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bornagainathiest

Atheist Demolishes Christian's Beliefs - In Their Own Forum!

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The analytical types were the hardest people to witness to, when I was fundie. They did stuff like this Dr Truth guy is doing all the time, and I had no defense whatsoever against it (you might have noticed that I tend to veer more towards passion than ration; I was a lot worse when I was younger).

 

I have also lately noticed that it's the non-believers who are holding Christianity to the Bible, whereas the believers seem happy to redefine all sorts of things about it and its deity. Some progressive and "emergent" (WTF) blogs I've read seem happy to discard almost all of it and write a religion for themselves that doesn't bear much resemblance at all to the Bible.

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I just finished reading the whole thread on the christian forum, and it was totally worth it, even though the pretzel logic of the christians made my head hurt! It was interesting to see all the arguments defending god's right to send people to hell, and then enjoy the responses of the cool gentleman atheist, Dr Truth - he was pretty awesome!

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Yea, for lo, Dr Truth brings cool and even-headed discourse to the heathens of the fundie forum; he dresses in Steampunk or perhaps even Browncoat gear, and his moustache (may it curl luxuriantly) smells like cinnamon.

 

I really really dig the cut of this guy's jib.

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Pretty good thread over there. I faded out somewhere during page 12.

 

I, myself, am a student of logic. I should point out that I'm only in the first grade, but still... isn't Dr. Truth setting up a logical strawman of sorts?

I think my answer would have been closest to Gray Angels, but that's because I started out in a Christian Reformed (Calvinist) church. God will have mercy upon whom he will have mercy. Enoch I loved, Esau I hated (or the other way around). Predestination, hardening Pharoah's heart, etc.

 

Then there's this... "Interestingly, he can't be omnipotent and omniscient, because he hasn't the power to act unconstrained by his omniscience. If he does have the power to change the outcomes he knew would happen, then he can't be omniscient. I am learning more and more about faith.

Another paradox - thank you."

How does this make sense? I mean, if God is all-powerful, he can do what he wants no matter what he knows.

 

 

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Enoch I loved, Esau I hated (or the other way around).

 

Jacob I loved, Esau I hated (heh heh).

 

Then there's this... "Interestingly, he can't be omnipotent and omniscient, because he hasn't the power to act unconstrained by his omniscience. If he does have the power to change the outcomes he knew would happen, then he can't be omniscient. I am learning more and more about faith.

Another paradox - thank you."

How does this make sense? I mean, if God is all-powerful, he can do what he wants no matter what he knows.

I think Dr. Truth means, if God knows that P will occur, then P will occur (implied in the meaning of "know")

But P will not occur (because ex hypothesi God changes the outcome)

Therefore God doesn't know that P will occur.

Therefore God isn't omniscient (follows w/ addition of other obvious premises)

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Ficino, remember I said I was only in first grade of logic school! I read your answer, but still I'm not sure I get it. I'll have to study up a bit I guess.

 

Also, good catch and thanks on the Enoch/Jacob vs. Esau thing.

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The circular reasoning of the christians made my head spin round like a vinyl record.. as usual.

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Hello Dude I think Dr. Truth is trying to get at how the notion of God's omniscience is incompatible with a broad sense of omnipotence, on which God could decide to do anything (or maybe, anything that is not expressed as some false idea like "create square triangle"). If God (or anyone) knows that P, the definition of knowledge entails that it cannot be the case that not-P. So if God knows that P will occur, God cannot bring it about that P will not occur. Therefore either God can't have knowledge about P's occurring or He can't cause P not to occur. On the first part of this disjunction, God is not omnipotent, and on the second, God is not omnipotent. Wm. Lane Craig and such folk have answers to this, and I'm sure Dr. Truth knows that. I forget the context, but maybe Dr. T was just saying this stuff to show an individual Christian respondent that there are problems generated by the usual Christian attempt to harmonize God's omniscience and omnipotence with creatures' free will?

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According to GrayAngel : "Contrary to popular opinion, Hell is adjusted for the individual. He doesn't throw everyone into the same fire, if Hell even literally involves any fire in the first place."

 

Saywha ? Where in the Bible, exactly, did he/she pull this idea from?

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Ficino, what is the definition of "P"? Is it something absolute, or something variable that "God" created?

 

Is there another thread where this is being or has been discussed? I don't want to clog up this one.

 

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It would be so much easier to believe in a god that isn't omniscient. I used to attack the assertion that god is perfect. If something is perfect, then there's nothing you can add to or take away that would improve it's state of existence, it needs nothing. So why would a perfect god want or need worshipers? Why would a perfect god want or need anything? or bother with creation? I've yet to get a straight answer on this.

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Legato, when I was a Full Fledged Fundie I had trouble with the the verses in the O.T. that had God coming down from Heaven to see for Himself what was going on. I can't remember chapter and verse, but it's there.

As a FFF, I might have told you that creation of anything doesn't remove from God the attribute of perfection. One can be perfect and still have a hobby. How silly is that, but is it wrong?

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Ficino, what is the definition of "P"? Is it something absolute, or something variable that "God" created?

 

Is there another thread where this is being or has been discussed? I don't want to clog up this one.

 

Hi Dude, Any proposition can be substituted for P in what I was talking about. If God knows that France was ruled by a king in 2011, then it must be the case that France was ruled by a king in 2011, by the force of the word "knows." That's because knowledge is "of" truths. If you and I, mere mortals, know this about France, then it also must be the case, for the same reason. On the other hand, since in fact France was not ruled by a king last year, no one, not God, not a mortal, can know that France was ruled by a king in 2011.

 

I hope I'm not making things more obscure. Let me know if I am.

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According to GrayAngel : "Contrary to popular opinion, Hell is adjusted for the individual. He doesn't throw everyone into the same fire, if Hell even literally involves any fire in the first place."

 

Saywha ? Where in the Bible, exactly, did he/she pull this idea from?

This may be tied loosely to the Catholic idea of purgatory, where some sins are cleansed while you wait.

The usual justification for differing degrees of punishment in hell is found in Luke 12:42-48.

 

And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

 

Rev 20:12-13 is also used to justify differing levels of punishment.

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Ficino: "I hope I'm not making things more obscure. Let me know if I am"

 

Duderonomy: You am.

 

Can't God know something will occur and act accordingly? Isn't this whole point just a redo of the the question, "Can God make a rock so big even He couldn't lift it?"

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I don't think Dr. Truth would argue against God's omnipotence by using materially false ideas like "a rock so heavy that an omnipotent being can't lift it" or "a square triangle." We both know how the Calvinist will make God's knowledge of creatures and of events follow His will, along the lines of "God knows all things in their causes" (what my seminary systematic theology prof used to say), and God is the first cause of all chains of causes. You may be familiar with Molinism (Ordinary Clay appeals to this theory). Molina was a Jesuit who introduced the notion of God's middle knowledge: God's knowledge of all possibilities. Wm. Lane Craig is a modern Protestant exponent of this approach. Molinists argue that before creation, God knew all the free choices you would make under all possible sets of circumstances (in all possible worlds, to put it another way), and God chose to actualize one set of possibilities- He created one actual world out of the many possible ones. Once created, all things in the world occur as they are determined by chains of causes going back to creation, but the entire set-up includes free-will choices of creatures, which God merely foresaw. Centauri, Citsonga, BAA and I tried to show Ordinary Clay that this doctrine is unbiblical, but OC just dropped out of the discussion, to reappear later as though his beliefs had not been refuted.

 

I don't think I can go any further in trying to interpret Dr. Truth. I'm not sure whether he thinks that his argument against God's omniscience, to which you took exception, is a sound one or whether he was putting it out there to test Christian responses.

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Hi Ficino!

 

Your reply to the Dude has just triggered a minor earthquake in my brain! Please look at what I've emboldened and then read on, lower down. Thanks.

 

 

I don't think Dr. Truth would argue against God's omnipotence by using materially false ideas like "a rock so heavy that an omnipotent being can't lift it" or "a square triangle." We both know how the Calvinist will make God's knowledge of creatures and of events follow His will, along the lines of "God knows all things in their causes" (what my seminary systematic theology prof used to say), and God is the first cause of all chains of causes. You may be familiar with Molinism (Ordinary Clay appeals to this theory). Molina was a Jesuit who introduced the notion of God's middle knowledge: God's knowledge of all possibilities. Wm. Lane Craig is a modern Protestant exponent of this approach. Molinists argue that before creation, God knew all the free choices you would make under all possible sets of circumstances (in all possible worlds, to put it another way), and God chose to actualize one set of possibilities- He created one actual world out of the many possible ones. Once created, all things in the world occur as they are determined by chains of causes going back to creation, but the entire set-up includes free-will choices of creatures, which God merely foresaw. Centauri, Citsonga, BAA and I tried to show Ordinary Clay that this doctrine is unbiblical, but OC just dropped out of the discussion, to reappear later as though his beliefs had not been refuted.

 

I don't think I can go any further in trying to interpret Dr. Truth. I'm not sure whether he thinks that his argument against God's omniscience, to which you took exception, is a sound one or whether he was putting it out there to test Christian responses.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

 

Now, we know how good Christianity is, when it comes to mutating and adapting to new challenges, don't we? So, if a Multiverse is discovered by cosmologists, what are certain Christians going to do? They're going to say this.

 

The Multiverse, where all possibilities are played out, under all sets of possible circumstances (in all possible worlds) is proof that God actualizes ALL possible worlds. It doesn't matter if Jesus is crucified more than once or even an infinite number of times in all of these possible worlds, because WE cannot know this, we can only surmise it. Therefore, from our limited and finite p.o.v., Jesus is crucified only once, for the sins of all in THIS universe. Thus, the Bible text is not violated, God is glorified throughout the Multiverse and, even if Jesus has to suffer an infinite number of times, God is eternal and infinite - so He can meet and overcome this challenge. Hallelujah!!! sad.png

 

What do you think Ficino?

 

The Multiverse is Modalism made Real.

 

Is that the next twist in the evolution of Christianity? You can drive a stake thru it's heart, but you can never kill it! Oy vey!

 

BAA

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Hi BAA, first of all, I should be more precise than I was above about God's middle knowledge. Molinists hold that God has natural knowledge, his knowledge of all necessary truths. Then God has free knowledge, his knowledge of what he has chosen to create and actualize. God's middle knowledge is his knowledge of what are a) counterfactuals now that God has actualized one universe, but B) are possible free decisions of rational creatures. So by middle knowledge, God knows that BAA will freely deny Christ in possible world Q, and God decides to actualize/create Q out of the many possible worlds he knows about. So BAA, you have freely chosen unbelief, and predestination boils down to God's decision to create a world in which you cannot fail to carry out your free decision to disbelieve. You're fucked, God foreknew and predestined but didn't cause your decision, and it's all your fault.

 

I'll have to give more time to the rest of your post because I'm not up on multiverses as physicists may talk about them. I only know about "possible worlds" as philosophers' shorthand for bundles of counterfactuals. Later, Dude and BAA

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Yeah, as to the multiverses, the Christians probably will say something like what you predict. Wm. Lane Craig, if he's still alive by then, will be at the front of the line to cash in on the book/lecture tour/debate market.

 

Of course, the above will be the educated, sophisticated Christians. There will always be lots of fundies who will say that the science comes straight from the pit of Hell. Some of them will even get elected to Congress.

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ficino, thanks for all the time you put in replying to me. I have just one more question and then I'm going to bow out of this thread...

 

Where can I find the thread where you and others were talking to OC about Molinism? I've never heard of it, and it sounds interesting. I tried search and it only returned this thread!

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Hi Dude, I tried searching on OC's profile and searching in the Lion's Den by the key word Molinism but, like you, only got the present thread. The discussion took place perhaps in March of this year. If I find it later I'll link it.

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I registered, declared myself an atheist, and asked Dr. Truth what he thought of Molinism. Someone replied that among non-Christian members of the site, only the original poster is supposed to post on a thread in that particular subforum. The chap directed me to their Philosophy forum if I want to comment on other people's posts.

 

So non-Christians can't post in a thread created by a non-Christian in that subforum? That makes no sense.

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Yeah, that's what they told me. Really cuts down dialogue.

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HMMM.... I WONDER WHY THAT MIGHT BE THEIR GOAL....?

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