Tuesday, August 9, 2011

More on God's Goodness

I was recently asked to expound on the nature of the goodness of God in a manner that describes what is meant by goodness, rather than what is not meant.

There is nothing one can point to other than God to illustrate what is absolutely good.  The reason stating what is not meant is easier than stating what is meant, is that we can point to things that are not God for an example, but to speak of what is meant, I can only point to God. 

Many would dismiss this as circular reasoning. What is good? God.  How do we know God is good? God.  To be true, it is something that cannot be proven by another measure. If God were not the supreme good, then if there is such a thing, something else would have to be that self-referencing standard. 

Humans certainly aren’t absolute references for ultimate good. This is a fact we know too well. And yet, if we know it, how do we explain that we know it? How do we have a sense that we aren’t doing what is right all the time? And yet, we do know this. We know we fail to be good even though most of us want to be good and beat ourselves up internally when we are not.  If we reject the Biblical reason for this conflict between our desire to be good and our failure to be thus, what are we left with?

Of course, there are many postulations by many different belief systems, but all religion puts forth the need for striving to be more moral, better people.  Prayers, petitions, penance, and priest are all a part of our attempt to be better than we are and to somehow qualify for something greater than we deserve.  Christianity is not exempt. In many people, churches, and cultures, Christianity is about doing the same thing – striving to be better on their own merit to earn God’s acceptance. 

It’s not really debatable any longer that across the board we know we fail to be what we feel we ought to be.  But where is this invisible standard that makes it impossible to do whatever we want without any guilt? Why are we guilt ridden?  Why do we call those who cannot distinguish right from wrong, insane?

The Bible says the truth of God is written all around us in nature so that we are without excuse. We all know we have fallen short. We all know there is a good that we do not measure up to.  Jesus came to show us the way out of our sins and guilt.  He came not to condemn us for we were in that place of condemnation already. We knew full well the guilt and He came not to heap more rules and condemnation upon us, but to remove it. He came to do all the “work” to qualify for us, because work would never get us there.  But He can get us there and He who was pure because impure (became sin) for us and took the wages of sin upon Himself.  He took it all to the grave and He rose again leaving it all buried so that we no longer have to strive to burry our sins, for He came to bring life to whosoever will step into Him and experience His life. 

The reason we fail to be good, is because we are separated from the good God.  Jesus dealt with the sin so that we could be transformed in Him and know the Father just as we know Him. For if we have seen Jesus we have seen the Father.  The good life is not something we can work for, but something we can be given by the good Father. 

This is the essence of the goodness of God.  His heart is turned towards us while we were yet sinners. We were unable to make ourselves good, because goodness was not something that is separate from God. So the only way to become good is for God to take us into Himself again and He did this through Jesus.  There is no other name, no other way, and no other life that will do it for us.  We have a full history from the beginning of time of man trying and failing to be good on their own.  We know this full well. 

Goodness is not definable because a definition denotes limitation and His goodness knows no bounds.  Goodness can only be known by personal experiential connection with God directly or indirectly. Sometimes the indirect experience precedes the direct. We see the goodness of God by seeing a supernatural love demonstrated by a follower of Jesus, or we hear testimony of a miracle that opens our heart towards Him.  Sometimes it is a direct experience where God covers us in His presence and we feel and know His amazing goodness and love.  There are many ways to witness the goodness of God, and once our eyes are open to recognize Him we see that He was there all along and His goodness never failed us.  

201 comments:

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boomSLANG said...

Good morning,

Karla: "I was recently asked to expound on the nature of the goodness of God in a manner that describes what is meant by goodness, rather than what is not meant."[italics, mine]

My first question is, why would anyone ask you to expound on, or why would there ever be a need to expound on, what is not meant by "goodness"? It seems to me that a list or description of what is not meant by "goodness" would be thousands of times more involved than a list or description of what is meant. You elaborate on this further down, and I address it.

"There is nothing one can point to other than God to illustrate what is absolutely good." ~ Karla

A couple of things: 1) when people "point" to "God", they are merely pointing to an ideal or concept, since, to date, there is no objective confirmation for invisible, conscious creator beings.

At any rate, 2) your statement merely assumes that "goodness" is "absolute", and if there are things that are "absolutely good", then there are obviously things that are absolutely "bad". If you agree on that much, then it would logically follow that there are some acts or behaviors that are so despicably bad and immoral that not even "God" would command them. This highly suggests, if not proves, that there is an external standard of "goodness"(and badness) to which even "God" adheres.

"The reason stating what is not meant is easier than stating what is meant, is that we can point to things that are not God for an example, but to speak of what is meant, I can only point to God." ~ Karla

Again, it seems to me that a list of things that "are not God" would be infinitely more complex than simply coming along and stating "God is goodness", as you have done. On the other hand, I can see how it would be much harder to be convincing if someone who is unconvinced asked you to elaborate when you say, "God is goodness".

"Many would dismiss this as circular reasoning." ~ Karla

....::raises hand::

"What is good? God. How do we know God is good? God." ~ Karla

i.e..circular.

"To be true, it is something that cannot be proven by another measure." ~ Karla

Yet, we can use another measure. For instance, if we measure biblegod's actions, requests, and commands against our society's conception of "good" and "bad", the Christian biblegod's "goodness" puts him on the wanted list for murder, rape, child abuse, to name just a few crimes. On the other hand, perhaps you'll concede that those things are examples of "goodness", in which case, you are then at least being consistent with your "God is good" circularity.

"Humans certainly aren’t absolute references for ultimate good. This is a fact we know too well." ~ Karla

We also know for a fact that humans don't have to be "good", absolutely, in order to be "good", sometimes, or to know what is "good". That humans "aren't absolute references for ultimate good" is a red herring.

boomSLANG said...

"How do we have a sense that we aren’t doing what is right all the time? And yet, we do know this." ~ Karla

How do we know? Because we can see with our own two eyes that we sometimes cause other people unnecessary harm. Imperfection is part of our nature---our human nature.

"If we reject the Biblical reason for this conflict between our desire to be good and our failure to be thus, what are we left with?"

At minimum, we are left with common sense, which tells us that just because we sometimes fail at being "good", this doesn't necessarily mean that we are inherently "bad". This non sequitur is a "Biblical" notion, and I argue that it should be rejected.

"Of course, there are many postulations by many different belief systems, but all religion puts forth the need for striving to be more moral, better people." ~ Karla

That may be true, *but striving to be moral, better people doesn't necessarily make any religion "true", nor is it a goal that is exclusive to people who adhere to a religion. Secular people strive to be moral, good people, too.

*This is just an interjection, BTW. I am NOT saying that you have suggested that non-religious don't strive to be good, etc.

"But where is this invisible standard that makes it impossible to do whatever we want without any guilt? Why are we guilt ridden?"

Why, you ask? Because we've evolved to feel guilt. Even lower animals such as dogs can be observed feeling guilt. Are dogs "sinners" when they do things that make them feel guilty?

"Why do we call those who cannot distinguish right from wrong, insane?" ~ Karla

Because "insane" is a label that fits people who are amoral(without morals). We know that some people are mentally ill, as opposed to "demon-possessed".

"Jesus came to show us the way out of our sins and guilt. He came not to condemn us for we were in that place of condemnation already." ~ Karla

Yes, born condemned, and only a bloody, human sacrifice can "pardon" a nature that none of us chose.

If that's not injustice and a huge dose of illogic, then nothing is.

"But He can get us there and He who was pure because impure (became sin) for us and took the wages of sin upon Himself." ~ Karla

Yes, "took the wages of sin" for us, as opposed to giving us what we presumably deserve. Again, obstruction of justice comes immediately to mind. It would certainly be an obstruction of justice and grounds for dismissal if a judge in our own judicial system tried to pull the same type of riff-raff.

Karla,

Whether you respond, or not, can you confirm that I haven't talked down to you, disrespected you, or breached any of your blog rules? Thx.

Karla said...

Boom "My first question is, why would anyone ask you to expound on, or why would there ever be a need to expound on, what is not meant by "goodness"?"

I was only letting you know I was responding to your request by the opening paragraph.

Boom "A couple of things: 1) when people "point" to "God", they are merely pointing to an ideal or concept, since, to date, there is no objective confirmation for invisible, conscious creator beings."

Is that so? How do you know? There is a level where the discussion is a philosophical concept, but if that's all there is we are both wasting time. We can discuss things at this level, but it is only worthwhile if there is a real we are attempting to communicate about.

Boom "At any rate, 2) your statement merely assumes that "goodness" is "absolute", and if there are things that are "absolutely good", then there are obviously things that are absolutely "bad"."

I appreciate this point. However, consider this if there is a good that is absolute (substantively resolute) then what we classify is bad is that which is absent of or less than this good. So bad is not an opposite entity. Even in Christian tradition, Satan is not the opposite of God, but the opposite of a good angel.

Karla said...

Boom "If you agree on that much, then it would logically follow that there are some acts or behaviors that are so despicably bad and immoral that not even "God" would command them. This highly suggests, if not proves, that there is an external standard of "goodness"(and badness) to which even "God" adheres."

So I do not agree that there is a set of things that are inherently bad that could be listed as things always not good and therefore an external standard for God. Anything that could be listed would only be thus because they are things God never does.

Moreover anything can be utilized for good or bad. I've used the analogy before that I borrow from G.K. Chesterton that eating an apple is good or even amoral, but eating a stolen apple is an altogether different story. There are many things that are good in the context in which they were designed to be done, but not in another context.

When I speak of an absolute good, I do not speak of absolute laws. I am neither a relativist, nor an absolutist when it comes to morality.

Boom "....::raises hand::"

(-:

Boom "Yet, we can use another measure. For instance, if we measure biblegod's actions, requests, and commands against our society's conception of "good" and "bad", the Christian biblegod's "goodness" puts him on the wanted list for murder, rape, child abuse, to name just a few crimes. On the other hand, perhaps you'll concede that those things are examples of "goodness", in which case, you are then at least being consistent with your "God is good" circularity."

Remember if we are talking about the Christian God we are talking about a reality where God created us and a world where man has fallen from knowing righteousness and living righteously. In that world, how could we judge Him when we are the ones who have fallen short of goodness? If we are going to talk of the Christian God it should be in the context of the whole story. This leaves us without the ability to know better than He what is good.

Also the things you list are not as you list them. God has never murdered, any taking of life would be just because He is just and hence never a murder.

Karla said...

BOom "How do we know? Because we can see with our own two eyes that we sometimes cause other people unnecessary harm. Imperfection is part of our nature---our human nature."

How do we know we are imperfect, if we don't have an example of perfection?

Boom "At minimum, we are left with common sense, which tells us that just because we sometimes fail at being "good", this doesn't necessarily mean that we are inherently "bad". This non sequitur is a "Biblical" notion, and I argue that it should be rejected."

The Christian story is that we were created good and have become corrupted by sin and that we struggle between good and bad.

Boom "That may be true, *but striving to be moral, better people doesn't necessarily make any religion "true", nor is it a goal that is exclusive to people who adhere to a religion. Secular people strive to be moral, good people, too."

I agree it is not relegated only to the religious, that all of us do this. We all try to be good. Why? And if we are all so bent on it, why are all the usual crimes still perpetuated after so many years of human existence? Why haven't we figured out how to be good if that is our hope?

Boom "This is just an interjection, BTW. I am NOT saying that you have suggested that non-religious don't strive to be good, etc."

Gotcha.

Boom "Why, you ask? Because we've evolved to feel guilt."

That's not proven. That's an opinion.


Regarding the insane part, I wasn't advocating demon possession, but just that humanity considers people who do not know right from wrong insane.

Boom "Yes, born condemned, and only a bloody, human sacrifice can "pardon" a nature that none of us chose."

No only a divine/human sacrifice that knew no sin could do more than pardon us, but redeem us.

Boom "Yes, "took the wages of sin" for us, as opposed to giving us what we presumably deserve. Again, obstruction of justice comes immediately to mind. It would certainly be an obstruction of justice and grounds for dismissal if a judge in our own judicial system tried to pull the same type of riff-raff."

So you would think that a good God would have no mercy? And that a good judge always needs to give what is deserved?

Boom "Whether you respond, or not, can you confirm that I haven't talked down to you, disrespected you, or breached any of your blog rules? Thx."

Confirmed. Also, I think it was a comment on the other post, but I'll respond here, when I said I'd rather you be real than someone your not. I mean I don't want you to try to be anything for me, I just want you to be who comes natural. If I have a problem with that, it's my problem.

I'm not sure the gruffness is naturally you or not, but it's not for me to judge. Just be you and we'll go from there.

boomSLANG said...

Previously, me: "A couple of things: 1) when people "point" to 'God', they are merely pointing to an ideal or concept, since, to date, there is no objective confirmation for invisible, conscious creator beings."

You respond: "Is that so? How do you know?"

I should have said, "to my knowledge [etc, etc]". If there exists objective confirmation for the existence of invisible, conscious creator-beings, AKA, "God", I am unaware of it. If such evidence exists, feel free to provide a link to any scientifically peer-reviewed articles or journals.

"There is a level where the discussion is a philosophical concept, but if that's all there is we are both wasting time. ~ Karla

I don't think that that is being consistent with your beliefs. Obviously, non-believers don't believe that "God" has a referent in reality. If the discussion is over because of that, then what's the point of things like Christian Ministry and Missionary work? "God" wants to "save" everyone, right? Doesn't that include the unconvinced?

"We can discuss things at this level, but it is only worthwhile if there is a real we are attempting to communicate about." ~ Karla

Again, this sphere of thought makes zero sense to me. At a minimum, you believe that there *is* "a real", and you alluded to there being objective evidence for this "real".

"[...]if there is a good that is absolute (substantively resolute) then what we classify is bad is that which is absent of or less than this good." ~ Karla

This is what I mean by equivocation. You can call it "bad", or you can call it "absence of good". This has no bearing on the dichotomy, itself.

"So bad is not an opposite entity." ~ Karla

It doesn't matter. "Bad" exists - or in theological terms, "evil" exists - and we are to avoid it.

"Even in Christian tradition, Satan is not the opposite of God, but the opposite of a good angel." ~ Karla

It doesn't matter if "Satan" is the "opposite of God", or not. Again, "evil" exists, and we are to avoid it(according to your chosen theology).

"So I do not agree that there is a set of things that are inherently bad that could be listed as things always not good and therefore an external standard for God." ~ Karla

We've been over it dozens of times, Karla. If "God" doesn't adhere to an external standard of "good"/"bad", but yet, "God" determines the difference between "good"/"bad", then logic says that "good" is reduced to aribitrary opinion. "God" could decide that it is "good" that a rape victim should marry her rapist. By your definition of "good", you'd have to agree that such a policy was "good". So, do you?

"Moreover anything can be utilized for good or bad." ~ Karla

Yes!

"I've used the analogy before that I borrow from G.K. Chesterton that eating an apple is good or even amoral, but eating a stolen apple is an altogether different story. There are many things that are good in the context in which they were designed to be done, but not in another context." ~ Karla

Precisely, and you are only underscoring my position: If "good" *depends* on "context", then it patently cannot not be "Absolute". I've pointed this out to you numerous times, yet, here you are still defending your error. I'm not being mean or combative; I'm merely stating the facts.

boomSLANG said...

"When I speak of an absolute good, I do not speak of absolute laws." ~ Karla

It doesn't matter---you still posit an "Absolute" standard of "good", that standard being "God". You then turn right around and self-refute that when you say that we must consider "context" when speaking of "good". Again, you are simply wrong on this issue.

Previously, me: "[...]if we measure biblegod's actions, requests, and commands against our society's conception of 'good' and 'bad', the Christian biblegod's 'goodness' puts him on the wanted list for murder, rape, child abuse, to name just a few crimes. On the other hand, perhaps you'll concede that those things are examples of 'goodness', in which case, you are then at least being consistent with your 'God is good' circularity."

You respond: "Remember if we are talking about the Christian God we are talking about a reality where God created us and a world where man has fallen from knowing righteousness and living righteously."

You've dodged the issue and the related question....that is, unless your answer is that because "God created us", he can therefore ask us/require us to believe that murder, rape, and child abuse are "good". Is that your position? Can you please answer the question, first, with a yes or no, and then elaborate if you want to?

"Also the things you list are not as you list them." ~ Karla

The Christian biblegod is, yes, pro-rapist, and as well, condones child abuse. I've provide verses in the past; I'll do it again if need be.

"God has never murdered, any taking of life would be just because He is just and hence never a murder." ~ Karla

So, drowning human beings is "just", absolutely? Is that what you're saying? Or does it *depend* on context, as in, who's doing the drowning and why? Please try to show some consistency, here. If there are times when drowning people is NOT "just", then that would qualify as murder, if I've understood you correctly.

Thus, according to your theory, since "God" is Absolutely "good", and since it is "just" for "God" to drown people under the right conditions, and if "justice" is "good", then it would follow that it would be "just" for us to drown convicted criminals, as well as "good". Right? If not, why not?

"How do we know we are imperfect, if we don't have an example of perfection?" ~ Karla

We can conceive of perfection without there being a living example.

Previously, me: "At minimum, we are left with common sense, which tells us that just because we sometimes fail at being 'good', this doesn't necessarily mean that we are inherently 'bad'. This non sequitur is a 'Biblical' notion, and I argue that it should be rejected."

You respond: "The Christian story is that we were created good and have become corrupted by sin and that we struggle between good and bad."

The "Christian story" is that the entire human race is inherently "corrupted by sin"..i.e...inherently bad("evil"), and this is because of the one-time wrongful decision of one person(and a possible accomplice). This is utterly nonsensical, not-to-mention, a complete mockery of "justice". If Adam & Co. had not eaten the "forbidden fruit", what?....am I supposed to believe that this would've made them and the rest of us "inherently good"?

There is a false dilemma here. This whole notion that we are "inherently" one way or the other is fallacious, and it flies in the face of "freewill".

boomSLANG said...

"We all try to be good. Why?" ~ Karla

Why, you ask? Because we've evolved to have a conscience, and we know that being "good" ensures our survival. That's why.

"And if we are all so bent on it, why are all the usual crimes still perpetuated after so many years of human existence?" ~ Karla

Because, although we have evolved to have a conscience, sometimes our human nature, an imperfect nature, gets the best of us and we do bad things. That we sometimes do bad things doesn't make us "inherently bad", however.

"Why haven't we figured out how to be good if that is our hope?" ~ Karla

Because no matter how much we "hope" to be perfect, we can't be. We cannot change our nature. Even if we consider your beliefs, at no time did "Adam & Eve" choose their nature; that nature was given to them because biblegod wanted them to have freewill.

Previously, me: "Why, you ask? Because we've evolved to feel guilt."

You respond: "That's not proven. That's an opinion."

No, Karla, that we've evolved over time is NOT an "opinion"; it is a proven, testable/falsifiable fact of science.

But for sake of argument, if we haven't evolved, but were "created" with a conscience, then are you telling me that wolves, tigers, apes, and other lower animals were "created" with a conscience, too? Why would that be? Are the aforementioned animals "sinning" when they do things that leave them feeling guilty?

"No only a divine/human sacrifice that knew no sin could do more than pardon us, but redeem us." ~ Karla

Irrelevant conclusion. Doing "more than" a pardon doesn't negate the pardon. The "redeemed"; the pardoned---either way, they still aren't getting what they presumably deserve. "Justice" has been subverted.

"So you would think that a good God would have no mercy? And that a good judge always needs to give what is deserved?" ~ Karla

I'm saying that if "justice" means giving someone precisely what they deserve, and if "mercy" means NOT giving someone what they deserve, then the two are incompatible. This is especially true if we are talking an "Absolute" judge.

Previously, me: "Whether you respond, or not, can you confirm that I haven't talked down to you, disrespected you, or breached any of your blog rules? Thx."

"Confirmed." ~ Karla

Thx.

boomSLANG said...

Correction...

"Precisely, and you are only underscoring my position: If 'good' *depends* on 'context', then it patently cannot be 'Absolute'."

Karla said...

Boom “I should have said, "to my knowledge [etc, etc]". If there exists objective confirmation for the existence of invisible, conscious creator-beings, AKA, "God", I am unaware of it. If such evidence exists, feel free to provide a link to any scientifically peer-reviewed articles or journals. “

How would science – the study of the natural world – be able to give objective confirmation of something science has no tools to measure, quantify, or define?

Boom “ I don't think that that is being consistent with your beliefs. Obviously, non-believers don't believe that "God" has a referent in reality. If the discussion is over because of that, then what's the point of things like Christian Ministry and Missionary work? "God" wants to "save" everyone, right? Doesn't that include the unconvinced? “

I meant that if it were true that there is nothing beyond a philosophical conceptual discussion and that actually speaking of the real was not a part of what we are dong we would be wasting our time. Of course, I do believe that God is more than a concept.

Boom “Again, this sphere of thought makes zero sense to me. At a minimum, you believe that there *is* "a real", and you alluded to there being objective evidence for this "real".”

Yes, I do believe that we are not just philosophizing conceptually, but that I am trying to convey real true about a real Being. But it is also true that If I’m wrong that this conversation has little value.


Boom “This is what I mean by equivocation. You can call it "bad", or you can call it "absence of good". This has no bearing on the dichotomy, itself.”

It’s not equivocation, but definition of terms. I am not advocating a substance of bad, but only a substance of good. Bad is that which is not good, rather than something of its own. It is a void, rather than a thing.

Boom “It doesn't matter. "Bad" exists - or in theological terms, "evil" exists - and we are to avoid it.”

It does matter, for it is only because good exists that we can be talking about “bad” or “evil”. Evil is more a shadow than anything that really exists. It is what good is not, rather than something that is. Like “the dark” darkness is the absence of light, it is not something of its own.

Karla said...

Boom "We've been over it dozens of times, Karla. If "God" doesn't adhere to an external standard of "good"/"bad", but yet, "God" determines the difference between "good"/"bad", then logic says that "good" is reduced to aribitrary opinion. "God" could decide that it is "good" that a rape victim should marry her rapist. By your definition of "good", you'd have to agree that such a policy was "good". So, do you?"

Let’s try this. God doesn’t determine good from evil, like choosing between two options. He is good. This is both very simple and very deep. Evil, is that which fails to be what is in line with God – with what is good and true and right. Thus a person, place, or action is not inherently or absolutely good or evil. This is why law does not work absolutely. (I will expound more on this soon).

And as to the rape thing, remember that a woman who has been raped would be ruined in society for any prospect of marriage, so this protects the woman from being an outcast of society and it deters any would be perpetrators from thinking they can get away free and clear without life long responsibility. Moreover, I'm sure there is more that could be learned about all this by studying more of the time period.

"Moreover anything can be utilized for good or bad." ~ Karla

Boom “Yes!”

Agreement???



Boom “Precisely, and you are only underscoring my position: If "good" *depends* on "context", then it patently cannot not be "Absolute". I've pointed this out to you numerous times, yet, here you are still defending your error. I'm not being mean or combative; I'm merely stating the facts.”

You have made a very good point. And I agree with some of where you are going with it. However, an absolute good need not translate into an absolute law. Christians traditionally argue for an absolute moral law because of our belief in an absolute good God. Whereas most argue for situational morality (or relativity) and that there is no absolute good. I think we have become so locked into these choices that we’ve missed it, for both have some truth, but neither satisfactorily solve the dilemma. More on this very soon.

Karla said...

Boom “It doesn't matter---you still posit an "Absolute" standard of "good", that standard being "God". You then turn right around and self-refute that when you say that we must consider "context" when speaking of "good". Again, you are simply wrong on this issue.”

I’m really not contradicting myself. I am advocating that God is absolutely good AND that there is not a list of absolute actions of right and wrong that are thus for all people at all times in all situations. I think we can come to the agreement that this is not a contradiction regardless of whether you believe the first supposition.


Boom “You've dodged the issue and the related question....that is, unless your answer is that because "God created us", he can therefore ask us/require us to believe that murder, rape, and child abuse are "good". Is that your position? Can you please answer the question, first, with a yes or no, and then elaborate if you want to?”

1) God has never murdered or condoned the murder of anyone (murder means unjust killing), and he has never condoned rape, or child abuse. Secondly, there is not yet established grounds between us to address specifics of what is right and is wrong. Your standard is that which society agrees is unnecessary harm is that which is bad and mine is that which is not in line with who God is and what He is says for that person, place, or action is what is bad.

"Also the things you list are not as you list them." ~ Karla

The Christian biblegod is, yes, pro-rapist, and as well, condones child abuse. I've provide verses in the past; I'll do it again if need be.

"God has never murdered, any taking of life would be just because He is just and hence never a murder." ~ Karla

Boom “So, drowning human beings is "just", absolutely?”

Not absolutely. Absolute Good God does not translate to one action being the right action every time. Justice is not the same for every person or every group of people. An action of God in a moment in time does not become the action for every time.

Karla said...

Boom “ Is that what you're saying? Or does it *depend* on context, as in, who's doing the drowning and why? Please try to show some consistency, here. If there are times when drowning people is NOT "just", then that would qualify as murder, if I've understood you correctly. “

Yes, it does matter on who, what, when, and why. There are just killings an unjust killing (the unjust being murder). If I drown my neighbor because they backed into my dog that would be unjust, but if I shot a man trying to steal my child out of my house in self-defense that may be just.

Boom “Thus, according to your theory, since "God" is Absolutely "good", and since it is "just" for "God" to drown people under the right conditions, and if "justice" is "good", then it would follow that it would be "just" for us to drown convicted criminals, as well as "good". Right? If not, why not?”

No it would not be. God did something in one instance; He did not set a standard for all criminals. In fact, the law of Jesus day said that a woman caught in adultery had to be stoned. Jesus stopped the people from stoning the woman caught and adultery and said only He who is without sin has the right to choose to instigate a stoning, and then He, being such a one, did not stone her, but sent her on her way free of any punishment.






"How do we know we are imperfect, if we don't have an example of perfection?" ~ Karla

We can conceive of perfection without there being a living example.


Boom “The "Christian story" is that the entire human race is inherently "corrupted by sin"..i.e...inherently bad("evil"), and this is because of the one-time wrongful decision of one person(and a possible accomplice). This is utterly nonsensical, not-to-mention, a complete mockery of "justice". If Adam & Co. had not eaten the "forbidden fruit", what?....am I supposed to believe that this would've made them and the rest of us "inherently good"? “

Its root is in one man, but all men have sinned. One man set the ball rolling, but all of us have done our own sinning. Your argument is like the sibling that blames the other for doing the first wrong thing after they hit the kid in retribution and demand it is all the fault of the brother who took his toy. The one brother may never have hit if the toy had not been taken, but they are just as much to blame.

Boom “There is a false dilemma here. This whole notion that we are "inherently" one way or the other is fallacious, and it flies in the face of "freewill". “

The brother doing the hitting is just as free as the one who stole the toy. And both are also just as culpable for their actions.

Karla said...

"We all try to be good. Why?" ~ Karla

Boom “Why, you ask? Because we've evolved to have a conscience, and we know that being "good" ensures our survival. That's why.”

That’s one possibility.

Boom “Because, although we have evolved to have a conscience, sometimes our human nature, an imperfect nature, gets the best of us and we do bad things. That we sometimes do bad things doesn't make us "inherently bad", however.”

If this is the way of it, wouldn’t that mean though that “good” and “bad” are mere societal labels and truly all actions are neither, we just prefer some over others because we want to live without being harmed by others? Nietzsche argued that if God were out of the picture, the Christian moral dichotomy of good and dies with Him.


Boom “Because no matter how much we "hope" to be perfect, we can't be. We cannot change our nature. Even if we consider your beliefs, at no time did "Adam & Eve" choose their nature; that nature was given to them because biblegod wanted them to have freewill.”

They did choose to have a nature that gave them fallen knowledge of good and bad rather than always walking in righteousness. God told them what would happen and they chose their way anyway.

We cannot change our nature, but we can have our nature changed.


Boom “No, Karla, that we've evolved over time is NOT an "opinion"; it is a proven, testable/falsifiable fact of science.”

I don’t think evolution has ever been proven, it is just the best theory scientist have if they reject creation.

Boom “But for sake of argument, if we haven't evolved, but were "created" with a conscience, then are you telling me that wolves, tigers, apes, and other lower animals were "created" with a conscience, too? Why would that be? Are the aforementioned animals "sinning" when they do things that leave them feeling guilty?”

I don’t know if they have a conscience.



"So you would think that a good God would have no mercy? And that a good judge always needs to give what is deserved?" ~ Karla

Boom “I'm saying that if "justice" means giving someone precisely what they deserve, and if "mercy" means NOT giving someone what they deserve, then the two are incompatible. This is especially true if we are talking an "Absolute" judge. “

I can see how you can see it that way.


"Confirmed." ~ Karla

Boom “Thx.”

You’re welcome.

Karla said...

"Precisely, and you are only underscoring my position: If 'good' *depends* on 'context', then it patently cannot be 'Absolute'."



God is good.

Actions are not all alike.

The people doing the actions are not all alike.

Would you want to be treated exactly like the person down the street who is different than you? Or would you prefer that someone who knows your heart, mind, emotions, struggles, desires, reasons treat you as you and the other person according to who they are?

I see with my niece and nephew that the right thing for one of them could be very wrong for the other. Discipline for one would crush the spirit of the other, but if the discipline for the other would be given to the rebellious one it would never do a thing.

Thus God’s goodness is always thus.

But we are not absolutely the same as each other or even the same as ourselves from one month or year to the next.

We are quiet fortunate that goodness is not an absolute law or set of laws but a Being who is absolutely good. God can respond according to what is right every time because He is always doing what is good.

Good is not linked in the action, but the action is good or bad referentially based on whether or not it lines up with God’s good will for the person or situation or city.

If you can take a step back for a minute and really consider what I’m saying before you dive into a response. . . maybe you can see I am providing something new to consider. Regardless of whether you think God qualifies as this good Being, can you see what I’m saying that an absolute Good being does not need to mean an absolute law of right and wrong.

boomSLANG said...

"How would science – the study of the natural world – be able to give objective confirmation of something science has no tools to measure, quantify, or define?" ~ Karla

Let's back up. I said, ("to my knowledge") there is no objective confirmation for the existence of invisible, conscious creator-beings. I then said, if you know of such confirmation, to provide the reference. If your above counter-question is an admission that you don't have any such confirmation, and further, that there can be no such confirmation because "science has no tools to measure, quantify, or define" such beings, then simply say so.

In the mean time, my position is that such beings are unfalsifiable, since, such beings, by definition, are, correct, not testable by scientific methods. On the other hand, theists such as yourself would argue that such beings can and do interact in the physical world, in which case, those interactions then become part of the physical, material world, and thus, the results should be testable/falsifiable using said scientific methods. E.g..scientists should be able to test and make predictions on said "interactions" and get consistent results.

"I meant that if it were true that there is nothing beyond a philosophical conceptual discussion and that actually speaking of the real was not a part of what we are dong we would be wasting our time. Of course, I do believe that God is more than a concept." ~ Karla

Right, I know what you believe. I'm saying, when you say things like...

"There is nothing one can point to other than God to illustrate what is absolutely good"

...what you are claiming to "point to" is unproven. Notwithstanding, a philosophical conversation can still be meaningful, despite that. IOW, even if there isn't "a real"(i.e.."God"), it can still be demonstrated that there is no objective, absolute morality found in the concept of "God", as I have demonstrated over and over again.

"But it is also true that If I’m wrong that this conversation has little value." ~ Karla

I disagree. Despite that I have demonstrated that you are wrong on several issues, "Absolute Good", being one of those; despite that you keep defending your errors, there may be silent lurkers who have honest doubt, and this conversation may have value to them.

"It’s not equivocation, but definition of terms. I am not advocating a substance of bad, but only a substance of good." ~ Karla

I'm sorry, but I see it as precisely that, equivocation. Again, define, describe "bad" however you please. There is a dichotomy there. "Bad", aka, "evil", is something that, according to your belief-system, we are to avoid. The aforementioned must have some "substance", or it wouldn't exist. Your whole belief-system revolves around "good" vs "evil". *At a mimimum, you would surely agree that striving for "good" is to avoid the absence of good.

"It does matter, for it is only because good exists that we can be talking about “bad” or “evil”." ~ Karla

Yes?..and? You've just clearly illustrated that both "good" and "evil"(bad) are mutually *dependent* parts of a DICHOTOMY. So, calling one the "absence" of the other, or a "void", is pertinent to nothing.

boomSLANG said...

Previously, me: "We've been over it dozens of times, Karla. If 'God' doesn't adhere to an external standard of 'good'/'bad', but yet, 'God' determines the difference between 'good'/'bad', then logic says that 'good' is reduced to aribitrary opinion. 'God' could decide that it is 'good' that a rape victim should marry her rapist. By your definition of 'good', you'd have to agree that such a policy was 'good'. So, do you?"

You respond: "Let’s try this."

How about let's try answering each other's questions directly? If "God" were to command a rape-victim to marry her rapist, would that be "good"? Yes, or no?

"God doesn’t determine good from evil, like choosing between two options." ~ Karla

But yet, the whole human race is CURSED because the first two human prototypes didn't choose correctly between TWO options..i.e..1) "good" and 2) "evil". How would they have known the "right" choice from the "wrong" choice if "God" didn't make the distinction??

"He is good" ~ Karla

::sigh::

Boom': "Define 'good'."

Karla: "God".

i.e..circular, and you so much as admit the circularity of the argument.

"This is both very simple and very deep." ~ Karla

No, it's only "deep" because you won't admit defeat on the this issue.

"Evil, is that which fails to be what is in line with God – with what is good and true and right." ~ Karla

More equivocation.

"Thus a person, place, or action is not inherently or absolutely good or evil." ~ Karla

That is not consistent with your doctrine, and it contradicts your own past words. If we(people) are NOT "inherently evil", then why on earth would we need to be "redeemed"? Was not the goal "perfection"???? What's the distinction between people who are "perfect" and "inherently good"???

"This is why law does not work absolutely.(I will expound more on this soon)" ~ Karla

There's no need to expound on "law". We've moved past that(well, I have), and we are dealing with the assertion that "God is the Absolute standard of Good"(which, BTW, is false), and your own words demonstrate it throughout this thread(and others).

boomSLANG said...

"And as to the rape thing, remember that a woman who has been raped would be ruined in society for any prospect of marriage, so this protects the woman from being an outcast of society and it deters any would be perpetrators from thinking they can get away free and clear without life long responsibility."

Okay, fine. So, that was "good" and applicable then, but it is surely not "good" and applicable now. IOW, not "good" absolutely. You would no doubt say that something would prevent "God" from reinstating such a policy now, right?

"You have made a very good point. And I agree with some of where you are going with it. However, an absolute good need not translate into an absolute law."

It not only "need not", it can't. If "good" depends on "context", even for "God", then surely there aren't Absolute laws by "God".

Previously, me: “It doesn't matter---you still posit an 'Absolute' standard of 'good', that standard being 'God'. You then turn right around and self-refute that when you say that we must consider 'context' when speaking of 'good'. Again, you are simply wrong on this issue.”

"I’m really not contradicting myself." ~ Karla

Yes, you are. Really.

"I am advocating that God is absolutely good[...]" ~ Karla

But you also advocate(admit) that "good" *depends* on context.

"AND that there is not a list of absolute actions of right and wrong that are thus for all people at all times in all situations. I think we can come to the agreement that this is not a contradiction regardless of whether you believe the first supposition." ~ Karla

If "good" depends on context, even for "God"..i.e..the time period, society, etc., then there is something apart from "God" that must be considered when said "God" sets out to do "good". If you agree with that, then, and only then, would I agree that you aren't contradicting yourself.

Previously, me: “You've dodged the issue and the related question....that is, unless your answer is that because 'God created us', he can therefore ask us/require us to believe that murder, rape, and child abuse are 'good'. Is that your position? Can you please answer the question, first, with a yes or no, and then elaborate if you want to?”

You respond: "1) God has never murdered or condoned the murder of anyone (murder means unjust killing), and he has never condoned rape, or child abuse."

Biblegod, yes, condones child abuse and rape. Do you recall the verse where one should feel "blessed" to dash the heads of children against rocks? Or shall I find it? Do you recall the verse where people are encouraged to kill the enemy, but keep their daughters to do with as they please? Or shall I find the verse?

"Secondly, there is not yet established grounds between us to address specifics of what is right and is wrong. Your standard is that which society agrees is unnecessary harm is that which is bad and mine is that which is not in line with who God is and what He is says for that person, place, or action is what is bad."

In other words, the standard I'm advocating says that we in our society know that dashing the heads of children against ROCKS is clearly immoral(wrong). Whereas, the standard you're arguing for says that such gruesome acts are perfectly moral("good"), as long as "God" says so. I guess the reader can choose which they feel better about following.

boomSLANG said...

"Absolute Good God does not translate to one action being the right action every time. Justice is not the same for every person or every group of people. An action of God in a moment in time does not become the action for every time." ~ Karla

Again underscoring that fact that "God" considers things apart from himself when determining whether something is "good"(IOW, just like you and me...i.e..subjective)

"If I drown my neighbor because they backed into my dog that would be unjust, but if I shot a man trying to steal my child out of my house in self-defense that may be just." ~ Karla

You've told me when drowning another human being is "unjust", when I was looking for a scenario where it would be "just" for us to drown people. There HAS to be a scenario where to do so is "just", since you presumably agree that is was "just killing" for biblegod to drown the entire planet. "God" is your supposed "Absolute" and is a standard that you claim to follow. Thus, it would then follow that it would be "good" and "just" for us to drown our fellow human beings, too, under the right circumstances. You don't have a double-standard, do you?

"God did something in one instance; He did not set a standard for all criminals." ~ Karla

Perfect. So, "God" acted arbitrarily and did something despicable by our own standards, and you're prepared to defend that action because of how you define "good". At least you're being consistent here.

"Its root is in one man, but all men have sinned." ~ Karla

Right, and you (and your bible) posit that the *reason* "all men have sinned" is because of "one man" and his ONE-TIME poor decision. To hold the group responsible for the one person is immoral and a mockery of freewill and justice.

"Your argument is like the sibling that blames the other for doing the first wrong thing after they hit the kid in retribution and demand it is all the fault of the brother who took his toy. The one brother may never have hit if the toy had not been taken, but they are just as much to blame." ~ Karla

That is a poor analogy. **Both kids were clearly in the wrong---no one would disagree with that. For your analogy to align with "Original Sin", the two kids both made wrong decisions, but subsequently, ALL kids are to blame. 'Sound absurd? That's how the concept of "original sin" sounds to me.

The brother doing the hitting is just as free as the one who stole the toy. And both are also just as culpable for their actions." ~ Karla

See here**, above.

"Nietzsche argued that if God were out of the picture, the Christian moral dichotomy of good and dies with Him." ~ Karla

Ah, the "dichotomy of good", but you left out "bad".

In any case, just because the "Christian" conception of "good/bad" dies, doesn't mean there is no conception altogether. Non-sequitur.

"[Adam and Eve] did choose to have a nature that gave them fallen knowledge of good and bad rather than always walking in righteousness." ~ Karla

Wrong, Karla. "God" had a choice: Either, a) create Adam & Co. with a nature that could ALLOW them to make choices, good or bad(i.e..human nature), or b) create them as robots programmed to make only righteous choices. Take your pick.

"God told them what would happen and they chose their way anyway" ~ Karla

Yes, affirming that "God" knew in advance what would happen, including that billions would subsequently end up in "hell". You worship an immoral "God". And I'll say it again before you go there: "God" could have created ONLY those whom he knew would believe, thus, making "hell" obsolete.

boomSLANG said...

"We cannot change our nature, but we can have our nature changed." ~Karla

If you refer to being "reborn", you have been pardoned from a sentencing that you presumably deserve(= unjust), and if your nature is "changed" to where you cannot do anything but be "righteous", then your "freewill" has clearly been undermined(= robot).

"I don’t think evolution has ever been proven, it is just the best theory scientist have if they reject creation." ~ Karla

Really? Have you ever explored literature written BY evolutionary biologists, or do you only get your info' from your church and apologist websites? I suspect the latter. Karla, you are exploiting your own ignorance. I'm not saying it to be mean. Evolution by natural selection is every bit a proven fact as "atomic theory" and "gravitational theory.

Previously, me: “But for sake of argument, if we haven't evolved, but were 'created' with a conscience, then are you telling me that wolves, tigers, apes, and other lower animals were 'created' with a conscience, too? Why would that be? Are the aforementioned animals "sinning" when they do things that leave them feeling guilty?”

"I don’t know if they have a conscience." ~ Karla

I don't get the impression you want to know. It is an observable fact that some animals exhibit guilt, and many even grieve their dead.

Previously, me: "I'm saying that if 'justice' means giving someone precisely what they deserve, and if 'mercy' means NOT giving someone what they deserve, then the two are incompatible. This is especially true if we are talking an 'Absolute" judge'."

You respond: "I can see how you can see it that way."

Then what's the problem? Why can't you see it that way?

Previously, me: "Precisely, and you are only underscoring my position: If 'good' *depends* on 'context', then it patently cannot be 'Absolute'."

"God is good." ~ Karla

And what's in dispute is what that "good" is based on. If it is based on "God", than that is a classic example of a circular argument(logical fallacy).

"Actions are not all alike. ~ Karla

Agreed.

"The people doing the actions are not all alike." ~ Karla

Agreed. I've never argued otherwise.

"Would you want to be treated exactly like the person down the street who is different than you? Or would you prefer that someone who knows your heart, mind, emotions, struggles, desires, reasons treat you as you and the other person according to who they are?" ~ Karla

I'd prefer to be treated as an individual. What does this have to do with anything "absolute"????

boomSLANG said...

"I see with my niece and nephew that the right thing for one of them could be very wrong for the other. Discipline for one would crush the spirit of the other, but if the discipline for the other would be given to the rebellious one it would never do a thing.

Thus God’s goodness is always thus.
~ Karla

Non-sequitur..i.e...does not follow. If "God's goodness" *depends* on the time, era, society, individual, etc., then logic says that said "goodness" is subjective, not objective, or Absolute. You are wrong on this issue, but keep defending, defending, defending. How can we make progress like this?

"We are quiet fortunate that goodness is not an absolute law or set of laws but a Being who is absolutely good." ~ Karla

No, Karla..."goodness" exists apart from "God", and your words throughout this discussion confirm it. You said it yourself..."good" depends on "context". "God" must therefore consider certain things apart from himself/herself/itself *before* prescribing what is "good".

"God can respond according to what is right every time[...]" ~ Karla

We're NOT talking about frequency of "good"; we're talking about what that "goodness" is based on.

"[...] because He is always doing what is good." ~ Karla

Yes, like asking us to believe that it was a "good" thing that children's heads were dashed against rocks; like asking us to feel "good" that an innocent man had to be brutally murdered so that we could be "forgiven" for something that happened before we were even born.

I'm sorry, but this is nonsense to me, hence, why I am unable to believe it. There isn't enough "faith", and you've come up short in trying to reconcile these problems with logic. 'Not sure where to go from here.

"If you can take a step back for a minute and really consider what I’m saying before you dive into a response[...]" ~ Karla

I've not only considered it, I used to believe most of it, albeit, when things didn't add up, I put them out of mind, as opposed to trying to create bloated rationalizations to reconcile them.

"maybe you can see I am providing something new to consider." ~ Karla

No, I'm sorry, you're aren't offering anything new.

"Regardless of whether you think God qualifies as this good Being, can you see what I’m saying that an absolute Good being does not need to mean an absolute law of right and wrong." ~ Karla

Yes, I see what you're saying. However, we're past that stage. What is now in dispute(and has been), is this:

Upon what does this "Good being" base his supposed "good" actions on?

For easily the hundredth time, if god's actions are based on nothing but himself/herself/itself, that leaves "good" being nothing but a subjective, arbitrary OPINION.

Karla said...

Boom "Yes, I see what you're saying. However, we're past that stage. What is now in dispute(and has been), is this:"

Ok, then I will start here at the end of your last comment.

Boom "Upon what does this "Good being" base his supposed "good" actions on?"

Himself. When I say He is good, I do not mean only that He does good, but that HE IS GOOD. So what He does is a reflection of who He is.
Yes it is circular, but it is also true. Since He is the absolute, the eternal, things do start and end with Him so it would follow that there would be this circularity.


Boom "For easily the hundredth time, if god's actions are based on nothing but himself/herself/itself, that leaves "good" being nothing but a subjective, arbitrary OPINION."

The "opinion" of God if you will, not of man. Or better "the will of God." No duplicity. No error. Nothing but righteousness and goodness. That leaves good being in the most capable hands.

Boom " 2) your statement merely assumes that "goodness" is "absolute", and if there are things that are "absolutely good", then there are obviously things that are absolutely "bad""

God is absolute in that He is firmly real, not going anywhere, eternal, always Himself, never changing. Good is His Nature, just as is mercy, justice, holiness, love, etc.

We are not absolute. The world is not absolute. Thus when the unchanging meets the changing it looks different according to the factors that change even though good does not change.

There is a constant meeting the variables and that creates a difference of the way good affects us and thus does not look the same one person, generation, people group to another. The good is not different, but we are all different thus the good relates to each respectively and personally rather than impersonally and rigidly as if one human was the same as another.

Remember you take issue with being lumped in with Adam. God does not lump us in -- He sees each of us and responds with what is right for each of us at each moment. Original sin does not mean we all pay for Adam's sin, but that we have all now sinned on our own accord. Adam just started the ball rolling. He was the first domino that fell, but each have fallen.

Thus the good God relates personally to each man/woman/child according to what is good in that moment in time for that person.

So in that regard there is a relativity -- not of good -- but of it's expression from one to the other. That is why I say I am neither in the relativist camp nor the absolute moral law camp. I believe both have aspects of truth, but neither have it right. And I'm sure I have a long way to go to philosophize accurately about it all.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: Ok, then I will start here at the end of your last comment.

You quote me: "Upon what does this 'Good being' base his supposed 'good' actions on?"

You respond: "Himself."

*Circular. Logical fallacy.

You continue...

"When I say He is good, I do not mean only that He does good, but that HE IS GOOD."

A distinction without a darn bit of difference. You can say "HE IS GOOD" until donkeys fly(or talk). It's still a circular argument.

You continue...

"So what He does is a reflection of who He is."

Fine, so if "He" says that I should feel "blessed" about dashing children's heads against rocks, that is a "reflection of who He is". Or, if "He" says that I should KILL my own child to test my faith and devotion to "Him", that is a "reflection of who He is"..i.e..an insecure, insensitive jerk. Um, no thanks.

You continue...

"Yes it is circular, but it is also true."

And? Even if I could somehow grant a fallacious argument "true", it's still one being's subjective OPINION. How do I know that that type of "good" is actually something beneficial to me or something to be extolled? What?...because Yahweh, Karla, and their bible say so? That's the best you've got? I'm sorry, you'll have to do better. I'll need to see for MYSELF that it's "good", and when I read biblegod's past, I cannot, by the wildest stretch of my imagination, see the filth therein as "good". It actually makes me ill to my stomach.

You continue...

"Since He is the absolute, the eternal, things do start and end with Him so it would follow that there would be this circularity."

Except that, by your *own* admission(over and over), "good" depends on context, and if "God" = "good"(as you say), then "God", too, depends on context, in which case, "God" is NOT "Absolute".

You are wrong, and if you want to keep repeating your errors, I'll keep pointing them out. The writing's on the wall, either way.

"The 'opinion' of God if you will, not of man."

Right, as I've pointed out before: an appeal to Authoritarianism. The "opinion" that's being given should be trusted by pure virtue of the one giving the opinion being "God", nothing less; nothing more.

'Sorry, Karla, that doesn't work for people who value things like reason, logic, and of course, humanity.

"Or better 'the will of God'. No duplicity. No error."

In fact, several errors. "God" forfeited his "will" when "God" decided that man's own will should take precedence. It is clear that biblegod's desire(will) was for us to be "perfect", but yet, he gave us a nature that none of us chose, that nature enabling us to choose against its *own* "will". If "God" created Adam & Co. "perfect", then by definition, they would NOT have been able to make an imperfect choice. You can't have it both ways(although, I know that won't stop you from trying)

"Nothing but righteousness and goodness."

Yes, "righteousness and goodness" that are based on nothing but arbitrary opinion. Maybe on a whim, "God" would ask me to behead my child. If I believe "God" was "good" for the reasons that Karla believes "God" is "good", I could find myself taking my chainsaw to my child. And note, there is NOTHING to prevent "God" from commanding this. "God" defines "good"; "God" decides what's "good". "Good" is limited by nothing, and therefore, can be anything.

boomSLANG said...

Previously, me: "2) your statement merely assumes that 'goodness' is 'absolute', and if there are things that are 'absolutely good', then there are obviously things that are absolutely 'bad'."

You respond: "God is absolute[...]"

Soundly refuted. See previous posts.

you continue...

"in that He is firmly real"

Unproven, and irrelevant. Asserting that "God" is "firmly real" doesn't correct the philosophical illogic and ultimate fallacy of your argument.

"not going anywhere, eternal, always Himself, never changing."

Patently false. By your *own* admission(over and over), "good" is dependent on context..e.g..culture, era, society, OT vs NT, etc., in which case, "good" changes, and if "good = God", then "God" changes.

"Good is His Nature, just as is mercy, justice, holiness, love, etc."[italics, mine]

"God" cannot be both "merciful" and "just", if "justice" means giving someone precisely what they deserve, and if "mercy" means sparing someone of precisely what they deserve. The two are mutually incompatible.

"Remember you take issue with being lumped in with Adam. God does not lump us in -- He sees each of us and responds with what is right for each of us at each moment."

Please stop obfuscating. My issue with being "lumped in" with "Adam" is that "God" evidently sees Adam's poor decision as my own and the rest of humanity's. You, your bible, and your bible's god assume that because one individual made a wrong decision in one instance, that EVERY individual would have made the same decision. That spits in the face of freewill and individualism.

"That is why I say I am neither in the relativist camp nor the absolute moral law camp. I believe both have aspects of truth, but neither have it right. And I'm sure I have a long way to go to philosophize accurately about it all."

You needn't have a long way to go, though. You can simply admit your errors and be done with it. You can still be a "Christian", that is, the type of believer who overcomes the inherent illogic by just having more "faith". I could easier respect your beliefs if you'd do that, as opposed to the tactics you currently use. Notice, I'm talking about your beliefs, not you, the person.

Best,

Karla said...

It does come down to trusting God. There really isn't a way around that.

boomSLANG said...

"It does come down to trusting God. There really isn't a way around that." ~ Karla

Fair enough. For me, I feel a lot better seeing/examining someone's track-record before I agree to "trust" him or her. When I examine the Christian biblegod's track-record as delineated in the Christian bible, I do not see someone to be trusted. This supposed being allegedly drowned the entire planet, including women, children, women carrying child, and innocent animals. Perhaps I should feel better about this because said being throws an occasional rainbow in the sky that "promises" us that he won't drown us all again. Well, I don't feel better about it. It gives me the creeps. Of course, I put my trust in reason, and reason tells me that none of this is anything more than man-made myth and parables. I cannot go back to trusting the unreasonable. You can't "unring" a bell.

All the best'

Karla said...

Boom,

I hear you, but you have pointed to nothing but our own temporal finite imperfect way of thinking as the grounds on which we can denounce God's actions. This is an emotional response rather than a reasoned or logical one.

It seems your complaint with God keeps coming back to these things, and yet your philosophy does not give you grounds to complain about Him for the only way you could is if He existed and had done those things and then in that world there is a very different story in place than the one you profess about the world. In that world He is good and He created us and we are not the ultimate authority. Only in a world without God is man the measure of all things. And in that world, you have no god to complain about.

boomSLANG said...

"I hear you, but you have pointed to nothing but our own temporal finite imperfect way of thinking as the grounds on which we can denounce God's actions. This is an emotional response rather than a reasoned or logical one." ~ Karla

I don't need to have absolute, and/or, infinite knowledge to know what is harmful to me and my species, nor do I need that type of knowledge to know what does and does not benefit me, my family, and my species. This notion that there exists an invisible, conscious, creator-being - in particular, one who has a past of drowning people because they disappointed "Him" - is a notion that moral, sane people should denounce(assuming for sake of discussion said being exists).

I reiterate---I do not care one iota that said being presumably "promised" not to do it again. I find zero comfort in that. If I were going to hire a nanny, and said nanny had a past of drowning kids when/if they act up, she could "promise" me until she became purple in the face that she won't do it again. I'm going to use my "limited" knowledge and show her the door. The distinction that the aforementioned being is "God" and supposedly created everything doesn't change a thing, Karla. I'd trust neither of them.

"It seems your complaint with God keeps coming back to these things[...]"

And it's a legitimate complaint.

"[...]and yet your philosophy does not give you grounds to complain about Him for the only way you could is if He existed and had done those things and then in that world there is a very different story in place than the one you profess about the world."

I'm sorry, but that is nonsense. My complaint is the same, and it is legitimate, whether said being exists, or not. You act as though if I were really convinced that "He" existed, that I'd do as you do..i.e.. simply "trust" his actions because "He" goes by the title "God", and forget about all of his despotic, immoral, past behaviors. No.

"In that world He is good[EDIT]"

That's your opinion, and further, you've gone on record to say it boils down to "trust". Again, I look at someone's track-record before I can "trust" them.

"[...] He created us and we are not the ultimate authority."

Confirming once again that your entire argument amounts to "trusting" and appealing to Authoritarianism.

"Only in a world without God is man the measure of all things."

Feel free to prove, without using circular reasoning or any other fallacious reasoning, that we are not "a world without God". In my view, the world you posit(with "God") is completely indistinguishable from "a world without God". What observable differences would there be, in your opinion, if we lived in the latter world? What?..more rape, more murder, more lying, more stealing, more famine? Seriously? C'mon, Karla.

"And in that world, you have no god to complain about."

Yes, of course, you state the obvious. I only "complain about God" now - and I do so under the *pretense* that said being exists - to make a rhetorical point.

Karla said...

Ya know your position isn't any less circular.

God, if real, is guilty because you say so, or if you prefer because human standard says so. When asked what makes something right or wrong, it is human agreement not any kind of standard outside ourselves.

But you denounce God's authority to be the supreme good and say that that His word is mere opinion.

How is morality coming down to what humans collectively say any different than opinion?

You can say it's collective opinion, but it's still opinion of those we both agree are not perfect and therefore could be wrong even collectively.

In fact, if there is nothing to measure that against than you are in the same circular conundrum. Except your end all is not an end at all. It's finite, temporal, imperfect, often wrong, sometimes right, but who could know with no ultimate frame of reference?

However, with God we have the eternal, good, ultimate, absolute, righteous Being. Who is Truth. Who is Life. Who does have the authority, logically and positionaly to be the good constant frame of reference by which all things are measured.

So you see, opinion or not. It does matter whose and who has the real authority. You claim it's humans and I claim it's God. Both arguments are circular. So to denounce mine on it being circular or on it coming down to God's will (or as you put it opinion) is faulty reasoning. Because in your world it comes down to man's will and man's opinion.

boomSLANG said...

"Ya know your position isn't any less circular." ~ Karla

Your corollary is false, Karla, although, it doesn't surprise me much that you'd attempt such a thing.

In any case, *we have evidence that our human standard is geared toward minimizing harm to you, me, our families, and our species. It is life-affirming. As for the alternative..i.e..the position for which you are arguing, surely you couldn't keep a straight face and tell me that biblical standards such as stoning prostitutes, rebellious teens, killing homosexuals, dashing the heads of our enemy's children against rocks, and drowning nearly the whole human race is "life-affirming", could you?

"God, if real, is guilty because you say so, or if you prefer because human standard says so." ~ Karla

Yes, see here*, above. And yes, guilty by the standard of us limited, temporal human beings. Guilty, the same way we would give a guilty sentence to any man who wanted the whole human race DEAD, and was caught plotting to make it happen. "Guilty", the same way we'd disbar a judge who let a serial killer go free because his honor happened to have a personal relationship with the killer.

"When asked what makes something right or wrong, it is human agreement not any kind of standard outside ourselves." ~ Karla

Human agreement, correct, not one individual's opinion. A mutually decided upon standard, by definition, lives outside of the control of one individual. Perhaps you'd feel more comfortable living in a country with a Tsar? Yes, he could simply tell you, "Today, [X, Y, and Z] are good, and I define good! So you're going to agree, or else!".

Seriously, once you realize how that sounds unreasonable, you'll realize how I find what you are proposing unreasonable to me.

boomSLANG said...

I overlooked this part......

"However, with God we have the eternal, good, ultimate, absolute, righteous Being. Who is Truth. Who is Life." ~ Karla

Aside from begging the question..i.e..simply affirming your premise "true" within your argument, you once again offer a circular position that contradicts, philosophically. You keep on and on and on about "absolute", when you, yourself, have gone on record to say that even the "goodness" of "God" is DEPENDENT on "context"...i.e...it's a relative thing, or subjective.

Karla, please do your best to grasp what I'm saying: If what any person or entity deems "good" is dependent on context - that is, whether it be you, me, Mickey Mouse, the President, and yes, even "Yahweh" - then logic says that there is no "Absolute" there. You are simply repeating a fallacious argument over and over.

You also keep on and on about "good", when you haven't given any reason that you and/or your biblegod's conception of "good" is something that I need or something that is beneficial to me. In fact, I've provided evidence that said biblegod's standards of "good" are completely the opposite of beneficial. They are detrimental and malevolent.

And anyway, at the end of the day, you say it's a matter of "trust".

I'll say it again: I do NOT(cannot) "trust" the Christian god, nor do I trust the word of people who tell me I should. At a minimum, trusting someone means looking at their track record. I've done that, and when I read about the behaviors and policies of the Christian god, it raises an eyebrow, to say the least. I'm not talking down to you or trying to make it a personal matter; I'm merely speaking candidly.

Karla said...

Boom “Aside from begging the question..i.e..simply affirming your premise "true" within your argument, you once again offer a circular position that contradicts, philosophically”

I agree that my argument is circular. It must be.

Boom “You keep on and on and on about "absolute", when you, yourself, have gone on record to say that even the "goodness" of "God" is DEPENDENT on "context"...i.e...it's a relative thing, or subjective. “

No, that is not what I have said. God’s goodness is dependent on nothing. It is the constant state of His nature. Never changing.

Man is the variable. We are the different ones. So when the constant affects variables the results look different. God’s goodness is not dependent on context, but context meeting His goodness produces different effects.

If a fire meets wood, oil, gas, or water it had a different reaction each time. Fire remains constant, but what it touches changes everything, but itself.

Boom “Karla, please do your best to grasp what I'm saying: If what any person or entity deems "good" is dependent on context - that is, whether it be you, me, Mickey Mouse, the President, and yes, even "Yahweh" - then logic says that there is no "Absolute" there. You are simply repeating a fallacious argument over and over. “

Except that’s not what I’ve been arguing for. You keep mixing up the absolute to be in the manifested action shown in a particular situation or person rather than in the Being that is good. See what I said above.


Boom “You also keep on and on about "good", when you haven't given any reason that you and/or your biblegod's conception of "good" is something that I need or something that is beneficial to me. In fact, I've provided evidence that said biblegod's standards of "good" are completely the opposite of beneficial. They aredetrimental and malevolent.”

I understand that that is your opinion. Your only evidence is that humanity deems these actions to be bad. I don’t see how that makes them bad. Because to address His actions they have to be addressed in the entire context of the Biblical narrative where God is good and God created man who fell from goodness and who have no grounds or ability to judge Him. If you want to go there the whole story must be accepted or else there is nothing by which to denounce for if the rest of the story is not true than neither is it true that those things were done by God. So which way do you want it?

Boom “I'll say it again: I do NOT(cannot) "trust" the Christian god, nor do I trust the word of people who tell me I should. At a minimum, trusting someone means looking at their track record. I've done that, and when I read about the behaviors and policies of the Christian god, it raises an eyebrow, to say the least. I'm not talking down to you or trying to make it a personal matter; I'm merely speaking candidly. “

I don’t mind your candidness. I don’t mind your honesty of not being in a place that trust seems logical, reasonable, sensible, or right.

I, however, see a track record of a merciful and just God who does what is right. Who deals with evil the right way and who gives grace rightly. I see a God who has demonstrated His mercy and His everlasting love and has demonstrated that He will not allow evil to go on indefinitely without meeting the consequences of actions.

Again, I will say that I believe God is bringing you into a new season where belief will not be so difficult as trying to find faith again. I’m not sure what the change will be or when exactly it will come, but I feel strongly you are on the verge of a new season and God is behind the changes that are for your good and I think you will have great opportunity to witness His hand in your life and then see that He never left you even in the midst of your atheism. That He has always been faithful.

boomSLANG said...

"I agree that my argument is circular. It must be." ~ Karla

Good grief. I'd thought I'd heard it all. Yes, your argument is classic petitio principii, or circular, which you admit. By definition, that makes it a fallacious argument.

So, what I'm hearing is this: "My argument must be fallacious!"

On top of that, you still haven't put forth any reasons, whatsoever, why I should believe that this "God" and its alleged "standard of good" is something that will actually benefit me, my family, and the rest of the human race. You say that you "trust" it, and again, that might be good enough for you. For me, however, before I can trust someone, I look at his or her track-record. As I've said countless times, I've examined the past behaviors of the Christian biblegod, and what I see is a character who, the majority of the time, behaves like an insecure, egotistical jerk. And an immoral one, at that.

Previously, me: Boom “You keep on and on and on about 'absolute', when you, yourself, have gone on record to say that even the 'goodness' of 'God' is DEPENDENT on 'context'...i.e...it's a relative thing, or subjective."

You respond: "No, that is not what I have said."

Yes, it is.(see below)

"God’s goodness is dependent on nothing. It is the constant state of His nature. Never changing."

The following is a list of verbatim quotes from this thread. Each one patently demonstrates that "good" is dependent on context.

Here we go....

- "Moreover anything can be utilized for good or bad." ~ Karla

- "There are many things that are good in the context in which they were designed to be done, but not in another context." ~ Karla

- "Absolute Good God does not translate to one action being the right action every time." ~ Karla

- "An action of God in a moment in time does not become the action for every time." ~ Karla

- "And as to the rape thing, remember that a woman who has been raped would be ruined in society for any prospect of marriage, so this protects the woman from being an outcast of society and it deters any would be perpetrators from thinking they can get away free and clear without life long responsibility. Moreover, I'm sure there is more that could be learned about all this by studying more of the time period." ~ Karla

Firstly, what do things like "time period" matter to "God"? If forcing a rape-victim to marry her rapist was "good" in the eyes of "God" in one time period, then it would be "good" in the eyes of "God" in ANY time period, including THIS one, if "God" bases "good" on himself and is "unchanging".

And then there's this...

If - and I quote - "ANYTHING can be utilized for good or bad"[caps added], then that could include things that even "God" says, too, in which case, what "God" says is clearly relative, or subjective. You continually want your cake and eat it, too.

"Man is the variable. We are the different ones." ~ Karla

Yes!!!! different!!! including, we are constantly in different situations, and thus, what is "good" in one situation might not be "good" in another. Hello? Ethics and morals are situational. There is NO "absolute" standard of "good"/"bad". You are simply wrong.

"God’s goodness is not dependent on context, but context meeting His goodness produces different effects." ~ Karla

I'm sorry, but that is equivocal nonsense.

boomSLANG said...

Let's take one of the "Commandments", which, if "God" really did carve them in stone with his finger, then we can safely conclude that they're based on the "Goodness of God", which you claim is "absolute".

"Thou shalt not steal" ~ VIII

If I'm standing in line at the bank and a masked gunman comes in and sets down his gun to zip up his fly, would it be "immoral" for me to swipe his gun? If you are a normal, sane person, you know the answer is "no".

In some cases, it perfectly moral to take something that doesn't belong to you(AKA "steal") if it prevents harm to others.

"If a fire meets wood, oil, gas, or water it had a different reaction each time. Fire remains constant, but what it touches changes everything, but itself." ~ Karla

Inapt analogy. In fact, if anything, it helps illustrate how you are wrong.

In some cases, "fire" is destructive and something to be avoided. In other cases, fire is something useful and something to be desired, for instance, to cook food, or to heat a house, or to clear land.

So, while "fire" might be "constant" - for instance, always "hot" - the application is subjective. Therefore, fire is NOT "absolutely good", and the same is true of "God".

Previously, me: "If what any person or entity deems 'good' is dependent on context - that is, whether it be you, me, Mickey Mouse, the President, and yes, even 'Yahweh' - then logic says that there is no 'Absolute' there. You are simply repeating a fallacious argument over and over."

You respond: "Except that’s not what I’ve been arguing for."

Yes, it most certainly is.

"You keep mixing up the absolute to be in the manifested action shown in a particular situation or person rather than in the Being that is good. See what I said above." ~ Karla

What you just said, and what you point to, "above", is patently, demonstrably false.

I'll say it again:

If what is "good" is based on a "Being" and nothing more, then "good" is reduced to arbitrary opinion. That means that any ol' flippin' thing that said "Being" desires/commands/condones becomes "good", even if it's something that clearly causes harm to us.

boomSLANG said...

Again, you admittedly "trust" the above circular reasoning. Thus, if "God" woke up next week and decided that beheading all non-Christians was "good", you, according to your own argument, must grab an axe and start chopping. And you can't say, "God would never command that because it's NOT good!!!!", because there'd have to be a standard OUTSIDE of "God" to compare to "God" in order for you to make such a determination.

Previously, me: "You also keep on and on about 'good', when you haven't given any reason that you and/or your biblegod's conception of 'good' is something that I need or something that is beneficial to me. In fact, I've provided evidence that said biblegod's standards of 'good' are completely the opposite of beneficial. They aredetrimental and malevolent."

You respond: "I understand that that is your opinion. Your only evidence is that humanity deems these actions to be bad." ~ Karla

Either, you don't listen, or you deliberately misrepresented what I have said.

Karla,

It is NOT *only* my opinion; it is the collective opinions of ALL of us, and on top of that, there is actually *evidence* that said opinions are geared toward preserving humanity. In contrast, your "good" is only ONE individual's opinion, and more damning to your argument, there is plenty of evidence that said individual's past opinion on certain matters is actually ANTI-humanity. Dashing children's heads against ROCKS? Stoning rebellious teens? Killing homosexuals? Having some she-bears maul some unruly children? This is disgusting, and yet, you defend it.

"Because to address His actions they have to be addressed in the entire context of the Biblical narrative where God is good and God created man who fell from goodness and who have no grounds or ability to judge Him." ~ Karla

By that reasoning, to address when "Allah" says, "kill the infidels!", those words have to be addressed in the entire context of the Qu'ran narrative, in which case, Allah created us and everything else, so we have no grounds or ability to judge Him!

'Sound circular? 'Sound absurd?
That what's you sound like to me.

"I agree that my argument is circular. It must be." ~ Karla

Yes, your argument is classic petitio principii, or circular, which you admit. By definition, that makes it a fallacious argument.

So, what I'm hearing is this: "My argument must be fallacious!"

On top of that, you still haven't put forth any reasons, whatsoever, why I should accept that this "God" and its alleged "standard of good" is something that will actually benefit me, my family, and the rest of the human race. You say that you "trust" it, and again, one thing I do before I can simply trust someone, is I look at his or her track-record. As I said numerous times, I've examined the past behaviors of the Christian biblegod, and what I see is an insecure, egotistical, immoral jerk.

boomSLANG said...

Previously, me: Boom “You keep on and on and on about 'absolute', when you, yourself, have gone on record to say that even the 'goodness' of 'God' is DEPENDENT on 'context'...i.e...it's a relative thing, or subjective."

You respond: "No, that is not what I have said."

Yes, it is.

"God’s goodness is dependent on nothing. It is the constant state of His nature. Never changing."

The following is a list of verbatim quotes from this thread. Each one patently demonstrates that "good" is dependent on context.

Here we go....

- "Moreover anything can be utilized for good or bad." ~ Karla

- "There are many things that are good in the context in which they were designed to be done, but not in another context." ~ Karla

- "Absolute Good God does not translate to one action being the right action every time." ~ Karla

- "An action of God in a moment in time does not become the action for every time." ~ Karla

- "And as to the rape thing, remember that a woman who has been raped would be ruined in society for any prospect of marriage, so this protects the woman from being an outcast of society and it deters any would be perpetrators from thinking they can get away free and clear without life long responsibility. Moreover, I'm sure there is more that could be learned about all this by studying more of the time period." ~ Karla

What do things like "time period" matter to "God"? If forcing a rape-victim to marry her rapist was "good" in the eyes of "God" in one time period, then it would be "good" in the eyes of "God" in ANY time period, including THIS one, if "God" bases "good" on himself and is "unchanging".

And then there's this...

If - and I quote - "ANYTHING can be utilized for good or bad"[caps added], then that could include things that even "God" says, too, in which case, what "God" says is clearly relative, or subjective. You continually want your cake and eat it, too.

"Man is the variable. We are the different ones." ~ Karla

Yes!!!! different!!! including, we are constantly in different situations, and thus, what is "good" in one situation might not be "good" in another. Hello? Ethics and morals are situational. There is NO "absolute" standard of "good"/"bad". You are simply wrong.

"God’s goodness is not dependent on context, but context meeting His goodness produces different effects." ~ Karla

I'm sorry, but that is equivocal nonsense.

boomSLANG said...

"I, however, see a track record of a merciful and just[....]

::sigh::

If "God" was "just", then everyone would get what the are born deserving...i.e.."hell". If "God" grants clemency(mercy) to just one person, justice has been subverted.

"God who does what is right."

No---"God" does whatever "He" wants/whenever "He" wants, and you deem it "right" because of your appeal to authority.

"Who deals with evil the right way and who gives grace rightly."

The "right way" to deal with "evil" is to not create it in the first place, or at a minimum, get rid of it. Having someone killed in a Roman execution doesn't "deal" with evil. It merely makes a scapegoat.

"I see a God who has demonstrated His mercy and His everlasting love and has demonstrated that He will not allow evil to go on indefinitely without meeting the consequences of actions."

This is sooooo tedious. We've been over the same ground so many times, and yet, you simply repeat the same, demonstrably false, godspeak.

Karla, "evil" needn't exist at all. It presumably doesn't exist in "heaven", and that doesn't hurt anyone's "freewill", does it? No.

"Again, I will say that I believe God is bringing you into a new season[...]"

A "new season"!?? And that is god-code for whAT? A time of year?

"[...]where belief will not be so difficult as trying to find faith again."

I'll say it again: Belief requires EVIDENCE.

"I’m not sure what the change will be or when exactly it will come,[...]"

Could you possibly be any more vague?

"[...]but I feel strongly you are on the verge of a new season and God is behind the changes that are for your good and I think you will have great opportunity to witness His hand in your life and then see that He never left you even in the midst of your atheism."

I know that you mean well, but I feel like I've just read a very long fortune cookie. IOW, bologna.

"That He has always been faithful"

Unsupported assertion.

Karla said...

Boom “If I'm standing in line at the bank and a masked gunman comes in and sets down his gun to zip up his fly, would it be "immoral" for me to swipe his gun? If you are a normal, sane person, you know the answer is "no".

In some cases, it perfectly moral to take something that doesn't belong to you(AKA "steal") if it prevents harm to others.”

This is like when Jesus healed a blind man on the Sabbath and the Pharisees claimed he was breaking the law by working on the Sabbath. He asked them who would leave a lamb stuck in the mud on a Sabbath rather than help the lamb, how much more would one do for a man?

The law, even the Ten Commandments, were not intended to suck the life out of a person, but to give life. It wasn’t designed to be a law against us, but a law for us, for our good. The letter of the law kills.


"If a fire meets wood, oil, gas, or water it had a different reaction each time. Fire remains constant, but what it touches changes everything, but itself."~ Karla

Inapt analogy. In fact, if anything, it helps illustrate how you are wrong.

Boom “In some cases, "fire" is destructive and something to be avoided. In other cases, fire is something useful and something to be desired, for instance, to cook food, or to heat a house, or to clear land. “

Very true. In some cases God’s goodness comes out severe because of what it is responding to just as fire can be destructive or pleasant except in either case He is not someone to be avoided because even when His goodness is severe it is good. Whether pleasant or unpleasant both are right and good.

Boom “So, while "fire" might be "constant" - for instance, always "hot" - the application is subjective. Therefore, fire is NOT "absolutely good", and the same is true of "God".”

The fire analogy was not that Fire is absolutely good, but that fire is absolutely fire. The only absolute good is God, so I could not use the fire analogy for that aspect, but to communicate that a constant can remain absolutely constant even when it brings a variety of effects because of the variables it comes in contact with.

Would it be good for a parent to treat two different sons the exact same way when they are different people? A blessing to one son may be chocolate ice cream, but the other son can be lactose intolerant and to give him ice cream would be no blessing at all. Instead to bless the other child the parent gives him a new toy or maybe a piece of cake. The parent was then good to both, even though it looked different. The same with punishment, one child may be adequately reprimanded by a good talking to or a time out in his room, whereas the other needs a good spanking or restriction in order to get that child to the right path. To give the first child a spanking would do more harm than good, but to let the second get away with just a talking to would not help him at all. So you see, good looks different, but is still good.

God is good, but to one it comes out one way and to another it is different. Not because God changes, but because no two humans are the same and no two cultures are the same.



Boom “If what is "good" is based on a "Being" and nothing more, then "good" is reduced to arbitrary opinion. That means that any ol' flippin' thing that said "Being" desires/commands/condones becomes "good", even if it's something that clearly causes harm to us. “

And you have not demonstrated why “harm to us” is that which is not good. Your ultimate answer is so says the collective humanity who wishes not to be harmed. I’m sure a brood of children would make the same claim to their school master, and yet a fallen people prone to do what they wish having no harmful consequences would not be a desirable world at all.

Karla said...

Boom “Again, you admittedly "trust" the above circular reasoning. Thus, if "God" woke up next week and decided that beheading all non-Christians was "good", you, according to your own argument, must grab an axe and start chopping. And you can't say, "God would never command that because it's NOT good!!!!", because there'd have to be a standard OUTSIDE of "God" to compare to "God" in order for you to make such a determination. “

I trust in Him and His words and that demonstrates that He would never do that because of who He is. I don’t need to compare Him to anyone outside of Himself because I can know Him and know who He is. He is the standard by which all else is compared, it would not follow that there is then another standard by which to compare Him and then yet another by which to compare that and then another by which to compare that ad infinitum. When you finally reached the point the buck stops here that would then be the absolute good being and we arrive back at talking about a self-referencing good God. So either there is a good that is God’s nature, or there is no such thing and all we have are what humans want or don’t want at any given time. In that latter world good and evil are nothing of substance just descriptors we use to say what we like and don’t like.


Boom “It is NOT *only* my opinion; it is the collective opinions of ALL of us, and on top of that, there is actually *evidence* that said opinions are geared towardpreserving humanity. In contrast, your "good" is only ONE individual's opinion, and more damning to your argument, there is plenty of evidence that said individual's past opinion on certain matters is actually ANTI-humanity. Dashing children's heads against ROCKS? Stoning rebellious teens? Killing homosexuals? Having some she-bears maul some unruly children? This is disgusting, and yet, you defend it. “

I realize that you say it is all of humanity. But is the consensus of humans to preserve humanity or just their group of humanity? I see a history of people wanting to wipe out other people so that their race is the only survivors. I don’t’ see a history of people wanting all life to survive and be perpetuated. I don’t see a human consensus that everyone deserves to live, but that each person wants themselves and those they think are important to live some will want that at the expense of others – the survival of the fittest is the social evolutionary mandate. I think you need to read more history. Or even watch the news. Even now in Libya there is killing to remove some and preserve others.


"Because to address His actions they have to be addressed in the entire context of the Biblical narrative where God is good and God created man who fell from goodness and who have no grounds or ability to judge Him." ~ Karla

Boom “By that reasoning, to address when "Allah" says, "kill the infidels!", those words have to be addressed in the entire context of the Qu'ran narrative, in which case, Allah created us and everything else, so we have no grounds or ability to judge Him!”

It does need to be addressed in the entire context to see if the whole structure either has truth or not. One cannot isolate one thing from an entire system and pull it out and examine it without doing so in the context of the system. Either the thing and the system is false or it’s not. I would want to be fair in examining Islam as I would want someone to be fair when examining the Biblical narrative.


Boom “Yes, your argument is classic petitio principii, or circular, which you admit. By definition, that makes it a fallacious argument.”

A circular argument does not always make a fallacious argument.

Karla said...

Boom “The following is a list of verbatim quotes from this thread. Each one patently demonstrates that "good" is dependent on context.”

None of my statements that you quoted said that God changes or that God’s goodness changes or that the goodness of God, His nature, is dependent on anything. God is good and His goodness is not dependent on anything. If no one existed He would be the same goodness as if all of creation exists. If no one sinned He would be the same as if everyone sins. If all were believers or if none were, none of this changes who God is.

But our differences of who we each are and who each community of people are means that God being good to us looks different from each other. A blessing for one is not the same as the next person and a judgment on one is not the same as another. Two people can do the same wrong thing and God will respond to each differently because each are different and it would not be good to treat one like the other, but each like who each is. God looks at the heart. All we see is the action.



Boom “Why do things like "time period" matter to "God"? If forcing a rape-victim to marry her rapist was "good" in the eyes of "God" in one time period, then it would be "good" in the eyes of "God" in ANY time period, including THIS one, if "God" bases "good" on himself and is "unchanging". “

It’s not that the passing of time makes a difference, but that the culture is different in one time than another.



And then there's this...

Boom “If - and I quote - "ANYTHING can be utilized for good or bad"[caps added], then that could include things that even "God" says, too, in which case, what "God" says is clearly relative, or subjective. You continually want your cake and eat it, too.”

No what God says is always good, but man can take what God says and use even that for bad. The Bible can be used for good or for bad. But God is not both good and bad, He is only good because no person can affect Him and change His nature. But we can wield what He says to give life or to cut to the quick and destroy a person. In our hands anything can be used for good or for bad, not so with God.



Boom “Yes!!!! different!!! including, we are constantly in different situations, and thus, what is "good" in one situation might not be "good" in another. Hello? Ethics and morals are situational. There is NO "absolute" standard of "good"/"bad". You are simply wrong.”

There is no codified expansive litany of good and bad. There is no absolute moral law. But there is an absolute good God who responds rightly to each and every situation and different persons and that is why we have this knowledge of things being good and bad because an action or attitude is good or bad based on whether it is what right before God in the present moment rather than by some unseen law.

mojo said...

boomSLANG,

Behold, an aforementioned "silent lurker" to whom this thread has value... But, silent no more!

I too used to be a Christian, indoctrinated as a child and brought up to believe I would be destroyed in hell by the "loving" creator of the universe if I ever "fell away"... Anyway, I just wanted to commend you on your civility and patience on this thread. I have attempted this very argument with people who refuse to consider my perspective (which I believe is based upon logic/tangible reality), nor do they accept the fact that I will never be a Christian again... and it never fails to raise my blood-pressure and, oftentimes, my voice.

Bottom line: You're a shining example for others who might benefit from the civil, coherent articulation of the things they know in their minds, but need a bit of help in sifting it down to their tongues. It always helps me, anyway.

Much admiration & appreciation.

Cheers!

Karla said...

Boom? Did you have a response to my latest comments?

boomSLANG said...

@ mojo,

Thanks for the kind words, and honestly, they couldn't have come at a better time. I had a response/have a response prepared for Karla, but before I post it(if I should decide to), I will probably give it cursory review to make sure my questions come across earnest and not condescending, since, well, that's what one commenter recently admonished me to do.

Of course, at the end of day, this is about whether Christianity is true, or not. I could be the meanest, most annoying, most inconsiderate Atheist on nature's green earth. That doesn't mean that "Christianity" is "right" or "moral", or that I'm wrong.

So, ultimately, focusing on one's "bed-side manner", and/or, haranguing them over how much they annoy you, is a red herring.

Now on to something you said...

"I too used to be a Christian, indoctrinated as a child and brought up to believe I would be destroyed in hell by the 'loving' creator of the universe if I ever 'fell away'." ~ mojo

Right? It's bad enough that you, me, and millions more, were indoctrinated(i.e brainwashed) with the Christian meme as children, and in many cases, even before we had developed theory of the mind.(3-4 yrs old). Then, to grow up with this idea that we could be roasted in biblegod's chamber of horrors for our "sins", "sins" such as looking at the opposite sex and feeling aroused("lust"), or telling a white lie, when we know that sometimes not being completely transparent prevents hurting others, and in some cases, lying prevents physical harm to others. I'm just glad that I finally got brave enough to earnestly question what I was taught. And I'm glad that you did, too, BTW.

boomSLANG said...

"Boom? Did you have a response to my latest comments?"

Yeah, actually, I did. Why?

Karla said...

Boom "Of course, at the end of day, this is about whether Christianity is true, or not. I could be the meanest, most annoying, most inconsiderate Atheist on nature's green earth. That doesn't mean that "Christianity" is "right" or "moral", or that I'm wrong."


Agreed. It is about what is true first and foremost.

Also, I don't see you as any of those things. And even more, I have found these conversations to be more free of things that impede good conversation than the conversations of many months ago and I appreciate that.

Boom "Right? It's bad enough that you, me, and millions more, were indoctrinated(i.e brainwashed) with the Christian meme as children, and in many cases, even before we had developed theory of the mind.(3-4 yrs old). Then, to grow up with this idea that we could be roasted in biblegod's chamber of horrors for our "sins", "sins" such as looking at the opposite sex and feeling aroused("lust"), or telling a white lie, when we know that sometimes not being completely transparent prevents hurting others, and in some cases, lying prevents physical harm to others."

I hope you have realized by now that the Christianity I espouse is not that which you describe.

Could it be that there is a Christianity that is truer than what you were once taught? One where people really do love each other with a divine love? One where Christ did not come to condemn, but to save. One where people are not persecuted for sin, but lifted up in love without condemnation?

Is it not possible that God is different than who you were taught that He is rather than His being fiction?

Is this even remotely possible to you?


Mojo, please feel free to respond to these questions as well.

Karla said...

Boom "Yeah, actually, I did. Why?"

I hadn't seen any, so I was just wondering if we were still conversing on this or not. . .

boomSLANG said...

"Agreed. It is about what is true first and foremost." ~ Karla

Good. Some common ground.

"Also, I don't see you as any of those things. And even more, I have found these conversations to be more free of things that impede good conversation than the conversations of many months ago and I appreciate that." ~ Karla

Wow. Okay, cool. Naturally, we know that not everyone will agree with you, but as long as you, the blog administrator/owner feel that way, that's good enough for me.

Me, to mojo(new commenter)...

"Right? It's bad enough that you, me, and millions more, were indoctrinated(i.e brainwashed) with the Christian meme as children, and in many cases, even before we had developed theory of the mind.(3-4 yrs old). Then, to grow up with this idea that we could be roasted in biblegod's chamber of horrors for our 'sins', 'sins' such as looking at the opposite sex and feeling aroused("lust"), or telling a white lie, when we know that sometimes not being completely transparent prevents hurting others, and in some cases, lying prevents physical harm to others."

You respond..."I hope you have realized by now that the Christianity I espouse is not that which you describe."

Yes and no. I realize that the humanist part of you knows that causing unnecessary harm to others is not beneficial to them, to you, or anyone else, despite that you implicitly believe that harming others is "good", as long as "God" is the final Authority and defines "good".

As for "sins" such as "lust" and "lying", I'm not quite clear where you stand. Is "lust" a "sin" if said word is defined as feeling strong sexual attraction toward the opposite sex, *especially*, one to whom one is not bound to by marriage? Is telling a lie always, in every conceivable situation, a "sin"("wrong")?

"Could it be that there is a Christianity that is truer than what you were once taught?" ~ Karla

No. "Christianity" is either the absolute truth, or it isn't. Naturally, subjective interpretations vary, in which case, there could be a version of Christianity that is more watered-down than the one I was once taught. But "truer"? No, not in an objective sense.

"One where people really do love each other with a divine love?" ~ Karla

Karla, Christians can love each other with a "divine love" all the day is long. That doesn't undo or remove the non-loving, and even downright cruel aspects of the Christian doctrine.

"One where Christ did not come to condemn, but to save."

He came, also, to "not to bring peace, but to bring a sword"(Matthew 10:34).

Again, there's always a negative flip-side to the "coin". That you choose to concentrate on, and minister about, the more palatable aspects of Christianity, is obviously your choice. But it hardly seems objective, since the filthy, inhumane aspects are right there along side your personal favorites.

"One where people are not persecuted for sin, but lifted up in love without condemnation?"

This isn't consistent with your doctrine. You've gone on record and conceded that we're born condemned. The "condemnation" we get straight out of the womb. And yes, since there are presumably millions being tormented in "hell" as we speak, people are persecuted for "sin", specifically, the "sin" of leaving this world a non-christian.

"Is it not possible that God is different than who you were taught that He is rather than His being fiction?

Is this even remotely possible to you?"
~ Karla

Yes, it's possible that there exists a "God" other than the Xian deity described in the bible. I've never denied that.

Karla said...

Boom “Good. Some common ground.”

Yep!


Boom “Wow. Okay, cool. Naturally, we know that not everyone will agree with you, but as long as you, the blog administrator/owner feel that way, that's good enough for me.”

Good.


Boom “Yes and no. I realize that the humanist part of you knows that causing unnecessary harm to others is not beneficial to them, to you, or anyone else, despite that you implicitly believe that harming others is "good", as long as "God" is the final Authority and defines "good". “

I believe not all pain is harmful and not all harm is bad. But I also don’t think God is out to get us.

Boom “As for "sins" such as "lust" and "lying", I'm not quite clear where you stand. Is "lust" a "sin" if said word is defined as feeling strong sexual attraction towardthe opposite sex, *especially*, one to whom one is not bound to by marriage? Is telling a lie always, in every conceivable situation, a "sin"("wrong")?”

As I’ve said I don’t believe in an absolute moral law, but a good God. Some things will be sin, but there is also a myriad of scenarios that I can’t possibly think of all of the ways something could be sin or not. Nor do I think it highly valuable to give any list of sinful acts because then we will get off the main track onto nit picking about singular sins.

Boom “No. "Christianity" is either the absolute truth, or it isn't. Naturally, subjective interpretations vary, in which case, there could be a version of Christianity that is more watered-down than the one I was once taught. But "truer"? No, not in an objective sense.”

Instead of being more watered down, could it be more full of love that was supposed to be in what you were taught?

Boom “Karla, Christians can love each other with a "divine love" all the day is long. That doesn't undo or remove the non-loving, and even downright cruel aspects of the Christian doctrine.”

If you did meet lots of Christians that loved with what would appear a supernatural love then would it not give pause to think that there could be more to the story than you think?

Boom “He came, also, to "not to bring peace, but to bring a sword"(Matthew 10:34).”

Quite true. Because the truth does cut like a sword. There are many paradoxes in Christ like the last shall be first.

Boom “Again, there's always a negative flip-side to the "coin". That you choose to concentrate on, and minister about, the more palatable aspects of Christianity, is obviously your choice. But it hardly seems objective, since the filthy, inhumane aspects are right there along side your personal favorites.”

There is the severe side where God is also a God of justice and He does deal with evil in the world. And I have written much about this, so you know I’m not preaching a happy go lucky Mr. Nice Guy Gospel.

Boom “This isn't consistent with your doctrine. You've gone on record and conceded that we're born condemned. The "condemnation" we get straight out of the womb. And yes, since there are presumably millions being tormented in "hell" as we speak, people are persecuted for "sin", specifically, the "sin" of leaving this world a non-christian.”

Mankind is separated from God, but Jesus came not to affirm the separation, but to repair it. Not to condemn, but to free us from condemnation.


Boom “Yes, it's possible that there exists a "God" other than the Xian deity described in the Bible. I've never denied that.”

Well, that’s a good start.

mojo said...

boom: "Thanks for the kind words, and honestly, they couldn't have come at a better time."

I (think I) know what you mean. It is my pleasure to do so.

boom: "Of course, at the end of day, this is about whether Christianity is true, or not."

For sure, and I think you've done well articulating your argument.

boom: "So, ultimately, focusing on one's "bed-side manner", and/or, haranguing them over how much they annoy you, is a red herring."

That's true. I'm sure you would agree, though, that the less unnecessary ammunition you offer the other side of the argument, the better. That is, if you aren't yet ready for the argument to conclude.. : )

boom: "I'm just glad that I finally got brave enough to earnestly question what I was taught. And I'm glad that you did, too, BTW."

At the risk of sounding cheesy... The key word there is "brave". It's not as if we rolled over one morning and thought, "Hmm, I think I'll ditch everything I hold dear and become something for which I've always had disdain..." No, we read the Scriptures and researched thoroughly and earnestly; and, upon the realization that they weren't what we thought they were (<- abridged version of the realization), we feel pain and anger... but we are obligated by our own standards of adhering to truth, no matter how painful it might be. Yes, the truth hurts, but that fact doesn't make the truth any less true.

mojo said...

Hi Karla,

Thank you for welcoming me into the discussion. It's not my intention to make you feel that you are being "ganged up" on...

Karla: "I hope you have realized by now that the Christianity I espouse is not that which you describe."

Is there a different name for the Christianity that you espouse? Or would you call it "true Christianity"? If so, what differentiates "true Christianity" from other forms?

Karla: "Could it be that there is a Christianity that is truer than what you were once taught? One where people really do love each other with a divine love? One where Christ did not come to condemn, but to save. One where people are not persecuted for sin, but lifted up in love without condemnation?"

boom has already answered this, but I would offer the following in addition:

I was taught that "true" Christianity came from adhering to the word of God - the Bible. If we made decisions based on our own finite and flawed logic or emotions, we were going against God. To be a "true" Christian was to put faith in the Lord and "love him with all your mind, body, and soul." I believe authoritarian dictators the world over push similar ideologies on their people, as well.

So, if we conclude that the Bible is God's word and following it makes us "true" Christians, then we ought to be stoning homosexuals, adulterers, disobedient children, etc. We should be as fanatical about his word as certain Muslims are about Islam, or like the Westboro Baptist Church... If we're gonna be "Soldiers for Christ", then let's gear up!

Karla: "Is it not possible that God is different than who you were taught that He is rather than His being fiction?"

Undoubtedly, the God I was taught to believe in is nothing more than conjurations of primitive men. If a creator of the universe exists, then it would certainly not be what humankind has described in ancient documents. It is definitely possible that a creator of the universe exists, but there is absolutely nothing tangible that we humans can point to with absolute certainty as proof for its existence.

Here's a question (if you've already addressed this, I apologize): Why is God a male? Why do we address God as "He" or "Him"? Does God have male genitalia?

Karla said...

Mojo “Thank you for welcoming me into the discussion. It's not my intention to make you feel that you are being "ganged up" on...”

Thank you for joining the discussion. I do not feel ganged up on. I never see this as an antagonistic debate, but rather a discussion where we can ask honest questions and give honest answers in efforts 1) to understand each other better and 2) to seek out what is true. Christians have lots of misconceptions about atheists and I hope to help dispel those and I hope to have dispel the misconceptions some atheists have about Christians.

Mojo “Is there a different name for the Christianity that you espouse? Or would you call it "true Christianity"? If so, what differentiates "true Christianity" from other forms?”

No. However, I would say that there are some to who Christianity is a religion of rules and strict adherence to approved beliefs rather than a tangible relationship with Jesus.


Mojo “I was taught that "true" Christianity came from adhering to the word of God - the Bible.”

I would say that being a Christian is one who knows Jesus rather than one who adheres to the Bible. I think someone can know the Bible inside out and do their very best to live accordingly and still not know Jesus and not be a Christian (a Christ follower). In fact, a person wielding Bible verses without knowing Jesus can do a lot of harm.

Mojo “If we made decisions based on our own finite and flawed logic or emotions, we were going against God.”

I think when we have Jesus living in us our logic and emotions begin to realign with the truth of who He is and our choices in life will follow suite from that relationship rather than it being a matter of going against God or with Him. If we are in Him and He in us we will go the way He is going. And when we aren't sure what He is doing, and we go another way there is grace for that and He will help us adjust our path.

Mojo “To be a "true" Christian was to put faith in the Lord and "love him with all your mind, body, and soul."

Yes it is to put our whole trust in Him – to give our life to Him so He can give it back to us renewed, restored, and redeemed to live with Him from then on.

Mojo “I believe authoritarian dictators the world over push similar ideologies on their people, as well.”

I would not say that God is a dictator. I see Him as a loving Father, guiding and directing us into the path of righteousness for our own good rather than being one who has us do his bidding just for his pleasure.

Karla said...

Mojo “So, if we conclude that the Bible is God's word and following it makes us "true" Christians, then we ought to be stoning homosexuals, adulterers, disobedient children, etc.”

Really? You were taught that? Do you know of when Jesus encountered the woman caught in adultery and the crowd was prepared to stone her and He stopped them and said the only He who is without sin shall cast the first stone and then He being such a one refused to cast any stone her way and sent her on her way – simply telling her to go and sin no more.

Mojo “We should be as fanatical about his word as certain Muslims are about Islam, or like the Westboro Baptist Church... If we're gonna be "Soldiers for Christ", then let's gear up!”

Um, no that's not the way of Jesus.

Mojo “Undoubtedly, the God I was taught to believe in is nothing more than conjurations of primitive men.”

Well I certainly don't believe in the God you have been speaking about. That is not a picture of the God I know to be real and true.

Mojo “If a creator of the universe exists, then it would certainly not be what humankind has described in ancient documents. It is definitely possible that a creator of the universe exists, but there is absolutely nothing tangible that we humans can point to with absolute certainty as proof for its existence.”

What would constitute tangible evidence? You cannot see the wind, but you can see the effects of the wind. What kind of evidence would give you pause to think that such a Being may exist?

Mojo “Here's a question (if you've already addressed this, I apologize): Why is God a male? Why do we address God as "He" or "Him"?”

Well, God is Spirit. He manifested as the man Jesus, the Son of God upon the earth. But humans are created in the image of God, male and female. So both sexes bare aspects of who God is in His nature. However, God being the impregnator of all Life and the ultimate Father is analogously referred to in the male pronoun or as Father. He is Spirit so technically as we think of it, He is neither male nor female, but the Scriptures also use the analogy of a Lion and a Lamb to refer to God's nature and yet we know He is neither animal technically. Does that help? There is more I can go into on the topic, I may have a post on it I can refer you to if you would like more of my ramblings on the topic.

boomSLANG said...

Previously, me: “Yes and no. I realize that the humanist part of you knows that causing unnecessary harm to others is not beneficial to them, to you, or anyone else, despite that you implicitly believe that harming others is 'good', as long as 'God' is the final Authority and defines 'good'."

You respond: "I believe not all pain is harmful and not all harm is bad."

But I'll wager that you believe that inhumane harm is almost always bad. This is the type of harm I'm speaking of. I'm not talking about paddling a child.

"But I also don’t think God is out to get us." ~ Karla

I don't think that, either, simply because I've yet to see any convincing evidence that a "God" exists. The character who lives in the pages of the bible, while he might not be "out to get" people, he most certainly makes sure that those who don't(or can't) accept his existence on "faith" and/or on evidence that they find unconvincing, pay for it in the end.

Again---it's "hell", Karla. I can't get past it. It's immoral; it's repugnant, and the concept should be denounced. You're going to be hard-pressed to convince me that an "all-loving" being would see to it that untold millions of human beings are kept alive and burned with fire, 24/7, for all of eternity. The concept is immoral. And if your response is that, "Well, God can't tolerate sin"(or something similar), you should know my response to that by now: An omnipotent "God" can just eliminate "sin", the "devil", "evil"....you know, all of the stuff he presumably "can't tolerate".

"As I’ve said I don’t believe in an absolute moral law, but a good God." ~ Karla

Yes, and as I have said, this tells me nothing useful. Your argument is not only circular, but it amounts to an appeal to authority. It's one individual's opinion of what "good" is. I know that you "trust" it. Great. But I can't simply trust what someone else trusts without examining things for myself. I need to examine this supposed individual's conception of "good". For me, despicable, despotic behavior doesn't have a "statute of limitation". The Xian biblegod's past is riddled with such behaviors.

"Instead of being more watered down, could it be more full of love that was supposed to be in what you were taught?" ~ Karla

No, and even it was, that does nothing at all to overcome or erase the immoral and clearly unloving parts.

boomSLANG said...

"If you did meet lots of Christians that loved with what would appear a supernatural love then would it not give pause to think that there could be more to the story than you think?" ~ Karla

These are the types things that cause to me sit back in my seat and let out a big sigh when I read them.

Karla. Seriously, now. How would a "supernatural love" appear, in contrast to plain ol' humanistic "love"???? Are you suggesting that there is an observable and/or detectable difference between, say, an secular guy who shows his family love, and a "Christian" guy who shows his family "supernatural love"?

Previously, me: “He came, also, to 'not to bring peace, but to bring a sword'(Matthew 10:34).”

You respond: Quite true. Because the truth does cut like a sword. There are many paradoxes in Christ like the last shall be first."

You view them as "paradoxes"; I view them as face-value contradictions.

"There is the severe side where God is also a God of justice and He does deal with evil in the world." ~ Karla

No, I'm sorry, biblegod doesn't "deal with evil", at least not directly, because "evil" still exists. The very concept of "heaven" tells us that "free will" can presumably exist in the complete absence of "evil".

Previously, me: “This isn't consistent with your doctrine. You've gone on record and conceded that we're born condemned. The 'condemnation' we get straight out of the womb. And yes, since there are presumably millions being tormented in 'hell' as we speak, people are persecuted for 'sin', specifically, the 'sin' of leaving this world a non-christian.”

You respond: "Mankind is separated from God, but Jesus came not to affirm the separation, but to repair it. Not to condemn, but to free us from condemnation."

You use the same apologetic each and every time this subject of being born condemned is raised. First and foremost, your supposed solution doesn't matter if one isn't convinced that it Christianity is true. But even if we accept it true for sake of discussion, biblegod knew that this "separation" would happen from the onset, but created man anyway. That puts responsibility squarely in said biblegod's lap. If "God" wanted *only* believers, he could have simply created *only* those whom he knew would believe. This way, those he creates retain the illusion of free will, and there's no "separation", no "hell", no "evil", or any of the stuff that "God" supposedly can't tolerate.

boomSLANG said...

"You cannot see the wind, but you can see the effects of the wind."

Yes, effects that can be tested, and results upon which predictions can made. What testable predictions can be made on invisible, noncorporeal beings, in this case, "God"?

mojo said...

Karla: "There are some to who Christianity is a religion of rules and strict adherence to approved beliefs rather than a tangible relationship with Jesus."

The rules you speak of come from the Bible, and hence, from God. Since Jesus is God (according to the Bible), then the relationship with Jesus would include keeping his commandments, right?

Karla: "I would say that being a Christian is one who knows Jesus rather than one who adheres to the Bible."

How can one know Jesus without adhering to the God-inspired book that supposedly enlightens us to his nature, and which we should try to emulate if we want to go to heaven?

Karla: "I think someone can know the Bible inside out and do their very best to live accordingly and still not know Jesus and not be a Christian (a Christ follower)."

Hmm... I ask myself, "How can a person truly know the Bible 'inside out' and still try to follow it?" I guess at the end of the day, it boils down to a simple choice... Truth's got nothing to do with it.

Karla: "I think when we have Jesus living in us our logic and emotions begin to realign with the truth of who He is and our choices in life will follow suite from that relationship rather than it being a matter of going against God or with Him. If we are in Him and He in us we will go the way He is going. And when we aren't sure what He is doing, and we go another way there is grace for that and He will help us adjust our path."

How does one know Jesus? Is it anything like Jimmy Stewart's relationship with Harvey, or Edward Norton's relationship with Tyler Durden? If the relationship exists only in one's mind, then how do we differentiate it from delusion? How can you prove the relationship is real?

Karla: "I would not say that God is a dictator. I see Him as a loving Father, guiding and directing us into the path of righteousness for our own good rather than being one who has us do his bidding just for his pleasure."

Existence, according to the Bible, is a big test... the purpose of which is precisely what you have described: for God's pleasure. He made it, and "it pleased him." He doesn't do anything that doesn't please him, does he? Or does his own will sometimes displease him? Does he ever go against his will?

mojo said...

Karla: "Really? You were taught that?"

Of course I wasn't taught those things personally, but God does command those things in the Bible, as you are aware. If the Bible is God's word (and Jesus is God according to the Bible), then we ought to be obeying what he commanded. I realize those things are mostly in the Old Testament, but that doesn't change that they were commanded by God. If those things are right and just according to God, then why aren't they right and just to us? That's the point. They aren't good things; in fact, they're terrible things. And, according to the Bible, they are God's doing. That's not ok with me.

And, just because he thought it necessary and good to incarnate himself as a man so that humans could kill him in some sort of "loving" sacrifice, doesn't make the atrocities he committed any less revolting. I'm sorry, but my vitriolic nature really comes out when these things go through my mind... It is revolting that people overlook such, to put it frankly, absolutely ridiculously evil acts, and claim the being responsible to be loving and caring. You haven't done yourself any favors by arguing for his "loving" nature.

If your idea of a loving father is one that does whatever he pleases according to time and culture, regardless of what all mankind considers to be evil (genocide, murder, infanticide, pillaging, rape, sexism, slavery, the list goes on and on), then either you're not being intellectually honest with yourself, or you should talk to a psychologist. I don't mean that as an insult. I'm sure you would agree that a person who thinks any of those things is ok, regardless of ideology or circumstance, needs some help.

Karla: "What would constitute tangible evidence? You cannot see the wind, but you can see the effects of the wind. What kind of evidence would give you pause to think that such a Being may exist?"

Tangible evidence would consist of anything that our senses (i.e., touching, tasting, smelling, seeing, hearing) can perceive, and anything that we can test and accurately predict the results for. Evidence that might give me pause would be the same kind of evidence God apparently had no problem providing to countless people throughout the Bible - Paul (God appeared and spoke to him numerous times); Moses (spoke face to face with God - Exodus 33:11); etc etc etc. If God had no qualms "proving" himself to those people, why is it so very wrong for him to prove himself to us? Freewill, yes I know... That concept has been tackled many times and is fallacious. What evidence are you operating on that allows you to know such things with absolute certainty?

boomSLANG said...

"If God had no qualms 'proving' himself to those people, why is it so very wrong for him to prove himself to us? Freewill, yes I know... That concept has been tackled many times and is fallacious." ~ mojo

This is one of the things that's always raised an eyebrow with me, too. And yes, "free will" is the answer you will often times get from apologists. Evidently, "God" appearing to "The Twelve", and to hundreds more, didn't corrupt anyone's "free will". But what's even more interesting, is even if people have undeniable proof that "God" exists - unless I'm missing something - one still retains the complete freedom to accept or reject the policies and character of said "God". On the other hand, the bible says things like, "Every knee will bow!...every tongue will confess!"(paraphrased), which, at face-value, seems to suggest that biblegod will in fact overtake the free will of nonbelievers. This seems to undermine the "free will" apologectic.

Karla said...

Boom “But I'll wager that you believe that inhumane harm is almost always bad. This is the type of harm I'm speaking of. I'm not talking about paddling a child. “

What is inhumane harm? And by what objective grounds do we classify it as inhumane?



Boom “I don't think that, either, simply because I've yet to see any convincing evidence that a "God" exists. The character who lives in the pages of the bible, while he might not be "out to get" people, he most certainly makes sure that those who don't(or can't) accept his existence on "faith" and/or on evidence that they find unconvincing, pay for it in the end. “

He wants all to come to Him and experience the life He has for each of us, He wants none to perish. I’m not sure where you get the idea that he wants people to “pay for it.” In fact, He is the one who paid the price so we don’t have to because He does not want us to “pay for it”.


Boom “Again---it's "hell", Karla. I can't get past it. It's immoral; it's repugnant, and the concept should be denounced.”

Again if you are arguing within the context of the story where hell exist then that is the same story where there is a good God, but if you are arguing from the story where it is a human invention designed to keep people doing what the religious leaders say is right then that would seem rather repugnant. But it the Biblical narrative, people do not cease to exist and they do continue on either with God or without God and the existence without God is hell because all that God is is removed from this abode and all the grace and protection afforded upon the earth is gone. Hence, the environment is hell.

Boom “You're going to be hard-pressed to convince me that an "all-loving" being would see to it that untold millions of human beings are kept alive and burned with fire, 24/7, for all of eternity.”

I have no idea if hell includes literal burning with fire since I would expect these souls to be souls and not bodies then physical fire would have no effect on a spiritual being. Fire only burns what is physical not what is spiritual.

Boom “The concept is immoral. And if your response is that, "Well, God can't tolerate sin"(or something similar), you should know my response to that by now: An omnipotent "God" can just eliminate "sin", the "devil", "evil"....you know, all of the stuff he presumably "can't tolerate".”

The devil will be once and for all removed from involvement in any and all of creation. Evil will be eliminated, but not simply because God says so, but because it has been properly dealt with and humanity properly freed all in the right timing of the Lord.

Karla said...

Boom “Yes, and as I have said, this tells me nothing useful. Your argument is not only circular, but it amounts to an appeal to authority.”

Yes, the ultimate authority. And yes it is circular because if true it would have to be. I won’t repeat why again.


Boom “It's one individual's opinion of what "good" is. I know that you "trust" it. Great. But I can't simply trust what someone else trusts without examining things for myself. I need to examine this supposed individual's conception of "good". For me, despicable, despotic behavior doesn't have a "statute of limitation". The Xian biblegod's past is riddled with such behaviors.”

I am not asking you to squash all your doubts about His character and beliefs about His ways being anything but good. When I say that it does come down to trust, that is not to say that the right thing for you is to ignore all you feel about all this and just believe. Trust comes differently. I don’t think any apologetic brings any person to a place of trust in God, I think it can clear away some misconceptions or answer some questions, but I don’t think it makes people go “oh, well since you put it that way, I’ll believe in Jesus.” This kind of trust comes from inside when your heart becomes aware of the goodness of God and you begin to realize that He loves you and then you explore a little further and find Him there with you waiting to envelope you and help you with your doubts without condemning you for any of them.

Karla said...

Boom “Karla. Seriously, now. How would a "supernatural love" appear, in contrast to plain ol' humanistic "love"???? Are you suggesting that there is an observable and/or detectable difference between, say, an secular guy who shows his family love, and a "Christian" guy who shows his family "supernatural love"?”

Anyone can truly love his family, but what of the person who loves their enemy? What of those who love those who have killed their loved one, or raped their child, or pillaged their village, or was their cruel guard in a concentration camp, or who cannibalized their family. Also, have you ever looked at a stranger and only saw incredible love shining back at you in their eyes? I’ve seen this. I’ve never forgotten those experiences. It’s not human love.


Boom “No, I'm sorry, biblegod doesn't "deal with evil", at least not directly, because "evil" still exists. The very concept of "heaven" tells us that "free will" can presumably exist in the complete absence of "evil".”

Yes it can. In Eden there was a choice because there was a right there was also a wrong path that could be chosen. Had the wrong path not been chosen they could have lived in the freedom of God without ever actualizing evil. But they did not. They chose evil. But in heaven there is no evil, and those who go there have already had the evil in their hearts removed as they have been made righteous by Jesus. So it is not that their choice was removed, but that their choice was already made. Being in Christ removed the sin nature and all of the effects of it will be fully removed before abiding in heaven. It’s not like our choice is gone, but that it is made.


Boom “You use the same apologetic each and every time this subject of being born condemned is raised. First and foremost, your supposed solution doesn't matter if one isn't convinced that it Christianity is true. But even if we accept it true for sake of discussion, biblegod knew that this "separation" would happen from the onset, but created man anyway. That puts responsibility squarely in said biblegod's lap. If "God" wanted *only* believers, he could have simply created *only* those whom he knew would believe. This way, those he creates retain the illusion of free will, and there's no "separation", no "hell", no "evil", or any of the stuff that "God" supposedly can't tolerate. “

You give that response every time too and I know that is something you see as a road block to accepting my answer, and I’m okay with that, but I don’t know if anyone would have done any differently than Adam and Eve to start with. I think this path is the one that brings the most to redemption and that to have created only those who would never sin would be to only create those who could never truly love of their own free will. What kind of existence would that be?

Karla said...

Mojo “The rules you speak of come from the Bible, and hence, from God. Since Jesus is God (according to the Bible), then the relationship with Jesus would include keeping his commandments, right? “

Yes and no. Here is the difference. Some would say if you believe in Jesus then you must demonstrate that by keeping His commandments and following all the rules of the Bible and any extra’s your church deems necessary (others will just say Bible).

But here is what I am saying: Those who believe in Jesus will as they mature in Christ live a life that is in keeping with His commandments and His ways because of the relationship with Jesus. Instead of preforming for Jesus, our heart transforms and we live differently, righteously, because He now lives through us, not because follow rules by our own natural efforts or even with supernatural strength. But that our inside changes so much that our outside ways look very different.


Mojo “How can one know Jesus without adhering to the God-inspired book that supposedly enlightens us to his nature, and which we should try to emulate if we want to go to heaven?”

Good question! We know Jesus directly by having His Spirit talk to our spirit. We learn to hear Him and to know His ways from Him. The Bible tells us of Him, but it’s not all about the Bible. The Bible is a tool to point us to Him, not to take His place. Christianity is not a textual religion where all we have is to follow what Jesus said 2000 years ago. Remember Jesus is alive today and we can know Him today just as much as Paul knew Him 2000 years ago before the Scriptures were written.


Mojo “Hmm... I ask myself, "How can a person truly know the Bible 'inside out' and still try to follow it?" I guess at the end of the day, it boils down to a simple choice... Truth's got nothing to do with it.”

Truth has everything to do with it. But following the Bible without knowing Jesus can get one in a heap of trouble. Just because something is recorded in it doesn’t mean it is for you to go do. Many things recorded were done for a certain purpose for a certain time. We were never admonished to follow the Bible, but to follow Jesus. The Bible is true, but it is not the Truth – for Jesus is the Truth. He said I am the Way the Truth and the Life, not The Bible is the Way, The Truth, and the Life. The Bible serves a purpose, but it is not to take the place of Jesus. We don’t know Jesus through the Bible, we learn from the Bible through Jesus.



Mojo “How does one know Jesus?”

Great question. It starts with asking Him into your life, asking Him to forgive you of your sins. Then it is a process of getting to know Him just like when you meet a person and then get to know them more and more as you hang out with them and find out what they are like and hear what’s in their heart about life and all. A relationship with Jesus cannot be vicarious through a pastor, or parent, or friend, or famous Christian teachers, authors, etc. It cannot just be reading the Bible and doing what it says. It is your spirit coming alive with His Spirit and learning to hear His voice and know Him.

Karla said...

Mojo “Is it anything like Jimmy Stewart's relationship with Harvey, or Edward Norton's relationship with Tyler Durden?”

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Harvey, but no, and I don’t know the second reference.

Mojo ”If the relationship exists only in one's mind, then how do we differentiate it from delusion? How can you prove the relationship is real?”
It’s not just in one’s mind, but in one’s spirit. You have a body, a soul, and a spirit. A soul is the term for your mind, will, and emotions, the body of course is your physical body, and your spirit is that part of you that connects you with God and the spiritual world. When you know Jesus, your spirit awakens, what seemed not to be there, awakens and you being to know the Lord through your spirit. You also encounter Him physically. Sometimes with dreams, visions, feeling His power or His love physically, or experiencing a miracle like a physical healing or even an emotional or mental healing.

Mojo “Existence, according to the Bible, is a big test... the purpose of which is precisely what you have described: for God's pleasure. He made it, and "it pleased him." He doesn't do anything that doesn't please him, does he? Or does his own will sometimes displease him? Does he ever go against his will?”

Our pleasure can be wrong or sadistic or duplicitous. God’s pleasure is not. He is good and He is always good. His will and His pleasure is also always good. So He does not do things against His will, though He will sometimes let His will for us wait as He is patient with us. His pleasure is not like that of a heartless dictator, but that of a loving Father who delights in doing what is right for His children and wants His children to mature into what is good for them.

Karla said...

Mojo “Of course I wasn't taught those things personally, but God does command those things in the Bible, as you are aware. If the Bible is God's word (and Jesus is God according to the Bible), then we ought to be obeying what he commanded.”

Remember, told of how Jesus did not stone a woman caught in adultery. That the law was for a particular time and Jesus fulfilled the need for the law, therefore it is no longer binding.

Mojo “I realize those things are mostly in the Old Testament, but that doesn't change that they were commanded by God. If those things are right and just according to God, then why aren't they right and just to us? That's the point. They aren't good things; in fact, they're terrible things. And, according to the Bible, they are God's doing. That's not ok with me.”

I don’t know why God chose certain methods of punishment for certain laws being broken in the Old Testament. But I do know that He is good. I also know when Jesus came along He did not stone the adulterer or give those who followed the law license to do so.

Mojo “And, just because he thought it necessary and good to incarnate himself as a man so that humans could kill him in some sort of "loving" sacrifice, doesn't make the atrocities he committed any less revolting. I'm sorry, but my vitriolic nature really comes out when these things go through my mind... It is revolting that people overlook such, to put it frankly, absolutely ridiculously evil acts, and claim the being responsible to be loving and caring. You haven't done yourself any favors by arguing for his "loving" nature. “

I’m not trying to do myself favors, I’m just sharing what I have experienced to be true. I’m okay with vitriol, I don’t ask you to hide how you feel or change thing s up to not offend me. You won’t offend me. It’s not that Jesus sacrifice “makes up” for God’s pre-Christ actions. It’s just that Jesus sacrifice is an example of the nature of God to love us self-sacrificingly.

Mojo “If your idea of a loving father is one that does whatever he pleases according to time and culture, regardless of what all mankind considers to be evil (genocide, murder, infanticide, pillaging, rape, sexism, slavery, the list goes on and on), then either you're not being intellectually honest with yourself, or you should talk to a psychologist.”

Only if what He pleases is what is good. God has never murdered anyone. Murder is an unjust taking of a life. I’m curious, this list and complaint about God seems to be frequent amongst atheists. . . May I ask if this is something that you felt strongly was the case when you were starting to have doubts about Christianity or if it came later? I promise anything you share with me about your personal journey in life will not become fodder for argumentation. I will respect you and your journey.

Karla said...

Mojo “I don't mean that as an insult. I'm sure you would agree that a person who thinks any of those things is ok, regardless of ideology or circumstance, needs some help.”

I’m not insulted. I’ve heard this a lot before, but it isn’t an accurate list though it isn’t all false, the terms used though are a twisting from the actual actions or in some references have a modern definition that differs from the past – such as slavery. It also is devoid of the stories and context of each of these accusations or complaints against God.


Mojo “Tangible evidence would consist of anything that our senses (i.e., touching, tasting, smelling, seeing, hearing) can perceive, and anything that we can test and accurately predict the results for.”

So how about someone’s arm growing out? Or broken leg mending, or the deaf being able to hear and the blind having sight again simply because someone said be healed in Jesus name? Would that be evidence that can be apprehended by senses?

Mojo “Evidence that might give me pause would be the same kind of evidence God apparently had no problem providing to countless people throughout the Bible - Paul (God appeared and spoke to him numerous times); Moses (spoke face to face with God - Exodus 33:11); etc etc etc. If God had no qualms "proving" himself to those people, “

Agreed. I too am not content with belief in Jesus being some a mental exercise with no substantial tangible reality. I’m not satisfied with “answered” prayers that could have just has easily had a natural cause like the person who prays for a job and puts in an application and gets an interview and then the job. I think we have settled for too little for too long as believers and that is why many have nothing to see when they look at our lives.


Mojo “why is it so very wrong for him to prove himself to us?”

It’s not wrong for Him to show us and make Himself known. We have sold Christ short for too long to say that that can’t happen. He may not show up in bodily form, but He certainly can show up in a way that gives you pause to know that something supernatural is afoot that has thrown out our naturalism.

Mojo “Freewill, yes I know... That concept has been tackled many times and is fallacious.”

True.

Mojo “What evidence are you operating on that allows you to know such things with absolute certainty?”


For many years I only knew God intellectually. I believed in Jesus. I loved Jesus. I served Him. But I did not experience Him. I did not know How to hear Him. I did not see miracles. I did not pray for the sick expecting them to get well. I did not know the feeling of His power or His love. I knew in my mind and in my heart that He loves me, but I could not tell of any tangible experiences. I could tell of answered prayers in the subjective like most Christians can.

But in the last 5 years my world has been rocked. I’ve seen miracles. I’ve prayed for the sick and seen them healed. I’ve seen an arm that was shorter than the other arm due to an old injury grow out before my eyes. I have felt the power of God surging through my body like electricity. I have felt the gentle presence of His spirit communing with mine. I have learned to hear His voice. My world has changed so much so that where I used to think helping people know God was highly a matter of explaining things well by apologetics, I now believe it is far more important for a person to experience God and then help with all the questions. Though sometimes the questions precede the experiencing.

mojo said...

boom: "This is one of the things that's always raised an eyebrow with me, too. And yes, "free will" is the answer you will often times get from apologists. Evidently, "God" appearing to "The Twelve", and to hundreds more, didn't corrupt anyone's "free will". But what's even more interesting, is even if people have undeniable proof that "God" exists - unless I'm missing something - one still retains the complete freedom to accept or reject the policies and character of said "God". On the other hand, the bible says things like, "Every knee will bow!...every tongue will confess!"(paraphrased), which, at face-value, seems to suggest that biblegod will in fact overtake the free will of nonbelievers. This seems to undermine the "free will" apologectic."

Right, it doesn't make sense... much like the majority of this stuff. But, God saw fit to make us, his beloved creation, unable to understand his ways because it pleases him. Yeah, I can't bow my knee fast enough...

mojo said...

Karla: "Those who believe in Jesus will as they mature in Christ live a life that is in keeping with His commandments and His ways because of the relationship with Jesus. Instead of preforming for Jesus, our heart transforms and we live differently, righteously, because He now lives through us, not because follow rules by our own natural efforts or even with supernatural strength. But that our inside changes so much that our outside ways look very different."

Jesus lives through you, Karla?? The creator of the universe is living through you... Think about that statement. I understand the nuances of the ideology, I know he "lives in all who *follow him" (*whatever that means to each individual), and is everywhere and all that. But just think about it... You're saying that you and all the other people who proclaim to be followers of Christ are held up as more special to the creator of the universe than everybody else. How divisive. This planet we live on is so very special in this vast universe, and you and your fellow Christians (of whatever brand you have decided upon) are little specks of shining light that give the creator of the universe pleasure. Are you serious?

Here's a bit of psychology which might (or probably might not) shed light on this... When we are infants, we look at our parents as all-loving, all-knowing, protecting beings. They take care of us because we can't take care of ourselves. When we grow up, our parents cease to be those things for us. So, we then look to the supernatural to take care of us, as that is the normal thing to do according to the societal norms hammered into our minds from birth. Do you see where this is going? "God" fills a psychological gap for us. Those who cast off the psychological needs of childhood are able to grow up and become psychologically self-reliant. Is it any wonder, then, that Christianity teaches the importance of striving to remain "as a little child"?

Karla: "We know Jesus directly by having His Spirit talk to our spirit. We learn to hear Him and to know His ways from Him."

What? "Jesus' spirit"? Is this a fourth member of the trinity? Jesus' spirit talks to your spirit... Are these conversations apparent to you, or do you just hear a voice in your head?

Why is there so much focus on the name "Jesus"? Jesus is God, right? And God is the "one and only true God," right? So why do you focus on all this Jesus talk? That's just the name of the man that God incarnated himself as. God did it all. Or did he? Ah ha, here is where an interesting thought comes to mind. Christianity is polytheism, wrapped in a pretty little monotheistic wrapper. God, the big sky daddy who gets angry with his ignorant and rebellious creation; Jesus, meek and mild, who separated from his sky daddy to come to earth and "pay the cost" for us sinners; and, the Holy Spirit, God's doppelganger. Some pay homage to the dad, some to the son, and some to the dad's partner... all of whom have strong male genes.

Karla: "The Bible tells us of Him, but it’s not all about the Bible. The Bible is a tool to point us to Him, not to take His place. Christianity is not a textual religion where all we have is to follow what Jesus said 2000 years ago. Remember Jesus is alive today and we can know Him today just as much as Paul knew Him 2000 years ago before the Scriptures were written."

Not about the Bible? Where else do you get your information? From your emotions? Why even have the book... Just ask your heart "WWJD", and live peachily. Jesus is alive today? Where? Oh, right... Inside you.

mojo said...

Karla: "Truth has everything to do with it."

I doubt that, unless the truth you refer to is the truth of your feelings.

Karla: "We were never admonished to follow the Bible, but to follow Jesus."

Again, how do you follow Jesus without the Bible? If the Bible didn't exist, we wouldn't know about Jesus. We'd be arguing about Krishna or something...

Karla: "We don’t know Jesus through the Bible, we learn from the Bible through Jesus."

Yes, we do know Jesus through the Bible! Oh, wait, you mean *know* Jesus... So you don't need the Bible to *know* Jesus? Then Jesus is anything your imagination can come up with. Either that, or the creator of the universe has taken a shine to you, because you're special to him.

Karla: "It starts with asking Him into your life, asking Him to forgive you of your sins. Then it is a process of getting to know Him just like when you meet a person and then get to know them more and more as you hang out with them and find out what they are like and hear what’s in their heart about life and all. A relationship with Jesus cannot be vicarious through a pastor, or parent, or friend, or famous Christian teachers, authors, etc. It cannot just be reading the Bible and doing what it says. It is your spirit coming alive with His Spirit and learning to hear His voice and know Him."

Get to know him like a person? There's no way I can argue against that... Go watch Harvey again, or Fight Club (the other reference). You're getting to know a few rogue cells in your brain, not another being. If there is no way for you to prove the reality of a relationship to others, then you should be prepared for others to call you delusional.

mojo said...

Previously me: ”If the relationship exists only in one's mind, then how do we differentiate it from delusion? How can you prove the relationship is real?”
Karla: "It’s not just in one’s mind, but in one’s spirit."

One's spirit cannot be perceived. It is debatable if spirits exist... Current knowledge and evidence points to "No".

Karla: "You have a body, a soul, and a spirit."

I think some of us might have got gypped...

Karla: "A soul is the term for your mind, will, and emotions, the body of course is your physical body, and your spirit is that part of you that connects you with God and the spiritual world."

Again, my connection must be broken. Self-sabotage, right?

Karla: "When you know Jesus, your spirit awakens, what seemed not to be there, awakens and you being to know the Lord through your spirit."

"...what seemed not to be there".... I'd say there's a reason it seems not to be there: It's not! There are, however, some neurons firing in your brain.

Karla: "You also encounter Him physically."

Absolutely false. You encounter him mentally, and I do mean mental-ly.

Karla: "Sometimes with dreams, visions, feeling His power or His love physically, or experiencing a miracle like a physical healing or even an emotional or mental healing."

Dreams, visions, feelings... It's all in your mind.

mojo said...

Karla: "He is good and He is always good."

** Sure, unless you are/were a Babylonian, an Amorite, a Canaanite, a Hitite, a Perizzite, a Hivite, a Jebusite, a Sodomite, a Gomorran, a Jerichoan, an Egyptian, an Amalekite, an Aradite, an Israelite, a Midianite, an Aian, an Anakimian, a Moabite, a Philistine, a Sadducee, an Ammonite, a Gideonite, an Edomite, a Syrian, an Ethiopian, every plant, animal, and human on earth (except Noah, his family, and 2 of every animal in a boat), a homosexual, an adulterer, an idolater, a skeptic, the unborn child of a sinner, a descendent of Adam, or an atheist, to name a few. Otherwise, yes ma'am, he is good.

Karla: "Remember, told of how Jesus did not stone a woman caught in adultery. That the law was for a particular time and Jesus fulfilled the need for the law, therefore it is no longer binding.

Jesus didn't stone the woman. Ok. That's like saying a ("loving") serial killer didn't kill a dog... Not that impressive. See above** Excuses for God are many and earnest, but they all fall quite flat. The estimate of people killed by God in the Bible is in the tens of millions. But, since you appear to be distancing yourself from the Bible, I suppose that fact is irrelevant. BTW, I am not calling the woman Jesus didn't stone "a dog," I am referencing the culture in which the story took place, where women were treated as inferior to men. That sexist, patriarchical mindset is encouraged in the Bible.

Karla: "It’s just that Jesus sacrifice is an example of the nature of God to love us self-sacrificingly."

God... Self-sacrificing? Really? You're going to have a hard time convincing me of that. Jesus (who is God) decided to do what he did. He makes the rules. He isn't a man, he's supposedly the creator of the universe. And you expect me to believe his decision to become a man and commit assisted suicide was a sacrifice? He made it happen, it was his choice to do it, he didn't do anything he didn't want to do... And, by the way, we never asked it of him. His previous laws sucked (Hebrews 8:7), so he decided to become a person and get murdered. La-di-da. Good for him... It makes absolutely no sense to me, and it certainly isn't love.

mojo said...

Karla: "God has never murdered anyone. Murder is an unjust taking of a life."

Was it just for God to kill countless children in the Bible, or unborn babies, or women whose husbands were "sinners", or... or... or... The list goes on and on, but Christians seldom think about such things beyond "well, God has his reasons." Yeah, so did Hitler. Germans hate the man. Food for thought.

Karla: "I’ve heard this a lot before, but it isn’t an accurate list though it isn’t all false, the terms used though are a twisting from the actual actions or in some references have a modern definition that differs from the past – such as slavery. It also is devoid of the stories and context of each of these accusations or complaints against God."

Yes, it is "devoid of the stories"... If you would like, I can spend page after page going over the stories of God killing innocent people and animals. The stories only strengthen the argument that the god of the bible isn't what you say it is.

Karla: "So how about someone’s arm growing out? Or broken leg mending, or the deaf being able to hear and the blind having sight again simply because someone said be healed in Jesus name? Would that be evidence that can be apprehended by senses?"

As far as I know, those things don't happen. If you brought me a person without arms, said "Be healed in Jesus' name," and they sprouted arms... I'd have no choice but to believe. Are you telling me that happens? If so, you're going to need evidence of those things occuring in order to prove it to me. I'm sorry, but your word won't cut it.

Karla: "He may not show up in bodily form, but He certainly can show up in a way that gives you pause to know that something supernatural is afoot that has thrown out our naturalism."

There are a lot of things we don't understand about our universe, our planet, even our own bodies. Since the earliest great thinkers, mankind has attributed that which we do not understand to the supernatural. At the ends of our knowledge come the proclamations of God.

The cycle of day and night was once thought to be an endless struggle between a good god (the sun) and a bad god (the moon), until we figured it out. We used to think the planets and sun all revolved around the Earth, and we attributed their incomprehensible orbital properties to the supernatural, until we figured it out. We used to think the Earth was flat, and attributed its suspension in the "heavens" to the supernatural, until we figured it out.

The point is, our explanations for things change from "it must be the work of god(s)," to "oh, that's gravitational force" or "that's just the hydrologic cycle." When we think "something supernatural is afoot," it's because we don't yet understand it. Wouldn't it be better to strive for a deeper understanding of things, as opposed to saying (like the ancients), "It's the work of god"?

Karla said...

Mojo, Wow, that was rather vitriolic. But, okay. I will attempt some response tomorrow. You seem to have changed tones, from someone asking questions as if you wanted my answers to someone who was getting ready to fire with already made responses.

I will weed through that and look for the questions or comments that take the discussion somewhere and respond. If my response is not of interest please tell me now so I won't waste our time.

mojo said...

Karla, I don't have ready-made responses... I've just thought about this stuff a lot, and had people (including my parents) tell me I'm a fool and I'm going to hell. My vitriol isn't aimed at you as a person, it is a result of an ideology that has caused people I love and countless others to think in ways that are destructive.

We're not wasting our time. I want you to see where I am coming from. But I will cut back on the anger... I recently had a telephone conversation with my mom, and I think that is where some of the anger comes from. I apologize to you if I offended you.

Karla said...

Hi Mojo,

I will respond in depth to specifics tomorrow as I had mentioned, but I didn't want to wait to assure you I'm not offended by you or your anger. I guess I was taken aback because your tone seemed to change, and it is more difficult to have conversation when things get emotional.

I am also sorry for anyone who has called you a fool or been unkind to you. Have a good night and I will try to get more time tomorrow to respond to your last comments.

Karla said...

Mojo “Jesus lives through you, Karla?? The creator of the universe is living through you... “

Yes. He does. He lives in me, and through me as He does with all who have relationship with Him.

Mojo “Think about that statement. I understand the nuances of the ideology, I know he "lives in all who *follow him" (*whatever that means to each individual), and is everywhere and all that. But just think about it... You're saying that you and all the other people who proclaim to be followers of Christ are held up as more special to the creator of the universe than everybody else.”

Remember He died for us all while we were all yet sinners. So there was no special favoritism. What is available to me in Christ is also available to everyone else if they want Him.

Mojo “How divisive. This planet we live on is so very special in this vast universe, and you and your fellow Christians (of whatever brand you have decided upon) are little specks of shining light that give the creator of the universe pleasure. Are you serious? “

You could look at it as how amazing that God wants to live in us and through us. That He wants to draw us near and give us His Life. Eternal Life is not something that means you go to heaven when you die and live forever with Jesus. It means at the very moment you begin a relationship with Jesus and ask Him to be Lord of your life you have Him who is Eternal Life in you giving you eternal life from that moment forward.

Mojo “Do you see where this is going? "God" fills a psychological gap for us. Those who cast off the psychological needs of childhood are able to grow up and become psychologically self-reliant. Is it any wonder, then, that Christianity teaches the importance of striving to remain "as a little child"?”

Or instead parents fill a spiritual gap for us that was only intended to be filled by God. Parents are to be examples of Him in our lives, but they can’t be His replacement. Many parents try to make their religion their child’s religion, but they can’t do that. God doesn’t have grandchildren, He has children. He is our Father directly. Our parents cannot give us their religion or even their relationship with Jesus. That is often why things get so muddled because parents try to do that.


Mojo “What? "Jesus' spirit"? Is this a fourth member of the trinity? Jesus' spirit talks to your spirit... Are these conversations apparent to you, or do you just hear a voice in your head? “

The Holy Spirit is more specifically who I meant. I could generally say God speaks to my spirit. Not really a voice in my head, but a knowing in my spirit. Though sometimes it’s a picture in my mind’s eye or a dream while I am sleeping.

Karla said...

Mojo “Why is there so much focus on the name "Jesus"?”

It’s all about Jesus. Saying “God” can be quite general, but when I say Jesus we know exactly who I speak of.

Mojo “Jesus is God, right?”

Yes.

Mojo “And God is the "one and only true God," right?”

Yes.



Mojo “So why do you focus on all this Jesus talk?”

Because it is He who brings us to the Father. It is His life that was poured out for our lives. Does it bother you that I say Jesus?


Mojo “Not about the Bible?”

The Bible is true and useful and important. But it is not the end all of the Christian faith. It does not have all answers about life and about who God is. It cannot take the place of Jesus. We can become so much about the Bible and not know Jesus at all. Many can wield verses and do great damage and hurt people because the truth is not in them because they do not know Jesus. The only know the letter of the law and that kills.


Mojo “Where else do you get your information? From your emotions?”

I do read the Bible and I do believe it to be true. But it is not my only source of knowing God. I talk to Jesus and He leads me.

Mojo “Why even have the book... Just ask your heart "WWJD", and live peachily. Jesus is alive today? Where? Oh, right... Inside you.”

Sarcasm is not necessary. The Bible gives a history of humanity and our relationship with God down throughout the history of man. It is useful in teaching, and in understanding God, but it was never meant to stand alone as if it were God itself.

Karla said...

Mojo “I doubt that, unless the truth you refer to is the truth of your feelings.”

I don’t determine truth by my emotions.

Mojo “Again, how do you follow Jesus without the Bible? If the Bible didn't exist, we wouldn't know about Jesus. We'd be arguing about Krishna or something... “

Consider Paul and Barnabas they followed Jesus without the Bible. Paul wrote a good deal of the New Testament, but he lived after Jesus had returned to His Father. His relationship with Jesus is just like ours can be today where we know Him relationally and hear from Him.

We would know about Jesus without the Bible. The Bible is helpful to that regard, but there are many stories of people who have never had access to a Bible or to any missionaries – completely isolated communities who have come to know Jesus. One story I remember was of an Eskimo tribe. But presently this is happening in Muslim countries where Muslims are having visions of Jesus coming to them, not as the prophet the Koran speaks of, but as Jesus, the Son of God and they are coming to faith in Jesus without ever being told the Gospel by a missionary or by reading a Bible. I have a friend who has personally interviewed many of these people.


Mojo “Yes, we do know Jesus through the Bible! Oh, wait, you mean *know* Jesus... So you don't need the Bible to *know* Jesus? Then Jesus is anything your imagination can come up with. Either that, or the creator of the universe has taken a shine to you, because you're special to him.

Well, if you are working off the assumption that Jesus is not real or maybe that he was a man who walked the earth at one time and died and that was it and his followers devised the Bible to deceive everyone then I can see how imagination would be the only way to know Jesus without the Bible that tells of Him.

However, I do not speak of “knowing” in the since of knowing about Him. I’m not talking about how I could know all about George Washington by reading his biography or studying the history about him. The knowing I’m talking about would not be possible with regard to Washington because he was only a man who is now dead. I can never have know him relationally. But Jesus I can know. He is real, He is alive. He is not walking the earth as a man, but He is very much alive and I can and do know Him.

Mojo “Get to know him like a person?”

Yes. I’m curious, is this concept new to you? I’m not being sarcastic, I’m asking sincerely. Are you asking me about this from a place of never having heard that Christianity included actually knowing Jesus as a person or as someone who knows that was the claim, but believes that claim to be false or impossible?

Mojo “There's no way I can argue against that...”

Really?

Mojo “Go watch Harvey again, or Fight Club (the other reference). You're getting to know a few rogue cells in your brain, not another being. If there is no way for you to prove the reality of a relationship to others, then you should be prepared for others to call you delusional. “

I don’t think things are only true once you can prove them to another. Granted my beliefs won’t much help another without there being some demonstration of their validity, but something proof does not make something true.

Also, I have no qualms about others calling me delusional. That’s up to them.

Karla said...

Mojo, last thing real quick. In reference to the miracles I mentioned. There has been an increase in these kind of healings happening in America and all over the world. I could refer you to many ministries that are seeing the deaf hear, and the blind see, and the lame walk, and the cancer ridden healed. I have experienced a miraculous healing, and I have seen my mother-in-law's arm grow out an inch and a half before my eyes when my husband told it to grow in Jesus name.

Atheists either tell me that I'm mistaken about these things or that they must have an undiscovered natural cause. The way I see it, I'm either lying about what I experienced, am delusional, or what I saw really happened and it cannot be chocked up to being an undiscovered natural cause. People's arm's don't just grow like that on command. Seriously, we all know this.

boomSLANG said...

"What is inhumane harm? ~ Karla

inhumane: adj 1. not humane; lacking humanity, kindness, compassion, etc.

And by what objective grounds do we classify it as inhumane? ~ Karla

On the grounds that we are human, and thus, we can know first hand, or at the least, we can conceive of, what it means to suffer.

"[God] wants all to come to Him and experience the life He has for each of us, He wants none to perish." ~ Karla

Then for starters, "He" should give everyone the evidence that would convince them that "He" exists. You have gone on record to say that "God" relates to us individually. "God" has given you "evidence" that you cannot deny. That didn't hurt your "free will". So? ...why can't I have the same?

"I’m not sure where you get the idea that he wants people to 'pay for it'." ~ Karla

Simple: Because people *do* pay for it, namely, the occupants of "hell". If "God" doesn't want ANYONE to go to "hell", then "He" could do away with it.

"In fact, He is the one who paid the price so we don’t have to because He does not want us to “pay for it" ~ Karla

And you only underscore my point: If "the price" has been paid(past tense), then why do the occupants of "hell" have to pay it again?

Previously, me: “Again---it's 'hell', Karla. I can't get past it. It's immoral; it's repugnant, and the concept should be denounced.”

You respond..."Again if you are arguing within the context of the story where hell exist then that is the same story where there is a good God[...]

Ridiculous, Karla. You are simply affirming the antecedent. As follows...

1. If P, then Q.
2. P.
3. Therefore, Q

That would be like a Muslim telling me, "Hey, if you are arguing within the context of the story where Allah says 'kill the infidel!', then that is the same story where Allah is a good God!"

"The devil will be once and for all removed from involvement in any and all of creation." ~ Karla

And it follows, that at that point, there will be no more temptation, and thus, it will be impossible to choose "evil". So we're talking automatons.

"Evil will be eliminated, but not simply because God says so, but because it has been properly dealt with[...]" ~ Karla

My point is(and has been), "evil" didn't need to exist in the first place.

boomSLANG said...

Previously, me: “Your argument is not only circular, but it amounts to an appeal to authority.”

You respond: "Yes, the ultimate authority."

Yes, you are seeking to persuade me that your position is right, not by giving evidence, but by appealing to the respect you have for an individual, in this case, the supposed "Creator of the Universe". Again, a fallacious argument.

"And yes it is circular because if true it would have to be. I won’t repeat why again." ~ Karla

You can "repeat why" over and over, Karla. It's still a fallacious argument. Repeating a fallacious argument won't make it not fallacious, and it certainly doesn't make it any more believable. The very thing that is in question is whether your premise is true, or not, and yet, you're merely asserting that it is. Your further insistence that your argument is necessarily circular doesn't correct the fact that you're merely asserting it.

"I am not asking you to squash all your doubts about His character and beliefs about His ways being anything but good. When I say that it does come down to trust, that is not to say that the right thing for you is to ignore all you feel about all this and just believe." ~ Karla

Good. At least what you aren't saying is clear and understood. I'm just not clear on what you are saying. To my understanding, everything you are asserting true is totally dependent on my believing that "Christianity" is true. Once I do that, then it will of the sudden be "true" to me, too. In no other other part of life do we use that sphere of thought to search for "truth".

"Anyone can truly love his family, but what of the person who loves their enemy? What of those who love those who have killed their loved one, or raped their child, or pillaged their village, or was their cruel guard in a concentration camp, or who cannibalized their family. Also, have you ever looked at a stranger and only saw incredible love shining back at you in their eyes? I’ve seen this. I’ve never forgotten those experiences."

The ability to do any or all of those things is, yes, a distinction from loving one's family. However, it is not conclusive evidence that anything "supernatural" is taking place. Anyone can be taught just about anything. That people are taught to love their enemy is just that--- something they were taught. There are times when it is appropriate to KILL our enemy. I hope you won't try to tell me that killing your enemy is an act of "love" towards them.

Previously, me: "The very concept of 'heaven' tells us that 'free will' can presumably exist in the complete absence of 'evil'."

You respond: "Yes it can."

And if so, then "free will" can exist in the absence of evil anywhere. Location is irrelevant.

"Had the wrong path not been chosen they could have lived in the freedom of God without ever actualizing evil."

Right, so no temptation--- ever.

"But in heaven there is no evil[..]"

And thus, no temptation, and thus, the ability or propensity to make a wrong or "evil" choice is absent from the individual. What's left is an automaton that only acts in accordance with it's programmer("God").

"and those who go there have already had the evil in their hearts removed as they have been made righteous by Jesus."

When you say, "had the evil in their hearts removed", do you mean, prior to entering "heaven"? If so, then why do "Christians" still make wrong decisions if the "evil" has presumably "been removed"?

boomSLANG said...

"[...] I don’t know if anyone would have done any differently than Adam and Eve to start with." ~ Karla

Correct, you don't know, and you have once again underscored my point: We all have free will, and that's what allows us to be individuals. The biblical narrative simply(and erroneously) assumes that all of us would've made the same, exact "wrong" choice in the same situation. That is illogical and it spits in the face of "free will". Yet, you keep defending it.

"[...] to have created only those who would NEVER SIN would be to only create those who could never truly love of their own free will. What kind of existence would that be?"[italics and caps added]

What kind of existence would that be, you ask? Simple. It would be the same exact kind of existence it would be in "heaven", since, according to you, the occupants of "heaven" will "never sin".

You can't have it both ways, Karla.

"But in the last 5 years my world has been rocked. I’ve seen miracles. I’ve prayed for the sick and seen them healed. I’ve seen an arm that was shorter than the other arm due to an old injury grow out before my eyes. I have felt the power of God surging through my body like electricity. I have felt the gentle presence of His spirit communing with mine. I have learned to hear His voice. My world has changed so much so that where I used to think helping people know God was highly a matter of explaining things well by apologetics, I now believe it is far more important for a person to experience God and then help with all the questions. Though sometimes the questions precede the experiencing" ~ Karla

Karla, your personal experiences aren't evidence of anything except that people experience things. If I am to accept your personal "experiences", including claims of seeing "miracles", as undeniable "proof" of your beliefs, then I might as well accept what a UFologist, Mormon, Muslim, or Scientolgist tells me, too.

"People's arm's don't just grow like that on command. Seriously, we all know this." ~ Karla

Right. We all know this. So, if people make such claims, we need more than their word.

Karla said...

Boom “inhumane: adj 1. not humane; lacking humanity, kindness, compassion, etc.”

So anything humans say isn’t treating people well.

Boom “On the grounds that we are human, and thus, we can know first hand, or at the least, we can conceive of, what it means to suffer.”

If there is no God then suffering is an amoral part of life. It just is, with no reason for it. Some things hurt, some things don’t, avoid what hurts is all you are left with. But what about when pleasure begins to hurt? Or when pain brings pleasure? Birthing a baby is painful and yet so much pleasure comes as a result.

And if humans are so good at knowing what should not be then why do we hurt people? Why do we do to others what we know hurts?

Boom “Then for starters, "He" should give everyone the evidence that would convince them that "He" exists. You have gone on record to say that "God" relates to usindividually. "God" has given you "evidence" that you cannot deny. That didn't hurt your "free will". So? ...why can't I have the same?”

You can. You can experience Him too. Just because it has not yet occurred, does not mean He won’t give that to you.


Boom “Simple: Because people *do* pay for it, namely, the occupants of "hell". If "God" doesn't want ANYONE to go to "hell", then "He" could do away with it.”

Some believe Hell is not eternal. I’ve not seen Scriptural support for that, but it is not out of the question. Regardless it is not something God choses for people, it is the continuation of the path people are on when they live without God. God does not bestow eternal life to some and withhold it from others, God, namely Jesus is eternal life so there is no way but life with Him that provides that eternal life, it isn’t a gift He gives, it is a gift He is. The hereafter without Jesus is nothing but perishing because there is no Life in that void.

Boom “And you only underscore my point: If "the price" has been paid(past tense), then why do the occupants of "hell" have to pay it again? “

Because they have not stepped into what is available to them. Again only Jesus is the Life so if they continue to live separate from Him they do not benefit from His sacrifice because He is the Resurrection Life, it doesn’t come apart from Him.


Boom “That would be like a Muslim telling me, "Hey, if you are arguing within the context of the story where Allah says 'kill the infidel!', then that is the same story where Allah is a good God!"
I see what you are saying, but I if we are going to talk about hell it is on the table in the context of the whole story in which it is found. The world where man is culpable for his state before God. And the world where Jesus paid the debt so that people could repent and receive Him and be brought up into life with God, because God first came down to man.

Boom “And it follows, that at that point, there will be no more temptation, and thus, it will be impossible to choose "evil". So we're talking automatons.”

We will have already chosen righteousness, the freedom will no longer be a matter of being free from evil for evil will have been dealt with, but being free to be who we are without any harmful impediment.


Boom “My point is(and has been), "evil" didn't need to exist in the first place.”

There is a difference between there being no choice in the beginning and a choice having been made and lived out in the end.

Doubting Thomas said...

"But in the last 5 years my world has been rocked. I’ve seen miracles. I’ve prayed for the sick and seen them healed. I’ve seen an arm that was shorter than the other arm due to an old injury grow out before my eyes. I have felt the power of God surging through my body like electricity. I have felt the gentle presence of His spirit communing with mine. I have learned to hear His voice. My world has changed so much so that where I used to think helping people know God was highly a matter of explaining things well by apologetics, I now believe it is far more important for a person to experience God and then help with all the questions. Though sometimes the questions precede the experiencing" ~ Karla


Would you please make a video recording of one of these miraculous healings and publish it on YouTube?

Karla said...

Boom “Yes, you are seeking to persuade me that your position is right, not by giving evidence, but by appealing to the respect you have for an individual, in this case, the supposed "Creator of the Universe". Again, a fallacious argument.”

Not exactly. I’m not saying believe me because God says so. I’m saying because God is our creator and He is the one that made us, He is the one who will know what is best for us. Logically it would not follow that God would or could create beings better at determining what is true and right than our Creator.


Boom “Good. At least what you aren't saying is clear and understood. I'm just not clear on what you are saying. To my understanding, everything you are asserting true is totally dependent on my believing that "Christianity" is true. Once I do that, then it will of the sudden be "true" to me, too. In no other other part of life do we use that sphere of thought to search for "truth".”

I’ll try again. Even for the believer, we can never know all things God knows so eventually things come down to trusting. So there can be a logical apprehension that God is good, and yet that knowledge will never be such that one does not need to simply trust that it is so. Like a child trusting the parent when the reasons of the parent who knows more about life does not compute to the child. We are not simply natural beings and so there is the unseen that we will always be connected to whether we believe it or not and that world we cannot see with our natural eyes, we must see with our spirit.

Have you seen the movie Legend of the Guardians?


Boom “The ability to do any or all of those things is, yes, a distinction from loving one's family. However, it is not conclusive evidence that anything "supernatural" is taking place. Anyone can be taught just about anything. “

No it’s not conclusive.

Boom “That people are taught to love their enemy is just that--- something they were taught. There are times when it is appropriate to KILL our enemy. I hope you won't try to tell me that killing your enemy is an act of "love" towards them.”

There is one thing when someone is doing what they have been taught, and quite another when one truly loves despite what they have been taught.

Boom “And if so, then "free will" can exist in the absence of evil anywhere. Location is irrelevant.”

Well eventually earth will be like heaven so the location is not what is important.

Boom “And thus, no temptation, and thus, the ability or propensity to make a wrong or "evil" choice is absent from the individual. What's left is an automaton that only acts in accordance with it's programmer("God").”

No, the choice already happened and has been made, that is different than there never being a choice.


Boom “When you say, "had the evil in their hearts removed", do you mean, prior to entering "heaven"? If so, then why do "Christians" still make wrong decisions if the "evil" has presumably "been removed"?”

On earth we still wrestle with our physical bodies and our fallen nature. Becoming mature in Christ is a process of overcoming this struggle. When all is said and done that struggle will have come to fruition and we will be overcomers of that and no longer live in that struggle. So in the present people do still act as they shouldn’t even though they know Jesus, but as they grow in the Lord those things should become less and less. And it is possible for someone who has known Jesus for 1 year to have greater maturity than one who has known him 50 years.

Karla said...

Boom, I am not going to get to all of your comments today. I will attempt more again soon.

Thomas,

Are you saying next time something like that happens get it on video?

Doubting Thomas said...

"Thomas,

Are you saying next time something like that happens get it on video?"

Yes. I am requesting that you provide us video evidence of a miraculous healing event. Since you have seen miracles over the past 5 years, I would like to see video footage of one of them. Perhaps you can have someone film your prayer meetings etc. until a miracle occurs. Imagine the powerful testimony you could have if you provide modern day video evidence of a miracle. I will be excited to view it!

boomSLANG said...

“inhumane: adj 1. not humane; lacking humanity, kindness, compassion, etc.”

You conclude: "So anything humans say isn’t treating people well."

How on earth did you come up with that, from the provided definition?

Previously, me: "On the grounds that we are human, and thus, we can know first hand, or at the least, we can conceive of, what it means to suffer."

"If there is no God then suffering is an amoral part of life."

If there IS a "God", suffering is evidently a part of life, too. That there is allegedly no suffering in some "afterlife" is immaterial.

"It just is, with no reason for it. Some things hurt, some things don’t, avoid what hurts is all you are left with."

Yes, avoid what hurts, Karla. Like that is an unreasonable concept, or something.

"Birthing a baby is painful and yet so much pleasure comes as a result."

Giving birth would fall under necessary pain(if one opts for no pain medication). I'm talking about doing our best to avoid unnecessary pain/suffering.

"And if humans are so good at knowing what should not be then why do we hurt people? Why do we do to others what we know hurts?"

You don't listen. You've asked this same question many times before. We sometimes hurt others because we are imperfect by nature. Some people are actually mentally ill, for instance, psychopaths. These people are amoral.

Previously, me: " 'God' has given you 'evidence' that you cannot deny. That didn't hurt your 'free will'. So? ...why can't I have the same?"

You respond: "You can. You can experience Him too. Just because it has not yet occurred, does not mean He won’t give that to you."

Oh, really? So, "God" is observing our conversations and he is just waiting for the right time to give me the evidence that will convince me, is he? I don't buy it.

Previously, me: "Simple: Because people *do* pay for it, namely, the occupants of 'hell'. If 'God' doesn't want ANYONE to go to 'hell', then 'He' could do away with it."

You respond: "Some believe Hell is not eternal [...]"

So what? What does that have to do with paying the price again - whether, finite, or indefinitely - for something that has, according to you, already been payed for??? Have our "sins" already been paid for, or not?

boomSLANG said...

"Regardless it is not something God choses for people, it is the continuation of the path people are on when they live without God."

I'm sorry, Karla, but that apologetic is totally unconvincing. If, as you insist, "God" doesn't want people to continue on this supposed "path"; if "God" doesn't want people to "live without God", then "God" has the choice to, a) stop stonewalling and give everyone the individualized evidence that would convince them, and b) eliminate "hell", since everyone's "sins" have already been paid for.

Previously, me: "And you only underscore my point: If 'the price' has been paid(past tense), then why do the occupants of 'hell' have to pay it again?"

You respond: "Because they have not stepped into what is available to them."

You mean, "step into" something that they are unable to believe is actually true, all because "God" is waiting for the right time. Can you seriously not see the illogic of what you are proposing?

"Again only Jesus is th[EDIT]"

Again, what "Jesus" is or isn't is immaterial to the unconvinced.

"He is the Resurrection Life, it doesn’t come apart from Him."

Fallacy of bare assertion.

Previously, me: "That would be like a Muslim telling me, 'Hey, if you are arguing within the context of the story where Allah says 'kill the infidel!', then that is the same story where Allah is a good God!"

"I see what you are saying[...]"

No, you evidently don't see what I'm saying, because if you did, you wouldn't have continued with this....

"[...]but I if we are going to talk about hell it is on the table in the context of the whole story in which it is found."

And again, so whAT? A concept can still be wrong or immoral in the context of where it is found, Karla. You are more or less implying that because "hell" is found in a document that supports "hell", then one cannot challenge it.

Previously, me: "And it follows, that at that point, there will be no more temptation, and thus, it will be impossible to choose 'evil'. So we're talking automatons."

You respond: "the freedom will no longer be a matter of being free from evil for evil will have been dealt with, but being free to be who we are without any harmful impediment."

You've made a distinction without a darn bit of difference..i.e.."without sin" vs "without any harmful impediment". No difference.

Pick any location you want, Karla. If there is no temptation to make a wrong choice(or "evil" choice), then free will has been compromised.

My argument(again), is this: If it's perfectly okay to exist in location "A" without "evil", or in your own words, with "sin removed", then it is perfectly okay to exist in location "B" with the same.

boomSLANG said...

Previously, me: "Yes, you are seeking to persuade me that your position is right, not by giving evidence, but by appealing to the respect you have for an individual, in this case, the supposed 'Creator of the Universe'. Again, a fallacious argument."

You respond: "Not exactly. I’m not saying believe me because God says so."

But you're suggesting that I should believe "God is good" because God says so. After all, that's all you've got.

"I’m saying because God is our creator and He is the one that made us, He is the one who will know what is best for us."

i.e..appeal to authority(fallacious argument)

"Logically it would not follow that God would or could create beings better at determining what is true and right than our Creator."

Logically it would not follow that if this supposed "Creator" gave us the ability to use logic and reason, that it wouldn't want us to use those things. When I use logic and reason, "God", as Christians and their bibles explain "God", does. not. make. sense. If "God" doesn't have to make sense to me, I may as well believe in all sorts of things that don't make sense..i.e.gremlins, Quetzacoatl, the boogieman, and on and on.

"We are not simply natural beings and so there is the unseen that we will always be connected to whether we believe it or not and that world we cannot see with our natural eyes, we must see with our spirit."

Unproven; fallacy of bare assertion.

Consistently and perpetually, your answers are limited to one of two things: 1) demonstrably false apologetics, or 2) fallacious arguments---bare assertion and circular arguments, to name a few.

How will we make progress like this? "God" can't even be a help, because for some mysterious reason, he's waiting on the "right time". Can you seriously not see outside of your Christian bubble for a few seconds to see how/why this isn't convincing?

"Have you seen the movie Legend of the Guardians?"

No. Why?

"There is one thing when someone is doing what they have been taught, and quite another when one truly loves despite what they have been taught."

Okay, fine. Assuming that you are someone who "truly loves" your "enemy" despite what you've been taught, are you saying that if you were forced to kill a man who threatened your entire family, that this would be an act of "love" toward the one you killed?

boomSLANG said...

Previously, me: "And if so, then 'free will' can exist in the absence of evil anywhere. Location is irrelevant."

You respond: "Well eventually earth will be like heaven so the location is not what is important."

Right, so, a) since location is irrelevant(as you concede), and b) since "sin" has already "been dealt with(as you concede), then biblegod could just eliminate "evil" from the face of the earth right now. No excuses necessary.

"And thus, no temptation, and thus, the ability or propensity to make a wrong or 'evil' choice is absent from the individual. What's left is an automaton that only acts in accordance with it's programmer('God')."

You respond: No[...]"

Yes.

"the choice already happened and has been made, that is different than there never being a choice."

Irrelevant. If "temptation is removed", then "free will" has been compromised. The end. It doesn't matter when or where it's removed. You can't have it both ways(albeit, this doesn't ever stop you from trying).

"On earth"[EDIT]

You said location doesn't matter.

"[...]we still wrestle with our physical bodies and our fallen nature."

"Sin" has either been entirely "removed", or it hasn't. If it has, then there's nothing to "wrestle with". "Location" of a supposed sin-less "spirit" shouldn't matter.

"Becoming mature in Christ[...]"

What does that even mean?

"When all is said and done that struggle will have come to fruition and we will be overcomers of that and no longer live in that struggle."

So, I guess your answer to my question is no, "Christians" don't have "the evil in their hearts removed" prior to entering "heaven", but after.

So, the occupants of "heaven" evidently have "the evil in their hearts removed" upon entering heaven, at which point they become automatons.

boomSLANG said...

"Boom, I am not going to get to all of your comments today. I will attempt more again soon."

No problem. We're about at that stalemate point on this thread, anyway.

Mike Jonas said...

From what I can see, boomSLANG is clearly winning this argument.

boomSLANG said...

@ Mike(aka "Doubting Thomas"?),

While it's refreshing to see someone actually "getting" the arguments I lay out(as opposed to not getting them, and/or, disagreeing with them, and/or, bagging endlessly on my delivery), I don't think there can be a "winner"/"looser", here---at least in any objective sense. To a person with a religious conviction, they will always be the "winner". And for the record, my Atheism is not a conviction. I spent 2/3rds of my life believing that Christianity was true and that I had a relationship with "Jesus".

IOW, I changed my mind once, and I'll do it again. The only difference is, now, I won't accept "Christianity" - or any other sphere of thought, for that matter - on "faith" and/or flimsy evidence, as I admittedly once did.

Mike Jonas said...

----------------
I don't think there can be a "winner"/"loser", here---at least in any objective sense
----------------

I have the right to decide for myself which side (i.e. you or Karla) I believe is delivering the more cogent arguments on this specific thread and therefore, in my opinion, is the "winner" of this debate? I stated my opinion as my opinion, and I am entitled to respectfully write what's on my mind on this blogspot. Thank you.

boomSLANG said...

"I have the right to decide for myself which side (i.e. you or Karla) I believe is delivering the more cogent arguments on this specific thread and therefore, in my opinion, is the "winner" of this debate?"

Yes, you most certainly have that right.

"I stated my opinion as my opinion, and I am entitled to respectfully write what's on my mind on this blogspot. Thank you."

Yes, agreed. I'm merely saying that the "winner" of a debate doesn't necessarily make him or her "right", in any objective sense. 'Sorry I wasn't clearer on that.

Mike Jonas said...

--------
I'm merely saying that the "winner" of a debate doesn't necessarily make him or her "right"
--------

Thank you for sharing that.

As I said before, I believe boomSLANG is winning this particular debate. I find boomSLANG's arguments to be more cogent to the extent that I am more persuaded by boomSLANG's arguments than Karla's arguments, and I now am reasonably convinced that boomSLANG's points here are correct.

Karla said...

Boom "Yes, agreed. I'm merely saying that the "winner" of a debate doesn't necessarily make him or her "right", in any objective sense. 'Sorry I wasn't clearer on that."

We agree on that. "Winner" could mean one is better at argument than the other. Or it could mean their argument is better than the other. Or it could mean it their argument is better because it is right.

I am more interested in what is true and right than winning anything. I'd rather lose and argument and gain truth than win and argument forsaking it.

Karla said...

Mike Jonas,

Welcome to my blog. Thank you for your comments and please feel free to join the conversation or to watch from afar.

Karla said...

Thomas,

Thank you for the comment about creating a video. We do not film our meetings though many churches and ministries do and their are many such video's on-line. Check out Todd White or God Squad. I have written on my blog about the miracles I've witnessed, but I have no video for them.

Karla said...

Thomas,

Thank you for the comment about creating a video. We do not film our meetings though many churches and ministries do and their are many such video's on-line. Check out Todd White or God Squad. I have written on my blog about the miracles I've witnessed, but I have no video for them.

Karla said...

Boom "IOW, I changed my mind once, and I'll do it again. The only difference is, now, I won't accept "Christianity" - or any other sphere of thought, for that matter - on "faith" and/or flimsy evidence, as I admittedly once did."

And that's one reason I really like atheists. I like that you want the real deal and won't settle for religion without any demonstration of it's validity. That you want more than what it has offered you in the past in order to invest your life in that direction again. That is something I value about atheists.

Karla said...

Boom “Right, so, a) since location is irrelevant(as you concede), and b) since "sin" has already "been dealt with(as you concede), then biblegod could just eliminate "evil" from the face of the earth right now. No excuses necessary.”

That would not bode well for many. His mercy is demonstrated in His patience. Humans have dominion over the earth, we have responsibility for what goes on here and Christians have a responsibility to help bring restoration to creation. This is not something God is doing without us, but with us and through us.

Boom “Irrelevant. If "temptation is removed", then "free will" has been compromised. The end. It doesn't matter when or where it's removed. You can't have it both ways(albeit, this doesn't ever stop you from trying).”

It is different. I've explained how. I don't know how to explain it any differently.

Boom “"Sin" has either been entirely "removed", or it hasn't. If it has, then there's nothing to "wrestle with". "Location" of a supposed sin-less "spirit" shouldn't matter.”

Location doesn't matter because we can learn to live from the environment of heaven now while we live on the earth. But we are all in different maturity levels of learning how to do that. There will be a day where we all get to that maturity, but now it is not that way.


Boom “What does that even mean?”

Just as a child gains maturity as they grow up naturally, so do we gain spiritual maturity as we grow in the ways of God.


Boom “So, I guess your answer to my question is no, "Christians" don't have "the evil in their hearts removed" prior to entering "heaven", but after.”

I think it possible to achieve that before dying and going to heaven because I believe it is possible to live tapped into heaven now. I know saying that can add confusion to this conversation, but I have to be honest even if it does confuse the issue.


Boom ”So, the occupants of "heaven" evidently have "the evil in their hearts removed" upon entering heaven, at which point they become automatons.”

No one ever becomes automatons with the Lord. The greatest freedom comes from being properly related to God and therefore being who we were designed to be. The greatest restriction and bondage comes from being separated from God and that is the reality to which we become pawns rather than Kings and Queens.

Karla said...

Boom “I'm sorry, Karla, but that apologetic is totally unconvincing. If, as you insist, "God" doesn't want people to continue on this supposed "path"; if "God" doesn't want people to "live without God", then "God" has the choice to, a) stop stonewalling and give everyone the individualized evidence that would convince them, and b) eliminate "hell", since everyone's "sins" have already been paid for.”

Do you think it possible for God to give someone or everyone evidence and people still be set in their ways and refuse to accept His existence even with the evidence before them? Haven't you encountered people who would argue until they are blue in the face that something was one way even when all the evidence pointed to the other direction to the point where everyone else was flabbergasted with them and this person was very wrong? If we can do this so easily over trivial things, don't you suppose sometimes we could do this with God? Jesus said that someone could come up from the dead and tell their friends that it's all true and still some people would not believe them.

And in saying that, I could be the deceived one or it could be you. However, I am not saying this because I think you would react to God giving you evidence that way – I don't know if you have or if you would, but I do know one's who would or have.

Boom “You mean, "step into" something that they are unable to believe is actually true, all because "God" is waiting for the right time. Can you seriously not see the illogic of what you are proposing?”

See previous comment.


Boom “And again, so whAT? A concept can still be wrong or immoral in the context of where it is found, Karla. You are more or less implying that because "hell" is found in a document that supports "hell", then one cannot challenge it.”

Yes, it could be. You can challenge it, but if God does not exist or is not good, our “hell” discussion would be a moot point. So it would seem more pertinent to discuss the former first before moving on the the “hell” discussion. If we never get to the first two being real than the other is thrown out the window with them.

Boom “My argument(again), is this: If it's perfectly okay to exist in location "A" without "evil", or in your own words, with "sin removed", then it is perfectly okay to exist in location "B" with the same.”

And it would have been okay in the Garden, in the beginning, but it came into being when Adam and Eve did indeed sin and that changed everything and that condition had to be reckoned with properly and once it has been properly dealt with then a new environment can be established for it happened and was fixed which is different than never having happened.

Karla said...

Boom “But you're suggesting that I should believe "God is good" because God says so. After all, that's all you've got.”

Appealing to authority was only one of my arguments. The Creator would rightly have say about the reality of His creation, just like an author has the right to write the characters and parameters of his story as he does or an artist to paint his creation as he does. The Creator of us would be the one to know what is best for us.



Boom “Logically it would not follow that if this supposed "Creator" gave us the ability to use logic and reason, that it wouldn't want us to use those things. When I use logic and reason, "God", as Christians and their bibles explain "God", does. not. make. sense. If "God" doesn't have to make sense to me, I may as well believe in all sorts of things that don't make sense..i.e.gremlins, Quetzacoatl, the boogieman, and on and on.”

Honestly God's ways are not the natural ways we come up with with our common sense.



Boom “How will we make progress like this? "God" can't even be a help, because for some mysterious reason, he's waiting on the "right time". Can you seriously not see outside of your Christian bubble for a few seconds to see how/why this isn't convincing?”

I do try to see beyond my world to hear how you hear me. I aim to do that a great deal and I appreciate your time in helping me with that.

"Have you seen the movie Legend of the Guardians?"

No. Why?

I was going to use an illustration from it, I think, but I'm not sure now which it was.



Boom “Okay, fine. Assuming that you are someone who "truly loves" your "enemy" despite what you've been taught, are you saying that if you were forced to kill a man who threatened your entire family, that this would be an act of "love" toward the one you killed?'

For me, I don't think it would be. I know what I feel when I think someone is going to harm someone I care about and it isn't love. I wish I were more like Jesus in that.

Karla said...

Boom “But you're suggesting that I should believe "God is good" because God says so. After all, that's all you've got.”

Appealing to authority was only one of my arguments. The Creator would rightly have say about the reality of His creation, just like an author has the right to write the characters and parameters of his story as he does or an artist to paint his creation as he does. The Creator of us would be the one to know what is best for us.



Boom “Logically it would not follow that if this supposed "Creator" gave us the ability to use logic and reason, that it wouldn't want us to use those things. When I use logic and reason, "God", as Christians and their bibles explain "God", does. not. make. sense. If "God" doesn't have to make sense to me, I may as well believe in all sorts of things that don't make sense..i.e.gremlins, Quetzacoatl, the boogieman, and on and on.”

Honestly God's ways are not the natural ways we come up with with our common sense.



Boom “How will we make progress like this? "God" can't even be a help, because for some mysterious reason, he's waiting on the "right time". Can you seriously not see outside of your Christian bubble for a few seconds to see how/why this isn't convincing?”

I do try to see beyond my world to hear how you hear me. I aim to do that a great deal and I appreciate your time in helping me with that.

"Have you seen the movie Legend of the Guardians?"

No. Why?

I was going to use an illustration from it, I think, but I'm not sure now which it was.



Boom “Okay, fine. Assuming that you are someone who "truly loves" your "enemy" despite what you've been taught, are you saying that if you were forced to kill a man who threatened your entire family, that this would be an act of "love" toward the one you killed?'

For me, I don't think it would be. I know what I feel when I think someone is going to harm someone I care about and it isn't love. I wish I were more like Jesus in that.

boomSLANG said...

"'Winner' could mean one is better at argument than the other. Or it could mean their argument is better than the other. Or it could mean it their argument is better because it is right." ~ Karla

Right, which is why it is up the audience to decide which person's arguments stand up to logic and reason; which ones make the most sense. After all, if a proposition or hypothesis doesn't first have to make sense for us to believe it, then good grief, we could find ourselves believing a literal infinite list of propositions, to include, but not limited to, Toothfairies, Santa, Osiris, Poseidon, Thetans, magical golden tablets, unicorns, UFOs, lucky rabbit's feet, gremlins, and on and on.

"I am more interested in what is true and right than winning anything." ~ Karla

I disagree. I think you are more interested in preserving your religious convictions than what is actually true and right.

"I'd rather lose and argument and gain truth than win and argument forsaking it." ~ Karla

Really? How about lose an argument and gain the truth you were wrong? If you've convinced me of anything at all, it's that this scenario doesn't interest you much at all.

Mike Jonas said...

I have taken some time and read through other articles by Karla on this site. I have read through many of the ensuing comments on each of the articles that I viewed. I believe Karla is a Christian apologist who is not really open to the possibility that her beliefs may be wrong. Confirmation bias seems prominent throughout this forum. If the intent of the forum is for Karla to share her faith, it follows that confirmation bias would be evident here.

I am curious what Karla's background is and what sort of Christian church she belongs to.

Karla said...

Mike are you asking me about my background and church? I'd be glad to share if you are asking me.

Boom,

Many times in my life I have learned from losing arguments. And I am honestly sincere when I say truth is more important to me than being on the winning side of an argument.

boomSLANG said...

"And I am honestly sincere when I say truth is more important to me than being on the winning side of an argument." ~ Karla

I can appreciate that. On the other hand, you have gone on record to say that you cannot be mistaken(wrong) about your worldview. So, if that's correct - that is, that you've already found and know "truth" - then it would follow that you must believe that you are already on "the winning side of the argument". After all, you wouldn't expect anyone to believe that "truth" could be upheld by a bunch of losing arguments, would you? My goodness, I hope not.

Mike Jonas said...

"Mike are you asking me about my background and church? I'd be glad to share if you are asking me."

Yes. I am curious what sort of Christian church you attend and what sort of background you have re. studying Theology.

Thanks in advance.

Karla said...

Mike,

My church history is southern baptist charismatic. As you may know, Southern Baptist aren't typically charismatic, but the two primary churches of my childhood into early adulthood were.

My theological education though comes mainly from reading. I read constantly and I read from a large variety of authors. While in college I began to read a lot of apologetics, but these days I read more supernatural/spiritual themed books and watch and listen to lots of messages from a great number of ministries as well as attending lots of conferences.

Currently I am a part of the church my husband pastors. It is not denominational. It is affiliated with MorningStar Ministries. www.remnantva.org

There is a large apologetics influence in my writing, but not solely. I once was of the persuasion that apologetics would be instrumental in helping people come to know Jesus. I was mistaken. I came to know Jesus in a new way, a way I had not known Him before that changed my world. This is one of the reasons I say that I'm after truth more than being right because I met Truth like I hadn't before and I realized that while helping to answer questions about what I believe may be helpful to some degree it could never take the place of experiencing Jesus. I didn't realize I could experience Him the way I have in the last few years and I'm still marveling at all that is now different.

I still enjoy intellectual discourse and make myself available to have these conversations, but I do so with the understanding that what people really need is to encounter Him for real and not just information about Him. Most of you I would imagine have been given more info than you wanted before you left church and you left because it was endless info and never substance-- never anything you could really hold on to.

Karla said...

Boom "I can appreciate that. On the other hand, you have gone on record to say that you cannot be mistaken(wrong) about your worldview."

I've said I know that I've met Jesus and that that's for real. There are many things I could be wrong/mistaken about and some of which I am sure I am wrong. But this I do know that Jesus I know and that He loves me and that He loves you. On this I can bet everything on.

Boom "So, if that's correct - that is, that you've already found and know "truth" - then it would follow that you must believe that you are already on "the winning side of the argument"."

I have found Jesus. But as for all my thoughts on Him and how the world works many of them probably fall short of what things actually are. Certainly I'm not a genius nor an expert. I do write very firmly about whatever I am saying, but I do also think very deeply about everything you are saying. I think at times we both respond to what we think the other is saying rather than what we are actually saying. And I do want very much to narrow that margin and really hear you.

Boom "After all, you wouldn't expect anyone to believe that "truth" could be upheld by a bunch of losing arguments, would you?"

I think truth can often be demonstrated better by someone who cannot deliver any arguments than from someone who can argue very well. Often times we miss truth because we make it more about establishing a concrete system of reasoning. There is a place for the mind to understand things, but sometimes the heart first apprehends a reality and the mind needs to make room for things which will always have mystery rather than concrete answers.

Of many of the things we talk about my answers are always only partial because much of the discussion is not answered by intellect, but recognizing truth by our spirit. This is not a contradictory but a complimentary thing.

If every iota of life could have a satisfactory explanation it would be a world without wonder and an end to exploration and mystery.

My answers or any other person's could never be 100% satisfactory, there will always be a margin of the unknown left unanswered and unexplained.

Mike Jonas said...

Karla,

Thank you for your response. You do seem to be sincere in your faith.

You mention that you attended Southern Baptist churches, and now you are part of a non-denominational church. It sounds like your parents influenced your early church membership and your husband influenced your current church membership.

I am curious about your thoughts on some of the deep divisions within the Christian faith. In particular, the Roman Catholic Church claims about 1.1 Billion members worldwide. Their leader, Pope Benedict XVI, has declared that no Protestant church is a true church. That means he doesn't recognize any of the churches you have attended as being true Christian churches.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19692094/ns/world_news-europe/t/pope-other-denominations-not-true-churches/

These are bold claims. I am curious re. your thoughts about this. How do you suppose the leader of 1.1 Billion Christians made this conclusion? Was he misguided? How could the leader of the largest Christian church on Earth have such deeply different Theological views from your own.

boomSLANG said...

"I've said I know that I've met Jesus and that that's for real." ~ Karla

And you also said that you cannot be mistaken about your worldview being true, absolutely. I can dig back through the comments and find it if you'd like.

"There are many things I could be wrong/mistaken about and some of which I am sure I am wrong." ~ Karla

But you're not "wrong/mistaken" about Christianity being true. So, when you say that there are "many things" you could be "wrong/mistaken" about, I see this as equivocation. It's an attempt to not come across as infallibly certain as you actually are.

"But this I do know that Jesus I know and that He loves me and that He loves you." ~ Karla

No, Karla, you don't "know" it; you believe that you know it. Time and time again you've been challenged - and not just by me, but by Cyber' and Monolith Mike, too - to prove that you "know" what you dogmatically claim to know. You've not even scratched the surface in doing this. You offer bare assertion fallacies, circular arguments, and personal anecdotes.

"I have found Jesus." ~ Karla

And according to a previously analogy, you claim that you are as sure of this "Jesus" character's existence as you are of your own husband's existence. The difference is, you can prove one exists, but not the other.

"I think at times we both respond to what we think the other is saying rather than what we are actually saying. And I do want very much to narrow that margin and really hear you." ~ Karla

I quote your words, verbatim, and respond to them. If you say, "believers have the sin from their heart removed", and I say to myself, "Okay, well Karla has now said believers have had the sin from hearts removed", how have I not heard what you've said? You simply won't admit that your arguments don't stack up, so you fall back on this whole "we're not hearing each other" bit. I hear you fine. Your apologetics simply don't stack up.

"I think truth can often be demonstrated better by someone who cannot deliver any arguments than from someone who can argue very well" ~ Karla

Really? How? Do you mean, if I saw someone from your ministry lengthen someone's arm a couple of inches? I hope you don't think I'm that gullible. Tell me when your ministry can re-grow a completely severed limb or heal an entire children's hospital.

"Often times we miss truth because we make it more about establishing a concrete system of reasoning." ~ Karla

The bible, both by the face-value language therein, and by how you explain it, is demonstrably contradictory. By human standards, said book is despicably immoral. By now, I know your response/position on this: "God" sets the standard/is the standard and humans have no grounds to complain about "God" or how they're treated by "God".[paraphrased].

You (should) know my response to that:

You are simply appealing to authority and saying that you "trust" that "God is good" because "God says so". "God" could ask you to feel "blessed" about dashing children's heads against rocks, and you would. No one is misunderstanding anything. This is the logical conclusion of your beliefs, explained by you.

"My answers or any other person's could never be 100% satisfactory, there will always be a margin of the unknown left unanswered and unexplained." ~ Karla

And yet one more fallacious argument: False dichotomy. If an apologist's answers don't stack up, it couldn't be that they're simply wrong, so it gets chalked up to being part of the great "mystery".

boomSLANG said...

Previously, me: "Right, so, a) since location is irrelevant(as you concede), and b) since 'sin' has already 'been dealt with'(as you concede), then biblegod could just eliminate "evil" from the face of the earth right now. No excuses necessary."

You respond: "That would not bode well for many."

Well, it wouldn't bode well for believers, because, after all, if it weren't for "evil", "God" wouldn't be necessary. The irony. It stings.

"His mercy is demonstrated in His patience."

So, you are indirectly saying that "God" actually has "patience" and "mercy" for "evil". You keep making excuses for why "God" cannot eliminate "evil" on earth, while at the same time, you insist that "God" completely removes "sin" from believer's "hearts" here on earth. At face value, this is contradictory. You clearly want it both ways.

"Humans have dominion over the earth, we have responsibility for what goes on here and Christians have a responsibility to help bring restoration to creation."

*Irrelevant, unconvincing apologetic. "God" either removes "sin" from believer's hearts here on earth, or he doesn't. Prior to now, you went with the former. Are you now changing your position?

"This is not something God is doing without us, but with us and through us."

See here*, above.

Previously, me: "If 'temptation is removed', then 'free will' has been compromised."

You respond: "It is different. I've explained how."

You attempted to explain how, yes. But you haven't put it in terms that actually make sense.

"I don't know how to explain it any differently."

Fair enough. But how about just accepting that you might not have a good, reasonable answer? If "God" can and does remove "sin" from believer's hearts(as you asserted previously); if "the devil" will once and for all be removed from all of creation(as you asserted previously); if "evil has been properly dealt with"(your words), then why wait? All bases are covered. There is not one good reason why "evil" needs to exist here on earth. Not one. You can't use the "free will" argument anymore, because, according to you, removing all temptation doesn't harm anyone's "free will".

"Location doesn't matter because we can learn to live from the environment of heaven now while we live on the earth. But we are all in different maturity levels of learning how to do that. There will be a day where we all get to that maturity, but now it is not that way."

Do you see what you did? You started with, "Location doesn't matter..", and ended with, "but now it is not that way"----"now", meaning here and now, as in, this location(earth).

And when you equivocate, saying, "There will be a day", do you by chance mean upon entering "heaven"??? If so, then what happens to the Christian who doesn't reach this supposed "maturity" level before he or she dies? Is he or she tossed in "hell"? Or does "God" subvert their free will and impart the proper maturity level for them? Other? I'm just trying to make sense of all of this.

boomSLANG said...

"[...]I believe it is possible to live tapped into heaven now. I know saying that can add confusion to this conversation, but I have to be honest even if it does confuse the issue." ~ Karla

I'm hearing---"I have to equivocate, boom', because the only other option is to admit I'm wrong".

You now say some believers can live "tapped into heaven". Okay, so, have those who live "tapped into heaven" had "the sin in their heart removed"(your words), or not? Yes, or no?

"No one ever becomes automatons with the Lord."

You'll need to do better than just assert things, Karla.

If "the Lord" removes, a) all temptation, and b) the "sin" from believer's hearts, then logic says that the individual's free will has been indirectly compromised. Plain and simple. The "good"/"evil" dichotomy no longer exists, yet, you insist said dichotomy was necessary in the infamous "Garden". Can you please make up your mind?

"The greatest freedom comes from being properly related to God and therefore being who we were designed to be."

If we were "designed to be" perfect by a perfect being, then we would BE perfect.

And no, there can be no "freedom" to choose from a DICHOTOMY if there isn't one. According to your own words, there is no good/evil dichotmy in "heaven".

'Admit your error?

"The greatest restriction and bondage comes from being separated from God and that is the reality to which we become pawns rather than Kings and Queen"

It looks an awful lot to me like the greatest restriction and bondage is having to defend nonsense..i.e..ideas that make no sense.

"Do you think it possible for God to give someone or everyone evidence and people still be set in their ways and refuse to accept His existence even with the evidence before them?"

Please listen to what I'm saying. I'm saying, give everyone the evidence that "God" knows would convince them that "God" EXISTS. IOW, if someone is convinced that someone exists, they have no reason to "refuse to accept" their existence. That is nonsensical. You are simply under the mistaken notion that if someone is convinced that "God" exists, that he or she will then be forced to worship said "God"; forced to accept the policies, rules, and laws of said "God". Wrong. That, Karla, is a FALSE dilemma, AKA, false dichotomy(fallacy)

"Yes, it could be. You can challenge it, but if God does not exist or is not good, our 'hell' discussion would be a moot point."

But I am using "hell" to make a rhetorical point, that point being, to show you that "God does not exist", at least, not as the "all loving", "omnipotent" story book character portrayed in the bible. You are under this very weird and very mistaken idea that if I'm going to challenge "hell", that I have to accept "true" everything else in the document in which "hell" appears, including that "God is good". Like I should say, "Ooooh, I see!...God is good, therefore, hell must be okay, after all!" That is insane reasoning.

[...]it would have been okay in the Garden, in the beginning, but ['evil'] came into being when Adam and Eve did indeed sin and that changed everything and that condition had to be reckoned with properly"[EDIT]

But "evil" could have be "reckoned with properly"(and justly) by punishing ONLY the first two "sinners", and then getting RID of "evil" entirely. To have done so, all bases are covered:

- sin gets punished

- evil gets eliminated

- no human sacrifices

- humankind's free will is intact

- humankind lives happily ever after w/god

boomSLANG said...

Previously, me: "But you're suggesting that I should believe 'God is good' because God says so. After all, that's all you've got."

You respond: "Appealing to authority was only one of my arguments."

But it's still a fallacious argument, whether you claim to have other arguments, or not.

"The Creator would rightly have say about the reality of His creation, just like an author has the right to write the characters and parameters of his story"

An "author" writes STORIES, Karla. Inapt analogy, unless you concede the bible redactors wrote a story, too. That, I would buy.

"[...]or an artist to paint his creation as he does."

Characters in painting don't have feelings, Karla. Another inapt analogy.

"The Creator of us would be the one to know what is best for us."

Yes, yes, Karla.....and if the "Creator of us" is our default "authority" and says that suffering is "best for us", then it is. No questions asked. If dashing children's heads against rocks is "best for [them]", then it is. No questions asked. If DROWNING the entire planet if "best for us", then it is. No questions asked.

That, Karla, is DESPICABLE. I'm just glad the only place this "authority" exists is in Christian's heads and in their bibles.

Previously, me: "Okay, fine. Assuming that you are someone who 'truly loves' your 'enemy' despite what you've been taught, are you saying that if you were forced to kill a man who threatened your entire family, that this would be an act of 'love' toward the one you killed?"

You respond: "For me, I don't think it would be. I know what I feel when I think someone is going to harm someone I care about and it isn't love."

Thank you. You have underscored my point: It isn't always, in every possible situation, "moral" or safe to "love your enemy".

"I wish I were more like Jesus in that."

Why? Biblegod, aka "Jesus", preaches loving the enemy at times, but condones KILLING the enemy, other times. See, this is why there is so much confusion: One minute, biblegod is saying do X, Y, and Z. The next minute?.. Oh, he's saying don't do X, Y and Z. It's utter lunacy.

And God is not the author of confusion?!?!?! Please, no book has caused so much confusion, not to mention, division. We don't get "morality" from "God", thank goodness.

boomSLANG said...

"Most of you I would imagine have been given more info than you wanted before you left church and you left because it was endless info and never substance-- never anything you could really hold on to." ~ Karla

In my case, you imagine wrong. The church had endless pro-Christianity info', yes, not-to-mention, its share of judgmental, know-it-all hypocrites. But neither of those are why I left. I left, because, after experiencing years and years of nagging doubt, I finally got brave enough to examine the "evidence" more closely. That examination confirmed my worst fear, that is, that Christianity was false, "God" doesn't exist, and that the "relationship" I thought I had with "Jesus" was all in my head; the "voice" of "Jesus", my own conscience. I knew "right" from "wrong" before I ever cracked open a bible. I had been duped.

Karla said...

Mike,

Actually I was largely instrumental in choosing the church my family attended growing up. There was a time where we visited lots of different churches and I begged my mom to go to the one I ended up going to for the next 11 years of my life.

The church my husband now pastors is one we started after receiving a dream from God about starting it.

As for the question about Catholic/Protestant churches, I don't know why they don't recognize Protestant churches, I do know that I recognize both "sects" as being Christian churches. I don't agree with every doctrine espoused by every church, but I don't think that doctrinal differences should divide us. I think the church is coming into a new age where we are experiencing greater unity between those who have different doctrines.

I value the Catholic churches, I think they have something that Protestant churches need and the Protestant church history was first born out of a reformation from Catholic church so our church history is shared.

Karla said...

Boom, I see you have made lots of comments and I'm not going to tackle them right now. I will read them more later and respond when I can.

Mike Jonas said...

Karla,

Thanks for your reply. I attached a link to an article in my previous post re. this issue in case you want to read more about it. It is an important matter, as the doctrinal divisions between Protestants and Roman Catholics are quite deep. They are really not close to any sort of broad unification with mainline Protestant churches (aside possibly from Lutherans).

You acknowledge that different sects have different doctrines. How should humans know which doctrine is correct? I can not believe that God established a Church on Earth with the notion that billions of humans would be confused about church doctrine.

I would also like to know if you believe your husband/Pastor is guided by the Holy Spirit when he teaches God's Word to others. Can a Pastor teach God's Word based only upon his or her own understanding of God's Word and apart from guidance by the Holy Spirit?

Karla said...

Mike,

Have we talked before in the past? I seem to remember a long conversation about doctrinal unity.

As for can a pastor preach based on natural understanding of Scripture, sure they can and many do. But I think anyone can learn to hear from God and be led by His Spirit. His Spirit does not contradict Scripture, but Scripture without His Spirit can sometimes do more harm than good.

Karla said...

Boom "In my case, you imagine wrong. The church had endless pro-Christianity info', yes, not-to-mention, its share of judgmental, know-it-all hypocrites. But neither of those are why I left. I left, because, after experiencing years and years of nagging doubt, I finally got brave enough to examine the "evidence" more closely. That examination confirmed my worst fear, that is, that Christianity was false, "God" doesn't exist, and that the "relationship" I thought I had with "Jesus" was all in my head; the "voice" of "Jesus", my own conscience. I knew "right" from "wrong" before I ever cracked open a bible. I had been duped."

Where did you find the evidence? What were your first sources that sealed the deal for you that it was all false?

In Romans it is written that we do know right from wrong naturally to a certain degree, enough that we are without excuse for our actions.

Karla said...

Boom "Why? Biblegod, aka "Jesus", preaches loving the enemy at times, but condones KILLING the enemy, other times. See, this is why there is so much confusion: One minute, biblegod is saying do X, Y, and Z. The next minute?.. Oh, he's saying don't do X, Y and Z. It's utter lunacy."

I have been saying there is not an absolute moral law, but a good God and so we do need to pay attention to what God is saying in the moment. Loving enemies, protecting family, justice, mercy, consequence and grace . . . There is a good for each and every person, but to find that we must find what God wants to do for He only does what is good.

Boom " And God is not the author of confusion?!?!?! Please, no book has caused so much confusion, not to mention, division. We don't get "morality" from "God", thank goodness."

It's man, not a book that confuses things. We try and use the Bible as a natural law book instead of as a history and testimony of God and His relationship with people throughout time. There is wisdom and direction we can gain from the Bible, but if we do it without understanding of Jesus we will come out with the wrong ideas.

Karla said...

Boom "No, Karla, you don't "know" it; you believe that you know it. Time and time again you've been challenged - and not just by me, but by Cyber' and Monolith Mike, too - to prove that you "know" what you dogmatically claim to know. You've not even scratched the surface in doing this. You offer bare assertion fallacies, circular arguments, and personal anecdotes."

How do you portend to know that I do not know Jesus and know that He loves?

Mike Jonas said...

Karla,

I first posted on this site a few days ago. I have not posted here before then. I have visited a variety of blogs that discuss these topics, and yours has many interesting articles in it.

"As for can a pastor preach based on natural understanding of Scripture, sure they can and many do. But I think anyone can learn to hear from God and be led by His Spirit. His Spirit does not contradict Scripture, but Scripture without His Spirit can sometimes do more harm than good."


This is a remarkable statement. For starters, the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) claims to be the one true Church established by Christ when Jesus was personally present on Earth. The RCC claims to be continually guided by the infallible Holy Spirit to ensure it does not fall into doctrinal error. I also don't know any mainline Protestant Church that does not also claim to be guided by the infallible Holy Spirit. This presents a serious problem. The RCC has clearly decreed that no Protestant Church is a true Christian Church. Also, the RCC clearly beholds different interpretations of some scripture and markedly different doctrine than most mainline Protestant Churches. This is a conundrum. How can these different churches all claim guidance by an infallible Holy Spirit yet embrace different interpretation of scripture and different doctrine. How do we know correct scripture interpretation and correct doctrine from wrong. Allowing any church to teach incorrect scripture interpretation and incorrect doctrine would be a serious matter.

Also, allowing for Pastors to stand on their own understanding of God's Word promotes a reckless situation. If that were true, we could end up having countless different Christian denominations with different interpretations of scripture and different doctrines. Well, that is exactly what we have. Not a very convincing argument in favor of allowing Pastors to stand upon their own understanding...

Karla said...

Mike,

If this subject really intrigues you I would recommend the book Christianity's Dangerous Idea by Oxford Professor Alister McGrath. He traces the history of the Protestant Reformation and talks about this very topic with regard to how different it is to have so much diversity within Christianity.

I am curious, if you are an atheist, how does this subject come into play for you?

There is one Holy Spirit and He leads all who believe in the way of Truth, not just pastors. So it would follow that church membership does not have anything to do with His speaking to whom He speaks to. Thus, there will never be only one person or group of people that are the only privileged ones to hear from God. In fact, I would go even further to say that God speaks to those who do not yet know Him or profess to know Him. You do not have to be a believer of Jesus for the Holy Spirit to start speaking to you.

Karla said...

Boom “And according to a previously analogy, you claim that you are as sure of this "Jesus" character's existence as you are of your own husband's existence. The difference is, you can prove one exists, but not the other.”

Proof does not make something real. Also you have yet to give me or CL a list of what would constitute your idea of sufficient proof.

Boom “Really? How? Do you mean, if I saw someone from your ministry lengthen someone's arm a couple of inches? I hope you don't think I'm that gullible. Tell me when your ministry can re-grow a completely severed limb or heal an entire children's hospital.”

Ok.


Boom “The bible, both by the face-value language therein, and by how you explain it, is demonstrably contradictory. By human standards, said book is despicably immoral. By now, I know your response/position on this: "God" sets the standard/is the standard and humans have no grounds to complain about "God" or how they're treated by "God".[paraphrased].”

Humans are not the judge of God. God is holy and good and we are not His judge. To judge anything requires a standard of good or else no one ever has grounds to judge. The standard of good is in God’s nature, thus God is the only one with proper authority and knowledge to judge. The only judging we He gives us the authority to do based on His own good nature. Our judgments then to be right must be that which lines up with who God is and are in accordance with His justice and mercy and goodness.


Boom “You are simply appealing to authority and saying that you "trust" that "God is good" because "God says so". "God" could ask you to feel "blessed" about dashing children's heads against rocks, and you would. No one is misunderstanding anything. This is the logical conclusion of your beliefs, explained by you.”

Ultimately it does boil down to God is good. Though that is not the only answer I have given. I have also explained philosophically and logically why it makes sense for God to be self-referentially and absolutely good.


Boom “And yet one more fallacious argument: False dichotomy. If an apologist's answers don't stack up, it couldn't be that they're simply wrong, so it gets chalked up to being part of the great "mystery". “

That’s not what I was getting at. I can be wrong, God can’t be. However, even if I was completely accurate, there will always be elements of mystery the wisest person in the world could never fully grasp and express.

boomSLANG said...

"I have been saying there is not an absolute moral law, but a good God and [EDIT]" ~ Karla

Yes, I know that you "have been saying" that, ad nauseam. Here's the rub, Karla: Each and every time you say it, you don't include any supporting evidence, other than the assertion itself. I know that you "trust" it, yes. I know that you believe that this being whom you trust is the "Ultimate Authority". Very well---'got it. However, as I've told you over and over and over and over and over again, that is NOT good enough. What is so hard to grasp about this? I can't simply "trust" something or someone unless it or they have a proven track-record. Again, just a cursory look at the past track-record of this being whom you trust and admire so much, and I see a filthy, insecure, homicidal jerk. The bible has some 'poetic truths", yes. Notwithstanding, I cannot overlook or make excuses for the past behaviors of the being who supposedly "inspired" these truths.

[...]so we do need to pay attention to what God is saying in the moment."

Oh? Just "in the moment"? Forget about what this "God" has said in the past? 'Sure sounds relative to me.

"Loving enemies, protecting family, justice, mercy, consequence and grace . . . There is a good for each and every person, but to find that we must find what God wants to do for He only does what is good." ~ Karla

Bull'. Unproven assertion. In fact, a close look at our own judicial system and this is good evidence that, no, we most certainly do not look to "God" for "justice". If we looked to "God" for "justice", we might be letting serial killers and child molesters go free, all because they might happen to have a personal relationship with the judge. The biblical judicial system spits in the face of "justice".

"It's man, not a book that confuses things" ~ Karla

Except that "a book" is an inanimate object which actually requires and is dependent upon man to pick up said book and interpret it. In that sense, the book is actually the source of the confusion. And why wouldn't it be? One minute the language therein says do X, Y, and Z. A few chapters later and you can find the language saying don't do X, Y, or Z.

"How do you portend to know that I do not know Jesus and know that He loves?" ~ Karla

Because there is not one scrap of objective evidence for the existence of invisible, conscious beings. On top of that, I know that "married bachelors" do not and cannot exist, simply because, by definition, they can't exist because those two characteristics are mutually exclusive. The same holds true for beings who are both "omniscient" and "omnipotent". The bible redactors were evidently very sloppy when dreaming up the biblical "God". Hence the need for modern-day apologists to clean up the mess.

Karla said...

Boom “Well, it wouldn't bode well for believers, because, after all, if it weren't for "evil", "God" wouldn't be necessary. The irony. It stings. “

No it would not bode well for those God is graciously giving time to come into Him so that they will not be the ones dealt with, but the redeemed ones.

"His mercy is demonstrated in His patience."

Boom “So, you are indirectly saying that "God" actually has "patience" and "mercy" for "evil". You keep making excuses for why "God" cannot eliminate "evil" on earth, while at the same time, you insist that "God" completely removes "sin" from believer's "hearts" here on earth. At face value, this is contradictory. You clearly want it both ways.”

God has patience and mercy for us who do evil. G.K. Chesterton once answered an editorial question “What’s Wrong with the World” with a simple two word statement. “I am”. Each of us has evil in our hearts and God has done His work to give us access into Him once again so that we can become free of that evil and be made new and righteous. The more time He gives us the more people will find Jesus and come into their destiny. If He just wanted to take a bunch of saved people to Heaven and dispense with the rest, He could have done that many years ago. But He is working something greater than that to where this world will be made a paradise again by our own partnership with Him and what He is doing in the land. There is far more at work than eliminating evil and getting people saved.


I said "Humans have dominion over the earth, we have responsibility for what goes on here and Christians have a responsibility to help bring restoration to creation."

Boom *Irrelevant, unconvincing apologetic. "God" either removes "sin" from believer's hearts here on earth, or he doesn't. Prior to now, you went with the former. Are you now changing your position?”

What has the one got to do with the other? I’m talking about God giving people assignments to cultivate the earth to make earth look like heaven.


Boom “You attempted to explain how, yes. But you haven't put it in terms that actually make sense.”

We will have already gone through the process of choosing Jesus. We will be transformed because of that choice. It is like going from a caterpillar to a butterfly and forevermore being a butterfly whereas you are proposing we should always be able to go back to being caterpillars even after the transformation. Once it is done, it is done. We don’t go back, we go forward. The choice isn’t removed, it is made.

Karla said...

Boom “Fair enough. But how about just accepting that you might not have a good, reasonable answer? If "God" can and does remove "sin" from believer's hearts(as you asserted previously); if "the devil" will once and for all be removed from all of creation(as you asserted previously); if "evil has been properly dealt with"(your words), then why wait? All bases are covered. There is not one good reason why "evil" needs to exist here on earth. Not one. You can't use the "free will" argument anymore, because, according to you, removing all temptation doesn't harm anyone's "free will".”

So you think God should give up on those who have not yet chosen Him? Those who still have evil in their hearts. Those who haven’t found freedom from their sin? Could it be that God tarries to bring things to a close because HE loves us and wants more to come to Him where they find Life and Salvation?



Boom “Do you see what you did? You started with, "Location doesn't matter..", and ended with, "but now it is not that way"----"now", meaning here and now, as in,this location(earth).”

Not physical location, but time. The natural reality in this moment is that the fallen nature of the world and humanity is still present. Believers can tap into something in Christ that propels them to live from a reality beyond what currently exist. But many believers do not know that and those that do know of it theologically are not there yet in their spiritual maturity, myself included. Heaven is not corrupted, but earth will one day not be corrupted also as it will be restored. So it isn’t a matter of earth versus heaven, but earth now versus heaven for one day heaven and earth will be the same God filled good environment. I’m sorry this sounds like a lot of God speak mumbo jumbo. I have not really ever tried to explain this earth/heaven thing to someone that doesn’t already know about it before.


Boom “And when you equivocate, saying, "There will be a day", do you by chance mean upon entering "heaven"??? “

No, I believe, and could be wrong, that people will live on the earth and in heaven after everything comes to its culmination, after the end times. So heaven is not the only location where sin will be no more. Right now in our day, heaven is that place, but in the future, earth will be too. But for now, I believe it possible, for a Christian to live like it has already happened – to live like sin is no more in their life and to live like they could live on some far off day in heaven right now on earth. But on this I am speaking only about the Christian.


Boom “If so, then what happens to the Christian who doesn't reach this supposed "maturity" level before he or she dies? Is he or she tossed in "hell"? Or does "God" subvert their free will and impart the proper maturity level for them? Other? I'm just trying to make sense of all of this.”

Good questions. I appreciate them. Again we are getting into a deep conversation, I’ve not yet had with an atheist. My thoughts are rather jumbled. I apologize for this.

As to the question, No the Christian does not go to hell for he/she is in Christ and has the eternal life of Christ. But I think life then will be different from what artists have often depicted of continual adoration before the throne of God forevermore. I believe life will be cities and nations and creativity, productivity, etc. I believe it will be a heavenly civilization for lack of a better analogy. There will be those with greater authority and maturity and then others upon the start of this great community, but I think there will still be room for growth, but in that day none will be impaired by sin any longer or any of the sufferings of this life. Their maturing will then be unimpeded. However, this is very much theoretical.

boomSLANG said...

"Proof does not make something real." ~ Karla

Proof is the difference between knowing and believing. A child *believes* that they can have a conversation with their stuffed Winnie the Pooh. He or she doesn't know it.

"Also you have yet to give me or CL a list of what would constitute your idea of sufficient proof."

Let me be clear about one thing: I want to appease Karla. I don't give a rat's patooty about appeasing cl or anyone else right now.

Moving on, I most certainly have given you a list of things. Remember? If "prayer" can heal an entire children's hospital of terminally ill patients? That would constitute proof that something supernatural is taking place. If believers could walk on water? The same. If surfer dude Todd White or some other supposed "healer" could grow back a completely severed limb, that would constitute proof.

"Humans are not the judge of God."

*Appeal to authority.(fallacy)

"God is holy and good and we are not His judge."

Appeal to authority/begging the question.(fallacies)

"To judge anything requires a standard of good or else no one ever has grounds to judge."

We have a standard of good--.i.e...that which avoids unnecessary harm to you, me, our families, and our race; that which is beneficial to you, me, our families, and our race. Keeping SLAVES is none of those. STONING defiant teens is NONE of those. KILLING homosexuals is NONE of those. DROWING the entire human race is NONE of those.

"The standard of good is in God’s nature, thus God is the only one with proper authority and knowledge to judge."

The tiresome regurgitation of two fallacious arguments: 1) begging the question. 2) appeal to authority.

"Ultimately it does boil down to God is good."

More of the same.

"Though that is not the only answer I have given. I have also explained philosophically and logically why it makes sense for God to be self-referentially and absolutely good."

No, I'm sorry, it is not logical nor does it "make sense" that I accept circular arguments. If a Muslim says, "Hey, Allah is the Almighty Creator of Universe because it says so right in the Qu'ran!". It would be just plain stupid of me to accept it. If Tom Cruise goes on Oprah and says, "I know Scientology is true, and you can know it, too, if you'll just read Dianetics!" I would be a dumb@$$ to believe it. Your arguments are no more "logically" or "philosophically" sound than those.

"That’s not what I was getting at. I can be wrong, God can’t be."[italics added]

If you "can be wrong", then you can be wrong that "God" exists, and if so, then it's a moot point whether said non-existent "God" is "right"(or wrong). It'll be interesting to see how you'll deal with this dilemma.

Mike Jonas said...

I have long been interested in this subject, and I have devoted time and effort to learn more.

"Christianity's Dangerous Idea by Oxford Professor Alister McGrath"

I am familiar with the book and the author. Interesting that you would recommend a book on the subject of the history of the Protestant Reformation as written by an Anglican priest.

If you like reading books written from a different perspective, perhaps you might consider 'Catholicism and Fundamentalism' by Karl Keating and 'Introduction to Christianity' by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.


"There is one Holy Spirit and He leads all who believe in the way of Truth, not just pastors. So it would follow that church membership does not have anything to do with His speaking to whom He speaks to. Thus, there will never be only one person or group of people that are the only privileged ones to hear from God. In fact, I would go even further to say that God speaks to those who do not yet know Him or profess to know Him. You do not have to be a believer of Jesus for the Holy Spirit to start speaking to you."


This is beyond belief. You appear to be of the opinion that there is not one true interpretation of scripture or one correct doctrine, and that church membership is somehow irrelevant despite the fact that Christ Himself established a Church on Earth. Are you seriously suggesting that Christ established a Church on Earth and then left God's Word (including oral tradition at the time) open to the interpretation of fallible men without giving us an infallible inner witness (i.e. the Holy Spirit) to continually protect the Church from all doctrinal error?

Karla said...

I have long been interested in this subject, and I have devoted time and effort to learn more.

"Christianity's Dangerous Idea by Oxford Professor Alister McGrath"

Mike “I am familiar with the book and the author. Interesting that you would recommend a book on the subject of the history of the Protestant Reformation as written by an Anglican priest. “

I found it very informative, well written, and I enjoyed it. I really like McGrath.

Mike “If you like reading books written from a different perspective, perhaps you might consider 'Catholicism and Fundamentalism' by Karl Keating and 'Introduction to Christianity' by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.”

Ok, I’ll check those out.


Mike “This is beyond belief. You appear to be of the opinion that there is not one true interpretation of scripture or one correct doctrine, and that church membership is somehow irrelevant despite the fact that Christ Himself established a Church on Earth.”

Church is very important, but being a part of a church or not does not change the ability of the Holy Spirit to speak, or the person to hear.

Moreover, I do not think that any human will have 100% accurate knowledge about God or how God works or how the world works. I think it is healthy to have different perspectives and to sometimes live in the tension of paradoxes, and diversity. I am not a pluralist, or a relativist. But I am also not an absolutist. I believe God is absolute as in He is firmly 100% Himself always. He is not a variable, but a constant, though we are variables which He relates to respectively and relationally.


Mike “Are you seriously suggesting that Christ established a Church on Earth and then left God's Word (including oral tradition at the time) open to the interpretation of fallible men without giving us an infallible inner witness (i.e. the Holy Spirit) to continually protect the Church from all doctrinal error?”

I think God is more concerned about our hearts than our knowledge. Knowing all the right factual information will not get us far, when it is about our hearts being intertwined with Him. The knowledge of God is not something relegated to mental apprehension. We know with our hearts and spirits as well. There is a knowing that is not factual knowledge based, but from one spirit to another.

Just like a child does not need to know everything about Daddy to know Daddy and know Daddy loves him. He can get the facts wrong sometimes about where Daddy works, or his age, or his favorite hobby, or whatnot, but He still knows his Daddy because knowing is not based on factual knowledge.

Christians often have internal debates about doctrine, but when it comes down to it, knowing Jesus is more important than getting a doctrine right. I believe people can know the Lord very deeply and have some pretty off the wall doctrines. There is room for that. I also believe that sometimes truth lies in that off the wall doctrine that people have yet to understand because we classify it off the wall and make it taboo and lose out on the revelation God is releasing.

Mike Jonas said...

Karla,

Your views are simply astonishing...

According to Christian tradition, Christ Himself established a Church on Earth, and God gave mankind oral tradition and His Word as a revelation to mankind. God provided an infallible inner witness in the form of the Holy Spirit to continually protect His Church from falling prey to doctrinal error. Your views that different doctrines and different interpretation of scripture are somehow okay is way off the mark. In fact, it is pure heresy.

Karla, I don't know you personally, but I have read enough of your opinions on your blog to conclude that I believe you are completely delusional. I will not consume any more of your time.

boomSLANG said...

"Good questions. I appreciate them. Again we are getting into a deep conversation, I’ve not yet had with an atheist. My thoughts are rather jumbled. I apologize for this." ~ Karla

I can appreciate your honesty here on your thoughts being jumbled. But frankly, I think I know what is contributing to that. As you must know by now, I don't think your apologetics logically add up. With each further attempt to reconcile the glaring problems with your arguments, the conversation becomes more and more convoluted.

For instance, your incessant equivocation, as seen here....

"God has patience and mercy for us who do evil." ~ Karla

You've now made a distinction without a darned bit of difference. It is "evil" that supposedly corrupts "us who do evil". Hello?

"Evil", Karla, is the problem, and as I've told you - oh, it wouldn't shock me if it was three hundred times, now - "EVIL" need. not. exist.

I reiterate: if "evil" is such a problem-causer and the bane of "God" and his "Plan", then "God", who is presumably "omniscient" and omnipotent", can simply ELIMINATE "evil" right here; right now.

You even quote somebody, and it confirms what I'm saying. You quote...

what G.K. Chesterton once answered an editorial question “What’s Wrong with the World” with a simple two word statement. “I am”. Each of us has evil in our hearts and[EDIT]

RIGHT! "evil"....::hic'up::...."evil"...hic'up...."evil". 'Got it. And what did you say, previously? You said that "God" REMOVES the "evil" from his follower's hearts[paraphrased]. You went on to concede that in doing this - that is, removing ALL temptation - that this doesn't effect anyone's "free will". I can find the exact, corresponding quotes if you'd like.

In conclusion, there is no logical reason, whatsoever, why "God" cannot remove the "EVIL" from everyone's hearts right here on earth. Secondly, "sin" has already been paid for(past tense). Thirdly, there is no logical reason, whatsoever, why "God" needs to "hide" and/or wait for the "right time" to give people the individualized evidence that would convince them that "He" exists. Any apologetic(excuse) that says otherwise is demonstrably false.

It is astonishing to me(and evidently others) that you will keep defending the same errors over and over and over. Wow. Just, wow.

Karla said...

Boom “You've now made a distinction without a darned bit of difference. It is "evil" that supposedly corrupts "us who do evil". Hello?”

Evil is not a thing that corrupts us, we are the ones who cause evil in our lives. It’s not all “the devil made me do it.” It is our own actions, our own choices, our own separation from God, that produces evil.

Evil is the absence of what is right, not the presence of anything. As long as people’s hearts are not fully transformed by Jesus by choosing Jesus, there will be evil.

Boom "Evil", Karla, is the problem, and as I've told you - oh, it wouldn't shock me if it was three hundred times, now - "EVIL" need. not. exist.”

Evil is a symptom of the problem. The hearts of man is the problem. Man without God is the problem.

Boom “I reiterate: if "evil" is such a problem-causer and the bane of "God" and his "Plan", then "God", who is presumably "omniscient" and omnipotent", can simply ELIMINATE "evil" right here; right now.”

Presently, that would mean eliminating all who are not in Christ. Are you sure that is what you want to advocate? This is not just a matter of locking up Satan. He isn’t putting control upon us, but freedom: freedom to live righteously, freedom to live as were are designed to live without sin rather than forcing us to stop sinning by controlling our actions.

Jesus is the solution to our wayward hearts. The door is open – the way is available to whosoever will come and enter into Him.


You even quote somebody, and it confirms what I'm saying. You quote...

what G.K. Chesterton once answered an editorial question “What’s Wrong with the World” with a simple two word statement. “I am”. Each of us has evil in our hearts and[EDIT]

Boom “RIGHT! "evil"....::hic'up::...."evil"...hic'up...."evil". 'Got it. And what did you say, previously? You said that "God" REMOVES the "evil" from his follower's hearts[paraphrased]. You went on to concede that in doing this - that is, removing ALL temptation - that this doesn't effect anyone's "free will". I can find the exact, corresponding quotes if you'd like. “

God heals our hearts when Jesus comes in as His life frees us from our bondage to a sinful nature. Our sins are forgiven, but we have to learn how to walk again so to speak. We have a new nature and we need to learn how to live in it rather than our old nature. Some do it better than others, even Paul the apostle struggled between the two natures.

Boom “In conclusion, there is no logical reason, whatsoever, why "God" cannot remove the "EVIL" from everyone's hearts right here on earth.”

Hearts change when Jesus enters. Jesus does not force His entry. Thus, the patience ensues.

Karla said...

Boom “Secondly, "sin" has already been paid for(past tense). Thirdly, there is no logical reason, whatsoever, why "God" needs to "hide" and/or wait for the "right time" to give people the individualized evidence that would convince them that "He" exists. Any apologetic(excuse) that says otherwise is demonstrably false.”

It is amazing how you know better than your Creator. Moreover, I know you don’t believe this, but people can see the evidence staring them in the face and not believe or not want Jesus. Some people have given themselves over to depravity and can no longer see what is true. I’m not sure what it will take for those people. My job is to love them and continue to tell what is true. (just so you know, I don’t think you are one of those – I think you do still hold out hope that there is a real and good God)

Boom “It is astonishing to me(and evidently others) that you will keep defending the same errors over and over and over. Wow. Just, wow.”

I could say the same of you. We both think the other in error. Just the same, I am still writing because you have wanted to have this conversation. I thought we had come to a stopping place by e-mail and then you commented here, so I’m making myself available to talk about what you want to talk about for as long as you want to talk about it.

Karla said...

Mike “According to Christian tradition, Christ Himself established a Church on Earth, and God gave mankind oral tradition and His Word as a revelation to mankind.”

Are you advocating atheism or Catholicism? I’m confused.

Mike “God provided an infallible inner witness in the form of the Holy Spirit to continually protect His Church from falling prey to doctrinal error.”

So you believe in God and the leading of the Holy Spirit?

Mike “Your views that different doctrines and different interpretation of scripture are somehow okay is way off the mark. In fact, it is pure heresy.”

So you believe in the Bible?

Mike “Karla, I don't know you personally, but I have read enough of your opinions on your blog to conclude that I believe you are completely delusional. I will not consume any more of your time.”

Ok.

Karla said...

Boom “Proof is the difference between knowing and believing. A child *believes* that they can have a conversation with their stuffed Winnie the Pooh. He or she doesn't know it.”

Proof does not make something real. I cannot prove to you a headache, or hunger, but it does not make it less real. I cannot prove to you that sun will be there come morning. I can’t prove the scientific method or that truth or reason is real.

We both know that you cannot know that God does not exist, but I can know that He does without knowing all things.


Boom “Let me be clear about one thing: I want to appease Karla. I don't give a rat's patooty about appeasing cl or anyone else right now.”

I only brought up CL because he is the one that first formed that question to you.

Boom “Moving on, I most certainly have given you a list of things. Remember?”

No, I do not remember.

Boom “ If "prayer" can heal an entire children's hospital of terminally ill patients? That would constitute proof that something supernatural is taking place.”

Would you have to be there to interview the children and the doctors? How would you verify this?

Boom “If believers could walk on water? The same.”


If you saw a believer walk on water you would believe? Or if someone told you they saw someone do that? (Personally I would prefer to see it myself – I have not seen such a thing nor do I have a story to tell of someone who has)

Boom “If surfer dude Todd White or some other supposed "healer" could grow back a completely severed limb, that would constitute proof.”

Ah, so you’ve googled him. He has seen lots of miracles. So has Bill Johnson. But I gather reading the testimonies or watching video testimonies one after another would not be sufficient?



Boom “If you "can be wrong", then you can be wrong that "God" exists, and if so, then it's a moot point whether said non-existent "God" is "right"(or wrong). It'll be interesting to see how you'll deal with this dilemma.”

If I do not know God then I am quite delusional, for there is some invisible force which I have experienced. There is some power that came over me and immediately took away my severe congestion and hacking my lungs out. There is some invisible force that caused my mother in law’s arm to grow before my eyes, much to my amazement. There is some invisible energy that has coursed through my body. There is some love that has overwhelmed me. There is some voice that speaks to my spirit. There is some way that I know things I have no natural way of knowing. I’ve yet to hear a better explanation than God is real and I do experience Him. Philosophical arguments aside, I am convinced Jesus is who He claims to be and that He is in my life and I am in His.

boomSLANG said...

"Evil is not a thing that corrupts us, we are the ones who cause evil in our lives. It’s not all 'the devil made me do it'. It is our own actions, our own choices, our own separation from God, that produces evil." ~ Karla

Equivocation, the sequel.

Once more---if there's no "evil"; if "evil" didn't exist, and thus, we were completely free of temptation(you know, like in "heaven"?), then NONE of what you just said would be possible---we wouldn't be able to "cause evil in our lives". You clearly, most positively, want it both ways.

Previously, me: "'Evil', Karla, is the problem, and as I've told you - oh, it wouldn't shock me if it was three hundred times, now - 'EVIL' need. not. exist."

"Evil is a symptom of the problem." ~ Karla

*Irrelevant----"evil" need not exist.

"The hearts of man is the problem." ~ Karla

See here*, above.

"Man without God is the problem." ~ Karla

See here*, above.

Previously, me: "I reiterate: if 'evil' is such a problem-causer and the bane of 'God' and his 'Plan', then 'God', who is presumably 'omniscient' and 'omnipotent', can simply ELIMINATE 'evil' right here; right now."

You attempt: "Presently, that would mean eliminating all who are not in Christ."

No, it most certainly would NOT mean that. Again, **"God" could simply REMOVE "evil" from the hearts of all those "not in Christ", just like you insist he does for those who ARE "in Christ".

"Are you sure that is what you want to advocate?"

Are you sure you don't want to admit your error? I'm advocating no such thing. A clear description of what I'm advocating is right here**, above. Re-read it, if necessary(and clearly, it is necessary)

"God heals our hearts when Jesus comes in as His life frees us from our bondage to a sinful nature."

I'm starting to wonder how many different ways you can say "God removes evil from believer's hearts"

Let's see, "God"...

- "removes sin from our hearts"

- "heals our hearts"

- "frees us from our bondage"

If I scroll up and dig around, I'm sure I can find more.

The point, again, is that none of these crafty re-wordings address my point, that point being that "God" could do the same for those who are "not in Christ" as he is allegedly does for those who are "in Christ", and this wouldn't hurt anyone's "free will" one iota. Moreover, "sin" has ALREADY been paid for "at the cross". Done; paid. The first two human prototypes from the Genesis story are presumably roasting away in biblegod's chamber of horrors, so "justice" has been done. ALL bases are covered.

There is not one good reason why "God" cannot simply remove "evil" right here; right now. None.

"It is amazing how you know better than your Creator." ~ Karla

It's equally amazing to me how you cannot recognize that every one of your arguments falls into one of two categories: 1) Begging the question, and 2) Appeal to authority(both fallacious), and in the above case, you use one in conjunction with the other.

Here, let me try:

It's amazing how you know better than L. Ron Hubbard, the smartest man to have ever lived!

'Sound silly? 'Sound unreasonable? That's exactly how you sound to me.

boomSLANG said...

"Proof does not make something real."

Again, "proof" is the difference between knowing and believing.

"I cannot prove to you a headache, or hunger, but it does not make it less real."

Inapt analogy---no one is disputing that people get headaches or hungry. Moreover, since it's a demonstrable FACT that people need food to survive, we can reasonably conclude that "hunger" exists. We know that "headaches" and "hunger" exist; we don't need to "believe" that they exist.

"If you saw a believer walk on water you would believe?"

If I was there, in person, watching it and examining it, yes.

"Or if someone told you they saw someone do that? (Personally I would prefer to see it myself – I have not seen such a thing nor do I have a story to tell of someone who has)"

No, second-hand testimony doesn't suffice.

Previously, me: “If surfer dude Todd White or some other supposed 'healer' could grow back a completely severed limb, that would constitute proof.”

You respond: "Ah, so you’ve googled him. He has seen lots of miracles. So has Bill Johnson. But I gather reading the testimonies or watching video testimonies one after another would not be sufficient?"

No, why should it be sufficient? I can see Criss Angel on video pulling on some guy's leg to make it look like it's "growing". So? Is doing the same thing while saying, "C'mon man, you're really gonna dig this, man, Jesus is gonna, like, heal you, dude" going to make it more believable? Maybe for you, but for me? No.

Karla said...

Boom "Again, "proof" is the difference between knowing and believing."

Prove that to me please.

boomSLANG said...

"Prove that to me please."

Gladly. But I'm not going to waste my time in the case that you don't acknowledge that there's a difference between "knowing" and "believing". So, first things, first. A yes or no will suffice.

Karla said...

How about you define the terms and I'll let you know if we agree on them then go from there?

Also: This is an interesting essay I came across today. Just food for thought about science and evil/sin.

http://www.online-literature.com/chesterton/all-things-considered/22/

Karla said...

Looking back over the comments, I just want to affirm that we are agreed that something can be real irrespective of proof. Proof does not affect the object in question, but helps the subject come to grips with the reality of the object.

boomSLANG said...

I'll read the link tonight or tomorrow. In the mean time, you say...

"How about you define the terms and I'll let you know if we agree on them then go from there?"

Again, I'm not going to waste my time defining things in the event that you do not acknowledge that there's a difference between "knowing" and "believing". So, yes, or no?

Karla said...

I believe can be a weaker assertion than I know. However, I will often use the two interchangeably when I know therefore I believe.

I’m honestly not trying to equivocate on this, which is why I asked for a definition. Because in some contexts I use them interchangeably.

I also am usually using “know” to mean relationally experience rather than just factual knowledge of an intellectual proposition.

I know that God is real means more that I have personally experienced His reality rather than I have all knowledge about the natural and spiritual world to have intellectually certified absolutely His realness.

boomSLANG said...

"I believe can be a weaker assertion than I know." ~ Karla

I wouldn't even call a statement preceded with "I believe" an "assertion"; I'd call it an opinion...e.g.."I believe we're being visited by ETs", etc.

In any case, yes, "I believe" is not only weaker than "I know", but in fact, there are times where it means very little to nothing at all. If a 4 yr-old believes that he or she can have a conversation with his or her stuffed Pooh-bear, we adults would put very little stock into that belief. The child certainly has a belief, yes, but he or she cannot honestly claim to know that their stuffed animal is talking to them. Agreed?

"However, I will often use the two interchangeably when I know therefore I believe." ~ Karla

To "believe" something that you know, is redundant.

In any case, you recognized that there's a difference between belief and knowledge. Good. In that case, it should follow that you'd agree that if a Muslim said, "Allah is the Almighty, Creator and Sustainer of the universe! He is similar to nothing and nothing is comparable to Him!", that this would implicitly be a belief(opinion), not knowledge, right? To constitute knowledge, the Muslim would have to somehow demonstrate that their "belief" is more than their opinion. Right?

About the link. Midway into the very first paragraph I see something that right away raises an eyebrow:

"Physical science is like simple addition: it is either infallible or it is false."

If anything is false, that is. Science is provisional; it is self-correcting. That's the point. The author loses all credibility with me.

boomSLANG said...

"I also am usually using 'know' to mean relationally experience rather than just factual knowledge of an intellectual proposition." ~ Karla

How you claim to "know" what you claim to "know" doesn't lessen the burden of proving that the claim, itself, is "factual knowledge"(versus mere opinion).

"I know that God is real means more that I have personally experienced His reality rather than I have all knowledge about the natural and spiritual world to have intellectually certified absolutely His realness." ~ Karla

Karla, I'm very aware of the difference between the two statements, "I know God is real", and, "I have all knowledge about (X, Y, and Z)". Seriously, now, if the hypothetical Muslim I used previously added that he or she has "personally experienced Allah's reality!", would that make his or her claim more believable? Does that somehow lessen their burden to prove what they are asserting as "factual knowledge"? I don't think so.

boomSLANG said...

"I just want to affirm that we are agreed that something can be real irrespective of proof." ~ Karla

In the case that the "something" has attributes that contradict..e.g.."square circle; "married bachelor", etc,. no, I cannot affirm that we are agreed. In fact, mutually exclusive attributes would actually be proof that the something cannot "be real".

"Proof does not affect the object in question[...]" ~ Karla

What if "the object in question" is an invisible dragon? What if my neighbor claims there is one such creature in his garage? He can't prove it; I can't disprove it. So? Should we file his claim under a "belief", or "factual knowledge"?

Karla said...

Boom "In any case, yes, "I believe" is not only weaker than "I know", but in fact, there are times where it means very little to nothing at all. If a 4 yr-old believes that he or she can have a conversation with his or her stuffed Pooh-bear, we adults would put very little stock into that belief. The child certainly has a belief, yes, but he or she cannot honestly claim to know that their stuffed animal is talking to them. Agreed?"

Sometimes I think it can actually be healthier for people to still believe in fantasy because it awakens our ability to experience what we cannot see naturally.

So while I don't think a child's pooh-bear is really talking to the child, I also not discourage the child from the belief.

And yes "believe" can be used in the since of "make-believe" and it can range anywhere from a hesitant agreement of trusting what someone says to a firm agreement that the person is telling the truth.

Saying "I know" can mean one has received adequate evidence to support the claim or it can mean someone "knows" intuitively or relationally.

Boom "To "believe" something that you know, is redundant."

Hypothetically, if someone said John says he didn't hit that biker with his car, the biker hit him, do you believe him? I could say "well, yes I do believe him, I was standing on the corner and I saw the biker come out of nowhere and run into his car. So I would be asserting belief of that which I know. It is a correct use of the word in a sentence with that meaning is it not?


Boom "In any case, you recognized that there's a difference between belief and knowledge."

Yes.

Boom "Good. In that case, it should follow that you'd agree that if a Muslim said, "Allah is the Almighty, Creator and Sustainer of the universe! He is similar to nothing and nothing is comparable to Him!", that this would implicitly be a belief(opinion), not knowledge, right? To constitute knowledge, the Muslim would have to somehow demonstrate that their "belief" is more than their opinion. Right?"

To constitute me having evidence that their information is knowledge. It is possible they have the knowledge and yet do not know how to demonstrate that to me. That is the point I've been trying to make. Is that it is possible something is more than your use of the word "belief" and yet the person fails to prove it to be so. It wouldn't help you any for that to be the case, but it could be true.



Boom "If anything is false, that is. Science is provisional; it is self-correcting. That's the point. The author loses all credibility with me."

Hmm, I think I saw that line as more like science is black and white with things rather than it can't be wrong and correct itself or right to the degree currently known and then get more accurate.

Karla said...

Boom "What if "the object in question" is an invisible dragon? What if my neighbor claims there is one such creature in his garage? He can't prove it; I can't disprove it. So? Should we file his claim under a "belief", or "factual knowledge"?"

That would depend on how credible the neighbor was. Is he a man of his word, or prone to telling lies? Is he a sane man or a lunatic? Is he on something or in his right mind?

boomSLANG said...

Previously, me: "What if 'the object in question' is an invisible dragon? What if my neighbor claims there is one such creature in his garage? He can't prove it; I can't disprove it. So? Should we file his claim under a 'belief', or 'factual knowledge'?"

You respond: "That would depend on how credible the neighbor was. Is he a man of his word, or prone to telling lies? Is he a sane man or a lunatic? Is he on something or in his right mind?" ~ Karla

Okay, Karla. For sake of argument, the man in my analogy is...

- a man of his word

- sane

- not on drugs

Now. Are you going to try to tell me that this man's claim should be filed under "factual knowledge", as opposed to mere belief?

"Sometimes I think it can actually be healthier for people to still believe in fantasy because it awakens our ability to experience what we cannot see naturally."

Do you not see the immediate problem with what you've said? If belief in "fantasy" enables one to, in actuality, experience what we cannot see, then it's no longer "fantasy", correct? You've contradicted yourself, well, unless you'd concede that belief in "God" is "fantasy", in the colloquial sense of the word. Now that, I'd buy.

"So while I don't think a child's pooh-bear is really talking to the child, I also not discourage the child from the belief."

So, the child has a belief. Yet, you cannot prove that the Pooh-bear isn't communicating using ESP. So? Why not give the child the same benefit of the doubt that you're evidently prepared to give the man with the invisible, pet dragon? I see a double standard.

"Saying 'I know' can mean one has received adequate evidence to support the claim or it can mean someone 'knows' intuitively or relationally."

Saying, "I know [this, that, and the other thing]", is one thing. To automatically categorize what someone claims to "know" - whether "relationally" or "intutitively" - as "factual knowledge"(your own term), is another thing, entirely. 'Seems dishonest to me. The child in the stuffed animal analogy might very well CLAIM to know his or her Pooh-bear, "relationally". So? Shouldn't we, as sane adults, say that the child's belief should be filed under make-believe, not "factual knowledge"?

Previously, me: "To constitute knowledge, the Muslim would have to somehow demonstrate that their 'belief' is more than their opinion. Right?"

You respond: "To constitute me having evidence that their information is knowledge. It is possible they have the knowledge and yet do not know how to demonstrate that to me. That is the point I've been trying to make."

I understand, fully well, that point. Now, the point I am trying (but failing) to make, is that *UNTIL* the Muslim can figure out how to demonstrate to you that what they claim to know is "factual knowledge"(your term), he or she, at most, has a belief that they "know" something as fact. It isn't "fact" until proven to be so. 'Follow?

"I think I saw that line as more like science is black and white with things rather than it can't be wrong and correct itself or right to the degree currently known and then get more accurate."

Fair enough. I saw it as precisely what the face-value language said.

Karla said...

Boom “Now. Are you going to try to tell me that this man's claim should be filed under "factual knowledge", as opposed to mere belief?”

A sane man of his word who is not on drugs, could have the knowledge he claims to have. I would not say that it is impossible for such a man to be correct in asserting knowledge of this peculiar claim. Now that doesn’t mean that his claim helps me to have such knowledge, but I cannot honestly deny he could have the knowledge. If I wanted to know if his claim had merit, I would want to know in what manner he acquired the knowledge. I think the choice of using the word “belief” in the weaker since of the word versus “know” would be up to the person who is making the claim .

Boom “Do you not see the immediate problem with what you've said? If belief in "fantasy" enables one to, in actuality, experience what we cannot see, then it's no longer "fantasy", correct?”

Yes if fantasy is fiction than finding out by whatever means that it is all true would make it no longer fantasy. But stretching yourself to think outside of the natural world in a fictional sense can enable you to exercise those same spiritual muscles per se in the real sense.


Boom “You've contradicted yourself, well, unless you'd concede that belief in "God" is "fantasy", in the colloquial sense of the word. Now that, I'd buy.”

See above. Seeking God is not like the scientific method of investigation. While there are things that we can see that were direct results of God’s involvement (like a miracle) – even then we do not naturally see God do the miracle – we see the natural thing happen. We see the arm grow or feel the pain leave – we can still advocate it to be an unknown natural cause. We can’t point to the God cause so people go, “Oh, yes I just saw Him do it.”

You can have a mountain of natural evidence and still not have that knowing in our hearts that we need to go “oh, my He is real – I “see” Him now. I’m amazed by Him.”

If He is real, it is true we are spiritual and physical beings and then it is also true that we can experience things by our spirit and not just by our physical senses. And it would also follow that God, being Spirit, would be known in this manner.


Boom “So, the child has a belief. Yet, you cannot prove that the Pooh-bear isn't communicating using ESP. So? Why not give the child the same benefit of the doubt that you're evidently prepared to give the man with the invisible, pet dragon? I see a double standard.”

I don’t see why we shouldn’t give them a benefit of the doubt, as I said I would not discourage the child.

Karla said...

Boom “Saying, "I know [this, that, and the other thing]", is one thing. To automatically categorize what someone claims to "know" - whether "relationally" or "intutitively" - as "factual knowledge"(your own term), is another thing, entirely. 'Seems dishonest to me.”


So you only see knowledge or knowing as “factual knowledge”. For example, I know Barack Obama is the current President of the United States.

I use knowing also to mean: I do not know President Obama. (as I have never met him – I am not acquainted with him). But I can also say: I know my husband and in that manner I speak of a spiritual/relational knowing that is not just facts about him --- I share my life with him and he with me. My knowing is more than factual – it has substance – there is a connection that would not be simply replaced by another.


Boom “The child in the stuffed animal analogy might very well CLAIM to know his or her Pooh-bear, "relationally". So? Shouldn't we, as sane adults, say that the child's belief should be filed under make-believe, not "factual knowledge"?”

Sometimes I think children have more capacity for sanity than adults. We seem to have lost a great deal in the growing up process to where we begin only to think according to natural facts. The Pooh bear, we know has no sentience, but that child probably does experience what they would call a knowing in some child-like and even make-believe like form.

Just so it is said, I’m not trying to mess with you about this, it’s just that we need not assume the natural world of “facts” is the more concrete reality just because we can see, touch, taste, and feel it.


Boom “I understand, fully well, that point. Now, the point I am trying (but failing) to make, is that *UNTIL* the Muslim can figure out how to demonstrate to you that what they claim to know is "factual knowledge"(your term), he or she, at most, has a belief that they "know" something as fact. It isn't "fact" until proven to be so. 'Follow?”

I disagree. My ability to accept their claim does not reflect on their ability to know it to be true. Whether proof exist or not, them giving it to me does not make their claim knowledge instead of belief. It could very well be knowledge whether I ever come to agree with them or not. In fact, someone can give me physical evidence of something and they still be wrong because the evidence can often go more than one direction – for instance the person who gets framed for murder because of evidence. I would not put so much stock in natural evidence as you do. It can be just as misleading as anything else.

Boom “Fair enough. I saw it as precisely what the face-value language said.”

That’s fair too. Your estimation could be more accurate of what he was saying than mine. I’ve not read enough of him on the topic to fully disagree with your interpretation.

boomSLANG said...

"A sane man of his word who is not on drugs, could have the knowledge he claims to have. I would not say that it is impossible for such a man to be correct in asserting knowledge of this peculiar claim. Now that doesn’t mean that his claim helps me to have such knowledge, but I cannot honestly deny he could have the knowledge."

Your incessant equivocation is as tedious as it is revealing. The question was---should the man's claim that he has an invisible pet dragon in his garage be filed under factual knowledge, or not? Yes. or. no?

"Seeking God is not like the scientific method of investigation. While there are things that we can see that were direct results of God’s involvement (like a miracle) – even then we do not naturally see God do the miracle – we see the natural thing happen"

Yes, and to that I say---how convenient. "We" see it naturally, but those who are already convinced that something super-natural is occurring, they "see" a "miracle". 'Funny how that works.

"You can have a mountain of natural evidence and still not have that knowing in our hearts[...]"

There is not one scrap of evidence that any human being can "know" something "in their heart". This is nebulous godspeak for, "I believe something that I cannot prove".

"[...]that we need to go 'oh, my He is real – I "see" Him now. I’m amazed by Him'."

Be amazed all you like. That's your right. However, it's not factual knowledge until/unless you can prove your claim.

"[...] I can also say: I know my husband and in that manner I speak of a spiritual/relational knowing that is not just facts about him --- I share my life with him and he with me. My knowing is more than factual – it has substance – there is a connection that would not be simply replaced by another."

How many times, Karla, would you guess that you've used the "husband" analogy? I'm not sure, but in any case, each time you use it, it is inapt. I have no reason to doubt your husband is real and that you have a relationship of "substance". You can at least prove the former is factual knowledge. Your belief that you have a "relationship" with an invisible, conscious being is another story, altogether. Again, your analogy is seriously lacking.

boomSLANG said...

"If He is real, it is true[EDIT]"

If "He is real", as in, existing outside of your head, this would fall under factual knowledge, and thus, there would be testable/falsifiable evidence for "Him". There isn't any such evidence, thus, you have a belief that you "know" something is "real".

"The Pooh bear, we know has no sentience[...]"

*How* do you know???? You cannot disprove it, absolutely. If "sentience" doesn't require a brain and exist as a "spirit", then how do you know that "sentience" can't exist as wad of cotton?

At some point, one has to run with what is more likley true/not true based on the evidence we do have. The evidence we do have is that "sentience" requires a physical brain.

"Just so it is said, I’m not trying to mess with you about this, it’s just that we need not assume the natural world of “facts” is the more concrete reality just because we can see, touch, taste, and feel it."

I don't believe you're messing with me. I believe you cannot prove what you claim to know is "factual knowledge", so you resort to special pleading(and other fallacies).

Previously, me: "I understand, fully well, that point. Now, the point I am trying (but failing) to make, is that *UNTIL* the Muslim can figure out how to demonstrate to you that what they claim to know is 'factual knowledge'(your term), he or she, at most, has a belief that they 'know' something as fact. It isn't 'fact' until proven to be so. 'Follow?"

You respond: "I disagree. My ability to accept their claim does not reflect on their ability to know it to be true."

I'm not questioning your "ability" to accept their claim. I'm talking about under what conditions you will accept it as factual knowledge. You are not going to accept the Muslim's word for it, are you? No, of course not. He or she can claim to "know" what they claim to know all the day long. The Muslim's claim isn't "factual knowledge" until/unless they can DEMONSTRATE, with objective evidence, that what they believe they "know", is factual knowledge. Can you please stop equivocating on this issue? You, as all theists, patently have two "standards" when it comes to "factual knowledge" and "God". Yes, yes, I might be seen as the big meanie Atheist who doesn't do skepticism well. But at least I'm consistent, however I'm rated.

Karla said...

It seems like what we are going round about is the definition of knowing.

I agree that knowing can be fact based like 2 + 2 is 4 or red and green make blue, etc.

But you seem to have a disconnect with the idea that "knowing" can be done in the heart as well as in the head. Which is why I again used an analogy of my knowing my husband. I could have said, mother, or sister.

If we cannot agree on knowing at this level -- human knowing another human -- more than knowing facts about them (their favorite color, where they went to school, their height, weight, build, medical history) then I do not see how we can ever really get anywhere talking about knowing God.

boomSLANG said...

"[...]you seem to have a disconnect with the idea that 'knowing' can be done in the heart as well as in the head." ~ Karla

It's NOT a "disconnect", Karla; it's that there is not one scrap of objective evidence that we can "know", acquire, gather, etc., information with our cardiovascular organs. Zero; none; NADDA. Our hearts pump blood, Karla. Until you prove me wrong on that, you may as well be telling me that you are using "gut-instinct", which, BTW, has a history of misleading mankind---it has no proven track-record.

"Which is why I again used an analogy of my knowing my husband. I could have said, mother, or sister."

And I reiterate--it's a lame, inapt, and unconvincing "analogy". I accept that your husband exists. No one is going to track me down and set me on fire if I doubt that he exists. I believe your husband exists, and further, since I have evidence that people have relationships of "substance"(as opposed to just "factual knowledge") with their spouses, I have no reason to doubt that you have a relationship of "substance" with your spouse. On the other hand, I have MULTIPLE reasons - GOOD, valid reasons - to doubt that people can have relationships with INVISIBLE beings and that these beings take up residence in people's cardiovascular organs.

"If we cannot agree on knowing at this level -- human knowing another human -- more than knowing facts about them (their favorite color, where they went to school, their height, weight, build, medical history) then I do not see how we can ever really get anywhere talking about knowing God."

SURE we can get somewhere, Karla. I believe that you believe that you "know" what you claim to know. Done; sold! Here's the rub, and boy-oh-boy, do I wish you'd let it penetrate: Your claim cannot honestly be filed under "factual knowledge" until/unless you can prove what you're claiming. "Jesus is the answer"? You have a personal relationship with this supposed individual? Prove it. Sheesh!

Karla said...

We don't love with our physical heart organ either, but we do love from an internal place -- from that inside person who is more than a physical being. The real me on the inside is who loves, feels, hears, sees, knows, experiences. The data I receive is not solely gathered by my 5 natural senses.

Surely you know that love is real and yet you cannot measure it, you cannot record it or see it or scientifically prove love. We say we love with all our heart, but we know that the organ is not what produces love.

It is in this manner that I say we can know in our heart or see with our heart. I could say in our real person, who we are irrespective of our body.

If this is foreign to you and unacceptable then I don't know what else I can say.

boomSLANG said...

"We don't love with our physical heart organ either, but we do love from an internal place -- from that inside person who is more than a physical being."

Fallacy of bare assertion.

"The real me on the inside is who loves, feels, hears, sees, knows, experiences. The data I receive is not solely gathered by my 5 natural senses"

Yes it is, until/unless you can prove otherwise. You evidently can't(or at least, you haven't, yet)

"Surely you know that love is real and yet you cannot measure it, you cannot record it or see it or scientifically prove love."

I beg to differ---yes, you can observe it("see it"), not only in humans, but in lower animals, and yes, we are animals.

"We say we love with all our heart, but we know that the organ is not what produces love."

We say "sunup" and "sundown", too, and yet, we know that the sun doesn't go "up" and "down". This proves nothing at all. These are likely sayings that have carried over from the distant past, back when we were ignorant about so many things.

"It is in this manner that I say we can know in our heart or see with our heart."

Yes, you can "say" it all you'd like. Proving it is another matter, entirely.

"If this is foreign to you and unacceptable then I don't know what else I can say."

I've made myself as clear as I know how. I accept your claim as a belief; I do not(cannot) accept it as "factual knowledge". To claim that it is, is dishonest.

Karla said...

Boom "I've made myself as clear as I know how. I accept your claim as a belief; I do not(cannot) accept it as "factual knowledge". To claim that it is, is dishonest."

One, maybe last, question: do you agree that there are true beliefs and false beliefs?

Or is a true belief a misnomer?

boomSLANG said...

"One, maybe last, question: do you agree that there are true beliefs and false beliefs?

Yes, I do.

Karla said...

Karla "One, maybe last, question: do you agree that there are true beliefs and false beliefs?"

Boom "Yes, I do."

In that case, is there a difference between true beliefs and knowledge?

boomSLANG said...

"In that case, is there a difference between true beliefs and knowledge?"

If one has knowledge that 2 + 2 = 4, then one doesn't need to believe that 2 + 2 = 4. To say, "I believe two plus two equals four!", is redundant, despite that the belief, itself, is true. In that sense, no, there's no difference, because the equation 2 + 2 = 4 is proven.

Where are you intending to go with this?

Karla said...

So as soon as someone can affirm or prove that one's belief is true the "belief" is not considered knowledge and no longer a belief. Is that accurate?


I don't know that I'm going anywhere with it yet.

Anonymous said...

why dont you both just ask god to give you a sign that he is real? if he loves us all and wants us all to be with him in heaven, he will understand the need for reassurance.

boomSLANG said...

"So as soon as someone can affirm or prove that one's belief is true the 'belief' is not considered knowledge and no longer a belief. Is that accurate?"

Not considered knowledge, correct, where "knowledge" is defined as acquaintance with facts. Once the belief is proven, however, it can still be a belief. I'm not saying that factual knowledge and belief are mutually exclusive; I'm saying that believing factual knowledge is redundant.

Karla said...

Boom "Once the belief is proven, however, it can still be a belief."

Let's keep going on this. Can you give me an example?

boomSLANG said...

"why dont you both just ask god to give you a sign that he is real?"

But why "a sign"? We not just real, unambiguous, tangible evidence that I cannot deny? I've said it dozens of times on this blog, and I'll say it again: Even if I am given evidence for God's existence that I cannot deny, I can still reject this God's policies, commands, and its love, if that love happens to be conditional. I can still refuse to bow down and respect this God. IOW, the whole "free will" apologetic is a smokescreen.

"if [God] loves us all and wants us all to be with him in heaven, he will understand the need for reassurance."

Yeah, you'd think. But evidently not.

boomSLANG said...

"Let's keep going on this. Can you give me an example?"

Person X: "I have a lion in my living room!"

Person Y: "Really? I don't believe you. Can I see it?"

Person X: "Sure, follow me!"

::opens door to house::

Person Y: "Wow! You're right!. You do have a lion in your living room!"

Person Y: "Wow! There's a lion in that guy's living room!"

Person Z: "Are you sure? You might believe he has a lion in there, but how you know this?"

Person Y: "I saw it for myself...he showed me, and I now believe him! You can see it for yourself, too!"

Conclusion: Person Y knows and believes that there's a lion in person X' living room.

Karla said...

Boom I accept and agree with that example. I'm now not sure where we digress. . .

boomSLANG said...

Yeah. Well, okay, I'll try another route. You take the position that one can acquire and possess "knowledge" with their "heart", correct? If so, after the following incomplete thought, pick which answers(if any) strike you as peculiar and/or inapt if you were to hear someone utter these words:

"I just know in my heart....

- that our troops won't get hurt."

- that Barack Obama is President."

- that two plus two equals four."

- that he'll overcome his cancer."

- that the sun is hot."

Karla said...

Only the over coming his cancer statement seems like something more in line with the kind of internal knowledge I am speaking of and the verification or proof would only come after that has happened or the disproof if it did not happen.

boomSLANG said...

"Only the over coming his cancer statement seems like something more in line with the kind of internal knowledge I am speaking of and the verification or proof would only come after that has happened or the disproof if it did not happen"

Yet, it's not knowledge *until* there's verification or proof. If one claims to "know in their heart" that Joe Blow will overcome his cancer, but yet, Joe Blow dies, then the one who claimed to know something didn't know anything to begin with. He or she might have believed and/or hoped, yes, but he or she did not know, and this underscores my point:

When/if people say that they know something in their heart, this implies doubt or uncertainty. That's why it doesn't make sense to say that we know in our heart things which we know for certain...e.g...that Barack Obama is President, that two plus two equals four, and that the sun is hot.

I hope I've effectively made my point this time.

Karla said...

Boom “Yet, it's not knowledge *until* there's verification or proof. If one claims to "know in their heart" that Joe Blow will overcome his cancer, but yet, Joe Blow dies, then the one who claimed to know something didn't know anything to begin with. He or she might have believed and/or hoped, yes, but he or she did notknow, and this underscores my point:”

If it is true it was foreknowledge. It’s not a chance guess or wish that could become true, though that happens sometimes, but sometimes people know things they have no way of knowing – no evidence or proof. But they know and it isn’t until later that their knowledge is confirmed.

And there are other times where people claim to have foreknowledge and they are mistaken or are misleading people. And there are times when they got it right, but it was simply a guess.



Boom “When/if people say that they know something in their heart, this implies doubt or uncertainty.”

It could imply that to you, it doesn’t to me. I take that very seriously if the person is a dependable, truthful, sane person.

Boom “That's why it doesn't make sense to say that we know in our heart things which we know for certain...e.g...that Barack Obama is President, that two plus two equals four, and that the sun is hot.”

If someone said Barack Obama will be President 2 years before it happened that could have been such knowledge. When Jim Baker shouted out on his television show that “New Orleans will be under water” that happened before Katrina hit. It was foreknowledge or prophetic knowledge. It wasn’t something he could know or prove, but it did come to happen.


Boom “I hope I've effectively made my point this time. “

I do see your point and it makes perfect since if there was only a natural non-spiritual world. But alas there is a spiritual world and knowledge is received that way too. Some call it “6th sense” – I don’t, but it is a popular term for it.

boomSLANG said...

"If it is true it was foreknowledge."

Fallacy of coincidental correlation. You have no way of testing this assertion.

"It’s not a chance guess or wish that could become true, though that happens sometimes"

And again, you cannot definitively differentiate between "foreknowledge" and "chance guess".

[...]but sometimes people know things they have no way of knowing – no evidence or proof."

Right--no evidence or proof for what you're asserting. There is no "reality check" for what you're asserting; there is no "reality check" for your beliefs.

"But they know and it isn’t until later that their knowledge is confirmed."

See ad hoc fallacy.

Previously, me: “When/if people say that they know something in their heart, this implies doubt or uncertainty.”

You respond: "It could imply that to you, it doesn’t to me. I take that very seriously if the person is a dependable, truthful, sane person"

Many people take many things "very seriously". People spend billions having a "fortune teller" read their palms. The fact that some people take it very seriously doesn't mean anything except that some people believe it very seriously. It's call credulity, Karla.

"If someone said Barack Obama will be President 2 years before it happened that could have been such knowledge."

Or, it could be pure luck, or they could have inside information.

"When Jim Baker shouted out on his television show that 'New Orleans will be under water' that happened before Katrina hit. It was foreknowledge or prophetic knowledge."

They call it weather forecasting for a reason. All of Florida and the states near the Gulf of Mexico are good candidates for hurricanes in hurricane season.

"I do see your point and it makes perfect since if there was only a natural non-spiritual world."

Fine. Prove there isn't "only a natural non-spirit world".

"But alas there is a spiritual world and knowledge is received that way too."

And this is "factual knowledge", how???

boomSLANG said...

I sense we're at another stalemate. Maybe you'll attempt responses; maybe you won't. In any case, here's a interesting question I thought of yesterday:

If, in a hypothetical situation, "God" could be proven to not exist, on what ideal(s) or principle(s) do you think "good" should be based, as it pertains to man's morality, and why?

*Remember, "God" is out of the picture, so please don't use anything pertaining to "God" if you should attempt to answer. In other words, that there is nothing "Absolute", is irrelevant, since that type of thinking comes directly from belief in "God".

Karla said...

Boom "If, in a hypothetical situation, "God" could be proven to not exist, on what ideal(s) or principle(s) do you think "good" should be based, as it pertains to man's morality, and why"

I think it would be based on the preferences of those that join together in a community and that it would only pertain to the values of that community and another community of people may develop their own values and standard of good. Only if their was world cooperation could it go further than that. There has been talk for years about a One World Government uniting the planet under one code of governing-- I don't think that will ever work, but I understand the philosophy behind it.

boomSLANG said...

"I think it would be based on the preferences of those that join together in a community and that it would only pertain to the values of that community and another community of people may develop their own values and standard of good." ~ karla

Okay, fair enough. Thx.

Pt. II:

Would you agree that things like personal "preferences" wouldn't matter if there are no people?

Karla said...

Boom "Would you agree that things like personal "preferences" wouldn't matter if there are no people?"

Well, yeah, if their are no people there is no "personal" anything and no one to have preferences.

Karla said...

Boom "Fine. Prove there isn't "only a natural non-spirit world"."

You exist right? Can you find "you" in your skin and bones? Are you in your heart organ? Are you in the tissue of your mind?

Is who you are a matter of your body build? Or who you are on the inside? And where do we see this you?

boomSLANG said...

"Well, yeah, if their are no people there is no 'personal' anything and no one to have preferences."

Okay(and agreed)

Pt: III

If, at a bare minimum, people have to exist in order for things to matter, then would you further agree that if a group of people agree that survival is the most fundamental objective, then avoiding unnecessary harm or death is of the utmost importance? Yes or no?

"You exist right?"

Right.

"Can you find 'you' in your skin and bones?"

By "you", I assume that you mean my "personality", in which case, yes, my personality and the thoughts of "me", are located in, and generated in, my physical brain, which is protected by "skin and bones". If I suffer brain trauma or damage, said personality may be lost. That is good, credible evidence that what I'm asserting is true.

"Are you in your heart organ?"

No. My heart pumps blood.

"Are you in the tissue of your mind?"

Yes.

"Is who you are a matter of your body build?"

Self-image, perhaps.

"Or who you are on the inside?"

Language like, "on the inside", is metaphorical, just like "know in my heart"

"And where do we see this you?"

By looking at me and/or interacting with me.

Karla said...

Boom "If, at a bare minimum, people have to exist in order for things to matter, then would you further agree that if a group of people agree that survival is the most fundamental objective, then avoiding unnecessary harm or death is of the utmost importance? Yes or no?"

That question operates on the assumption that "things ought to matter". Why should anything matter? If there were no people, there would simply be no people. Whether there never was or there were and then they went extinct, they would be gone. What difference would that make for their would be no one to lament it?


Boom "By "you", I assume that you mean my "personality", in which case, yes, my personality and the thoughts of "me", are located in, and generated in, my physical brain, which is protected by "skin and bones". If I suffer brain trauma or damage, said personality may be lost. That is good, credible evidence that what I'm asserting is true."

Then what about the people who have experiences while they are brain dead?

boomSLANG said...

"That question operates on the assumption that 'things ought to matter'. Why should anything matter?" ~ Karla

Your own response to my previous question confirms that people need to EXIST in order for *anything* to matter, as seen here:

"Well, yeah, if [there] are no people there is no 'personal' anything and no one to have preferences." ~ Karla

Repeat: if no one exists, then NOTHING can "matter". That's not my opinion; it's fact.

Thus, the only thing I'm assuming here is that people WANT to exist, as opposed to not exist. From there, I'm asking you a simple question, that is, for the people who WANT exist, would you agree that AVOIDING UNNECESSARY HARM OR DEATH is the best way to ensure this? Yes. or. no?

*And yes, I fully realize that there are some people who don't care if they exist, or not. Those people don't apply to this argument.

"Then what about the people who have experiences while they are brain dead?" ~ Karla

Do these people report these so-called "experiences" while "brain dead"?

Karla said...

Boom "Thus, the only thing I'm assuming here is that people WANT to exist, as opposed to not exist. From there, I'm asking you a simple question, that is, for the people who WANT exist, would you agree that AVOIDING UNNECESSARY HARM OR DEATH is the best way to ensure this? Yes. or. no?"

Yes to exist would mean avoiding death.

Your previous question was "for things to matter people would have to exist" so I took it that it was then on that ground they would need to exist.

Boom "Repeat: if no one exists, then NOTHING can "matter". That's not my opinion; it's fact."


Agreed.

Boom "Your own response to my previous question confirms that people need to EXIST in order for *anything* to matter, as seen here::"

Right, as long as we are agreed that nothing need matter or ought to matter, thus people should exist.

Boom "Do these people report these so-called "experiences" while "brain dead"?"

They report it after, they report seeing what was going on around them, or even what happened at home where they were not at the time of the brain dead state or what they saw in an afterlife abode.

boomSLANG said...

"Yes to exist would mean avoiding death."

Ah, THANK YOU!!!!!(possibly another related question later)

Previously, me: "Your own response to my previous question confirms that people need to EXIST in order for *anything* to matter [...]"

You respond: "Right, as long as we are agreed that nothing need matter or ought to matter, thus people should exist."

Nothing need matter except survival, right. Survival is the objective meaning of life. *However*, that doesn't mean that there can't be meaning in life. The meaning in life is what *we* make it. We can't derive meaning from some other person's meaning of life, because that wouldn't be YOUR meaning, but theirs. Agreed on all points?

"They report it after[...]"

Right, just as I suspected. And there is no way to know if these "experiences" happened while brain dead, or while coming to, from being brain dead.

Karla said...

Boom "Nothing need matter except survival, right. Survival is the objective meaning of life. *However*, that doesn't mean that there can't be meaning in life. The meaning in life is what *we* make it. We can't derive meaning from some other person's meaning of life, because that wouldn't be YOUR meaning, but theirs. Agreed on all points?"

So in a world where there is no God . . .

Meaning is created by humans
Thus no humans no meaning
Humans do exist so that is why meaning is important to us
So we want our own survival so our meaning continues to mean something
So the ultimate moral code is to exist thus anything that hinders that existence is that which is bad?

So the ultimate purpose of man is to be and the minor purpose is whatever we wish it to be as long as it does not conflict with others existing unharmed?

I think therefore I am becomes I exist to exist?

Boom "Right, just as I suspected. And there is no way to know if these "experiences" happened while brain dead, or while coming to, from being brain dead."

If the person recounted them while brain dead they wouldn't be brain dead, they would have to recount them after. Moreover, brain dead or not, how can they report on events happening at another location than their physical body when no one told them about those events even describing what people were wearing and doing that had not come to the hospital? I'm giving that example from a vague memory of having read it, but I'd have to find the source if it were pertinent for me to do so.

boomSLANG said...

"I think therefore I am becomes I exist to exist?" ~ Karla

'Not sure how you drawn such a conclusion. The objective purpose of life(existence), if any, is to live/survive. Correct. If one doesn't live/survive, then surely not much else can matter(as you agreed, previously).

As far as purpose IN life, we have the ability to create our own purpose/meaning in life. I fail to see how anyone could look at this with a raised eyebrow, as you seemingly are.

"If the person recounted them while brain dead they wouldn't be brain dead, they would have to recount them after."

Right. So? Why even interject the part about being "brain dead", since it can't proven that the "experiences", themselves, didn't happen between the time the brain recovered, and the time the individual became conscious enough/coherent enough to recount them? We know that dreams can happen over a matter of seconds. I could dream that I've been "experiencing" rides at the amusement park all day, but the dream, itself, might only last ten seconds long.

"brain dead or not, how can they report on events happening at another location than their physical body when no one told them about those events even describing what people were wearing and doing that had not come to the hospital? I'm giving that example from a vague memory of having read it, but I'd have to find the source if it were pertinent for me to do so."

If the source were from an accredited, peer-reviewed scientific/medical journal, I'd have to seriously consider such things..i.e.."astral projection", "out of body experience", etc. But alas, I suspect it wasn't from any such source and it remains pseudo-science.

Question: When was the last time you examined something that was actually critical of your beliefs? I mean, aside from reading my posts.

Karla said...

Boom “'Not sure how you drawn such a conclusion. The objective purpose of life(existence), if any, is to live/survive. Correct. If one doesn't live/survive, then surely not much else can matter(as you agreed, previously). “

In a world without God, that would seem to be the whole of it.


Boom “As far as purpose IN life, we have the ability to create our own purpose/meaning in life. I fail to see how anyone could look at this with a raised eyebrow, as you seemingly are.”

I’m asking about when those purposes conflict? What makes us care about the survival of a people group not counted among us? Of course, I guess I am taking for granted that humans would not have intrinsic value, but value they assign to themselves as being valuable.


Boom “Right. So? Why even interject the part about being "brain dead", since it can't proven that the "experiences", themselves, didn't happen between the time the brain recovered, and the time the individual became conscious enough/coherent enough to recount them? We know that dreams can happen over a matter of seconds. I could dream that I've been "experiencing" rides at the amusement park all day, but the dream, itself, might only last ten seconds long.”

That is a possible explanation.


Boom “If the source were from an accredited, peer-reviewed scientific/medical journal, I'd have to seriously consider such things..i.e.."astral projection", "out of body experience", etc. But alas, I suspect it wasn't from any such source and it remains pseudo-science.”

I read a book that had a whole series of accounts, but I’d have to locate the book and see what the references were as to if it came from a scientific journal, doctor testimony, or personal testimony of the one who had been brain dead. It’s been some years since I read it.


Boom “Question: When was the last time you examined something that was actually critical of your beliefs? I mean, aside from reading my posts.”

I read a lot of articles on Helium that are from a variety of other religious perspectives like New Age, Muslim, etc. And also articles by atheists and agnostics. It has been a while since I’ve read any Dawkins or visited his website—probably not since the last time we were talking before the long break. I want to read a lot more philosophy – everything from Plato to Nietzsche as well as the modern philosophers. But this year I have concentrated on reading history books – lots of books by Joseph Ellis.

boomSLANG said...

"In a world without God, that would seem to be the whole of it." ~ Karla

No, not "the whole of it", because for some reason, you seem to not want to include the part I said about creating one's *own* meaning/purpose in life.

"I’m asking about when those purposes conflict?"

As long as one's purpose doesn't conflict in ways that cause unnecessary harm or death to others, it's okay. Person X wants to be a stay-at-home mom; person Y wants a career.

"Of course, I guess I am taking for granted that humans would not have intrinsic value, but value they assign to themselves as being valuable."

The ability to feel love, empathy, etc., for others, *is* part of our nature, or intrinsic. Even lower evolved animals exhibit the ability to feel these things.

Karla said...

Boom “No, not "the whole of it", because for some reason, you seem to not want to include the part I said about creating one's *own* meaning/purpose in life.”

I wasn’t excluding that. Yes, in a world without God, but with people, each person would make their own meaning.


Boom “As long as one's purpose doesn't conflict in ways that cause unnecessary harm or death to others, it's okay. Person X wants to be a stay-at-home mom; person Y wants a career. “

I understand how a person, family, or community of people would aim for survival, but I do not see how that person or group would necessarily put that same value on another group as they could imagine their survival to depend on the other group not having that right. History has shown this with Nazi Germany and with American and European slavery (to cite just two examples).



Boom “The ability to feel love, empathy, etc., for others, *is* part of our nature, or intrinsic. Even lower evolved animals exhibit the ability to feel these things.”


While I agree that if we love each other we won’t have need to kill each other, but I don’t see a world that loves each other. If it is so normal to do so, why do so many not do it? Why the bloodshed in Libya? Why 9/11? Why Hitler? Why Mussolini? Why Nero? Etc. And why all those who carried out their orders?

Why don’t people practice love if we can naturally see it as the thing that keeps us all surviving?

Anonymous said...

...Because of the blindness created by religion. "This world is not my home, I'm just a passing through..." People are thoroughly brainwashed into believing they have another life to live after this one, that this life is just a test. THAT is why people are so flippant with this life.

Karla said...

"Because of the blindness created by religion. "This world is not my home, I'm just a passing through..." People are thoroughly brainwashed into believing they have another life to live after this one, that this life is just a test. THAT is why people are so flippant with this life"

I believe I have a responsibility to the world. And I think many religions teach that the way we live now determines the way we will live then. So I do not see how that would make people flippant about their present life.

boomSLANG said...

"[...]I think many religions teach that the way we live now determines the way we will live then." ~ Karla

Which religions teach that?

As for Christianity, isn't it true that said religion teaches that any wrong-doing(or "sin") done in this life is forgivable, just as long as one accepts "Jesus" as their personal "Savior"? If this is accurate, then leading a life of "sin", now, isn't necessarily going to determine how one will live "then", is it?

Karla said...

Boom "Which religions teach that?"

Reincarnation religions believe how you live now will determine your position in the next life even if that life is earthly, Islam teaching that the things you do on earth gets you rewards in heaven, Most people who believe in a heaven or afterlife believe that how they live determines their ability to enter it.


Boom "As for Christianity, isn't it true that said religion teaches that any wrong-doing(or "sin") done in this life is forgivable, just as long as one accepts "Jesus" as their personal "Savior"? If this is accurate, then leading a life of "sin", now, isn't necessarily going to determine how one will live "then", is it?"

Yes sin is forgiven and forgotten when forgiven by Jesus. But the Bible also speaks of rewards in heaven and on earth for living righteously. I think, my own opinion here, that there will be levels of maturity even in heaven and that their will still be ways to grow in the Lord even in a heaven environment. Some will have more growing to do than others, even though all will be fully righteous.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: "Yes sin is forgiven and forgotten when forgiven by Jesus. But the Bible also speaks of rewards in heaven and on earth for living righteously. I think, my own opinion here, that there will be levels of maturity even in heaven and that their will still be ways to grow in the Lord even in a heaven environment. Some will have more growing to do than others, even though all will be fully righteous."[bold added]

The only thing pertinent to my question in your above answer is what is in bold type. Any earthly "reward" for "living righteously" is of no practical value..i.e..moot, since, if one doesn't accept "Jesus", yadda, yadda, yadda, now, then he or she won't see any "reward", even if he or she intends to live "righteously", now. Strangely, intentions mean absolutely nothing in Christianity.

In any case, you made a clear distinction in your original comment regarding "now"(this life), and "then"(a [supposed] afterlife), saying that certain religions teach that the former actually "determines" the latter. I'm saying, in Christianity, the only determining factor is whether or not they accept "Jesus", which, as you know, requires that one believes that said character exists.

Karla said...

Boom "The only thing pertinent to my question in your above answer is what is in bold type. Any earthly "reward" for "living righteously" is of no practical value..i.e..moot, since, if one doesn't accept "Jesus", yadda, yadda, yadda, now, then he or she won't see any "reward", even if he or she intends to live "righteously", now. Strangely, intentions mean absolutely nothing in Christianity."

It is impossible to live righteously without God. Now one could live well, not harming others, and getting along well with others, and doing good things for others, but this is not righteousness -- righteousness is born on the inside not from doing right things, but being made right.

Christians have often reduced the work of Jesus to only pertain to becoming more moral rather than becoming a new person who part of that new life is loving people as we should, but also being restored to a person not effected by sin which is a greater matter than morality. Its a transfusion that unlocks our supernatural and spiritual part of our being while restoring the physical part as well. Morality is not the whole of it. Humans can follow moral rules to the T with proper motivation, that isn't what it's all about.


Boom "In any case, you made a clear distinction in your original comment regarding "now"(this life), and "then"(a [supposed] afterlife), saying that certain religions teach that the former actually "determines" the latter. I'm saying, in Christianity, the only determining factor is whether or not they accept "Jesus", which, as you know, requires that one believes that said character exists."

I was responding to a comment about religious people only being concerned with the next life and being flippant about behavior and responsibility on earth. I was pointing out that not just with Christians, but many religious people are very concerned about their current earthly life and responsibilities especially those that believe in having to work to earn their salvation, which is almost all of religion save for those who understand the grace of God that comes through Jesus.

boomSLANG said...

"It is impossible to live righteously without God." ~ Karla

Where "righteously" is define BY Christianity? Perhaps. Mind you, Tom Cruise can just as easily say, "It impossible to become clear without Scientology!".

Now, if that statement is utterly meaningless to you, then know that this how utterly meaningless it is to me when you say, "It impossible to live righteously without God".

In any case, this isn't about who's "living righteously" and who isn't; this is about a statement that you made saying that for some religions, how one lives now(this life) "determines"(YOUR word) how one will live then(afterlife).

So, lets clear this up. Is such a teaching a cornerstone in "Christianity", or not?

"Now one could live well, not harming others, and getting along well with others, and doing good things for others, but this is not righteousness"

Wait a minute, you say "God" is the very definition of "good", in which case, non-theists cannot possibly do "good" things for others. You'd have to invent or substitute another word for "good".

"righteousness is born on the inside not from doing right things, but being made right."

A few problems. Firstly, "being made right" highly suggests that it's out of the will of the individual, but instead, purely reliant upon "God" to will the person "righteous"(or not).

Secondly, if "God" makes Christians "righteous", then why do Christians still misbehave and act immorally? What you are proposing seems contradictory.

"Morality is not the whole of it. Humans can follow moral rules to the T with proper motivation, that isn't what it's all about."

Correct---good, moral intentions isn't what it's all about, thus, UNDERSCORING my previous point:

Believer's intentions, now(this life), are utterly meaningless. It is "all about" accepting "Jesus", yadda, yadda, yadda, which, evidently, doesn't even guarantee "righteousness", since people who "accept" said character still misbehave. A child-molesting man of the clothe, now(this life), can still receive his just reward later on.

The Christian philosophy is morally bankrupt.

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