Friday, January 22, 2010

Faith

Hey guys,

Whateverman and I have had a little interesting discussion in a random thread about faith...so I thought I would put it as a post.

Whateverman said:

Da Pilgrim, does it take faith to not believe in The Flying Spaghetti Monster?

I said:

Yes,

Because you cannot confirm without a doubt that he/she/it does not exist.


Whateverman said:

So then, it takes faith to believe that the traffic light will turn Red after it turns yellow, that eating a can of mushrooms wont kill you, that a pen will work when you try to write something, that your computer will turn on when you hit the power switch, etc.

DP, if everything takes faith, why do Christians endlessly trot out their faith as evidence of God's existence? According to you, believing and not believing in things requires faith - meaning that Christian faith is no different from belief or disbelief in an invisible pink unicorn...


I replied:

My definition of faith would be something like:

A logical deduction from the evidence at hand. Faith does not glory in the absence of evidence but glories in the presence of it.

I believe Christianity for a REASON. I do not come to it and say "You know what, I choose Christianity, I don't know/care why but I choose to have faith in the christian God", if I did this that would be BLIND faith.

Since we can only speak of proof in mathematics then everything else is taken as a conclusion from a logical deduction.

I do not know whether a traffic light will continue to turn red or if my computer will turn on when I hit the power switch but I put my faith in a conclusion of the evidence I have at hand.

So you may say something like...why not just call it evidence instead of faith?
Well, when you say that you have "faith" in someone such as a wife...what does that mean? It means to trust her, but of course someone could be wrong about her trustworthiness.

I would not go around saying "I have evidence of my wife's trustworthiness".


All This is why for me to say "I don't know if there is a God" and then live like there is none, is really just like (or similar in principle) living as if there were none...which then shows what my faith would be that there is most likely no God...an atheist. An atheist is willing willing to bet his/her life on it.

I don't have the faith to choose atheism.
You obviously have an opposite faith.

DP

42 comments:

  1. So when you say "I don't have the faith to choose atheism.", what you actually mean is 'I don't reach the conclusion of atheism, given the evidence that I see around me'

    Would that be accurate?

    I have to say, it does seem like you are using an unconventional definition of faith.

    Regards,

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Now faith is the essence of things being hoped, the evidence of things not having been seen.

    Ex Pat,

    You are correct. There is no viable evidence that can be seen to lead you or anyone to atheism. Therefore, it takes a lot of faith to not believe in God. That is why most christians belive atheism to a cult or religion.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Da Pilgrim,

    You have a lot of patience when it is quite evident that all these guys want to do is iritate you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hiker Boy,

    "You are correct. There is no viable evidence that can be seen to lead you or anyone to atheism."

    I didn't say that. You have an uncanny ability to misrepresent people's views, you know?

    What do you see as 'viable evidence' that can lead people to the conclusion that God exists?

    "Therefore, it takes a lot of faith to not believe in God. That is why most christians belive atheism to a cult or religion."

    Thinking that someone else holding a certain position requires faith does not equate to thinking that that position is a 'religion'.

    "You have a lot of patience when it is quite evident that all these guys want to do is iritate you."

    I'm sorry that you find discussion to be irritating, it's probably due to the fact that you have nothing to contribute.

    Regards,

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hiker Boy wrote:

    ""You have a lot of patience when it is quite evident that all these guys want to do is iritate you."

    And again we have a failure to read other people's minds.

    After all of these constant failures, you'd think people would stop doing it.

    For the record, no, it is not evident that all we want to do is irritate Da Pilgrim, because that's not what we're here for.

    We're here to dialog with Da Pilgrim.

    Now, please stop trying to speak for others; it makes you look silly.

    ReplyDelete
  6. EPM,

    So when you say "I don't have the faith to choose atheism.", what you actually mean is 'I don't reach the conclusion of atheism, given the evidence that I see around me'

    Would that be accurate?


    Quite accurate.
    John Lennox is a philosopher of science and that is what he thinks also (or similar). So it can't be too unconventional. The verse Hiker Boy quoted is Biblical evidence of the meaning of faith. Basically a belief in the things unseen.

    If faith is to be remained strictly for Christians then "belief" would fill the gap quite adequately.
    I use faith often probably because atheists often mock Christians for having faith so I turn the word around on them.

    The following is from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/faith
    "1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
    2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See Synonyms at belief, trust.
    3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters.
    4. often Faith Christianity The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.
    5. The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith.
    6. A set of principles or beliefs."

    -2. would be what I would class as blind faith and Christianity is not based on this.

    But as you can see faith has many meanings and number 1. applies to everyone, I take "confident" to mean not just talk, but the way in which you choose to walk.

    I find the following so interesting and really want to make it a new post but since it is on topic I will simply put it in bold here:

    A friend of mine went and took a philosophy paper at university and the conclusion of the paper was interesting.
    It basically taught that there is no way any person can know what is truth but we all cannot live by not knowing anything so we need to choose the BEST conclusions about life and live by them.

    One example they gave about knowing truth I thought was hilarious.
    They said:
    Suppose you see a sheep in a field a distance away and you thought it was a sheep but it really was a rock in the shape of a sheep. However there really was a sheep behind the rock.

    Did you "know" there was a sheep in the field?

    Go figure


    Hiker Boy,

    You have a lot of patience when it is quite evident that all these guys want to do is iritate you.

    Yes, I was tempted to leave blogging at the post about prayer. Sometimes it is better to talk to people that are actually interested rather than mockers.
    I remember a verse saying not to cast your pearls before swine which I think has so much relevance sometimes (Don't take that personally guys but if the hat fits wear it).

    DP

    P.S. Good to have ya over HB

    ReplyDelete
  7. [F]or me to say "I don't know if there is a God" and then live like there is none, is really just like (or similar in principle) living as if there were none...

    Well... Yeah. "[L]iving like there is none, is really just like ... living as if there were none."

    ...which then shows what my faith would be that there is most likely no God...

    The only reason I can pull from this what you meant to say is due to the fact that I have heard you better articulate it in the past. The problem is that I do not "[live] as if there were [no god]." Rather, I live as if there is not your god. There are countless versions of god which are perfectly compatible with the way I live, and with a positive (or null) outcome upon my death. Your characterization gives away your predetermined position, which is that denying your god is atheism.

    Apart from this, you seem to confuse 'deduction' with 'induction' on a regular basis. I won't go into the mistake here, as it is something you should really seek to discover on your own, but suffice it to say that I will not engage the bolded portion of your last comment for much the same reason -- you speak about philosophical subjects with little to no actual knowledge regarding same. You would do well to gain some.

    As to casting your pearls before swine, I don't think you've done anything of the sort. For one, I don't think we are swine, and for two, these cheap knock-offs are hardly pearls. Besides, there's another passage in Proverbs which proves a bit more difficult to parse:

    Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
    or you will be like him yourself.

    Answer a fool according to his folly,
    or he will be wise in his own eyes.
    (Proverbs 26:4-5)

    From at least one perspective, you're doing what you ought, according to this passage... From the other, you're a fool.

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey Da Pilgrim,

    If we're irritating you, let us know and we'll leave (I will, anyway). I thought we were having some friendly banter and discussion, but if that's not how you see it, let me know and I'll stop.

    Regards,

    ReplyDelete
  9. From at least one perspective, you're doing what you ought, according to this passage... From the other, you're a fool.

    Yes each situation needs to be weighed...it is possible to be a fool sometimes and sometimes it is possible to be wise.

    I really appreciate those verses.

    The only reason I can pull from this what you meant to say is due to the fact that I have heard you better articulate it in the past

    Funny, I remember people calling other posts a silly play on words. So this one I tried to lay it out clear which I think I succeeded in doing because EPM seemed to finally get what I meant.

    Can't you?

    Whateverman seems to have disappeared. Though he may be busy.

    EPM,
    Hey Da Pilgrim,

    If we're irritating you, let us know and we'll leave (I will, anyway). I thought we were having some friendly banter and discussion, but if that's not how you see it, let me know and I'll stop.

    Regards,


    You would be one of the ones I would consider to be the most open (or apparently open)...just at that prayer post several of you were coming up with all these problems/attempted refutations with what I had said without any admittance that the situation was interesting and evidence (if not possible) for God working when you previously said in a previous post that answered prayer would be classed as evidence of God.
    The prayer post made me realize that some of you were a bit faster to mock/fob than I realized...especially for seekers or people interested in searching.

    It reminded me of the times you repeatedly hate in Christians when they are dogmatic about some things that do have room for interpretation.

    I got the impression you all were saying "wow I don't believe that, what rubbish, here are other accounts of when I got headaches". (I realize we are all not perfect, we all do it at times)

    rather than saying..."hmmm interesting how she lost her headache at that time, however, could it possibly be from emotional feelings at the time?"
    or,
    "Ok if that is your biblical view of prayer then would you have any other answers to prayer that seem quite remarkable as evidence of answered prayer?".

    See?

    cheers,

    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  10. Stan,

    Sorry I forgot what you said here:

    Rather, I live as if there is not your god. There are countless versions of god which are perfectly compatible with the way I live, and with a positive (or null) outcome upon my death. Your characterization gives away your predetermined position, which is that denying your god is atheism.

    TRUE!
    But when you talk to a christian theist then what would you expect?
    Should I replace all my words for God with "God of the Bible?"
    I call you atheists because I know you do not believe in any gods.

    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  11. Stan wrote the following: Rather, I live as if there is not your god. There are countless versions of god which are perfectly compatible with the way I live, and with a positive (or null) outcome upon my death. Your characterization gives away your predetermined position, which is that denying your god is atheism.

    Da Pilgrim responded with this: TRUE!
    But when you talk to a christian theist then what would you expect?


    By your explanation here, DP, you are an atheist as well. You actively disbelieve in the gods of Islam and the Mormons.

    Although this is actually logically consistent, do you think other Christians would accept the notion that they're atheists too?

    ReplyDelete
  12. IRT your main idea in this thread, Da Pilgrim, you wrote the following: My definition of faith would be something like:

    A logical deduction from the evidence at hand. Faith does not glory in the absence of evidence but glories in the presence of it.


    This is a weird definition of faith. It certainly doesn't match any of the definitions you listed from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/faith.

    I can readily accept that your faith in Christianity is based on what you feel is evidence for the validity of Christianity. In fact, that's an admission I rarely see from Christian believers, and I applaud you for it.

    Although I'm curious to know what you feel constitutes "evidence", I'm not asking you to provide any. Instead, I'm going to point out what your evidence must satisfy, based on how you've defined faith above:

    1) The evidence can not be a statement of faith. For instance, if someone wanted me to provide the evidence for why I have faith in the awesomeness of the band Meshuggah, I would have to do more than say "Man! Listen to their guitars. The drummer's nuts. They're all just so awesome!"

    Those statements are roughly the same as saying "Meshuggah is awesome", and don't constitute evidence. Similarly, evidence for the validity of Christianity can't (by definition) include reasoning from scripture. It has to be either more general, or relate somehow to general concepts of religion & God. Perhaps even logic.

    2) Your evidence for belief in Christianity must explain, in some way, why you chose Christianity over other religions. As above, this evidence can not come from scripture; you can't reference your faith as evidence of your faith.

    If I have to explain why I choose Meshuggah as "the awesomest band ever", I can't say "Man! they're just so awesome!". I have to explain why they're better than other bands. The evidence must come from standards which compare bands to each other. Similarly, in order to provide evidence for why you specifically chose Christianity, your standards must compare religions without appealing to the faith of those religions.

    ---

    In short, I accept that you feel there's evidence for your beliefs. My question to you is this: does your evidence appeal to standards outside of Christianity? Or are they statements based on scripture?

    If they're the latter, then it's not evidence. It's faith.

    ReplyDelete
  13. One last blurb: it seems to me that you didn't answer my question/challenge from the previous thread.

    I actually agree with you, in that it requires some amount of faith in order to believe anything. This is true simply because we're imperfect beings, incapable of knowing things with 100% surety. I must assume (re. faith) that my senses are reliable; I must assume that I'm capable of thought; I must assume that you and I are real beings, and that this conversation isn't imaginary.

    But - when Christians talk about "faith", they are never talking about the philosophical/metaphysical kind that you seem to be referring to. Instead, their faith is uplifting and emotional/spiritual, and seems to be a 'standard' or 'method' for belief, one which they hold up as being superior to other standards (such as empiricism).

    So... By your definition, faith is merely something that allows us to believe in things (and again, I agree with you). Isn't this definition completely different from the "faith" that Christians hold up to explain why they believe in the God of the Bible?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Da,
    All the hand waving and mental pirouetting in the world is not going to change the meaning of the word faith.

    Martin Luther said, "To be a Christian you must tear out your eyes of reason."
    Spurgeon and others echo this sentiment.

    The word 'belief" is another stumbling block.
    To believe has a couple meanings but suffice to say that when many of us claim theat we "believe" in evolution, I am saying that I have studied the subject and I trust in the veracity of the science.

    You probably have faith and believe that Lazarus was raised from the dead after four days, but, of course there is no emoirical evidence in any form that this did or could, happen.

    You are merely another presuppositionalist spouting and twisting words and ignoring eempirical evidence/science for nonesense that you have have been instilled in.



    Pure faith excludes logic and reason.



    I don't have faith that most

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hey ya Whateverman,

    By your explanation here, DP, you are an atheist as well. You actively disbelieve in the gods of Islam and the Mormons.

    Stan said Your characterization gives away your predetermined position, which is that denying your god is atheism.

    I may not have been clear what I said that what Stan said was true, I definitely agree with him on his first part of where I got this quote from but this part I just quoted, I see as partly true.
    In relation to our discussions...you guys denying my God is atheism because you believe in not only my God but others. However a Muslim denying my God...I would not call him an atheist in the modern sense of the term atheist.

    Sorry if I was unclear, my bad.

    (I do find it interesting that Ephesians 2:12 says: "that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world."

    Without God in Greek is "atheos" which means.

    1) without God, knowing and worshipping no God
    2) denying the gods, esp. the recognised gods of the state
    3) godless, ungodly
    4) abandoned by the gods"

    So back then, to the Romans, Christians were atheists and to the Christians the Romans were atheists because they were without God.

    Hmmm Interesting side note.)

    Whateverman asked:

    Although this is actually logically consistent, do you think other Christians would accept the notion that they're atheists too?

    I would say that in relation to allah and other gods I am an atheist because I do not believe in them.
    I would think that most christians would accept that reasoning.

    This is a weird definition of faith. It certainly doesn't match any of the definitions you listed from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/faith.

    "1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing."

    I would think that this one kinda fits. Only a smart person would be confident in something with reason to be confident.

    1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

    So... By your definition, faith is merely something that allows us to believe in things (and again, I agree with you). Isn't this definition completely different from the "faith" that Christians hold up to explain why they believe in the God of the Bible?

    I hope my definition is held by christians, if it isn't then we all have blind faith just believing something because we believe something. I can understand a new christian not having many reasons for what he believes (for example he may have prayed and a miracle happened) but I think it is his duty to study why he believes what he believes and to share it with others.




    But - when Christians talk about "faith", they are never talking about the philosophical/metaphysical kind that you seem to be referring to. Instead, their faith is uplifting and emotional/spiritual, and seems to be a 'standard' or 'method' for belief, one which they hold up as being superior to other standards (such as empiricism).


    My understanding of empiricism by itself is rubbish. Blind faith by itself is rubbish.
    We all need a reason to believe what we believe or we are airheads.

    ReplyDelete
  16. 1) The evidence can not be a statement of faith. For instance, if someone wanted me to provide the evidence for why I have faith in the awesomeness of the band Meshuggah, I would have to do more than say "Man! Listen to their guitars. The drummer's nuts. They're all just so awesome!"

    Those statements are roughly the same as saying "Meshuggah is awesome", and don't constitute evidence. Similarly, evidence for the validity of Christianity can't (by definition) include reasoning from scripture. It has to be either more general, or relate somehow to general concepts of religion & God. Perhaps even logic.


    I agree with and I don't.
    I agree that things need to be compared but in essence it is not entirely not needed.
    E.G. I do not need an orange to confirm that I have an apple.
    However logic should come into play, but as you would agree that there is no perfect intellectual solution to any worldview/belief...because we are imperfect and we are not all-knowing.

    There are things to Christianity that I do not completely understand but if I were an atheist there would probably be more questions than what I have as a christian.

    Scripture? What is scripture?
    You obviously see it as a holy book written by wakos.
    However I see it as a book written by people containing messages from God and historical accounts. Just like any piece of history it needs to make sense and fit with other evidence of which it does often.
    Scripture should not be discarded because it is scripture or else I could accuse you for being wrong for using history as evidence of there being history (non-of us have been there and see it happen).

    I realize it is an exaggeration :)

    It helps in evidence to have supporting accounts from elsewhere but I would not completely discard scripture by itself for not being evidence.

    I find that evidence also works like a domino effect. If I pray using the name of Jesus and a miracle happens, then I will not only accept that things happen when I pray in the name of Jesus. Other dominoes will fall and I will come to believe the entire story about who Jesus was because would have I experienced His reality.

    Follow?

    You see evidence of evolution so one piece of evidence starts a domino effect which causes you to believe all of evolution.

    E.G. I don't need to count to a million to accept that a million is an actual number. It is a logical conclusion where a little truth will cause you to accept by faith a bigger truth.

    Faith is the glue that holds evidence together in order to believe an entire truth.

    Make sense? I hope so.

    Dale,

    You probably have faith and believe that Lazarus was raised from the dead after four days, but, of course there is no emoirical evidence in any form that this did or could, happen.

    Are historical books discounted as evidence of an occurrence?

    DP

    I got to go so I won't re-read over what I have written to make sure it is flowing...hope you get the gist of what I am saying.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Da Pilgrim,

    "E.G. I don't need to count to a million to accept that a million is an actual number. It is a logical conclusion where a little truth will cause you to accept by faith a bigger truth.

    Faith is the glue that holds evidence together in order to believe an entire truth."


    Sounds a lot like the micro- / macro- evolution thing to me!

    In the future, I think it would be extremely helpful for you to make it explicitly clear whether you are referring to 'faith' (the trust that a logical deduction from evidence is true) and 'belief' (the kind of blind faith that requires no evidence). I think it would help these conversations a lot.

    Cheers,

    ReplyDelete
  18. I think some Thomas Aquinas helpful... There are whispers in the above, but nothing concrete; his own reading of faith, reason and logic could be useful here.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hey Matt,

    In the future, I think it would be extremely helpful for you to make it explicitly clear whether you are referring to 'faith' (the trust that a logical deduction from evidence is true) and 'belief' (the kind of blind faith that requires no evidence). I think it would help these conversations a lot.

    Ok, if there is a need. It never really occurred to me properly that people think that christians have "just faith" and that they have faith with no reason?
    I suppose there are varying degrees.

    But how do I go about this? Should I claim that I do not have faith, according to the term you atheists associate it with.

    Thanks Zeteo,

    Thomas Aquinas looks like my kinda guy from the little I read of him. Though I should bite my tongue because I do not know enough about him.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Da Pilgrim,

    I'm just saying to be careful with your words/definitions, that's all. I think it would save a lot of to and fro-ing.

    If you're going to say 'the atheist has faith in evolution' as if that's a bad thing (and people are going to take it like you're implying blind faith), then you need to qualify that.

    That's all.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Froggie said...

    Martin Luther said, "To be a Christian you must tear out your eyes of reason."
    Spurgeon and others echo this sentiment.

    -------

    Which is a good reason for sticking with what scripture says and adopting biblical definitions instead of relying on the opinions of men.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Which is a good reason for sticking with what scripture says and adopting biblical definitions instead of relying on the opinions of men.

    I've never met a Christian who did not, to some extent, rely upon the opinions of men in order to "properly" understand scripture.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Whateverman said...

    I've never met a Christian who did not, to some extent, rely upon the opinions of men in order to "properly" understand scripture.
    ----

    And there lies the reason for so many contradictory doctrines and beliefs. People prefer to put their trust in man's wisdom instead of God's revelation.

    When you follow man's teaching its easier to pick and choose those bits that you find palatable and its easier to ignore those things that may be too challenging. "Christians" love to adopt teachers who tickle their itching ears with a watered down mesage. Just as others choose to reject a God to whom they are ultimately accountable.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Onesimus said...
    Froggie said...

    Martin Luther said, "To be a Christian you must tear out your eyes of reason."
    Spurgeon and others echo this sentiment.

    -------

    "Which is a good reason for sticking with what scripture says and adopting biblical definitions instead of relying on the opinions of men."

    The you would abandon all technical knowledge and science that was developed since the bible was written?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Onesimus said:

    "Just as others choose to reject a God to whom they are ultimately accountable."

    Do you actually know anyone who does this, or are you just making stuff up again about what other people think?

    If I failed this many times at trying to read the minds of others, I'd quit it. I encourage you to do the same.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Froggie said...

    The you would abandon all technical knowledge and science that was developed since the bible was written?

    ----

    My reply: Did I even imply that? Or was I writing strictly about allowing the scriptures to be the standard by which scriptural concepts and terminology are determined?
    You quoted Luther and also mentioned Spurgeon’s views.
    My point is that if some theologian expresses an idea about faith that contradicts what the bible says about faith then I’ll take the bible above the theologian’s teaching.

    ----
    I said:

    "Just as others choose to reject a God to whom they are ultimately accountable."

    And Nohm replied:

    “Do you actually know anyone who does this, or are you just making stuff up again about what other people think?”
    ---
    So you are suggesting that no one has ever rejected God? Are you saying that you and everyone else commenting on this blog have actually ACCEPTED God? Or am I making it up when I recognise that the majority here do not accept God’s existence?

    Whether or not you or others accept God’s existence, you will be held accountable by Him no matter what your reason for rejecting Him may be.

    ReplyDelete
  27. As a follow up on a previous discussion...

    Here is a cool video about the first detected organic molecules on an Extra-Solar Planet.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lxs9Pmxy5MA

    ReplyDelete
  28. Onesimus wrote:

    "Or am I making it up when I recognise that the majority here do not accept God’s existence?"

    Do you understand that you rig the question by using the word "accept"?

    Your use of the word "reject" implies that people accept the existence, but don't wish to accept the authority, of God, as we see in:

    "So you are suggesting that no one has ever rejected God?"

    Your questions contain an axiom ("a God exists to be accepted or rejected") which the people you're talking to do not share.

    "Accepting God" and "believing in the existence of God" are two very different things. Do you agree or disagree?

    Do you believe that it is possible that some people simply don't believe that a god, any god, exists?

    In short, Onesimus, I understand that you believe in God. I ask that you understand that I, and people like BathTub and Froggie, do not. We didn't reject Him, because we don't believe that there's a "Him" to reject.

    Make sense?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Nohm said:
    In short, Onesimus, I understand that you believe in God. I ask that you understand that I, and people like BathTub and Froggie, do not. We didn't reject Him, because we don't believe that there's a "Him" to reject.
    ----

    Nohm you have CHOSEN not to believe in God and in doing so you have rejected Him.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Only in the same way that you have CHOSEN to not believe in minotaurs, leprechauns, monsters under the bed, and (most importantly) the Uncanny X-Men.

    Why have you rejected the leprechauns? If you've CHOSEN not to believe in the Time Cube, then why did you reject the Time Cube?

    Do you see how your use of the word "rejects", when talking to people who don't believe in the existence of the thing, makes absolutely no sense?

    I repeat, Onesimus: we don't see a "Him" to reject.

    It appears now to me that you're intentionally using semantics to rig the discussion. That's... silly, ineffective, and dispersuasive.

    And I didn't choose to not believe in God any more than I chose to believe that water is wet. Are you able to think outside of your religion long enough to understand this?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Your refusal to believe in God makes absolutely no difference to His reality.
    This is not a matter of religious belief, it is a matter of TRUTH and its consequences.

    I could insist in that gravity does not exist - but my insistance would not change the truth and I would still have to face the consequences should my non-belief give me the confidence to jump from a plane with no parachute.

    As for semanitcs, you are the one arguing over the use of specific words.

    ReplyDelete
  32. And Onesimus, your belief in God makes absolutely no difference to whether or not He exists.

    So, we're back to square one.

    You claim there is a God. Ok, so what's your persuasive evidence for that claim?

    Gravity can be tested to show that it exists.

    Please present a test (double-blind if possible) that we can use to see if your God exists.

    Lastly, the only reason I'm arguing over those words is that you appear to not admit (or see) how leading they are... and that's why I say you're using semantics.

    Look, if I said "Your refusal to believe in body thetans makes absolutely no difference to their reality. This is not a matter of religious belief, it is a matter of TRUTH and its consequences."

    Would you then go start taking classes at your local Scientology center?

    You keep talking about your God as if I believe in him, or as if there's a good reason to do so, without providing any such reason. This makes you no different than the Time Cube guy, or Sylvia Browne.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Nohm sad:
    Look, iif I said "Your refusal to believe in body thetans makes absolutely no difference to their reality. This is not a matter of religious belief, it is a matter of TRUTH and its consequences."

    Would you then go start taking classes at your local Scientology center?

    ---
    What a ridiculous question.
    I CHOOSE not to believe in "body thetans" and my choice makes absolutely no difference to their reality or lack of reality - but my decision DOES make a difference to the consequences I would face should they be real.

    nohm also said:
    "You keep talking about your God as if I believe in him"
    --

    No I don't. That statement is as ridiculous as your question. You have made it totally clear that you don't. But your lack of belief makes absolutely no difference to the fact of whether God exists or not and does not excuse you from accountability.
    You choose not to believe and therefore you can take a temporay but false comfort in the assumed lack of accountability that comes with that lack of belief.

    Nohm said:
    "You claim there is a God. Ok, so what's your persuasive evidence for that claim?"
    ---

    Clear evidence is there for ALL to see, so no attempt to pursuade you will get through the blindness you have chosen.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Onesimus said:

    Whether or not you or others accept God’s existence, you will be held accountable by Him no matter what your reason for rejecting Him may be.

    Nohm, Onesimus said "no matter what your reason". In your case your reason is that you don't believe in Him so you reject Him.

    Nohm said:

    We didn't reject Him, because we don't believe that there's a "Him" to reject.

    Make sense?


    I reject atheism, monsters, X-men etc... and I don't believe in them.
    So any claims made about them being real I reject as well as any commands by them I reject because I reject their existence.

    Onesimus is quite right that should God exist and you even end up rejecting/disbelieving in Him then there is nothing anyone can do about it, God exists.

    We will all be judged.

    However Nohm, you are right that us Christians should give evidence of why we believe. But we believe the evidence is right before everyone's eyes and we see people reject it...and therefore we see people rejecting Him.

    This seems more a squabble of words doesn't it?

    Please present a test (double-blind if possible) that we can use to see if your God exists.

    Seek Him. There is a lot of evidence out there, I hope Onesimus and I can be of help.

    Please arrange for me a visit with the president of the united states so I can test if he is real. Or is that not really possible?

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. "This seems more a squabble of words doesn't it?"

    Here's the thing:

    It's my opinion that I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt that the things you say are the things you actually believe, and it seems to me that I'm not being offered the same in return.

    Yes, of course I agree that if God exists, nothing I do can make him not exist. That was never my point. My point is that using the word "reject" rigs the statement "atheists reject God".

    Look, if there's anything we reject, it's your arguments. That's it.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I think I can better nutshell it:

    I view "Nohm rejects God" in much the same way that I assume you would view "You kiss the behind of a jewish zombie mafia don and think you'll party forever in magic clouds".

    If you expressed offense at such a statement, I could just say:

    "Oh, by 'kiss the behind' I mean 'love'. Secondly, by 'jewish zombie' I'm talking about Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, of course. Also, by 'mafia don' I mean 'Lord and Savior'. Lastly, by 'party' I mean 'worship God and experience His presence', and 'magic clouds' refers to Heaven."

    "You love Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior, and think you'll worship God and experience his presence in Heaven, right?"

    You answer yes.

    "Ok then, so what's the problem with me saying that you kiss the behind of a jewish zombie mafia don and think you'll party forever in magic clouds?"

    The words I used there rigged my statement, and did not accurately portray your point of view.

    I hope that analogy clarified my point of view.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Onesimus is a plain idiot.

    Why did you CHOSE to refuse intelligence?

    G.E.

    ReplyDelete
  38. photosynthesis said...
    Onesimus is a plain idiot.

    Why did you CHOSE to refuse intelligence?

    G.E.
    -------------

    Maybe because the world doesn't have room for another one like you?

    Then again, it may not be possible to have both "intelligence" and a reasonable command of the English language.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Da Pilgrim wrote the following: Seek Him. There is a lot of evidence out there, I hope Onesimus and I can be of help.

    I've personally sought and, I believe, have found him. He's nothing like you or Onesimus have described. So where does that leave me? What's happening when a person searches and doesn't find the thing you claim is obvious to people who search?

    It seems to me this repeated charge that people aren't searching is a statement of faith, one which has nothing to do with the Bible or Christianity in general. Do Jews or Muslims or Baha'is search for God? Obviously the answer is yes.

    And yet atheists are accused of not searching simply because their answers contradict Christian answers. So tell me this: how can you (Da Pilgrim and Onesimus) tell the difference between someone who wont search, and someone who has searched and rejects what YOU have found?

    ReplyDelete
  40. Many people search but do so on their own terms and make their search conditional upon what they want God to be like.

    Many want God to be an all-loving, all singing and dancing being who is so desparate for a following that he will do anything to please those who accept him.

    Others seek a God who must be willing to be like a fashion accessory and make no demands that we will be required to fulfil. Such a God can be brought out in public occasionally and be thanked for helping in our achievements - making a show of our "humility" in thanking him no matter how peurile our achievment may have been (think of Grammy award acceptance speeches here).

    Others seek a God who will promote their own self esteem and make them feel good about themselves, one who will commend them for being such good people compared to the rest of the world.

    I could go on...

    How many genuinely attempt to seek God according to HIS terms?

    you said:
    "Do Jews or Muslims or Baha'is search for God? Obviously the answer is yes."

    I would not agree that the obvious answer would be yes.
    How many of those people are actually searching for something more selfish than a genuine encounter with the creator of the universe? Are they genuinely looking for the one who has the ultimate authority over what He created whether we like it or not?

    Anyone who genuinely seeks God for Himself will find Him.

    "the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever."

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hey ya Whateverman,

    I've personally sought and, I believe, have found him. He's nothing like you or Onesimus have described. So where does that leave me? What's happening when a person searches and doesn't find the thing you claim is obvious to people who search?


    Thankyou for your question.

    Is it sought or seeking? (don't give up)

    Which god have you found?

    How do you think you "not finding our God" appears to us? Of course it is going to seem to us like you are not seeking enough or simply unwilling to see something, because we have found what we believe to be real through evidence we see before us.

    how can you (Da Pilgrim and Onesimus) tell the difference between someone who wont search, and someone who has searched and rejects what YOU have found?,

    I call this blog Pilgrimage for a reason. Why do you think so?
    I believe we are all on a walk and search for truth in our lives. We are all at different stages and some people are nearer to the truth than others. Only God knows who will be saved, I will not be the judge. Though we know the guidlines He has laid in place through His Word, but to whom much is given much is expected the Bible interestingly says.

    Luke 12:48

    But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

    For me this answers the question about foreign people not knowing the christian God...the true God.
    If their hearts are in the right place I believe they will find God (I don't know how but I have heard many stories of people finding God through seeking Him). There are "christians" out there with all the knowledge but have not found God and I recon there are foreign hidden people probably nearer to God than some western christins.

    Of course to Onesimus and me, if someone does not find God then we realize that it is because of reasons personal that only that person and God knows about as Onesimus listed some reasons.

    Wow, this is really opening up some topics.

    Hope you can get a grasp of where we are coming from.

    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  42. Further to Whateverman’s question:
    “Do Jews or Muslims or Baha'is search for God? Obviously the answer is yes.”

    I said earlier that many seek God but on their own terms. This can be seen in the case of the Muslim and Bahai. Both of these accept the reality of Jesus and recognise Him as a prophet and/or teacher – as do MOST other religions. But they only pay lip-service to those parts of His teaching that appeal what they want to believe. They ignore His claim that HE exclusively is the way to God. They ignore His teaching on hell. They ignore the reason for and the significance of His crucifixion and resurrection. In other words they seek His teaching ONLY when it conforms to their own desires.

    The Jews are a little different. They recognise the one true God, the very same God worshipped by the Christian. The only significant difference in their recognition of God is they fail to recognise that Jesus is the Messiah who they are waiting for. They do not recognise that Jesus’ life death and resurrection were the fulfilment of the word of their prophets because Jesus did not bring about the deliverance of Israel from the oppression of Rome. They fail to see that the prophesied glorious future for Israel that their Messiah will bring will come about when Jesus returns as foretold in the New Testament.
    While the Jews currently reject Jesus, the bible predicts a time when they WILL recognise Him as the King they have been waiting for.

    If you look at the matter openly, the very fact that the Jews are still around today, and that Israel is once again on the map, is a very convincing reason to recognise the reality of the God of Israel.

    What other ethnic group has remained recognisably intact after 2000 years of exile from their land - and has returned to that same land as a powerful and influential nation.
    Of course it must be coincidence (not!) that the long exile and the return from nations around the world was predicted by their prophets hundreds of years before that exile took place.

    ReplyDelete