Christforums

Given your options

Recommended Posts

2 minutes ago, Christforums said:

Let's get down to basics and throw every testimony outside a court of law because we consider it inadmissible or unbelievable etc.

 

You didn't really answer the question, but I'm taking this to suggest that you think the best evidence for God is the testimony of the gospels? Or that it is at least some evidence?

 

FWIW, I don't think @Orbit is asking for a logical proof of God's existence (and by logical I mean a formal, deductive proof that establishes God's existence as logically necessary). I think she's asking for evidence, and merely asking that the evidence be of such a nature that you don't have to accept a lot of Christian presuppositions to find it compelling, hence the request to not beg the question. I think you'll find she would accept the usual range of arguments that people generally use to try to establish the truth of various propositions.

 

A few other things:

 

- There's clearly a difference between being skeptical of some testimony and rejecting all testimony. I doubt that you accept the testimony of various authors in the Quran. I don't think Orbit rejects the concept of eyewitness testimony in its entirety either, but like you she will accept it in some contexts and reject it in others.

 

- You're conflating the logical validity (or soundness) of an argument with the idea of people being logically sound. I think everyone here will agree that no human being is perfectly rational or consistent, but arguments are not people.

 

- The claim that "there would be no logic without logos" requires an argument, although it sounds like it could also be part of an actual response to the question. That is, you could argue that God must exist because otherwise logical arguments could not exist, but you'd have to try to support that claim somehow.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just now, wellnamed said:

You didn't really answer the question, but I'm taking this to suggest that you think the best evidence for God is the testimony of the gospels? Or that it is at least some evidence?

 

Let's say that God chose you, "wellnamed" and revealed himself to you. What good would that do me? How would you communicate to others. What is ironic is that you seemingly think you hold to the truth and yet how are you communicating to others the truth?

 

2 minutes ago, wellnamed said:

FWIW, I don't think @Orbit is asking for a logical proof of God's existence (and by logical I mean a formal, deductive proof that establishes God's existence as logically necessary). I think she's asking for evidence, and merely asking that the evidence be of such a nature that you don't have to accept a lot of Christian presuppositions to find it compelling, hence the request to not beg the question. I think you'll find she would accept the usual range of arguments that people generally use to try to establish the truth of various propositions.

 

And I'm suggesting the very logical proof he/she is using cannot exists without the Logos. Going back to man being made in the image of God even logic is borrowed from the Christian worldview.

 

And yes, I acknowledge that some reject propositions and yet create a rule whereas the testimony which establishes propositions are inadmissible. That leaves us with other methods in which we derive knowledge such as empirical, relational, or introspection.

 

5 minutes ago, wellnamed said:

A few other things:

 

- The claim that "there would be no logic without logos" requires an argument, although it sounds like it could also be part of an actual response to the question. That is, you could argue that God must exist because otherwise logical arguments could not exist, but you'd have to try to support that claim somehow.

 

Oh, you're asking me for the scientific method in order to prove to you the existence of logic and/or how it came to be? Without we are to accept that logic exists. Period, how logic came into existence would require observation of the origin of logic, repeatability, and test-ability. Where you're asking me to provide such method such method falls short of in all theories of origin except by "first person testimony". For example, if the Holy Spirit divinely inspired the biblical authors then the Scriptures are writ by divine authorship which witnessed creation.

 

Seems to me that is of utmost importance to discredit testimony which establishes propositions. I've said it before and I'll say it again though it will draw a lot of opposition. Scripture doesn't try to prove God's existence, God's existence is an Axiom it is self evident. The Problem is man's suppression of the truth. Salvation is the intervention of God monergistically removing the obstacle which are the cause of disbelief. If I convince you intellectually of God's existence, tomorrow I'm convinced you'd be swayed by another argument which you find more supporting of the very problem which you can't nor I can do anything about. Your sin nature.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Christforums said:

 

Do you believe with your own eyes only or is there more to believe of someone other than their existence?

 

Not sure I understand your question or how it relates to what we were talking about.

 

Can you rephrase or explain please?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Christforums said:

Let's say that God chose you, "wellnamed" and revealed himself to you. What good would that do me?

 

I agree both that this is possible, and also that it has very little utility from an inter-subjective standpoint. Which raises the question, I think, of why God has apparently chosen to lean so exclusively on such a mechanism for spreading the good news. I'm fond of abductive reasoning (inference to the best explanation) in this context, rather than deductive and inductive arguments. I think you're allowed to appeal to the idea that God exists, has revealed himself to individuals but not in a way that would allow for much in the way of independent confirmation. I can't prove that this is impossible any more than you can prove God's existence as a logical necessity. But abductively it seems rather implausible that an all-powerful God both desires my communion but also goes out of His way to make His existence so mysterious.

 

6 minutes ago, Christforums said:

Oh, you're asking me for the scientific method in order to prove to you the existence of logic and/or how it came to be? Without we are to accept that logic exists. Period, how logic came into existence would require observation of the origin of logic, repeatability, and test-ability. Where you're asking me to provide such method such method falls short of in all theories of origin except by "first person testimony". For example, if the Holy Spirit divinely inspired the biblical authors then the Scriptures are writ by divine authorship which witnessed creation.

 

I wasn't asking necessarily for a "scientific method" for determining the truth of the claim. I just asked for some argument that leads from the existence of the human capacity for logical reasoning to the existence of something resembling the Christian God. I would expect a more philosophical argument, rather than an empirical one, but I don't have the argument and I'm not trying to prejudice the response by insisting that it must take a certain shape.

 

8 minutes ago, Christforums said:

Period, how logic came into existence would require observation of the origin of logic, repeatability, and test-ability. Where you're asking me to provide such method such method falls short of in all theories of origin except by "first person testimony"

 

You're creating a straw-man here. I didn't ask for an argument about the origin of logic. See above: I'm asking for an argument that connects the existence of logic to the existence of God. It doesn't have to be an argument that accounts for the origin of anything, per se. To illustrate, imagine I asked for an argument that connects the existence of a puddle on the ground (which we can both plainly observe) to the existence of a rain storm which came through town earlier. I'm not asking in that case for a history of the entire world or the origin of the storm. You would make an inductive argument that puddles like that one are very often the result of rain storms, you would point to clouds on the horizon, and suggest that the rain storm being responsible for that puddle is the abductively best conclusion, because it seems more likely than someone dumping some water there from a watering can, or etc.

 

11 minutes ago, Christforums said:

Scripture doesn't try to prove God's existence, God's existence is an Axiom it is self evident.

 

I agree that probably all the authors of Biblical texts believed this. Paul says so more or less explicitly in Romans. As Thales put it, "everything is full of gods". Nevertheless, the existence of God is not self-evident to me, nor to Orbit, nor to many others in the present day. That owes in large part to the large advances we've made in our ability to make sense of natural phenomena. Of course you are welcome to take the existence of God as an axiom, or to adopt something like Plantinga's ideas about "properly basic beliefs". That's an honest answer to the question. I'm not sure it will be satisfying to you or other Christians in the long run, though, because I think that if it's the best answer you have that you should expect the trend towards secularization and loss of faith in traditional Christianity to continue. The problem you face is that this answer is not particularly believable for many people any longer, which is what prompts the question about evidence to begin with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, wellnamed said:

The problem you face is that this answer is not particularly believable for many people any longer, which is what prompts the question about evidence to begin with.

 

Not in Reformed theology. That isn't really the problem for God but rather the greatest obstacle for Christians. Christians "WANT" to see the fruits of their labor in apologetics (debates, arguments etc.). Paul stated that he planted, Apollos watered and that God gave the growth. Likewise other parables which suggest that the seed falls on various ground but only takes root in desirable soil leads to what is necessary for belief in Ezekiel 36:25-27. Jesus alluded to this Scripture when He stated to Nicodemus that no man can "see" or "enter" the kingdom let alone draw near the object of faith (Jesus Christ) John 6:44 without being Predestined/Elected/Called/Regenerated to salvation. If you're Elect wellnamed it is only because of God's monergistic works and not fanciful arguments etc in debate.

 

In John 10:26 Jesus states, You do not believe because you're not my sheep. The verse does not say you are not my sheep because you do not believe.

 

As for me, I'm not saying that you're not elect, I was dragged through unbelief and various worldly philosophies for almost two decades. Entering Christendom through Gnosticism abandoning any notion of Christianity turning to Carl Jung to make sense of the world around only to receive what I now know as Regeneration. Without, I'm guessing that you may receive an intellectual conviction which may lead you to side with the Christian faith. Perhaps, the secondary effects, a higher moral society etc may present themselves, but that's says nothing of salvation.

 

The way I see things, I'm not here to convert anyone. And I find arguments futile efforts. Look at the Prophet Jonah which hated the Ninevites. He refused to go and ended up being swallowed up by a divinely prepared fish and spit out on the shore of those he abhorred. There he gave the shortest sermon in the biblical record. The salvation of others isn't dependent upon my eloquent or logically sound arguments. If God wants you and sets His affections upon you, you're powerless and won't be able to resists.

 

Enjoy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Christforums said:

Not in Reformed theology.

 

I know it's not a problem for your theology, but that's not what I meant :P

 

I think your answer is basically that you can't give an answer to the question that would satisfy someone from outside of your religious tradition and also that within your worldview you have no reason to be concerned with your inability to do so. That's fair enough as far as I'm concerned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, wellnamed said:

 

I know it's not a problem for your theology, but that's not what I meant :P

 

I think you're answer is basically that you can't give an answer to the question that would satisfy someone from outside of your religious tradition and also that within your worldview you have no reason to be concerned with your inability to do so. That's fair enough as far as I'm concerned.

 

No matter what answer you're given I'm sure you'll find reason to support your presuppositions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ironic that a christian would bring up confirmation bias. 

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

William likely has accepted one of these two epistemological positions:

 

Reformed Epistemology seeks to justify someone's belief in God by arguing that such a belief is properly basic, and as such no other justification is needed because properly basic beliefs are so basic that they have the nature of being axiomatic (self-evident). Axioms are assumed rather than proved.

 

Reformed Epistemology argues that belief in God is a properly basic belief and as such one does not need any other evidence to justify holding the belief.

 

You might say that Reformed Epistemology seeks for reasons why it does not need reasons. 

 

Then there is Presuppositionalism.

 

Presuppositionalism states that we all have fundamental, core commitments that are not proved but rather assumed which allow us to answer questions about what is real, how we can know, and what is right and wrong. The presuppositionalist argues that unless one assumes the Christian God, then the foundation is not sufficient for there to be knowledge or anything. God is the ultimate axiom needed to make sense of the world.

 

Presuppostionalists argue that God is so properly basic that we are justified in believing in Him because apart from Him we cannot know anything or predicate anything. 

 

Please forgive me if I've oversimplified here. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Christforums said:

No matter what answer you're given I'm sure you'll find reason to support your presuppositions.

 

I think this is too prejudicial, but in any case: I'm not suggesting that you should judge the success of your argument on whether or not I (or Orbit) accept it. I make lots of arguments that are rejected by the people I'm conversing with, and it doesn't dissuade me from believing that I'm right and they're wrong. Several people in this thread can attest to that :P Here I think you're again conflating the merits of an argument with the flaws of people. But it's not as if my cognitive biases or prejudices would render an argument ineffective, and there are others reading.

 

I also didn't conclude that you're unable to make an argument just because you're declining to do so. There are lots of reasons why someone might think an argument is possible but decline to make it. For example if you asked me to make an argument for the claim that humans evolved from primate ancestors I would likely decline or defer to others, because it's not my specialty and it sounds tedious. I might try to offer a rough outline of an argument and point you to various books. So that's all fine. What I wouldn't do though, is try to delegitimize the question by saying that the conclusion is self-evident, or that maybe it can only be known by direct revelation and can't be inter-subjectively confirmed, or statements like that. It's those sorts of statements that lead me to conclude that you're not just declining to make an argument, but that you think an argument isn't really possible or even necessary. Obviously claiming that something is self-evident is claiming that an argument is unnecessary.

 

24 minutes ago, webmdave said:

Then there is Presuppositionalism. 

 

Yeah. I mentioned Plantinga. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy has a good article on reformed epistemology which covers this.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So @Christforums you say you are not here to evangelize. What then do you hope to accomplish? I still think you don't understand the premise of this website. We were all fervent Christians at one point; many clergy and lay leaders among us, and many with a deep knowledge of theology. What exactly is it that you think you're telling us that we have not already crawled our way out of through logic and reason?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread has been a merry-go-round since it started.  I think I will jump off.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, webmdave said:

William likely has accepted one of these two epistemological positions:

 

Reformed Epistemology seeks to justify someone's belief in God by arguing that such a belief is properly basic, and as such no other justification is needed because properly basic beliefs are so basic that they have the nature of being axiomatic (self-evident). Axioms are assumed rather than proved.

 

Reformed Epistemology argues that belief in God is a properly basic belief and as such one does not need any other evidence to justify holding the belief.

 

You might say that Reformed Epistemology seeks for reasons why it does not need reasons. 

 

Then there is Presuppositionalism.

 

Presuppositionalism states that we all have fundamental, core commitments that are not proved but rather assumed which allow us to answer questions about what is real, how we can know, and what is right and wrong. The presuppositionalist argues that unless one assumes the Christian God, then the foundation is not sufficient for there to be knowledge or anything. God is the ultimate axiom needed to make sense of the world.

 

Presuppostionalists argue that God is so properly basic that we are justified in believing in Him because apart from Him we cannot know anything or predicate anything. 

 

Please forgive me if I've oversimplified here. 

 

I am actually reminded of why I paused and took a leave of absence from this forum the first time. Kindly, like so many others you seemingly miss the point altogether. You're so concerned about me or you. Draw a circle around a capital M on a piece of paper or sticky and put it beside your monitor as reminder. Lemme try to clarify and leave you with something as I depart again. I am moving to another state and have much to prepare.

 

I want you to imagine if just for a moment you're one of the Elect of God. And now I want you to please, if you will, read first Ezekiel 36:25-27 which concerns being reborn, rebirth, or regeneration and Ephesians 1 and note what "I, me or myself" or "you" have done in our salvation. And ask yourself, where does any of this (our arguments etc) matter. Again, I ask you to list the things you ("M" for man) have done. Lemme repeat and reemphasize what have you done as an Elect? Now after you read these and note what you have done as an Elect try to place yourself in the Evangelist seat and please do tell me how salvation relies on any of your eloquent arguments etc?

 

Ezekiel

25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.[a]

 

Ephesians

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known[c] to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

 

11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee[d] of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it,[e] to the praise of his glory.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good luck with your move and please hurry back. It's been fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Weezer said:

This thread has been a merry-go-round since it started.  I think I will jump off.  

I have learned in life that when someone talks in 'circles'  it's better just to walk away. I call it 'word salad'.  Narcissists normally do this. It's useless. I've had to let go of friends in real life cause they talk in circles and ALWAYS have to be right. It's crazy-making. Meh. Waste of time.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Christforums said:

 

I am actually reminded of why I paused and took a leave of absence from this forum the first time. Kindly, like so many others you seemingly miss the point altogether. You're so concerned about me or you.

 

Actually, you either completely missed webmdave's point or chose to completely ignore it. Shouldn't we know who or what this God is and why we should believe in it before we imagine being one of its elect?  Do you think that everyone already believes in the same God deep down?  Would you consider that a properly basic belief? 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This "God" you believe in didn't even exist a few thousand years ago. El, YHWH, (gasp!) Asherah, Baal were part of the Canaanite pantheon. The rejection of Asherah and Baal and syncretism of El, YHWH, Yshua, and El/YHWH's spirit can even be tracked through biblical sources.  And the characters have continued to evolve. None of the earliest Christianities looked anything like what we see today. And the Christianities we see now vary so greatly it's ridiculous that we consider them part of the same religion. But, hey, if we can syncretize ancient Sumerian, Egyptian, and Canaanite religion and top it off with syncretized gospel accounts of a rebel Jewish cult leader, why not?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Christforums said:

 

Let's say that God chose you, "wellnamed" and revealed himself to you. What good would that do me? How would you communicate to others. What is ironic is that you seemingly think you hold to the truth and yet how are you communicating to others the truth?

 

 

Let's say God went on national television because, being all powerful and at least as intelligent as human beings, he knew that whispering in our ear would only create a confusion of dozens of denominations.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/14/2019 at 7:36 AM, Christforums said:

 

Yes, from a distance every planet is round or spherical.

 

Let's get down to basics and throw every testimony outside a court of law because we consider it inadmissible or unbelievable etc.

 

Begging the question, and other logical fallacies etc., I generally do not dive into such arguments because everything can be found to be a logical contradiction. There's not one person here on this board that's completely logically sound.

 

The fact is there would be no logic without the logicause or Logos. The very concept which incarnated in the flesh you reject, therefore, I reject your logical position. The very audience that John wrote his books said that the Logos could not incarnate. I mean, today, it would be like giving artificial intelligence an autonomous body whereas in the day people then and now reject that the Logos could incarnate.

 

Now, I'm sure most here want to reject a higher standard of authority and place more weight upon their own experiences or whatever which is nothing more than an appeal to a different authority. According to the standard of authority, "You" you will always be right.

Just admit you know as much as the next person, which is shit.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fucking arrogant Christians thinking they know the mysteries of the universe.

 

Fuck I loathe Jesus!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/13/2019 at 6:36 PM, Christforums said:

 

There's not one person here on this board that's completely logically sound.

 

.

 

 Wow. This is quite arrogant, don't ya think? Aren't you so lucky to be so highly intelligent?  A gift from your god probably?

 

Yep. These are the kind of people I stay a mile away from. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/13/2019 at 3:25 PM, Christforums said:

If God wants you and sets His affections upon you, you're powerless and won't be able to resists.

 

     So there's no reason for anyone to ever know jack nor shit about god or his son.  Ever.  If and when it's anyone's time then god will personally pick them from the herd.  The rest just go to slaughter like they were always meant to do.  Glad that's settled.

 

          mwc

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On Friday, March 15, 2019 at 10:58 AM, Margee said:

 Wow. This is quite arrogant, don't ya think? Aren't you so lucky to be so highly intelligent?  A gift from your god probably?

 

Yep. These are the kind of people I stay a mile away from. 

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/13/2019 at 3:25 PM, Christforums said:

If God wants you and sets His affections upon you, you're powerless and won't be able to resists.

 

 

You may want to rephrase that statement seeing it is inconsistent with the doctrine. While the believer is "...bought with a price..." as the story goes, the person is free to believe or not, to accept or reject salvation.

 

If mankind cannot resist your god's desire to save, then it is no more grace and all mankind are forced to be saved, which clearly is not the case according to your book.

 

But it gets worse! You proclaim "If God wants you...". UHM, according to the book, your god wants all to be saved, yet apparently doesn't have the ability to save everyone and/or chooses some to save. Why? It is alleged that mankind can accept or reject in an act of free will. That in itself is absurd. What kind of god would allow it's flawed and imperfect creation to make that kind of decision that has eternal consequences? According to the text, mankind is hopelessly weak due to the imperfect flesh he totes around until that magic "in a moment" flash of conversion of the flesh when it is "changed".

 

This is one of the areas I had trouble with as a believer. It just doesn't hold water (pun intended).

 

To continue to punish a believer even after admitting that the flesh is flawed and is the source of all the believer's mistakes is in my opinion psychotic. Clearly, there was both motive, opportunity, forethought and evidence that spans 2000 years and millions of dead bodies of people who attempted to exercise their free will and were denied said free will. Somebody should go to jail. That is not judgment, that is clearcut observation.

 

So many believing this stuff just shows how well that collection of writings was done. Lots of mistakes indeed, but overall they had the right idea about many things, which to me shows intent. Obviously, it was good enough to get enough people to believe it to actually have an effect on the masses being managed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...