Thursday, June 17, 2010

Retiring the Term Open Minded

I leafed through a News Week magazine today and read the cover story on Sarah Palin’s evangelical following. The story itself is not what started the thinking that led me to writing this post. Near the end of the article the word “open minded” was used in the author claiming that evangelical Christians have not become open minded concerning abortion.


This post is not a post about abortion or Sarah Palin, but a post about the often misappropriated words “open minded.”


I looked up the definition of “open minded” on dictionary.com. It means “having or showing a mind receptive to new ideas or arguments.” It also means “unprejudiced; unbigoted; impartial.”


It would seem that this word is often misused. How is someone who is firmly against something less open minded than someone who is firmly for it? Is it not more accurate to say that both parties have a prejudice towards their way of thinking or else they wouldn’t hold to it so adamantly?


This seems to be a term thrown against those who have traditional values. Because the values are longstanding and traditional rather than new, hip, and revolutionary, the bearers of these values are seen as closed minded rather than open minded.

A person can be open minded and still be more wrong than a person who is close minded. The level of commitment to the idea has no bearing on whether it is true or not, thus such terms are not helpful or accurate.


I think it would be better to cease the use of such terms that only carry negative connotation and do not aid in accurately evaluating a value or idea as good, bad, valuable, useless, etc. To throw in words like “closed minded” or “open minded” creates a false perception that avoids the actual issue as to if something is sound wisdom or a harmful idea.


What do you think?

138 comments:

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

How very closed minded of you. ;-)

I kid, but you are right in that it tends to be used more as a veiled insult and both sides of an issue can easily be closed minded.

Karla said...

lol. Yeah I don't see it serving any purpose. I remember having professors in college using the term all the time, but it was always one sided and never was a real evaluation of the merit, or lack thereof, of the argument.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

I think it can be perfectly legitimate, but is seldom used that way. It's just an empty tactic most times.

boomSLANG said...

Monolith Mike: "[the term 'closed minded'] tends to be used more as a veiled insult and both sides of an issue can easily be closed minded."

I agree. But on the other hand, wouldn't you, Mike, agree that there are instances where the term can be used legitimately? For instance, if one thinks/believes that he or she knows the Absolute, Objective "Truth"(upper case "T"), then wouldn't he or she, by default, qualify for having a closed mind, since any and all information that conflicts with what the claimant thinks they know would be "false", by definition, and thus, discarded?

Moreover, I wouldn't think that the act of looking at opposing views could really qualify for "open-mindedness", that is, if one is convinced, a priori, that he or she is right. Do you think that's a fair assessment?

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

I agree, boomSLANG, that it can be used legitimately. If someone is convinced they can't be wrong then they are closed minded.

Karla said...

Just the same a person's belief that they are correct doesn't cast a judgment on whether they are indeed correct or incorrect. That is still to be questioned and determined on its own merit. So to call them "closed minded" merely describes what one thinks of the person rather than the truth claim itself.

boomSLANG said...

This is against my better judgment to respond since I previously said it's a waste of time(and I still ultimately believe it is). On the other hand, it may illustrate a point, as, once again Karla, your thought-process on this issue is simply wrong, and I'll wager that you won't concede it as such.

Karla, you said...

... a person's belief that they are correct doesn't cast a judgment on whether they are indeed correct or incorrect.

In this case, whether the person is "correct or incorrect" is irrelevant.(See below)

You continue....

That is still to be questioned and determined on its own merit. So to call them "closed minded" merely describes what one thinks of the person rather than the truth claim itself.

It is a given that we are talking about "the person", and *not* the claim of the person. A claim or proposition doesn't have a "mind", and therefore, said claim or proposition cannot be "close-minded". So, again, by definition, if one claims to possess the Absolute, Universal "Truth", then he or she is closed(-minded) to any views that contradict what they already believe to "True". Whether the claimant is correct, or not, is irrelevant.

CyberKitten said...

The dictionary definition you posted seems reasonable enough - or as reasonable as you might expect such a definition to be.

Open-minded people are 'open' to new ideas and are willing to change their minds when new evidence or better arguments are presented to them. They will admit they are mistaken and be willing to correct their mistakes.

Closed-minded people are clear that the ideas they hold are unassailable. That they are correct in their opinions or beliefs and that nothing can upset or refute that opinion or belief. They are blind and deaf to new evidence and dismiss any new argument presented to them.

Complete open-mindedness and closed-mindedness are the ends of a graduated measurement of attitudes towards ideas or knowledge. The absolute of both sides does not and probably cannot exist. We all appear somewhere on the chart between the two ends. When we say someone is closed minded we are actually saying that we believe that they are more closed minded than we are. This may or may not be true - depending on where you're standing. It's all relative.

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Karla said...

Cyber, I can agree with that assessment.

Karla said...

My comment back to Boom got lost in cyberspace. Bummer.

I'll keep it short. I think we all agree then that the term doesn't negate the proposition and that such usage would be ill appropriated.

If so, we have all reached something we agree upon!

Karla said...

Welcome Jim. I'll check out your blog and I welcome you to mine.

boomSLANG said...

"I think we all agree then that the term doesn't negate the proposition and that such usage would be ill appropriated." ~ Karla

'Can't speak for others, but no, you and I do not agree(shocker).

While true, calling the claimant "closed-minded" doesn't necessarily mean that what said claimant is proposing is incorrect, again, the point is, if said claimant is prosposing that he or she is in possession of the Absolute Truth, then by definition, he or she has closed his or her mind to any and all views that contradict what he or she claims to know. Whether the claimant actually knows this supposed "Truth", or not, is irrelevant. It's what he or she believes about what they are claiming that is the issue at hand, and if he or she asserts that they cannot be wrong, then he or she is closed-minded.

So, no....the term is not "ill appropriate" in that case.

Karla said...

Boom "While true, calling the claimant "closed-minded" doesn't necessarily mean that what said claimant is proposing is incorrect,"

Agreed. That right there is the point I was saying we all agree upon.

"again, the point is, if said claimant is prosposing that he or she is in possession of the Absolute Truth, then by definition, he or she has closed his or her mind to any and all views that contradict what he or she claims to know."

If that proponent of knowing Absolute Truth claims to personally have full absolute knowledge of said truth rather than a relationship with a Being who is Truth. There is a difference between claiming to know it all and claiming to know the who is the All.


Boom "Whether the claimant actually knows this supposed "Truth", or not, is irrelevant. It's what he or she believes about what they are claiming that is the issue at hand, and if he or she asserts that they cannot be wrong, then he or she is closed-minded."

My second point of the post was that closing ones mind around something true is not bad thing to a degree. However, since none of us are perfect we cannot know perfectly and there in lies the problem. We are all somewhere in proximity to truth some are further away than others, but none of us have arrived at knowing all. Truth isn't relative, but we are relative to it.

boomSLANG said...

Previously, me...

"While true, calling the claimant 'closed-minded' doesn't necessarily mean that what said claimant is proposing is incorrect..."

Karla responds: Agreed. That right there is the point I was saying we all agree upon.

Okay, fine; we agree.

For the record, when you seemingly find enthusiasm when we agree on such basic philosophy, it's hard for me to share in that enthusiasm, when, at the end of the day, our philosophies on how/why the world operates are like night and day.

Karla: If that proponent of knowing Absolute Truth claims to personally have full absolute knowledge of said truth rather than a relationship with a Being who is Truth.

You haven't demonstrated in any meaningful way that "Truth" can even be a "Being"/being, so speculating on it isn't meaningful, either, and again, it is besides the point.

The point, again, is that if one thinks that he or she cannot be wrong, then he or she, by default, becomes closed-minded. This becomes apparent in your case, when considering that you've declined(for whatever reason) numerous requests for examples of senarios/situations that would falsify your beliefs.

continues...There is a difference between claiming to know it all and claiming to know the who is the All.

Irrelevant distinction. That's no different or more meaningful than me saying, "Oh, but the truth is out there, it's just that we don't it all, yet."

Karla: My second point of the post was that closing ones mind around something true is not bad thing to a degree.

Assuming that the "something" is "true"---okay, yes. For instance, it's not necessarily a bad thing to be closed-minded to the truth that gravity exists and should be respected. If one plays pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey on the top of a 12 story building, it can be lethal. We have conclusive, empirical evidence that the aformentioned practice may lead to death. On the other hand, we have no such evidence that "sin" leads to death. IOW, for the final phase of your argument, you still have the bulk of your work ahead of you.

continues...However, since none of us are perfect we cannot know perfectly and there in lies the problem. We are all somewhere in proximity to truth some are further away than others, but none of us have arrived at knowing all.

Again, irrelevant distinction, where "Absolute Truth" is concerned. IOW, for those who claim to know just bits of a "Truth" that is supposedly Absolute, he or she is still going to look for and consider only new information that coincides with the bits of "Truth" of which he or she claims they cannot be wrong.

Karla said...

Boom “You haven't demonstrated in any meaningful way that "Truth" can even be a "Being"/being, so speculating on it isn't meaningful, either, and again, it is besides the point.”

Well I have discussed how being has to precede knowing. Just the same, I can see the need for more explanation of this idea on my part.


Boom “Assuming that the "something" is "true"---okay, yes. For instance, it's not necessarily a bad thing to be closed-minded to the truth that gravity exists and should be respected. If one plays pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey on the top of a 12 story building, it can be lethal. We have conclusive, empirical evidence that the aformentioned practice may lead to death.”

Exactly. People don’t go around saying that those who will not accept that belief in gravity is wrong are closed minded. Even if the term applies by definition it isn’t utilized. Moreover someone can experience the reality of gravity without knowing everything about how the gravitational pull works and thus to claim certainty that gravity is a real factor in life on earth does not mean the person claims to have all knowledge about it.



Boom “On the other hand, we have no such evidence that "sin" leads to death. IOW, for the final phase of your argument, you still have the bulk of your work ahead of you.”

It seems obvious to me that certain actions and ways of thinking and living are not conducive to life where other ways, thinking, and actions are more life giving. I know there are scientific studies on such things too, like the adverse affects of addictions, stress, contention, gluttony, unforgiveness, etc.

Boom “Again, irrelevant distinction, where "Absolute Truth" is concerned. IOW, for those who claim to know just bits of a "Truth" that is supposedly Absolute, he or she is still going to look for and consider only new information that coincides with the bits of "Truth" of which he or she claims they cannot be wrong.”

That only makes sense. If we know A is true and B is antithetical to A then B has to be false in some degree. The more something reflects the standard of Truth the more it is in line with truth and the less it reflects it the less it is in line with truth. The more one is in relationship with the true reality the more they begin to reflect that reality.

Also, I am not even talking about knowing intellectually a certain set of truth claims, weather tid bits or big bites. I am talking about relationship with Truth, which is something entirely different than having the corner market on nailed down absolute truth doctrines. Yes intellectual knowledge happens, but it is not so much about closing one’s mind around that knowledge as it is opening ones heart to God Himself. With an open heart the mind can be remain flexible to accept truth without creating doctrine set in stone.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: Well I have discussed how....

John Travolta could "discuss" with Karla *how* Thetans have it in for her, and how applying Dianetics to her life can make her impervious to the threat of Thetans, and that she, too, can become a "clear". But I'll wager that that wouldn't convince her. I wonder what would, though? Could it be that would it require some credible, demonstrable evidence?

continues......being has to precede knowing.

Without using the Christian philosophy, prove it.

continues...Just the same, I can see the need for more explanation of this idea on my part.

If you think/believe that bridging the huge gap in our worldviews can be done with "more explanation"(more explaining on your part), then, again, you tell me that you haven't been listening, particularly, to me, and to Cyber'.

Karla: Exactly. People don’t go around saying that those who will not accept that belief in gravity is wrong are closed minded.

You evidentally think that your position has been underscored somehow, but you seemingly overlook one 'minor' detail. Here it is: no one(that I know of) disbelieves in "gravity". Moreover, the "law of gravity" is demonstrably applicable to all living, breathing human beings. If a skeptic of "gravity" decided to play a game that requires a blindfold, and they decided to play this game on top of a skyscraper, and if subsequently, he or she walked off the side of the building, then we can ALL immediately see the effects of his or her disbelief/skepticism. Whereas, we cannot see the alleged effects of "sin", or what happens to skeptics of "Christianity", until, presumably, after we expire. How convenient. In any event, hopefully you see the difference.

Karla: Moreover someone can experience the reality of gravity without knowing everything about how the gravitational pull works and thus to claim certainty that gravity is a real factor in life on earth does not mean the person claims to have all knowledge about it.

And not only can we all "experience the reality of gravity", but we can all directly witness the consequences of any person who is skeptical of "the reality of gravity"(assuming we can find someone who is skeptical of it). Further, we can make predictions on the "reality of gravity" and see consistant results. So, since the same cannot be said about your "spiritual" beliefs, the corollary you are attempting, is, in my view, unsatisfactory.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: It seems obvious to me that certain actions and ways of thinking and living are not conducive to life where other ways, thinking, and actions are more life giving. I know there are scientific studies on such things too, like the adverse affects of addictions, stress, contention, gluttony, unforgiveness, etc.

If you could find me at least one of two things..i.e.. 1) any legit' document from a trained, licensed psychologist that has "sin" as the diagnosis, or 2) any scientific evidence that the ills of humanity are the result of "sin", I'll sit up and take notice.

Previously, me: “...for those who claim to know just bits of a 'Truth' that is supposedly Absolute, he or she is still going to look for and consider only new information that coincides with the bits of 'Truth' of which he or she claims they cannot be wrong.”

Karla responds: That only makes sense. If we know A is true and B is antithetical to A then B has to be false in some degree

My point, again, appears to have been lost on you. You previously tried to make a distinction between "knowing everything", and knowing only parts of this supposed "Truth", suggesting that the latter makes one less close-minded. It doesn't. If you want to come across less closed-minded, then start here: simply offer a senario, where, if true, it would falsify your beliefs.

continues...Also, I am not even talking about knowing intellectually a certain set of truth claims, weather tid bits or big bites. I am talking about relationship with Truth...

Yes, and to my knowledge, not one of your atheist guests are denying that that's what you're "talking about", nor that that is what you've been "talking about". You can't seem to grasp that talking about something over and over doesn't make it "true", reasonable, or believable.

Karla: With an open heart the mind can be remain flexible to accept truth without creating doctrine set in stone.

'Can't speak for other nonbelievers, but this is what I hear when believers talk about having an "open heart": If you don't believe, then you are closed minded or defective in some other way. IOW, second-guessing the nonbeliever, which is really nothing more than a thinly-veiled ad hominem attack.

Again, we see it: The "faith" can't fail the person; only the person can fail the "faith".

Karla said...

continues......being has to precede knowing.

Boom “Without using the Christian philosophy, prove it.”

How can knowledge exist without a Knower?


continues...Just the same, I can see the need for more explanation of this idea on my part.

Boom “If you think/believe that bridging the huge gap in our worldviews can be done with "more explanation"(more explaining on your part), then, again, you tell me that you haven't been listening, particularly, to me, and to Cyber'.”

I do not think that. Only that it wasn’t a topic I covered a great deal and I would enjoy thinking and writing on that more whether anyone else wants to read it or not.



Boom “Whereas, we cannot see the alleged effects of "sin", or what happens to skeptics of "Christianity", until, presumably, after we expire. How convenient. In any event, hopefully you see the difference.”

Boom I see effects of sin in this world. When I speak of effects or of most anything I am usually speaking of life in the here and now—not some future effects.




Boom “And not only can we all "experience the reality of gravity", but we can all directly witness the consequences of any person who is skeptical of "the reality of gravity"(assuming we can find someone who is skeptical of it). Further, we can make predictions on the "reality of gravity" and see consistant results. So, since the same cannot be said about your "spiritual" beliefs, the corollary you are attempting, is, in my view, unsatisfactory.”

Oh it can be seen in the here in now. The effects of sin can be seen in the here and now and the effects of living righteously can be seen. Moreover the effects of being connected with God and Him moving in power through us can be seen and experienced. I’m sorry you haven’t yet encountered such people who live in a way where you have seen an example of what I am talking about. I have seen miracles before my eyes. I have seen such love exude from people where it feels like I am experiencing a superhuman love. I have experience the reality of God in such a way that His reality is as real to me as gravity. I do not see my acceptance of Him as closed minded, but as open. To ignore what I have seen and to reject it as figments of my imagination would be closed minded for me.

Karla said...

Boom “If you could find me at least one of two things..i.e.. 1) any legit' document from a trained, licensed psychologist that has "sin" as the diagnosis, or 2) any scientific evidence that the ills of humanity are the result of "sin", I'll sit up and take notice.”

Do you mean the use of the word “sin”? Or a study that shows something that is called sin in the Bible is actually detrimental to humanity like unforgiveness?


Boom “My point, again, appears to have been lost on you. You previously tried to make a distinction between "knowing everything", and knowing only parts of this supposed "Truth", suggesting that the latter makes one less close-minded. It doesn't. If you want to come across less closed-minded, then start here: simply offer a scenario, where, if true, it would falsify your beliefs.”

Again I am not advocating absolutely knowing a set of facts, but knowing experientially the Absolute Being who is Truth. For a scenario that would falsify my beliefs: If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead all that I believe is false.



continues...Also, I am not even talking about knowing intellectually a certain set of truth claims, weather tid bits or big bites. I am talking about relationship with Truth...

Boom “Yes, and to my knowledge, not one of your atheist guests are denying that that's what you're "talking about", nor that that is what you've been "talking about". You can't seem to grasp that talking about something over and over doesn't make it "true", reasonable, or believable.”

Oh yes, I know that advocating it or explaining it constantly doesn’t make it true. But when I hear responses that ignore the fact that I’m not talking about having an absolute set of truth claims that are neatly and perfectly codified then I feel the need to remind you that I am not advocating any kind of absolute knowledge or absolute attainment of truth in the way in which you mean. But that I mean something different. Of course the different thing that I mean could be all hogwash, but it is the proposition at hand.


Karla: With an open heart the mind can be remain flexible to accept truth without creating doctrine set in stone.

Boom “'Can't speak for other nonbelievers, but this is what I hear when believers talk about having an "open heart": If you don't believe, then you are closed minded or defective in some other way. IOW, second-guessing the nonbeliever, which is really nothing more than a thinly-veiled ad hominem attack.”

I assure you I was making no attack, directly or indirectly, veiled or unveiled. I apologize for it sounding that way to you. Remember I was advocating that the terms open and closed minded ought to be retired from use. I wasn’t trying to reverse them to use them on people who disagree with me. Nor do I blame you for not knowing God. I was just telling someone the other day how much I appreciate atheists for their resolute conviction to not accept unevidenced truth propositions. That I applaud your desire for holding out for God to reveal Himself authentically to you and not just wanting empty religion. Many people accept religion as a substitute for the real deal and you guys remind us that it isn’t good enough if it isn’t experiential.

Boom “Again, we see it: The "faith" can't fail the person; only the person can fail the "faith". “

God won’t fail you. But at the same time you can’t fail Him. Faith isn’t something we conjure up when the evidence isn’t there. God doesn’t expect that of anyone. I certainly don’t expect it of my atheist friends.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: How can knowledge exist without a Knower?

If you recall, I said, "without using the Christian philosophy"[italics added].

So, unless your use of an upper case "K" on "Knower" was inadvertent(and I doubt it was), then I have good reason to believe that you are making a reference to your biblegod.

Karla: Boom I see effects of sin in this world. When I speak of effects or of most anything I am usually speaking of life in the here and now—not some future effects.

That was a poor choice of wording on my part. I should have said, "the consequences of 'sin'".... meaning, the (supposed) "punishment".

Previously, me: “And not only can we all 'experience the reality of gravity', but we can all directly witness the consequences of any person who is skeptical of 'the reality of gravity'(assuming we can find someone who is skeptical of it). Further, we can make predictions on the 'reality of gravity' and see consistant results. So, since the same cannot be said about your 'spiritual' beliefs, the corollary you are attempting, is, in my view, unsatisfactory.”[emphasis added]

Karla responds: Oh it can be seen in the here in now. The effects of sin can be seen in the here and now...

Notice, I am not talking about "effects" now, but consequences. You are still addressing the carry-over from a previous statement that I've since corrected.

continues......and the effects of living righteously can be seen.

The word "righteously" has a religious overtone/implication. What we can *see*, is that some people behave more ethically, lovingly, compassionately, etc., than others. While some people subscribe to a religion, and while said people insist that they behave more ethically, lovingly, "righteously", etc., because they are being guided by a "Holy Spirit", there is not one scrap of evidence that this is the reason.

Karla, we don't need "God" to know the difference between "right" and "wrong". We don't "God" to tell us that we should love and respect our fellow human beings. If you believe that you do, I feel terribly sorry for you.

Karla: I’m sorry you haven’t yet encountered such people who live in a way where you have seen an example of what I am talking about.

You're not listening. Not only have I seen people who believe that the reason they lead, good, fulfilling, productive, "righteous" lives is because they are filled with a "Holy Spirit", 90% of my immediate family are precisely these type of people. The problem, again, is that believing something doesn't make it "true"/"real".

continues...I have seen such love exude from people where it feels like I am experiencing a superhuman love.

And I have watched numerous movies and I have witnessed numerous real-life situations where I *feel* like I am experiencing an extraordinary type of love. But you know what I'm going to say next, right? To be sure, experiencing feelings is evidence of nothing except that human beings(and other animals) experience feelings. Your argument amounts to special pleading.

Karla: I have experience the reality of God in such a way that His reality is as real to me as gravity.

Yes, and also, "as real" to you as your "husband". Trust me, we "get" that part. Again, we can demonstrate that "husbands" and "gravity" exist(for those odd-balls who doubt they exist). That's the distinction that you don't seem to "get".

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

Karla: ....I was just telling someone the other day how much I appreciate atheists for their resolute conviction to not accept unevidenced truth propositions.

Really?..you are appreciative of Atheists because of their "resolute conviction to not accept unevidenced truth propositions"? Now, does that extend until they die and beyond? If so, then you are more appreciative of nonbelievers than your biblegod(not that this is entirely shocking)

Karla: God won’t fail you.

Says the already-convinced person who created a "God" who is "perfect", and who holds beliefs of which she can't be wrong.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: I have seen miracles before my eyes.

You've seen what you want to believe are "miracles before [your] eyes". It's called, confirmation bias.

continues...I do not see my acceptance of Him as closed minded, but as open.

It's not your acceptance of what you believe to be true that makes you closed-minded, it's your belief that you can't be wrong that makes you that way.

Karla: To ignore what I have seen and to reject it as figments of my imagination would be closed minded for me.

To "ignore" something, and to be skeptical, are two different things. Skepticism weeds out error. No one is telling you to "ignore" anything. In any event, if you cannot/will not even entertain the notion that you could be mistaken; that your imagination might be misleading you, then yes, that constitutes close-mindedness, in my view. Especially when we know that people's feelings/emotions are notoriously unreliable for determining what's actually true/real.

Previously, me: “If you could find me at least one of two things..i.e.. 1) any legit' document from a trained, licensed psychologist that has 'sin' as the diagnosis, or 2) any scientific evidence that the ills of humanity are the result of 'sin', I'll sit up and take notice.”

Karla responds: Do you mean the use of the word “sin”? Or a study that shows something that is called sin in the Bible is actually detrimental to humanity like unforgiveness?

Yes, the use of the actual word, "sin".

As for "unforgiveness", labeling it a "sin" is begging the question. And we don't need to do a "study" of "the Bible" to know that unforgiveness isn't a good thing. But since you mention the bible, I wonder what it would be like living in a world where people couldn't forgive each other until/unless the execution of an innocent person took place. 'Seems like we'd go extinct!(assuming the dead stay dead)

Karla: Again I am not advocating absolutely knowing a set of facts, but knowing experientially the Absolute Being who is Truth.

And here we are again.

You are simply repeating the same irrelevant arguments. Even if you could prove that a "Being" can be "Truth"(which you haven't), you still haven't shown in any meaningful way that you are less "close-minded" than if you were "advocating absolutely knowing a set of facts". We were talking about what constitutes close-mindedness, remember? If one proposes that he or she cannot be wrong, then that is a glaring example of close-mindedness.

Karla: For a scenario that would falsify my beliefs: If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead all that I believe is false.

Sound's vaguely familiar. 'Get that from a favorite Xian apologist, by chance?

In any event, I don't see how it would falsify "all that [you] believe". What about everything that happened before that alleged event, such as the creation story? What about Moses and the "Commandments"?

And BTW, what evidence would you accept that would prove that "Jesus didn't rise from the dead"??? If you can't offer that, then you are not really talking falsifiability, are you?

Karla: Nor do I blame you for not knowing God.

But the point is, you would blame the nonbeliever before you'd ever think about blaming "God". Or wait....are you proposing that there are some instances of people getting fried in "Hell" where neither party are to blame???? Yes or no?

Karla said...

Boom “If you recall, I said, "without using the Christian philosophy"[italics added]. So, unless your use of an upper case "K" on "Knower" was inadvertent(and I doubt it was), then I have good reason to believe that you are making a reference to your biblegod.”

Philosophy is philosophy. The capitalization was to identify that an eternal knower is necessary for knowledge to have any real substance. Knowledge is referential, always referring back to something else known in order to establish the thing being known. Somewhere at some point it has to have a self-existing buck stops here identity—that is a self-existent being, the ultimate knower.


Karla: Boom I see effects of sin in this world. When I speak of effects or of most anything I am usually speaking of life in the here and now—not some future effects.

Boom “That was a poor choice of wording on my part. I should have said, "the consequences of 'sin'".... meaning, the (supposed) "punishment".”

So you are asking for scientific evidence that sin is punished in an afterlife experience? The thing is when the Bible talks about sin leading to death it isn’t just talking about a spiritual death after one dies, but a death throughout our mortal life where we experience a hindrance to the health of our nature. Like living with bitterness, or being entrapped in an addiction. These things suck the life out of us in the here and now.


Boom “Notice, I am not talking about "effects" now, but consequences. You are still addressing the carry-over from a previous statement that I've since corrected.”

Only just corrected in this comment. Science does not study the spiritual world, so there won’t be any scientific studies on the existence of heaven or hell with the exception of peoples after death experience testimonies which cannot be measured by any scientific process.



Boom “Karla, we don't need "God" to know the difference between "right" and "wrong". We don't "God" to tell us that we should love and respect our fellow human beings. If you believe that you do, I feel terribly sorry for you.”

I believe that right and wrong, ethics, the knowledge that love and respect is better than hatred and disrespect is in our human nature and anyone can strive to obey such guidelines whether it be religiously based or culturally based. However, the reason that this exist in our nature is the real question at hand, not that it does exist.


Boom “You're not listening. Not only have I seen people who believe that the reason they lead, good, fulfilling, productive, "righteous" lives is because they are filled with a "Holy Spirit", 90% of my immediate family are precisely these type of people. The problem, again, is that believing something doesn't make it "true"/"real".”

Yes, we agree that believing something doesn’t make it real. I’m still talking about something more than being really good at following religious rules or cultural rules.

Karla said...

Boom “You've seen what you want to believe are "miracles before [your] eyes". It's called, confirmation bias.”

Since you were not there you do not know if it is something I merely think, or something I really truly saw.


Boom “It's not your acceptance of what you believe to be true that makes you closed-minded, it's your belief that you can't be wrong that makes you that way.”

I don’t go around saying I’m right and you are wrong. I think it just bothers you that I am so firmly invested in what I see to be true that I am not wishy washy about it. To me, to appear uncertain would be dishonest.


Boom “To "ignore" something and to be skeptical, are two different things. Skepticism weeds out error. I'm sorry, but if you cannot/will not even entertain the notion that it could be your imagination, then yes, you are closed-minded in my view. Especially when we know that people's feelings and experiences are highly subject to error.”

If I only saw/experienced a miracle once or twice maybe I would me less convinced of my claims. But I have a whole long history with God and His presence in my life that I would have to be very skeptical of myself, my friends, my family, Him, and all my life experiences to think it all my imagination. Seriously, I must have a wild imagination and ought to be locked up in a loony bin if all this was figments of my imagination.




Boom “And here we are again. You are simply repeating the same irrelevant arguments. Even if you could prove that a "Being" can be "Truth"(which you haven't), you still haven't shown in any meaningful way that you are less "close-minded" than if you were "advocating absolutely knowing a set of facts".

If truth is eternal and constant (hence absolute) then it must be in the nature of such a being. It isn’t possible for truth to be an abstract non being—it has to be an eternal entity. The only other possibility is that such truth does not exist at all. But if I am to talk of Truth, I have to talk of it in the sense of a Being or else my statements are much more nonsensical than you make them out to be.


Boom “We were talking about what constitutes close-mindedness, remember? If one proposes that he or she cannot be wrong, then that is a glaring example of close-mindedness.”

I think we are talking about a great many things at the moment. If I said the holocaust never happened and I will not consider any evidence that it did happen – that would be closed minded. If I said it did happen and I will not even look at evidence that it didn’t that would be closed minded. But if I looked at the evidence carefully and still retained my proposition, however right or wrong, that would not be closed minded.

Karla said...

Karla: For a scenario that would falsify my beliefs: If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead all that I believe is false.

Boom “Sound's vaguely familiar. 'Get that from a favorite Xian apologist, by chance?”

Paul said it in Romans. He said the Christian life would all be in vein if Christ did not rise from the dead.


Boom “In any event, I don't see how it would falsify "all that [you] believe". What about everything that happened before that alleged event, such as the creation story? What about Moses and the "Commandments"? “

All of Scripture is about Jesus and it all hinges upon his Resurrection. If that one event didn’t happen all of Scripture is most certainly called into question.


Boom “And BTW, what evidence would you accept that would prove that "Jesus didn't rise from the dead"??? If you can't offer that, then you are not really talking falsifiability, are you?”

Evidence of his body being discovered still dead in the 1st century. The Romans said the Jews stole it. The Jews were put to death for their assertions that He rose again, so they had nothing to gain from stealing the body. The Romans couldn’t produce it. If hard evidence came out that they had produced it, that would certainly cause a questioning of the truthfulness of the Resurrection.


Boom “But the point is, you would blame the nonbeliever before you'd ever think about blaming "God". Or wait....are you proposing that there some instances where people get fried in "Hell" where neither party are to blame???? Yes or no? “

I do not see a reason for me to having a blaming attitude toward anyone. My place is to help people not to condemn them. I’m not judge and jury. God is. So I don’t sit around thinking I’m superior to those who haven’t experienced Him yet. I just want to help where I can when I can to show His reality.


Boom “Really?..you are appreciative of Atheists because of their "resolute conviction to not accept unevidenced truth propositions"? Now, does that extend until they die and beyond? If so, then you are more appreciative of nonbelievers than your biblegod(not that this is entirely shocking)”

I am talking about how I admire atheists’ desire to not settle for less than the real deal. Belief in truth propositions isn’t going to help anyone. Many people just believe doctrines and haven’t met the Jesus those doctrines talk about. Atheists are not satisfied by mental ascent to truth propositions in exchange of some hope for eternal bliss. They want, if I’m not mistaken, real contact with God if He is real before they will believe. More Christians need to desire that.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: an eternal knower is necessary for knowledge to have any real substance.

No, it isn't.

karla said: Knowledge is referential, always referring back to something else known in order to establish the thing being known.

No, it doesn't.

karla said: Somewhere at some point it has to have a self-existing buck stops here identity—that is a self-existent being, the ultimate knower.

No, it doesn't.

CyberKitten said...

BTW: I've just posted a book review you might find interesting....

Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction by Susan Blackmore. Let me know what you think.

Oh, and there's more book reviews to come.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: Philosophy is philosophy.

True, but philosophy and "truth" are not necessarily mutually inclusive.

continues...The capitalization was to identify that an eternal knower is necessary for knowledge to have any real substance

Unproven assertion. But let me guess, this "eternal knower" is "God", and since you are a Christian, you are implicitly referencing the Christian philosophy, when I asked you to prove your case, *not* using said philosophy. Remember?

Karla, there is not one scrap of evidence that an "eternal knower" is necessary for knowledge to have "substance". Knowledge is simply information, and information doesn't need things like feet, eyeballs, or a penis attached to it to be meaningful or useful. Once more, you are begging the question.

Karla: Knowledge is referential, always referring back to something else known in order to establish the thing being known.

I swear, you are making this stuff as you go. Let's use "gravity" again. Our knowledge of the "law of gravity" refers back to what SCIENCE tells us about it. It is testible, and we can make predictions on it---predictions that produce consistant results.

Karla: Somewhere at some point it has to have a self-existing buck stops here identity—that is a self-existent being, the ultimate knower.

Unproven assertion. Repeat: "knowledge" doesn't need an "identity" to be meaningful, substantial, or useful.

Karla: So you are asking for scientific evidence that sin is punished in an afterlife experience?

Yes, that is precisely what I'm asking, and what you say next is *not* "evidence", but merely asserting your position true, based on what your bible says. IOW, a circular argument.....

Karla: The thing is when the Bible talks about sin leading to death it isn’t just talking about a spiritual death after one dies, but a death throughout our mortal life where we experience a hindrance to the health of our nature. Like living with bitterness, or being entrapped in an addiction. These things suck the life out of us in the here and now.

I don't care what "the bible talks about". Do you understand? Again, there is not one scrap of extra-biblical evidence that the ills of humanity are because of "sin". You can't use the bible to prove the contents of the bible and expect to be taken seriously.

Karla: Science does not study the spiritual world...

Right, just like science doesn't "study" alchemy, tarot cards, scientology, witchcraft, and on and on with things for which there is no objective confirmation.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: ...so there won’t be any scientific studies on the existence of heaven or hell with the exception of peoples after death experience testimonies which cannot be measured by any scientific process.

There's no such thing as an "after death experience". The best you've got is a near death experience.

Karla: I believe that right and wrong, ethics, the knowledge that love and respect is better than hatred and disrespect is in our human nature and anyone can strive to obey such guidelines whether it be religiously based or culturally based.

So, it appears that you are underscoring my position..i.e... we don't need "God" to behave ethically/morally, which is what I've been saying all along. But then you add....

Karla: However, the reason that this exist in our nature is the real question at hand, not that it does exist.

We don't have to have absolute knowledge of why something is a part of our "nature" to know that said something simply *is*(exists). We know enough that life-affirming things..i.e..love, respect, compassion, etc., are conducive to survival, and therefore "good", since, if we don't survive, then surely not much else matters, as far as the human race is concerned.

Karla: ....we agree that believing something doesn’t make it real. I’m still talking about something more than being really good at following religious rules or cultural rules.

Yes, I know fully well that you're talking about something "more". The problem is, while you propose that there's a difference between the two types of well-behaved people, one cannot see a meaningful distinction by simply observing those who are being "really good at following religious rules or cultural rules", and those who (supposedly) have a "Holy Spirit" living inside their cardiovascular organ.

Karla: Since you were not there you do not know if it is something I merely think, or something I really truly saw.

And you're still not listening. I believe that you "saw" what you believe that you saw. What I doubt, is your interpretation of what you believe that you saw.

Karla: I don’t go around saying I’m right and you are wrong.

It is implied all throughout your writing(s). If that's not enough, the philosophy that you subscribe to, itself, says its "right" and anything opposing it is "wrong".

boomSLANG said...

Karla: I think it just bothers you that I am so firmly invested in what I see to be true that I am not wishy washy about it.

That's absolutely hilarious. The very doctrine upon which you base your beliefs is "wishy washy", hence, the thousands of different sects/split-offs/denominations and their respective interpretations of said doctrine.

Karla: To me, to appear uncertain would be dishonest.

Right, because, again, you're certain that you are right; you can't be wrong. Yet, it's evidentally okay to be dishonest in defending that certainty, specifically, defending your philosophical errors and inconsistancies, and/or, making excuses as to why you cannot/will not answer pointed questions put to you.

Karla: Seriously, I must have a wild imagination and ought to be locked up in a loony bin if all this was figments of my imagination.

Your personal beliefs, which have evolved away from a literal interpretation of "the Bible", haven't hurt anyone, thank goodness, or else, you would be locked up. Today, if Christians attempted to throw rocks at children or sic wild animals on them as a "punishment", they *would* be thrown in a loony bin, and rightfully so.

Karla: If truth is eternal and constant (hence absolute) then it must be in the nature of such a being.

The universe is not static, so when you talk of universal, "absolute", unchanging "truth", you contradict known reality. We know the earth isn't geocentric, yet, the "Being" who allegedly inspire your "Holy" book got that subject wrong, among other things. Subsequently, it is much more reasonable for me to believe that fallible, uneducated, Bronze-aged men "inspired" your bible, than it is for me to believe that any "Perfect", higher intelligence did so. Hence, why I don't/can't believe.

Karla: It isn’t possible for truth to be an abstract non being—it has to be an eternal entity.

And yet, one more unproven assertion.

Karla: ...if I looked at the evidence carefully and still retained my proposition, however right or wrong, that would not be closed minded.

'Depends on what your are defending and if there is any credible evidence against it. There is mounds of credible evidence against the Genesis "creation" story(myth). Yet, bible-literalists such as yourself, hold to the Genesis account despite that evidence. That constitutes closed-mindedness in my book, or at the very least, it is more closed-minded than those Christians who *accept* the theory(and fact) of evolution by natural selection.

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

Karla: Paul said it in Romans. He said the Christian life would all be in vein if Christ did not rise from the dead.

You'd have to qualify what you mean by "Christian life". In the meantime, one could still hold to the view that the Christian biblegod created the universe and gave man his "morality", without necessarily believing in the "resurrection" story.

Previously, me: “And BTW, what evidence would you accept that would prove that 'Jesus didn't rise from the dead'?”

Karla responds: Evidence of his body being discovered still dead in the 1st century.

And how could it be proven that it was "Jesus"? What fact, or set of facts, would convince Karla that a set of bones discovered in the middle east was "Jesus"??

And BTW, even if it could be proven that said bones were the remains of "Jesus", that would in no way disprove a "spiritual resurrection". I can go dig up my grandmother's remains. Does that mean she isn't in "heaven" and that "Christianity" is false? No, of course not.

Karla: I do not see a reason for me to having a blaming attitude toward anyone. My place is to help people not to condemn them.

But you defend a philosophy that says that people are born condemned. That is implicit blame.

Karla: I’m not judge and jury. God is

Yes, and it's been established over, and over, and over in our conversations that you, Karla, are more moral, more compassionate, and more merciful than this "God" you defend and worship. I'm sorry, but I see a huge problem with that, even if I assume said "God" exists for sake of argument.

Karla: I am talking about how I admire atheists’ desire to not settle for less than the real deal.

And I am talking about how your biblegod couldn't care less what "atheists" do or don't settle for. Karla thinks it's really nifty that atheists want empircal evidence, but yet, her biblegod couldn't care less---he apparently thinks he is being "tested" and won't have any of it. 'Don't believe? See you in "hell". The end.

Karla: Belief in truth propositions isn’t going to help anyone. Many people just believe doctrines and haven’t met the Jesus those doctrines talk about.

This assumes that people can "meet Jesus", when there's no credible evidence that said being even exists.

[Atheists] want, if I’m not mistaken, real contact with God if He is real before they will believe.

Yes, correct---I want the same exact type of face-to-face encounter that's supposedly going to happen upon my expiration, and at which point, I "will believe", according to some Christians. In the meantime, I will not accept people's subjective testimonies of leg-lengthening rituals, or other ambigous testimonies of answer "prayer", nor will I accept "revelation"..i.e..the "Holy Bible" or the "Holy Q'ran". If that makes me "closed-minded", at least I am consistant.

CyberKitten said...

boomSLANG said: I want the same exact type of face-to-face encounter that's supposedly going to happen upon my expiration, and at which point, I "will believe", according to some Christians.

If I had such an experience I would seek immediate medical advice. I would certainly be very concerned about some kind of brain abnormality. I most certainly would accept such an encounter at face value!

boomSLANG said...

Cyberkitten: If I had such an experience I would seek immediate medical advice. I would certainly be very concerned about some kind of brain abnormality. I most certainly would accept such an encounter at face value!

I see your point. I'm simply granting, for sake of argument, that there is a "Judgment Day" on which nonbelievers will have no choice but to believe, as some Christians insist---a day upon which ALL of us "God"-testing, heathen, doubters will "confess with thy tongue", yadda, yadda.

If I had such an encounter, like you said, I would probably seek medical counsel, and if it was determined that all is "fine", I'd have to reconsider my position. But here's the deal-breaker: Just because I am fully convinced that "God" exists and that "Jesus is LORD!", etc., etc., that in no way means that I have to worship said being. I accept and respect the immense size, strength, and magesty of a hurricane, however, that doesn't mean I'm going to worship it based on those things, alone.

The whole "might makes right" gag doesn't fly with me, and I'll wager it doesn't fly with you, either.

Oh, and BTW, the interesting thing is that a storm doesn't run and hide when people doubt it's coming.

CyberKitten said...

boomSLANG said: in no way means that I have to worship said being.

I don't *do* worship......

Karla said...

Worship isn't just singing, praying, or any other physical activity. It is serving. I worship when I do my job well or when I love my husband as I should or when I give a drink to someone who is thirsty. Worship is a way of life. Everyone worships in some way even if they are not worshiping God. A person who serves himself first and foremost worships himself. Some worship their children, some money, some success. Everyone worships.

Karla said...

Boom "The whole "might makes right" gag doesn't fly with me, and I'll wager it doesn't fly with you, either."

That's never been my argument. It's not about who has the most power, it is about where is the source of good life, holiness, righteousness, etc.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: Worship isn't just singing, praying, or any other physical activity. It is serving.

Oh, I *definitely* don't do servitude!

karla said: Worship is a way of life.

No, it isn't.

karla said: Everyone worships in some way even if they are not worshiping God.

I can assure you that I worship no one and no thing.

karla said: Everyone worships.

No, they don't.

Karla said...

Cyber "Oh, I *definitely* don't do servitude!"

If you don't serve anyone or anything else, you by default serve yourself and thus yourself is the object of worship. It's a very natural thing. I'm not saying this in a condemning way, just matter of fact. I know serve myself and my own interest sometimes.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: If you don't serve anyone or anything else, you by default serve yourself and thus yourself is the object of worship.

I simply do not agree.

Servitude and worship obviously mean different things to both of us.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Karla, what you have been saying in the last few comments only makes sense from within the Christian paradigm.

I realize it's hard for you to separate that as you see it as ultimate truth, but the fact is that many do not, in fact if Jesus and his narrow gate are to be believed, most do not.

Karla said...

Mike I know. It's just I think anyone can learn more about God and what things mean irrespective of whether they consider themselves a Christian or even a theist. So much of what is taught in the Church, stays in the Church that people don't know what we mean by things and I like to dispel assumptions. Even amongst Christians most people think worship is what you do on Sunday mornings for the first hour of the service. I'm just trying to put out there that there is more to it than that "worship" isn't just a religious thing.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

I believed worship was a way of life, that's how I lived when I was a Christian. It just makes no sense to someone without that mindset. Have you read Brother Lawrence's The Practice of the Presence of God?

Karla said...

Mike, I haven't read it, but I know of it. I think it's on our bookshelf. I've heard my husband talk about it from time to time. Why?

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Because pretty much every moment of his life was focused on God, regardless of how menial a task he was performing. Your life is worship statement just reminded me of it.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: It's just I think anyone can learn more about God and what things mean irrespective of whether they consider themselves a Christian or even a theist.

Although I do enjoy the odd fantasy novel I'm not *that* inclined to learn much more about mythical creatures in general. As to learning about 'what things mean' - I'm already doing that. I don't think learning about God would add much to be honest.

Karla said...

Mike, oh yes I remember now that the book is about that.

Karla said...

Cyber, just curious, what interests you to read here? I remember when you first started you said you would only stay if I kept your interest so I'm wondering if I have and in what way?

CyberKitten said...

karla said: I remember when you first started you said you would only stay if I kept your interest so I'm wondering if I have and in what way?

I like to check myself against what I see as irrational ideas and also to see if I'm 'missing' something. So far you have validated everything I believe in - so thanks for that.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: If you don't serve anyone or anything else, you by default serve yourself and thus yourself is the object of worship

The corollary you are attempting is simply false. You might be able to get away with saying that the proponent of "Humanism" doesn't put anything above his or her self and the rest of humanity, but to conclude that these people must "worship" themselves if they don't worship invisible, conscious beings, does not necessarily follow.

Karla said...

Boom, that's not quiet what I said. I said if you don't serve anyone or anything else THEN by default you serve yourself. The "anyone or anything else" could be anything (parent, child, spouse, friend, job, employer, talent, sports team, money, food, materialism, etc.)

My proposition is that everyone is serving someone or something in some manner.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: that's not quiet what I said.

Here's what you said:

"If you don't serve anyone or anything else, you by default serve yourself and thus yourself is the object of worship"[emphasis added]. ~ Karla

You say that I "serve" myself if I "don't serve anyone or anything else", and while you've yet to clarify what you mean by "serve", you've still (erroneously) concluded that my "self" is my "object of worship", where the colloquial meaning of "worship" has a religious context. No, I most certainly do not "worship" myself.

Karla said...

"worship" and "serve" are interchangeable to me as I discussed in earlier comments. So by clarifying on the word "serve" I was also meaning "worship." Sorry for the confusion.

I have no idea if you serve/worship yourself or something else, I wasn't implying that anyone here lives only for their own self-interest. I was just speaking in general.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: "worship" and "serve" are interchangeable to me as I discussed in earlier comments.

Okay, fine. So, I neither "serve" nor "worship" myself, either by "default", or otherwise, just because I don't "serve" or "worship" invisible, conscious beings. Do I place importance on other things? Yes, but that hardly constitutes "worship".

Karla said...

okay.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: "worship" and "serve" are interchangeable to me as I discussed in earlier comments. So by clarifying on the word "serve" I was also meaning "worship." Sorry for the confusion.

This is a *classic* example of why we keep misunderstanding each other. Firstly you use words inside the Christian context which some of us - me for instance - have no experience of. Second, when you use two words interchangably you're inevitably going to cause confusion. The reason that both words exist is that they do don't mean *exactly* the same thing.

boomSLANG said: So, I neither "serve" nor "worship" myself, either by "default", or otherwise, just because I don't "serve" or "worship" invisible, conscious beings. Do I place importance on other things? Yes, but that hardly constitutes "worship".

Totally agree. As far as I am concerned I 'worship' nor 'serve' anyone or anything - including myself. Of couse I do things for myself but that constitutes neither worship nor servitude.

Karla said...

I'm sorry for the confusion. I just see worship as more than what it is commonly seen as. It's a lifestyle more than something one does from time to time. The object is that which one devotes himself too. Not all service is worship, but sometimes it can be. A person can worship money or fame rather than God. A person can worship himself, but I am not saying any of you are doing that. That's not for me to determine.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: A person can worship himself, but I am not saying any of you are doing that.

We already have a word for that. It's called Narcissism.

Oh, and you did at least imply that if we aren't worshiping God, or fame or money (etc) then we *must* be worshiping ourselves....

....and here's your comment:

karla said: If you don't serve anyone or anything else, you by default serve yourself and thus yourself is the object of worship.

karla said: That's not for me to determine.

As you've never met us I'd agree with that!

cl said...

Nice post, Karla, but...

[sigh]

boomSLANG,

"...by definition, if one claims to possess the Absolute, Universal "Truth", then he or she is closed(-minded) to any views that contradict what they already believe to "True"."

No. By definition, as Karla TRIED to explain to you, one is closed-minded if they are not receptive to new ideas or arguments. One can firmly believe they have the "Absolute Truth" about something while still remaining open to new ideas and arguments. You are creating a false dichotomy where one need not exist, all the while having the audacity to deride Karla for a mistake she didn't make, after you declared such to be a waste of time.

What gives? It seems to me that if you really believed Karla was the dullard you continually make her out to be, that you would have written her off as low-hanging-fruit long ago [and that's no insult to you, Karla, whatsoever].

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

CL, can they have the "Absolute Truth" and be open to new ideas and arguments that contradict said "Absolute Truth"?

boomSLANG said...

"One can firmly believe they have the 'Absolute Truth' about something while still remaining open to new ideas and arguments." ~ cl

Being "open" to listening to "new ideas and arguments" sounds marvelous at face-value, doesn't it? Yes, but on the other hand, if one isn't "open" to the fact that he or she could be wrong about their being in possession of "Absolute Truth", then to me, this is indicative of a closed mind.

or...

Mike to cl:: ...can they have the "Absolute Truth" and be open to new ideas and arguments that contradict said "Absolute Truth"?

No. And thank you.

boomSLANG said...

"What gives? It seems to me that if you really believed Karla was the dullard you continually make her out to be...." ~ cl

It seems to me that you associate more derrogatory names to Karla than anyone else, and yet, you're actually a believer. Notwithstanding, I have gone on record(perhaps Karla can attest to this) several times to say that I in fact do *not* think Karla is deficient intellectually, but in fact, I've said she's too smart(and too compassionate) to be supporting some of the ideas she puts forth, and moreover, I have suggested that this is due to compartmentalization. IOW, even the most brilliant of minds can compartmentalize.

continues...."that you would have written her off as low-hanging-fruit long ago [and that's no insult to you, Karla, whatsoever]."

I thought I addressed this elsewhere(?) Oh, well.

Okay, once more, having wasted 2/3rds of my life being a believer, I had hopes of possibly "saving" Karla from making the same mistake I did, similar to how believers try to "save" us nonbelievers. The good news is that Karla is free to dismiss every single word I say(type), without threats of bodily harm. Of course, we know the opposite isn't true.

In any event, until/unless Karla makes it as clear as you have that I'm not appreciated here, I'll take it as I'm invited to chime in from time-to-time.

cl said...

Mike,

Hola.

...can they have the "Absolute Truth" and be open to new ideas and arguments that contradict said "Absolute Truth"?

Yes. What about believing one is right precludes one from being open to new ideas? That's exactly what a good scientist does: many believe they are right about the standard model, for example, while remaining open to new ideas.

Now, I'm willing to grant that many - possibly most - believers don't come across that way, but that's not the point. The point is that reasonably sustained confidence and open-mindedness are not mutually exclusive.

boomSLANG.

"Being "open" to listening to "new ideas and arguments" sounds marvelous at face-value, doesn't it? Yes, but on the other hand, if one isn't "open" to the fact that he or she could be wrong about their being in possession of "Absolute Truth", then to me, this is indicative of a closed mind. "

Correct, but that's not what you said. You said,

"by definition, if one claims to possess the Absolute, Universal "Truth", then he or she is closed(-minded) to any views that contradict what they already believe to "True"."

...and that's just absurd. I wouldn't have brought it up at all if you hadn't [once again] criticized Karla for a mistake she didn't make.

"In any event, until/unless Karla makes it as clear as you have that I'm not appreciated here, I'll take it as I'm invited to chime in from time-to-time."

Please. Toughen up a bit. It's not about whether or not I appreciate you being here and I apologize if I made you feel "not appreciated". I said what I said because last time, many weeks ago, you said you were done. You said you were here for evidence in an open pursuit of truth. Yet, I offer to discuss evidence with you, and you don't show up. Now, you say that you're here to "save" Karla, which makes you some sort of atheist missionary. Now that the picture is crystal-clear, at least we're on the same page. You apparently think you're just as right as Karla, yet, you don't belittle yourself nearly as much.

Karla,

I'm sorry if I've offended you, but at the same time, I can't help but to speak my mind when I see glaring inconsistencies between what people say and what they do. I mean no harm.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

I agree, CL. It's just that many theists that I speak with won't admit that they could be wrong, which I'm sure they find reassuring and have probably been taught, but I find to be dishonest, probably not intentionally so.

cl said...

Mike,

"I agree, CL."

Cool. I'm glad we apparently agree that boomSLANG was mistaken. Now, let's see if he agrees, and if he does, if he's willing to apologize to Karla for blaming her for a mistake she didn't make. That would make my day, but I'm not holding my breath.

"It's just that many theists that I speak with won't admit that they could be wrong,"

That's why I granted you that pre-emptively. As it turns out, I see the same closed-mindedness among many atheists I speak with. After all, we're all human. One isn't going to magically become more open-minded because they disbelieve in God.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

I just think it's silly to call anything absolute truth when we have know way of knowing that for sure.

cl said...

Mike,

"I just think it's silly to call anything absolute truth when we have know way of knowing that for sure."

I see where you're coming from, but I'm hesitant. Unless we want to descend into solipsism, I think it's a fair claim to say we can arrive at absolute truths for a range of claims. I'm betting that you don't need examples.

Also, as a corollary to that, consider this: there are instances where open-mindedness is inappropriate. Should we be open-minded to the claim that 2+2=5? Why, when, or why not?

Karla said...

CL, none of you are offending me.

I appreciate your perspective.

As for absolute truth. When I started this blog I had a different perspective than I do now. Now, I see absolute truth as not something pertaining to the rightness of my knowledge, but only to the nature of God. God is the Absolute Truth, but my knowledge and perspectives are not absolute truth. My statement that He is the Absolute Truth is not something that I have absolute knowledge about. However, if you guys read my post on 'faith' you will find that I see faith as not that which you employ when the evidence doesn't reach far enough, but a substance which you encounter that connects you with God in a tangible way. It is this kind of substantive faith that is often why a Christian cannot conceive of being wrong about having a relationship with God. Now there are others that can truly be labeled closed minded and they are merely polly parroting what they were taught and refuse to hear any other perspective on the matter (this can be true of any person no matter whether they are a theist or an atheist as CL pointed out).

Anyway that's just my two cents.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

I am a fundamentalist solipsist and you are all in my head anyway.

When theologians and philosophers speak of absolute truth I do not think they are referring to science or mathematics.

cl said...

Karla,

"...none of you are offending me."

That's good to hear. Just know that my tendency to engage boomSLANG doesn't mean that I don't want him here. Jesus had strong or even harsh words for many. That doesn't mean He didn't want them around.

"When I started this blog I had a different perspective than I do now. Now, I see absolute truth as not something pertaining to the rightness of my knowledge, but only to the nature of God. God is the Absolute Truth, but my knowledge and perspectives are not absolute truth. "

Good. Guess what that's an indication of? Open-mindedness.

"Anyway that's just my two cents."

I'd say more like 25 cents or even maybe a buck, but I get the idea. :)

Mike,

"I am a fundamentalist solipsist and you are all in my head anyway."

LOL LOL!

"When theologians and philosophers speak of absolute truth I do not think they are referring to science or mathematics."

I agree. Your comment was,

"I just think it's silly to call **anything** absolute truth when we have know way of knowing that for sure." [emph. mine]

I was simply taking the comment at face-value because I didn't want to assume.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

CL, I was assuming we were talking about theological absolute truths here. I did want to assume. ;-)

boomSLANG said...

"What about believing one is right precludes one from being open to new ideas?" ~ cl

We're not just talking about being "right", we, or at least I, am talking about specific people..i.e.. those who claim that they cannot be mistaken about their belief that "Absolute Truth" exists and that they are in possession of it. And no, I don't mean "mathematics".

For the record(again), I do not claim to know, "Absolutely", that invisible, conscious, creator-beings do not exist. To my understanding, Karla claims that at least one such being does exist, and that she cannot be mistaken.

Thus, it seems reasonable to me that while she might be "open" to listening to "new ideas", including those ideas that *contradict* her convictions, that she would have to be closed to adopting those ideas, because adopting them would mean that she was/is wrong.

"That's exactly what a good scientist does: many believe they are right about the standard model, for example, while remaining open to new ideas." ~ cl

The scientific method is provisional, thus, it naturally doesn't deal in "Absolutes". A "good scientist" realizes this. A "good scientist" is not only "open" to new ideas/information, they are *also* open to admitting that they very well could be mistaken about current models, etc.

"Now, I'm willing to grant that many - possibly most - believers don't come across that way, but that's not the point. The point is that reasonably sustained confidence and open-mindedness are not mutually exclusive." ~ cl

If having "reasonably sustained confidence" leaves room for admitting one can be wrong, then we are still not talking about the same thing.

Previously, me: "Being 'open' to listening to 'new ideas and arguments' sounds marvelous at face-value, doesn't it? Yes, but on the other hand, if one isn't 'open' to the fact that he or she could be wrong about their being in possession of 'Absolute Truth', then to me, this is indicative of a closed mind."

cl responds..."Correct, but that's not what you said. You said,"

"by definition, if one claims to possess the Absolute, Universal 'Truth', then he or she is closed(-minded) to any views that contradict what they already believe to 'True'."

You evidentally see a grand distinction between the two, whereas, I do not. Perhaps I could have qualified the latter by saying, "then he or she is closed(-minded) to >>adopting<< any views that contradict what they already believe to 'True'."

In any case, if you agree to my wording of the former, then you'd being agreeing with me(and others) that Karla, and other theists who insist they cannot be mistaken, are closed-minded.

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

"I said what I said because last time, many weeks ago, you said you were done." ~ cl

Yes, I'm aware of what I said, and had Karla not responded to my response that was directed at another Atheist reader, I would have not had anything to respond to in that particular thread. In any event, changing one's mind isn't exactly unheard of, is it? Either way, if I've given you the impression that I care if you think I'm here for some other alterior motive, I apologize.

"Yet, I offer to discuss evidence with you, and you don't show up." ~ cl

Right, and I'm not going to show up, for the reasons I gave previously. Am I supposed to believe that you haven't given or won't give the very best you've got right here?..that you're holding back some really good theistic arguments? My goodness, I hope not.

"Now, you say that you're here to 'save' Karla, which makes you some sort of atheist missionary. Now that the picture is crystal-clear, at least we're on the same page." ~ cl

Actually, no...'not on the same page. The difference, again, is, a) Karla is free to disregard every word I say and be on her merry way, without danger of bodily harm, and b) my "atheism" doesn't call on me to do jack'. It is my being human that I would care about Karla wasting the only life that she'll ever have, believing a lie.

"Cool. I'm glad we apparently agree that boomSLANG was mistaken." ~ cl

I haven't seen where Mike necessarily agrees that I was "mistaken"; I've only seen where cl agrees on the behalf of Mike, similar to how I see cl (indirectly) call Karla names on the behalf of others.

"Now, let's see if he agrees..."

Let's let Mike clarify what he was "agreeing to", and go from there, shall we?

"...and if he does, if he's willing to apologize to Karla for blaming her for a mistake she didn't make." ~ cl

What "mistake"? Karla, do I owe you an "apology" for something? Feel free to speak right up so we can lay this to rest; so we can avoid this interceding.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

I was simply agreeing that one could have what they think is a glimpse of the ultimate truth as long as they knew they were fallible and could be wrong.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: "When I started this blog I had a different perspective than I do now. Now, I see absolute truth as not something pertaining to the rightness of my knowledge, but only to the nature of God. God is the Absolute Truth, but my knowledge and perspectives are not absolute truth."[emphasis, mine]

So, if I understand correctly, you (now) admit that your "knowledge" may be subject to error, yet, in the next breath you state, "God is the Absolute Truth", where, to me, it is implicit that you claim to know this for certain, thus, making it certain "knowledge", when you just said the "rightness" of your "knowledge" isn't "Absolute".

In any case, you can solve this by simply making it clear: Is it possible that you are mistaken about "God" being "Absolute Truth"?... nevermind for the moment that you've yet to illustrate in any meaningful way that a "Being"/being can be truth/"Truth". Yes, or no?

boomSLANG said...

Mike: "I was simply agreeing that one could have what they think is a glimpse of the ultimate truth as long as they knew they were fallible and could be wrong."

Thanks.

CyberKitten said...

cl said: The point is that reasonably sustained confidence and open-mindedness are not mutually exclusive.

I think that's the first time I've seen goal-posts move so fast they may have actually broke the sound barrier.....

How exactly does "reasonably sustained confidence" equate to "Absolute Truth"?

cl said...

boomSLANG,

I don't have the time to read your extended diatribe. Let's try to stay concise here. In your second comment in this thread, you said,

"...by definition, if one claims to possess the Absolute, Universal "Truth", then he or she is closed(-minded) to any views that contradict what they already believe to "True"."

However, by definition, you are wrong. By definition, claiming to possess Absolute Truth doesn't preclude open-mindedness. Yet, you talk down to Karla and act as if she made some sort of mistake:

"...once again Karla, your thought-process on this issue is simply wrong, and I'll wager that you won't concede it as such."

In my opinion, unless you can justify the claim I cited, you do owe Karla an apology, and you should retract the claims I cited.

CK,

"How exactly does "reasonably sustained confidence" equate to "Absolute Truth"?"

Well, think about it: one can have reasonably sustained confidence that they have discovered an Absolute Truth. By definition, supposing that one possesses an Absolute Truth does not preclude open-mindedness: refusing to be open to new ideas does. So, boomSLANG was simply mistaken in his second comment.

CyberKitten said...

cl said: By definition, supposing that one possesses an Absolute Truth does not preclude open-mindedness: refusing to be open to new ideas does.

So you can also have reasonable doubts about aspects of your belief in any particular Absolute Truth?

Is it also reasonable to doubt the existence of any particular Absolute Truth?

cl said...

CK,

Although you're free to disagree, and if you do, we can continue, I believe I have answered your last question effectively. As such, I'd rather not start a new, off-topic discussion with you.

My claim is that believing one possesses an "Absolute Truth" does not preclude open-mindedness, whereas refusal to be open to new ideas does, regardless of what one believes.

Do you agree? Or disagree? Just a simple "yes" or "no" will suffice.

boomSLANG said...

"I don't have the time to read your extended diatribe" ~ cl

Oh, is that so? Okay, fair enough. I don't have time to read your condensed diatribe. If Karla asks for an "apology", and further, if she agrees I was "wrong" where you have said I'm "wrong", then, and only then, will I care enough to take the time to explain why I won't "apologize", and why.

For the time being, one theist can think and believe what he wants, and the other can clarify her (revised) position by simply answering the multiple choice question put to her, which was when I asked her if she could be wrong in her claiming to know that "God is the Absolute Truth". If she answers "no", then once more, she illustrates a close-mindedness to any/all ideas that contradict her admitted Absolute Certainty.

cl said...

boomSLANG,

You said,

"...by definition, if one claims to possess the Absolute, Universal "Truth", then he or she is closed(-minded) to any views that contradict what they already believe to "True". "

...but that's not true. By definition, one is closed-minded if they are not open to new ideas. You have redefined "closed-minded" to mean "one who claims to possess Absolute Truth," when that's not what the definition is - as Karla explained.

You have misrepresented the definition of the word, while ironically accusing Karla of an error she did not make. Even more ironic was your little jab about how you wager Karla won't be able to admit she was wrong, when she wasn't wrong in the first place, and now here you are - apparently unable to admit you are wrong.

Don't cop an attitude; just take responsibility for your claim.

Karla said...

CL "My claim is that believing one possesses an "Absolute Truth" does not preclude open-mindedness, whereas refusal to be open to new ideas does, regardless of what one believes."

I am actually proposing that one Being is Absolute Truth and that I have a relationship with that Being rather than that I have perfect knowledge.

Boom you said you are concerned that I am wasting my life believing a lie. That is no different than me being concerned you are missing an incredible part of life by believing a lie. I do not consider that to be closed minded. If no one ever settles upon something they have experienced to be true as truth they are being one who doesn't love the truth rather than someone who is progressively open minded. I would be remiss to ignore all I have experienced with God to keep my heart and mind in a state of rampant uncertainty.

boomSLANG said...

As his highness cl as pointed out several times, previously I said...

"...by definition, if one claims to possess THE Absolute, Universal 'Truth', then he or she is closed(-minded) to any views that contradict what they already believe to (be)'True'."[bold, italics, and capitalization added]

Absolute: adjective

1. Perfect in quality or nature; complete.
2. Not mixed; pure. See Synonyms at pure.[bold, mine]

Ref: American Heritage

So, again, if one claims to possess the "Absolute Truth", they, by definition, claim to know *THE* "complete" Truth...as in, not a portion of it(i.e..math), not half of it, not 2/3rds of it, but ALL of it....the complete Truth, cl.

If one claims to know ALL Truth, then not only are they lying; not only do they look silly, but, once more, they cannot be open to any ideas that contradict their supposed "Knowledge"---and when I say "open", I don't mean that they aren't happy to let to new, opposing ideas in one ear and out the other. What I mean is, they aren't open to adopting those opposing ideas.

For instance, Karla is happy to listen to me, an Atheist, run some ideas past her. However, she has gone record to say that she "could never be an Atheist". So that tells me that she has concluded, a priori, that Theism is certainly true, and in her latest words, "God is the Absolute Truth". Therefore, I am not unreasonable to conclude that she is not open to adopting ideas that would prove her wrong.

It's hilarious. You don't have time to read my "extended diatribe"(which you would have to read to know it's a "diatribe"), but you evidentally have plenty of time to beat your "boomSLANG is wrong" drum, and yet, you're beating your wittle drum in vain, because I'm not wrong. Classic.

boomSLANG said...

"I am actually proposing that one Being is Absolute Truth and that I have a relationship with that Being rather than that I have perfect knowledge." ~ Karla

Yes, yes....a revision of your previous position. This is nothing new.

In any event, unless I missed it, you haven't given any evidence that an "eternal knower"(your term) is necessary to possess knowledge, whether it be a little of it, or all of it. You haven't given any evidence that a being/"Being" can be truth/"Truth".

boomSLANG said...

"That is no different than me being concerned you are missing an incredible part of life by believing a lie." ~ Karla

Yes, and if you'll remember, I've already made that comparison. Of course, as I pointed out, the stakes are completely different.

In any event, I'm more curious what "lie" am I believing. I'd also like to know what sort of "incredible" capabilities you have that I do not..i.e..the things I'm "missing out" on.

Karla said...

Boom “As his highness cl as pointed out several times, previously I said...”

Boom, really the “highness” sarcasm is unnecessary and does not comply with my guidelines to have a respectful conversation.


Boom “Absolute: adjective

1. Perfect in quality or nature; complete.
2. Not mixed; pure. See Synonyms at pure.[bold, mine]

Ref: American Heritage”

Right, so when I say that God is the Absolute Truth, I and that I have experiential knowledge of Him, I am not saying that my knowledge is perfect or complete or pure, but that His Being is. This is a HUGE distinction.


Boom “So, again, if one claims to possess the "Absolute Truth", they, by definition, claim to know *THE* "complete" Truth...as in, not a portion of it(i.e..math), not half of it, not 2/3rds of it, but ALL of it....the complete Truth, cl.”

You haven’t been hearing me, if you still think this is what I am advocating.


Boom “If one claims to know ALL Truth, then not only are they lying; not only do they look silly, but, once more, they cannot be open to any ideas that contradict their supposed "Knowledge"---and when I say "open", I don't mean that they aren't happy to let to new, opposing ideas in one ear and out the other. What I mean is, they aren't open to adopting those opposing ideas. “

I never claimed to know ALL Truth. I only claim to know by relationship the one who is Truth. I certainly do not know all that He knows or all that He is. I do not have the corner market on truth. I am certainly fallible and my knowledge is fallible. But His is not, and it is He that I know not all facts about Him or about the world or even 1% of them.

Boom “For instance, Karla is happy to listen to me, an Atheist, run some ideas past her. However, she has gone record to say that she "could never be an Atheist". So that tells me that she has concluded, a priori, that Theism is certainly true, and in her latest words, "God is the Absolute Truth". Therefore, I am not unreasonable to conclude that she is not open to adopting ideas that would prove her wrong.”

No, I did not come to “theism” independent of experience or observation. Just because I, prior to speaking with you, know that I could never be an atheist, does not mean that my conclusion was “a priori.” I have had plenty of experience prior to speaking with you and have studied plenty of philosophy prior to speaking with you.

boomSLANG said...

"Boom, really the 'highness' sarcasm is unnecessary...." ~ Karla

You're right, my pointing that out was not necessary. 'Sorry.

"... when I say that God is the Absolute Truth, I and that I have experiential knowledge of Him, I am not saying that my knowledge is perfect or complete or pure..." ~ Karla

You are still dancing around the issue. If, as you claim, the "Absolute Truth" doesn't pertain to the "rightness"(your term) of your supposed "knowledge", then your supposed "knowledge" that "God is the Absolute Truth" might not be right, according to your latest revision. But once more, we can solve this if you'll just answer the previous question. Here it is again...

Is it possible that you are mistaken about "God" being "the Absolute Truth"? Yes, or no?

"....but that His Being is. This is a HUGE distinction." ~ Karla

Yes, it is a "HUGE distinction" that, a) doesn't make you come across any less close-minded(assuming you'll answer "no", above), and b) hasn't illustrated in any meaningful way how a being/"Being" can be truth/"Truth".

"You haven’t been hearing me, if you still think this is what I am advocating." ~ Karla

Again, I've seen the latest revision of your argument; I know what you are "advocating". My point is, even if my argument - the one a Xian consituent of yours keeps harping on - hypothetically applied to you, I wouldn't be wrong in that argument.

Let's take your favorite guy, "God". Can "God" be wrong? No, of course not..."God" knows everything! So? Is "God" open to adopting new ideas that would contradict his supposed "Truth"??? Heavens no, because that would mean he wasn't "God" to begin with. Thus, "God" has a certain close-mindedness. This is why this whole idea of "Absolute Truth" is absurd.

"I do not have the corner market on truth. I am certainly fallible and my knowledge is fallible." ~ Karla

So, does this mean I can expect a "yes" to the above yes/no question?

"No, I did not come to 'theism' independent of experience or observation." ~ Karla

And guess what? I didn't say that you did. I'm saying that *now* that you are a theist, that you have decided, in advance, that this is how you'll remain, based on your disclosing the following...

"I could never be an Atheist" ~ Karla

Karla said...

Boom "Yes, yes....a revision of your previous position. This is nothing new."

It is not a revision. I've been saying this for many months.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

"Is it possible that you are mistaken about 'God' being 'the Absolute Truth'? Yes, or no?"

That is a good question. While God may be the Absolute Truth, we as fallible humans can only hope and have faith that we are right.

Karla said...

Boom “Yes, and if you'll remember, I've already made that comparison. Of course, as I pointed out, the stakes are completely different.”

The “stakes” as you put it have no relevance on whether it is true or not nor on the discussion of open mindedness.

Boom “In any event, I'm more curious what "lie" am I believing. I'd also like to know what sort of "incredible" capabilities you have that I do not..i.e..the things I'm "missing out" on. “

The “lie” is that God doesn’t exist and that the world is merely a result of a solely natural evolutionary process.

The missing things? Experiencing the love of God. Having a real relationship with God. Realizing your true identity in God – that you were designed to live as a son of God, being an heir with Christ of all that belongs to God. Walking in the power of God, the power that heals the sick.

Karla said...

Boom “You are still dancing around the issue. If, as you claim, the "Absolute Truth" doesn't pertain to the "rightness"(your term) of your supposed "knowledge", then your supposed "knowledge" that "God is the Absolute Truth" might not be right, according to your latest revision. But once more, we can solve this if you'll just answer the previous question. Here it is again...”

I wasn’t revising, just repeating what I have been saying, which keeps getting ignored. It is logically possible that I am wrong about God being the essence of truth and being one who is really there, I just don’t believe that to be a viable possibility because I would have to doubt all that I have experienced and studied and found to be true to live with a continual allowance of my whole world being false.

It is interesting that no one calls someone closed minded for not doubting that their mother exists, but only that God exists because they feel their lack of experience of Him is more valid than the other person’s experience of Him.

If I am closed minded to trust my experience, are you closed mined to trust your lack of experience of Him as evidence of His non-existence?

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

"It is interesting that no one calls someone closed minded for not doubting that their mother exists, but only that God exists because they feel their lack of experience of Him is more valid than the other person’s experience of Him."

You mean my mother who I can see and touch? That mother? ;-)

This was one of the biggest factors in my deconversion. Should God be more tangible and not less than my mother or the mailman for that matter?

"foofe" was the captcha word just now. How fun. ;-)

I'm feeling foofe. ;-)

Karla said...

Mike “That is a good question. While God may be the Absolute Truth, we as fallible humans can only hope and have faith that we are right.”

Faith is tangibly experiencing the substance and hope of God. So without that connection there is no faith in the biblical sense. Biblical faith isn’t believing in something unevidenced, it is the substance of the evidence of God found by tangible connection with Him. Similarly, hope is not wishing really hard that God is real; it is the substance of experiencing Him as genuine. (if you haven’t read it, I recommend by post on Substantive Faith for more of my thoughts on this).

Karla said...

Mike “You mean my mother who I can see and touch? That mother? ;-)”

Yes, that one. Are you agreeing that it is preposterous to claim someone is closed minded if they do not live with a doubt of their mother’s existence and openly accept all evidence as potentially valid demonstration that all your experiences of her are false?


Mike “This was one of the biggest factors in my deconversion. Should God be more tangible and not less than my mother or the mailman for that matter?”

I see the encounters of the nature I am speaking of as those that hit deeper than any encounter with a person can. Those affect the heart and soul of a person rather than the skin, emotions, eyes, and ears. However, God experiences also affect emotions and the sense of touch where you can feel a heavy holy Presence upon you or through you. Or the eyes where you can physically see a miracle happen. Or the ears where you can hear His audible voice (not an experience I have had—I’ve only read testimonies of it).

I think maybe some of these encounters are easier to doubt than encountering a human right in front of you because our natural senses have more exercise than our supernatural ones. I have a firm conviction that things are going to turn around for you and you will find what you were looking for and it will be more amazing and stronger than anything you have previously experienced.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: The “lie” is that God doesn’t exist and that the world is merely a result of a solely natural evolutionary process.

So... is that a 'lie' or a lie?

What I think you mean is that you believe it to be untrue.

Karla said...

Cyber "So... is that a 'lie' or a lie?

What I think you mean is that you believe it to be untrue."

I said it that way because someone would have to have perpetuated a lie rather than someone simply believing something false. To say one believes a lie, precludes that there was a liar since that isn't necessarily what is being discussed I used 'lie' instead of lie.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Karla, millions of people, billions if you include everyone who ever lived, have those experiences you describe and have interpreted them in many ways. Aside from a possible misunderstanding that would be easily corrected, no one is going to interpret my mother as something else.

It's very possible that none of this exists, we could all be plugged into the matrix or something similar, so it's not completely ridiculous for someone to think my mother doesn't exist.

boomSLANG said...

"It is not a revision. I've been saying this for many months."
~ Karla

Regarding "Absolute Truth", you said your "perspective" changed, and what followed was a description of how it changed, thus, changing your position. In my view, that constitutes a revision.

"The 'stakes' as you put it have no relevance on whether it is true or not nor on the discussion of open mindedness." ~ Karla

True. But since it was brought up that I might be "some sort of atheist missionary", in contrast to theistic missionaries who are commissioned by their respective doctrines to recruit and "save" people, I thought it was pertinent to point out that my atheism has no such requirements.

"The 'lie' is that God doesn’t exist and that the world is merely a result of a solely natural evolutionary process." ~ Karla

We've been over this. I do not believe, "God doesn't exist". If the aforementioned statement is a "lie", I don't believe that "lie". I merely lack belief that a "God" exists. There's a difference there, and I'm not going to explain it to you again.

As for how the world and biological life as we see it today came to exist, those are two different topics. We have *evidence* that complex life-forms evolve from simpler life-forms. Moreover, there are millions of bible-believing Christians who accept evolutionary theory. Doesn't that make them more open-minded than you???

"The missing things? Experiencing the love of God. Having a real relationship with God. Realizing your true identity in God – that you were designed to live as a son of God, being an heir with Christ of all that belongs to God. Walking in the power of God, the power that heals the sick." ~ Karla

As a former believer, I've already experienced what I believed to be all that "God" stuff. So, no, I haven't "missed out" on it, similar to how I didn't "miss out" on what it feels like to believe in Santa Claus. I know what it feels like to believe in "Santa"; I know what it feels like to believe in "God". Feelings are feelings are feelings. Now, if you want to talk about some physical act that you can do, that I'm unable to do because I don't share your beliefs, then that's a different story.

boomSLANG said...

"It is logically possible that I am wrong about God being the essence of truth and being one who is really there, I just don’t believe that to be a viable possibility because..." ~ Karla

I chopped you off at "because", because I'm not interested in the "why" you claim you can't be wrong. What I was looking for, is your admission that you can't be wrong, and I now have it. Thank you.

"It is interesting that no one calls someone closed minded for not doubting that their mother exists...." ~ Karla

I find it interesting that you always have such inapt analogies. Why would we expect any normal, sane person to doubt that they came from the womb of a female, and that said female is their mother???

"If I am closed minded to trust my experience, are you closed mined to trust your lack of experience of Him as evidence of His non-existence?" ~ Karla

The crucial difference is, I've change my mind once, and I'll do it again. Moreover, I've delineated, clearly, what kind of experience would convince me that I'm not simply misinterpreting my feelings, and that "God" is real.

The point is, I'll change my mind, whereas, we have your admission that nothing would change your mind; it is not possible that you are wrong(according to your latest)

Karla said...

Mike "Karla, millions of people, billions if you include everyone who ever lived, have those experiences you describe and have interpreted them in many ways. Aside from a possible misunderstanding that would be easily corrected, no one is going to interpret my mother as something else."

So. . . certainty when certainty appears plausible isn't considered closed minded, it is just when one feels it isn't plausible for one to be certain that that person labels the other closed minded.

Also I guess you could add from what you are saying that closed minded is when only one option is adhered to when there are many rather than where one is shared by all.

I would think though that people would be more concerned with finding what is true than whether or not others consider their hunger for holding on to the truth as being closed minded or not.

Karla said...

Boom "Now, if you want to talk about some physical act that you can do, that I'm unable to do because I don't share your beliefs, then that's a different story."

Not because you don't share my beliefs, but because you don't know (have relationship with) my God--The God.

Belief matters not in this instance if there is no actual enduring contact with the One who is the object of that belief.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

"I would think though that people would be more concerned with finding what is true than whether or not others consider their hunger for holding on to the truth as being closed minded or not."

And as soon as everyone agrees on the method for proving what is true in spiritual matters we will all agree. ;-)

Karla said...

Agreement doesn't establish something as true.

cl said...

boomSLANG,

"As his highness cl as pointed out several times,"

Oh please. Grow up a bit, will ya?

"You don't have time to read my "extended diatribe"(which you would have to read to know it's a "diatribe"),"

A quick scan sufficed. You have a peculiar fondness for taking the discussion in thirty different directions at once. Instead of paring down and trying to focus on a single issue, you spin this HUGE mess of scattered comments about everything from what Karla said weeks ago to the price of tea in China. I don't see the usefulness in that strategy when I'm trying to focus on a single issue with you. Less is more, boomSLANG. Remember that next time you're tempted to dig into your keyboard and write five or more comments in a row.

Now, getting back to the key issue here, you continue:

"...if one claims to possess the "Absolute Truth", they, by definition, claim to know *THE* "complete" Truth...as in, not a portion of it(i.e..math), not half of it, not 2/3rds of it, but ALL of it....the complete Truth, cl."

None of that means they must NECESSARILY be closed off to new ideas. Not that I do, but I can believe that I know the complete truth and still be open to new ideas. That's what I'm trying to get you to see. You are redefining words to mean what you want them to mean. Closed-minded does not mean, "someone who believes they possess the Absolute Truth." Closed-minded means "someone who is NOT OPEN TO NEW IDEAS." You are constructing a false dichotomy where one need not exist.

I'm willing to grant that many who think they possess the complete truth are in fact closed-minded, but that's entirely different.

cl said...

Karla,

I don't know if you've answered, but a "yes" to boomSLANG's question would be the simplest way to demonstrate his error:

"Is it possible that you are mistaken about 'God' being 'the Absolute Truth'? Yes, or no?" (boomSLANG, to Karla)

While I do not believe I "know everything," I do happen to believe that God is the absolute Truth, and, yes, I could be wrong. THEREFORE, one can believe they have knowledge of absolute Truth, while still being open to new ideas.

CyberKitten said...

Karla - I've just posted a book review you might find interesting.

The Cathars: The Most successful Heresy of the Middle Ages by Sean Martin.

Check it out.

cl said...

As Mike said,

"...one could have what they think is a glimpse of the ultimate truth as long as they knew they were fallible and could be wrong."

IOW, believing one possesses absolute truth and being open-minded are not mutually exclusive.

[please correct me if that's an unreasonable paraphrase of your position, Mike]

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

"IOW, believing one possesses absolute truth and being open-minded are not mutually exclusive."

It just seldom happens that way.

cl said...

Mike,

"It just seldom happens that way."

I agree, but, does that mean believing one possesses absolute truth and remaining open to new ideas are mutually exclusive?

That's the key question here. boomSLANG is saying yes, they are mutually exclusive. I'm saying no, they are not.

What do you say?

cl said...

Karla,

The “lie” is that God doesn’t exist and that the world is merely a result of a solely natural evolutionary process. (Karla)

So... is that a 'lie' or a lie? What I think you mean is that you believe it to be untrue. (CK)

I'm going to have to take CK's side here. While I realize you were just speaking in a common form, if you wish to maximize favor with atheist readers, may I suggest minimizing rhetorical statements such as these?

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

If someone said they had possession of Absolute Truth, but were open to changing their mind that would seem contradictory to me. If someone said, "I'm pretty sure I have possession of Absolute Truth, but could be wrong" I could understand that.

boomSLANG said...

"Not that I do, but I can believe that I know the complete truth and still be open to new ideas. That's what I'm trying to get you to see." ~ cl [bold/italics, mine]

and...

"Closed-minded means "someone who is NOT OPEN TO NEW IDEAS." ~ cl [bold/italics, mine]

Let me know when you're done equivocating on "open to". Is that concise enough for you? What I'm saying is, until you express, clearly, what "open to" means(and what it does not mean), we go nowhere.

And I hope I'm not being too "messy" when I add this, but for the record, I have, from the onset of this subject, used it in the context of "open to" changing one's mind about previously-held ideas, and/or, "open to" adopting new ideas that replace old, incorrect ideas. Good grief, who give a rat's patooty about being "open to" listening to new ideas, etc., if one has zero intention of changing their mind and adopting new ideas?(Karla?)

And no, I'm not trying to "redefine" the term "open to". I was intending it in its broadest sense, as in, not just the physical act of hearing new ideas, but also a willingness(openness) to change one's mind.

"I don't know if you've answered, but a 'yes' to boomSLANG's question would be the simplest way to demonstrate his error: ~ cl

For the record, Karla (indirectly)answered a "no", as in, no, she cannot be mistaken; such is impossible.

"Is it possible that you are mistaken about 'God' being 'the Absolute Truth'? Yes, or no?" (boomSLANG, to Karla)

cl attempts...

"While I do not believe I 'know everything,' I do happen to believe that God is the absolute Truth, and, yes, I could be wrong. THEREFORE, one can believe they have knowledge of absolute Truth, while still being open to new ideas."[bold, mine]

Right, right...AND, if you admittedly do NOT know "everything", then that is a reasonable concession that you are NOT in possession of THE complete, "Absolute Truth", in which case, you do not know said "Truth". If one's claim is that he or she has "knowledge of" this "Truth" existing somewhere, or that "God", or Gumby, or perhaps someone else is that "Truth", and/or, possesses that "Truth", then that is an entirely different claim.

IOW, having "knowledge" that this supposed "Truth" exists, and possessing said "Truth", itself, *as* knowledge, are two entirely different claims.

In any event, 'refreshing to see a Xian admit that he could be wrong! This is practically unheard of! Kudos!

boomSLANG said...

Mike: "If someone said they had possession of Absolute Truth, but were open to changing their mind that would seem contradictory to me."

Agreed. Thank you. I like how you qualified "open to" by following it with "changing their mind".

cl said...

Mike,

"If someone said they had possession of Absolute Truth, but were open to changing their mind that would seem contradictory to me."

Why?

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Mike,

"If someone said they had possession of Absolute Truth, but were open to changing their mind that would seem contradictory to me."

CL

"Why?"

Because Absolute Truth would seem different than normal knowledge. If one were certain they had it, I can't imagine being willing to believe something else.

cl said...

boomSLANG,

"...until you express, clearly, what "open to" means(and what it does not mean), we go nowhere."

It was already expressed, clearly, in Karla's OP:

"...having or showing a mind receptive to new ideas or arguments."

Conversely, closed-minded would mean,

"...having or showing a mind THAT IS NOT receptive to new ideas or arguments."

Mike,

It's hard to tell exactly what your position is. It would help if you gave a clear, simple, "yes or no" answer to the following two questions:

Is "believing one possesses absolute truth" mutually exclusive with "having or showing a mind receptive to new ideas or arguments?"

If someone "believes they possess absolute truth," is it impossible for that person to have "a mind receptive to new ideas or arguments?"

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Is "believing one possesses absolute truth" mutually exclusive with "having or showing a mind receptive to new ideas or arguments?"

Yes.

If someone "believes they possess absolute truth," is it impossible for that person to have "a mind receptive to new ideas or arguments?"

Why would they? No.

If they are certain they possess it why would they consider something else?

I've tried to interject uncertainty in the statement to clarify, but that doesn't seem to work for you, or am I wrong?

cl said...

boomSLANG,

...I'm not trying to "redefine" the term "open to".

Correct. You are redefining the term closed-minded to mean "one who believes they possess absolute truth," when in actuality, the definition is, "having or showing a mind that is not receptive to new ideas or arguments."

As you said,

"...by definition, if one claims to possess the Absolute, Universal "Truth", then he or she is closed(-minded) to any views that contradict what they already believe to "True". "

That's incorrect. By definition, one is closed-minded if they have or show a mind that is not receptive to new ideas or arguments.

Of the set of people who believe they possess absolute truth, there are two subsets: people who remain open to new ideas or arguments, and those who do not.

cl said...

Mike,

You appear to be contradicting yourself.

When I asked if open-mindedness and the belief that one possesses absolute truth are mutually exclusive, you said yes.

When I asked if it is impossible for a person who believes they possess absolute truth to be open-minded, you replied no.

Can you clarify?

cl said...

Mike,

"I've tried to interject uncertainty in the statement to clarify, but that doesn't seem to work for you, or am I wrong?"

It's not so much that I think you're wrong, but I do believe that your latest strategy is not helpful, because the original statements made no such distinction. Consider: if we begin the evaluation with someone who is certain, then, of course, we begin with someone who is closed-minded by default. We would be loading things a priori.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

2nd answer should have been yes. Sorry for the confusion.

cl said...

Mike,

Well now I'm totally confused, so I guess we have to backtrack. When you said, "I agree" in response to my first comment, what exactly were you agreeing to? Can you cut-and-paste the exact words of mine that you were agreeing to?

boomSLANG said...

"...having or showing a mind receptive to new ideas or arguments." ~ cl

Previously there was equivocation on "open to", and now "open to" has simply been switched to "receptive to". There is still a question mark, and you are the one who pushes for being concise and avoiding the "messy".

So, "receptive", how? Do you mean, willing to receive data; willing to listen to opposing, and/or, new ideas? Because in that context, Karla has been willing to receive opposing view points on her blog since the beginning. But as we both learned today, she is NOT "receptive" to changing her position. Her being mistaken is literally impossible, according to her.

Conversely, closed-minded would mean,

"...having or showing a mind THAT IS NOT receptive to new ideas or arguments."
~ cl

And again, big whoopty'. Person X is willing to *receive* some information, while person Y is not willing to *receive* some information. While person X is less closed-minded than person Y, that doesn't necessarily make person X open-minded, because person X could very well be Karla, who, as we know, has closed her mind to ANYTHING that would require her to change her mind regarding her religious convictions.

"You are redefining the term closed-minded to mean 'one who believes they possess absolute truth'," ~ cl

No, I most certainly am not.

(quotes me here again)

"...by definition, if one claims to possess the Absolute, Universal "Truth", then he or she is closed(-minded) to any views that contradict what they already believe to 'True'." ~ me[bold added]

Let the record show that when I said "by definition", I was NOT REFERING TO THE DEFINITION of "closed-minded", but of "The Absolute Truth", which, by definition, would mean the *complete* Truth..i.e..ALL knowledge that is true.

So let's try yet one more time:

If one claims to possess the "Absolute Truth", then he or she would presumably know EVERYTHING, and thus, while he or she can sit behind the PC or in the clouds all day and be receptive to ideas that oppose his or her "Knowledge", he or she cannot be receptive to adopting ANY view as true that opposes their "Knowledge", because if he or she did that, then that would show they didn't possess the *complete* "Truth" to begin with. It's a catch 22, and this is precisely why this whole idea of "Absolute Truth" is absurd.

cl to Mike: "if we begin the evaluation with someone who is certain, then, of course, we begin with someone who is closed-minded by default. We would be loading things a priori."

And if the person you are evaluating claims to know the Absolute Truth, meaning, everything that is true, then they'd have to be "certain", and in which case, I'd agree that they are closed-minded by default.

Would it make much sense for someone to say, "Hey, I know everything, but there's a chance I might not know everything"??? In my view, that is completely contradictory

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

When I get the time I'll go through and count how many times we've reworded this.

cl said...

Mike,

My claim has been the same since my first comment: believing one possesses absolute truth is not mutually exclusive with having an open mind. That's it.

Nonetheless, let me know what you come up with on the count, but more importantly, please let me know exactly which words from my first comment you were saying "I agree" to. That would help clear things up for me, immensely.

cl said...

BTW, Mike, the phenomenon you allude to is precisely why I advocate concise argumentation. The more words, the more chance for obfuscation. Less is more.

cl said...

Karla,

When you speak of a Christian's belief that they possess absolute truth, are you implying that the Christian believes they "know everything?"

Actually, strike the question. A brief perusal of the thread indicates that no, that's not what you're implying:

"If that proponent of knowing Absolute Truth claims to personally have full absolute knowledge of said truth rather than a relationship with a Being who is Truth. There is a difference between claiming to know it all and claiming to know the who is the All." (Karla)

That's likely at least part of the problem right there: when you're saying absolute truth, boomSLANG is hearing "knowing everything."

Karla said...

Cl "That's likely at least part of the problem right there: when you're saying absolute truth, boomSLANG is hearing "knowing everything." "

I know. It doesn't seem to be conveying that I am not saying that at all nor am I saying I know one thing absolutely (completely, purely). I am only saying that God's Being is Absolute Truth and that I have relational experience with Him.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Karla: "I am only saying that God's Being is Absolute Truth and that I have relational experience with Him."

How are any of us even close to being qualified to determine that God IS Absolute Truth with any certainty?

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

CL: "believing one possesses absolute truth is not mutually exclusive with having an open mind."

Back when I joined Facebook surveys were all the rage, they probably still are, but I block 99.9% of the applications on Facebook now so I don't see them. I would see an interesting survey and start to take it, but would almost always get to a question that I couldn't answer "yes" or "no" to.

Pollers craft manipulative questions designed to lead people in a certain direction. Socratic method can be abused similarly.

I'm not saying that anyone here is doing that.

So, true or false: "believing one possesses absolute truth is not mutually exclusive with having an open mind."

True, whether the person knows it or not. Sometimes, despite all our efforts, our minds are forced open.

I'm still not satisfied with the statement, but have nothing else to suggest.

boomSLANG said...

"I know. It doesn't seem to be conveying that I am not saying that at all nor am I saying I know one thing absolutely (completely, purely). I am only saying that God's Being is Absolute Truth and that I have relational experience with Him." ~ Karla [bold, mine]

Whether you know it or not, you have just completely contradicted yourself, if we consider what you had to say yesterday.

Let's review:

When asked if she could be mistaken(wrong) when she states over and over and over that "God is the Absolute Truth", Karla has made her answer crystal clear.

Here is the question(me, to Karla):

Is it possible that you are mistaken about "God" being "the Absolute Truth"? Yes, or no?

Here is her answer(Karla, to me):

"It is logically possible that I am wrong about God being the essence of truth and being one who is really there, I just don’t believe that to be a viable possibility because..."[bold, mine]

And there you have it, folks.

So, I will attempt to make my point once more, and I will do it as concisely as I know how, and then I will let you guys hash it out.

As demonstrated by Karla, her claiming to know for Absolute certain that she is right in her statement, "God is the Absolute Truth", and that it is NOT possible that she is mistaken, is the *ultimate* form of closed-mindedness(the topic of the thread that she started).

Karla, once again, has underscored my point, which she does frequently. Moreover, when Karla says(again and again)...

"There is a difference between claiming to know it all and claiming to know the who is the All."

...I *GET* the distinction already. However, that is irrelevant to claiming to know for ABSOLUTE CERTAIN [yadda, yadda, yadda] *about* [so-and-so] who purportedly knows the "Absolute Truth".(Nevermind that she has yet to provide one scrap of evidence that a being/"Being" can even be truth/"Truth")

Furthermore, adjectives that attempt to describe the scope of a person's willingness/unwillingness to consider new ideas...i.e..."open to", "receptive to" are equivocal, since, as demonstrated by Karla, she is both "open to" and "receptive to" entertaining opposing views, *HOWEVER*, she is NOT "open to" nor "receptive to" adopting ANY VIEW(or idea) that would prove her wrong---IOW, she is NOT open to changing her mind, whereas, cl is, because he admits that he might be wrong.

THAT is the difference, and I fail to see what's so flippin' hard to understand about it. Nonetheless, unless someone responds to me directly, I'm done with this topic and you guys can hash this now very tedious subject out.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

CL did your domain name lapse? I get a generic godaddy page when I try to view it.

Karla said...

I don't think this conversation is really developing. I am surprised at how popular the discussion has been on the posted topic. I didn't think it would warrant much discussion.

I really don't care if people think I'm closed minded or not. I only care about going after truth and learning more and more and more. If I'm closed minded to say I know God is real and that He is the Being of Truth then so be it. It's really something you'll have to take up with Jesus since He is the one that said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life."

boomSLANG said...

I really don't care if people think I'm closed minded or not. ~ Karla

I know. If there's one thing of which I'm thoroughly convinced, it's that you don't care what people think, namely, your detractors. Sadly, I'm also convinced that you don't care if your beliefs are right or wrong.

"I only care about going after truth and learning more and more and more."

Yes, but only if what you're "learning more and more and more" of coincides with this "Truth" that you already claim to possess.

If I'm closed minded to say I know God is real and that He is the Being of Truth then so be it."

Yes, so be it, which, I guess is why you might want to retire the term "open-minded".

"It's really something you'll have to take up with Jesus..."

And I'll be happy to do just that, that is, just as soon as I am convinced that such a person/deity actually exists. In the mean time, I won't accept, on "faith", that an invisible man wants to have a "relationship" w/me, nor will I accept from those who are already convinced that such a "relationship" is possible, things like, that this supposed invisible person/deity "hides" for my benefit, or he hides because I am too "proud" or not "humble" enough.

..."since ['Jesus'] is the one that said, 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.'

Begging the question, which as you know(or should know), is a fallacious and useless argument in these conversations, illustrating, once again, that your apologetics are good for keeping you and the rest of the already-convinced, convinced, but not much else.