Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Good Reasons For The Resurrection

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This is a classic straw man argument. The premise: "(3) There is no good reason for God to resurrect Jesus from the dead." is simply wrong. Anyone who actually has what is called "a relationship with Jesus" knows a good reason you carefully avoid talking about those. You assert all the good reasons have been shot down but didn't actually consider any. You carefully avoided the one;s those really Blevins in the Resurrection actually believe in. 
His challenge: "We can issue a challenge to any person who believes that God did resurrect Jesus. That challenge would be to provide the good reason for God to resurrect Jesus."
I will take up his challenge I will give three good reasons, but the real argument will b aboiut what is a good reason,you don't have to accept what I think is a good reason so you always hold out for the idea that my reason is no good. But it's just because you don't want to admit there is a good reason.
The shared assumption of all of these reasons is that symbolism is a value. Good strong symbolism is important in communicating. You might argue that it's not.But the communicative power of symbols is obvious.
Three Good Reasons
(1) The value in the symbolism of second chances. God is about forgiving people and starting over clean slate. Resurrection drives that home, God can give second chances even from death.,
(2) The symbolism of victory. Death is the ultimate certainty. The one thing none of us escape.Yet the power of God can overcome even death.
(3) Solidarity with God. Christ share in our fate as sinners, not in our guilt but in our fate:death. We put ourselves into his death we sahre in his life,
These are independent reasons,
For one and two you might ask why not do it for all reversible? God is not calling off death for us all. But he is putting focus on Christ because we share in Christ.s victory over death,it;s a symbol of the victory over spiritual death in eternal life.The problem here is religious belief is a community, to belong is to be socialized. So the outsider is in no poison to judge unless she is willing to enter into the inner logic of the community.

Thiobodeau's Answer to my argument
You offer three reasons that you claim are good reasons for God to resurrect Jesus. All of these reasons have to do with claiming that Jesus' resurrection is a symbol of something else. In general, for something, S, to be a symbol of another thing, T, it must be the case that S should be widely recognizable as representing or indicating T.
Of course he does nothing to prove it is not. He asserts that Christians don't see the Resurrection as synoptic of a second chance that's like saying Christians don't see God as important. If the Christian doctrine of salvation and  forgiveness is about anything  it's second chances. He is also changing the rules of the game. First he asks for a good reason now he asks for the reason Christians will widely accept but why didn't he start out with the widely accepted Christian reason?

Reason (1): Second chances.


I do not think that Jesus' resurrection would be widely recognized as a symbol for second chances. If a person is given a second chance (in the relevant sense), it must be that this person committed some error (moral or otherwise) and was provided with a chance to make up for the error and try again.  Jesus is not widely recognized for committing some error, sin, or crime for which he was justly punished. Nor is he widely recognizes as a person who made up for some error and tried again. Rather, Jesus is widely recognized as being a good man who was unjustly punished. Thus, it cannot be that Jesus' death can be widely recognized as a symbol for second chances.
Reason (2) Victory
God has no reason to show us that his power can overcome even death. A proper understanding of God can yield the understanding that God can overcome even death. Once we properly understand God, we come to believe that God is omnipotent. Once we properly understand omnipotence, we easily reach the conclusion that God can overcome death. Thus, there is no need to God to prove that he can overcome death by resurrecting Jesus.
Reason (3) Solidarity with God
The claim that Jesus shares our fate would be undermined by the resurrection rather than indicated by it. We are not resurrected. We die and do not return bodily to the Earth; resurrection is not our fate. Thus, if God wanted to show that Jesus shared our fate, he would allow Jesus to die and not return bodily to this Earth.
Your suggested reasons do not qualify as good reasons for God to resurrect Jesus.

First is that relevant? Dopes his challenge as for good reasons or reasons widely accepted by Christians? The argument above merely asserts there are no good reasons. The Challenge jsut says,above good reasons says noting about the majority of Christians accepting of it, he only only consults what Christians think when it supports his cause.

The theology of second chance is inadequate, it's not my theology because foreignness is not merley a "do over" but a spiritual make over  from inside. We are born  again, new creations in Christ. But if that is not a second chance it's a whole new life. The Gospel Coalition, ironically is agaisnt the the second chance idea for the reason I just stated. The point is, "In our polarized culture it’s rare to find a spiritual phrase that receives broad agreement from a large cross section of the population. Nevertheless, the popular cliché “God is a God of second chances” seems to be one thing on which many agree."[2]

Nevertheless if we define "second chance" advisedly as a new life in the power of God then the Resurrection is a powerful symbol.

His answer on number 2:
Reason (2) Victory
God has no reason to show us that his power can overcome even death. A proper understanding of God can yield the understanding that God can overcome even death. Once we properly understand God, we come to believe that God is omnipotent. Once we properly understand omnipotence, we easily reach the conclusion that God can overcome death. Thus, there is no need to God to prove that he can overcome death by resurrecting Jesus.
He is asserting that everyone should be a theologian. He's asserting God should chuck  his pastoral nature and make everyone  be a philosopher. God doesn't run the crutch as a meritocracy  it's not about  proving who is the smartest or who get;s tenure. The Resurrection symbol is designed to illustrate for  all people--simple dimmed wretched souls who don't understand f inductive arguments. He is trying to impose his standards as a philosophy student upon the world and subsume God's pastoral concerns which really are the concerns that motivate  the symbolism of the Gospel.

Reason (3) Solidarity with God

The claim that Jesus shares our fate would be undermined by the resurrection rather than indicated by it. We are not resurrected. We die and do not return bodily to the Earth; resurrection is not our fate. Thus, if God wanted to show that Jesus shared our fate, he would allow Jesus to die and not return bodily to this Earth.
I think he misunderstands the concept here. I said the resurrection symbolizes something so it points to a reality that it does not literally instantiate. Arguing that we are not really resurrected is totally beside the point. Resurrection symbolizes the hope we have in new life. The concept came  it of the Hebrew belief that Messiah would resurrect all of fallen Israel, We will actually be resurrected,. Paul calls Christ:the first fruits from the dead because his Resurrection is emblematic of things to come for all irreversible. 

Paul makes the argument or rather where I got the argent was from was what Paul  says about us placing ourselves into Christ's death  places us into the hope of his resurrection.

Rom 6
4We therefore were buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may walk in newness of life. 5For ifwe have been united with Him like this in Hisdeath, we will certainly also be raised to life as He was. 6We know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.
Jason says:
"Your suggested reasons do not qualify as good reasons for God to resurrect Jesus."

You saying this is problematic because you are basing your concept of God on the needs of believers or seekers after God but upon your philosophy student needs the desire to show your superior logic. You really have no right to tell members of a faith community that their notion of what is good as a  reason for their doctrine is not good because  it doesn't  meet with your needs as a philosopher; unless you are willing to enter the inner logic of the community all you are doing is waving the yea boo theory in front of them, :you are not me your not us  we are us,yeah us,"

see past blog posts where I deal with the concept of Solidarity in Resurrection.[3]

Sources


[1] "A Moral Argument Against the Resurrection," Secular Outpost,  blog (MAY 29, 2018http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/  (accessed May 29,2018)

[2] Aaron Wilson, "He is not the God of Second Chances" TGC us Edition, bog, published by Gospel Coalition. (July 7,2016)
https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/he-is-not-the-god-of-second-chances/


(accessed May 29,2018)

In our polarized culture it’s rare to find a spiritual phrase that receives broad agreement from a large cross section of the population. Nevertheless, the popular cliché “God is a God of second chances” seems to be one thing on which many agree. The second-chance message reaches deep inside and outside the church. A quick Google search of the phrase links to speeches of politicians, soundbites from talk shows, and montages from animated Christian films. Everyone, no matter his or her view of Jesus, seems to find common ground around the belief that God gives second chances.
[3] Atonement as Solidarity, Metacrock;s bog (May 2010)  http://metacrock.blogspot.com/2010/05/atonement-as-solidarity.html









31 comments:

JBsptfn said...

More atheist silliness. How nice.

Starhopper said...

I'd say that the main reason for Christ's Resurrection is that God has freely chosen to identify with Man in every aspect of his existence, so that we may identify with His. For instance, at Christ's baptism, John at first seeks to dissuade Him, but Jesus answers that it is fitting he do so (i.e., as part of His human nature).

As to the Resurrection, this is Christ essentially "returning the favor". We as human beings will eventually get to partake in His nature. As Paul wrote so succinctly, in order for us to rise again, the Christ must do so first.

Hmm... I think that's a pretty good reason.

Kristen said...

I submit that the Resurrection changed everything. It turned a group of scared fishermen into bold leaders of a new religious movement. Without it, they would have returned to their homes, just another set of deceived followers of a failed Messiah.

Yes, there are also the "symbolic" reasons you mentioned, Joe, which are actually more than symbolic, they are spiritual, they relate directly to changes that have taken place in the spiritual side of human existence. We were subject to death, now death has been conquered and we live in the sure hope that we will one day be raised again to life. But this guy makes the mistake that most people do make-- assuming that the way we look at things NOW is what matters most, rather than what this event meant to those who were alive at the time, in THEIR culture and THEIR way of looking at things.

Without the Resurrection, Christianity simply would not still be a thing today.

Joe Hinman said...

Starhopper said...
I'd say that the main reason for Christ's Resurrection is that God has freely chosen to identify with Man in every aspect of his existence, so that we may identify with His. For instance, at Christ's baptism, John at first seeks to dissuade Him, but Jesus answers that it is fitting he do so (i.e., as part of His human nature).

As to the Resurrection, this is Christ essentially "returning the favor". We as human beings will eventually get to partake in His nature. As Paul wrote so succinctly, in order for us to rise again, the Christ must do so first.

Hmm... I think that's a pretty good reason.

well said Starhpper, thanks for coming good to see you here

Joe Hinman said...

I agree with your comments Kristen. IU think you make a great point the transfaotive effects of the resurrection justify it as a strategy and point to the reasons why God used it. I think that underscores what I said about the community having it's own reasons.

Mike Gerow said...

1) God is completely rational

Someone influenced by a Moltmannish "crucified God" kind of image or a "theology of the cross" might instead take issue with this premise.... ie is God (understood in an Xian sense) "completely rational" in the sense of any human's rationality?

IOW, does the resurrection justify the crucifixion as a "strategy?" What would it mean to say an agonizing and humiliating death (for any person) can or can't be justified in some given way?

Interesting questions....

Joe Hinman said...

1) God is completely rational

Someone influenced by a Moltmannish "crucified God" kind of image or a "theology of the cross" might instead take issue with this premise.... ie is God (understood in an Xian sense) "completely rational" in the sense of any human's rationality?

Or Kierkegaard. good point, these guys are American philosophers, they could never question their concept of the rational,

IOW, does the resurrection justify the crucifixion as a "strategy?" What would it mean to say an agonizing and humiliating death (for any person) can or can't be justified in some given way?

Interesting questions....

another good point why have sin, why need forgiveness?

Ryan M said...

"Rationality" in Jason's argument is about rational agents with respect to game theory and decision theory. It's really nothing more than saying God would always perform the optimal act relative to God's desires and powers. In a way, you can use the spirit of Jason's argument to argue something like this:

1. If God exists, then God is a perfectly rational agent.
2. If God is a perfectly rational agent, then every action by God is an optimal action for God.
3. If God resurrected Jesus, then God resurrecting Jesus would be an optimal action for God.
4. It is not the case that God resurrecting Jesus would be an optimal action for God.
5. Therefore, if God exists, then it is not the case that God resurrected Jesus.

The sort of "Rationality" here is not the same sort discussed by Kierkegaard, or epistemology in general.

In rejecting premise 1, people would need to concede that God could make mistakes (since if God is not a perfectly rational agent, then God can unwittingly make sub-optimal acts). I don't think it's just "American philosophers" who don't want to admit that God can make mistakes. Suppose though that we went that route. If we did, then we could say the whole resurrection might be a mistake by God, and that God might have made a further mistake by not clarifying that we don't need to become Christians to become saved. It might seem silly to think such things, but once we say God can make mistakes, it seems we must allow that any action of God whatsoever can be a mistake.

Joe Hinman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Hinman said...


Ryan:
"Rationality" in Jason's argument is about rational agents with respect to game theory and decision theory. It's really nothing more than saying God would always perform the optimal act relative to God's desires and powers.

sure but that is going to be valued differently relative to the faith community. So counts as a "good" reason will differ from the faith community to the outside community.


In a way, you can use the spirit of Jason's argument to argue something like this:

1. If God exists, then God is a perfectly rational agent.
2. If God is a perfectly rational agent, then every action by God is an optimal action for God.
3. If God resurrected Jesus, then God resurrecting Jesus would be an optimal action for God.
4. It is not the case that God resurrecting Jesus would be an optimal action for God.
5. Therefore, if God exists, then it is not the case that God resurrected Jesus.


that still leaves the notion of "optimal" as relative to the perceiver.

The sort of "Rationality" here is not the same sort discussed by Kierkegaard, or epistemology in general.




I think SK's take on the rational is very relevant here because the faith community will view the optimal nature differently. Jason discounts the valuation of the reasons as though they are clearly not valid but all three are classical arguments in theology.

In rejecting premise 1, people would need to concede that God could make mistakes (since if God is not a perfectly rational agent, then God can unwittingly make sub-optimal acts).

I only disputed p3 and that's all I need to dispute, p3 is relative and not amenable to logical dispute,.

why should be ever assume God could be wrong? That is by definition impossible. My argument works just as well if we assume you are wrong or that we are unable to know what is a good reason by God;s standard.


I don't think it's just "American philosophers" who don't want to admit that God can make mistakes.


God cannot make mistakes, logicians can. We can not know what good is relative to God's-purpose. except of course in areas where he spells it out for us,


Suppose though that we went that route. If we did, then we could say the whole resurrection might be a mistake by God, and that God might have made a further mistake by not clarifying that we don't need to become Christians to become saved. It might seem silly to think such things, but once we say God can make mistakes, it seems we must allow that any action of God whatsoever can be a mistake.

I hope you catch the irony that you actually are willing to conditioner God being wrong but it never dawns on you that you might be.

compromise the radical shift if p3 is the one we object to



11:12 PM Delete

Starhopper said...

The idea that God can make mistakes is the very definition of incoherence. For such to be the case, there would have to exist a higher standard by which God's actions would need to be measured. That would mean that God is not supreme, and therefore not God.

I once heard it said during a sermon something like "those things which Jesus stood for". What nonsense! Jesus doesn't "stand for" anything - He IS. He does not say "I stand for the Truth" but rather "I AM the Truth."

Mike Gerow said...

Ryan, could it be that the idea of an all-knowing, eternal entity having "plans and schemes" of any kind, optimal or not, rational or not, is itself nonsensical?

.... and then the whole concept of "God as rational," in the sense you just described, is an unjustified anthropomorphism.

Joe Hinman said...


Blogger Mike Gerow said...
Ryan, could it be that the idea of an all-knowing, eternal entity having "plans and schemes" of any kind, optimal or not, rational or not, is itself nonsensical?

.... and then the whole concept of "God as rational," in the sense you just described, is an unjustified anthropomorphism.


good point Mike, It hints at what I'm trying to say that our concepts of rational and good are so revelation to our understanding,how can huge the ultimate purses of God?

Joe Hinman said...

The idea that God can make mistakes is the very definition of incoherence. For such to be the case, there would have to exist a higher standard by which God's actions would need to be measured. That would mean that God is not supreme, and therefore not God.

I once heard it said during a sermon something like "those things which Jesus stood for". What nonsense! Jesus doesn't "stand for" anything - He IS. He does not say "I stand for the Truth" but rather "I AM the Truth."

right on man well said.

Ryan M said...

First, Joe you have failed to understand what I wrote about God making mistakes. Similarly, Starhopper has also misunderstood.

To clarify, I have not said God can make mistakes. Rather, I am saying something like this:

1. For any x, if x is an agent and it is not the case that x is a perfectly rational agent, then it is the case that x can make mistakes.
2. God is an agent.
3. It is not the case that God is a perfectly rational agent.
4. Therefore, it is the case that God can make mistakes.

What is the point of the argument? It is not to show that God can make mistakes, but to show that if one accepts that God is an agent at all, then one needs to also accept that God is a perfectly rational agent at pain of accepting that God can make mistakes. So, for theists who accept that God is an agent, they must accept Jason's first premise.

Second, saying God has a plan or scheme is no more anthropomorphizing than what theists do when they claim God is a person, God has desires, God loves humanity, God has beliefs, God has knowledge, etc. If giving God the property of rational choice making is anthropomorphizing, then so is giving God the property of loving creation. Further, being an optimal choice maker doesn't require schemes/plans for an omnipotent being. One need not scheme about things one knows the answer to. If God wanted to bring about that P, and it is within God's power to bring about that P. then God would infallibly know how to bring about that P. No planning required.

Third, you guys should look up decision/game theory. It seems you don't know what "Optimal" not "Rational" mean in decision/game theory contexts.

Fourth, I will clarify God being wrong about the resurrection.

1. For any agent x, if x can make mistakes, then for all y, if y is an action of x, then y can be a mistake.
2. God is an agent.
3. God can make mistakes.
4. Having resurrected Jesus is an action of God.
5. Therefore, having resurrected Jesus can be a mistake.

The point of the above argument was to show the consequence of allowing that God is an agent, God is not a perfectly rational agent, and God can make mistakes. No Christian would want to accept line 5, so they'd need to reject one of 1 through 3. Rejecting 1 is not plausible, so rejecting 2 or 3 comes the goal. To be an agent is just to be capable of making choices, so rejecting 2 would be implausible too, thus we're left with 3. The rejection of 3 requires rejecting that it is not the case that God is a perfectly rational agent, so to save Christianity from accepting that the resurrection might be a mistake, the Christian must accept that God is a perfectly rational agent.

Fifth, instrumental rationality is not the same as rationality in other fields of philosophy. Saying someone is rational in their beliefs is not the same as saying they are rational in their decision making.

Sixth, I have not disputed that one's valuation of what constitutes a "Good reason" for God to bring about the resurrection can change depending on one's faith community. Rather, my purpose has been to clarify the type of "Rationality" used in Jason's argument.

Starhopper said...

Whatever. I will freely admit that you have lost me totally. I've read your comment through three times now, and have no idea what you are talking about.

I will assume "It's not you, it's me."

Joe Hinman said...

Ryan M said...
First, Joe you have failed to understand what I wrote about God making mistakes. Similarly, Starhopper has also misunderstood.



To clarify, I have not said God can make mistakes. Rather, I am saying something like this:

1. For any x, if x is an agent and it is not the case that x is a perfectly rational agent, then it is the case that x can make mistakes.
2. God is an agent.
3. It is not the case that God is a perfectly rational agent.
4. Therefore, it is the case that God can make mistakes.


I understand that, you din't get my point: that your whole argument along those lines is irrelevant because it was predicated upon rejecting P1 [you say:"In rejecting premise 1, people would need to concede that God could make mistakes (since if God is not a perfectly rational agent, then God can unwittingly make sub-optimal acts)"] and I don't reject p; I do interpret it in a different light but I don't reject it in principle.* So that line of argumemt is null and void.

What is the point of the argument? It is not to show that God can make mistakes, but to show that if one accepts that God is an agent at all, then one needs to also accept that God is a perfectly rational agent at pain of accepting that God can make mistakes. So, for theists who accept that God is an agent, they must accept Jason's first premise.

Saying that God is a rational agent is not at all the same as saying that we can understand God's purposes and critique his choices. What you really mean by God is rational is that we can understand and therefore criticizer his choices,(ie the logic of his believers),
If God is real then his logic exceeds your understanding,So God's rationality in that he has systematic and self assistant ways of understanding that and adhere to his understanding of reason but that does not necessarily mean they adhere to our understanding which is lower down on the totem pole of logic than God's.


Second, saying God has a plan or scheme is no more anthropomorphizing than what theists do when they claim God is a person, God has desires, God loves humanity, God has beliefs, God has knowledge, etc.

O yes it is! That in itself opens up several rifts in modern theology.I am planing a paper on personoalism in process theology and there is a split between Heartshorne and Whithead over that issue,


Mike Gerow said...

For lack of a better way, people tend to think of, and talk about, God in personal terms that can include concepts like "rationality" and "agent". But many, when pressed in the way your argument presses, Ryan, might admit(as do a lot of well-known theologians) that these conceptualizations are imperfect, and ultimately Gods "agency" (in any sense that those are comparable to other agents's) is probably only metaphorical/analogical, and even God's "actions" and "decisions" are less than perfectly comparable to time-based, fallible, human ones (and the same is true of "beliefs", "desires," "knowledge" and the other things you mention too...)

IOW, "God" cannot ultimately be compared to a "person," not even to a perfect one, except by way of analogy. And, in fact, that seems like a pretty fundamental theological assertion or assumption that the given argument doesn't account for.

Joe Hinman said...

If giving God the property of rational choice making is anthropomorphizing, then so is giving God the property of loving creation.

Not that I agree that either is anthropomorphic but neither rational choice nor love on God's part need be understood as ideas we are capable of comprehending or criticizing; they would have some form of kinship or some recognizable aspect that's not the same as knowing all about them.

Further, being an optimal choice maker doesn't require schemes/plans for an omnipotent being. One need not scheme about things one knows the answer to. If God wanted to bring about that P, and it is within God's power to bring about that P. then God would infallibly know how to bring about that P. No planning required.


yes but don't forget, other than qualify in "good" and "reason" i did not object to any but P3 (and conclusion). I, therefore. just assume that the mistake trajectory does not obtain.I only mention it's impossibility by way of indignation, not argument,.

Third, you guys should look up decision/game theory. It seems you don't know what "Optimal" not "Rational" mean in decision/game theory contexts.

I was introduced to game theory in college debate and as a sociology major,but the line of reasoning that employs that gambit is connected to there rejection of p1 which i don't do so we can play that game another time.



Fourth, I will clarify God being wrong about the resurrection.

1. For any agent x, if x can make mistakes, then for all y, if y is an action of x, then y can be a mistake.
2. God is an agent.
3. God can make mistakes.
4. Having resurrected Jesus is an action of God.
5. Therefore, having resurrected Jesus can be a mistake.


You have not established a mistake,(remember I don't reject p1 so the mystique trajectory does not obtain.All you have established is that you refuse to consider the inner logic of the community and you think the value judgement of your profession and your community are naturally universal and have to outweigh religious thinking,

The point of the above argument was to show the consequence of allowing that God is an agent, God is not a perfectly rational agent, and God can make mistakes.

God being possessed of agency and making mistakes are two different things, perfectly rational does not mean God is under the domain of your critique

you have yet to offer any desedaerata or other kind of criteria for what makes a good reason for resurrection ,Nor can you establish why my three reasons are not good.

in short your decision making paradigm is subjective and relative,culturally bound,



No Christian would want to accept line 5, so they'd need to reject one of 1 through 3.

what is line 5? I only see 4 lines.

Rejecting 1 is not plausible, so rejecting 2 or 3 comes the goal.
To be an agent is just to be capable of making choices, so rejecting 2 would be implausible too, thus we're left with 3. The rejection of 3 requires rejecting that it is not the case that God is a perfectly rational agent,

wrong all i have to do is show one good reason for the res the whole argument is toast,I gave 3 reasons,you have not given me a basis for rejecting them. In fact you have not answered any of the arguments I made made defending them,

your pomposity:The rejection of 3 requires rejecting that it is not the case that God is a perfectly rational agent, God is a rational agent on his own terms snot yours, you have no basis for dispiriting God;s agency or his choices,


so to save Christianity from accepting that the resurrection might be a mistake, the Christian must accept that God is a perfectly rational agent.

there are worse fates than that

Joe Hinman said...

Fifth, instrumental rationality is not the same as rationality in other fields of philosophy. Saying someone is rational in their beliefs is not the same as saying they are rational in their decision making.

Since we don't reject p1 the idea of God not being rational does not enter into it. But moreover you have not established that, you have not shown the nature of the kind of rationality we have to accept. you can't prove that you can understand his purpose,

Sixth, I have not disputed that one's valuation of what constitutes a "Good reason" for God to bring about the resurrection can change depending on one's faith community. Rather, my purpose has been to clarify the type of "Rationality" used in Jason's argument.

you failed to do it because all you have done so far is to impose one community over another based upon an academic trend in modern North Ameirca

11:25 A

Ryan M said...

Joe, so I'm going to list the set of propositions you have falsely believed I am advocating:

Proposition 1 - It is the case that if God is a perfectly rational agent, then we can understand and critique God's reasons for making choices.

Proposition 2 - If God exists, then it is not the case that God would have good reason to resurrect Jesus.

Proposition 3 - If God exists, then God can make mistakes.

With respect to proposition 1, I have not defended it anywhere here nor on the Secular Outpost. Further, I made a post a few days ago on the Secular Outpost that people might take a skeptical theist sort of response to Jason's argument (That we are not in an epistemic position to judge whether God has good reason vs not to resurrect Jesus since God is omniscient whereas we are not).

With respect to proposition 2, I have not defended it anywhere here nor on the Secular Outpost. Not only is it NOT the case that I have defended proposition 2, but it is not the case that I have said you have NOT provided good reason to think God might have good reason to resurrect Jesus. That is, I have not said your attempts to refute Jason have failed.

With respect to proposition 3, I have not defended it anywhere here nor on the Secular Outpost. Rather, I have defended the following proposition:

Proposition 4 - If God exists, and God is an agent, and it is not the case that God is a perfectly rational agent, then it is possible that God makes mistakes.

Proposition 4 contains four independent sentences.

Sentence 1 - God exists
Sentence 2 - God is an agent
Sentence 3 - God is not a perfectly rational agent
Sentence 4 - It is possible that God makes mistakes

Proposition 4 says that if sentences 1, 2 and 3 are jointly true, then sentence 4 is true. Care must be taken in understanding this material conditional. Proposition 4 does not say that sentences 1, 2 or 3 are singularly sufficient for sentence 4, but says they are jointly sufficient. Consider for example the following conditional:

Conditional 1 - If Tony is a tiger and Tony is a cartoon character, then Tony is the mascot for Frosted Flakes.

Conditional 1 contains three sentences:

Sentence 1 - Tony is a tiger
Sentence 2 - Tony is a cartoon character
Sentence 3 - Tony is the mascot for Frosted Flakes

Conditional 1 says that if sentences 1 and 2 are jointly true, then sentence 3 is true. Conditional 1 does not say that sentences 1 or 2 are singularly sufficient for sentence 3. If sentence 1 is true but sentence 2 is not, then sentence 3 is NOT true.

The importance of this is understanding how material conditionals work when the antecedent contains conjunctions. When a material conditional contains an antecedent composed of a conjunction, typically this means that the contents of the conjunction must be JOINTLY true for the consequent to be true, so no single element of the conjunction on its own is sufficient for the consequent to be true.

Understanding the above is necessary to understand that I have not argued that God existing implies God can make mistakes, but rather that God existing AND God being an agent AND God not being a perfectly rational agent IMPLIES God can make mistakes.

Again, I defended proposition 4 for the purpose of showing that accepting God is an agent but rejecting that God is a perfectly rational agent is not a wise choice for theists. The point of that was to secure premise 1 in Jason's argument, that God is a perfectly rational agent.

Below I will reiterate that I am not defending any of the following:

Claim 1 - If God exists, then it is not the case that God would have had good reason to resurrect Jesus.

Claim 2 - If God exists, then it is not the case that God can make mistakes.

Claim 3 - If God is a perfectly rational agent, then we can appreciate/know/critique any or at least some of God's desires/purposes/choices.

Again, I am not defending, nor have I defended any of claims 1 through 3. There ought to be nothing for you to object to in this post since I AM NOT DISAGREEING WITH YOU ON ANYTHING.

Ryan M said...

Joe I think it would be helpful for dialoguing with atheists that you do not treat each interaction with an atheist as if they are either arguing against you or dissenting to something you've said. In each past instance where I have tried to explain how an argument works, you have jumped to the conclusion that I am defending the argument (even when I explicitly state I am not). This is surely a symptom of treating atheists as enemies. Even your blog roll, entirely dominated by theist blogs, makes it look like your agenda is nothing but to argue against atheists and promote theists.

Now atheist blogs are usually no better than yours. If you go to Debunking Christianity, the comments are always hostile to theists, even when the theists are being as reasonable as they can be. Further, no one is promoted on the site other than people the Blog host agrees with (Not even other atheists if the atheists disagree with something the blog host says). The agenda of the host and atheists commenting is obvious; vent against theists, denigrate theists, argue with theists, promote atheism.

Other than JBstfn, none of the few people commenting on your blog are nasty/abusive like the common atheist on the average atheist blog. Despite that, it still seems that you and your fans manage to make every interaction with atheists into a sort of combative experience.

My advice is that your blog would seem much more open to genuine dialogue and overall better at conversations if it was more like a theist version of the Secular Outpost. What does the Secular Outpost do?

First, it doesn't allow for people such as JBsptfn to post. JB and people like him are abusive to people they disagree wit and they do not seek genuine dialogue. When you delete Skepie's comments, but not JB's comments, you appear biased and not interested in promoting fair dialogue with atheists. The Secular Outpost would get rid of JB, as you'd probably notice by the absence of Kevin K and others since comment moderation went into effect.

Second, while the Secular Outpost goal is openly to promote the best arguments for naturalism (while tackling the best arguments for theism), it still openly promotes opposing views by means of guest posts, promoting articles by theists, and defending theistic arguments against bad objections. I do not think you necessarily need to openly start promoting atheists, but I think it would be helpful to make atheists think you aren't obviously biased beyond reason, and I think it would be helpful even for your own frame of mind not to surround yourself with just theistic blog links.

Third, the Secular Outpost is good at not assuming theists are their conversational enemies. Very few theists post at the Secular Outpost (since few are philosophically literate enough to do so, and the comment policy limits the normal discourse that most atheists/theists are interested in). However, among the ones who do occasionally post, Luke, Matt M, Victor R, the posts are not met with opposition in each case, and they are not treated as sorts of enemies to be refuted. Ideally, people such as Luke, Matt and Victor posted more often than they do. I think you ought to emulate this since whenever an atheist posts here, whether it be Skepie, Eric, or myself, no regular theist posting here seems to do anything but assume we're trying to argue with you other than times where we're responding to an atheist (such as when I respond to Skepie). I don't like that. It is annoying and frankly a waste of my time to make 5 posts clarifying what I am not saying simply because the theists reading are frantically trying to interpret my post into something they can argue with.

Starhopper said...

Ryan,

I hope you don't think I was attacking you. I didn't even realize you were an atheist. (It doesn't come across in your comments.) I honestly did not (and still do not) understand what you are saying. Despite the humor, I meant it when I said it's me, and not you.

Joe Hinman said...

Ryan most of the assertions you made about what I think are wrong, take the big three false things:

Proposition 1 - It is the case that if God is a perfectly rational agent, then we can understand and critique God's reasons for making choices.



I don't believe that you think that, I think the person who made up the argument Jason or who ever he got it from thinks that. It may be a hidden assumption your thinning but I doubt it because you are pretty aware of your assertions. I think it is an implication of the argument itself.

My argument is that doctrines result from values of the community thus any doctrine of a faith coconut has an a priori "good reason" vis, the values of the community or it would not be a doctrine,that is not a guarantee of its truth content, it is a reason to reject the argument.



Proposition 2 - If God exists, then it is not the case that God would have good reason to resurrect Jesus.

Proposition 3 - If God exists, then God can make mistakes.

I understand you are not defending those,I said that already, I kept making about further elaboration on the issue of God as Rational but I guess it wasn't special enough you just wont respomnd to it so Isit off the beam for what you are into?

as for the contingent implications for the various points I think we are on the same page, my whole issue is the original rejection of the argument as subjective stands,

7th Stooge said...

I would question Proposition 1. I think we humans can know enough about the nature and character of God to know that he is good and that he is rational, but that doesn't mean that we can know enough about God's reasons for choices to be able to critique them. A child can know enough about the character of her mother to know that her mother is good and loves her and acts in as rational a way as she's able, but the child wouldn't necessarily be able to critique the mother's reasons for her choices. A fortiori an infinite mind.

7th Stooge said...

Despite that, it still seems that you and your fans manage to make every interaction with atheists into a sort of combative experience.

Are you labeling all of the theists on here as 'fans'? that's funny, cause I've had quite a few disagreements with Joe and I've had friendly, productive convos with atheists. Joe can be combative and hyper-partisan--that's one of the points we clash over. But my experience on here is that respectful disagreements far outnumber combative experiences.

Ryan M said...

It could be that my post selection changes that sorts of comments I'd see, e.g., posts about atheists are likely to grab my attention where as posts about Biblical issues almost certainly will not( despite being in Catholic schools until my early 20s, I cannot talk much about the bible any longer).

Starhopper said...

"I cannot talk much about the bible any longer."

I'm curious. Why is that?

Joe Hinman said...

Ryan M said...
Joe I think it would be helpful for dialoguing with atheists that you do not treat each interaction with an atheist as if they are either arguing against you or dissenting to something you've said. In each past instance where I have tried to explain how an argument works, you have jumped to the conclusion that I am defending the argument (even when I explicitly state I am not). This is surely a symptom of treating atheists as enemies. Even your blog roll, entirely dominated by theist blogs, makes it look like your agenda is nothing but to argue against atheists and promote theists.

MY ANSWER>>>I'm sure I do that. I have literally experienced symptoms of PTSD since quitting message boards in 2014 when my brother died. Nevertheless, that is unfair for several reasons. First, who do I have to work with imn terms of atheists? The major anesthetists who post here more than any other atheists was "I am Skeptical" believe me I am not the only one who wanted him Gone. When he was insisting that my academic journal was not a real journal even thought it was refereed and indexed he was not only tearing down my accomplishment but another of those "fans" (I like to call them friends) you spoke of who was a proofing editor for that journal,

I am honored when you and Eric Sotnak post here. But those are rare times most of the time until the recent ban we had a constant attack of Skpie. I was at one time I was deeply involved in fight a war against the new atheism, it's easy to get sucked into that. But that is not what I'm into now. Many of the people on SOP responded to my posts with belligerence,that was before you became a mod and enforced the ban on personal attacks. I was guilty of answering in kind. Still it's hard to get over it.

Joe Hinman said...

Part of what you are seeing is my nature as a debater. I believe in dialectics. I thin k the dialectical process of debate really does enable truth finding, it always changes us. I don't learn as much from sitting at the feet of the great man taking copious notes saying "please explain that professor doctor" as I do from trying to disprove his arguments. The other guys always says "no you don't understand it's this way,Part of that includes a re defining of his position,So he;s really adjusting for the points you got right, I do it too,the dialectical process moves on. That's how real learning happens. So I do try to argue and I try make the other guy defend not because I'm in a war with an enemy but because that's what makes for real learning.


Ryan MNow atheist blogs are usually no better than yours.

Me Of course not.

Ryan MIf you go to Debunking Christianity, the comments are always hostile to theists, even when the theists are being as reasonable as they can be. Further, no one is promoted on the site other than people the Blog host agrees with (Not even other atheists if the atheists disagree with something the blog host says). The agenda of the host and atheists commenting is obvious; vent against theists, denigrate theists, argue with theists, promote atheism.

Me I link to sites I don't agree with, may of he links are from link exchange so they link to me, many are friend's sites,lots of them are not about atheists.


Other than JBstfn, none of the few people commenting on your blog are nasty/abusive like the common atheist on the average atheist blog. Despite that, it still seems that you and your fans manage to make every interaction with atheists into a sort of combative experience.

I am their fan as well . They are all here because they are all highly intellectual and have a lot to offer in a discussion. JB is one of them he not as you describe, he is one of those, like me, who has been traumatized by the internet war between new atheists and fundamentalists,?

Joe Hinman said...

My advice is that your blog would seem much more open to genuine dialogue and overall better at conversations if it was more like a theist version of the Secular Outpost.

that's sort of what Im shooting for


What does the Secular Outpost do?

First, it doesn't allow for people such as JBsptfn to post. JB and people like him are abusive to people they disagree wit and they do not seek genuine dialogue. When you delete Skepie's comments, but not JB's comments, you appear biased and not interested in promoting fair dialogue with atheists. The Secular Outpost would get rid of JB, as you'd probably notice by the absence of Kevin K and others since comment moderation went into effect.

I don't think that;s fair, Skepie has been banned all over the net, he's a well known troll, JP hardly says anything, Skepie does volumes every time,

Second, while the Secular Outpost goal is openly to promote the best arguments for naturalism (while tackling the best arguments for theism), it still openly promotes opposing views by means of guest posts, promoting articles by theists, and defending theistic arguments against bad objections. I do not think you necessarily need to openly start promoting atheists, but I think it would be helpful to make atheists think you aren't obviously biased beyond reason, and I think it would be helpful even for your own frame of mind not to surround yourself with just theistic blog links.

I've done that plenty of times,I used to debate and let the opponent have the last post,

Third, the Secular Outpost is good at not assuming theists are their conversational enemies. Very few theists post at the Secular Outpost (since few are philosophically literate enough to do so, and the comment policy limits the normal discourse that most atheists/theists are interested in). However, among the ones who do occasionally post, Luke, Matt M, Victor R, the posts are not met with opposition in each case, and they are not treated as sorts of enemies to be refuted. Ideally, people such as Luke, Matt and Victor posted more often than they do. I think you ought to emulate this since whenever an atheist posts here, whether it be Skepie, Eric, or myself, no regular theist posting here seems to do anything but assume we're trying to argue with you other than times where we're responding to an atheist (such as when I respond to Skepie). I don't like that. It is annoying and frankly a waste of my time to make 5 posts clarifying what I am not saying simply because the theists reading are frantically trying to interpret my post into something they can argue with.

1:52 A


before you started doing the mod thing I was getting a lot of belligerent insulting stuff my way even thought I was trying to be nice. Still I will always be grateful to Jeff for the kindness he showed me and I have said so n Christian boards,