Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Christian Claim of Truth

Christians, myself included, often make the statement that we know the truth. In a world of a multiplicity of competing truth claims that statement is incredibly and brazenly bold. However, what is meant by this statement, while still very bold, is not that we are deluded enough to believe we know the truth about every matter under the sun. We do not claim to have mastered such knowledge of the world. Though there are some who may act as if this were true. It is far from true.


What we mean when we say “we know the truth,” is that we know the Being of Truth. We mean precisely that we have relationship with Jesus. That He is the ultimate eternal absolute truth, being Himself God. We use the term “know” to mean “have relational experience of” not just “to know” something factually though that is included. You cannot have a relationship with Someone who does not exist. Included in the “know” is the intellectual assertion that this person of Truth does factually exist, but is more than a fact of life, but is Life Himself.


As my very first post to this blog explained, I use the term “Answer Bearer” as a name for my blog, not because I think I know all the answers, but because the one who is Truth dwells within me. And it is that Answer, the Answer of Life, of Truth, that is the one I bear forth. Therefore the title is not an arrogant claim, but a humble one. One that says that His Life is what it is all about.


I am just here to share what I have learned, and to learn what I have not yet learned by engaging in valuable and respectful conversation with people from various worldviews and experiences of life. I am thankful for each and every reader who uses their valuable time to read here and to converse with me here.

96 comments:

boomSLANG said...

While a valiant attempt to downplay your fantastic "Truth" claims, nothing has changed. From post-to-post, you have illustrated, with great clarity, that you believe that you "know the Truth", whether that "Truth" be "Absolute Truth"(as you've previously claimed it to be), or "Truth", an invisible, conscious, man-god whom you refer to as "Christ"(as you currently claim it to be).

Again, everybody "gets" that Karla believes she knows "the Truth".

So again, we should ask: mission accomplished, right?

Karla said...

Boom, I know you don't believe anything that I say. So we can leave it at that, alright?

CyberKitten said...

A little less claiming & a bit more demonstrating I think.....

boomSLANG said...

Boom, I know you don't believe anything that I say.

If you re-read what I just said, you'll that, in fact, I do believe that you believe that what you claim to be true is true, notwithstanding your inability to convey it terms that actually make sense. Karla, just because you have a blog dedicated to Christian apologetics(making sense out of nonsense), doesn't mean that I don't understand certain things---things like, why you do this.

In any event, once again, not only are you wrong in what you claim to "know"(see above-quoted statement where it says, "I know"), you still haven't answered the question at hand. Here it is again:

Mission accomplished, right?

In other words, if your mission is to convince your readership that you are convinced that "Christ is the answer", then by golly, you've succeeded. On the other hand, if your mission is to convince your readership that "Christian is the answer" and that your beliefs have a referent in reality, and that the philosophies you espouse are based on logic, reason, and rational thought, then I, for one, am evidence of your failure.

What will you do differently? Where do we go from here?

Cyber' suggests less claiming, and more demonstrating. That doesn't seem like an unreasonable suggestion, since "Truth" that is "sure" and "solid" should be demonstrable, after all.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

"You cannot have a relationship with Someone who does not exist."

True, but you can pretend to and even fool yourself into thinking you are having a relationship, especially if a bunch of other folks are having similar experiences and making similar claims.

Karla said...

Boom, I know you don't believe anything that I say.

Boom “If you re-read what I just said, you'll that, in fact, I do believe that you believe that what you claim to be true is true,”

Yes, Boom, I know that. What I meant is you don’t believe anything I say to be true.

Boom “notwithstanding your inability to convey it terms that actually make sense. Karla, just because you have a blog dedicated to Christian apologetics(making sense out of nonsense), doesn't mean that I don't understand certain things---things like,why you do this.”

Part of the problem is that you presuppose it to be “nonsense” and are not here seeking to find out if it is true.

Boom “In any event, once again, not only are you wrong in what you claim to "know"(see above-quoted statement where it says, "I know"), you still haven't answered the question at hand. Here it is again:”


It is amazing how certain you can be that I am wrong. At the same time you don’t have to accept anything I say as true.


Boom “Mission accomplished, right?”

Nope. I run this blog for several reasons 1) I really really really like to write 2) I want to create a place where skeptics or seekers can ask questions of what I believe and judge for themselves if they find truth in what I say or not 3) I want to get to know people from other worldviews and beliefs and understand how they see the world and why

That’s it. That’s why I am here.


Boom “n other words, if your mission is to convince your readership that you are convinced that "Christ is the answer", then by golly, you've succeeded. On the other hand, if your mission is to convince your readership that "Christian is the answer" and that your beliefs have a referent in reality, and that the philosophies you espouse are based on logic, reason, and rational thought, then I, for one, am evidence of your failure”


I am not here to convince anyone that “Christian is the answer.” Did you mean to say Christ? If so, I am here to answer why I believe Christ is real and Truth for anyone interested in knowing why I believe that. I am not here to condemn, convict, convert, etc. I am here for those who have interest in what I have to say. If you do not, then maybe this isn’t the blog for you.

Boom “What will you do differently? Where do we go from here?”

I will continue to write post on a variety of things because I write all the time and here is one of the places I post what I write. I will continue to be here for anyone who wants to dialog about what I write.

Boom “Cyber' suggests less claiming, and more demonstrating. That doesn't seem like an unreasonable suggestion, since "Truth" that is "sure" and "solid" should be demonstrable, after all.”

True if what I claim is true it ought to be able to be illustrated and demonstrated. However, the problem lies in that anything I say is an illustration is dismissed by atheist because we disagree on the philosophical level. I can’t give testimony of experiencing God, because to some of you guys it absolutely could not have been God I experienced. I cannot give testimony of hearing Him, because you would counter that I could not have, or am unknowingly pretending (which sounds like saying I’m deluded). So that continually brings us back to discussion in the first level of worldview development where we talk only philosophically.

Karla said...

Karla "You cannot have a relationship with Someone who does not exist."

Mike “True, but you can pretend to and even fool yourself into thinking you are having a relationship, especially if a bunch of other folks are having similar experiences and making similar claims.”

That is possible. But my point was that I implicit in my use of the word “know” in reference to Jesus is both a familiar relational sense and in a factual sense. Whether it is true that I “know” in either meaning of the word is what I understand you all to be questioning. Every post I make isn’t an apologetic for His existence.

Karla said...

Cyber see the last paragraph of my last comment to Boom.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: What I meant is you don’t believe anything I say to be true.

Then here's a novel idea--- perhaps try harder to say what you mean the first time. Making generalizations certainly isn't helping conversation.

continues...Part of the problem is that you presuppose it to be “nonsense”

That is patently false, and it is a perfect example of what I'm talking about when I say you are being dishonest. Karla, I've told you...oh, perhaps a few dozen times, now, that I once BELIEVED what you believe for many of the >> same << reasons. In other words, there was a time when I believed, albeit, by "faith", that nonsensical ideas made "sense". Therefore, for you to sit there and say that I "presuppose" that what you are proposing to be nonsense, is flat-out false(and dishonest).

Let me break it down for you(again):

Tired of ignoring the built-up cognative dissonance that believing nonsensical ideas creates(as early as 9 years old), I got brave, and 20 years later, decided to critically examine what I believed, and why. Subsequently, I found that there is a simpler and more reasonable solution to having to defend illogical ideas, and that is/was to actually entertain the idea that such ideas are simply not true. Once I did that, the world around me made much more sense, and the cognative dissonance vanished. Couple that with a thorough reading of the bible, and whammo!...Atheism.

The bottom line, however, it that, NO, I do not "presuppose" what you believe, to be "nonsense".

continues......and [you] are not here seeking to find out if it is true.

This amounts to an ad hominem attack. You are second guessing my reasons for being here, and insinuating that I have an alterior motive. 'Not exactly a "respectful" tactic for someone who writes posts about respecting people.

Notwithstanding, we can solve this if you'll just answer this one simple question:

Is it possible, Karla, that people can examine the Christian Faith just as ardently as you've examined it, and come away finding it lacking? Yes, or no?

continues...It is amazing how certain you can be that I am wrong.

If you actually re-read what I said, you'll see I was refering to specific instance of what you claim to "know".

It is my responsibility to write as concisely as possible; it is not my responsibility to make Karla a good reader.

continues...At the same time you don’t have to accept anything I say as true.

Assuming I'm right, then true, I don't have to accept anything you say as true. On the other hand, assuming you are right, if I don't want to be tortured with FIRE for all of eternity, I have to somehow accept what you say to be true, despite that I find it thoroughly unbelievable.

Now, seriously---does that sound like the policy of an "Infinitely Intelligent" being? Not to me it doesn't---to me, it sounds like ignorant, uneducated, Bronze-age men who wanted to control people, and what better way to do it than promise that if you don't go along with "OUR ways", the worst possible thing imaginable will happen to you...i.e..you'll be kept alive and tortured with fire for ever and ever.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: I run this blog for several reasons 1) I really really really like to write 2) I want to create a place where skeptics or seekers can ask questions of what I believe and judge for themselves if they find truth in what I say or not 3) I want to get to know people from other worldviews and beliefs and understand how they see the world and why

1 & 2 seem reasonable enough. However, on reason 3, I'm not convinced that you want to understand people of differing beliefs, namely, people critical of your beliefs.

continues...I am not here to convince anyone that “Christian is the answer.” Did you mean to say Christ?

Yes, I meant to say "Christ", and no, I don't believe that you aren't trying convince people that Christianity is true/"Christ is the answer", including yourself.

continues...I am here for those who have interest in what I have to say. If you do not, then maybe this isn’t the blog for you.

To take an "interest" in what you have to say, do I have to agree with it? I am totally intrigued with the subject because I used to be a believer, myself. Just like you are trying to "save" my "soul", I'm trying to save you from wasting your life believing a lie. While I believe religion served a purpose a few thousand years ago, I simply do not buy into today's notion that "some people just need religion". While we obviously don't know everything, in comparsion, we know enough that we don't need superstition or "God" to fill the gaps in our knowledge. We know enough that if mere existence isn't enough, then to go on existing forever won't make a damned bit of difference.

continues...True if what I claim is true it ought to be able to be illustrated and demonstrated. However, the problem lies in that anything I say is an illustration is dismissed by atheist because we disagree on the philosophical level.

No; the problem is that you can say what you believe to be true every day for the rest of your life, but unless you can demonstate it to be true, for instance, offer something that we can examime and test that verifies a supernatural realm, then you are speculating.

If, by definition, you can't offer such evidence, then no one is being unreasonable if they, a) don't believe you, or b) ask you to admit that you hold your core-beliefs on "faith"(which, thus far, you obstinately refuse to do)

continues...I can’t give testimony of experiencing God, because to some of you guys it absolutely could not have been God I experienced.

...showing once again, that you do. not. listen.

Only speaking for myself, I have never once said that what you are experiencing, "absolutely", is not a "god"---but only that it is not the Christian biblegod as said deity is described by Christians and their bibles. Perhaps you are experiencing a real, genuine supernatural being who knows the future. If so, then that "God" cannot be "omnipotent"(and vice versa), and therefore, isn't the Xian biblegod.

Karla said...

Boom “Then here's a novel idea--- perhaps try harder to say what you mean the first time. Making generalizations certainly isn't helping conversation.”

I can’t know in advance how something I say will be interpreted. But I do try. And I apologize for not being clear enough.

continues...Part of the problem is that you presuppose it to be “nonsense”

Boom “That is patently false, and it is a perfect example of what I'm talking about when I say you are being dishonest. Karla, I've told you...oh, perhaps a few dozen times, now, that I once BELIEVED what you believe for many of the >> same << reasons. In other words, there was a time when I believed, albeit, by "faith", that nonsensical ideas made "sense". Therefore, for you to sit there and say that I "presuppose" that what you are proposing to be nonsense, is flat-out false(and dishonest). “

See, I didn’t think that you would take what I said to mean that you have always presupposed, but that you came to my blog with your position that it is “nonsense.”

In contrasts, while I disagree with the worldview that does not include God, I do not dismiss the position as nonsense, I engage with it as if it were a sensible position. Otherwise I could not be fairly discussing it. That does not mean I at any point see it as true, but that I do not simply dismiss it. I want to learn about it.


Boom “Tired of ignoring the built-up cognative dissonance that believing nonsensical ideas creates(as early as 9 years old), I got brave, and 20 years later, decided to critically examine what I believed, and why. Subsequently, I found that there is a simpler and more reasonable solution to having to defend illogical ideas, and that is/was to actually entertain the idea that such ideas are simply not true. Once I did that, the world around me made much more sense, and the cognative dissonance vanished. Couple that with a thorough reading of the bible, and whammo!...Atheism.”

See you just gave me your experience and that’s something I cannot argue with. I cannot argue that you find Christianity to be thus. I cannot refute that you took time to critically examine it. I cannot say you only pretended to examine it. That doesn’t mean I accept your conclusions, but I do not and will not discount your experiences.

Boom “The bottom line, however, it that, NO, I do not "presuppose" what you believe, to be "nonsense". “

Okay.


Boom “This amounts to an ad hominem attack. You are second guessing my reasons for being here, and insinuating that I have an alterior motive. 'Not exactly a "respectful" tactic for someone who writes posts about respecting people.”

I am sorry for any disrespect. That was not my intention.

Karla said...

Boom “Is it possible, Karla, that people can examine the Christian Faith just as ardently as you've examined it, and come away finding it lacking? Yes, or no?”

While I can see both answers being a correct response to that question, if I am using myself as the example then I would have to say no. But let me explain. I say no only because I don’t think someone could have had the experiences that I have had with Jesus and then honestly say he does not exist. But as we have discussed I cannot answer that well for other people for a different person may need a greater revelation than I have had to feel as convinced as I of His authenticity.

Also I think someone can read every apologetics and theology book out there and have memorized the whole Bible and walk away. There are multiple other reasons than encountering evidence that someone may find it lacking. Many do not make their life choices based on if something is true, but if something is what they want.




Boom “Assuming I'm right, then true, I don't have to accept anything you say as true. On the other hand, assuming you are right, if I don't want to be tortured with FIRE for all of eternity, I have to somehow accept what you say to be true, despite that I find it thoroughly unbelievable. “

It’s not about accepting it as true; it is about encountering Him as true. That is why I am not here to convince or convert. That is why I point out the difference between truth and Truth. One is factual intellectual knowledge the other affects the whole of one’s being and draws them into a reality that engages both their physical self and their spiritual self.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: I can’t know in advance how something I say will be interpreted.

But surely you know that the less that you make hasty generalizations, the less chance there is of something being misinterpreted.

continues......I didn’t think that you would take what I said to mean that you have always presupposed, but that you came to my blog with your position that it is “nonsense.”

Do you know what the prefix "pre" means, on "presuppose"? It means in advance.... to suppose, in advance.

Thus, if you say, "Part of the problem is that you presuppose it to be 'nonsense'."...the implication is that I concluded my findings before examining anything.

For someone who loves to write, it seems odd that you would make so many careless mistakes. If you are seriously writing a book, you will keep your editor very busy.

continues..... while I disagree with the worldview that does not include God, I do not dismiss the position as nonsense...

Right, because it would be ridiculous to dismiss a default position of neutrality, as "nonsense". It would be ridiculous to say, "nature can't exist without Super-nature!", because we can see, right now, that "nature" exists. That "Super-natural makes "nature" possible has yet to be proven, and is the burden of those asserting it.

continues...I engage with it as if it were a sensible position.

But for some reason, you can't seem to get what said position entails---what it asserts, and what it does not assert.

continues...That does not mean I at any point see it as true, but that I do not simply dismiss it. I want to learn about it.

I don't believe you want to "learn about it". 'Sorry---'just being honest. What would convince me that you want to learn about it, is if you could go 2 or 3 posts without totally mischaracterizing/misrepresenting(butchering) what's been explained to you so many times now that I hate to think about it.

continues...See you just gave me your experience and that’s something I cannot argue with. I cannot argue that you find Christianity to be thus. I cannot refute that you took time to critically examine it. I cannot say you only pretended to examine it. That doesn’t mean I accept your conclusions, but I do not and will not discount your experiences.

And like I said just the other day---while on the surface it appears that you are supportive of your detractor's position, it all gets negated because you will ultimately put all the responsibility on the nonbeliever if they don't "find" this supposed "God", while putting NONE of the responsibility on "God".

There will always be an excuse, Karla..i.e..we weren't humble enough, our hearts are hardened, blah, blah, blah. These aren't necessarily excuses I've heard you use, but I know there will be an excuse of some kind.

Me, previously: “Is it possible, Karla, that people can examine the Christian Faith just as ardently as you've examined it, and come away finding it lacking? Yes, or no?”

You respond...While I can see both answers being a correct response to that question, if I am using myself as the example then I would have to say no.

Notice, I didn't ask you to use yourself as an example. What would be the point in that? We already know you've examined it and that you are convinced. Good grief, this is so unnecessarily tedious.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: But let me explain.

Go for it.

continues...I say no only because I don’t think someone could have had the experiences that I have had with Jesus and then honestly say he does not exist.

Notice, I didn't say ONE thing about your personal experiences!

continues...But as we have discussed I cannot answer that well for other people...

Notice, I didn't ask you to answer "for other people"; I asked you to speculate.

continues......for a different person may need a greater revelation than I have had to feel as convinced as I of His authenticity

Notice, I specifically asked about examining the "Christian Faith", as in, the philosophy itself. I'm not talking about what people may, or may not, "experience". That wouldn't be objective.

continues...Also I think someone can read every apologetics and theology book out there and have memorized the whole Bible and walk away.

Good, I guess that's as close as you're going to come to answering my question.

So, the implication is that one may need to experience this "God" for his or herself, in which case, if they don't, they shouldn't be held responsible.(but yet, according your worldview, they are)

continues...Many do not make their life choices based on if something is true, but if something is what they want.

Question: Do you think Atheists "want" to die in 60, 70, 80, 90, etc., years, and never see their loved ones again? Do you think Atheists always "want" to be totally responsible for their actions, as opposed to being able to put the blame elsewhere...say, blaming evil spirits? Do you think Atheists "want" to live in an uncaring, impartial universe? I can't imagine that you would, then again, nothing surprises me anymore.

In any event, let me be clear---I don't necessarily "want" any of those things. The problem is that there is no credible evidence that those things are *not* true, whether I "want" them to be true, or not. That's what searching for truth/Truth, objectively, is all about, Karla. It's being prepared to accept the results, whatever they may be, even if you don't necessarily like those results. There are clearly some things about Christianity that are comforting. But "Truth"/truth isn't about "comfort"; it's about what's true.

Me, previously: "Assuming I'm right, then true, I don't have to accept anything you say as true. On the other hand, assuming you are right, if I don't want to be tortured with FIRE for all of eternity, I have to somehow accept what you say to be true, despite that I find it thoroughly unbelievable."

Karla: It’s not about accepting it as true; it is about encountering Him as true.

And for the bazillionth time---for someone who DOES NOT ENCOUNTER "Him", it them becomes about ACCEPTING the belief/philosophy, itself, to avoid "Hell". What you are doing, is you are implying that if one wants to "encounter Him", they will, and thus, if they don't "encounter Him", then they didn't want to. I reject and resent that implication.

continues...That is why I am not here to convince or convert. That is why I point out the difference between truth and Truth. One is factual intellectual knowledge the other affects the whole of one’s being and draws them into a reality that engages both their physical self and their spiritual self.

Yes, yes.....you've explained the distinction between "Truth" and "truth" dozens of times. Sadly, it has not penetrated your cranium that talking about "Truth" does nothing in the way of proving it exists.

boomSLANG said...

See correction, below.

Previously, I asked: “Is it possible, Karla, that people can examine the Christian Faith just as ardently as you've examined it, and come away finding it lacking? Yes, or no?”

Karla responds...While I can see both answers being a correct response to that question, if I am using myself as the example then I would have to say no.

I missread your previous response(the one, above), and thus, my previous response does not apply. My apologies.

I'll attempt it again.

First off, there isn't a "correct" or "incorrect" answer. It is simply, "yes", it is possible that people can examine the Christian Faith just as ardently as Karla, but find it lacking, or "no", it is not possible.

Karla, you said, "no", it is not possible.

Thus, the implication for that answer is that if people who have studied the Christian Faith(the philosophy, itself) just as ardently as you have, but in the end, they are not convinced, then these people are somehow being dishonest with themselves.

cl said...

Karla,

Ya know, I just don't get atheists sometimes. It seems like so often, they just have something negative to say. I'm guessing you see it as duty, but in my opinion you're wasting your time with boomSLANG. In my experience, no amount of evidence or articulation matters to those already convinced of the superiority of their own position. I really do think he means well, and I believe he believes himself to be open to arguments and evidence, he just comes across as incredibly condescending and hasty, which always makes it tough. He scolds you for his oversights and you apologize for it!

If I was you I'd just ignore the attitude and field the relevant arguments, if any. After all, if what you believe is right, hey, you gave it a shot. Plenty of them. Shake the dust. If what he believes is right, none of this will matter at all in another 100 years.

"I am thankful for each and every reader who uses their valuable time to read here and to converse with me here."

Thank you for writing. I enjoy reading your writing, and I'm betting at least one person in life has accused you of being too nice.

"It is amazing how certain you can be that I am wrong." (to boomSLANG)

Indeed. Note that he considers himself "evidence of your failure" which, aside from being incredibly arrogant, completely omits even the slightest possibility that he may be wrong about any of this.

Although it's certainly possible that he enjoys asserting the superiority of his own position, if I was an atheist and I felt certain that you were wrong and that my atheism was correct, I certainly wouldn't be wasting my one precious life here. That's for sure.

CyberKitten,

"A little less claiming & a bit more demonstrating I think....."

I have a hard time taking that sentiment seriously from you because I've stated before that I'm more than willing to discuss "demonstration" with you, but you never come around.

Now, it could very well be that you do come around under a different name, or that you don't think my arguments or attempts at demonstration hold water, and that's fine. If that's the case, I'd like to know why so that I might be able to improve them.

Or maybe it's just as simple as not thinking it worth your time, and that's fine, too.

Mike,

Just sayin' hey. I saw those "roomba" things in the store the other day, and thought of you.

CyberKitten said...

cl said: In my experience, no amount of evidence or articulation matters to those already convinced of the superiority of their own position.

You know... I'd thought that very thing myself.... Just aimed in a different direction....

As I have said several times here, the problem we have is that we aren't really communicating. Karla posts her position - of which we regulars are more than familiar with - and then we proceed to take it apart piece by piece.... followed by Karla simply restating her position. I think it would be helpful - and more instructive - for Karla to ask more questions and make fewer declarations... just a thought.

cl said: I was an atheist and I felt certain that you were wrong and that my atheism was correct, I certainly wouldn't be wasting my one precious life here.

Karla's blog is moderately interesting and a few minutes 'wasted' here each day doesn't really amount to much. I waste *far* more time watching TV and playing computer games.

cl said: I have a hard time taking that sentiment seriously from you because I've stated before that I'm more than willing to discuss "demonstration" with you, but you never come around.

Maybe we'd all enjoy you 'demonstrating' here. I'm sure that Karla won't mind. It'll also make a nice change of pace from the usual atheists vs Karla thing. Maybe we could actually have a real discussion rather than the usual slanging match these things usual evolve into?

cl said: Now, it could very well be that you do come around under a different name, or that you don't think my arguments or attempts at demonstration hold water, and that's fine. If that's the case, I'd like to know why so that I might be able to improve them.

I do pop over from time to time and scan your postings. Those I find comprehensible - the minority - I find less than compelling (obviously). As to why... I'd hardly know where to start except by dissecting them line by line. Life, as they say, is too short for that sort of thing. I think that our worldviews are just too different for us to do anything but agree to disagree.

cl said: Or maybe it's just as simple as not thinking it worth your time, and that's fine, too.

My interest in all things theological is, at best, a minor one. If you have noticed the kind of books I read, for example, you will see precious few in that area. I could easily spend my remaining years studying worlds many religions but, from my limited investigations to date, would consider this a huge waste of time. Many aspects of the universe will forever remain inexplicable to me - the human religious impulse is likely to be one of them.

boomSLANG said...

I'm reminded of the old school cafeteria days---you know, pretend like you're talking to your buddy sitting right next to you?... but talk really, really LOUD so that your protagonist sitting at the table behind you over-hears it. Lol!

'Goodness---where to begin?

Okay, I guess the beginning is good place.....

Ya know, I just don't get atheists sometimes.

But, "Karla", does he "get atheists *any* of the time? I mean, does he agree with any part of their worldview, I wonder? Hmmm...?...?...?

It seems like so often, [Atheists] just have something negative to say.

Let's see, the advice was to "field" only the "relevant arguments, if any".

Well, okay; 'seems reasonable enough.....

"[Atheists] just have something negative to say" ~ cl

Boy-oh-boy, jam-packed with "relevance", I tell ya!

I'm guessing[Karla] you see it as duty, but in my opinion you're wasting your time with boomSLANG.

Actually, "Karla", if your worldview is right, you're not only wasting your time, but you're second-guessing biblegod's "Plan"! Tsk, Tsk! Remember, biblegod "Prophesied" that there'd be skeptical, doubting, backsliding, nonbelievers like me. 'Know what that means, don't cha? It means that people like me are necessary in the fulfillment of biblegod's "Plan"! Yup, if Christians did their "duty" and converted every single nonbeliever to Christianity, it would be a failed "Prophecy"! Oh, the irony!...it's murder, ain't it?

In my experience, no amount of evidence or articulation matters to those already convinced of the superiority of their own position.

Well, "Karla", if what is meant by "superior" is, more likely to be true, then yes, I obviously think my worldview is more likely to be true. Imagine that? lol.

But of course, "Karla", you know that I don't claim to know that there are no gods, "Absolutely", based on the dozens and dozens of times I've made that clear.

Speaking of making things clear---if we are talking "morality"/ethics, then once more, yes, I believe that my "morality" is "superior" to that of the christian biblegod's "Morality", if "superior" means more reasonable, more compassionate, and more just.

On the other hand, if "superior" means more reassuring/more consoling, then I fully concede that sometimes fantasizing about what we wish were true, is "superior" to what is actually true. My goodness, who wouldn't want to be reunited with their deceased loved ones after we expire!?!?!?

I really do think he means well...

Hmmm, that's interesting. I wonder how an Atheist can "mean well"? According to most of the theists I encounter, "Goodness" can only come from a belief-system that includes "God". An Atheist would have nothing to base his or her "well-meaning" on. 'Bit of a quagmire, I'd say.

...and I believe [boomslang] believes himself to be open to arguments and evidence..

Actually, I am open to it. 'Got any of either? I only ask, because there doesn't appear to be any of either in the latest Xian post. Notwithstanding, if there is any "evidence" or "arguments" for the existence of invisible, conscious, creator-beings, perhaps such evidence/arguments could be copied and pasted for my benefit?

boomSLANG said...

continued....

...[boomslang] just comes across as incredibly condescending and hasty, which always makes it tough.

Actually, "Karla", I'm not convinced that those things are what "make it tough". But let's play along and supposed that I'm the most hasty, condescending Atheist you'll ever meet.

Okay, fine. That was easy, wasn't it?

Now, let's take Monolith Mike, who exhibits nerves of steel and who seems to be a favorite amongst the theists here.

If I'm not mistaken, he's no more convinced than I am, and remains an Agnostic Atheist.

Thus, something else must be a factor here that "makes it tough", right? Right.

@ Mike,

That was not a slam; it's commendable the way that you exhibit nerves of steel in these conversations. 'See, I was a bit of a sarcastic wise-a$$ when I was a Christian, too. I guess what I'm saying, is that people are people are people, regardless of whether they have "Yahweh" or "Satan" dwelling in their hearts ; )

He scolds you for his oversights and you apologize for it!

I only know of a few oversights I've made, and if memory serves, I corrected them. Lord knows(pun intended) I'd much rather admit my errors than defend them in perpetuity.

That being said, "Karla", if there is specific evidence and/or arguments that you feel I've over-looked, please feel free to post those for my examination.

If I was you I'd just ignore the attitude and field the relevant arguments, if any.

Yes, "Karla", it's a wonder why you've been obliging me in the months of our conversing back and forth, since there are so few "relevant arguments" from me.

Boy...'makes me wonder what would actually constitute a "relevant argument" around here. Perhaps if I said, "I'm convinced!..Praise Jesus!"(or something similar), that would be "relevant"?

After all, if what you believe is right, hey, you gave it a shot. Plenty of them. Shake the dust. If what he believes is right, none of this will matter at all in another 100 years.

Well paint me red and call me the Devil!...because even if you're right, "Karla", in "another 100 years", likewise, "none of this will matter at all", because at that time what is done is done! It certainly cannot be UN-done, right? Right.

So, it matters, NOW, as in this second, which is why I don't want you to go another second believing a lie. Hence, why I, too, am giving it "a shot", now.

Karla: "It is amazing how certain you can be that I am wrong." (to boomSLANG)

Indeed. Note that he considers himself "evidence of your failure" which, aside from being incredibly arrogant, completely omits even the slightest possibility that he may be wrong about any of this

Again, "Karla", I do my best to articulate myself; to be a good writer. If I want my opponents to like me, then yes, that is my duty. However, is not my duty to make people good readers.

I have said time and time again that I could be wrong, that a "god" might exist(which I concede is not even falsifiable), and even as recently as in this response, I have said that I believe that my position is "most likely" to be true; not "Absolutely True".

Conversely, it is Karla who is certain to know that she has a line on "solid truth"(her term for "Absolute Truth"), which, incidentally, she says that said "Truth" ought be able to be objectively demonstrated if it exists. Yet, when pushed for this to be demonstrated, she, out of the other side of her mouth, says, "it is not reasonable to ask for physical evidence of the non-physical"[paraphrased]. Oh, but then I'm accused of being things like "not open" to this "evidence". It is this incessant waffling, IMO, that "makes it tough".

cl said...

I think it would be helpful - and more instructive - for Karla to ask more questions and make fewer declarations... just a thought. (CyberKitten)

I'd imagine that's usually the case for any dialog, no?

Maybe we'd all enjoy you 'demonstrating' here. (CyberKitten)

So, what then? The persuasiveness of my arguments depends on where you read them? If you find them unpersuasive at my blog, why would you suddenly find them persuasive here?

Also, I work within the parameters of the posts Karla writes. This is her soapbox. I'm here to add to what she says, not start off on my own tangent. I've got my own blog, and those more privy to empiricism than philosophy are always welcome. That's not to say that I devalue philosophy or philosophical arguments by any means, either; it's just that I recognize different strokes for different folks.

As to why... I'd hardly know where to start except by dissecting them line by line. Life, as they say, is too short for that sort of thing. (CyberKitten)

But somehow life isn't too short to go through the same routine with Karla over and over as you do here? I see a HUGE discrepancy between, "show me demonstration" and "life's too short to explain why I don't accept the demonstration you've shown." If two people are having a debate or discussion or whatever you want to call it, and the one person takes the time to attempt what the other asks, it's only common courtesy to give an explanation for one's denial.

cl said...

I wasn't pretending like I was talking to Karla, that was an oversight on your behalf. I was talking to Karla, and I couldn't have cared less whether you heard me or not.

I find much credibility in the various foundations of the atheist worldview.

You imply that I've been inconsistent because my sentiment that atheists often have something negative to say is not relevant to our larger discussions of (a)theism. However, I was speaking to her in the context of dealing with you, therefore, my statement need not have any relevance to our larger discussions of (a)theism.

I do not think it's inconsistent for an atheist to "mean well" because I do not believe that atheists are incapable of living moral and meaningful lives. As far as morality is concerned, one does not need God to live a life worthy of being called good.

Mike's "nerves of steel" make conversation with him rather pleasant and easygoing. Mike shows empathy for other people's sentiments. In general, I've noticed that people tend not to listen to people who condescend and talk down to them. Mike is somebody I would truly love to hear more from at anytime. OTOH, I pretty much took a break from coming here because I was getting sick of the "let's here boomSLANG talk down to Karla and imply she's an intellectually dishonest idiot" routine.

I never said so much as a single word about you believing your position was absolutely true. What I will say is that I see a discrepancy between your attitude and your claims to open-mindedness. In my experience, open-minded people who truly believe in their own potential to error walk in humility. They prefer acquiring their own understanding over asserting others' misunderstanding.

I can empathize with your frustration regarding the desire for demonstration, but as you've stated it here it's unclear what you're asking for. What exactly is it you'd like her (or any theist) to demonstrate?

CyberKitten said...

cl said: I'd imagine that's usually the case for any dialog, no?

Indeed. Which is why I made the statement.....

cl said: The persuasiveness of my arguments depends on where you read them? If you find them unpersuasive at my blog, why would you suddenly find them persuasive here?

Hardly - but we might at least find them instructive as we debate them.....

cl said: This is her soapbox. I'm here to add to what she says, not start off on my own tangent.

Maybe that's what we need here - moving off on a tangent rather than repeated banging our heads against brick walls?

cl said: But somehow life isn't too short to go through the same routine with Karla over and over as you do here?

Personally I don't do much dissecting here because there's actually little to dissect. The only way to move forward - as I've said before - is to start small and build up from there. Starting with the big stuff gets us nowhere.

cl said: If two people are having a debate or discussion or whatever you want to call it, and the one person takes the time to attempt what the other asks, it's only common courtesy to give an explanation for one's denial.

If only I had the time to attempt to refute *every* argument I've heard for the existence of God - no matter how bizarre or silly.... well, I've have a lot of spare time - or would have until I started refuting..... Frankly nothing I've read here or at your place has given my a moments pause in my disbelief in God.

cl said...

Frankly nothing I've read here or at your place has given my a moments pause in my disbelief in God.

What would suffice?

Let me guess: you'll know it when you see it?

CyberKitten said...

cl said: What would suffice?

Well, as nothing I've seen or read has even registered on my 'pause' meter - I'd say one *heck* of a lot more than I've been exposed to so far! I cannot begin to imagine what would convince me to believe in God. The reasons I've heard to date - from believers - make no sense to me (again obviously).

cl said: Let me guess: you'll know it when you see it?

I (honestly) have no idea. Then again I think it highly unlikely that any evidence or argument exists that would be compelling enough for me to change my mind on the issue. You never can tell though.....

cl said...

I think it highly unlikely that any evidence or argument exists that would be compelling enough for me to change my mind on the issue. (CyberKitten)

I admire your honesty. Most atheists I've come across will sit around and pretend otherwise.

Cheers.

Karla said...

CL, I appreciate your concern. I am getting weary of addressing so many comments. As far as being “nice” goes, I’m just being who I am. I don’t have any animosity towards Boom or any other atheist even when there seems to be some towards me. Also, you are always welcome to be tangential here and engage in the discussion whether it is relevant to the post or not. It is nice to see things change pace from time to time. And I certainly don’t think my perspective and way of addressing topics is the only or best one out there from amongst theists and I highly welcome a diversity of perspectives. At the same time I understand how much work goes into maintaining a blog so I don’t want to borrow time you don’t have. I would like to even see some non-Christian theists join the discussion.

Boom, the last couple comments I just read written to “me” for “CL” were not all that respectful. I am more than happy to discuss any topic of discussion so long as it doesn’t become degrading towards anyone. I don’t want any sparing between people commenting – or any taking of personal jabs against anyone. It simply isn’t necessary or helpful to the discussion and only alienates people rather than bringing them together. Is it not true that atheists value people getting along regardless of their philosophical worldviews? I share that value and I want to see it practiced here. Mike does a great job being an example of that and I think you are capable of that too.

Lastly, is there any topic that any of you would like to see a post on? Be specific. If you want demonstration tell me how specifically you would expect something true to be demonstrated. If you want evidence, tell me what kind. I’ll take what you say into consideration.

As for my repetition, one of the major reasons I repeat so often is that there seems to be a communication block as Cyber has pointed out. When I hear what I said repeated in the words of an atheist I see that what I said didn’t really translate so I try again another way. I do not see how it is possible to move into demonstrating something when I am trying to demonstrate on thing and you guys think I mean another thing by it—something that I do not posit and do not seek to evidence. Any ideas on how we can get past the language barrier?

Cyber “Personally I don't do much dissecting here because there's actually little to dissect. The only way to move forward - as I've said before - is to start small and build up from there. Starting with the big stuff gets us nowhere.”

Cyber I appreciate your feedback in this. Where is a small starting point that would interest you? I tend to write on the same thing over and over because my mind likes to think about it minutely from various angles and some of the themes I end up writing about seem to come up in comments even if the post didn’t relate to it. So I come back to that themes in the posts as comments get laborious to keep up with.

Karla said...

Boom “In any event, let me be clear---I don't necessarily "want" any of those things. The problem is that there is no credible evidence that those things are *not* true, whether I "want" them to be true, or not.”

What would you consider to be credible? What sort of world would you expect if Christianity were true?

Boom “That's what searching for truth/Truth, objectively, is all about, Karla. It's being prepared to accept the results, whatever they may be, even if you don't necessarily like those results. There are clearly some things about Christianity that are comforting. But "Truth"/truth isn't about "comfort"; it's about what's true.”

I agree with that statement 100%.

Boom “And for the bazillionth time---for someone who DOES NOT ENCOUNTER "Him", it them becomes about ACCEPTING the belief/philosophy, itself, to avoid "Hell". What you are doing, is you are implying that if one wants to "encounter Him", they will, and thus, if they don't "encounter Him", then they didn't want to. I reject and resent that implication.”

No I’m not implying that if someone does not encounter God it’s because they don’t want to. Though I can see that it most certainly sounds implied. And here is where I will examine what I said because that was not what I thought would be heard. I see the error in words my own and not in how you heard it. C.S. Lewis lamented that he was at first a most reluctant Christian—that he did not want it to be true, but could no longer deny that it was true. I don’t personally understand his position because I have never been an atheist as he was prior to finding Christ. Please don’t “resent” what I said for I place no blame on you and will never condemn you for not having met the Lord.

Karla said...

Boom “Thus, the implication for that answer is that if people who have studied the Christian Faith(the philosophy, itself) just as ardently as you have, but in the end, they are not convinced, then these people are somehow being dishonest with themselves.”

Nope. I wasn’t saying that at all. I said if I use myself as an example, because my reason for belief in Jesus is not based on study, but on experience. I knew Jesus before I studied and my experiences with Him were not hindered or increased by my study. I like to study the philosophy and “apologetics” and theology and worldviews because I enjoy that sort of study. So I think someone could study what I have studied and it not be enough. The key would be whether or not what they learned opened them up to encountering Him or not. If not, it doesn’t do much good, and if it did then it did a lot a good. I think that will be different for different people. I don’t think factual evidence alone will be very helpful if it is not combined with personal encounters with God or some supernatural aspect of His reality.

Karla said...

Boom “Easy---the same way that I can know that cats aren't perfect without having an example of a "Perfect Cat" in front of me. "Perfect" is a concept, Karla. The generally accepted meaning of perfect, is not having flaws. I can conceive of a flawless being without there actually existing a "flawless being".”

Not to be aggravating, but to consider this topic further I ask: Then how do you define a flaw? How do you know that something is a flaw rather than the norm? Is perfection relative?

cl said...

..is there any topic that any of you would like to see a post on? Be specific. (Karla)

Yes. I've mentioned before that I'm interested in hearing your biblical foundation for an eternal Hell. Another one I'd be interested in hearing your opinion on is the existence of an immortal soul / spirit that transcends physical death. Do you believe humans possess such entities, and if so, by what biblical reasoning?

Any ideas on how we can get past the language barrier? (Karla)

I believe CyberKitten's advice of "asking more questions" would be a great place to start, and I do not believe that you are deficient in questions, Karla. Also, as I said, granting the other person a bit of respect and not talking down to them like they're some sort of intellectually dishonest idiot. Also, shorter comments that really pare down on the pertinent argument and avoid unproductive fisking seem to help trim the fat. Lastly, taking the time to be sure we're responding to what our interlocutor actually intends instead of what we think they intend. For example,

Thus, the implication for that answer is that if people who have studied the Christian Faith(the philosophy, itself) just as ardently as you have, but in the end, they are not convinced, then these people are somehow being dishonest with themselves. (boomSLANG, to Karla)

In that case, asking if that's what you were actually implying instead of assuming may have been much more fruitful. I was able to comprehend exactly what you intended - that you were using yourself as an example in the "no" version of the answer. Generally, I've noticed that tendency in people who don't want to learn and just want to tell others why they think they're wrong. I do not know if that applies to boomSLANG or not, and I do not intend the latter statement as a jab at all.

boomSLANG said...

Previously, me: “Thus, the implication for that answer is that if people who have studied the Christian Faith(the philosophy, itself) just as ardently as you have, but in the end, they are not convinced, then these people are somehow being dishonest with themselves.”

Karla responds...Nope. I wasn’t saying that at all.

I didn't say you said it; I said the implication is present.

implication: noun

1. The act of implicating or the condition of being implicated.
2. The act of implying or the condition of being implied.
3. Something that is implied, especially: a. An indirect indication; a suggestion.
b. An implied meaning; implicit significance.
c. An inference.

ref: American Heritage

you elaborate...I said if I use myself as an example, because my reason for belief in Jesus is not based on study, but on experience.

And I reiterate---I did NOT say the subject was, "someone who has had the same experiences as you". What I said, was, "someone who has studied the Christian Faith(the philosophy itself) just as ardently as you have".

I will attempt this once more by a careful re-wording of my question. If it appears that you still cannot grasp it, I will drop the subject.

Karla,

If someone who has never heard of "Christ", but who wants to learn, comes along and examines the Christian philosophy(itself)..i.e the bible, and all of the pro-Christianity, extra-biblical, companion books that you have read, and he or she studies them just as ardently(passionately) as you have, is it possible that he or she can find the information therein lacking, and/or, unconvincing???

Yes, or no?

Karla: I like to study the philosophy and “apologetics” and theology and worldviews because I enjoy that sort of study.

Yes, you enjoy it. 'Fair enough.

Okay, aside from conversing occasionally with an Atheist or two, have you ever studied anything that is critical of your beliefs? You've read books about Atheists turning to Christianity. Have you ever read any books on Christians who become Atheists? If so, what? If not, why not? Moreover, would you admit that finding out that your core-beliefs could be wrong, might not be so "enjoyable"? If you do admit that, would you further concede that that's not a good reason to avoid reading things that challenge your worldview?????

boomSLANG said...

Karla: So I think someone could study what I have studied and it not be enough.

Okay, I think this answer will suffice on the above, reposted question. So you can disregard it.

But then you elaborate...

The key would be whether or not what they learned opened them up to encountering Him or not.

Aaaah, and we have it again.

Okay, while, to me, it is plain to see that you are implying that those who study the Xian philosophy but find it lacking, somehow haven't "learned" how to be "opened" to "experiencing Him"(biblegod), in which case, once again, they are culpable, yet, according to the new suggestions/guidelines for facilitating conversation, etc., I should first ask you if that's what you meant.

So, what do you mean?? What are you trying to say, assuming that I have you all wrong?? Please explain it and be very specific, because, at face-value, it looks like you are holding those who don't "experience Him" responsible...i.e...they haven't "learned" how to be "open", yada, yada. And if so, I don't buy it, and I make no apologies for such excuses.

To me, you appear to be saying that a yet-be-converted person has to *first* believe that it's all true, and THEN biblegod will make an appearance that you cannot deny as an "experience". Interestingly, that's precisely how the power of suggestion works.

continues...Not to be aggravating, but to consider this topic further I ask: Then how do you define a flaw? How do you know that something is a flaw rather than the norm?

What on earth do you mean, "rather than the norm"???? I'm saying that having "flaws" >> IS << "the norm", and that's what I've been saying all along.

As for defining "flaw", how long would you like to go in circles? Let me see---'I say "flaw" is leaving something to be desired, and then what? You ask me how we know what "desire" is based on, and on and on and on. Right? On the other hand, if you had evidence of a "Perfect Being", then we wouldn't need to go in circles, would we?(rhetorically asked)

boomSLANG said...

cl: ...granting the other person a bit of respect and not talking down to them like they're some sort of intellectually dishonest idiot.[emphasis, mine]

I'm just wondering why you, cl, would juxtapose the words, "dishonest", and "idiot".

If you are going to chime in and make recommendations that you believe will facilitate discussion - one of which, is to not assume what people think(or mean), but to instead, ask - then it would really show some consistancy if you would follow such recommendations yourself, in which case, you might have asked, "Hey Boomslang, do you think Karla and the rest of us Christians are idiots?"(or something similar). After all, one can be "dishonest" and not necessarily be an "idiot", and vice versa.

*Please do note that I'm NOT saying that you have said that those are my sentiments, but only that the suggestion is there, and *if*(key word) that is what you are suggesting, then you might have asked what I think first, according to your latest reasoning.

If, on the other hand, you will tell me that you can reasonably conclude that those are my sentiments regarding Karla(and other Xians) based on the face-value of what I write, then I should be able to conclude what others mean by the face-value of what they write. In other words, please don't tell me that I need to ask Karla what she really means(or feels), meanwhile, people can conclude what I mean(or feel) based on the face-value of what I write. That's a double-standard.

In any event, I will try to be more respectful. Notwithstanding, I will not retract my position that I believe Karla is frequently dishonest, and what follows is just one example of why I won't do that:

Previously, Karla stated that I "presuppose" that what she is defending is nonsense.[that's a paraphrasing; I'm not digging back through this thread to find and paste the quote] For those who doubt that's what she said---fine; whatever. Stop reading here, then.

For those who believe that's what she said, let the record show that I've stated here, numerous times, that I am a former believer. Thus, I do not feel that I am being unreasonable when/if I suggest that someone with even a minimal amount of intelligence should not be concluding that I've dismissed what Christians are defending, IN ADVANCE, without examining it, since I once believed the very things they defend, myself.

In fact, if I'm "assuming" anything, it's not that Karla's an "idiot", but that she is smart enough to know what "presuppose" means, and thus, that she should know better than to assert something so contradictory.

boomSLANG said...

There's a few things that are evidentally worth repeating:

- I DO NOT think Karla and all Christians are "idiots". Again, the vast majority of my relatives are Christians, and I certainly do NOT think they are "idiots". I do, however, think that each and every one of my Christian relatives compartmentalize their personal spiritual beliefs, as I do, all Christians.

- I DO NOT claim to know, with Absolute certainty, that I am "right" in regards to the existence of invisible, conscious beings or entities, AKA "God"/gods.

Moreover, in regards to the charge that I think my worldview is superior, and/or, that I discuss it with a "superiority", I have recently gone over the various applications of "superior" and its various connotations in a previous post.

For instance, if "superior" means consoling/reassuring, then I fully concede that ruminating on what we hope or wish to be true - for instance, seeing our deceased loved ones when we expire - is "superior" to that of Naturalism, where one believes our deceased relatives are dead and gone, never to be seen again. The latter belief is not consoling in the least bit. I just happen to find it more likely to be true.

- I AM NOT saying that "God" is "disproven", but that "God" is UN-proven. There is a big difference between the two propositions.

boomSLANG said...

Previously, me: "Thus, the implication for that answer is that if people who have studied the Christian Faith(the philosophy, itself) just as ardently as you have, but in the end, they are not convinced, then these people are somehow being dishonest with themselves."

cl observes...In that case, asking if that's what you were actually implying instead of assuming may have been much more fruitful. I was able to comprehend exactly what you intended - that you were using yourself as an example in the "no" version of the answer.

Firstly, there is no "correct"(or "incorrect") answer. Yet, the first sentence in Karla's response, is...

"While I can see both answers being a correct response to that question.." ~ Karla

she continues...if I am using myself as the example then I would have to say no.

then she elaborates...

I say no only because I don’t think someone could have had the experiences that I have had with Jesus and then honestly say he does not exist.

And I reiterate---I said NOTHING about factoring in one's personal "experiences" with "Jesus" when I said, "those who have studied the Christian Faith(the philosophy, itself)". Obviously, the belief that one is having such experiences can contaminate the results. I thought that would have been self-evident. My apologies.

Previously, Cyberkitten: "I think it highly unlikely that any evidence or argument exists that would be compelling enough for me to change my mind on the issue.

cl responds...I admire your honesty. Most atheists I've come across will sit around and pretend otherwise.

Now I'm faced with a dilemma:

Should I ask if the implication is that the Atheists who claim that there exists evidence that they would deem as credible/acceptable enough to change their minds, are "pretending", and/or, not being "honest"? Or.... can I conclude that's what's being suggested by the text at its face-value, above?

Either way, let the record show that I have previously given examples of evidence that I would find credible enough to change my mind concerning the existence of a supernatural agent at work in the universe. For instance, if Christians would collectively pray that an entire children's hospital of cancer-patients be completely cured, and tests, exams, and exrays proved it so, I would accept that as credible evidence for "distant healing".

I changed my mind once; I'll do it again. If(key word) someone wants to pretend that I'm pretending that such evidence is possible, I cannot stop him or her. 'Seems like we won't get anywhere at this rate, though.

boomSLANG said...

Karla, and cl, respectively.....

What would you consider to be credible?

What exactly is it you'd like her (or any theist) to demonstrate?

Karla, on two occasions, possibly three, has said that she knows "God" exists like she "knows" her "husband" exists.

Now, if for some silly reason I was skeptical of Karla's claim to be married/have a husband, she could demonstrate that her "husband" exists, and that she has a personal relationship with him.

For instance, she could produce wedding photos and (living) eyewitnesses who were present at her wedding. She could produce a marriage certificate. She could, of course, introduce me to her husband. She could invite me into her house for a month and I could witness, first-hand, two people having a "relationship".

So, to attempt to answer two questions at once---if Karla could, likewise, demonstrate that a "God" exists, and that she is actually having a "relationship" with said "God", then that, in my view, would constitute something credible in the way of verifying her claim.

If, on the other hand, Karla cannot demonstrate her claim to know and have a "relationship" with "God" like she does her "husband", and the reasons for that are reasons like, "God is non-physical/non-corporeal, and therefore, cannot be demonstrated using empirical/material means"(or something similar), then fine, can she please admit/concede this? At least then, I'd feel like we are actually making some progress. If she won't admit it, and/or, keeps defending it, then I see this as a major stumbling block in this discussion. She asserts it to be true, over and over, ad nauseam. But that is only useful to those who are already-convinced

cl said...

In other words, please don't tell me that I need to ask Karla what she really means(or feels), meanwhile, people can conclude what I mean(or feel) based on the face-value of what I write. That's a double-standard. (boomSLANG)

It would be a double-standard if I allowed or implied that people were allowed to conclude what you mean based on the face-value of what you wrote, but not Karla. I said no such thing. I said you talk down to Karla like she's an intellectually dishonest idiot. That's an expression of my perception of you, not what I claim you mean. If you don't want people to walk away with that perception, consider changing up your game.

As you note, my statement was not synonymous with the statement boomSLANG thinks or claims Karla is an intellectually dishonest idiot. I also said nothing about "the rest of us Christians." Also, that statement is not synonymous with the statement that you said I said something about "the rest of us Christians." I include that disclaimer because you often rush ahead of what your interlocutor is saying and add extraneous, irrelevant details.

..I will not retract my position that I believe Karla is frequently dishonest, and what follows is just one example of why I won't do that: Previously, Karla stated that I "presuppose" that what she is defending is nonsense.[that's a paraphrasing; I'm not digging back through this thread to find and paste the quote] (boomSLANG)

Well here, let me do the work for you:

Part of the problem is that you presuppose it to be “nonsense” and are not here seeking to find out if it is true. (Karla, to boomSLANG)

Correct, she did say that. I agree that "presuppose" wasn't the best word to use. However, note that it remains possible for a former Christian to engage others without an honest seeking of the truth, and I also get that impression from you because of your constant jabs and condescension. After all, you did say Karla's blog was dedicated to "making sense out of nonsense" in your second comment, and of course, without so much as even a lick of concern for how that might make Karla. Do you enjoy putting walls between yourself and other humans? Is that how you think mutual understanding unfolds? If so, rethink that.

Now, as for your claim that Karla is dishonest on behalf of that exchange, recall that she explained herself and the intended scope of her statement:

See, I didn’t think that you would take what I said to mean that you have always presupposed, but that you came to my blog with your position that it is “nonsense.” (Karla, to boomSLANG)

So, you take Karla's comment to mean you've always presupposed, she clarifies that's not what she meant, and she's still dishonest? That doesn't add up for me. In my experience, dishonest people don't make concessions or clarifications. They just blunder ahead pontificating on their own ideas regardless of accuracy or reaction.

I do not see Karla as dishonest in any way. Internet discussion is tough. Does she miss stuff? Misunderstand things on occasion? Of course. We all do. As bloggers we lack the privileges of visual and verbal cues like posture, countenance, sarcasm, inflection, etc. When I see a discrepancy between what I've said and what my interlocutor hears, instead of assume they're dishonest, I doubt myself and try to get to the bottom of the matter. I have seen nothing but consistency from Karla in that regard.

In fact, if I'm "assuming" anything, it's not that Karla's an "idiot", but that she is smart enough to know what "presuppose" means, and thus, that she should know better than to assert something so contradictory. (boomSLANG)

I understand your point and why you felt slighted. That she used a less-than-best word and you heard something she didn't intend doesn't make Karla dishonest. Inaccuracy != dishonesty.

cl said...

I think it highly unlikely that any evidence or argument exists that would be compelling enough for me to change my mind on the issue. (CyberKitten)

I admire your honesty. Most atheists I've come across will sit around and pretend otherwise. (cl)

Should I ask if the implication is that the Atheists who claim that there exists evidence that they would deem as credible/acceptable enough to change their minds, are "pretending", and/or, not being "honest"? Or.... can I conclude that's what's being suggested by the text at its face-value, above? (boomSLANG)

All you have to do is stick to the words. When I say, "Most atheists I've come across will sit around and pretend otherwise," that's what I mean. Nothing more, nothing less. It's as simple as that. Most atheists I've come across pretend that evidence will convince them, and do not address the issue squarely.

I changed my mind once; I'll do it again. If(key word) someone wants to pretend that I'm pretending that such evidence is possible, I cannot stop him or her. (boomSLANG)

Here's another example of what I mean about rushing ahead and taking your interlocutor's statements out of scope: my comment to CyberKitten about "atheists who pretend" did not reference you at all, yet, here you are apparently *implying* or *suggesting* that I somehow had you in the back of my mind. It's not always about you.

For instance, if Christians would collectively pray that an entire children's hospital of cancer-patients be completely cured, and tests, exams, and exrays proved it so, I would accept that as credible evidence for "distant healing". (boomSLANG)

The problem is, Jesus tells Christians to not put God to the test. Satan already tried your strategy and got swatted down. What you ask for is more akin to a magic genie than the God of the Bible. If you've got other examples of evidence that would persuade you, for example something not explicitly forbidden in Scripture, feel free.

So, to attempt to answer two questions at once---if Karla could, likewise, demonstrate that a "God" exists, and that she is actually having a "relationship" with said "God", then that, in my view, would constitute something credible in the way of verifying her claim. (boomSLANG)

You still haven't answered what you're looking for in any sort of meaningful way. What? You want photos of Karla kicking back with God? Some sort of certificate that says Karla and God have a relationship together? Witnesses who've seen Karla and God at the country club?

I think this would be a perfect time for you to ask Karla to clarify what she meant by her statement that she "knows God exists like she knows her husband exists," but that's all between you and Karla.

boomSLANG said...

cl That's an expression of my perception of you, not what I claim you mean.

In that case, thanks for your opinion, and also the disclaimer on the ability to know that I think Karla is an "idiot".

continues....If you don't want people to walk away with that perception, consider changing up your game.

Believe it or not, I care more what Karla's perception of me is, than cl's. You? I have a perception of you, too. And yes, I'm fully aware that you don't likely give hoot. The interesting thing is, despite your initial insistance that you couldn't care less if I read your critique of me, or not, you're here; you've come to Karla's rescue and made your point, but yet, we're still talking about it. It appears that even Karla has moved on.

So, if it's okay with you, I'd rather just get all of this finger-pointing and discussion of whose "bed-side manner" stinks, out of the way. I have listened to what cl thinks that my, and "most Atheist's" problems are, for several posts. If you're a proponent of being "positive", as opposed to the majority of those Atheists who are "negative", then perhaps you might consider that I said I'd try to be more respectful. If you can't give an Atheist the benefit of the doubt, just say so.

'Anything else, before we move on?

Karla said...

Boom “Okay, aside from conversing occasionally with an Atheist or two, have you ever studied anything that is critical of your beliefs?”

It’s not been occasionally, but something I have done through various on-line mediums for two-three years. In college I sat under professors that were very critical of my beliefs and I did study the philosophies they espoused.


Boom “You've read books about Atheists turning to Christianity. Have you ever read any books on Christians who become Atheists?”

Books, not yet. I do very much want to do that. I have stood in a book store and read from a Dawkins book or a Hitchens book, but that does not do it justice. I do want to sit down and read them straight through. In fact, I refuse to read any of the Christian books written as a direct response to these books until I read the book itself because I do not want the response book to affect how I see the material of the book.

I have watched DVD debates where I have heard Dawkins arguments. I have attended a debate between a Muslim scholar and a Christian scholar. I attended a seminar by a postmodern philosopher who is a friend a Jacques Derrida. I have also read from a variety of atheists websites including Dawkins.

Boom “Moreover, would you admit that finding out that your core-beliefs could be wrong, might not be so "enjoyable"?”

Yes, I’ll admit that.

Boom “If you do admit that, would you further concede that that's not a good reason to avoid reading things that challenge your worldview????? “

Most certainly.

Karla said...

Boom “Okay, while, to me, it is plain to see that you are implying that those who study the Xian philosophy but find it lacking, somehow haven't "learned" how to be "opened" to "experiencing Him"(biblegod), in which case, once again, they are culpable, yet, according to the new suggestions/guidelines for facilitating conversation, etc., I should first ask you if that's what you meant.”


Thank you for asking if that is what I mean. I was saying that intellectual learning may not lead to someone finding Christ—there are other factors at work that may inhibit that from happening—some factors could be a result of the person themselves and others not so much.


Boom “So, what do you mean?? What are you trying to say, assuming that I have you all wrong?? Please explain it and be very specific, because, at face-value, it looks like you are holding those who don't "experience Him" responsible...i.e...they haven't "learned" how to be "open", yada, yada. And if so, I don't buy it, and I make no apologies for such excuses. “

Lots of things can block us experiencing Him. Lots of things can break through those blocks as well. Some of those blocks can be self-caused and some of them not. I would have to talk about the spiritual world in order to explain what I mean by “blocks.”


Boom “To me, you appear to be saying that a yet-be-converted person has to *first* believe that it's all true, and THEN biblegod will make an appearance that you cannot deny as an "experience". Interestingly, that's precisely how the power of suggestion works.”

No. I think the experience can and usually does proceed the belief. I was walking in the mall a few months back with a pastor who was visiting from out of state. He was one of the conference speakers and my husband and I had the opportunity to spend a few hours with him. He was teaching about how to help others experience God’s Presence. Our time with him was to see this demonstrated. He approached a group of teens in the mall and asked if they wanted to feel God. A couple said yes and a few hung back. Without touching them he put his hands about five inches over theirs and asked the Holy Spirit to come. They said “whoa man, what is that, what’s going on?” He asked them what they felt and they said it was warm and heavy and they were at a loss for better words. The strangers stepped in closer to see what was going on. The pastor asked if they wanted to feel God too and they said no. We wished them well and went on through the mall. We didn’t try and get them to say a prayer or even tell them the gospel we just let them experience God and moved on. This is just an example of people who do not know God experiencing God. Later the stragglers tracked us down in the mall and wanted to experience what the others had experienced. I see it as each Christian’s responsibility to bring God to others.

Karla said...

Cl, I did a post on "spirit" recently. Are you talking about something beyond the scope of that post?

As to hell, I really am not up for getting into that topic again right now. Do you ever read anything by Brian McClaren? I read a few chapters he wrote on the topic and he had a perspective that I think is pretty good.

Karla said...

You still haven't answered what you're looking for in any sort of meaningful way. What? You want photos of Karla kicking back with God? Some sort of certificate that says Karla and God have a relationship together? Witnesses who've seen Karla and God at the country club?

I think this would be a perfect time for you to ask Karla to clarify what she meant by her statement that she "knows God exists like she knows her husband exists," but that's all between you and Karla."

Just to put it out there, I wasn't saying they would be proven the same way. I was only saying that I am as certain of one as of the other.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: Just to put it out there, I wasn't saying they would be proven the same way. I was only saying that I am as certain of one as of the other.

How?

cl said...

..you've come to Karla's rescue.. (boomSLANG)

No I didn't. I offered more than one suggestion to both of you. I'm not on "her side" I just hate to see people needlessly talking past each other.

..yet, we're still talking about it. (boomSLANG)

Well you responded with five comments in a row about it. It would have been rude of me to just ignore you, no?

..if it's okay with you, I'd rather just get all of this finger-pointing and discussion of whose "bed-side manner" stinks, out of the way. (boomSLANG)

Though you stated it a bit differently than I did, that's more than okay with me. I tire, too.

I have listened to what cl thinks that my, and "most Atheist's" problems are, for several posts. (boomSLANG)

For the record, I didn't comment about "most atheists" I commented about "most atheists I've come across." The difference is subtle and in this case even trivial, but an oversight that small could completely ruin a nuanced philosophical discussion where every word counts. May I suggest quoting the other person verbatim? Not to be rude or belabor a point, but I really do believe a large part of the problem between you and Karla - and you and myself - is that you often paraphrase our statements slightly differently than they were originally stated. That's a surefire way to talk past each other.

..perhaps you might consider that I said I'd try to be more respectful. If you can't give an Atheist the benefit of the doubt, just say so. (boomSLANG)

I did consider it and I commend you for it. I do give you the benefit of the doubt, and if what you say is true I can only see things getting better. I offer these criticisms with a "no hard feelings" type of vibe. We're all human. I'm not above a single criticism I've waged here.

cl said...

Books, not yet. I do very much want to do that. I have stood in a book store and read from a Dawkins book or a Hitchens book, but that does not do it justice. (Karla, to boomSLANG)

If you're going to read Dawkins, I suggest his science writing. If you want examples of horribly unsound and unprofessional philosophical work, I suggest The God Delusion. It's a prime reason so many New Atheists misunderstand the basic tenets of the Bible.

Cl, I did a post on "spirit" recently. Are you talking about something beyond the scope of that post? (Karla)

I can't recall if I read it or not. I'll skim the backlog and take a look.

As to hell, I really am not up for getting into that topic again right now. Do you ever read anything by Brian McClaren? I read a few chapters he wrote on the topic and he had a perspective that I think is pretty good. (Karla)

New to me. I'll take a look.

cl said...

For the record, boomSLANG, it's still unclear to me what kind of evidence you think we should reasonably expect given the God-premises you argue from.

To me, you appear to be saying that a yet-be-converted person has to *first* believe that it's all true, and THEN biblegod will make an appearance that you cannot deny as an "experience". Interestingly, that's precisely how the power of suggestion works. (boomSLANG, to Karla)

Consider the conversion of Saul for reference. Though not atheist, he certainly disbelieved in the divinity of Jesus, and yet Jesus still met him on the road to Damascus.

Moreover, would you admit that finding out that your core-beliefs could be wrong, might not be so "enjoyable"? (boomSLANG, to Karla)

I actually would find that enjoyable. My analogy for truth is the tootsie-pop: every layer of sugar coating that dissolves away is one step closer to the true core. Checking our beliefs for truth is a good thing.

Speaking of checking for truth, one question I always ask atheists is: how can you check to see if atheism is true? Is it not a position that can only be assumed, as opposed to confirmed with evidence?

On the contrary, if God exists and so chose to unequivocally manifest to humanity, we could reasonably confirm theism to be true.

To me, that's a damning strike against atheism, full of irony in that atheists cannot demonstrate the truthfulness of their own position, but only assume it. Isn't that exactly what they criticize believers for? Isn't that exactly what you and CyberKitten are criticizing Karla for?

CyberKitten said...

cl said: To me, that's a damning strike against atheism, full of irony in that atheists cannot demonstrate the truthfulness of their own position, but only assume it. Isn't that exactly what they criticize believers for? Isn't that exactly what you and CyberKitten are criticizing Karla for?

You mean that we cannot prove a negative - that God does not exist - yet you can prove a positive - that He does?

All I can say to that is just how much *lack* of evidence do you need before something is not believed in? I doubt very much that I can prove beyond reasonable doubt that the supernatural does not exist - but I can spend a life time looking for solid evidence without finding any. Am I not then justified in coming to the reasonable conclusion that the evidence cannot be found because it simply does not in fact exist?

If the existence of God is easier to demonstrate than His non-existence... then where is that demonstration?

cl said...

All I can say to that is just how much *lack* of evidence do you need before something is not believed in? (CyberKitten)

The question seems rhetorical, subjective, and ultimately meaningless. Personally, if I feel a claim has zero evidence yet seems logically possible or plausible, I throw it in the NULL pile meaning that I simply consider it possible or plausible and refrain from leaving the NULL position. If I feel a claim has zero evidence and seems logically impossible or implausible, I move away from NULL in favor of disbelief to a degree that parallels the extraordinariness of the claim. The latter evaluation unfortunately retains an element of subjectivity.

..I can spend a life time looking for solid evidence without finding any. Am I not then justified in coming to the reasonable conclusion that the evidence cannot be found because it simply does not in fact exist? (CyberKitten)

I can only speak for myself, and according the parameters established in above. If I were to judge you by those parameters, well.. do you find the idea of God to be logically possible or plausible? If yes, then I wouldn't call your conclusion reasonable or justified. If no, then I would consider your conclusion reasonable and justified. I would also add that there is no direct relationship between the justifiedness of a claim and its truth. I've never been sure what the atheist imagines when boasting of "justified" belief. Untold thousands of justified beliefs have been proven false.

I believe "zero evidence for God" is an rhetorical statement, too. What the person who says that really means in every case is, "I've not seen evidence for God that I'm willing to accept as convincing." The latter statement is conservatively stated and presented subjectively, thus acceptable to me. The former statement is not conservatively stated and masquerades a subjective opinion as an objective one, thus meriting rejection to me.

I opine that the evidence for God and superconsciousness is all around us, right in front of our faces every day just like the Bible says.

If the existence of God is easier to demonstrate than His non-existence... then where is that demonstration? (CyberKitten)

I've not said that existence is easier to demonstrate than non-existence. I've said non-existence cannot be demonstrated, period. It can only be assumed, and therein lies the irony every atheist has to live with. I would also like to know why you demand that Karla demonstrate her beliefs when you cannot demonstrate yours.

Personally, I wouldn't want that. I wouldn't want to be a person who demands others to demonstrate their beliefs, but cannot demonstrate my own. No offense, just sayin'.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: Thank you for asking if that is what I mean.

Well, you're welcome, but frankly, I still take issue with your most recent attempt to clarify what you mean. In other words, I don't think you are "talking past" me, nor do I think I'm "misunderstanding" you; I just think your reasoning on this particular subject is plain faulty.

Before we go there, however, if I violate the guidelines that you have set forth on your blog, let me know, pronto. And if this happens, please specify which guideline I'm violating. This way, I, too, get the chance to see if I've been misunderstood, prior to it being concluded that what I've written is what I meant. Thanks.

you continue...I was saying that intellectual learning may not lead to someone finding Christ—

Assuming "Christ" wants everyone to "find Him", why doesn't "Christ" just use its omniscience and simply give every person the evidence that "Christ" knows will convince them? If "Christ" has a personal "relationship" with each believer, and vice versa, it doesn't seem at all unreasonable to me that "Christ" would do this..i.e...work with potential believers on an individual basis.

continues...there are other factors at work that may inhibit that from happening—some factors could be a result of the person themselves and others not so much.

Since you've already made it very clear that being "opened" to "finding Christ" is something that is required, and that it may or may not be ascertained through "intellectual learning", which we agree includes a study of the Christian philosophy, itself, you are then being inconsistant when/if you say "intellectual learning" might not be enough, if the implication is that a personal experience might be needed. 'Understand?

Please really think about what you are proposing. Remember, we are talking about someone who hasn't yet adopted the Christian philosophy/hasn't yet encountered "Christ". In that case, according to your argument, this 'someone' must >> first << learn or adopt views on how to be "opened" to encountering "Christ", but yet, at the same time, you say...

"learning may not lead to someone finding Christ" ~ Karla

To me, what you are proposing doesn't make sense, or it is, what I, in the past, I have called nonsense, for short. For the record, that's what I meant by, "defending nonsense"...i.e..defending ideas that don't make sense. Nonetheless, I'll refrain from using that expression if it will be helpful in facilitating you gaining an understanding of why I, and other Atheist guests, think much of what you propose, including your various revisions, doesn't make sense.

BTW, please give us an example or two of a factor that inhibits people from "finding Christ" that is not "a result of the person themselves"(in which case, they would presumably not be culpable/responsible)

CyberKitten said...

cl said: do you find the idea of God to be logically possible or plausible? If yes, then I wouldn't call your conclusion reasonable or justified. If no, then I would consider your conclusion reasonable and justified.

No, I do not find the idea of God plausible.

cl said: Untold thousands of justified beliefs have been proven false.

Indeed they have - and will continue to be so.

cl said: I opine that the evidence for God and superconsciousness is all around us, right in front of our faces every day just like the Bible says.

...and I opine the opposite.

cl said: I've not said that existence is easier to demonstrate than non-existence. I've said non-existence cannot be demonstrated, period.

Why not? Because we'd have to have knowledge of every place a thing could be a look there? Doesn't that apply to everything from unicorns to every other god we've made up over the history of mankind? If we can't demonstrate that any of them does not exist does that mean that we should suspend disbelief about *everything*?

cl said: It can only be assumed, and therein lies the irony every atheist has to live with.

You mean atheism is a matter of faith? [snigger]

cl said: I would also like to know why you demand that Karla demonstrate her beliefs when you cannot demonstrate yours.

Oh, I think that I have *very* good reasons for holding the beliefs (or lack thereof) that I do.

cl said: I wouldn't want to be a person who demands others to demonstrate their beliefs, but cannot demonstrate my own.

...and if neither party can actually demonstrate their beliefs - then what? We're back to personal opinion again...... which although moderately interesting is rather pointless to debate don't you think?

boomSLANG said...

Karla: Lots of things can block us experiencing Him. Lots of things can break through those blocks as well. Some of those blocks can be self-caused and some of them not. I would have to talk about the spiritual world in order to explain what I mean by “blocks.”

True, using the "spiritual world" and other religious lingo in your defense when discussing the subject with a nonbeliever is meaningless, and it is begging the question when used as an argument. However, for sake of argument, I'm willing to discuss it under the pretense that such things exist and are "true".

So, I presume you mean "Satan"(or "evil") is the cause of the "blocks", yes? If not, provide "other". If so, please clarify something once and for all:

In an instance where "Satan"(or "evil") is "blocking" someone from having an encounter/experience with "God", why are these people being held accountable? Why, if "Satan" is overtaking the "free will" of these people, are they culpable?

Moreover, why doesn't "God" just stop "Satan" from putting up these "blocks" and overtaking people's free will? Remember, if "God" stopped "Satan" from perpetuating his "evil", then ideally, anyone could experience "God", but yet, we'd still have the freedom to reject what this "God" offers.

In other words, the argument that "God" can't/won't eliminate "evil" because it would corrupt or eliminate our "free will" is a non-argument. Please take another stab at it, if that's where you're heading with this.(since we've been over and over and over this in the past and gotten nowhere)

Previously, me: “To me, you appear to be saying that a yet-be-converted person has to *first* believe that it's all true, and THEN biblegod will make an appearance that you cannot deny as an 'experience'. Interestingly, that's precisely how the power of suggestion works.”

Karla: No.

But in fact, yes, that is precisely how the power of suggestion works.

continues...I think the experience can and usually does proceed the belief.

But previously you said that in order to experience/encounter "God", one must >> learn << how to be "opened" to experiencing/encountering "God". Remember?

Personally, I think your lack of consistancy is what hinders progress much of the time. And our giving you an open-ended period of time to "clarify" what you mean certainly isn't going to speed things up. That's just me, though.

Previously, I ask Karla: “You've read books about Atheists turning to Christianity. Have you ever read any books on Christians who become Atheists?”

Karla responds...Books, not yet. I do very much want to do that.

Whether you do, or don't read such books---it's meaningless anyway, because you've gone on record to say, "I could never be an Atheist".

If you actually mean what you said this time, then the implcation is that you've determined, a priori, that what you believe is "Truth". Thus, searching out other alternatives is a huge waste of your time, and it certainly doesn't convince me that you are an objective "Truth" seeker.

cl said...

Doesn't that apply to everything from unicorns to every other god we've made up over the history of mankind? If we can't demonstrate that any of them does not exist does that mean that we should suspend disbelief about *everything*? (CyberKitten)

I felt my aforementioned parameters sufficiently addressed the question of when we should suspend disbelief.

You mean atheism is a matter of faith? (CyberKitten)

To be precise, I'd say atheism necessarily requires an element of faith. Worded as yours is, the statement affords the implication that atheism is only a matter of faith. I don't think the latter is an accurate statement, and I know from experience that atheists resent it, hence the motivation to state it conservatively and accurately.

..I think that I have *very* good reasons for holding the beliefs (or lack thereof) that I do. (CyberKitten)

That doesn't answer the question of why you demand Karla demonstrate her beliefs when you cannot demonstrate yours.

..if neither party can actually demonstrate their beliefs - then what? We're back to personal opinion again...... (CyberKitten)

In the event where neither party can demonstrate their claim the aforementioned parameters apply. When it comes to (a)theism, I deny the premise that neither party can demonstrate their beliefs. Atheism cannot be demonstrated, period.

..although moderately interesting [personal opinion] is rather pointless to debate don't you think? (CyberKitten)

Yes. However, I think it's a fair argument that non-demonstrable claims are rather pointless to debate, or believe.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: I was walking in the mall a few months back with a pastor....[edited super-long anecdotal testimony for brevity]

Yes, I'm fairly certain that you've used this example once before, and I find it just as unconvincing as I did the first time. If you want the reasons why I find it unconvincing for a second time, I'll provide them.

Karla, to cl: As to hell, I really am not up for getting into that topic again right now

Why not? For many nonbelievers, myself included, it's one of the contributing factors to my finding the whole concept of "Hell" too immoral; too abhorent; too nonsensical to be worthy of my belief.

Karla quotes cl: "You[boomslang] still haven't answered what you're looking for in any sort of meaningful way. What? You want photos of Karla kicking back with God? Some sort of certificate that says Karla and God have a relationship together? Witnesses who've seen Karla and God at the country club?

I think this would be a perfect time for you to ask Karla to clarify what she meant by her statement that she "knows God exists like she knows her husband exists," but that's all between you and Karla."


Karla responds...Just to put it out there, I wasn't saying they would be proven the same way. I was only saying that I am as certain of one as of the other.

In regards to knowing that your "husband" and "God" exist---when you say, "proven the same way", you must know by now that neither can be "proven" is an Absolute sense. However, where credible evidence is concerned, such evidence can provide a very good case for your claim to know that your "husband" exists. If you have the same type of evidence for "God", please share it ASAP, so we can get past this "hurdle".

As for you being just as "certain" that "God" exists as you are that your "husband" exists, I'm not surprised to know that you believe this. Then again, as we know, believing that you "know" something to be true, and being able to demonstrate that you "know" something to be true, are two entirely different things.

As for this...."You[boomslang] still haven't answered what you're looking for in any sort of meaningful way. What? You want photos of Karla kicking back with God? Some sort of certificate that says Karla and God have a relationship together? Witnesses who've seen Karla and God at the country club?"

Being the marvelously witty attempt to make my request look silly that it is, ironically, it only underscores my point. Why? Here's why: Because if those ideas sound silly to you, then perfect, because then you'll see just how silly it sounds to me when people say, "I'm in a relationship with God!!!!"..and "The LORD is in me!".

If the notion of Karla kickin' back with an invisible, conscious being at a "country club" sounds totally absurd, well, I agree--it is absurd. But guess what?...it doesn't sound any less absurd to me that she's kickin' back with an invisible, conscious being at the mall, or at her house, or at a building with a giant crucifix attached to it, or... that such a being takes up residence in her cardiovascular organ.

To clarify further, I agree that no such evidence exists. That was my point. Perhaps I should have been clearer. In any event, if Karla would just concede that no such evidence exists, and in which case, she cannot demonstrate that her "God"-belief has a referent in reality, then we could possibly make some progess. But I suspect it won't be that easy, and there will be some rebuttals. So, let's have 'em.

cl said...

boomSLANG,

Since you've already made it very clear that being "opened" to "finding Christ" is something that is required, and that it may or may not be ascertained through "intellectual learning", which we agree includes a study of the Christian philosophy, itself, you are then being inconsistant when/if you say "intellectual learning" might not be enough, if the implication is that a personal experience might be needed. 'Understand?

Please really think about what you are proposing. Remember, we are talking about someone who hasn't yet adopted the Christian philosophy/hasn't yet encountered "Christ". In that case, according to your argument, this 'someone' must >> first << learn or adopt views on how to be "opened" to encountering "Christ", but yet, at the same time, you say...

"learning may not lead to someone finding Christ" ~ Karla

To me, what you are proposing doesn't make sense, or it is, what I, in the past, I have called nonsense, for short.


Try thinking of Karla's argument this way (please forgive and correct me Karla if I misrepresent your position; I'm taking more liberty than usual here in the interest of attaining mutual understanding):

1) Being "opened" is required to believe;

2) A person may or may not be "opened" as a result of intellectual study alone;

3) A person may or may not be "opened" as a result of a divine experience alone;

4) Some people require neither intellectual study nor divine experience to believe;

5) Some people require both intellectual study and divine experience to believe.

Would you say any of those premises mutually exclude one another?

I think the disconnect might be with the "learn or adopt views on how to be 'opened'" part of your comment. I don't think Karla is saying one can learn or adopt views on how to be opened. However, if she was or is saying that intellectual study may or may not be enough, because some cases also require being opened, and that one must learn how to be opened in those cases - then I would agree with you that her logic appeared circular.

boomSLANG said...

cl: "Atheism cannot be demonstrated, period."

If "Atheism" was a proclamation that "GOD DOES NOT EXIST!!!", then I agree, it cannot be demonstrated in any Absolute sense.

However, "Atheism" is no such proclaimation; it is merely a lack of belief in "God"/god. Yes, some "hard Atheists" take it a step futher and believe the statement: "God does not exist!". I don't believe that statement, however.

If we can't agree that believing something does not exist, and lacking a belief that it does exist, are two different positions, then there's little hope of making progress, IMO.

cl said...

Being the marvelously witty attempt to make my request look silly that it is, ironically, it only underscores my point. Why? Here's why: Because if those ideas sound silly to you, then perfect, because then you'll see just how silly it sounds to me when people say, "I'm in a relationship with God!!!!"..and "The LORD is in me!". (boomSLANG)

If your point is only that you find it silly when people claim to have a relationship with God, you've left the realm of cogency in preference of personal opinion. I agree with CyberKitten that personal opinion is not meaningful to intellectual debate.

To clarify further, I agree that no such evidence exists. (boomSLANG)

I agree, too, only I would add that no such evidence is capable of existing, because the prediction does not fit the hypothesis. That's precisely why your request was silly as stated, and I would agree with you that Karla could express the "God / husband" analogy in a way that doesn't afford the implication that one can prove God's existence like they can their own husband's.

In any event, if Karla would just concede that no such evidence exists, and in which case, she cannot demonstrate that her "God"-belief has a referent in reality, then we could possibly make some progess. (boomSLANG)

That Karla cannot produce photos or video of her and God at the country club does not support your conclusion that she cannot demonstrate a referent in reality for her God-belief. You appear to be casting predictions from a different God-hypothesis than Karla, which is why I said,

..it's still unclear to me what kind of evidence you think we should reasonably expect given the God-premises you argue from. (cl, to boomSLANG)

I think the discrepancy is that your God-hypothesis (the premises you accept when evaluating the concept of God) casts different predictions than Karla's, cf. the difference between a magic genie and the God of the Bible.

boomSLANG said...

cl: "Would you say any of those premises mutually exclude one another?"

Answer: No. And after entertaining your illustration, I hold to my previous position that it boils down to the individual, and said individual's personal experiences(or lack of thereof). Someone who studies the Christian philosophy just as ardently/passionately as a believer might not find it convincing(and Karla concedes this). Therefore, I don't see it as "Just" to hold said 'someone' accountible/responsible for being unconvinced.

Notwithstanding, Karla's latest claim is that there exist factors that "inhibit people from finding Christ" that are not "a result of the person themselves". So, we'll wait for those examples. Yet, I will wager that, in the end, her arguments will somehow allude to the nonbeliever being the blame. This is *not* to say I'm not giving her the benefit of the doubt, though.

cl said...

If we can't agree that believing something does not exist, and lacking a belief that it does exist, are two different positions, then there's little hope of making progress, IMO. (boomSLANG)

I understood the distinction between hard and soft atheism before your reminder. I also understand that the burden of proof falls to the positive claimant. I will grant you that in the limited context of (a)theism, my argument applies only to hard atheists. Thanks for keeping me on my toes there.

However, the inconsistency isn't just limited to the claim of hard atheism, but also other claims that even soft atheists tend to accept. For example, many (but not all) atheists believe that consciousness permanently terminates upon death. Surely you can see that such is a positive claim, right? Yet, it is a positive claim that cannot be demonstrated, only assumed.

So, why do you accept belief(s) that cannot possibly be demonstrated, yet demand that Karla demonstrate her beliefs before you'll be willing to accept them?

****************

Answer: No. (boomSLANG)

Then, would you say that Karla was in fact being consistent, presuming my attempted clarification reflects her actual position?

Someone who studies the Christian philosophy just as ardently/passionately as a believer might not find it convincing(and Karla concedes this). Therefore, I don't see it as "Just" to hold said 'someone' accountible/responsible for being unconvinced. (boomSLANG)

I would agree with you, then counter that according to the Bible, hell is not a punishment for being unconvinced; it's the only logical solution for unrepentant souls.

boomSLANG said...

cl "If your point is only that you find it silly when people claim to have a relationship with God, you've left the realm of cogency in preference of personal opinion."

Of course it's my opinion. Let the record show that I don't claim to know anything in an Absolute sense, including that the notion of having a relationship with an invisible, conscious being is "silly".

And my point was simply to show that I don't find it any less silly to suggest one can have a "relationship" with an invisible, conscious being, than it is silly to believe that Karla can produce photos of her and such a being. Nothing more. I reiterate----I know my request was silly, and that was more or less the point.

cl: "...I would add that no such evidence is capable of existing.."

Yes, agreed---but I'd disagree if it is argued that said being can manifest itself in the material/physical, because in which case, "God"[biblegod] could, yes, feasibly come and hang out with Karla at a country club, just like said "God" allegedly made numerous physical appearances and hung out with people just a few thousand years ago.

continues....."because the prediction does not fit the hypothesis."

It fits, if the prediction is that "God" can appear, just like "God" allegedly appeared to "the Twelve" and the more than 500 hundred other folks in the "Word of God"[bible].

continues..."... and I would agree with you that Karla could express the 'God / husband' analogy in a way that doesn't afford the implication that one can prove God's existence like they can their own husband's."

Mind you, she has now re-clarified it to mean that she is just as "certain" of one existing as the other. This is what I mean--she changes her terms up as she goes, and it becomes a goose-chase. Weeks and weeks and weeks of this back-n-forth, unmonitered, and perhaps it's a little easier to see why I tweak-out and say abrasive things.(or perhaps not, I'm certainly not trying to bait the discussion backwards)

cl: "That Karla cannot produce photos or video of her and God at the country club does not support your conclusion that she cannot demonstrate a referent in reality for her God-belief."

Okay, then if she can demonstrate it some other way, I won't conclude that she has failed to meet the burden of proving her "God"-belief has a referent in reality.

continues..."You appear to be casting predictions from a different God-hypothesis than Karla..."

My "God-hypothesis" is based on the bible, and if I'm not mistaken, Karla's is too. If "God" can appear to human beings in the bible, then it is not unreasonable to make predictions that "God" can do it again.

continues.."...the difference between a magic genie and the God of the Bible."

Other than they both presumably defy natural law---what's the difference between the concepts of "magic", and "supernatural" powers?

Moreover, I'd be interested to hear your take on the myriad prayer-lines, where believers call in and ask "God" to grant what the want. It is usually followed by such things as, "In the name of the Lord, we ask you to [do yada, yada, yada] for [so-n-so], in Jesus name we pray, Amen."

Since the participants have total faith in this, how is not the same as "granting wishes"? If you agree that's its an utter crock', then disregard the second half of the question.

Taking break.

cl said...

boomSLANG,

Yeah I'm taking a break, too. I'm glad things seem to be going more smoothly, though. I think overall we've improved our ability to communicate, and that's always good. Cheers yourself for me.

More later.

boomSLANG said...

@ cl(and others),

One thing has become evident to me: Conversing with someone who is able to express his position concisely, makes things less stressful - which in turn, lessens the chance of my becoming temporarily unglued, which I admit, is ultimately my own problem if it should happen, since I'm under no obligation to be here. I can simply leave at any given time, should my frustration become overwhelming.

In any event, regarding the recent exchange, not having to, a) weed through my opponent's arguments to find what his/her intended meaning is, or, b) explain my own position over and over, ad nauseam, makes the whole process of exchanging ideas much quicker, notwithstanding, I remain just as skeptical of Christianity's Truth-claims as I was before I came here.

I have some crap to get done. I may get to some rebuttals; I may not.

Out.

CyberKitten said...

cl said: I felt my aforementioned parameters sufficiently addressed the question of when we should suspend disbelief.

So... because you *believe* that God is plausible and other supernatural creatures are not.....etc... Yet I consider *all* supernatural creatures - including God equally implausible..... and we're back to belief again (and special pleading....)

cl said: I'd say atheism necessarily requires an element of faith.

As we always have less than perfect knowledge of things doesn't *everything* require an element of faith?

cl said: That doesn't answer the question of why you demand Karla demonstrate her beliefs when you cannot demonstrate yours.

...and exactly why *can't* I demonstrate my beliefs? Surely I do that everytime I argue a point here? Isn't that exactly what we are, or are attempting to do, here - demonstrating our beliefs?

cl said: Atheism cannot be demonstrated, period.

Why not? Presumably theism can only be theoretically demonstrated?

cl said: However, I think it's a fair argument that non-demonstrable claims are rather pointless to debate, or believe.

[rotflmao] Subtle... *real* subtle! [laughs]

Karla said...

Cl “I would agree with you, then counter that according to the Bible, hell is not a punishment for being unconvinced; it's the only logical solution for unrepentant souls.”

True.


Boom “Well, you're welcome, but frankly, I still take issue with your most recent attempt to clarify what you mean. In other words, I don't think you are "talking past" me, nor do I think I'm "misunderstanding" you; I just think your reasoning on this particular subject is plain faulty.”

I do seem to be failing to present what I am talking about well.


Boom “Before we go there, however, if I violate the guidelines that you have set forth on your blog, let me know, pronto. And if this happens, please specify which guideline I'm violating. This way, I, too, get the chance to see if I've been misunderstood, prior to it being concluded that what I've written is what I meant. Thanks.”

My only guideline is that discussion on this blog be respectful and honestly I hold Christians to that standard faster than I do atheists. Just the same, CL’s suggestions are proving helpful.


Boom “Assuming "Christ" wants everyone to "find Him", why doesn't "Christ" just use its omniscience and simply give every person the evidence that "Christ" knows will convince them?”


Just about everything God does is done by working through humans who are in relationship with Him. We are His hands and feet in this world and this way of doing things cultivates something in us that would not be cultivated otherwise. He partners with us to bring about a better world. There is more going on than just everyone being saved—salvation is just the first step in a much bigger picture.

Karla said...

Boom “BTW, please give us an example or two of a factor that inhibits people from "finding Christ" that is not "a result of the person themselves"(in which case, they would presumably not be culpable/responsible)”

Some times emotional trauma of the past caused by another person or circumstances can cause a person to be in a position where it is difficult for them to believe its true that there is a God who loves them dearly. Intellectual evidence will not suffice, the heart needs healing. A Christian loving them as Christ loves them can open that heart up and let the healing of God flow in and then they will see the reality of God.

Boom “ In an instance where "Satan"(or "evil") is "blocking" someone from having an encounter/experience with "God", why are these people being held accountable? Why, if "Satan" is overtaking the "free will" of these people, are they culpable?

Okay here goes a spiritual answer: Yes there could be demonic/evil at work that can keep a person blinded to seeing the truth. However, this does not happen against a person’s free will—but it can happen with them not knowing it. Sin is the devils domain and it opens the door to him to cause some internal havoc in a person and keep them from truth as he is the great deceiver. Usually we believe a lie and that lie goes into more lies and he keeps them coming and we keep excepting them until we are in a web of deception and think it is true. This can be overcome by God directly or by the person asking God to free them from this entanglement, however, most people in it do not know it and cannot ask God they cannot believe in for help. But those who do know God and do recognize this going on can ask God for them and help set them free.


Boom “If you actually mean what you said this time, then the implcation is that you've determined, a priori, that what you believe is "Truth". Thus, searching out other alternatives is a huge waste of your time, and it certainly doesn't convince me that you are an objective "Truth" seeker”


Is the aim “objectivity” without ever grasping on to something as truly true. Or is the goal finding what is true and holding on to that?

Karla said...

Cl thank you for adding your 5 point clarifying summary of what I was saying. Yes I concur with your summary.

And to Boom, it is our sin that sends us to hell and our acquiring God's life dwelling inside us that removes the debt of sin and brings us into life with Him for eternity.

Karla said...

Boom “My "God-hypothesis" is based on the bible, and if I'm not mistaken, Karla's is too. If "God" can appear to human beings in the bible, then it is not unreasonable to make predictions that "God" can do it again.”

In the Bible God appeared in a manifested form – something we can see or feel or hear. He does this today as well, but the thing is to the person who does not believe that He exists would not any occurrence of His manifesting be interpreted with a natural explanation no matter how implausible? Scripture says he appeared 2000 years ago as a man who did miracles and died and rose again, but some people then and now do not accept that as true and write books full of natural explanations to avoid any possibility of it being a supernatural event.

When I told of seeing my mother-in-law’s arm growing out I was given a myriad of natural explanations. So I am at a loss as to what would constitute demonstration of God’s existence or at the very least some un-named supernatural power.

boomSLANG said...

Previously, cl: “I would agree with you[boomslang], then counter that according to the Bible, hell is not a punishment for being unconvinced; it's the only logical solution for unrepentant souls.”

Karla responds: True

Please explain how it is "logical" to be "repented" for something that you are unconvinced is "true", or "real", without, a) lying to one's self, and/or, b) lying to the one you are pretending to be "repenting" to.

BTW, if it turns out that lying to, or for, "God", is acceptable, then why is it a "sin" for us to lie to each other?

Or, is the suggestion, above, that those who are "unconvinced" are somehow "exempt" from the supposed "solution"...i.e..the punishment in "Hell"? If that is the case and it is biblically supported, I'm curious to see that.

Also, why is keeping people alive and torturing them with fire, day-in and day-out for all of eternity, the "only logical solution for unrepentant souls"?[emphasis, mine]

Karla: My only guideline is that discussion on this blog be respectful and honestly I hold Christians to that standard faster than I do atheists.

Then I'm curious to know what you'd do if a Christian guest told me, or Mike, or Cyberkitten, "Repent, you fool!!...or you're going to burn in Hell forever!!!"

So? Would you reprimand them for simply stating what is presumbly true about your beliefs?...i.e..that unrepentant souls go to Hell?

Karla: Just the same, CL’s suggestions are proving helpful.

Helpful in keeping people civil, perhaps. But to the best that I can see, not so helpful in getting you to state your position concisely enough that it doesn't need revision after revision after revision(assuming that you aren't simply wrong), which is the very thing that some of us find frustrating enough to occasionally cop an attitude. Even Monolith Mike admits to copin' a mini-'tude ; ) << @ Mike.

Previously, me: “Assuming 'Christ' wants everyone to 'find Him', why doesn't 'Christ' just use its omniscience and simply give every person the evidence that 'Christ' knows will convince them?”

Karla responds: Just about everything God does is done by working through humans who are in relationship with Him.

Yes, and isn't that convenient(and peculiar)? The "Unlimited Being" uses fallible, untrustworthy, "sinful", limited beings to get its "Will" met.

And BTW, you didn't answer my question with the balance of that long apologetic. I'll paste said question again:

"...why doesn't 'Christ' just use its omniscience and simply give every person the evidence that 'Christ' knows will convince them?"

boomSLANG said...

Previously, me: “BTW, please give us an example or two of a factor that inhibits people from 'finding Christ' that is not 'a result of the person themselves'(in which case, they would presumably not be culpable/responsible)”

Karla responds...Some times emotional trauma of the past caused by another person or circumstances can cause a person to be in a position where it is difficult for them to believe its true that there is a God who loves them dearly.

Okay; fine. Now, take such a person as an example, and in the hypothetical event that he or she doesn't encounter this...

"A Christian loving them as Christ loves them can open that heart up and let the healing of God flow in and then they will see the reality of God." ~ Karla

...is such a person due and deserving of the same fate as a person who rejects "God", and/or, who isn't "repentant"??? Yes or no?

Karla: Okay here goes a spiritual answer: Yes there could be demonic/evil at work that can keep a person blinded to seeing the truth. However, this does not happen against a person’s free will—but it can happen with them not knowing it.

Then the same applies---why are human beings who do not even know that they are under the influence of "Satan" being held accountable? If "Satan" can over-take people's minds without them being aware of it, then in my view, they are no more culpable than a person who has Alzheimer's disease is culpable for not knowing what they do.

boomSLANG said...

Previously, me: “If you actually mean what you said this time[when you said 'I could never become an Atheist'], then the implcation is that you've determined, a priori, that what you believe is 'Truth'. Thus, searching out other alternatives is a huge waste of your time, and it certainly doesn't convince me that you are an objective 'Truth' seeker.”

Karla responds: Is the aim “objectivity” without ever grasping on to something as truly true.

Forgive me, but the term, "truly true", is redundant, nonsensical, and just plain silly. Is something "falsely true"??? I'm not scolding you or suggesting you're an idiot. I just wish you would be more careful.

Karla: Or is the goal finding what is true and holding on to that?

The "goal" is going where the evidence leads, regardless of if you think you've already found "Truth". Again, your own statement reveals that you are not interested in any such "goal", because when you say, "I could never be an Atheist", the implication is that you're convicted/cemented to being a Theist, regardless of any evidence to the contrary. To me, that is a prime example of "religious conviction".

Karla: And to Boom, it is our sin that sends us to hell and our acquiring God's life dwelling inside us that removes the debt of sin and brings us into life with Him for eternity.

::sigh::

Yes, I/we have heard this apologetic over and over and over and over. As long you'll keep repeating it, I suppose I can keep repeating why I find it to be a huge ration of illogic, and thus, un-believable.

Here we go....

- If we are born "sinners", and as you say, "sin sends us to hell", then we are BORN condemned. That is a violation of my "free will", and a complete mockery of "Justice".

- If "God", or in this instance, "Jesus", died(as in >> past << tense) to pay my "debt", then logic and reason say that this "debt" is >> ALEADY << "paided", since he already died. Yet, if I, an Atheist, am not eligible for "life with Him for eternity"(and I'm not), then this "debt" pay-off is only applicable to Christians.

So, ultimately, "Jesus" will have died "for Christians", only.

And please---I beg of you, do not retort with anything remotely like, "You might not always be an Atheist!", unless you can guarantee me that sometime before I die, "God" will most definitely stop "hiding" for my supposed benefit, and give me the evidence that I would require for belief.

In other words, don't make promises that you cannot keep/back.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: In the Bible God appeared in a manifested form – something we can see or feel or hear. He does this today as well.....[emphasis, mine]

Oh, really?!?! Then I guess it isn't so "silly", after all, to ask a Christian for some photos of them lounging around with the creator of the Universe, right? Notice, I'm not talking about whether people would believe it, or not; I want to know if it is a "silly" request. Well?

Please---make up your mind. Can your "God"-belief be demonstrated in the same way that you can demonstrate that your "husband" exists, or not? Is "God" walking the earth today, or not? Yes, or no? Because in another discussion, you said "He" is not.

Myself and cl have (I think) agreed that no such evidence exists, and that it's silly to ask for it. If you disagree, then feel to elaborate, but please-oh-please...stop waffling on this issue!

continues...but the thing is to the person who does not believe that He exists would not any occurrence of His manifesting be interpreted with a natural explanation no matter how implausible?

I can only answer for myself. If a "being" - no matter what said being looked like - showed up and could lay his/her/its bodily limbs or appendages on terminally ill patients and consistantly cure them and this be backed with medical verification, I would say that that would constitute credible evidence for the "supernatural". If it was a male human, I would say that that would be consistant with the deity of the bible, and I would rethink my Atheism.

continues...So I am at a loss as to what would constitute demonstration of God’s existence or at the very least some un-named supernatural power.

So, you admit that evidence of the latter, isn't necessarily evidence of the former. Yes?

Karla said...

Boom “Or, is the suggestion, above, that those who are "unconvinced" are somehow "exempt" from the supposed "solution"...i.e..the punishment in "Hell"? If that is the case and it is biblically supported, I'm curious to see that.”


Our life dwelling in His life = heaven now and in eternity

Our life separate from His life = death and destruction and hell

Yes, belief is an element of that – but belief isn’t the whole of it for it is not about believing a doctrine, but knowing the person of Truth.

Belief in God isn’t where the life is: God is where the life is. Doctrine doesn’t give life, God does. Scriptures do not house life, they speak of the One who does.

Boom “"...why doesn't 'Christ' just use its omniscience and simply give every person the evidence that 'Christ' knows will convince them?"

I don’t have a better answer then the one I gave.


Boom “Yes, and isn't that convenient(and peculiar)? The "Unlimited Being" uses fallible, untrustworthy, "sinful", limited beings to get its "Will" met.”


Isn’t that amazing? He gives us the privileged of working with Him to see His truth and love established. He doesn’t do all the work and wave his hand and make it all better, He works through us because He loves us and we grow and blossom in Him as we move in what we are each designed for to see the big picture unfold. Sure He could do it all in an instant, but He has held Himself back for our good, because it is good to do so and choices to work through us.

Karla said...

Boom “The "goal" is going where the evidence leads, regardless of if you think you've already found "Truth".”

But that path has led me to Jesus. So should I never arrive at finding the way of truth. Sure there will always be more to learn, but does the way you propose ever have an end or does it only look objectively but never find?

Boom “Please---make up your mind. Can your "God"-belief be demonstrated in the same way that you can demonstrate that your "husband" exists, or not? Is "God" walking the earth today, or not? Yes, or no? Because in another discussion, you said "He" is not.”

I wasn’t speaking of the form of a man, but a variety of manifestations. For instance there was a worship conference where a cloud appeared in the room over the worshipers. God appeared as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night in the Old Testament.

Boom “I can only answer for myself. If a "being" - no matter what said being looked like - showed up and could lay his/her/its bodily limbs or appendages on terminally ill patients andconsistantly cure them and this be backed with medical verification, I would say that that would constitute credible evidence for the "supernatural"”

But what if you saw me lay my hand on a terminally ill patient and they regained health when the doctors had no hope? Would this not be evidence of what I say that Jesus dwells in me and works through me to accomplish these things? I have not yet ever had the opportunity to pray for someone with such an illness, but this would be something I would consider evidence of my claims.

boomSLANG said...

Me, previously: “Or, is the suggestion, above, that those who are 'unconvinced' are somehow 'exempt' from the supposed 'solution'...i.e..the punishment in 'Hell'?

Karla responds with this...

Our life dwelling in His life = heaven now and in eternity

Our life separate from His life = death and destruction and hell


I'll take the blame that I'm a horrible writer; I'll take it that when I thought that I asked you the above, very specific, very pointed, very pertinent question, that I was wrong---it wasn't any of those things.

Okay, I'll try again:

Karla,

Are those people who are unconvinced, by no fault of their own,(which you admit is possible) "exempt" from what cl calls "the only logical solution for unrepentant souls"(i.e "Hell"). Yes. or. no....?

BTW, I'd like to remind you that I cannot "repent" for that which I do not believe is true.(unless I LIE to myself)

continues...Belief in God isn’t where the life is: God is where the life is. Doctrine doesn’t give life, God does. Scriptures do not house life, they speak of the One who does.

I implore you; I beg of you--- please refrain from repeating what you've been repeating over and over and over. I'm not mad at you; I don't think you're an idiot, but not one word of what you just said pertains to the issue I'm trying to get you to address. That "God is where life is" is totally meaningless to someone who is unconvinced that "God" exists, whether his or her being unconvinced is due to not having experienced this alleged "God", or not having experienced a "Christian" who could open this person's "heart" to "God".

Again, you admit that there are "factors" that "block" people from experiencing "God" that are "not so much" said person's doing.

So, are these types of unconvinced, Atheist nonbelievers - as opposed to Atheists and other Theists who reject your biblegod - granted leniency of some sort?

In its simplist form, I suppose it could be asked this way:

Is there..

a) middle ground?

or...

b) no middle ground; all who do not believe are treated equally..i.e..are deserving of torture by fire, including Atheists like Mike and myself, who are able to honestly believe?

"a" or "b"?

boomSLANG said...

Me, previously: "...why doesn't 'Christ' just use its omniscience and simply give every person the evidence that 'Christ' knows will convince them?"

Karla responds: I don’t have a better answer then the one I gave.

Okay, in other words, you don't have an answer.(because you haven't answered me; you've only repeated irrelvant apologetics)

Previously, me: “Yes, and isn't that convenient(and peculiar)? The 'Unlimited Being' uses fallible, untrustworthy, 'sinful', limited beings to get its 'Will' met.”

Karla responds...Isn’t that amazing? He gives us the privileged of working with Him to see His truth and love established.

I think it's "amazing" for a different reason. I think it's amazing that a subject so important would be turned over to fallible, limited beings, when the "Perfect", presumably infallible; presumably "Unlimited Being" hides out, fully-ready to see to it that I am tortured with fire if I don't "find" him, or if people like Karla can't convince me with their apologetics.

And BTW, it would only be a "privilege" to those are convinced. If I tell you, "You should be privileged to get three wishes for finding that lucky horseshoe!", I doubt it will mean much.

Previously, me: “The 'goal' is going where the evidence leads, regardless of if you think you've already found 'Truth'.”

Karla responds...But that path has led me to Jesus. So should I never arrive at finding the way of truth.

What do mean, "never arrive"? According to you, you're already there, but yet, you could "never be an Atheist", thus, the only alternative is Theism, or possibly Deism, if you for some reason found Xianity to be false.

Your previous admission that you "could never be an atheist" is very damning(no pun). You can only retract it, or keep defending it, and I suspect you'll do the latter. That's not a slam; it's just that you have a history here.

continues...Sure there will always be more to learn...

Including that you could be wrong. But people who hold religious convictions "can't be wrong".

continues......but does the way you propose ever have an end or does it only look objectively but never find?

I don't believe in "Absolute Truth". The Universe isn't static; it is changing as we speak.

Notwithstanding, if the future set of events is known, Absolutely, then our "free will" is illusion at best; a lie, at worst. Thus, what is "true" right this second is provisionally true, but true, nonetheless.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: I wasn’t speaking of the form of a man, but a variety of manifestations. For instance there was a worship conference where a cloud appeared in the room over the worshipers. God appeared as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night in the Old Testament.

A conference? And how many people would you guess were there? 50? 100? 500? And let me guess, all those cell phones?.. and not one single photo, right?

Karla: But what if you saw me lay my hand on a terminally ill patient and they regained health when the doctors had no hope?

Please note that in my criterion, I used more than one person as an example. Your results would have to be repeatable for me to believe. As we know, not all cancers are terminal, despite that doctors, who are fallible, do their best to figure out the odds of survival.

Karla: I have not yet ever had the opportunity to pray for someone with such an illness...

I think you probably misspoke, because, as it stands, it sounds like you've never known one single person who's died of cancer. I find that hard to believe. If I'm right, and you misspoke, how is it that you've "not yet ever had the opportunity to pray"..aka partake in distant healing for someone with cancer????? Please explain.

Karla said...

Boom "So, are these types of unconvinced, Atheist nonbelievers - as opposed to Atheists and other Theists who reject your biblegod - granted leniency of some sort?

No. Because it isn't about being convinced or unconvinced. Which is why I gave a longer answer the first time.

Karla said...

Boom What do mean, "never arrive"? According to you, you're already there, but yet, you could "never be an Atheist", thus, the only alternative is Theism, or possibly Deism, if you for some reason found Xianity to be false."


I was asking you to answer according to your own worldview. Do you see truth as something that can never be acquired? Does the objective person have to refrain from deciding to accept something as true and consequently opposing things as false?

Karla said...

Boom “A conference? And how many people would you guess were there? 50? 100? 500? And let me guess, all those cell phones?.. and not one single photo, right?”

It was in the early 90’s and there was over 100 people there. The conference was on video tape, but the video quality is very poor – but you can hear and see people’s reaction to seeing this cloud form inside the building. And I have heard people talk of this event who either were there or knew someone who was there. I have also heard testimony of it snowing or raining inside a church sanctuary during worship (without any rain or snow happening outside). Usually I wouldn’t bring up this kind of testimony because I have not personally witnessed it. I see the tape. But I have never seen this thing happen so my evidence for it is hearsay. I have seen interviews with people who have been there and seen these kinds of manifestations, but I have not yet witnessed this.

Karla: But what if you saw me lay my hand on a terminally ill patient and they regained health when the doctors had no hope?

Boom “Please note that in my criterion, I used more than one person as an example. Your results would have to be repeatable for me to believe. As we know, not all cancers are terminal, despite that doctors, who are fallible, do their best to figure out the odds of survival.”

Cancer was just an example I through out there. My point is that Christians are walking around healing people – not every person gets healed and I really do not know why. But I have heard hundreds and hundreds of testimonies of those who have from all kinds of different people, some being the people who received the healing and some from those who prayed for the person who was healed. And I have personally experienced healing and prayed and seen others healed.



Boom “I think you probably misspoke, because, as it stands, it sounds like you've never known one single person who's died of cancer. I find that hard to believe. If I'm right, and you misspoke, how is it that you've "not yet ever had the opportunity to pray"..aka partake in distant healing for someone with cancer????? Please explain. “

Not since I was aware that Christians can walk in the power of which I speak and see healing. I have only known of this and seen this in the last few years. I have known people in the past who have died of cancer. But I have never stood in front of someone since I have learned about healing who has cancer to pray for them. To my knowledge I do not currently personally know anyone with cancer.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

I've known Christians of great faith who have died of cancer.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: Do you see truth as something that can never be acquired?

The way I see it is that all truth is provisional. What we think is true now is overturned by what we find out later. Newtonian physics is the classic case of this. What Newton thought to be true - and accepted as true - turned out to only a crude approximation or reality. Einsteinian physics is a much better approximation of reality which will probably be overturned in the future by someone else. Whether or not reality itself can be *truely* understood I have no idea - but we are getting (slowly) better at understanding it.

Karla said...

Mike, I know of a preacher, Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding California, who has seen many amazing miracles including healing of cancer and yet his own father also a preacher died of cancer. I do not know why this happens, I just know that healing does happen -- not every time--not nearly every time. I do not know why.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Any theories?

Karla said...

No. I see it as something that should not be nailed down into a doctrine. Healing movements of the past have done a lot of damage making doctrines about why people don't get healed only leaving the person that needs love and understanding feeling terrible.

If you have interest in the topic of healing I suggest reading When Heaven Invades Earth by Bill Johnson.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

"I see it as something that should not be nailed down into a doctrine. Healing movements of the past have done a lot of damage making doctrines about why people don't get healed only leaving the person that needs love and understanding feeling terrible."

I agree 100%

Karla said...

Cyber, yes I can agree with that to an extent with regard to intellectually knowing something to be 100% true I think there is always an element still to be learned no matter how much knowledge a person has of a thing. I can't give a 100% description of all that God is. I do not have absolute knowledge of all things true. My claim is that God is the only Absolute -- not that I know all things about Him absolutely. When I talk about "absolute" I am not talking about my knowledge, but of His nature.

Karla said...

Mike your going to have to stop all that agreeing. . . (-: lol

CyberKitten said...

karla said: My claim is that God is the only Absolute -- not that I know all things about Him absolutely.

Heavy emphasis on the word "claim".

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

"Mike your going to have to stop all that agreeing. . . (-: lol"

Oh there's plenty of disagreeing, but most of that is covered by Boom and Cyber, so what I say would be redundant. ;-)

boomSLANG said...

Previously, me, to Karla:

"Again, you admit that there are 'factors' that 'block' people from experiencing 'God' that are 'not so much' said person's doing.

So, are these types of unconvinced, Atheist nonbelievers - as opposed to Atheists and other Theists who reject your biblegod - granted leniency of some sort?"


Karla responds...No. Because it isn't about being convinced or unconvinced.

Right, it's "about" this...

"Our life dwelling in His life = heaven now and in eternity" ~ Karla

and this...

"Our life separate from His life = death and destruction and hell" ~ Karla

and this...

"God is where life is" ~ Karla

Guess what, Karla? We, Atheists, fully GET the above-quoted is what you believe it's all "about". The problem is, from the point of view of someone who IS. NOT. CONVINCED, none of that matters, so yes, to people like me, it is all about being convinced that the "God" in question exists, and I believe that if you would try, really, really hard to actually entertain my explanation(s), instead of defending your own as if you know, a priori, that you're "right" and therefore I'm "wrong", we might actually get somewhere.

For instance, I've told you over and over and over that I cannot simply "will" myself to believe in a proposition that I don't find believable. I need "evidence", and said "God" knows precisely what evidence would convince me, but yet, for some reason that I have yet to hear a logical explanation for, this "God" is evidentally content "hiding". The ball is in its court; not mine.

But let's back up.

Previously, you said....

"Lots of things can block us experiencing Him. Lots of things can break through those blocks as well. Some of those blocks can be self-caused and some of them not." ~ Karla[emphasis, mine]

when asked, specifically, what factors can "block" us from "experiencing Him" that are not "self-caused", you went on to say this....

"...there could be demonic/evil at work that can keep a person blinded to seeing the truth. However, this does not happen against a person’s free will—but it can happen with them not knowing it." ~ Karla

To my knowledge, you didn't address my response to this. Did you see my previous response to this?

Here it is again....

"Then the same applies---why are human beings who do not even know that they are under the influence of 'Satan' being held accountable? If 'Satan' can over-take people's minds without them being aware of it, then in my view, they are no more culpable than a person who has Alzheimer's disease is culpable for not knowing what they do." ~ boomslang

So? 'Care to address this?

In any event, you concede that there is no "middle ground".

So, there are only two types of people: "saved", and "unsaved". All human beings are one, or the other, according to Karla. People's intentions? That means zero. This is one of the reasons that I find your belief despicable.(notice, not you, but the belief)

Karla: Which is why I gave a longer answer the first time.

A "longer" unsatisfactory "answer" is still unsatisfactory.

Karla said...

Boom, I don't know what else to tell you on that. The truth isn't about what we think is fair or good or what our view on it is. It is what it is.

Without seeing that God really is good, none of this will seem to have any merit.

boomSLANG said...

K: Boom, I don't know what else to tell you on that.

I don't know either, but please tell me anything other than what you've been telling me since my arrival. We know what you believe; we "get" that. The problem, the way I see it, is that your belief dead-ends at "I believe....."

K: The truth isn't about what we think is fair or good or what our view on it is.

'Depends on what kind of "truth" you mean.

K: Without seeing that God really is good...[EDIT]

I need to see that "God really" exists before I can "see" if "God" is "good", or not. The only thing I can "see" so far, is, a) a book in which the central character, "Yahweh", spends a good portion of its time behaving like a tyranical, homocidal, spoiled brat, and b) a few people defending said book.

K: ...none of this will seem to have any merit.

It doesn't have any "merit" because you have no credible evidence that it should have merit.

cl said...

So, I've recovered somewhat from "blogging burnout" and figured now is as good a time as any to jump back in the mix. I have a feeling this one will require two comments.

I'd be interested to hear your take on the myriad prayer-lines, where believers call in and ask "God" to grant what the want. It is usually followed by such things as, "In the name of the Lord, we ask you to [do yada, yada, yada] for [so-n-so], in Jesus name we pray, Amen." (boomSLANG)

Utter rubbish, all of it.

That doesn't answer the question of why you demand Karla demonstrate her beliefs when you cannot demonstrate yours. (cl, to CyberKitten)

...and exactly why *can't* I demonstrate my beliefs? Surely I do that everytime I argue a point here? Isn't that exactly what we are, or are attempting to do, here - demonstrating our beliefs? (CyberKitten, to cl)

Arguing your points is not the equivalent of demonstrating your beliefs. You should hold yourself to the same standard you hold Karla to; that's all I'm saying.

BTW, please give us an example or two of a factor that inhibits people from "finding Christ" that is not "a result of the person themselves"(in which case, they would presumably not be culpable/responsible) (boomSLANG)

Abuse: by clergy, by parents, by someone else.. in the name of God.

My "God-hypothesis" is based on the bible, and if I'm not mistaken, Karla's is too. If "God" can appear to human beings in the bible, then it is not unreasonable to make predictions that "God" can do it again. (boomSLANG)

According to the Bible God is spirit and unseen.

Please explain how it is "logical" to be "repented" for something that you are unconvinced is "true", or "real", without, a) lying to one's self, and/or, b) lying to the one you are pretending to be "repenting" to. (boomSLANG)

What you describe is not logical, but recall what I actually said: that hell is the only logical solution for unrepentant sinners.

why is keeping people alive and torturing them with fire, day-in and day-out for all of eternity, the "only logical solution for unrepentant souls"? (boomSLANG)

Now see, you're doing it again. By "doing it" I mean responding to more than your interlocuter actually said. I didn't once say that "keeping people alive and torturing them with fire, day-in and day-out for all of eternity, is the only logical solution for unrepentant souls." You should be sure I share your conception of hell before you judge my position accordingly.

But to answer your question, people unwilling to repent of their sin are not fit for eternity. Surely you see what a mess the world is now, right? An eternally good future is logically impossible without the elimination of sin from the universe.

Just about everything God does is done by working through humans who are in relationship with Him. (Karla)

I find it odd and borderline arrogant that atheists expect the God of the universe to make a special appearance just for them.

cl said...

...why doesn't 'Christ' just use its omniscience and simply give every person the evidence that 'Christ' knows will convince them? (boomSLANG)

For that matter, why didn't God just create us all as robots incapable of sin? At some point we have to swallow some responsibility here.

If "Satan" can over-take people's minds without them being aware of it, then in my view, they are no more culpable than a person who has Alzheimer's disease is culpable for not knowing what they do. (boomSLANG)

I would agree with you there. However, I reject the premise that Satan can overtake people's minds in the sense you seem to be alluding to. Excepting rare cases of actual possession, Satan works by suggestions intended to produce sinful actions, not brute force.

The "goal" is going where the evidence leads, (boomSLANG)

Now you're talking my language. Maybe I'll see you at my place someday. I've got evidence and accounts of all sorts of things worthy of consideration. I'd be interested in hearing your response to any of them.

- If we are born "sinners", and as you say, "sin sends us to hell", then we are BORN condemned. That is a violation of my "free will", and a complete mockery of "Justice". (boomSLANG)

Hardly. Being born condemned != remaining condemned.

Please---make up your mind. (boomSLANG, to Karla)

I see the problem as laying in your understanding. When Karla said God manifests in some form that can be seen or heard, that's not the same as saying God actually shows up in the flesh such that we could take a picture. For example, take the manifestation of some angel. Such is an instance of God manifesting in a form that could be seen or heard, but not the type of instance we could bottle in a jar to show you.

I think it's amazing that a subject so important would be turned over to fallible, limited beings... (boomSLANG)

This is where Karla, myself, and the mainstream Christian church part ways: important. I'm not important, and neither are any of you. The Bible says we are but dust. I have no idea where this over-inflated self-importance came from. When I read the Bible, I don't see a God that is begging and pleading and willing to do anything to secure the faith of a few mortals. Rather, I see a God that's, well... for lack of a better word, a total bad-ass. An eternally self-sufficient Being that doesn't need any of us. I think this difference can account for many of the discrepancies in our philological efforts.

Your results would have to be repeatable for me to believe. (boomSLANG)

Yet, you believe in all sorts of things that cannot possibly be repeatably demonstrated. How is that not a double-standard?

I just know that healing does happen -- not every time--not nearly every time. I do not know why. (Karla, to Mike)

Any theories? (Mike, to Karla)

One thing that comes to mind is the verse, "God always works for the good of those that love Him." As humans, it's easy to succumb to the idea that lengthening our lives is always a "good" thing. I challenge that premise.

Healing movements of the past have done a lot of damage making doctrines about why people don't get healed only leaving the person that needs love and understanding feeling terrible. (Karla)

YES.

..to people like me, it is all about being convinced that the "God" in question exists, (boomSLANG)

Perhaps, but at the end of the day your preferences don't matter. Neither do Karla's, and neither do mine. Quite simply, if the universe is set up a certain way, our preferences are moot. Like Karla says, the truth "is what it is" - period.

boomSLANG said...

I took some time off and likewise thought I had recovered from Theology-discussion-burnout. Although, after a quick once-over of the latest, I think I've just relapsed. And yes, I agree that in some ways this is a "goosechase", but obviously, for different reasons than others.

PS: I love it. God is a "badass". Just when I thought I'd heard it all.

Karla said...

CL "This is where Karla, myself, and the mainstream Christian church part ways: important. I'm not important, and neither are any of you. The Bible says we are but dust. I have no idea where this over-inflated self-importance came from. When I read the Bible, I don't see a God that is begging and pleading and willing to do anything to secure the faith of a few mortals. Rather, I see a God that's, well... for lack of a better word, a total bad-ass. An eternally self-sufficient Being that doesn't need any of us. I think this difference can account for many of the discrepancies in our philological efforts."


See my new post. I address this.