is not.

See here*, above.

If God is good, than being apart from that goodness is not good.

Oh, my goodness!! So, "Hell" is "not good"?!?! We're really making progess now, aren't we?!?!

It's simply astounding how you can talk around/circumvent the topic. But I'll play along. If "being apart from good"(i.e.."Hell") is NOT GOOD, then fine, let those who "reject God"/"hate God" go to hell, if that's the one and only option that an "Infinite mind" can come up with for seeking "Justice".

However, for those who are UNABLE TO BELIEVE in "God"(biblegod) ON FAITH, or who have never even heard of "Jesus", being perpetually burned alive in "Hell" is UNJUST, and should be denounced, if you are a compassionate human being. Remember, you said yourself that biblegod doesn't want phonies; "He" wants genuine believers, right? Right, and I will dig for those comments if necessary.

And presumably, the biblegod in question has "all the power in the Universe"(your description), thus, it can certainly give EVERY SINGLE HUMAN BEING the evidence they'd require for honest belief. And please notice, for those who want to "hate God"/"reject God" they can still do so, as their "free will" is fully intact in a situation where they *know* "God" exists.

Karla said...

Boom had said “Which is why it's deplorable that you wouldn't protest/denounce the idea that those human beings who do not/cannot harbor certain beliefs on "faith" need to be tortured with FIRE. 'Sickening.”

Karla: Yet every time I respond I tell you as has Quixote that that isn’t what we believe.

BoomSlang “You told me on another thread that you find the prospect of "Hell" just as unsettling as I do. I'm not going to dig around for the exact comment, thus, that is a paraphrasing of your position.”

I did tell you that and I still agree with that statement. That does not contradict the statement that I do not believe that Hell is the result of “not harboring certain beliefs.”



BoomSlang “On the other hand, your Xian constituent, "Quixote", based on my exchanges with him, is seemingly fine with the prospect of "Hell". People in "Hell" have it comin', based on a "tautology".”

Yes. We both, Quixote and I, accept the reality of hell. It doesn’t mean we think it is a good place, but that it is a just consequence of evil. God doesn’t want anyone to go there. He’s not hoping we’ll end up there, He’s not relishing in allowing us to go there. In fact, He has done everything good that can be done to prevent that end.



BoomSlang “What I found really intetesting, though, is that he said that he "would reject any conception of hell that had inhumane treament." Of course, that raised an eyebrow with me, so I asked him to provide a hypothetical "conception of hell" that he would reject, since human beings getting perpetually burned with fire is not something he'd reject/denounce. Would you like to take part in this too?”

You’ll have to ask him that. I assume He means unjust treatment. I do not know if “fire” is allegorical or literal.

BoomSlang “What's "not about our intellect"?”

The way of life.

I said “It’s about our being in Him where there is LIFE.”

Boom “*Your first day back, and look, 'already dishing out the irrelevant godspeak---language that is utterly meaningless to a nonbeliever.”

I did not realize this didn’t communicate. I will try and think of another way to explain this.
Boom “I know you don't like talking about "Hell", but unfortunately, that is the very topic at hand, and thus, talking about "remedies" and avoiding "Hell" is irrelevant for the moment.”

The “Remedy” does need to be discussed in this conversation because it wouldn’t be a full look at the topic without discussion of that as well.

Karla said...

BoomSlang “Oh, my goodness!! So, "Hell" is "not good"?!?! We're really making progess now, aren't we?!?!”

It is not good for us to go to hell. That’s the point. We aren’t supposed to go there. We aren’t designed for that. God isn’t sending us there, we are sending us there. It is just that sin and death lead to more of the same on into eternity until we are fully immersed in our own evil and torment. But God is the one providing us the way out of this end. If He delighted in us suffering for our sins, He wouldn’t have sent Jesus to take them away.

BoomSlang “It's simply astounding how you can talk around/circumvent the topic. But I'll play along. If "being apart from good"(i.e.."Hell") is NOT GOOD, then fine, let those who "reject God"/"hate God" go to hell, if that's the one and only option that an "Infinite mind" can come up with for seeking "Justice".”

BoomSlang “However, for those who are UNABLE TO BELIEVE in "God"(biblegod) ON FAITH, or who have never even heard of "Jesus", being perpetually burned alive in "Hell" is UNJUST, and should be denounced, if you are a compassionate human being.”

I don’t agree with your premise that people are perpetually “unable to believe.” Every person will be judged according to their knowledge of Him and what they did with that knowledge. Every person will have an opportunity to choose Him. I don’t doubt that you at this time feel unable to find Him, but that does not mean that you will remain thus.

Boom “Remember, you said yourself that biblegod doesn't want phonies; "He" wants genuine believers, right? Right, and I will dig for those comments if necessary.”

When a person accepts Jesus, He comes and dwells with him. When this happens you know that Christ is in you and that you are in Him. It isn’t about “belief” in your mind. It’s about your being knowing His Being. Sometimes mental “belief” happens first and sometimes it happens second.

BoomSlang “And presumably, the biblegod in question has "all the power in the Universe"(your description), thus, it can certainly give EVERY SINGLE HUMAN BEING the evidence they'd require for honest belief.”

Yes and He does this.

BoomSlang “ And please notice, for those who want to "hate God"/"reject God" they can still do so, as their "free will" is fully intact in a situation where they *know* "God" exists.”

True.

cl said...

Nice pouring out of the heart, Karla. I concur, and think you're on the right footing with a real approach.

boomSLANG,

Scientists insist that evolution by natural selection can account for the full range of biological life. Yet, scientists do not/cannot agree on which "model" is accurate. Furthermore, even for the scientists who agree on *which* "model" is accurate, they do not/cannot all agree on how that model can incorporate the full range of extant data.

Yet, you don't throw evolution out with the bathwater, right?

Same thing applies here.

boomSLANG said...

cl: Scientists insist that evolution by natural selection can account for the full range of biological life. Yet, scientists do not/cannot agree on which "model" is accurate.

Point taken.

cl: Yet, you don't throw evolution out with the bathwater, right?

That's right, cl, I don't throw "evolution out with the bathwater". I don't throw it out, because, a) while scientists might disagree on "models", they agree on the key mechanisms within the Theory, itself, and b) The Theory, itself, is testible/falsifiable. For instance, if, say, a French poodle fossil could be found from the Permian period, that would instantly falsify the Theory of Evolution. That's just one example.

Now. What I would like to know is---where are the scientific tests being conducted that test/falsify the hypothesis of "creation"? How would you even begin to test the hypothesis that an invisible conscious being "thought" all biological life into existence?

To my knowledge, no one can run such tests, which might explain why Creationists/Theists spend a good percentage of their time trying to bash holes in Evolutionary Theory, as if "disproving" it would make "creation" true by default. Which, of course, is a non-sequitur.

Best,

boomSLANG said...

Karla: I did tell you that and I still agree with that statement. That does not contradict the statement that I do not believe that Hell is the result of “not harboring certain beliefs.”

Notice, I pointed out that you find the idea of "Hell" unsettling, whereas, the person whom you suggested was in agreement with you is seemingly "okay" with "Hell". In other words, the two of you don't share the same sentiments on the idea.

As for "not harboring certain beliefs"---if I don't believe in the biblegod you worship, do I, or do I not, go to "Hell"? If "yes", then in some instances, yes, human beings go to "Hell" for not harboring certain beliefs. Simple, deductive reasoning.

Yes. We both, Quixote and I, accept the reality of hell.

I cannot believe that you can really be this obtuse. I'm sorry for the ad hominem, and I want to make it clear that it's not part of my argument, but good grief..YOU. DO. NOT. LISTEN. I never said ANYTHING about either one of you NOT accepting the "reality of Hell". You both believe in and "accept" it--I "GET" that. I'm saying, one Christian finds the idea UNSETTLING, and the other is seemingly perfectly fine with it...i.e...it doesn't bother him in the least(that I know of)

God doesn’t want anyone to go there.

Then "GOD" should do WHATEVER it takes to see to it that people DO NOT go there. This doesn't require creating "robots"; it would only require GIVING THOSE WHO ARE UNABLE TO BELIEVE ON FAITH THE NECESSARY EVIDENCE TO BELIEVE!! Why is that such a hard concept to grasp for you?

He’s not hoping we’ll end up there, He’s not relishing in allowing us to go there.

Irrelevant conclusion.

In fact, He has done everything good that can be done to prevent that end.

No, I'm sorry, that is NOT a fact, assuming said biblegod exists.

Karla, for "God" to sit back and being "patient"(your claim) is to clearly withholding something. To withhold something that might enable nonbelievers to believe, does not fall into a set of having "done everything". Please, stop making excuses for your "God", get honest, and concede that it's not the fault of the "creation" in EVERY instance.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: You’ll have to ask him that. I assume He means unjust treatment.

Is not "inhumane" treatment "unjust" treatment? Notice, I'm asking you; not him.

I do not know if “fire” is allegorical or literal.

Nice dodge. Okay, if it were "literal", you'd find it unsettling that your fellow human beings, possibly even friends, would go there. Whereas, some of your constituents in Christ have no qualms about it.

Previously, me: “What's 'not about our intellect'?”

You: The way of life.

Obtaining the supposed "way of life" is *after* the fact. From where I am now, my intellect tells me that I do not/cannot/should not believe something that I don't find believable.

I did not realize this didn’t communicate.

So, you didn't realize that you're an already-convinced, Christian apologist? You didn't realize that you're not in church, and thus, the language you use there doesn't work when conversing with Atheists? If you haven't realized this yet, why should anyone believe you ever will?

Previously, me: “I know you don't like talking about 'Hell', but unfortunately, that is the very topic at hand, and thus, talking about 'remedies' and avoiding 'Hell' is irrelevant for the moment.”

The “Remedy” does need to be discussed in this conversation because it wouldn’t be a full look at the topic without discussion of that as well.

The "remedy" doesn't eliminate "Hell". If your beliefs are true, millions will inevitably go to "Hell". The focus is on "Hell" for that reason. If you insist on circumventing the subject, then fine, it's your blog, so I suppose each and every time you say there's a "remedy", I'll say that the "remedy" is pointless to those who are unable to believe, and that your "God" needs to take some responsibility for deciding to be "patient" while AWOL.

Karla said...

BoomSlang “Then "GOD" should do WHATEVER it takes to see to it that people DO NOT go there. This doesn't require creating "robots"; it would only require GIVING THOSE WHO ARE UNABLE TO BELIEVE ON FAITH THE NECESSARY EVIDENCE TO BELIEVE!! Why is that such a hard concept to grasp for you?”

He does everything short of taking away our freedom. The faith we have does come from Him. It is not our own. Even that is given from Him and He does give evidence and He does reveal Himself. He has done all these things for me. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you in a way that you can know He is real and that He really does love you. Ask Him. My responses are not intended as a substitute of actually encountering His reality. I don’t intend to persuade you into belief. That wouldn’t be helpful to you because it isn’t about belief alone, it’s about Him and until you know Him that might not make much sense and it is something you don’t like me repeating. So I ask you to ask Him to show Himself to you.

boomSLANG said...

Previously, me: “Oh, my goodness!! So, 'Hell' is 'not good'?!?! We're really making progess now, aren't we?!?!”

Karla responds: It is not good for us to go to hell. That’s the point. We aren’t supposed to go there. We aren’t designed for that.

We were presumably designed "in the image" of your biblegod, yet, evidentally, that included a propensity to "sin". That's odd, isn't it?

God isn’t sending us there, we are sending us there.

(I'm not wasting another second on this apologetic. I must've refuted it 2 dozen times, now.)

It is just that sin and death lead to more of the same on into eternity until we are fully immersed in our own evil and torment. But God is the one providing us the way out of this end. If He delighted in us suffering for our sins, He wouldn’t have sent Jesus to take them away.

Yes, heaping on the apologetics, but circumventing the obvious and blantant flaws in the philosophies behind the apologetics.

- No one here has ever suggested that your biblegod is "delighted"; only that it has the wherewithal to prevent what it supposedly despises, but does nothing.

- That "God" is "providing a way out" doesn't resolve the immense injustice of holding people responsible for a "trespass" that they had NO SAY IN, whatsoever.
When will it sink in?

I don’t agree with your premise that people are perpetually “unable to believe.”

Well, well...what do we have here? Again, I DID. NOT. SAY. THAT, nor even suggest it. I fully concede that I can change my mind at *any* time, once I have some credible evidence to examine. 'Get it?

Every person will be judged according to their knowledge of Him and what they did with that knowledge.

You constantly minister that it's not about "knowledge" and "intellect", but about an actual "relationship" with an actual "person". If "God" is too busy being patient to reveal himself so that I can have this "relationship", and this lands me in "Hell", let me guess...that's my fault, right?

Every person will have an opportunity to choose Him.

'Can't "choose" what I don't believe exists.

I don’t doubt that you at this time feel unable to find Him, but that does not mean that you will remain thus.

But Karla, why must >>> I <<< find "Him"!?!?!? He is "timeless", "omnipotent", and even supposedly "omnipresent", so why the adult version of "hide-n-seek" on a matter so important? Olly Oxen Free, Yahweh!

When a person accepts Jesus, He comes and dwells with him.

Cart before the horse, eh? You are more or less saying that I need to believe "Jesus" is real *before* I see that "Jesus" is real. "Faith" might very well work like that, but logic and reason do NOT work like that.

When this happens you know that Christ is in you and that you are in Him.

Sounds kinky!

(sorry..couldn't resist. I've given sound refutations of these "arguments", but you talk as if you simply block them out. So I thought I'd try something different)

Me, previously: “And presumably, the biblegod in question has 'all the power in the Universe'(your description), thus, it can certainly give EVERY SINGLE HUMAN BEING the evidence they'd require for honest belief.”

You attempt: Yes and He does this.

I knew it would come down to this sooner or later..i.e..blaming the person, not the deity.

Unfortunately for you, you've gone *on record* to state that "God" withholds making his presence known to some people, because he is, quote..."Being patient".

So, you've just contradicted yourself, and proven that dishonesty is apparantly okay as long as it keeps your "faith" intact.

Karla said...

BoomSlang “Is not "inhumane" treatment "unjust" treatment? Notice, I'm asking you; not him.”

I don’t know what he was talking about to elaborate for you, I haven’t followed all of Quixote’s comments.

I do not know if “fire” is allegorical or literal.

BoomSlang “Nice dodge. Okay, if it were "literal", you'd find it unsettling that your fellow human beings, possibly even friends, would go there. Whereas, some of your constituents in Christ have no qualms about it.”

Whether it is literally fire or not it is not somewhere I or God wants anyone to go. That’s just it, it is not created or meant for humans. It is not God’s plan for humanity. It is not God’s desire for humans. It is not a good place to go. It is a tragedy for anyone to be lost there that is why God made a way so that we don’t go there. I don’t know how to be any plainer.


BoomSlang “Obtaining the supposed "way of life" is *after* the fact. From where I am now, my intellect tells me that I do not/cannot/should not believe something that I don't find believable.”

I agree that you shouldn’t jump into something you don’t find believable.


BoomSlang “So, you didn't realize that you're an already-convinced, Christian apologist? You didn't realize that you're not in church, and thus, the language you use there doesn't work when conversing with Atheists? If you haven't realized this yet, why should anyone believe you ever will?”

I’m learning how to communicate to people who do not share my worldview. Talking to you helps me do that. I do realize I still use language that doesn’t communicate, and I am trying to fix that, but it takes time to learn that.



BoomSlang “The "remedy" doesn't eliminate "Hell". If your beliefs are true, millions will inevitably go to "Hell". The focus is on "Hell" for that reason. If you insist on circumventing the subject, then fine, it's your blog, so I suppose each and every time you say there's a "remedy", I'll say that the "remedy" is pointless to those who are unable to believe, and that your "God" needs to take some responsibility for deciding to be "patient" while AWOL.”

Boom, look I’m really sorry that you haven’t seen His reality and His love yet. That is not your fault and I do not believe that you will go through life without ever having encountered Him. I care about you and I pray for each of you who read my blog to have a real encounter with Him. I don’t want to argue with anyone. I’m just trying to put myself out there to be available for those who have questions about Jesus and what to know more.

I probably won’t be on here much in the next few days with the holiday. I wish you a great Thanksgiving!

Karla said...

BoomSlang “Unfortunately for you, you've gone *on record* to state that "God" withholds making his presence known to some people, because he is, quote..."Being patient".”

No. I said He is not purging all evil from the world because He is being patient. I said He hides in plain sight so that we can find Him because something good happens in us in the journey of finding Him that helps us. He hides for us, not from us.

Boom “So, you've just contradicted yourself, and proven that dishonesty is apparantly okay as long as it keeps your "faith" intact.”

Like I said, I’m not trying to argue with you. If this conversation is irritating you, you don’t have to continue it. I don’t want to frustrate you. And I am not looking to “win” an argument.

Karla said...

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. I'll be back on Monday to my blog. Until then, take a break and enjoy the holidays.

boomSLANG said...

Me, previously: “Then 'GOD' should do WHATEVER it takes to see to it that people DO NOT go there. This doesn't require creating 'robots'; it would only require GIVING THOSE WHO ARE UNABLE TO BELIEVE ON FAITH THE NECESSARY EVIDENCE TO BELIEVE!! Why is that such a hard concept to grasp for you?”

Karla responds: He does everything short of taking away our freedom.

And for what seems like the millionth time, for "God" to give me the empirical, tangible evidence that he supposedly gave to people just a few thousand years ago, it WOULD. NOT. TAKE. AWAY. MY. "freedom"!!!! Look, if you don't understand what I'm saying, then ask for clarification---but please.....please stop repeating the same (fallacious) arguments!

Karla: The faith we have does come from Him. It is not our own.

Ah, thank you for this disclosure.

So, if "God" doesn't give, to me, the required "faith" I need to believe, then I cannot be culpable. Thank you!

Even that is given from Him and He does give evidence and He does reveal Himself.

But *NOT* to everyone, as you've *also* conceded.

He has done all these things for me.

I'm glad, and I fully believe that you believe that "He" did all those wonderful things for you.

Ask Him to reveal Himself to you in a way that you can know He is real and that He really does love you. Ask Him.

I cannot figure out for the life of me why Christians assume that nonbelievers have never thought to do what you've just recommended. Can you tell me why you assume this?

My responses are not intended as a substitute of actually encountering His reality.

Like that really need to be clarified?

I don’t intend to persuade you into belief. That wouldn’t be helpful to you because it isn’t about belief alone, it’s about Him and until you know Him that might not make much sense and it is something you don’t like me repeating.

And as I said before, you are essentially saying that for it to be revealed to me as "true", I have to first have "faith" that it's "true", and furthermore, you've recently said that the required "faith" comes "from Him".

So, you can't really say things like, "the ball is in your court", like you've have in the past. That would be contradictory to what you've indicated today.

So I ask you to ask Him to show Himself to you.

And again, I want to know why you *assume* that I haven't already done this.

boomSLANG said...

I said He hides in plain sight[emphasis added]

Karla, tsk, tsk....you should know better!

Happy T-day to all---may Nature's gift of Reason light our way!!

Best,

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it and have a good weekend to the rest! :-)

Karla said...

Boomslang, I respond to your last post real quick.

No revealing Himself does not overtake your free will. And He does reveal Himself even today.

And regarding the faith thing, He gives each of us the faith to follow Him, including unbelievers. You might not feel like it right now, but it is there for you too.

And I wasn't assuming you've never asked God to reveal Himself, but just suggesting it just the same.

Happy Thanksgiving.

cl said...

boomSLANG,

When you said "point taken," that was a direct concession to the fact that reasonable individuals can draw varying inferences from the same data, and note that you do not reject the proposition of evolution despite the fact that varying and often conflicting inferences are drawn from the same data (cf. recent upheavels in avian lineage). Similarly, note that this clearly shows that all evolutionary scientists CANNOT be "right" but equally noteworthy is that they still could possibly all be wrong, as your "French poodle in the Permian" example persuasively illustrates.

Similarly, I don't throw God out with the bathwater, because, a) while theists might disagree on which "God" is true, they agree on the key mechanisms within theism itself, mainly the existence of God(s) and the supernatural; and b) under the right conditions the supernatural can lend itself quite well to testability. For instance, if, say, instances of consciousness existing outside of biological organisms could be detected, that would instantly falsify the reductionist-materialist notion that consciousness is the mere sum of neurons firing in the brain. That's just one example.

"Now. What I would like to know is---where are the scientific tests being conducted that test/falsify the hypothesis of "creation"? How would you even begin to test the hypothesis that an invisible conscious being "thought" all biological life into existence?"

Those are great questions. Generally, an inference is scientific when reasoned from empirical evidence, but such does not make said inference a science. Also, the correctness of said inference is another matter entirely, and does not affect whether the inference is scientific or not. IOW, an inference can be both scientific (i.e. reasoned from empirical evidence), and wrong (cf. “cathode rays.” Plucker, Hertz, et al. were making legitimate scientific inferences from legitimate empirical evidence, it’s just that those inferences turned out to be wrong. That’s how science works, and as a result of our persistence we discovered the electron).

As for your questions, what I’m mainly interested in is whether or not it’s possible to develop rigorous and clearly delineated criteria to establish conscious intent behind any given phenomenon. For example, if a future race came here after a nuclear war decimated everything on Earth except for a single skyscraper, what would justify their assertion that there was conscious intent behind it, without any history books or floor plans to clue them in? We could then apply those criteria to extant data in various fields, and make comparisons in the context of the larger question of macro-design.

Do you think that might be a good place to start?

"..Creationists/Theists spend a good percentage of their time trying to bash holes in Evolutionary Theory, as if "disproving" it would make "creation" true by default. Which, of course, is a non-sequitur."

I agree, and would add that I don't spend much time trying to bash holes in evolutionary theory. That doesn't mean I swallow every claim of evolutionary theory whole, either.

Do you equally conclude that evolutionary theory does not disprove creationism or the idea of intelligence behind the universe? Alfred Wallace – who pioneered the theory of evolution by natural selection along with Charles Darwin – was not a creationist, nor technically even a theist if memory serves me right, but he did see reason to conclude that intelligence was behind the order of the universe.

The bottom line regarding ID and testability is this: if agreeing upon rigorous and clearly delineated criteria to establish conscious intent behind a given phenomena is a scientifically-feasible pursuit, then the ID question can theoretically be answered in a genuinely scientific manner.

CyberKitten said...

CL - So we have a way of falsifying Evolution and material consciousness......

How do we falsify Creationism? What single fact or experiment could be used to reject the invisible hand of God in the creation or manipulation of life on Earth?

boomSLANG said...

CyberKitten asked: How do we falsify Creationism? What single fact or experiment could be used to reject the invisible hand of God in the creation or manipulation of life on Earth?

Hi again,

That's a good rewording of what I asked previously, so we'll let that question stand, and hopefully any "ID" proponent(i.e.."Creationist" proponent) can show us where/how such tests are being conducted.

cl: When you said "point taken," that was a direct concession to the fact that reasonable individuals can draw varying inferences from the same data, and note that you do not reject the proposition of evolution despite the fact that varying and often conflicting inferences are drawn from the same data (cf. recent upheavels in avian lineage).

Again, my concession to what you spelled out, above, is not a concession that evolutionary scientists disagree on the key mechanisms behind the Theory, itself. If a scientist rejected said mechanisms, they wouldn't be a proponent of the Theory to begin with.

cl: Similarly, note that this clearly shows that all evolutionary scientists CANNOT be "right" but equally noteworthy is that they still could possibly all be wrong, as your "French poodle in the Permian" example persuasively illustrates.

And when/if a French poodle fossil is found from said time Period, "all" proponents, whether they agree on "models", or not, would "be wrong" in their current understanding. In the mean time, I will continue to believe that Evolution by Natural Selection, while not Absolute(because science is provisional; it doesn't deal in absolutes), is the *best* explanation for the diversity of life we see on earth.

cl: For example, if a future race came here after a nuclear war decimated everything on Earth except for a single skyscraper, what would justify their assertion that there was conscious intent behind it, without any history books or floor plans to clue them in?

If a "future race came here", we could logically deduce that they had developed the technological means for space travel. Thus, if they saw a "single skyscraper" standing, then similarly, these visitors can logically/similarly deduced that such was intelligently "designed".

Moreover, say the situation were turned around, and we went to Mars and found a "single skyscraper"(or similar building). We could also logically make the same type of deduction, since we know that "skyscrapers" are "designed", and don't occur in nature.

Best,

boomSLANG said...

Karla: No revealing Himself does not overtake your free will.

This is wonderful news, and I'm glad that this is finally cleared up once and for all.

Let the record show that there is no reason, whatsoever, that "God" needs to be hidden/needs to remain hidden, including, "hiding in plain sight"(whatever the heck that means). "God" can just *BE* in plain sight, and this doesn't tamper with anyone's "free will".

Karla: And He does reveal Himself even today.

Not to everyone, equally. For you to claim that god has "revealed Himself" to everyone equally and "sufficiently"(your word), and that those who don't believe are lying, both to you, and to themselves, you'd have to have a link to every human being's personal experiences, and hopefully, you wouldn't attempt to claim to have such a link.

Karla: And regarding the faith thing, He gives each of us the faith to follow Him, including unbelievers.

*I have a question: Is there an amount of "faith" that someone, anyone, could give you that would enable you to find the proposition that a fat man in a red suit drives around the sky in a reindeer-powered sleigh, a believable proposition???

Until/unless I hear otherwise, I'm going to assume, "no". In which case, I'm hoping this illustrates, sufficienty, how no amount of "faith" will help me believe a proposition that I don not find believable in the first place.

Karla: You might not feel like it right now, but it is there for you too.

'Need *evidence*; not "faith", see here*, above.

And I wasn't assuming you've never asked God to reveal Himself, but just suggesting it just the same.

Okay, but you are suggesting the obvious, which seems to imply that no one's ever thought of that. But the greater question to me is, why does "God" wait to be asked or prompted to "reveal Himself", when it's been established that to do so of his own initiative doesn't harm our "free will" to choose/reject "Him"??????

Happy Thanksgiving.

Ditto.

cl said...

Hi CK.

No offense, but no discussion we ever previously engaged in has borne any fruit, so I'll pass on your question. I've spent a lot of time formulating comments to you in the past, only to have them responded to completely out of context, or scoffed at.

boomSLANG,

You seem to be under the impression that I'm trying to convince you of "ID." I'm not. I simply believe that God created this world. My comments to you regarding ID were in the context of what it would take to make ID science, and if indeed such is possible.

"Again, my concession to what you spelled out, above, is not a concession that evolutionary scientists disagree on the key mechanisms behind the Theory, itself."

I didn't say it was. I said it was, "a direct concession to the fact that reasonable individuals can draw varying inferences from the same data." You don't throw out evolution despite that fact; I don't throw out God despite your analogous objections with believers. If a theist rejected God and the supernatural as mechanisms, they wouldn't be a theist to begin with. Right?

CyberKitten said...

cl said: No offense, but no discussion we ever previously engaged in has borne any fruit, so I'll pass on your question.

Well, as no discussion I've had with Theists has ever borne any fruit.... no offense taken. But one could be forgiven thinking that you have simply dodged a difficult question..... Ho, hum.....

cl said...

"Well, as no discussion I've had with Theists has ever borne any fruit.... no offense taken."

That attitude is precisely why I'm not dodging a difficult question; I'm dodging you.

CyberKitten said...

cl said: That attitude is precisely why I'm not dodging a difficult question; I'm dodging you.

[rotflmao]

cl said...

"[rotflmao]"

I note that you confirmed, "..or scoffed at."

cl said...

This thread's a doozy! I had the weird urge to go through from top to bottom and try to actually make sense out of it. We'll see how far it goes.

"..my beliefs honor human life as full of value and worth. (Karla)

..I totally disagree, that is, if your "beliefs" are derived from the Christian doctrine(aka, "the Bible")... (boomSLANG)
"

boomSLANG then goes on to phrase Karla's beliefs in his words. My immediate concern is that boomSLANG's comment indicates willingness to judge Karla's statement by his perception of what Karla believes, as opposed to granting that Karla might actually be more familiar with the exact nature of her beliefs than he. Note that atheists typically react unfavorably to believers who accuse them of, say, eating babies or lacking moral values.

My caution to Karla here would be against overestimating the value of man in God's eyes, if in fact she is. The way I understand the Bible - love us as He may - we are all just specks of dust to God. Scientists don't think much about the microorganisms they destroy in their research. Modern Christianity tends to underemphasize the harshness of the truth, which seems to me at every turn of the page to be that God doesn't need any of us.

"The subject at hand is whether or not Karla's beliefs are "respectful" of humanity, (boomSLANG, to MS)"

That's correct: the subject at hand is whether or not Karla's beliefs are respectful of humanity. That's why your characterization of Karla's beliefs is of no import to the subject at hand. I again note that atheists typically react unfavorably to believers who accuse them of, say, eating babies or lacking moral values.

I saw relevance in MS's comment November 20, 2009 9:31 PM - which you implied was beyond the scope of the subject matter - in that the purported "trueness" of Karla's beliefs (the need of being saved, in particular) effectively rebuts your claim that the need of being saved is disrespectful of human life. If the need of being saved is true, this becomes a "fact of human life" which can be no more disrespectful of human life than the fact that each of us currently have a beating heart. To me, this is at odds with your statement that you are arguing "under the *pretense* that said beliefs are true."

If you were arguing under the pretense that Karla's beliefs were true, you'd accept her *actual position* that humanity as a whole has fallen into sin, which by definition is disrespectful of God and destroys our right relationship with God. You'd then accept that God providing a way out for those who seek is not in fact disrespectful to human life, but contrarily, quite respectful of it - especially considering the humbling reminder that we are indeed mere specks of dust in this vast universe. In reference to that link, my friend, I note the groovy shift in the bassline that occurs @ 1:56.

*Lest anyone be tempted to accuse me of similarly interpreting Karla's beliefs with my own words, I'll let her be the judge.

boomSLANG said...

cl: You seem to be under the impression that I'm trying to convince you of "ID." I'm not. I simply believe that God[Yahweh] created this world.

So, is it a fair assessment that the "God" whom you believe "created this world" intelligently designed it, to include, designed and created all biological life as we see it today? And you have my word that I won't assume that you're trying to convince me of anything with a "yes" or "no" answer.

Previously, me: "Again, my concession to what you spelled out, above, is not a concession that evolutionary scientists disagree on the key mechanisms behind the Theory, itself."

You respond: I didn't say it was.

I didn't say that you said it was. I was just being thorough in answering, so that you understand my position.

cl: I said it was, "a direct concession to the fact that reasonable individuals can draw varying inferences from the same data."

But note that the "data" from which Creationists draw "varying inferences"(and conclusions), and the "data" from which Evolutionary scientists draw "varying inferences"(and conclusions), differ, in that there is observable "data"(at a minimum, on the micro-level) where Evolution is concerned. We can see things evolve. Conversely, we cannot see an invisible, disembodied "mind" create things from scratch. Moreover, I'm sure you're aware that myriad bible-believing Christians believe that "God" created life to evolve. In other words, they fully accept Evolution. I'm just throwing this in because I think it's a note-worthy fact.

But we're really getting away from something that I'm curious about. Again, even if "Evolution" was just one big conspiracy and could be proven wrong, my question is this:

(for any Theist)

Where are there tests that are currently being conducted that test the hypothesis that an invisible, conscious being "thought" everything into existence? Where is the "science" in "Creation"?

CyberKitten said...

cl said: I note that you confirmed, "..or scoffed at."

Did I? When exactly?

You mean by not actually contesting the accusation?

boomSLANG said...

cl: boomSLANG then goes on to phrase Karla's beliefs in his words. My immediate concern is that boomSLANG's comment indicates willingness to judge Karla's statement by his perception of what Karla believes, as opposed to granting that Karla might actually be more familiar with the exact nature of her beliefs than he.

I'm sure that Karla is quite familiar with her own interpretation of her Christian beliefs. In fact, she has clarified, in great detail, exactly what she believes and why, and *that* is what I've been basing my refutations on. No need for concern.

The way I understand the Bible - love us as He may - we are all just specks of dust to God.

Which is why it raises an eyebrow with me whenever Theists suggest that a "God" would care if a "speck of dust" believed in and worshipped it.

Modern Christianity tends to underemphasize the harshness of the truth, which seems to me at every turn of the page to be that God doesn't need any of us.[bold added]

I've haven't heard from any "God"/gods, first-hand, but I think the claims of some Christians often suggest otherwise.

That's correct: the subject at hand is whether or not Karla's beliefs are respectful of humanity. That's why your characterization of Karla's beliefs is of no import to the subject at hand. I again note that atheists typically react unfavorably to believers who accuse them of, say, eating babies or lacking moral values.

You've basically just repeated yourself, so I suppose I'll do the same: Karla can, does, and *did* clarify in great detail what she believes, and *that* is what I've been basing my refutations on.

If the need of being saved is true, this becomes a "fact of human life" which can be no more disrespectful of human life than the fact that each of us currently have a beating heart.

But no one is being told that being born with a "beating heart" is "bad" or undesirable. If...*IF* the suggestion is that we are "born" with a nature that is "bad" and/or undesirable, and further, we are held accountible for it, than I argue that such a belief disrespects what it means to be human, and therefore, should be denounced.

cl: I note the groovy shift in the bassline that occurs @ 1:56.

Cool melody. Weird you should say that. I play bass.

cl said...

boomSLANG,

Well, I thought I was being clear...

"So, is it a fair assessment that the "God" whom you believe "created this world" intelligently designed it, to include, designed and created all biological life as we see it today?"

Yes, but that is not to say the current design was the original design.

"I was just being thorough in answering, so that you understand my position."

I understand your position crystal-clear: you don't throw evolution out with the bathwater on account of disagreement between evolutionists. Similarly, I don't throw out God with the bathwater on account of disagreement between theists. What's good for the goose is good for the gander, right?

"Again, even if "Evolution" was just one big conspiracy and could be proven wrong, my question is this: (for any Theist) Where are there tests that are currently being conducted that test the hypothesis that an invisible, conscious being "thought" everything into existence? Where is the "science" in "Creation"?"

First note that I don't believe evolution is an atheist conspiracy, or anything like that. Second, what did you think of my answer the first time you asked the question?

cl said...

boomSLANG,

I submit that there is need for concern. You told Karla her beliefs disrespect human life. Yet, the beliefs you paraphrased were not Karla's, but your perception of them.

"..the claims of some Christians often suggest otherwise."

Show me claims of Christians who claim God needs us, and I'll show you evidence of Christians not reading their Bible close enough. Or, if what you show is convincing, perhaps I'll change my position on the matter.

"Karla can, does, and *did* clarify in great detail what she believes, and *that* is what I've been basing my refutations on."

I understand that Karla does this, and I understand that you believe you've articulated her beliefs precisely, but what I see is you basing your refutations on what you think are Karla's beliefs. Karla's beliefs - as she believes them - do not disrespect human life. You claim they do, hence, the onus falls to the positive claimant.

"If...*IF* the suggestion is that we are "born" with a nature that is "bad" and/or undesirable, and further, we are held accountible for it, than I argue that such a belief disrespects what it means to be human, and therefore, should be denounced."

You are the positive claimant here; show me the justification for your reasoning, that I might see it, too.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Cl, when CK (I guess I'll be MaMTMA) said "But one could be forgiven thinking that you have simply dodged a difficult question..."

I took that as acknowledging that he may have dodged a difficult question in the past and thought that was worth forgiving, not as accusing you of avoiding the question.

Did I interpret that correctly, CyberKitten?

boomSLANG said...

cl: Yes, but that is not to say the current design was the original design.

Yes, okay. Welp, some Christians evidentally don't mind using the word "evolved" to describe that transition. Assuming that you don't like using that word, what word do you use that describes how the "original design" got to the "current design", specifically, less complex organisms to more complex?

I understand your position crystal-clear: you don't throw evolution out with the bathwater on account of disagreement between evolutionists.

"Evolutionists" don't disagree that life evolved.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander, right?

Actually, no...the "tit-for-tat" argument doesn't work in every case.

First note that I don't believe evolution is an atheist conspiracy...

Okay, noted. Now, note that I didn't say that you did believe that. I simply used that as a hypothetical. Moreover, I certainly would never say it's an "Atheist conspiracy", since some Theists believe in evolution, too.

Second, what did you think of my answer the first time you asked the question?

I must have missed it, and I apologize for that. Would you mind, terribly, cutting and pasting it again?

I submit that there is need for concern. You told Karla her beliefs disrespect human life. Yet, the beliefs you paraphrased were not Karla's, but your perception of them.

True, sometimes "perception" can be off. Other times it can be spot-on. In any case, she's since clarified her subjective take on her Christian beliefs, and again, those are the arguments I've been refuting. Perhaps take some of the energy that you are using to be concerned, and read the unsuing exchanges.

Previously, me: "..the claims of some Christians often suggest otherwise."

Show me claims of Christians who claim God needs us, and I'll show you evidence of Christians not reading their Bible close enough.

When I use the word "suggest", I don't mean that I've seen Christians quote verbatim scripture, such as, "I need you guys!!!" But since you use the word "evidence", does that mean that you can provide verbatim scripture where Yahweh(aka Jesus) says, "I don't need you guys!!!", or, "I don't need you specks of dust!!", or something very similar?

Or, if what you show is convincing, perhaps I'll change my position on the matter.

I'm glad you mention it. Can you provide a senario, where, if true, it would falsify your beliefs to the point that you actually would change your position?

I understand that Karla does this, and I understand that you believe you've articulated her beliefs precisely, but what I see is you basing your refutations on what you think are Karla's beliefs.

"He[biblegod] hides in plain sight" ~ Karla.

At face-value, it's a contradiction, right?

"humans infected ourselves with sin." ~ Karla.

I've based my previous refutation of the above, on Karla's previous statement that Adam & Eve "got the ball rolling".

Me, previously: "If...*IF* the suggestion is that we are 'born' with a nature that is 'bad' and/or undesirable, and further, we are held accountible for it, than I argue that such a belief disrespects what it means to be human, and therefore, should be denounced."

cl: You are the positive claimant here; show me the justification for your reasoning, that I might see it, too.

The justification for my reasoning is that it's unjust to hold people accountible for something that they have no control over---in this case, being born with a nature that is displeasing.

CyberKitten said...

mike said: I took that as acknowledging that he may have dodged a difficult question in the past and thought that was worth forgiving, not as accusing you of avoiding the question. Did I interpret that correctly, CyberKitten?

Oh, I have certainly dodged (or attempted to dodge) difficult questions in the past - but, no. your interpretation was incorrect.

cl dodged the 'difficult' question of falsifying Creation by using his previous arguments with me as an excuse to do so. My 'forgiveness' was in fact sarcasm.... or would that be irony..... [muses]

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

But, but, but...I'm never incorrect! ;-)

CyberKitten said...

mike said: But, but, but...I'm never incorrect! ;-)

As Mr Spock said: For everything there is a first time.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Great wisdom.

cl said...

MaMTMA,

"Cl, when CK (I guess I'll be MaMTMA) said "But one could be forgiven thinking that you have simply dodged a difficult question..." I took that as acknowledging that he may have dodged a difficult question in the past and thought that was worth forgiving, not as accusing you of avoiding the question."

No, as she explained, that wasn't what she meant; she meant to accuse me of dodging a difficult question. Thing is, I didn't dodge her question - as in - I'm not unable to answer it. I dodged her, because as I explained, I've spent a lot of time formulating comments to her in the past, only to have them responded to completely out of context - which suggests that they're not even being read closely - or scoffed at. Which in the case of the latter, is again the pattern here.

Not to say things can't be different; if and when I get a different feeling from her, I'll be more than willing to proceed.

cl said...

boomSLANG,

The discussion on evolution could get interesting, but let's try to pare this down and focus on one thing at a time for a few beats.

I've only lightly scanned your latest response to me, but I noticed that in response to my,

"I understand your position crystal-clear: you don't throw evolution out with the bathwater on account of disagreement between evolutionists. Similarly, I don't throw out God with the bathwater on account of disagreement between theists. What's good for the goose is good for the gander, right?"

You said,

"Actually, no...the "tit-for-tat" argument doesn't work in every case."

The question was not whether the tit-for-tat argument works in every case - which would make that statement irrelevant. The question is whether you're willing to grant theists the same luxury of "belief amidst disagreement" that you're obviously willing to grant yourself. It seems that's what you're saying "no" to. If that's the case, how do you justify holding your own beliefs despite the fact that not everybody who holds them believes in them as you do, yet apparently condemning theists for the same?

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

I was kidding about the MaMTMA thing. Mike or Mono are what people usually call me on the inter-webs, no it's not because I share the kissing disease with people. ;-)

Also, CyberKitten is male last I checked. Well, I didn't grope him or anything, which wouldn't be geographically feasible, but anyway. ;-)

CyberKitten said...

Mike - Why don't you ask cl the same question... Then he won't have the excuse of dodging *me* [grin]

cl said...

This is exactly what I mean:

"Then he won't have the excuse of dodging *me* [grin]"

You assume you've asked a "tough question" that I'm making excuses to avoid, when in reality I just don't want to invest time in another discussion with you because you either respond to statements besides the ones I make, or you scoff at the statements I do make. So, what's the point?

boomSLANG said...

cl: The question was not whether the tit-for-tat argument works in every case - which would make that statement irrelevant.

cl, you previously formulated a comment, and in closing, you asked a question incorporating the following popular proverb...

"What's good for the goose is good for the gander, right?" ~ cl.

To my understanding, that is a variation of "tit-for-tat", which is why I responded to that question the way I did. In which case, no, it's not irrelevant to your question.

You continue... The question is whether you're willing to grant theists the same luxury of "belief amidst disagreement" that you're obviously willing to grant yourself. It seems that's what you're saying "no" to. If that's the case, how do you justify holding your own beliefs despite the fact that not everybody who holds them believes in them as you do, yet apparently condemning theists for the same?

I'll try once more. While true, not all scientists agree when it comes to Evolutional "models" - for instance, scientists cannot all agree on where the 'hard lines' are drawn between species - the part that they *do* agree on; the key mechanism of the Theory, itself, is that biological life EVOLVED/evolves. And again, the part they do agree on can be observed by each of them independently.

Conversely, the part that Theists agree on..i.e..that a "God" exists and "created" everything, cannot be observed by *any* Theist, to my knowledge.

I've done my best to illustrate the difference, and where I take issue. I'm still arguing that, no, in this case, the "goose/gander" proverb doesn't work.

Cyber's a dude? Oops!..my bad.

CyberKitten said...

cl said: So, what's the point?

Well, you might not *actually* be avoiding the question... but it sure *seems* like you're avoiding the (apparently easy) question.....

Maybe you can make a point (at my expense even) by answering the question.... The choice, as they say, is yours.

CyberKitten said...

boomSLANG said: Cyber's a dude? Oops!..my bad.

As the Borg Queen would no doubt say: Gender *is* irrelevant.

cl said...

boomSLANG,

Yes, that was one isolated a variation of "tit-for-tat" for argument. That's why your statement "the "tit-for-tat" argument doesn't work in every case" was irrelevant: we're not concerned with every case, we're concerned with this case.

That said, at least now I understand how you justify the discrepancy to yourself, and why you said "no" to this case. I'll factor that into my next response, if I make one.

CK,

"The choice, as they say, is yours."

Indeed it is, and I've made it.

cl said...

boomSLANG,

One area in which I foresee us having communication problems is with stuff like this:

First note that I don't believe evolution is an atheist conspiracy... (cl)

Okay, noted. Now, note that I didn't say that you did believe that. (boomSLANG)


The problem is, I didn't say you said I believed that, nor did I think that's what you were implying at all. When I said, "note that I don't believe evolution is an atheist conspiracy," that was just a statement of my position, made in the interest of giving you more information about me to work with, and also in the interest of distancing myself from people you may have met that do think evolution is an atheist conspiracy. Yet for whatever reason, you read my words as if I was implying you said something we both knew you didn't. You inferred beyond the scope of my words.

Does that make any sense? If so, cool; if not, forgive me, internet communication is challenging.

boomSLANG said...

cl: Yes, that was one isolated a variation of "tit-for-tat" for argument. That's why your statement "the "tit-for-tat" argument doesn't work in every case" was irrelevant: we're not concerned with every case, we're concerned with this case.

How tedious. Okay, you formulated a statement, and ended it with....

"What's good for the goose is good for the gander, right?" ~ cl

Would you agree that the aforementioned proverb attempts to set up a standard?..note, not you setting up a standard, but the proverb itself? I believe it does, and therefore...

Where logical arguments are concerned, sometimes "what's good for the goose" *is* "good for the gander"; other times it is *not*. I contend that said proverb does not apply where you suggested it applied..i.e.."in this case", and gave what I thought to be a detailed reason why.

So, no, "what's good for the goose" is not "good for the gander" where you suggested it applied, and therefore, even if I retract the "tit-for-tat" comment, the proverbial, "what's good for the goose is good for the gander"(your original question) does not apply in every case, as in, it's not a standard("rule of thumb"), as the proverb, itself, suggests. In other words, I don't "throw evolution out with the bath water" because of the reasons I gave previously.

That said, at least now I understand how you justify the discrepancy to yourself and why you said "no" to this case. I'll factor that into my next response, if I make one.

Noted. Okay, so, "if" you make another "response", hopefully you won't mind including an explanation of what you mean when you say that I'm justifying a discrepancy to myself.

"First note that I don't believe evolution is an atheist conspiracy..." (cl)

"Okay, noted. Now, note that I didn't say that you did believe that. (Me)"


You: The problem is, I didn't say you said I believed that, nor did I think that's what you were implying at all. When I said, "note that I don't believe evolution is an atheist conspiracy," that was just a statement of my position...

Yes, it could be a problem in the future(among others), however, in this case, your above-quoted statement which is in response to my previous "conspiracy" hypothetical, also contained the word "conspiracy", in which case, I contend that it would not be unreasonable for me to infer that you thought that's what I was charging you of believing, hence, why you might've disclaimed said belief.(and did disclaim it)

cl said...

"Would you agree that the aforementioned proverb attempts to set up a standard?..note, not you setting up a standard, but the proverb itself? I believe it does, and therefore..."

Yes, it sets up a standard, but the question wasn't whether, "what's good for the goose is good for the gander" works as a standard. The question was whether it worked in that case, and you said no. All you needed to say was that simple, "no," but you responded in context of a standard when that wasn't the context.

There's no need to retract the "tit-for-tat" part, I was just noting that it was irrelevant. Like I said, internet discussion is tough. You seem cool and interesting enough to talk to about the oft-sensitive subject of religion, and you're at least giving me the time of day, too - so let's do ourselves both a favor and try to respond to no more and no less than what the other person is actually saying, and in the same context. Otherwise, I don't wanna waste your time - or mine. And that's not to be rude, just real.

"Yes, it could be a problem in the future(among others), however, in this case, your above-quoted statement which is in response to my previous "conspiracy" hypothetical, also contained the word "conspiracy", in which case, I contend that it would not be unreasonable for me to infer that you thought that's what I was charging you of believing, hence, why you might've disclaimed said belief.(and did disclaim it)"

I guess that's the difference: I just try to make the lowest possible amount of assumptions.

""if" you make another "response", hopefully you won't mind including an explanation of what you mean when you say that I'm justifying a discrepancy to myself."

By " justifying a discrepancy to [yourself]" I mean that regarding the holding of belief amidst disagreement between fellow believers, you disallow theists that which you permit for yourself: the ability to believe despite disagreement between fellow believers. You said,

"the part that they *do* agree on; the key mechanism of the Theory, itself, is that biological life EVOLVED/evolves. And again, the part they do agree on can be observed by each of them independently. Conversely, the part that Theists agree on..i.e..that a "God" exists and "created" everything, cannot be observed by *any* Theist, to my knowledge."

That's what you think justifies the discrepancy. I disagree.

boomSLANG said...

cl: That's what you think justifies the discrepancy. I disagree.[emphasis mine]

Ooooh, okay. So then, I suppose we can just say that Theists and Atheists "disagree", and that can be the end of the discussion.

Nice chattin'; you take care, now.

boom'

cl said...

Well, to me an "end of the discussion" would be some kind of understanding, but that's just me. If you want to understand why I disagree, well... you are right to say that no theists can observe Creation. You seem to forget that no atheists can observe Evolution. Both groups are equally bound by time, and both groups rely on inferences from extant facts.

CyberKitten said...

cl said: you are right to say that no theists can observe Creation. You seem to forget that no atheists can observe Evolution.

I, for one, would beg to differ. Evolution has been *observed* not only in the fossil record but in the here are now. If you Google 'observed evolution' or 'observed speciation' you will find numerous ocassions where such has been observed and recorded. I can't recall any form of 'special creation' being so observed.....

boomSLANG said...

cl: You seem to forget that no atheists can observe Evolution.

Not only "atheists", but scientists/biologists of all religious/non-religious persuasions can, and do, observe evolution. So, no, I didn't "forget"; I just disagree.

And as I previously stated, I must have missed the answer that you gave that was (supposed to be) in regards to *where* there are currently tests being conducted that test the hypothesis that an invisible, conscious being "designed" and "created" everything.

cl said...

boomSLANG,

Whether evolution occurs is not in question here. We do not observe evolution occurring in the fossil record. We infer it. Likewise, we cannot observe God creating. We infer it. Disagree all you want; it does not change what's true.

CyberKitten said...

Inferrence:

a. The act or process of deriving logical conclusions from premises known or assumed to be true.

b. The act of reasoning from factual knowledge or evidence.

In regards to Creation -

What premises?

What factual knowledge or evidence?

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

"What factual knowledge or evidence?"

The argument hear most is: the earth his here, so there must be a creator, ala Flew's Parable which can be seen in the first paragraph of this link: http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/flew_falsification.html

boomSLANG said...

cl: Whether evolution occurs is not in question here. We do not observe evolution occurring in the fossil record. We infer it.

Yes, we "infer it". Because of course, scientists can observe, indirectly, too. Like, we do actually observe the fossils of simple organisms, to more complex organisms, from within the strata. So, we can "infer" that there is a progession of time, in case there are those who are skeptical of the progression of time. And again, if someone could observe a French poodle fossil from the Permian period, this would falsify the current theory. In other words, Evolution of species is falsifiable.

What would falisfy "creation"?

And anyway, I'm not the guy who said we can "observe evolution in the fossil record". I know, I know, perhaps you were just adding additional info' for me. 'Got it. The thing is, we can observe evolution, without "inference", as in the case of viruses and bacteria. To evolve is simply to change. Previously, you even stated....

"Yes, but that is not to say the current design was the original design." ~ cl

To which I inquired...

"Welp, some Christians evidentally don't mind using the word 'evolved' to describe that transition. Assuming that you don't like using that word, what word do you use that describes how the 'original design' got to the 'current design', specifically, less complex organisms to more complex?" ~ boomSLANG

I don't recall your answer, but maybe I missed it(this thread's getting pretty long)

cl: Likewise, we cannot observe God creating. We infer it. Disagree all you want; it does not change what's true.

Disagree all you want; it does not change what's true.

boomSLANG said...

Monolith Mike: The argument hear most is: the earth his here, so there must be a creator..

aaack!.....don't help them!

; )

CyberKitten said...

mike said: The argument hear most is: the earth his here, so there must be a creator...

You've got me there Mike. I mean - how else could we explain the existence of planet Earth unless it's by well understood natural processes?

CyberKitten said...

boomSLANG asked: What would falisfy "creation"?

Come on boom..... cl can't *possibly* answer that question! If he did we could easily infer that he was answering the very same question *I* asked!!!!

cl said...

boomSLANG,

"Yes, we "infer it". Because of cou---[SNIP]"

I've now stated two times that whether evolution occurs is not in question here. I do not doubt that evolution occurs. That evolution occurs - whether on a small scale or large - does not falsify God creating this world. That also answers your question about "what I call transition."

To try to re-focus this thing once again, the central issue here - for me at least - is not evolution or "Creation" or ID or any of that. It was that in your comment to MS Quixote November 22, 2009 7:28 PM, you said,

"Theists insist a "God" exists. Yet, Theists do not/cannot agree on which "God" exists. Furthermore, even for the Theists who agree on *which* "God" exists, they do not/cannot all agree on what their respective deities have "revealed" to them. Again, this is a good argument, because it clearly shows that all Theists CANNOT be "right".(but noteworthy, they could possibly all be wrong)"

Yet, every objection you raised can be equally focused on that which lacks consensus in evolution, so the argument can't be good. Your strategy was to tell Quixote that theism's bunk because people can't agree on God, yet, evolution and science itself are also subject to serious disagreements. Disagreement about X doesn't make X true or false.

So, I said that you either need to lay off on believers, or explain why it should be okay for you to believe what you believe despite the disagreement around it, but not us. The way you justified that discrepancy was to say,

"..the part that Theists agree on..i.e..that a "God" exists and "created" everything, cannot be observed by *any* Theist, to my knowledge."

Yes; I'd think we'd suffer that disadvantage when considering anything that was purported to have happened in the distant past. That's why I said that Evolution - "upper case e" - cannot be observed. Can astronomers observe the Singularity? No.

You offer a trick question: evolution - as in "lower case e" - is something we can observe, because it's something that's still happening. Creation - "upper case c" - is purported to have been a discontinuous singularity. So when you object on grounds that theists are not able to "observe God creating everything," you fault them for not being able to do something that is logically impossible. It'd be the same type of error as me suggesting that evolution needs a complete fossil record.

Karla said...

Wow, you guys have been busy. I've got some catching up to do.

Welcome to this conversation Cl.

I do want to put a word in for Cyber that I have never found Cyber to give me any attitude or to be less than sincere in any questions I've been asked.

And as for the "speck of dust" conversation buried somewhere in the post I must finish reading through. I think it says a lot for the inestimable value of humans for Jesus to lay down His own life for us and make a way for us to be full heirs of His Kingdom. It was while we were still lost in sin that Christ displayed His amazing love for us. While God doesn't "need" us He has privileged us with a huge role in His Kingdom which will be displayed upon this earth through us.

I'll share more on that another time, but I just wanted to jump in with that and I'll try soon to respond to any comment directed to me or referring to me.

Oh and Cyber, I loved the Spock reference!

CyberKitten said...

karla said: Oh and Cyber, I loved the Spock reference!

Many wise words have been spoken by fictional characters.

Spock is one of my childhood heroes. This is one of the resons I hated the new movie so much.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

I loved Spock as a child and as an adult too. I liked the new Spock, not as good as the new Bones, but much more Spock-like than any of the other characters were like those they portrayed. I though the new Bones was channeling Deforest Kelly at some points. ;-)

CyberKitten said...

It was definitely one of my worst films of the year. But, then again, I'm used to holding a minority opinion.... [laughs]

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

It was one of my best of the year. There's no accounting for taste, as the saying goes. ;-)

boomSLANG said...

cl quotes boomSLANG: "Yes, we 'infer it'. Because of cou---[SNIP]"

cl elaborates...I've now stated two times that whether evolution occurs is not in question here. I do not doubt that evolution occurs. That evolution occurs - whether on a small scale or large - does not falsify God crea---[SNIP]

Perhaps you are just volunteering additional info' again(or not), but let the record show that I've never once employed the "evolution occurs" argument to "falsify God" doing *anything*, including, designing and creating the universe, or causing the "Singularity". I've employed it to illustrate that, while evolution proponents - from Atheists, to Christians, to Jews - might disagree on "models" or where "hard lines" between species are drawn, they do not disagree that life evolved. Below, I will once again show why the statement in bold, above, is important to my position.

cl continues on..."To try to re-focus this thing once again, the central issue here - for me at least - is not evolution or 'Creation' or ID or any of that. It was that in your comment to MS Quixote November 22, 2009 7:28 PM, you said,

(Me) "Theists insist a 'God' exists. Yet, Theists do not/cannot agree on which 'God' exists. Furthermore, even for the Theists who agree on *which* "God" exists, they do not/cannot all agree on what their respective deities have 'revealed' to them. Again, this is a good argument, because it clearly shows that all Theists CANNOT be 'right'.(but noteworthy, they could possibly all be wrong)"

You elaborate...Yet, every objection you raised can be equally focused on that which lacks consensus in evolution...

False; no it can't. Again, the lack of consensus is not in the key mechanisms of the the Theory, itself. There is complete consensus between evolution proponents that life evolved, and thus, was not "created" in present form, for example, a la "Genesis".

Thus, all evolution proponents(or, "Evolutionists") can be, and are(key word), right. Theists, too, can share in all of them being right about a "God" creating life and everything else, and once a Theist proffers some testible/falsifiable evidence for this hypothesis, *then we can say that Theists, too, *are* all right.

*then of course there's the issue of *which* "God" did all of this stuff. In other words, if there were no Atheists to blog with, Theists would still be bumping heads with Theists.

boomSLANG: "..the part that Theists agree on..i.e..that a 'God' exists and 'created' everything, cannot be observed by *any* Theist, to my knowledge."

Yes; I'd think we'd suffer that disadvantage when considering anything that was purported to have happened in the distant past. That's why I said that Evolution - "upper case e" - cannot be observed.

Except that evolution is happening now. Regarding whether or not life was created in present form, that knowledge is clearly an advantage---we know life wasn't created in present form. And yes, I know this doesn't "falsify God" creating life. Which reminds me, we're still waiting on the Christian community to tell us what would falsify the hypothesis that an invisible, conscious being "created" everything. We're also still hoping that the information concerning the location or locations where "creation" is currently being tested will be forthcoming.

?

?

cl: Can astronomers observe the Singularity? No.

If the subject is the origins of life(abiogenesis), as opposed to the diversity of life(evolution), then yes, we're all at a disadvantage. So, since no human being was there, it seems the most honest answer is "I don't know".

boomSLANG said...

Karla: I think it says a lot for the inestimable value of humans for Jesus to lay down His own life for us and make a way for us to be full heirs of His Kingdom.

Hi again,

What if I've put considerable thought into what you propose, but I've concluded that, for me, even if what you propose were true, I would *never* want an innocent man to be brutally executed on my behalf, nor do I care about being an heir to any Kingdom? Can I just say, "No, thanks", and be allowed to die a natural death in which I will cease to exist? Or must I be kept alive in a place of "torment"?

("torment" was your previous description of "Hell")

cl said...

Karla,

"I do want to put a word in for Cyber that I have never found Cyber to give me any attitude or to be less than sincere in any questions I've been asked."

That's fine, I'm happy for the two of you. I wasn't trying to "put in a bad word" for Cyber at all. It's just that I don't have time for talking past each other online, and much like the current thing with boomSLANG, I've noticed that Cyber and myself either always talk past each other, or Cyber simply scoffs at what's said. I've got no ill-will towards Cyber whatsoever, but why waste time if we're just talking past each other?

boomSLANG,

The reason I keep reminding you that "whether evolution occurs" isn't an issue is because your comments keep attempting to persuade me that evolution occurs. Your argument is, "evolution occurs, therefore it's okay to believe in evolution despite the disagreements." Believe me, I get your argument. It's simple as pie.

In fact, I give up on this thread. You can't seem to shake yourself from the "evolution vs. creation" controversy, regardless of how loud I declare my disinterest in talking about it.

One last thing:

"..let the record show that I've never once employed the "evolution occurs" argument to "falsify God" doing *anything*, including, designing and creating the universe,"

Yeah? What about,

"There is complete consensus between evolution proponents that life evolved, and thus, was not "created" in present form, for example, a la "Genesis"."

You just employed the "evolution occurs argument" to falsify Genesis.

CyberKitten,

The idea that God created the world cannot be falsified.

CyberKitten said...

cl said: The idea that God created the world cannot be falsified.

So we have a way of falsifying Evolution and material consciousness but not Creation - Yup - that's pretty much what I expected you to say..... It's simply an unfounded belief and one which I do not hold.

cl said...

CyberKitten,

"It's simply an unfounded belief and one which I do not hold."

The existence of extraterrestrial life cannot be falsified; does that make it unfounded? If no, we see the fallaciousness of your argument. If yes, how so?

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

"The existence of extraterrestrial life cannot be falsified; does that make it unfounded? If no, we see the fallaciousness of your argument. If yes, how so?"

No one, at least not sane people, are stating that E.T. life is a scientific fact. As soon as someone is we can debate whether it's falsifiable or not.

boomSLANG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cl said...

Mike,

Can belief in extraterrestrial life be falsified? Yes? Or no?

boomSLANG said...

cl: The reason I keep reminding you that "whether evolution occurs" isn't an issue is because your comments keep attempting to persuade me that evolution occurs.

You've already conceded "evolution occurs". 'Got it. We're past that(at least I am).

Yup, evolution occured in the past, it still occurs now, whereas - and this is the crucial difference - *while it can be "infered" that life was specially "created" in the past, life is not being specially "created" now.

Once again, my argument, in its *entirety*, shows that, no, "what's good for the goose" is not "good for the gander". Although, blackberry demi' works well on both!

cl: Your argument is, "evolution occurs, therefore it's okay to believe in evolution despite the disagreements." Believe me, I get your argument. It's simple as pie.

Yes!..it's "simple as pie" because you've simplified it. See here*, above, for the full argument.

cl quotes boomSLANG: "..let the record show that I've never once employed the 'evolution occurs' argument to 'falsify God' doing *anything*, including, designing and creating the universe,"

cl, asks: Yeah? What about,

(Me) "There is complete consensus between evolution proponents that life evolved, and thus, was not 'created' in present form, for example, a la 'Genesis'."

a) You hadn't seen me use this argument prior to when I stated I hadn't used it, right? and b) even if I had, falsifying "Genesis" doesn't "falsify" the hypothesis that some other "God" designed and created everything to evolve!

Nice chattin'; you take care now.

cl said...

"..this is the crucial difference - *while it can be "infered" that life was specially "created" in the past, life is not being specially "created" now."

That life is "being specially created now," is not one of theism's predictions. OTOH, that life is evolving today is one of evolution's predictions. Your comparison is simply inaccurate.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

CL - "Can belief in extraterrestrial life be falsified? Yes? Or no?"

No.

cl said...

Mike,

Thank you for a straight answer, and I mean that sincerely, not flippantly. Now, does the fact that extraterrestrial life cannot be falsified make belief in extraterrestrial life unfounded? Yes? Or no?

If yes, why?

If no, then it appears you agree with me that falsifiability is NOT the ultimate measure of a claim's "foundedness."

CyberKitten said...

cl said: The existence of extraterrestrial life cannot be falsified; does that make it unfounded?

ATM we have no direct evidence of ET. However, as time goes by the amount of circumstantial evidence continues to increase. I think that it is only a matter of time before we do have direct physical evidence of extraterrestrial life - maybe even in this Solar System.

It only takes one verified find to prove it. Disproving it will be difficult because we would have to explore planet after planet not finding life. This could take a great deal of time and become rather tedious. However, the probablity of us not finding life somewhere is, I think, rather low - but that remains to be seen.

Comparing this to the falsifyability of God is beyond silly as there is, as far as I know, no single piece of even circumstantial evidence to point to his existence and no reasonable or compelling argument that does likewise.

As we understand the universe more the probability of life on other worlds increases and the possibility of God decreases (from an already low starting point).

cl said...

Cyber,

You typed four paragraphs, yet still no straight answer. Does the fact that extraterrestrial life cannot be falsified make belief in extraterrestrial life unfounded? Yes? Or no?

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

CL,

While I do find evidence that has been presented to me and experiences I've had to be lacking in the belief in a god department, I do not think the theistic beliefs others hold are unfounded.

I do agree with you that falsifiability is NOT the ultimate measure of a claim's "foundedness." However, while I can see the merit in some arguments for the probability of a god, I do not see how anyone can be utterly and completely certain of a gods existence.

"Now, does the fact that extraterrestrial life cannot be falsified make belief in extraterrestrial life unfounded?"

No, because as CK pointed out, the universe is unexplored, this is the same reason I call myself an atheist leaning agnostic, since I am not omniscient, I can't rule out anything entirely.

I'm a solipsist anyway, so you are all in my head.

boomSLANG said...

cl: That life is "being specially created now," is not one of theism's predictions.

Did you say, "one of", as in, there actually are predictions that Theists can make on their respective deities? If so, I'd be curious to know what a few of these "predictions" are, and what data they're based on.

cl: OTOH, that life is evolving today is one of evolution's predictions. Your comparison is simply inaccurate.

My comparsion, based on the available *data*, is plenty accurate. For some odd reason, you've turned an argument based on data, into what each side can, or cannot, "predict".

cl, to Cyber: Does the fact that extraterrestrial life cannot be falsified make belief in extraterrestrial life unfounded? Yes? Or no?

No. In fact, we have things like NASA and SETI that seek to find out if there is extraterrestrial life. They both have physical addresses.

Now, once more, at which location or locations are studies/experiments currently being conducted that test the hypothesis that an invisible, conscious being "designed" and "created" the Universe, including, any extraterrestrial life? If one idea is just as "founded" as the other, it would seem to me that getting this information would be a cinch.

CyberKitten said...

cl said: Does the fact that extraterrestrial life cannot be falsified make belief in extraterrestrial life unfounded? Yes? Or no?

But the existence of ETL *can* be falsified. I thought I made that plain.... It's just difficult and time consuming.

cl said...

Mike,

"..I do not think the theistic beliefs others hold are unfounded."

That's just one of the reasons I enjoy reading you. Unlike almost every other atheist I meet, you operate under the idea that people of opposing viewpoints aren't reason-rejecting imbeciles. Too many atheists operate under the exact same "my way or the highway" mentality they criticize in religion.

boomSLANG,

"Now, once more, at which location or locations are studies/experiments currently being conducted that test the hypothesis that an invisible, conscious being "designed" and "created" the Universe, including, any extraterrestrial life?"

To repeat, "creation is not falsifiable."

Cyber,

You didn't make anything plain. Rather, you convoluted a simple "yes-or-no" question by writing four paragraphs without a direct "yes" or "no" anywhere in them.

"..the existence of ETL *can* be falsified. I thought I made that plain.... It's just difficult and time consuming."

Okay then, so that's a "Yes," which means you disagree with Mike and myself, who say ETL can't be falsified.

As the person making the positive claim, the burden falls to you: how might we reliably falsify ETL?

MS Quixote said...

"That's just one of the reasons I enjoy reading you. Unlike almost every other atheist I meet, you operate under the idea that people of opposing viewpoints aren't reason-rejecting imbeciles."


FWIW, I agree, Mike...

boomSLANG said...

To repeat, "creation is not falsifiable."

Nor testible. SETI is at least testible, to my knowledge.

CyberKitten said...

cl said: Okay then, so that's a "Yes," which means you disagree with Mike and myself, who say ETL can't be falsified.

Yes.

cl said: As the person making the positive claim, the burden falls to you: how might we reliably falsify ETL?

The long-winded way would be to visit every possible life niche in the Universe & look for life. If we don't find any the belief/hypothesis for ETL would be disproved.

As this is somewhat impractical a quicker result could be gained by finding a planet which is enough like Earth (the only place so far we *know* that life exists) that we would fully expect life to have evolved there. If we don't find so much as a bacteria it would seriously compromise any belief in ETL. If we discover another such world in a different star system likewise completely life vacant I suggest it would pretty much blow our ideas of ETL out of the water. Three such planets would effectively kill the idea dead.

If life is not found in multiple places we would regard as ideal its likely that there is none to be found - either that or our understanding of the emergence & evolution of life is *completely* wrong.

Good enough?

Karla said...

Boom "This is wonderful news, and I'm glad that this is finally cleared up once and for all."

I had never said differently. I said if He showed up AND over powered your will. Not that showing up would over power your will.


Boom "Let the record show that there is no reason, whatsoever, that "God" needs to be hidden/needs to remain hidden, including, "hiding in plain sight"(whatever the heck that means). "God" can just *BE* in plain sight, and this doesn't tamper with anyone's "free will"."


His "hiding" is for us, not from us. It does something in us that is good for us for us to seek Him out and find what we are seeking. That whole thing isn't about our free will, but about what is good for us and it is good for us to position ourselves to seek Him deeper and deeper for we can always seek and always find continually when it comes to God.

Boom "Not to everyone, equally. For you to claim that god has "revealed Himself" to everyone equally and "sufficiently"(your word), and that those who don't believe are lying, both to you, and to themselves, you'd have to have a link to every human being's personal experiences, and hopefully, you wouldn't attempt to claim to have such a link."


No I don't have any kind of link to every human. I'm just saying that everyone will have a chance to find Him. His being present enough isn't the problem for everyone. Some truly do reject Him. I don't think you guys are necessarily some of those who do that, because at this point you don't have enough knowledge to choose to reject Him. The God you guys often describe as someone you may reject isn't the God I'm talking about.

I am realizing that "rejecting Him" as Quixote has pointed out isn't sending anyone to hell. I will write more on this later, it's something I'm still thinking out.

Boom "how no amount of "faith" will help me believe a proposition that I don not find believable in the first place."

Faith isn't something that enables you to believe something you find to be false, but something that is substance of believing in something you find to be true.


Boom "Okay, but you are suggesting the obvious, which seems to imply that no one's ever thought of that. But the greater question to me is, why does "God" wait to be asked or prompted to "reveal Himself", when it's been established that to do so of his own initiative doesn't harm our "free will" to choose/reject "Him"??????"

Both is happening. He is pursuing us all the time, and we respond to that pursuit when we seek Him. He's already right there pursuing you. When you come to the realization of that you are then seeking Him who has already been seeking you.

Karla said...

CL "My caution to Karla here would be against overestimating the value of man in God's eyes, if in fact she is."


To reiterate my statement yesterday. God sending His Son to sacrifice Himself for us is evidence of our inestimable value.



CL "The way I understand the Bible - love us as He may - we are all just specks of dust to God."

Are you thinking of the verse regarding "filthy rags"? Because if so, that depiction was about our actions and not about ourselves"



CL "Modern Christianity tends to underemphasize the harshness of the truth, which seems to me at every turn of the page to be that God doesn't need any of us."


Here's the thing, while God does not have "needs" in that He is fully complete without anything outside Him. He created a plan that needs us and we have a big role to play as we are privileged to be the Body of Christ, the Church, the Bride of Christ, who has full inheritance of Christ. We who are in Christ are heirs with Christ.

Karla said...

Boom "But no one is being told that being born with a "beating heart" is "bad" or undesirable. If...*IF* the suggestion is that we are "born" with a nature that is "bad" and/or undesirable, and further, we are held accountible for it, than I argue that such a belief disrespects what it means to be human, and therefore, should be denounced."


We were created with a fully good nature. Sin corrupted that nature, and God has fixed our problem we created. Sin God did not cause, humans did. That sin got into our race through the first humans. God has been all along from when sin was first caused by man to a place where man can again taste the full goodness of our nature which is found in Him for goodness and life flow from Him and sin cut us off from full connection with Him. His plan is for us, not against us. It wasn't to condemn us, but to save us. Our sin condemns us, He is poised and has done all the work to save us.

Karla said...

Cyber "Spock is one of my childhood heroes. This is one of the resons I hated the new movie so much."

Kirk, Spock, Bones, and Scotty have always been my favorites of Star Trek. Kirk and Spock at the top of that.

Spock was totally out of character in the new movie. Everyone keeps telling me that's because of the new time line or whatever, but Spock should still be Spock in character just as Kirk and Bones are still themselves despite the change of events.

Karla said...

Mike "I though the new Bones was channeling Deforest Kelly at some points. ;-)"

Oh, yes Bones was amazing in the new movie. I had to watch the movie twice to really ignore the Star Trek cannon and enjoy the movie, but Bones was fantastic. The movie was well done, I just wish they kept it consistent with Spock's character.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Regarding Spock: We had never seen him at this age before and that is why I think he was somewhat different.

Karla said...

Boom "What if I've put considerable thought into what you propose, but I've concluded that, for me, even if what you propose were true, I would *never* want an innocent man to be brutally executed on my behalf, nor do I care about being an heir to any Kingdom? Can I just say, "No, thanks", and be allowed to die a natural death in which I will cease to exist? Or must I be kept alive in a place of "torment"?"


No one ceases to exist. We were not designed for that. We were designed to live eternally. You are asking for something that is against logic and nature.

I think if you really saw, not just understood the words I'm typing, but really experienced the incredible love God has for you, you would accept what He has already done for you to give you life in Him everlasting.

Karla said...

Mike "However, while I can see the merit in some arguments for the probability of a god, I do not see how anyone can be utterly and completely certain of a gods existence."


Why is absolute certainty required for something to have a great likely hood of truth?

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Mike "However, while I can see the merit in some arguments for the probability of a god, I do not see how anyone can be utterly and completely certain of a gods existence."


Karla "Why is absolute certainty required for something to have a great likely hood of truth?"

It's not, I just said "I can see the merit in some arguments for the probability of a god".

CyberKitten said...

karla said: Spock was totally out of character in the new movie. Everyone keeps telling me that's because of the new time line or whatever, but Spock should still be Spock in character just as Kirk and Bones are still themselves despite the change of events.

*Exactly*. Something we can *totally* agree on! [laughs]

karla said: No one ceases to exist. We were not designed for that. We were designed to live eternally. You are asking for something that is against logic and nature.

As far as I'm concerned we cease to exist @ the point of death. When the brain dies, we die. Nothing survives death because there is nothing within us that can survive death.

mike said: It's not, I just said "I can see the merit in some arguments for the probability of a god".

I can't......... Maybe that's because I've never believed?

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

CyberKitten: "I can't......... Maybe that's because I've never believed?"

I use rationale similar to the rationale you use for extra terrestrials.

Though I do not see hard evidence for any gods, I also see none for ETs, but either is possible.

CyberKitten said...

mike said: Though I do not see hard evidence for any gods, I also see none for ETs, but either is possible.

Although both are indeed possible - I think that ET is *far* more likely.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

"Although both are indeed possible - I think that ET is *far* more likely."

Me too, since we know life exists.

cl said...

Cyber,

"Good enough?"

No. Not at all. When you say "impractical" you should really say "impossible," because falsifying ETL is impossible. Now, you can always *infer* from an exoplanet, but then you're just back to guessing. There's no way we could even keep up with the expansion of the universe such that we *could* investigate every exoplanet. Quite simply, ETL can't be falsified.

When it comes down to it - as you stated it here - your opinion that theism is unfounded is just another opinion, not based on any facts or solid reasoning whatsoever. That something is unfalsifiable does not make it unfounded. Falsifiability doesn't affect the truth of any given matter, as "cathode rays" were falsifiable, yet not true.

So, one more question: is falsifiability a reliable indicator of truth? Yes? Or no?

Karla,

I acknowledge your responses re need. I've not once said that God doesn't value man. Just making the argument that God doesn't need any of us - which you seem to agree with.

Also, you told boomSLANG,

"No one ceases to exist."

How do you interpret the 'second death' spoken of in Revelation?

boomSLANG said...

CyberKitten: "Although both are indeed possible - I think that ET is *far* more likely."

Monolith Mike: "Me too, since we know life exists."

Agreed/agreed. We know that life exists; we do not know that a "God" exists.

@ Mike &/or Cyber',

Suppose we found intelligent life out there, or they found us. How do you think the fundamentalist, Evangelical, Genesis-believing, Christian community would react to this? Do think they would re-examine what they believe?....or do you think they'd continue in their conviction with an attitude like, "Well, God created them, too!" ?(or something similar)

cl said...

"We know that life exists; we do not know that a "God" exists."

Yet, we know life exists, and God is purported to be alive.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

"@ Mike &/or Cyber',

Suppose we found intelligent life out there, or they found us. How do you think the fundamentalist, Evangelical, Genesis-believing, Christian community would react to this? Do think they would re-examine what they believe?....or do you think they'd continue in their conviction with an attitude like, "Well, God created them, too!" ?(or something similar)"

If they believed we actually had found intelligent life on other planets (there are still people who deny the moon landing) I would bet that they would say God created them too.

I seem to recall a Christmas hymn about Jesus being born on other planets. Science fiction has dealt with the topic of religion and has shown various visions of how Earth's religions translate into alien cultures. The movie Enemy Mine comes to mind as does the series Babylon 5.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

CL: "Yet, we know life exists, and God is purported to be alive."

Biologically?

boomSLANG said...

Previously, me: "What if I've put considerable thought into what you propose, but I've concluded that, for me, even if what you propose were true, I would *never* want an innocent man to be brutally executed on my behalf, nor do I care about being an heir to any Kingdom? Can I just say, 'No, thanks', and be allowed to die a natural death in which I will cease to exist? Or must I be kept alive in a place of 'torment'?[emphasis, mine]

Karla answers my question, with:

No one ceases to exist. We were not designed for that. We were designed to live eternally.

So, the short answer is "no", and subsequently, since I am unable to honestly believe in "God", and since I am unable to honestly believe that I should feel "blessed" that I can heap my imperfections("sins") onto the back of an innocent man all set for execution, I'm destined for eternal "torment".

Karla: You are asking for something that is against logic and nature.

That living organisms die, or "cease to exist", is *not* "against logic and nature". And no, it is not "against logic" that my "personality" cannot exist independently of my physical brain.

boomSLANG said...

cl: "Yet, we know life exists, and God is purported to be alive.

Okay, "purported". Fair enough.

Let the record show that when/if we find testible, empirical evidence for Extra-Terrestrial "life", I will adopt a belief in said beings/creatures, but note, not necessarily love, praise, or worship them, nor do anything else they'd ask or require. For instance, if they asked me to kill my own child to prove my love/respect to them, or if they asked me to take my enemy's childen and dash them against rocks(or something equally insane), I'd tell them where to stick those commands. All of the above goes for "God".

CyberKitten said...

cl said: No. Not at all. When you say "impractical" you should really say "impossible," because falsifying ETL is impossible.

Oh, I had a feeling you'd say that [laughs]

In order to falsify the existence of unicorns we don't need to be omnipresent enabling us to say that they do not exist anywhere on Earth. There are still places where humans haven't been (or haven't been lately) but that doesn't mean we can't dismiss their existence. We just need to be confident that they're not anywhere we've looked - as long as we look in enough places to be satisfied.

Likewise we don't have to explore every inch of every planet in the entire universe to disprove the existence of ETL. We just have to satisfy ourselves that the probability of ETL is very very low. In order to do this we look in the most likely places for life to exist. If we continually find it absent that's a pretty good indicator that it simply isn't there. After a while - 3, 10, 100 examples - we get tired of looking and dismiss the possibility.... until it's stumbled upom completely by accident. Exploring a finate number of likely candidate worlds is not impossible - just difficult. Therefore the existence of ETL can be falsified - at least in theory.

cl said: So, one more question: is falsifiability a reliable indicator of truth? Yes? Or no?

What kind of truth are we talking about here? Certainly in scientific terms falsifiabilty is an indicator of truth... in other terms.... [shrugs]

cl said: Yet, we know life exists, and God is purported to be alive.

Emphasis on the word *purported*. Also - if God is alive in the normal sense of the word does that mean he can die or be killed. If He is not alive in the generally accepted sense then the comparison is meaningless isn't it?

Karla said...

Mike "It's not, I just said "I can see the merit in some arguments for the probability of a god"."

I think I read that after I made that comment. Can I ask what arguments you find merit in?

Karla said...

Cyber "*Exactly*. Something we can *totally* agree on! [laughs]"

I think we have found other agreements, but yes we agree on this.

Cyber "As far as I'm concerned we cease to exist @ the point of death. When the brain dies, we die. Nothing survives death because there is nothing within us that can survive death."


I know you believe that. How do you explain the life after death experiences? I believe Dinesh Disuza (sp?) just came out with a new book on this topic.

Karla said...

Boom "So, the short answer is "no", and subsequently, since I am unable to honestly believe in "God", and since I am unable to honestly believe that I should feel "blessed" that I can heap my imperfections("sins") onto the back of an innocent man all set for execution, I'm destined for eternal "torment"."

You aren't now heaping your sins on Jesus, He already took them all, past, present, and future, upon Himself and they were paid for at the cross. His love took it all to the cross in your place.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Karla: "Can I ask what arguments you find merit in?"

Nothing really specific, the argument from experience a wee bit. I know too many people who are otherwise rationale and yet experience something they identify as a god.

Karla said...

Cl "How do you interpret the 'second death' spoken of in Revelation?"

I don't know. I'm not familiar with that.

Karla said...

Mike "Nothing really specific, the argument from experience a wee bit. I know too many people who are otherwise rationale and yet experience something they identify as a god."

Okay. Fair enough. I like that "otherwise rationale" (-: We are either becoming irrational or maybe there is something to what we claim to experience. I'm glad you keep an open mind to the possibility.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: Why is absolute certainty required for something to have a great likely hood of truth?

It's not. And incidentally, if that "something" is the Christian philosophy, I contend that the "great likelihood" is that it is false. Notwithstanding, I do not claim to know, with "absolute certainty", that Christianity's purported biblegod does not exist. I am only certain that, to date, I am unable to believe that said god does exist. The terms for which I could and *would* adopt belief were delineated in my previous post regarding if/when ET life is discovered.

Karla: You aren't now heaping your sins on Jesus, He already took them all, past, present, and future, upon Himself and they were paid for at the cross. His love took it all to the cross in your place.

You don't appear to be listening. I'll try again. If >> I << have a "debt", *whatever* it is, I do not/cannot/will not believe in the concept of having an innocent man brutally executed to pay that "debt". 'Follow? That is a barbaric, abhorent concept, and should be denounced. Nevermind throwing my arms up in the air and rejoicing over it weekly.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: How do you explain the life after death experiences?

There is no objective confirmation for "life after death experiences". There are NDE's(near death experiences), but this is not evidence of anything "after death". If you're going to count what people claim to "experience" while heavily medicated and/or "near death" as "evidence" for something "after death", then fine, I'll count the fact that some people "experience" nothing while heavily medicated and/or "near death" as "evidence" for nothing after death.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: I know you believe that. How do you explain the life after death experiences?

You mean out of body experiences & people who have 'died' then come back on the operating table (for example)?

I'd go with brain malfunction....

cl said...

Karla,

Revelation 20, 21. The traditional view seems to be that the second death represents the final judgment, i.e. the point at which unbelievers are judged and recompensed, after which they are separated from God forever. That seems to be the view you're holding here, right?

Cyber,

"We just have to satisfy ourselves that the probability of ETL is very very low."

Ah, I see: it doesn't matter if ETL actually exists or not, so long as we "satisfy ourselves" and be "confident." So, what? As long as you "feel good" in your assertion, it's reliable? That won't cut the mustard for this kid.

"If He is not alive in the generally accepted sense then the comparison is meaningless isn't it?"

This whole discussion is meaningless, because it's all based on your opinion that my beliefs are unfounded, but I don't care for your opinion of what's "unfounded." You say that theism is "unfounded" because it's "unfalsifiable," but that's a fallacious argument.

Mike,

"Biologically?"

Yes, cf. Jesus.

boomSLANG,

"If you're going to count what people claim to "experience" while heavily medicated and/or "near death" as "evidence" for something "after death", then fine, I'll count the fact that some people "experience" nothing while heavily medicated and/or "near death" as "evidence" for nothing after death."

Not all people who have these experiences are medicated or near-death, and evidence from anthropological fieldwork directly challenges your assumptions here.

CyberKitten said...

cl said: You say that theism is "unfounded" because it's "unfalsifiable," but that's a fallacious argument.

I don't think I did.... [ponders]

I actually think theism is unfounded because there is no credible evidence to support it.

boomSLANG said...

cl: Not all people who have these experiences are medicated or near-death, and evidence from anthropological fieldwork directly challenges your assumptions here.

Okay, I'll consider my view "directly challenged" and be waiting for the objective confirmation that supports a post-mortem existence, aka, "life after death".

cl said...

Okay - you implied that theism was unfounded because it was unfalsifiable, and if you didn't mean to imply that, well.. my mistake, but that's what I heard when you said,

"So we have a way of falsifying Evolution and material consciousness but not Creation - Yup - that's pretty much what I expected you to say..... It's simply an unfounded belief and one which I do not hold."

On the one hand, you tell me we need to be all about science and reason, then on the other, you're as willing to support your worldviews with opinion as the next guy.

Now, you clarify that my belief is unfounded because "there is no credible evidence to support it," yet, aside from being your own opinion, that's the height of arrogance. That you haven't been persuaded by anything hitherto offered as evidence *DOES NOT* mean that "there is no credible evidence," or that everyone else must be locked into your view of what constitutes credible evidence. You also have to assume that every theist is a reason-rejecting imbecile to claim "there is no credible evidence."

boomSLANG said...

I have to speak up and say that one cannot say "there is no credible evidence." Obviously, believers think there is evidence and that it is credible. Perhaps Cyber' meant to imply that *he* sees no "credible evidence", which would be an honest, legit' statement.

CyberKitten said...

cl said: That you haven't been persuaded by anything hitherto offered as evidence *DOES NOT* mean that "there is no credible evidence," or that everyone else must be locked into your view of what constitutes credible evidence.

Would you be happier if I said that: "I am unaware of any credible evidence and that what has been presented to me as such to date I fail to find remotely persuasive to support the theistic idea"

I have asked on more than once for any credible evidence to be presented. I am still waiting.... Do you know of any? You never can tell... you might be able to persuade me to your opinion on the matter. Apparently stranger things have happened....

cl said...

boomSLANG,

I have to speak up and say that one cannot say "there is no credible evidence."

Speak up all you want; grab the mic, even. It won't matter, because the volume of an opinion doesn't increase its truthfulness. Who are you to decide for others? Who made you the arbiter of "credible evidence?"

cl said...

Cyber,

"Would you be happier if I said that: "I am unaware of any credible evidence and that what has been presented to me as such to date I fail to find remotely persuasive to support the theistic idea""

Yeah, I would actually, because that comment is in proper scope: with you as subject, not some assumed "lack of evidence."

"I have asked on more than once for any credible evidence to be presented. I am still waiting.... Do you know of any? You never can tell... you might be able to persuade me to your opinion on the matter. Apparently stranger things have happened...."

I discuss various evidences on my own blog, and the articles are going to get more interesting in upcoming weeks. Right now, the current focus is a comparison between various models of consciousness: specifically - the predictions of (what I call) the cerebro-centric hypothesis (strong and weak) vs. the tripartite model described in the Bible - compared and contrasted to extant data. However, this is Karla's soapbox, I've got my own, and you're welcomed anytime. My reluctance to go into further detail here should be understood as courtesy (or time management), not evasion.

As far as being able to persuade you, who knows? Maybe you can persuade me. Though, it will take more than your opinion that what I currently believe is unfounded. I'm sure you've got a different favorite food, too.

boomSLANG said...

Previously, me: I have to speak up and say that one cannot say "there is no credible evidence."

cl responds: "Speak up all you want; grab the mic, even. It won't matter, because the volume of an opinion doesn't increase its truthfulness. Who are you to decide for others? Who made you the arbiter of 'credible evidence'?"

Holy mackerel!! Well, I thought I was actually objecting precisely how/why you were objecting. Evidentally not.

Okay, let me attempt it another way: One can say whatever he or she wants, but if one proclaims, "there is no credible evidence[for "God"/gods]", he or she would be wrong, and it is he or she who would be attempting to "decide for others". The fact that there are believers is credible evidence that there is credible evidence for "God". 'Better, baby cakes?

cl said...

boomSLANG,

"Holy mackerel!! Well, I thought I was actually objecting precisely how/why you were objecting. Evidentally not."

No, you were. I messed up by misreading your comment. Sorry 'bout that.

"Okay, let me attempt it another way: One can say whatever he or she wants, but if one proclaims, "there is no credible evidence[for "God"/gods]", he or she would be wrong, and it is he or she who would be attempting to "decide for others". The fact that there are believers is credible evidence that there is credible evidence for "God". 'Better, baby cakes?"

10-4, and we'd be in agreement on those points. Though, you could lose the 'baby cakes,' sweetiepie.. ;)

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Mike: "Biologically?"

CL: "Yes, cf. Jesus."

Jesus was not always biological. The doctrine is that Jesus is fully divine and fully man, but it was not always so.

Regardless, we know that natural life exists, we do not know that supernatural life exists, so it is more probable to find natural life in space, that was my point.

cl said...

boomSLANG,

Earlier in the thread, to Mike, you said:

"In any event, by the looks of things, it appears that many Christians have simply taken the biblical passages concerning "Hell", not at their face-value, but as they wish/want them to mean. 'Shocker, huh? "

This is what I was getting at when I asked Karla what she thought of the second death as mentioned in Revelation. Though I try not to label myself, I would have to say that I've found the doctrine of total annihilation to be more consistent with Scripture than eternal suffering. What I specifically challenge here is your assertion that "taking the passages about Hell at face value" only supports the eternal suffering doctrine.

IOW, I don't think God derives satisfaction from an eternal roast of unrepentant sinners, and my justification is reasoned exegesis, not "wish/want" as you imply.

Karla?

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

St. Benetar said hell is for children.

boomSLANG said...

cl: I messed up by misreading your comment. Sorry 'bout that.

No biggie; it happens.

10-4, and we'd be in agreement on those points. Though, you could lose the 'baby cakes,' sweetiepie.. ;)

'K.

To be honest, right after I made that comment I was going to say, "Wow...break out the party hats....cl and boom' actually agree on something!!!". Had I done that, you probably would've caught it.

cl: ...I would have to say that I've found the doctrine of total annihilation to be more consistent with Scripture than eternal suffering.

I could live with that. (har har)

cl: What I specifically challenge here is your assertion that "taking the passages about Hell at face value" only supports the eternal suffering doctrine.

Well, I suppose if there's a couple of different concepts to choose from...i.e..passages supporting total annihilation & passages supporting an actual place of furnaces, teeth-gnashing, lakes of fire, yada, yada, then I suppose we've got a conundrum, for how can we know for certain which concept applies? Then again, I hear Jahannum or Islamic Hell is pretty brutal, too.

Karla said...

Cyber "I'd go with brain malfunction...."

If the person is dead, their brain would be dead. How does that account for people who have died and come back and then accurately describe what was going on in the room while they were dead.

Karla said...

CL "Revelation 20, 21. The traditional view seems to be that the second death represents the final judgment, i.e. the point at which unbelievers are judged and recompensed, after which they are separated from God forever. That seems to be the view you're holding here, right?"

I believe you are referring to the Lake of Fire. Death in Scripture isn't just about ceasing heartbeats, it's about a state of being. There is a path of death and destruction and there is a path of life. A life without God is always a path of death, because life comes from God and God alone.

However, even if it were possible that those who are not in Christ cease to exist, it doesn't change the reality of the fullness of life being in Christ and that Christ makes that available to us and that is His desire for us.

Karla said...

CL "IOW, I don't think God derives satisfaction from an eternal roast of unrepentant sinners, and my justification is reasoned exegesis, not "wish/want" as you imply."

I don't think He gets any satisfaction at all regarding people being lost to hell. His desire is that none are lost.

As for the eternality of hell, I think it is clear in Scripture that it is eternal, but regardless of whether it is or not, the point is that God has something glorious for us and we need not go the way of destruction whatever that destruction entails.

I don't wish it any more than God wishes for anyone to be lost.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: If the person is dead, their brain would be dead.

Actually its the other way around. Once your brain is dead you're dead - Period. There's no coming back from that one!

karla said: How does that account for people who have died and come back and then accurately describe what was going on in the room while they were dead.

They may have 'died' - in that their heart might have stopped but their brain will still be functioning after a fashion. When people are near death - hence *Near* Death Experience - the brain isn't exactly functioning correctly. It's more like in a dreamstate or on drugs - often caused by lack of oxygen. Such a state is hardly a reliable source of information and does not indicate either a personal existence separate from the brain itself nor the existence of any kind of 'afterlife'. At worst (or best) any such suggestive indications in that direction are unexplained.

cl said...

Karla,

"As for the eternality of hell, I think it is clear in Scripture that it is eternal,"

I'd be interested in hearing your full Scriptural support for this point. If I may, perhaps I can request that post? :)

"..regardless of whether it is or not, the point is that God has something glorious for us and we need not go the way of destruction whatever that destruction entails."

I agree.

Karla said...

Cl, I think I'm taking a hiatus from all the discussion about "hell". Jesus didn't discuss it much because His message was life not death. So I don't plan any post on that anytime soon. Otherwise I would honor your request.

cl said...

"Jesus didn't discuss [Hell] much because His message was life not death."

Jesus discussed Hell more than any other topic, and I think the perception of Hell as eternal torture for nonbelievers is an idea that keeps many away from life. But I'm a pretty regular reader here, so I'm sure if you change your mind and do a "Hell" post, I'll see it, and we can talk.