This is a blog to discuss philosophy, chess, politics,
C. S. Lewis, or whatever it is that I'm in the mood to discuss.
Dr. Reppert,The probabilities (as you have told me) are assigned different values by different people. The Christian philosopher Kelly James Clark in "Five Views On Apologetics" notes how J.L. Mackie works out the probabilities and comes to the conclusion that it is highly likely that God doesn't exist. On the other side is Richard Swinburne who claims it is significantly more likely than not that God does exist. This is because of our emotional, cultural, and pressuppositional biases as we assess the probabilities and look at the evidence. If you are going to go by probabilities and the evidence alone for God you are going to have to be honest and be agnostic about God. This is where you need to take the OTF. When you do you will loose the Bible.
To bad the OTF is bullshit.Just ask this Atheist.http://commonplacesandcomments.blogspot.com/2011/07/outsider-test-for-faith.htmlhttp://commonplacesandcomments.blogspot.com/2011/07/christianity-as-religion-and-otf.html
Ben,Yes, the OTF as Loftus gives it is not only a load, but a defeated load - it's been ripped to pieces multiple times, with grace. And if you 'fix' it to be a rational method, it's utterly non-novel - it amounts to 'strive to be objective, evaluate the evidence'. But to do that is to land you right back where guys like Swinburne and many others are - concluding that God likely exists. And of course, you end up with others concluding God is likely not to exist.That, I think, is what terrifies a lot of people, particularly atheists. They want a test for their beliefs, and they want that test to be easy and give obvious answers. Uncertainty is terrifying. Especially when you really dislike some of the options on the table.
@CrudeThe Jessemister said it best. There is a workable form of the OTF it's called argument.;-)Cheers man.
What we are witnessing from these responses is fear and insecurity. I use to be the same way when I realized that the evidence can be taken this way or that way depending on one's assumptions. I felt like I was losing my hope. I was afraid of dying. What has helped me out is comming to see that life and death are intertwined and not seperate. When I embraced death I embraced life itself and was transformed. I now want to love myself and others. Depending on a belief in an afterlife or drowning myself in the moment to avoid pain is to despise reality, which is to despise life itself. When I affirmed life by confronting my mortality I was transformed. What matters to me now is to live my days well and as fully as possible. I am converting the terrified, denial-type relationship to death into something active and positive as I am released from anxieties and fearful responses by embracing death and not repressing it. Fearing death is what kept me in bondage and obsessed with religion. I'm learning to take control of my life and take responsibility instead of relying on an invisible person to manage my life for me. In short, I'm learning to be secure and be a man. I don't want to be a little sheep led to the slaughter. Rather, I'm learning to depend on myself and make my own pathway instead of following everybody else as I am grateful to those who have helped me along the way. If I am afraid of death then I am afraid of life. I face reality from within, finding a way to embrace death as part of being alive. It is only from such a position that I began to overcome the fear of death and break free from my bondage to the illusion that is Christ. When attaining goals becomes the main source of pleasure, then your days are filled with purpose and direction, and when death comes you will have no regrets. You will not fall into the nihilistic thinking of the futility of it all, because that is a supreme waste of the brief time that you have. I hope one day you too will lose that fear. As John says, "It's much better over here."
What we are witnessing from these responses is fear and insecurityBecause you, of all people, are just the prime candidate to psychoanalyze anyone here. Right?The OTF fails. There's a reason that it's essentially relegated to the backwater of internet atheism - it is, as Loftus gives it, a rotten argument. If you repair the problems, then it becomes nothing new - it's an admonition to evaluate arguments as objectively as possible. Not exactly new.I'm not interested in arguing this with you, or with your rambling. But I will correct one thing: you say you've 'broken free of the bondage of the illusion of Christ'. That's untrue: your most recent 'breaking free', and this was in the past month or two, was from a Zoroastrian 'goddess of love' you insisted you worshiped, and which you pretty much invented on your own.If anyone else cares to engage you, they're welcome to. But I'll give a word of advice to onlookers: Cole not only has jumped back and forth between various religious beliefs like a ping-pong ball, but he is - by his own admission - diagnosed with a form of schizophrenia, and is apparently either medicated, or supposed to be. I suggest you think twice before engaging him (and anyone who knows me here should know I don't exactly hold back from arguing on the internet when the mood strikes), not just because it will be a waste of time for you, but it damn well may be harmful for him.I'll say no more here, because I mean what I'm saying. Others may decide for themselves. It's similar but not completely like arguing about the nihilistic implications of atheism with a person who's clinically depressed and showing signs of it. Bad freaking idea, in my view. Others can make their own call.
Cole,Jesse is an Atheist. He shows the OTF is bogus. How was fear a motivation for him here?If there is fear here it's in that you invested so much of your new anti-Faith in the dubious sopistry of the Loftus that any chick in his armor & somehow that anti-faith will collapse like your former "faith".You really need to learn how to reason. Moving from a fundamentalist religious mindset to a fundamentalist Gnu mindset is no real improvement. It's the same shit but floating in a different Lewll.
Crude,It was recently that I have come to the position I have. I was so afraid of dying and insecure with myself (as you can see you are too by your last response) that I turned to anything I could to salvage some hope. It wasn't until I found a solution that works that I came out of denial of the illusions of an imaginary being and an afterlife. I know it's hard for people who are in your insecure position right now to avoid slandering mentally ill people but wasn't it Jesus who told people to have compassion on the sick? Indeed, He said it was the sick who need a doctor not the well. That's one thing I like about Christ and His teachings.
>I suggest you think twice before engaging him (and anyone who knows me here should know I don't exactly hold back from arguing on the internet when the mood strikes), not just because it will be a waste of time for you, but it damn well may be harmful for him.Oh Shit & I've been treating him like Paps!!!From now on I will ignore him. My apologizes. This is a lesson to me not to be such a dick.
Ben,I haven't talked to this atheist. But just because you are an atheist doesn't make you free from the fear of death. Some still fear it and it shows up in their crazy behaviors. As you are probably well aware. Of course this isn't the only fear that can cause mental instability but it is one of them. Besides, my approach of using the OTF is different than John Loftus' version anyway. I think it only comes into play after the arguments are shown to be weak and the TOTAL evidence is taken into account.
Ben,I can see you must not follow Christ. He hung out and talked to the sick. But you say that we must ignore them. It must be because you see the truth in what I'm saying. This would explain alot of your crazy behaviors on this blog. I know it's hard and scarry at first when you start comming out of denial or see the truth but snap back into denial. I've done it many times.
Cole,I'm sorry but you can't by any objective method reason properly for any meaningful type of either religious apologetic or counter-religious polemics.If next month you became a Catholic I wouldn't want you making arguments in defense of Mother Church since odds are they would be as terrible as your atheist arguments. Your critique of the CA was crap & you clearly have a materialistic anthropomorphic concept of "god" that has no meaning to informed Theists.If fear motivates you in belief or non-belief then your beliefs regardless of contend are based on emotion.I don't do emotion. I prefer brute reason & you can't be reasoned with.I'll pray for you but I can't argue with you.Sorry.
Oh & FYI Cole I am the Father of three mentally handicapped Autistic children.My youngest and only boy is starting to use the Internet. He gets very very very upset when he looses Video games. So I will be keeping a handle on him.You don't need to debate on the internet. It can't be good for you regardless of belief or no belief.
Ben,There is a name for people like you who don't do emotion and cut them completely off. They're called psychopaths. I would encourage you to study a bit more philosophy and science and the probabilities for and against this God. When you come to see that the evidence can be taken this way or that way depending on ones assumptions and that no philosopher takes your argument for God seriously then do some soul searching and get in touch with yourself. It's good for your mental health.
One last response, because I'm not above correcting what's apparently an explicit lie.It was recently that I have come to the position I have.If you are this Cole - and past indications are that yes, you are - then apparently no, this is not a recent position for you.As I said, you have ping-ponged back and forth between a variety of positions - most recently, a custom form of quasi-Zoroastrian goddess-worship. Atheism is not a new position for you. In fact, it's apparently a position you've embraced multiple times.There's one thing Christ did not do with the sick: ignore the fact that they were sick. To treat you as someone capable of rational dialogue would be to do exactly that. You do need help. "Arguing with you" is not help. Begging you to see a psychiatrist, to take your meds, to try and help yourself - and to otherwise not pretend you are well - is all I can do.Get help, Cole. And stop ranting on the internet, about either your Zoroatrian god or your newfound atheism or your embrace of death or anything else. It is, apparently, hurting you. You are mentally unwell, and to be frank, what you're saying - in this thread, and others - only shows it. Stop trying to fight your inner demons this way.That's it for me, barring another apparent falsehood from Cole, or unless someone else pipes up with something to say.
Ben,As someone who doesn't do emotion like you, and cuts them completely off, I fear for your children. Have you talked to child protective services about this condition of yours?
Ben,I don't do emotion. I prefer brute reason & you can't be reasoned with.I'll pray for you but I can't argue with you.Yeah, that's pretty much all we can do here. And for the record, I hope you're doing good - I've been busy lately. I'll be keeping you and your family in prayers, I recall last year was damn stressful for you.
Crude,Like I said I have gone back and forth with this issue until recently when I found a solution to my existential dilemma. Yoes I have went from every position possible. Out of fear I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Like you seem to be doing now. Scroll up a few posts and re-read what I wrote about death and insecurity. You seem to be getting a little paranoid and delusional as you think I am playing games here. Nothing could be further from the truth.
You seem to be getting a little paranoid and delusional as you think I am playing games here.No - in fact, I've said the opposite. I think this is all very serious for you. You didn't change your positions repeatedly, absolutely certain of your correctness each time, due to a 'game'. It's because you're mentally ill, by your own admission.The only 'games' you're playing is psychoanalyzing everyone and finding everyone else to be mentally ill, apparently as a defense mechanism. But there's only one schizophrenic in this thread: you.You're sick, Cole. Stop arguing on the internet. Go to your doctor, tell him what you've been doing, show him the conversations you've had, and say just one thing to him: "I'm schizophrenic, and this all seemed right to me at the time. Help me, please."
What we are witnessing here is insecurity when you bring out the truth and show that the arguments are not sufficient for Christianity. They think just because you are schizo-affective and because you were having doubts and struggling with these things yourself that you are somehow from another planet and can't read what Christian philosophers have to say about this subject. I guess Kelly James Clack is also schizo-affective like me and he simply can't be reasoned with and is not being objective.
Not to mention all the other people out there who are confused and struggling with doubt and insecurity. I guess this means you are schizo-affective as well according to Crude. You see, I was trying to find something to fill the void that made sense. This is why I was swiching beliefs. I was confused and scared. People like Crude don't understand this feeling because they are not into emotion. So, they claim. But what really is the truth here?
People like Crude don't understand this feeling because they are not into emotion. So, they claim.Not claimed by me, and not true on any level.Not to mention all the other people out there who are confused and struggling with doubt and insecurity. I guess this means you are schizo-affective as well according to Crude.No. What indicates you are schizophrenic, according to me, is (among other things) a diagnosis by a professional that you are schizophrenic. I did not diagnose you - someone indicated to me that it was verified you were diagnosed with some considerable mental problems. And when that was brought up, you admitted it frankly. You haven't denied it.Second, there is a difference between 'having doubts', and switching between radically different positions repeatedly, each time passionate in your certainty that you were correct. You're doing it again.One last time: stop arguing on the internet. Go to a doctor. Show him what you've been doing. Ask for help.
Crude,I have talked to my doctor and I told her about what has happened to me. I even told her what I have written in the above post about overcoming my insecurities with myself and death. She is thrilled. She could even tell in my tone of voice and face that I have changed. She thinks that I'm doing well and what works best for me. You see, this is something that you don't know. I've been taking my medicine and trying to improve myself. I made perfect sense to her and I make perfect sense to my family who I have been discussimg these things with. You sound scared to me. I am getting help. I'm improving. And it all started when I let go of religion.
Well this is all rather undignfied. Apart from anything else, the opposite of "win" isn't "loose" but "lose". ;-)Cole,I'm not going to try to psycho-analyse. All I'll say is that if those were the reasons for your belief in Christ you may be closer to him now in your unbelief than your were in your belief.There are plenty of bad reasons for believing things (whether true or false). Please don't assume everyone has the same bad reasons for belief as you did.All,Anyway, this has thread gone rather off topic ... does anyone have anything to say on the dwindling probabilities stuff in the OP? Cole did at least start on the right subject! But perhaps we can steer clear of the OTF except in so far as it relates to the matter in hand. We've seen plenty enough on the OTF generally here already!
Thanks Steve,You seem like a gentleman and very nice person. Let me encourage you to re-read the OP of mine or perhaps study the Christian philosophers some more and you will see that they don't even agree amongst themselves on the probabilities. It's quite confusing. If we are going by the arguments alone the rational choice would be agnosticism.
Also Steve,How many different worldviews are there anyway? How many different religions are there? How many different Christianities are there? No wonder I was so confused. You see, I was afraid. As Paul Tobin has stated:The Bible is filled with so many diametrically opposite viewpoints that if they were all present in a human being we would probably label that person as bi-polar or, even worse, schizophrenic.No wonder I'm so messed up. I didn't know what or who to believe. Christian apologists don't even agree amongst themselves. Who's right and who's wrong?
Steve,Well this is all rather undignfied.There's no real "polite" way to say "well, I won't argue with you, because you have a professionally diagnosed mental problem, it's been borne out on your interactions here, and I think arguing with you is not only going to be a waste of time but may actually harm you". But in this case, I think it needs to be said. I'll go back and forth for days with everyone from BDK to Ilion. I don't feel it's right to do so here, and I couldn't just drop it without a word.And of course, a good conclusion can be arrived at for bad reasons. I think Victor once gave the example of a very good debater who picked what his beliefs were by rolling dice. So you had someone who could argue powerfully for a position, but he picked what position to hold out of the air.Regarding "dwindling probabilities", it's more loosely related, but I'll say that I think Plantinga's most recent book makes some interesting arguments regarding justified beliefs. At the very least his evaluation of certain assumptions (particularly relating to science) struck me as valuable. I'll probably dig through the archives and see what Victor's had to say about that in the past.
What Crude is afraid to do however is step outside his worldview and see that there are millions of others out there that just find talking animals and such to be rediculous. I can even see that and I'm schizo-affective. People that believe that animals are talking to them need to be on medication along with some cognitive behavioral therapy. What they don't need is someone telling them they have demons inside them because that would only make it worse.
Also,This rediculous notion of Crude's that schizo-affective somehow makes you dumb. This simply isn't the case. Watch the movie: "A Beautiful Mind" to get a feel of what I'm saying. Again, when I discovered that the TOTAL evidence on ballance doesn't support Christianity I got scared. REALLY scared. I was searching for every loophole I could find. I went to Alvin Plantinga and others. I then went back to Christianity. Then to just a Higher Power. Then to just an afterlife. I just wanted to try to keep my hope alive. Now that I have found a solution with the existential problem, I'm doing okay. It's been quite a ride. I know I'm not perfect. But at least I'm honest and will admit it.
Can we get back to the issue at hand. You can get into discussion with Cole, or not, as your conscience permits.
This rediculous notion of Crude's that schizo-affective somehow makes you dumb. I haven't said this at all. But admittedly, your repeated misrepresenting of what I've said (despite my being very clear), your track record, your past plagiarism and more, however, hasn't exactly made me wonder "maybe Cole is really smart".This is as good a time as any to point out that the word is "ridiculous".I was searching for every loophole I could find.Actually, you were an atheist. Apparently, multiple times. Worse, each and every time you changed your views, you came across that you were absolutely certain that, this time, you were right. Not only that, but everyone else was wrong and either evil or "worshiping evil" or crazy. What a surprise - now you've changed your view again. And you're certain you're right. And everyone is wrong and evil or crazy.Why, it's almost as if you're schizophrenic.Stop arguing on the internet and seek help, Cole. Please look past the feeling that I'm being mean to you. You know you need help - and no, arguing with you at length on a blog and pretending you're not schizophrenic is not "help".
"Thanks Steve,You seem like a gentleman and very nice person. Let me encourage you to re-read the OP of mine or perhaps study the Christian philosophers some more and you will see that they don't even agree amongst themselves on the probabilities."Wow. Cole, um, Steve has a Ph.D. in philosophy from Sheffield -- I suspect he's read a wee bit more philosophy than you have.
Victor,In my defense, I'm trying. I'd rather just not talk to him, for reasons stated. On the other hand, it's hard to let a blatant falsehood slip on by.Apologies for mucking up your comments section. Just doing what I think is best here.
"There's no real "polite" way to say "well, I won't argue with you, because you have a professionally diagnosed mental problem, it's been borne out on your interactions here, and I think arguing with you is not only going to be a waste of time but may actually harm you"."Arrogant swine. Unless the owner of this comment is a medical specialist, no such inference to the effect that, "because you have a professionally diagnosed mental problem, it's been borne out on your interactions here " ..... [and] .. "may actually harm you", can be made.This is a grievous ad hominem asserting an unsound mental state despite the fact that medical support and a regime of medication is in operation. I for one, have not the expertise nor can demonstrate that the interactions on this site have been compromised by mental instability on the part of Cole. Until and unless the commenter in question can demonstrate that expertise, it is best to desist from this appallingly crass behaviour.
Hey Eric,Yes he probably has. Has he read as much philosophy as Dr. Kelly James Clark? He studied under Dr. Alvin Plantinga. Can we show that Christianity is in a rationally superior position than all other worldviews based on multiplying probabilities? Kelly James Clark doesn't know.
Unless the owner of this comment is a medical specialist, no such inference to the effect that, "because you have a professionally diagnosed mental problem, it's been borne out on your interactions here " ..... [and] .. "may actually harm you", can be made.Right, Linton. Cole's admittedly schizophrenic. He's admittedly bounced around from atheism to theism and back again, including most recently what can only be called "customized zoroastrianism" which involved him ranting that he worshiped the goddess of love and Christians were worshiping evil, each and every time displaying angry certainty that he was right and everyone else was wrong. I say, you know what? The facts on the ground indicate this may not be mere Linton-style stupidity, but an actual mental illness - I'm backing out of conversation with him, and I suggest others at least consider doing the same. To you, taking into account the combination of someone's track record and admitted schizophrenia in deciding how to deal with them is just the height of arrogance. ;)Furthermore, holy hell. You are arguing it's not right to suggest someone has mental problems that may be affecting their reasoning? Not only has Cole been doing this repeatedly in this thread but, aside from plagiarizing and flat out misunderstanding things, that's all you do. You are a never-ending font of screaming about how the people who disagree with you are reasoning poorly because of this or that wholly-imagined-by-you cognitive defect. But when it comes to a non-controversially diagnosed schizophrenic who, within the past month or two, was a full-fledged believer in a goddess he quite literally came up with himself - woah! We can't draw any conclusions THERE?God almighty, you're a freaking feeb. And you, I have no problems saying as much to - your issues aren't rooted in a major mental disorder. With you, it's just garden variety stupidity.
Wow! When I told everybody over at DC of my medical condition they were all supportive and showed compassion to me. Christians over here tell everybody to ignore me and accuse me of having demons.
When I told everybody over at DC of my medical condition they were all supportive and showed compassion to me.I'm supportive and I'm showing compassion - I'm refusing to argue with you because it seems to simply hurt you, and I'm suggesting you get help. You seem to mistake being told 'you're right' and people ignoring your illness with compassion and support.When a psychiatrist tells you "You're mentally ill" after a proper series of tests, he's not trying to hurt you by insulting you.Christians over here tell everybody to ignore me and accuse me of having demons.I said you should stop trying to fight your inner demons by arguing online, and seek proper help from a doctor. It's a freaking figure of speech. You took this as literally meaning you "have demons" - like, there's one on a leash next to your keyboard? Holy crap.
Crude,For the second time: I AM GETTING HELP. I just saw my doctor two weeks ago. I have talked to her and explained everything to her and told her where I am at right now. I'm doing great and my mind is clear and I'm not having any delusions at all. You seem to think that just because I won't go back to the slavery of mentally ill beliefs such as demons, mind controlling forces, and talking animals that I need to come out of denial and get help. Guess what? I am out of denial and I am getting help.
Cole,You seem to think that just because I won't go back to the slavery of mentallyAt no point - nowhere, nada - have I said "you're ill, because you're not Christian" or any words to that effect. I said, and I said clearly, that you've bounced around from Christian to atheist to zoroastrian to back again repeatedly, that you're a diagnosed schizophrenic, and that arguing with you at length is probably non-productive for others or you yourself. Your behavior in this thread - fresh off the "Crude said I had demons!" bit - hasn't exactly shown that estimation to be in error.Let me be clear: if you said, yet again, "Okay Crude I'm wrong I believe in God now Christ is King!!!!", my reply would be, "Wonderful, Cole. Please go seek help." Because the problem isn't your religious "beliefs", such as they are. It's your behavior, your track record and the schizophrenia. If you were a Christian, these things would still be a big problem and a warning sign.I repeat my advice. Show your doctor how you've spent your time online over the past months in these and other threads. Be honest with her. Hopefully, she can help you.
Crude,Why do you keep bringing up something I did months ago? That was then this is now. I am getting help - FOR THE 4TH TIME.BTW I don't have schizophrenia. It's SCHIZO-AFFECTIVE.It just makes you feel uncomfortable that you are living in denial about reality. There is no reason at all to keep bringing up someone's past behavior. Yes I have changed my beliefs. So what? That's not a sign of SCHIZO-AFFECTIVE disorder. I was simply confused and still searching as I was trying to hold on to my hope of life after death. I was testing my beliefs out to see if they held water. And they didn't.
The OP is not about new evidence. It is not about opening up new areas of research and discovery. It is not about substantiating theistic claims. It is largely an exercise in attempting to give the indefinite claims of christian theism some semblance of normalcy, in light of the very paucity of 'evidence' for it; with the pros and cons of the stuff itself [evidence that is] in question, being the focus of attention in the OP.The OP seems that of gardeners in discourse over the efficiency of three-tined garden forks relative to four-tined forks. Regardless of the instruments used the argument remains restricted to and rangebound, in turning over the exact same ground that has been tilled for millennia. It is unfortunate that the exercise has neither increased the quantum of knowledge about the existence of gods nor consolidated the probabilities of an actual resurrection.They remain as ever, hidden, shrouded and diaphanous, just as would they had not existed at all, ever.The best that one can surmise form the OP is, to simply imagine the existence of gods is theologically sufficient for granting the status of probability. Such a 'probability' cannot be sustained even under the best of circumstances.
Cole,Why do you keep bringing up something I did months ago? That was then this is now. I am getting help - FOR THE 4TH TIME.It bears repeating. Particularly since a quick google search of your conversations shows you've claimed to have "gotten help" repeatedly. You say you started getting help two weeks ago. Over at DC, you mentioned getting help at other times in the past couple years. And in between those times are the problems I've pointed out.Take it seriously, please.Yes I have changed my beliefs. So what? The issue isn't "changing beliefs". It's "radically changing beliefs, over and over, within a relatively short period of time, and each time being certain you're right, while angrily and loudly attacking people who disagree with you".Just as "seeing something that wasn't there" isn't necessarily a major worry - a person can be fatigued, they can make an honest mistake once. If they keep seeing things, there's trouble. It's the pattern that's the problem.BTW I don't have schizophrenia. It's SCHIZO-AFFECTIVE.Wiki's schizoaffective disorder entry: "Schizoaffective disorder belongs to the "schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders" proposed by the DSM-5 Workgroup,"Yes, there's a reason to bring up someone's past behavior when they're engaged in what really seems to be the same exact pattern. You're an atheist now. You've been an atheist at multiple times in the past. Believe it or not, it's not the atheism which has me concerned so much as the rest of the mental issues.I strongly suggest you relate your past few months of conversations - print out copies and hand them to her - to your doctor.
About multiplying probabilities. Gary Habbermas has stated in "Five Views On Apologetics" that the Baye's Theorems that are being used are not sufficient when dealing with the evidence. According to him we shouldn't even be using the theorems. He says it has more to do with your overall look on reality. Another disagreement among Christian apologists just to add to the confusion.
ColeGrace and empathy is not a part of crude's DNA.It will always be to externalise the cause or the fault of his actions, thoughts and sentiments onto others.Remain as you are, prudent and cautious.Cheers
Crude,New research has determined that schizo-affective is a disorder in it's own right seperate from schizophrenia. Also, you don't get better over night. It takes time. I'm slowly getting better. And I'm better now then I have ever been. Sorry. I know you want me to be something I'm not but I'm not going to. I've made huge progress and you are not going to hold me back. And what is up with trying to get everone to ignore me because I've been diagnosed with a mental disorder? Grow up man. I can handle myself.
Cole,Also, you don't get better over night. It takes time.Of course you don't. So please, take it seriously. And I strongly recommend turning in those copies for review. I know you want me to be something I'm not but I'm not going to.What I want you to get, is better. At no point here have I suggested the problem is that you're not Christian, or that you're an atheist. I explicitly said that if you became Christian, you'd still have some serious problems.And what is up with trying to get everone to ignore me because I've been diagnosed with a mental disorder?Because your mental disorder is of the sort which impacts your reasoning, your recent track record strongly indicates it's been impacting your reasoning, and the result is a waste of time (for people who want to have reasonable discussions) and possible harm to you.I can handle myself.Actually, Cole - you can't. You need help, and you know it. There's nothing wrong with that either. Work with your doctor. Relate these past few months of conversation with her. Make sure she knows.
Crude,I'm convinced you have some issues yourself. Listen to your repeated nonsense. "Get help Cole"I've told you alredy that I am. It really bothers you that you are living a lie doesn't it?
Cole,It really bothers you that you are living a lie doesn't it?What bothers me is your illness, and the fact that my encouraging you to get help is labeled as "nonsense". But hey, I'm just an anonymous guy on the internet - I can't do much for you.I'll suggest one more time: print out your discussions, hand them to your doctor. See what they think of your past few months of reasoning.I'm out for now. Good luck, pal. I hope you get better. Don't slack, and please take it seriously.
Crude,I hope you get better as well. You seem obsessed with me and repeating yourself for me to get better and ask for help when I've told you 10 times now I am getting help. It's kind of weird and creepy.
Cole,ask for help when I've told you 10 times now I am getting help.I've told you exactly what I mean with regards to help: your comments and conversations. Be sure your doctor knows about the goddess talk, the shifting positions and how often they happen, the claiming people worship evil, etc. It's important.Good luck with your journey.
@Crude>Yeah, that's pretty much all we can do here. And for the record, I hope you're doing good - I've been busy lately. I'll be keeping you and your family in prayers, I recall last year was damn stressful for you.Thanks buddy. It's been painful watching my wife suffer the lose of her Mother.But Thomistic philosophy & Spirituality has been a God send for me and agrate comfort. It is very liberating not being able to coherently or logically blame God (given His Nature Classically) for the tragedy in my life. It is very liberating knowing God doesn't owe me anything & thus I can't complain when I don't get anything. If I do get something I can be very gratful for it knowing it is a true gift and not a given right. Merely being caused to exist is by itself an infinite good & Grace. The rest is icing on the cake.@Cole"As someone who doesn't do emotion like you, and cuts them completely off, I fear for your children. Have you talked to child protective services about this condition of yours?"I never said I cut off my emotions.Of course by "don't do emotion" I mean I don't respond too or care for emotional arguments. But I had to attend to some work so I couldn't respond to your slander right away.I don't hold any malice towards you but trying to attack people threw their children is not something a person I would call normal should do. Say what you want about me. Be as cruel as you like. I don't care. Much of it may be even true. But leave my kids out it. kay?That having been said. I agree with Crude.This is all I will say to you hopefully. It is a great temptation for me to respond to lapces in logic. But from now on I am treating you as a non-combatant.@PapsYou OTOH it will be business as usual accept I will be slightly more kind.Slightly....;-)Now back to the issues at hand. I apologize Victor.
I thought you were leaving? You said in your last comment you were "out for now"Now I know you really are obsessed with me right now. Learn to be secure in yourself. Love yourself first so that you can love others from a position of power and not insecurity. Your love relationship with your imaginary man doesn't seem to be working.
That last comment was for Crude BTW.
Crude: If you choose not to sustain a discussion with Cole, it would probably be best to say it once and stop defending your decision. Whether he appreciates what you said or not should not be a concern. I know you are not calling him stupid or anything like that. But I suspect that sustaining this discussion may be as harmful as engaging as sustaining the debate. You are claiming that internet debate is bad for the health of someone like Cole. If so, it is also probably true that internet debate about the health value of internet debate is also bad for his health.
"If so, it is also probably true that internet debate about the health value of internet debate is also bad for his health."Probable? or possible?You seem somewhat uncomfortable with Cole visiting and commenting at this site.
Victor,If you choose not to sustain a discussion with Cole, it would probably be best to say it once and stop defending your decision.Hey, you're probably right. Like I said, that was the intention. Cole piped up with some flat out inaccuracies that I felt I couldn't let slide - saying "Crude says people who have this mental illness are all stupid!" or words to that effect, or worse, "Crude says I have demons!", makes it difficult not to correct things.And for the record, I'm not saying the debate is certainly harmful for someone like that - but I think in the case at hand, it's reasonable to infer what may well be unproductive or harmful. Why risk it, and why waste time?But your blog, your rules. I'll not deal with him anymore. Sorry to disrupt your day.
Now that we have shown that there is no agreement with the values assigned to the probabilities I think we should look at this thing differently. If God existed surely He would have made it more obvious to us. The God of the Bible desires a RELATIONSHIP OF LOVE with His creatures. I think if God did exist and wanted a love relationship with us then He would express that love. Things like hugs, playing and enjoying games with us, sweeping the house, cleaning out the garage, perhaps a Christmas gift, visiting with us through communication (quality time), answering a few questions, complimenting us, telling us thank you, I love you. All my experiences have been with beauty, the love of others, and a sense of awe and wonder with nature. But clearly if God was personal He would relate to us personaly. At least I've never experinced God expressing His love towards me. And I dare say that most people haven't either. They mistake a simple experience of wonder and amazement for others and nature for God. Also, what kind of love are we talking of that transforms itself into worship? I mean worship includes a deep reverence, adoration, enthrallment and amazement at wonder. Worship goes beyond just love. It is love. But when you worship someone they are at the center of everything. Now, why would I do that with a man (Christ)? I find women to be attractive. I'm drawn to them in their physical beauty as well as their personality. Let me put it to you this way. If I were to die and go to Heaven and God was a man (Christ), I'm not going to be too enthralled and in awestruck wonder when I see Him. I like women. I don't want to be the Bride Of Christ. I'm not gay you see. Men just don't do it for me. I worship women. I would rather have a Goddess as a companion.
Hi Cole,Thanks for your kind words. I've read a fair amount of apologetics and philosophy of religion. I have a shelf full of philosophy of religion books, another of general apologetical works and a third shelf full of stuff by C.S. Lewis. You are quite right that different thinkers evaluate the probabilities differently. Indeed there are some wild disagreements about which arguments are any good at all never mind about the probabilities involved - both prior and posterior.But that really doesn't worry me. The same is true on the atheist's side. Not all atheists use the same arguments, some think certain arguments are good, while others disagree. The OTF is a case in point!All,In terms of dwindling probabilities, I've always been quite sympathetic to that criticism of historical apologetics, and if time allows I may read the Plantinga-McGrew interaction more closely. That said, the dwindling probabilities argument is mostly about the likely conclusions of historical apologetics ... and I agree with McGrew's conclusion that it's more important to evaluate those historical arguments than it is to argue about historical arguments in the abstract.
We all sound crazy here! Because everyone is a little crazy - Cole, you are just very open at expressing what is on your mind.
And, for that matter, I wonder how many of us could endure a bout of what Cole has been diagnosed with and still come across as kindhearted as Cole? I sure couldn't. I think your therapist is right, Cole, you are doing well. You will get through it.
Steve,That's all the more reason to be skeptical about God based on probabilities. Don't you think it's more like the experience of Beauty? I mean, I understand and have had the experience of Beauty. Here's how I describe the experience:In the presence of Beauty I find the gentleness of mystical love. It is here that wonder is awakened and the beauties of humility, compassion, and kindness come alive. Within this matrix my fears melt away. I tremble at the thought of being inside this glowing radiance, for the longing of my heart is for a union with Beauty. To drink it in and become one with it. For me, Beauty brings warmth. Something in my soul longs for this delight, for Beauty inspires and delights my soul. When Beauty whispers Her tenderness to my soul I am filled with a childlike wonder and awe. If only I could stay this way forever.Doesn't that describe this experience?
Thank you Susan. You are a dear, understanding, and compassionate lady.
Cole,If those arguments were all I had to go on, then the variability in the probabilities might warrant agnosticism. It certainly wouldn't warrant atheism. I'm not sure which you are recommending, so we may not be disagreeing there.However, despite the disagreements, I often find myself broadly agreeing with many of the probabilistic arguments. I don't take the actual numbers very seriously ... they are only indicative. The reader should make their own assessments. And when I make my own assessments, trying to be as honest as I can and taking the evidence into account, the probabilities point, with varying degree's of certainty in the direction of Christ.Now I'm not sure any of the arguments in the area of historical apologetics are sufficiently compelling that you'd have the be irrational to reject the conclision. In fact, I'm fairly sure they aren't as compelling as that, but the lengths some people go to to avoid the conclusions is reason to suggest the arguments have some force for at least some enquirers.On beauty, your description of the experience is very eloquent, but I don't understand the relevance. Can you tie the thoughts together for me?
Steve,My point was that believing in God or Goddesses (if they exist) should be more along the lines of an experience or transformation. Probabilities just don't get you there. The evidence can be taken this way or that way depending on one's assumptions. We all have insecurities. Religious believers or God(dess) believers fill the need or void with Gods and Goddesses. If I was ever to believe in a God again it would have to be a Goddess. I'm not attracted to the masculine. I'm not gay, you see. If I'm going to entwine my soul or come into a love union with another soul (filling the void or insecurites) I would prefer a female. When you worship someone they are at the center of your life. Why would I place a man (Christ) at the center of my life unless I was attracted to the masculine? I'm not enthralled or stricken with awe and wonder at the masculine. I am with the feminine because I'm not gay. If it's going to be a soul union between two people then I prefer a woman. I don't want to be the Bride Of Christ in other words. If I'm going to find wholeness and completion by filling the void (insecurities) then I would rather bond with a woman and fall in love with her rather than with a man and be His Bride.
Cole,To be honest, even certainties can prove experience like that, never mind probabilities. But that doesn't mean the arguments are misplaced ... faith is more than mere belief.Faith sometimes does bring wonderful experiences like the ones you describe, and I wish they were more frequent than they seem to be in my own case. But I don't fault belief for not making the experience automatic, nor God for not making them more frequent. At least, in my better moments I don't.As you've said elsewhere, Christianity is a relationship and God's nearness cannot be "invoked" nor summoned by syllogism.
oops, *can't prove*groan
Let me ask you this Steve. There are 5 primary ways to express love. Gifts, acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time, and physical touch.Now, God has never given me a hug and told me what a wonderful job I've done. He didn't play games with me when I was little or now for that matter. He doesn't help around the house or trim the grass, neither does He talk back when I talk to Him or tell Him about my day, etc. I just don't see any evidence of Him expressing His love to anyone in the world.
Zach,I think you bring out a point that confirms my belief that religion was given birth out of the fear of death. There is no evidence for your loving God. He does not express His love to us. We see this when children get their faces burned off by the universe that He supposedly designed. The universe breaks babies arms, cripples them, pops their eyeballs out of their sockets, peels the skin off their bodies. If God wanted to bring these children up to heaven why not go about it in a more humane and gentleman-like way? Maybe send down some chariots from heaven and escort the children there since He loves them so much.
Zach,Then you are saying that the evidence can be taken this way or that way depending on one's assumptions. The evidence then doesn't make one without excuse. But this is what the Bible claims.
>I admit evil is a serious concern, I can't explain it away. I have seen people here mock others that mention the problem of evil (or even suggest that if your conception of God is of an impersonal being, it somehow goes away (seriously, someone said this)).The concept "God is an impersonal being" is not the same as saying "God is not unequivocally a human person".But it is a brute fact God as He is defined in Classic Theology is not a moral agent. His Goodness is metaphysical and ontological not moral. Once we remove the idea of God as a moral agent and return to the classical view the problem of evil dissolves.BTW you can't have an ambiguous concept of Good and Evil. You have to at least define it philosophically. Otherwise it's meaningless to talk about "evil" much less a problem of evil.PS God is "Personal" in the Classic sense in that He has intellect and will. God is not a human person. God is not a disembodied human mind except more magically uber.No such "god" exists or is worth worshiping or is the God of the Bible.
BTW based on Classic Philosophy and Natural Theology how do I know God loves me & cares for me?Simple, I exist!Existence, that is having being is Good. Existence/Being and Goodness are interchangeable based on the concept of the Transcendentals. Love is God's willing the Good for us since love is to will something's good. God willed I exist thus He willed a good for me thus He loves me.It's not hard.
>So baby cancer is also good because it exists and is a positive existence, not a deprivation.Cancer cells have the privation of natural cell growth so they are less than perfect cells. It is the nature of material things to compete with other material things for their own perfection. God could have created a realm where things don't compete with one another but it would not be a material realm.Cancer cells as cells are Good in so far as they exist they are evil in lacking the perfection of proper cell growth.>At any rate, as I said some will act as if there is no problem. I think they are blind, but I do see the problem,Only if unlearned persons equivocate between "Evil is a problem in this world"(which it is BTW) vs the "Problem of Evil"(i.e. How can a good God allow evil etc).Some links to boost your learning.Best of all possible worlds.http://www.aquinasonline.com/Topics/boapw.htmlProblem of evilhttp://www.aquinasonline.com/Topics/probevil.html>I just think that it isn't fatal, and that atheism has bigger problems.Well some of us who are even Theists think all Theodicies fail. But maybe they where never such a good idea in the first place?Maybe Atheists citing the Problem of Evil is like people saying David Beckum is not a good footballer because his Bating average sucks? Maybe Theists who do Theodicy are trying to argue Beckum has a good bating average he thought he can't seem to hit a baseball. But of course as Brian Davies says it's a waste of Time.
>Ben to not even acknowledge it is to take away your credibility. Sorry. Done with you for now.What part of "Only if unlearned persons equivocate between "Evil is a problem in this world"(which it is BTW) vs the "Problem of Evil"(i.e. How can a good God allow evil etc)." was unclear to you?Zack I expect this sort of irrationality from the Gnus. You should be better then them.
Hi Cole,Coming back to this after a little break ... and since Vic has started a separate thread on McGrew, I don't feel so bad continuing the less relevant discussion here.You write: "I just don't see any evidence of Him expressing His love to anyone in the world."I understand this, and I share your sense of frustration that God's love isn't more obvious, but this seems like a pretty big overstatement to me.I have plenty to thank God for. Now you might say they are all things which are perfectly explainable on naturalistic grounds, and that may well be true. But if God does exist then whether He shows his love through the natural or miraculous doesn't really matter.I remember once feeling down that no-one had ever sent me flowers. Men do it for women, but not vice-versa (generally). It's not that I especially wanted the flowers, but the love that they express. But there are lots of flowers in the world, and as sentimental as it may sound, I genuinely believe that God sends them to us.You've mentioned Kelly James Clark several times. If you haven't read it already, I'd like to recommend his book "When Faith is Not Enough", especially the material that draws on Chesterton's masterpiece "Othodoxy". The title of the latter might sound dry, but it's a wonderful read. I might re-read these myself.
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