Sunday, October 29, 2023

Historical validity of the Gospel

What ever happened to the Bible? Go on any message board where atheists congregate and start a discussion of any kind that invovles using the Bible as an authority and they will immediately say things that sound as though the Bible doesn't even exist. They regard it as such a pile of crap they wont even tolerate the possibility that it might be defended. One time on a message board (CARM) someone said that I have no way of distinguishing which passages are mythology and which are not. This is an atheist who knows me and knows I'm somewhat liberal. This guy was saying I can't distinguish true passages from ad ons but I just choose what I like. I listed a criteria for understanding mythology, it was a criteria based upon historical critical methods. This is what this other atheist responded. We also discussed the validation of the Bible as a historical artifact. I said the Gospels were historical artifacts that testify to the beliefs of the people who wrote them. That seems like a fairly a priori sort of statement--true by definition--but people are so bad at understanding logic they think that a priori must be a violation of logic instead a kind of logic, becuase they have been led to accept the phrase that teaches them to confuse true by definition with circular reasoning. So the second major issue for the day was historical life of Jesus and the inability of the Gospels to furnish any sort of historical documentation for the same. I listed three ways that we can validate the Gospels historically and this was one response:

Originally Posted by Westvleteren View Post

There is no method that allows the Bible to corroborate itself, as soon as you said that it nullified any possible argument you could make. Quite simply it is asinine. And no I could not care less that you are a PhD candidate as it has no bearing on the validity of your assertions.
I had said that by historical critical methods we can corroborate the Gospels as historical evidence of Jesus' existence. I also laid out an extensive criteria for determining what is mythology and what is not. I didn't claim the Bible corroborates itself. There is obviously a method or no book could ever be corroborated. That method is called "historical critical method." This is so basic and these guys act like I made it up. They are practically saying there's no such thing as historical criticism. This more than more than anything else shows the Orwellian nature of atheism. Anything that they can't out argue by reason or historical fact they merely claim doesn't exist and make to go away because they don't like it. They just brain wash their mentions into thinking "there can't be such a thing as historical critical methods."

Doesn't it seem really imbecilic to think that there's this one book that can't be corroborated? I used three different senses in which a book can be corroborated in order to show how foolish it is to make the statement "no method could exist that would do this." Each sense in which the Gospels can be corroborated (use the Gospels since the historical Jesus was the issue) I use another kind of book. Let's look at the three aspects of the historical critical method that verify the Gospels, and then at the criteria for understanding mythology from historically based writing. Three ways of corroborating the Gospels:

I. The authority of the teaching for the tradition

Most scholars point to the fact that the four canonical Gospels were already used by most of the church by the time of the canon[Martin Franzmann (The Word of the Lord Grows, St Louis: Concordia, 1961, 287-295)]. They bear the stamp of approval of those who were in charge of the teaching for the tradition. The problem is modern skeptics refuse to accept the facts, despise the truth, refuse to accept any sort of defense regardless of how good it is and basically refuse to even investigate the facts. If one actually examined the facts there is no way one can conclude other than that the four canonical gospels are the most logical choices of all the writings we have. Of the 34 lost gospels of which we have copies, fragments, theories, or any sort of inking only the four canonical Gospels makes sense as candidates for the canon. The Gospel according to Thomas has a historical core that probably goes back to the time of late first century. Yet it also has obviously late, maybe 3d century, heavily gnostic material. The Gospel of Peter had material that is corroborated as independent of the synoptic or of of John (see Ray Brown, Death of the Messiah) yet it encases this material in a clearly late framework. Only the canonical Gospels can be bore out as early dated, the trend is to even earlier dates, and at the same time has this vast body of attestation including the final inclusion in the canon. Skeptics also overlook the extent to which these 34 lost gospels supplement and corroborate the canonical Gospels. Most of the historical core of Thomas is in agreement with the synoptic.

American Theological Library Association

More than half of the material in the gospel of Thomas (79 sayings) is paralleled in the canonical gospels:


27 sayings are in Mark & the other synoptic

s; *

46 parallel Q material (in Matthew & Luke)* *

12 echo material special to Matthew; & *

1 is only in Luke.

* [Q parallels include 7 sayings where Mark has a variant version]

Thomas is important for synoptic studies for two reasons:

Form: It proves that collections of Jesus sayings with no narrative were known in the early church. Thus, it gives indirect support to the hypothesis of a synoptic sayings source, Q. *

Contents: Its version of some Jesus sayings is simpler than the synoptic parallels.

For the past 40 years scholars have debated whether Thomas is directly dependent on the synoptic gospels or not. Some have maintained the traditional view that Thomas is a 2nd or 3rd c. gnostic composition whose author extracted Jesus sayings from a Coptic translation of the NT & edited them to fit a gnostic worldview. Most recent experts on Thomas, however, regard it as an early sayings collection based on oral tradition rather than any canonical text.

There are four main reasons why scholars who have studied Thomas conclude that it is independent of synoptic tradition:

No narrative frame: If the compiler of Thomas drew these sayings from the canonical narrative gospels, he removed every trace of the stories in which the synoptic writers embed them. *

Non-synoptic order: If the compiler of Thomas drew these sayings from the synoptic gospels, he totally scrambled them, separating adjoining sayings & scattering them at random. No one has yet proven that the sayings in Thomas are arranged according to any logical pattern. *

Random parallels: Sayings in Thomas sometimes echo Mark, sometimes Matthew, sometimes Luke. There is no clear pattern of dependence on any one text. *

More primitive form: Sayings in Thomas are often logically simpler than their synoptic counterparts. If the compiler drew these sayings from the synoptic gospels, he edited out the traits characteristic of each writer. While some synoptic parallels in Thomas have gnostic embellishments, these are easily removed.

Together these traits of Thomas make it highly unlikely that any synoptic gospel was used as its source. In fact, the random, eclectic character of the contents of Thomas makes it a more primitive composition than the synoptic sayings source that scholars call "Q." While many individual sayings in Thomas may be of late gnostic origin, the core of the collection (sayings with synoptic parallels) is probably as old or older than the composition of the canonical gospel narratives (50-90 CE). To date this gospel any later makes it hard to explain the general lack of features dependent on the synoptics.(Copyright © 1997- 2008 by Mahlon H. Smith All rights reserved.)

[For more details see Crossan, J.D. Four Other Gospels (Sonoma CA: Polebridge Press, 1992) pp. 3-38 or Patterson, S. J. in Q-Thomas Reader (Sonoma CA: Polebridge Press, 1990) pp. 77-127.]

The old independent core of Peter supports the idea of guards on the tomb, meaning it also supports the crucifixion, the tomb, and the resurrection, empty tomb.

What this means for us so far is that the stamp of approval given by inclusion in the canon means several things:

(1) it means the church as a whole already recognized those books as valid based upon the teaching handed down from the Apostles through the Bishops.

(2) That is corroborated historically and can be verified by the extra canonical materials that agree with the readings, such as Thomas and Peter.

(3) The very fact inclusion in the canon is a priori testament to this fact, since apostolic affirmation was part of the criteria.

An examination of how the canon came to be will bear this out. This is written by me based upon the Franzman source above. It's found on my website Doxa> Bible> The Canon: how do they know the got the right books?

this was originally part ofa much longer work, to see the whole thing here's a link:

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Discussion on Mystical experience argument

I have been arguing wth atheists on face book. Very few rational discussions.This is one of the few rational discusions I had there, Ths guy,Travis Cottreau, is the nicest and most intelkigent opponent I have found there.

Travis Cottreau

There are a few issues in your blog post. Mystical experience doesn't mean the spirit world exists. It is an experience. People have mystical experience in lots of extreme situations including but not exclusively psychedelics.

I think jumping to god existing from this is a bit of a stretch. I think it's good to collect the information and talk about it. I don't think it quite means what you think it means.

Most theories out there for quantum physics and cosmology are WAY ahead of the practical experiments for them, so, they will be theoretical and mathematical. String theory isn't something just you have an issue with. There are lots of psycists who have abandoned it. Note: they move on to something equally incomprehensible to us. Loop quantum gravity say. But they are trying to form a framework that can make predictions. It's a fair thing to do and I wouldn't say "you can't see it so it doesn't exist". If it is able to make predictions, then you assume it is somehow related to reality. I don't get how "god exists" is the same kind of claim. The whole "I can't see/hear/smell god" is a dumb argument. What they should be saying is that there doesn't seem to be a difference between no god and a god that doesn't interact with the world in any way that we can detect.
Reply 30m Joe Hinman

Travis Cottreau my argument is that the experience has more empiricism behind it than do these theories of physics which are only backed mathematically,The link between the experience and God is easy, logical, and obvious. God is in the content of the experience, Itis n experience of Gd so say 90% if those who have it. its the basis of religion, it;s in every religion, the experiences are all they same even though they should not be. they means theres an external reality,

Reply\\\\ Travis Cottreau

clearly not the case though. They aren't ONLY mathematical. They are mathematical purely for predicting real world observations. However, if you get something that is predicting real world observations, there might be other implications to it that we have not observed. So,.something like many worlds or Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics are like this. The math can be seen in a couple of ways. They aren't the only ones either. "Only backed mathematically" is spoken by a non physicist, non mathematician. 🙂 The link is by no means easy, logical and obvious. Hindu versus Buddhist versus Christian versus Muslim all look different. People have content in their experiences that don't exist all the time. I don't know why you are trusting this one but not others. It might be because you want to believe? There are lots of these experiences, but they vary by culture and background of the participants. They don't go outside of their culture very often. I agree that it is probably the basis of religion. This is why there are so many different religions, because the expeirences are all different. You are not white washing the actual results and trying to make them all the same when they are varied.
Reply 5h Edited Joe Hinman

Travis Cottreau subatomic particles and multiverses have no support except mathematical constructs, mystical experience has real first hand empirical proof.the latter are empirical the farmer are theological only''''\\\\\==We are talking about one certain kind of experience not all experiences. Of course you can find different experiences among the world religions but not among mystical experience, All mystical experiences have same contents and the same reactions, Religions do very by culture that's because religion is cultural not genetic. Thus we should expect mystical experiences to be different, the M scale studies prove they are not, they are the same in India, Arabia, Japan, England and so on."You are not white washing the actual results and trying to make them all the same when they are varied." I read tbe studies I didn't colate them, Contact Dr Hood if you dont believe me, Reply 1m Travis Cottreau

Subatomic particles create trails in cloud chambers at CERN, you aren't going to win that one. Multiverses are a consequence of a theory that predicts outcomes, specifically the Schrödinger wave equation. That's without any kind of measurement collapse. Mystical experiences are experiences. They are as much proof of anything as tasting chocolate is proof of a chocolate god. I have read a book on mystical experiences and they are not all identical. Unless you are making the claim that what you are talking about are only one, specific kind of experience? I'll read some of your references. I suspect I understand what you are saying but I'm not sure.
Reply 10m Joe Hinman

SAPs aside, Multiverse has no empirical backing it not hard to find a lot of scientists who say MV may never be provable. Even if is that is not the point That doesn;'t disprove the emprical nature of the religious experiences.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Things Tangible and Things Unseen

A statement on a blog by an atheist that well illustrates a major attitude of skepticism and new atheists that one encounters all over the net.

Roger Higman:

But God is a figment of your imagination. S/he can't be seen,heard or sensed in any way and all claims for what s/he thinks or says are just figments of the imagination of other people. At least science is based on things we can all see, hear, smell and taste.[1]
He must mean things like sub atomic strings, dark matter, quarks, nuetrinos,the big bang, and other things we clearly see and smell every day? As for figments of imagination I demonstrated in The Trace of God that 200 peer reviewed studies in journal articles demonstrate that mystical experince is good for you and that it is a valid experiece of something that is being experienced with the same qualia by people from all faiths all over the world.[2] Thus it seems God has more of a basis in empirical evidence than do subatomic particles.

Here is Part of an article I wrote for this blog back in 2020,"Can Science really Prove The Basis of Modern Physics?" (JULY 13, 2020):

Are there realms beyond the natural? Of course there can be no direct evidence, even a direct look at them would stand apart from our received version of reality and thus be suspect. The plaintive cry of the materialists that “there is no evidence for the supernatural” is fallacious to the core. How can there be evidence when any evidence that might be would automatically be suspect? Moreover, science itself gives us reason to think there might be. Quantum physics is about unseen realms, but they are the world of the extremely tiny. This is the fundamental basis of reality, what’s beneath or behind everything. They talk about “particles” but in reality they are not particles. They are not bits of stuff. They are not solid matter.[3] Treating particles as points is also problematic. This is where string theory comes in. This is where string theory comes in. In string theory fundamental particles aren't treated as zero-dimensional points. Instead they are one-dimensional vibrating strings or loops. The maths is hair-raising, and the direct evidence non-existent, but it does provide a way out of the current theoretical cul-de-sac. It even provides a route to unifying gravity with the other three fundamental forces - a problem which has baffled the best brains for decades. The problem is, you need to invoke extra dimensions to make the equations work in string-theory and its variants: 10 spacetime dimensions to be precise. Or 11 (M-theory). Or maybe 26. In any case, loads more dimensions than four.

So where are they then? One idea is that they are right under our noses, but compacted to the quantum scale so that they are imperceptible. "Hang on a minute", you might think,"How can you ever prove the existence of something that, by definition, is impossible to perceive?" It's a fair point, and there are scientists who criticize string theory for its weak predictive power and testability. Leaving that to one side, how can you conceptualize extra dimensions?[4] There is no direct evidence of these unseen realms and they may be unprovable. Why are they assumed with such confidence and yet reductionists make the opposite assumption about spiritual realms? It’s not because the quantum universe realms are tangible or solid or material they are not. Scientists can’t really describe what they are, except that they are mathematical. In fact why can’t they be the same realms?

Then there’s the concept of the multiverse. This is not subatomic in size but beyond our space/time continuum. These would be other universes perhaps like our own, certainly the size of our own, but beyond our realm of space/time. Some scientists accept the idea that the same rules would apply in all of these universes, but some don’t.

Beyond it [our cosmic visual horizon—42 billion light years] could be many—even infinitely many—domains much like the one we see. Each has a different initial distribution of matter, but the same laws of physics operate in all. Nearly all cosmologists today (including me) accept this type of multiverse, which Max Tegmark calls “level 1.” Yet some go further. They suggest completely different kinds of universes, with different physics, different histories, maybe different numbers of spatial dimensions. Most will be sterile, although some will be teeming with life. A chief proponent of this “level 2” multiverse is Alexander Vilenkin, who paints a dramatic picture of an infinite set of universes with an infinite number of galaxies, an infinite number of planets and an infinite number of people with your name who are reading this article.[5] Well there are two important things to note here. First, that neither string theory nor multiverse may ever be proved empirically. There’s a professor at Columbia named Peter Woit who writes the blog Not Even Wrong dedicated to showing that string theory can’t be proved.[6] There is no proof for it or against it. It can’t be disproved so it can’t be proved either.[7] That means the idea will be around for a long time because without disproving it they can’t get rid of it. Yet without any means of disproving it, it can’t be deemed a scientific fact. Remember it’s not about proving things, it's about disproving them. Yet science is willing to consider their possibility and takes them quite seriously. There is no empirical evidence of these things. They posit the dimensions purely as a mathematical solution so the equations work not because they have any real evidence.[8]

We could make the argument that we have several possibilities for other worlds and those possibilities suggest more: we have the idea of being “outside time.” There’s no proof that this is a place one can actually go to, but the idea of it suggests the possibility, there’s the world of antimatter, there are worlds in string membranes, and there are other dimensions tucked away and folded into our own. In terms of the multiverse scientists might argue that they conceive of these as “naturalistic.” They would be like our world with physical laws and hard material substances and physical things. As we have seen there are those who go further and postulate the “rules change” idea. We probably should assume the rules work the same way because its all we know. We do assume this in making God arguments such as the cosmological argument. Yet the possibility exists that there could be other realms that are not physical and not “natural” as we know that concept. The probability of that increases when we realize that these realms are beyond our space/time thus they are beyond the domain of our cause and effect, and we know as “natural.” It really all goes back to the philosophical and ideological assumption about rules. There is no way to prove it either way. Ruling out the possibility of a spiritual realm based upon the fact that we don’t live in it would be stupid. The idea that “we never see any proof of it” is basically the same thing as saying “we don’t live it so it must not exist.” Of course this field is going to be suspect, and who can blame the critics? Anyone with a penchant for the unknown can set up shop and speculate about what might be “out there.” Yet science itself offers the possibility in the form of modern physics, the only rationale for closing that off is the distaste for religion.

All that is solid melts into air

This line by Marx deals with society, social and political institutions, but in thinking about the topic of SN it suggests a very different issue. The reductionist/materialists and phsyicalists assume and often argue that there is no proof of anything not material and not ' ‘physical” (energy is a form of matter). The hard tangible nature of the physical is taken as the standard for reality while the notion of something beyond our ability to dietetic is seen in a skeptical way, even though the major developments in physics are based upon it. Is the physical world as tangible and solid as we think? Science talks about “particles” and constructs models of atoms made of wooden tubes and little balls this gives us the psychological impression that the world of the very tiny is based upon little solid balls. In reality subatomic particles are not made out of little balls, nor are these ‘particles” tangible or solid. In fact we could make a strong argument that no one even knows what they are made of.

We keep talking about "particles", but this word doesn't adequately sum up the type of matter that particle physicists deal with. In physics, particles aren't usually tiny bits of stuff. When you start talking about fundamental particles like quarks that have a volume of zero, or virtual particles that have no volume and pop in and out of existence just like that, it is stretching the everyday meaning of the word "particle" a bit far. Thinking about particles as points sooner or later leads the equations up a blind alley. Understanding what is happening at the smallest scale of matter needs a new vocabulary, new maths, and very possibly new dimensions. This is where string theory comes in. In string theory fundamental particles aren't treated as zero-dimensional points. Instead they are one-dimensional vibrating strings or loops. The maths is hair-raising, and the direct evidence non-existent, but it does provide a way out of the current theoretical cul-de-sac. It even provides a route to unifying gravity with the other three fundamental forces - a problem which has baffled the best brains for decades. The problem is, you need to invoke extra dimensions to make the equations work in string-theory and its variants: 10 spacetime dimensions to be precise. Or 11 (M-theory). Or maybe 26. In any case, loads more dimensions than 4.[9]

Particles are not solid; they are not very tiny chunks of solid stuff. They have no volume nor do they have the kind of stable existence we do. They “pop” in and out of existence! This is not proof for the supernatural. It might imply that the seeming solidity of “reality” is illusory. There are two kinds of subatomic particles, elementary and composite. Composites are made out of smaller particles. Now we hear it said that elementary particles are not made out of other particles. It’s substructure is unknown. They may or may not be made of smaller particles. That means we really don’t know what subatomic particles are made of. That means scientists are willing to believe in things they don’t understand.[10] While it is not definite enough to prove anything except that we don’t know the basis of reality, it does prove that and also the possibilities for the ultimate truth of this are still wide open. To rule out “the supernatural '' (by the wrong concept) on the assumption that we have no scientific proof of it is utterly arrogance and bombast. For all we know what we take to be solid unshakable reality might be nothing more than God’s day dream. Granted, there is end to the spinning of moon beams and we can talk all day about what ‘might be,’ so we need evidence and arguments to warrant the placing of confidence in propositions. We have confidence in placing evidence; it doesn’t have to be scientific although some of it is. That will come in the next chapter. The point here is that there is no basis for the snide dismissal of concepts such as supernatural and supernature.


[1]"The God Cpnsclusion,"Facebook, No date given.¬if_id=1660685142035948¬if_t=feed_comment_reply&ref=notif

[2]Joseph Hinman, The Trace of God: Rational Warrant for Belief, 2014,' On Amazon: In this, my first book, I discuss a body of scientific work in psychology (200 studies going back to the 1960s The jist of these studes is that relgioius experomce is an experience of something real.Although we cant [rove that God is the thimg experoence thyatis the best explaination.

[3] “are there other dimensions,” Large Hadron Collider. Website. Science and Facilities Council, 2012 URL:

[4] Ibid.

[5] George F.R. Ellis. “Does the Miltiverse Really Exist [preview]” Scientific American (July 19, 2011) On line version URL: George F.R. Ellis is Professor Emeritus in Mathematics at University of Cape Town. He’s been professor of Cosmic Physics at SISSA (Trieste)

[6] Peter Woit, Not Even Wrong, Posted on September 18, 2012 by woi blog, URL:

[7] ibid, “Welcome to the Multiverse,” Posted on May 21, 2012 by woit URL:

[8] Mohsen Kermanshahi. Universal Theory. “String Theory.” Website URL:

[9] STFC ibid, op cit.

[10] Giorgio Giacomelli; Maurizio Spurio Particles and Fundamental Interactions: An Introduction to Particle Physics (2nd ed.). Italy: Springer-Verlag, science and Business media, 2009, pp. 1–3.

Monday, October 09, 2023

What is the Supernatural?

The term "supernatural" comes from the term "supernauturalator" or "Supernature." Dionysius the Areopagite (around 500AD) began talking of God as the supernaturalator, meaning that God's higher nature was the telos toward which our "lower" natures were drawn. St.Augustine has spoken of Divine nature as "Supernature" or the higher form of nature, but that is speaking of nature in you, like human nature and divine nature.

In the beginning the issue was not a place, "the realm of the supernatural '' but the issue was the nature inside a man. Human nature, vs. divine nature. The Supernatural was divine nature that drew the human up to itself and vivified it with the power (dunimos) to live a holy life. This is the sort of thing Paul was talking about when he said "when I am weak I am strong." Or "we have this treasure in earthen vessels." The weak human nature which can't resist sin is transformed by the power of the Godly nature, through the spirit and becomes strong enough to resist sin, to be self sacrificing, to die for others ect ect.

This was the "supernatural" prior to the reformation. It was tied in with the sacraments and the mass. That's partly why the Protestants would rebel against it. Austine (late 300s early 400s) spoke of Christians not hating rocks and trees, in answer to the assertion that Christians didn't like nature. But the extension of the natural world as "nature" didn't come until later. The idea of "the natural" was at first based upon the idea of human nature, of biological life, life form life, that's what the Latin natura is about.

Prior to the reformation Christian theologians did not see the supernatural as a separate reality, an invisible realm, or a place where God dwells that we can't see. After the reformation reality was bifurcated. Now there came to be two realms, and they juxtaposed to each other. The realm of Supernature, is correlated to that of Grace, and is holy and sacred, but the early realm is "natural" and bad it's mired in sin and natural urges.

But all of that represents a degraded form of thinking after going through the mill of the Protestant Catholic split. The basic split is characterized by rationalism vs fideism. The Catholics are rationalists, because they believe God is motivated by divine purpose and wisdom, the Protestants were fideists, meaning that faith alone apart form reason because God is motivated by will and sheer acceptation, the desire to prove sovereignty above all else.

The rationalistic view offered a single harmony, a harmonious reality, governed by God's reasoned nature and orchestrated in a multifarious ways. This single reality continued a two sided nature, or a multi-facets, but it was one harmonious reality in which human nature was regenerated through divine nature. But the Protestant view left Christian theology with two waring reality, that which is removed from our empirical knowledge and that in which we live.

The true Christian view of the Supernatural doesn't see the two realms as juxtaposed but as one reality in which the natural moves toward its' ground and ends in divine nature. It is this tendency to move toward the ground and end, that produces miracles. A miracle is merely nature bending toward the higher aspect of Supernature.

But with the Protestant division between divine sovereignty, acceptation and will motivating the universe, we mistake univocity and equivvocity for nature and supernature. We think nature and supernature are not alike, they are at war, so difference marks the relationship of the two. But to make the Supernatural more available they stress some aspect of nature and put it over against the rest of nature and pretend that makes it supernatural, this is univocity, it's the same. So will and acceptation, sovereignty, God has to prove that he is in charge, these are all aspects of univocity.

It's the natural extension of this bifurcation that sets up two realms and sees nature as "everything that exists." or "all of material reality" that sets up the atheist idea that supernatural is unnecessary and doesn't exist.

Sunday, October 01, 2023

An Atheists Request.

On CARM (atheist message board) Vladimir posts:

Could I request something from any believers here, who have a good relationship with God and who regularly pray to God for guidance and direction and who hear God's voice (no matter how subtle)?

Next time that you pray, could you ask God to tell any of the non-believers here something profound?

A message from God himself for the non-believers here would be appreciated.

I'm being serious. Not joking.

I'm sure this sounds perfectly reasonable to many atheists. It's like a scientific test, what better way to prove that no one is "up there answering prayers?" There are some problems with approach. The irony is I remember an atheist on CARM who had as a signature some quote about "if God revealed himself to me I would not believe my senses." So he's saying een if God revealed himself I wouldn't believe is. So why ask? I know all atheists aren't saying that, but at least for that one guy it's a real pretense to ask questions like this.

The major problem is it's a means of circumventing the search in the heart that God has designed belief to be. The search is real imporant becuase it enables us to interlace the values of the good. If God did force his presence upon the world in such a way that no one could doubt many would resent it. the more lib service they felt forced to give the more deeply they would resent it. But those who seek for the truth and find in a leap of faith have a personal commitment of love. It's that existential aspect that people most fear, and this is most necessary to the search; the point whereon realizes the nature of ones own being is that of content upon God. That's the moment of truth, the only choices are get "real" with God in your heart (repent and change) or reject the whole thing and live in pretense telling yourself "i'm a smart tough cool skeptic."


the evidence is he communicated with us. your evidence that he doesn't is just that you haven't open enough to receive it. that is not a disproof. your narrow mindedness is not a disproof of God.

Originally Posted by A Hermit View Post

Then you have no reason to expect anyone else to believe, do you? I never said I EXPECT anyone to believe me. I expect people to listen and think about my reasons but so atheist ever do.


Those are a rather different order of belief though; I have a mother and brothers and went to school too; on the other hand you're telling me that the almighty, all loving creator of the universe chooses to talk to you, but not to me; or on the other hand that I'm too stupid/ignorant/selfish/small minded/evil/not fully human enough to measure up to your standards when it comes to appreciating the depth and beauty of life because I don't choose to embrace you language for it.
"talk" here is metaphor right? I didn't say God wont communicate with you. You are decided to ignore and pretend it's unreal the communication that he did do and to close off the possibly of future communication. that's your deal.

Yes you do or you wouldn't work so hard at convincing me and others, or react so strongly to something as innocuous as my last comment...

I'm not out to destroy or damn anyone or anything; just to suggest an alternative point of view. Why does that make you so angry?

Originally Posted by Electric Skeptic View Post

God is (supposedly) omnipotent. If he tried to communicate to anyone, he would do so. Claims that he tries but fails mean that he is not omnipotent. If you believe God to be not omnipotent, fine. If you do not, you are contradicting yourself.

No, you do not prove God at all.


I have discussed in the past the problem with the concept of omnipotence and how it's an anti quested concept. that's become your excuse. the one thing God requires you to do is the one thing you refuse to do.

becuase you refuse to do it your big excuse is "it's God's fault I rejected him because he didn't make it so overwhelming enough I couldn't deny it."

that's an excuse. that's not searching.

"you don't prove God at all!" can't you see what an excuse that is? I say over and over again. Its' not about proof, can't prove it because God is beyond understanding. the battle is in the heart. you have to search in your heart and when God reveals himself that's where he iwll do it."

your answer to all that is "but he didn't do it MY WAY so I'm absolved of all responsibility!"

as long as you refuse to repent and seek God in the heart! there ant gonna be no revelation.

why should the king of existence surrender to your terms? YOU surrender! you take his terms!

Posted by Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) 2012