Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Good Reasons For The Resurrection

Image result for religious a priori resurrection of Christ


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]


[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)

(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

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Schleiermacher revisited: Freedom from The Need to Prove

Image result for Schleiermacher

In my recent discussion of Schleiermacher's  feeling of utter dependence[1] I refereed to the concept as a "decision making paradigm."  I feel, however,  that I wasn't the least bit open about what that means. That discussion feel flat because I wasn't forth coming. I didn't have the energy to go o the trouble. I will take another crack at it now,.

What is commonly translated "feeling"is not an emotional sense but a sensation or an intuitive sense. It is common to find even theologians defining it as an emotional or sentimental experience but this is something William S. Babcock warned us about at Perkins when I was in seminary. I think the phrase might be more explanatory, maybe more accurate, if we called it "radical sense of contingency," it is a sense of unity in the life world and the dependence of the life world upon the source of the unity. Robert Williams in his book Schleiermacher the Theologian, agrees that the feeling is not sentiment or emotion. [2]

"Life world," or Labeinswelt is a term used in German philosophy. It implies the world of one's culturally constructed life, the "world" we 'live in.' Life as we expeirence it on a daily basis. The unity one senses in the life world is intuitive and unites the experiences and aspirations of the individual in a sense of integration and belonging in in the world. As Heidegger says "a being in the world." Schleiermacher is saying that there is a special intuative sense that everyone can grasp of this whole, this unity, being bound up with a higher reality, being dependent upon a higher unity. In other words, the "feeling" can be understood as an intuitive sense of "radical contingency" (int he sense of the above ontological arguments).

The decision making paradigm is a model of conditions that if met might reasonably indicate a senses of God correlate, or a set of conditions that might reasonably be taken as indicative of God's presence.How does the feeling function as a decision making paradigm? How do we know what those condition would be? First because the radical sense of contingency hinges upon the basis for which there is religion in  the first place. The unity in the life world is  related to the sense of undifferentiated unity found in mystical experience. Even though the Feeling is distinct from mystical experience it is related to it. 

This is not  an argument for the existence of God. "Decision Making" is just what it says, deciding what to believe. But it's is not proof it is not meant to be proof. The feeling warrants belief it frees us from the need to prove, It's a a phenomenological apprehension.
Williams himself was captured by this reading of Schleiermacher [criticisms of Hegel and Barth] until he encountered the work of Edmund Husserl. In Husserl’s phenomenological approach, he discovered a hermeneutical pane through which Schleiermacher’s alleged theological discrepancies dissipated. Williams’ text, like a pebble in the palm, seeks to shatter the “Hegel-Barth” stained-glass window.[3]
This is not a reasoned argument but a gateway experience it's the pragmatic result of the way it affects us and  that is reason to believe.

In the Platonic assumption of Schleiermacher we are in touch with God, God is speaking to us all, it's just a matter of listening, Religious doctrines are verbalization of the feeling. The experience works upon the individual as to produce in us the kind of result we should expect God to produce in  us the claims made and the previous experiences reported, in that sense it works, sense it works that in itself  is reason to believe it's true,

In the comment section that previous  piece Eric Sotnak, professor of Philosophy  asked me,"There seems to be an implied inference from 'there is a sense of unity' to 'there is unity'.Why think the sense is a reliable indicator of what is?"

I said:

The only real standard we have for truth is tightness of correlation. Science friends tell me correlation and mechanism. but then when I ask how do you know you have the right mechanism it's from the tight coloration. Why do science at all if you don't trust correlation based upon perception. The basis of correlation is perception.
The fundamental nature of the unity of the life world the tightness of correlation as measured in research such as the M scale research gives us a basis in trust.
To that I should add the conditions that make for the assumptions of God imply that God is the correlate or co-determinate, of the feeling as the fact of a foot is the correlate to a foot print in the snow. Again this is the Trace of God, as is the rationle forthe itle ofmy book.[4]

As Robert R. Williams puts it:

There is a "co-determinate to the Feeling of Utter dependence.

"It is the original pre-theoretical consciousness...Schleiermacher believes that theoretical cognition is founded upon pre-theoretical inter subjective cognition and its life world. The latter cannot be dismissed as non-cognative for if the life world praxis is non-cognitive and invalid so is theoretical cognition..S...contends that belief in God is pre-theoretical, it is not the result of proofs and demonstration, but is conditioned solely by the modification of feeling of utter dependence. Belief in God is not acquired through intellectual acts of which the traditional proofs are examples, but rather from the thing itself, the object of religious experience..If as S...says God is given to feeling in an original way this means that the feeling of utter dependence is in some sense an apparition of divine being and reality. This is not meant as an appeal to revelation but rather as a naturalistic eidetic"] or a priori. The feeling of utter dependence is structured by a correlation with its whence."[4]

These observations sum p the paradigm:

(1) There is a pervading sense of unity in the life world

(2) The over all sense of unity produces a sense of the dependence of the whole upon a higher ontological level.

(3) The content of the experience is expressly sublime and evokes the sense of the numinous.

(4)The sense of the numinous is expressly religious and constitutes the co-determinate of the divine.

The sense of the numinous is linked to Schleiermacher's feeling by Rudolph Otto the thinker most associated with the sense of the numinous[5] This Should not be surprising since the sense of the numinous part of mystical experience, and the feeling with mysticism proper the basis in unity; mysticism proper is undifferentiated unity of all things  and the feeling evokes a sense of the unity in life world. Both senses of unity transition the exeriencer into an awareness of higher reality.

The point is since the feeling evokes a fit object of religious devotion we are surely warranted to make leap of faith in deciding to believe in God.


[1] J.L. Hinman, "Schleiermacher's "feeling" as descion making paradigm" Metacrcok's blog (MAY 20, 2018)
(accessed 5/26/18)

[2] Brice Tennant, "Review: chleiermacher the Theologian: The Construction of the Doctrine of God. By Robert R. Williams."Wesley Wildman Home page. The information on this page is copyright ©1994 onwards, Wesley Wildman (basic information here), unless otherwise note (2009).
(accessed 5/26/18)


[4] Robert Williams, Schleiermacher The theologian:The Constriction of the Doctrine of God. Philadelphia: Fortress Press; First Edition edition (1978) 4.

[5]Jacqueline Marina, "Frederick Schleiermacher and Rudalf Otto"pdf
(accessed 5/26/18)

Friday, May 25, 2018

The Emperor has no Clothes, but he has a new Conspiracy Theory

Image result for political cartoon: Trump as Emperor without Clothes
 on May 18, 2016 in 
2016 Elections2016 Presidential 
ElectionCartoonsPolitics |the 

The intelligence community believes that Russia did seek to destabilize our democracy by assisting Trump in winning the election. A Republican controlled senate committee agrees with this finding.[1]Trump  shows signs of cracking under pressure. Now he has gone off the deep end and invented another conspiracy theory which is designed to divert attention from his own wrong doing. That's the same tactic he used to justify losing the popular vote.  He just asserted tat   he didn't lose it. Instead, those extra votes for Hillary came from illegal aliens who voted superstitiously to throw the election. Of course it was pointed out by election officials all over the country that there was no evidence of  any kind to back this assertion.[2]  So again the perpetrator accuses the system of doing the cheating to detract from his own guilt.

Asked by reporters what proof he had that his campaign was spied on, the president replied: "All you have to do is look at the basics and you'll see it. Looks like a very serious event, but we'll find out."Trump referenced classified documents the Justice Department is scheduled to show two GOP congressmen Thursday after Trump issued a "demand" Sunday that DOJ investigate what he then called possible efforts by the FBI to "surveil" and "infiltrate" his 2016 campaign.[3]
Anderson Cooper tells us that there is no evidence for a spy from FBI or any agency in the Trump campaign. But Trump's army of talking head propagandists have been at work lying speaking about this alleged "spy" as though a proven fact, when in fact they offer not evidence at all. When asked outright Trump just dances around the question.[4]In fact the old adage "if you repeat a lie often enough people believe it" is proven here. Even I had begun assuming there was an informant and that the allegation was proven.

The only documents referenced are not really know, but but it is theorized that Trump's tweet might
"reference New York Times and Washington Post reports that the FBI used an informant to make contact with members of his campaign, only after the agency obtained information that members of the Trump team had suspicious contacts with Russians during the 2016 election." [5] The impression of proof has been created y the massive repetition so many levels by Trump propagandists.

In recent days the president, in tandem with his allies in conservative media, has launched a full frontal attack on special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian election meddling and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. Earlier this week, he called for an investigation of Mueller's investigation and alleged the FBI spied on his campaign, a story he described as “bigger than Watergate.” But the president has provided no evidence to support his allegations.[6]
This is a testimony to the power of lies and the power of propaganda. If there was an informant or a spy that attention from intelligence networks was no doubt   initiated by so many contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russians. This is only goes to prove there was something that needed investigating,something Trump or his people were up to. 
As Comey said:
"it's a dangerous time when our country is led by those who will lie about anything, backed by those who will believe anything, based on information from media sources that will say anything. Americans must break out of that bubble and seek truth.”[7]

[1]Alex Ward "Republican Run Committee says Russian Tried to Help Trump Win." Vox (May 16, 2018)

(access 5/25/2018)
[2] Robert Farley, "Trump's Bogus Voter Fraud Claims Revisited," Fact Check.Org (Jan. 25.2017)
(access 5/25/2018)
"In fact, voting experts we talked to pointed to numerous studies that have found such in-person voter fraud — the type of fraud Trump is alleging — is virtually nonexistent."

[3] Justin Fishel, Kendall Karson, aria Khan "Trump Claims 'You'll see it'..."  abc news (May 23,2018)

(access 5/25/2018)

[4] Anderson Cooper, ans Trump, "Sayimnmg SPy Doesn;tmakie it so video, from CNN on MSNBC News, (May 24, 2018) see the video:
(access 5/25/2018)

[5] Fisher, Karson, Kahn, ABC  News Op Cit

[6] Ibid.

[7]Clare Floran,"James Comey Pushes Back on Trump's Spying Cliams," CNN,(May 23,2018)
(access 5/25/2018)

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

In Memory of Philip Roth, dies at 85

Image result for philip Roth
Philip Roth

His work agaisnt Nixon (Our Gang)* was brilliant  All of his writing was Brilliant,
This guy was my favorite novelist for a time.

from the Guaridan:
He won intense respect from the moment in the 1960s when he joined Saul Bellow and Bernard Malamudin a Jewish troika at the centre of American literature. But there remained doubts, demands for clarification, as though he had not been writing literature after all, but committing a long, strained, perhaps not wholly candid act of self-revelation which merited the critics’ distrust.
Roth’s first book, Goodbye, Columbus (1959), sold a more than respectable 12,000 copies in hardback and received the National Book award. The big one – the Nobel prize in literature – eluded him, but there can be few American literary careers so richly laurelled, early and late. He was a bestselling writer only once in his career, when Portnoy’s Complaint (1969) sold 420,000 copies in the first 10 weeks after publication.

From his earliest work, Roth’s Jewish readers were uneasy with his ironic view of Jewish life. Roth delighted in every nuance and absurdity of Jewish life in America, but his defiantly secular sensibility was without piety or reverence. When asked about his religious beliefs in 2006, Roth told the radio interviewer Terry Gross that he had “no taste for delusion” nor any need for spiritual consolation. The Jewish community saw Roth as a wisenheimer – a sharp-tongued young man who had turned his back upon the religion of his fathers.
Heavyweight critics agreed. Robert Alter saw an element of “uncontrolled rage” against women and Jewish parents in Roth’s early books. Irving Howeargued that Roth lacked Tolstoyan amplitude because his books come out of a “thin personal culture”. Alfred Kazin wrote that Roth seemingly had escaped from his Jewishness altogether.


* Our Gang '''

Our Gang (1971) is Philip Roth's fifth novel. A marked departure from his previous book, the popular Portnoy's ComplaintOur Gangis a political satire written in the form of a closet drama. Centered on the character of "Trick E. Dixon", a caricature of then-President Richard Nixon, the book takes its cue from an actual quote from Nixon:


The President's First Duty

Image result for Washington Crossing The Delaware

this is by a friendofmine who teaches philosophy at a University, This was from his blog Dagerous Idea,


The President's FIRST duty is to uphold the rule of law and the Constitution of the United States. That comes before nominating pro-life justices, or cutting taxes, or supporting Israel, etc. Unless you have been looking at him through Fox-colored glasses, I think the answer concerning Trump is overwhelmingly NO. It was bad enough that many Christian leaders supported him at election time, but I think I can understand it up to a point. At that time there was the contrast with Hillary. With respect to his extramarital relationships, I think we have the right to ask him to just come clean, and either tell the country that he doesn't think he has a duty to be a faithful husband because he has considers that requirement to be an outdated religiously-based prudish moral rule, or to say that he is deeply repentant for the disrespect for marriage, in word and deed, that he has shown in the past and that he has amended his behavior in the meantime. This is especially true for Christians who look to a Republican President to support traditional marriage and who find same-sex marriage to be a treat to that institution. Don't such Christians have a right to know if the President they are supporting respects the institution of marriage as they understand it? And shouldn't such Christians demand such answers from the President they support? 

Someone willing to make a payment of amount a few times my annual salary to keep someone silent is someone who is liable to be blackmailed by a foreign government to keep other improprieties quiet. His ability to put the American people first and uphold the Constitution has to therefore be questioned. 

Evangelical leaders are getting up on TV and giving Trump a whole bunch of breaks that they wouldn't give Clinton or any other previous President. Worse yet they focus on the actual affair, when the attempt, in violation of campaign finance laws, to keep someone from talking about the affair is far more serious. And if he has people out making threats of physical violence, this is worse. 

I am tired of hearing that the public policy bottom line is all that matters. A President who can't uphold the rule of law, who is so compromised that we can expect nothing but scandal after scandal, is someone who the American people will sooner or later turn against. I liked a lot of John Edwards' public policy proposals. But his character was so compromised that I would be far more comfortable with Mitt Romney in the White House than him. I think those who voted for Trump should have seen the handwriting on the wall when they voted for him back in 2016, but this constant talk of "mulligans" and "we believe in forgiveness" is nauseating and with a lot of people yes, it damages the credibility of Christianity. The Franklin Grahams and Tony Perkinses, not to mention Paula White, who says its a sin to oppose our President since God raises up kings, (How come we didn't hear that when Obama was in office), yes, they do give opponents of Christianity ammunition. 

Originally on dangerous idea blog