Where the **** was Paul?

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Humanguy
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Re: Where the **** was Paul?

Post by Humanguy » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:19 pm

Og3 wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:47 am
"If Hamlet talks with Shakespeare, it must be Shakespeare's doing."
I'm not seeing how this establishes that God exists.

Og3
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Re: Where the **** was Paul?

Post by Og3 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:43 am

Humanguy wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:19 pm
Og3 wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:47 am
"If Hamlet talks with Shakespeare, it must be Shakespeare's doing."
I'm not seeing how this establishes that God exists.
As an objective proof of God, it doesn't. What it establishes is that the idea of a God is not absurd on the face of it.

Suppose that there were a scene in Hamlet, while Hamlet is in England, and a man approaches Hamlet. He says to him, "I am Will Shakespeare. I am the author of this play you call your life. In me, you have your life and breath and being. I am before all things to you, and in me all your things consist."

Hamlet's first reaction might be to call the man mad, because if Hamlet were in a play, it is madness that he might converse with the playwright. They are two different kinds of beings: One is "real" and the other is "a character." This is the position that Lewis originally took, in his teens. Hamlet and Shakespeare never had a conversation; likewise Lewis and God could never have a conversation.

But later Lewis realized the error of his assumption. Shakespeare could have, if he so desired, written himself into one of his plays as a character. Kurt Vonnegut did that in some of his stories. That character then, which both was and was not Shakespeare, could be a means for Shakespeare to explain things to Hamlet. Hamlet could not initiate such a conversation, but Shakespeare could.

That is, if there were a scene like the one above in Hamlet, then the character really would be Will Shakespeare to the extent that Shakespeare could condense himself into a mere character. Thus it is not at all absurd that God might have become a human and lived on earth, talking to his creations -- being just as much a character as they were/are, and yet also being a visible (to them) image of the invisible God.

The statement "If Hamlet talks with Shakespeare, it must be Shakespeare's doing" has nothing to do with creating a proof, and everything to do with a mental state that does not pre-judge the evidence.

You will not be persuaded by proofs, or else my proof would have swayed you. You will be persuaded if, and only if, you choose to examine the facts with an unjaded eye.

Humanguy
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Re: Where the **** was Paul?

Post by Humanguy » Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:16 am

Og3 wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:43 am
Humanguy wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:19 pm
Og3 wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:47 am
"If Hamlet talks with Shakespeare, it must be Shakespeare's doing."
I'm not seeing how this establishes that God exists.
As an objective proof of God, it doesn't. What it establishes is that the idea of a God is not absurd on the face of it.

Suppose that there were a scene in Hamlet, while Hamlet is in England, and a man approaches Hamlet. He says to him, "I am Will Shakespeare. I am the author of this play you call your life. In me, you have your life and breath and being. I am before all things to you, and in me all your things consist."

Hamlet's first reaction might be to call the man mad, because if Hamlet were in a play, it is madness that he might converse with the playwright. They are two different kinds of beings: One is "real" and the other is "a character." This is the position that Lewis originally took, in his teens. Hamlet and Shakespeare never had a conversation; likewise Lewis and God could never have a conversation.

But later Lewis realized the error of his assumption. Shakespeare could have, if he so desired, written himself into one of his plays as a character. Kurt Vonnegut did that in some of his stories. That character then, which both was and was not Shakespeare, could be a means for Shakespeare to explain things to Hamlet. Hamlet could not initiate such a conversation, but Shakespeare could.

That is, if there were a scene like the one above in Hamlet, then the character really would be Will Shakespeare to the extent that Shakespeare could condense himself into a mere character. Thus it is not at all absurd that God might have become a human and lived on earth, talking to his creations -- being just as much a character as they were/are, and yet also being a visible (to them) image of the invisible God.

The statement "If Hamlet talks with Shakespeare, it must be Shakespeare's doing" has nothing to do with creating a proof, and everything to do with a mental state that does not pre-judge the evidence.

You will not be persuaded by proofs, or else my proof would have swayed you. You will be persuaded if, and only if, you choose to examine the facts with an unjaded eye.
You have no proof. It's proof to you, but it is in no way proof of the existence of God. Can't you see how some people just can't see it, they're not bad people they just don't see it.

That stuff about the "unjaded eye" is rubbish. Atheists have examined everything there is to examine and don't kid yourself, and they just can't see it. Where you fall down is not being able to grasp that reality, understand it and examine it. You don't know the first thing about atheists. That's where you fall down.

Og3
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Re: Where the **** was Paul?

Post by Og3 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:10 am

That stuff about the "unjaded eye" is rubbish. Atheists have examined everything there is to examine and don't kid yourself, and they just can't see it. Where you fall down is not being able to grasp that reality, understand it and examine it. You don't know the first thing about atheists. That's where you fall down.
But I've studied atheists. I tried very hard to become one. The only thing that stopped me was intellectual integrity. To my great chagrin, it was wrong.

You say that atheists have examined everything. Really? All of them? Have you? Or is it simply an article of faith with you that atheists have examined everything?

For over a thousand years, everyone believed that the work Galen had done on anatomy was all that could be discovered of medical science. Those who looked for themselves and discovered otherwise assumed that it was their mistake. It wasn't until 1000 years after Galen that someone said, "Hey, the veins in a man's arm are different from those in a chimpanzee." They trusted what they were told, not what they saw.

That's what you're doing. You're saying, "Hey, Hitchens and Dawkins and Hawking are really smart, and they say this, so they must be right." That's called faith. All I'm asking you to do is to equip yourself to find out for yourself.

I'm not asking you to convert, and I'm not even trying to show you a proof. If you equip yourself, you'll be able to make proofs one way or the other for yourself. All I'm asking is that you don't assume, on faith, that "Atheists have examined everything." Because, frankly, I've studied that proposition too, and I found it to be rubbish.

Look for yourself. Just look for yourself. That's all I ask.

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SEG
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Re: Where the **** was Paul?

Post by SEG » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:46 am

Og3 wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:54 pm
Incidentally, none of those three is expressly Christian in nature. In fact, Smullyan was a Taoist.

So I'm not trying to trick you into reading Christian books.
Thanks, OG. The one online looks good. What are your arguments for;
1. The existence of God
2. The Historical Jesus
3. The existence of Nazareth at the time of Jesus

Let's test your logic and see how it pans out :)
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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Moonwood the Hare
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Re: Where the **** was Paul?

Post by Moonwood the Hare » Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:14 pm

Og3 wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:10 am
That stuff about the "unjaded eye" is rubbish. Atheists have examined everything there is to examine and don't kid yourself, and they just can't see it. Where you fall down is not being able to grasp that reality, understand it and examine it. You don't know the first thing about atheists. That's where you fall down.
But I've studied atheists. I tried very hard to become one. The only thing that stopped me was intellectual integrity. To my great chagrin, it was wrong.

You say that atheists have examined everything. Really? All of them? Have you? Or is it simply an article of faith with you that atheists have examined everything?

For over a thousand years, everyone believed that the work Galen had done on anatomy was all that could be discovered of medical science. Those who looked for themselves and discovered otherwise assumed that it was their mistake. It wasn't until 1000 years after Galen that someone said, "Hey, the veins in a man's arm are different from those in a chimpanzee." They trusted what they were told, not what they saw.

That's what you're doing. You're saying, "Hey, Hitchens and Dawkins and Hawking are really smart, and they say this, so they must be right." That's called faith. All I'm asking you to do is to equip yourself to find out for yourself.

I'm not asking you to convert, and I'm not even trying to show you a proof. If you equip yourself, you'll be able to make proofs one way or the other for yourself. All I'm asking is that you don't assume, on faith, that "Atheists have examined everything." Because, frankly, I've studied that proposition too, and I found it to be rubbish.

Look for yourself. Just look for yourself. That's all I ask.
I don't think hg is doing this at all. I have not, as far as I recall, known him reference any of these atheist writers and I always get the impression that he is working things out for himself. He would say that he has not yet come across anything to make him believe in God.

Not everyone who believes does so because of the kind of argument that appeals to you. Some people are left cold by these highly abstract proofs. So if someone wanted to know if Christianity is true I would go the other way and say something like, read the Bible, say John's gospel, with an open heart and see if it speaks to you. The role I would see for argument is more clearing away the objections rather than positively establishing the truth. This does mean that I see religious knowledge as person relative; my experience cannot be grounds for your belief.

Plantinga is interesting on this because although he does have an interest in theistic proofs (and I think the ones he cites don't really work, and the atheistic criticisms of them are often sound) he tries to ask not do I, as a professor of philosophy, have good grounds for belief but did my grandma who had only a basic level of education have grounds for her belief, as she thought she did, through her experience. He concludes that she did.

Og3
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Re: Where the **** was Paul?

Post by Og3 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:48 pm

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:14 pm
Og3 wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:10 am
That stuff about the "unjaded eye" is rubbish. Atheists have examined everything there is to examine and don't kid yourself, and they just can't see it. Where you fall down is not being able to grasp that reality, understand it and examine it. You don't know the first thing about atheists. That's where you fall down.
But I've studied atheists. I tried very hard to become one. The only thing that stopped me was intellectual integrity. To my great chagrin, it was wrong.

You say that atheists have examined everything. Really? All of them? Have you? Or is it simply an article of faith with you that atheists have examined everything?

For over a thousand years, everyone believed that the work Galen had done on anatomy was all that could be discovered of medical science. Those who looked for themselves and discovered otherwise assumed that it was their mistake. It wasn't until 1000 years after Galen that someone said, "Hey, the veins in a man's arm are different from those in a chimpanzee." They trusted what they were told, not what they saw.

That's what you're doing. You're saying, "Hey, Hitchens and Dawkins and Hawking are really smart, and they say this, so they must be right." That's called faith. All I'm asking you to do is to equip yourself to find out for yourself.

I'm not asking you to convert, and I'm not even trying to show you a proof. If you equip yourself, you'll be able to make proofs one way or the other for yourself. All I'm asking is that you don't assume, on faith, that "Atheists have examined everything." Because, frankly, I've studied that proposition too, and I found it to be rubbish.

Look for yourself. Just look for yourself. That's all I ask.
I don't think hg is doing this at all. I have not, as far as I recall, known him reference any of these atheist writers and I always get the impression that he is working things out for himself. He would say that he has not yet come across anything to make him believe in God.

Not everyone who believes does so because of the kind of argument that appeals to you. Some people are left cold by these highly abstract proofs. So if someone wanted to know if Christianity is true I would go the other way and say something like, read the Bible, say John's gospel, with an open heart and see if it speaks to you. The role I would see for argument is more clearing away the objections rather than positively establishing the truth. This does mean that I see religious knowledge as person relative; my experience cannot be grounds for your belief.

Plantinga is interesting on this because although he does have an interest in theistic proofs (and I think the ones he cites don't really work, and the atheistic criticisms of them are often sound) he tries to ask not do I, as a professor of philosophy, have good grounds for belief but did my grandma who had only a basic level of education have grounds for her belief, as she thought she did, through her experience. He concludes that she did.
Okay, I took him at "The atheists have examined everything" as saying that he has faith that others have already considered it and so he doesn't need to.

I'm not offering proofs here at this point. I'm suggesting that the atheists -- SEG especially and HG in passing -- "level the playing field" and look at the question without preconceived notions.

Reading the gospel of John end to end, and considering it as presented (as opposed to going along with a notepad and making notes of things we disagree with) would be a good place to start. Excellent suggestion.

Your key phrase: "With an open heart." My key phrase, "On a level playing field."

Og3
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Re: Where the **** was Paul?

Post by Og3 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:56 pm

SEG wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:46 am
Og3 wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:54 pm
Incidentally, none of those three is expressly Christian in nature. In fact, Smullyan was a Taoist.

So I'm not trying to trick you into reading Christian books.
Thanks, OG. The one online looks good. What are your arguments for;
1. The existence of God
2. The Historical Jesus
3. The existence of Nazareth at the time of Jesus

Let's test your logic and see how it pans out :)
You're welcome.

Offering arguments here and now would be counterproductive to the goal of leveling the playing field and presenting a neutral starting point.

When you are through with Salmon, I might recommend Feynman (Born nominally Jewish, later agnostic with atheistic leanings):
https://www.amazon.com/Surely-Youre-Jok ... B003V1WXKU

Some of the anecdotes are not for younger readers -- Feynman talks openly about his sexual exploits, fistfights in bars, and other topics not suited to younger readers. However, through it all he presents how he thinks. It is this -- his mental processes and his rationality -- that I would recommend to the person seeking to reason well.

Feynman presents ideas such as the simple and the complex answer ("summing the series") and how we can be led astray by following the crowd (Caltech commencement address). He talks about how he puts ideas into real-world examples to make them understandable.

captain howdy
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Re: Where the **** was Paul?

Post by captain howdy » Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:17 am

Og3 wrote:Okay, I took him at "The atheists have examined everything" as saying that he has faith that others have already considered it and so he doesn't need to.

I'm not offering proofs here at this point. I'm suggesting that the atheists -- SEG especially and HG in passing -- "level the playing field" and look at the question without preconceived notions.

Reading the gospel of John end to end, and considering it as presented (as opposed to going along with a notepad and making notes of things we disagree with) would be a good place to start. Excellent suggestion.

Your key phrase: "With an open heart." My key phrase, "On a level playing field."
First you Christians tell us God wants to relate to us. When he doesn't show up, you guys tell us to just open our hearts....then read a book and go live by it in lieu of God actually you know---showing up. Thank you, no. I decline. This is like asserting oneself to be in "a relationship" with an extraterrestrial, but when asked to be introduced with said extraterrestrial the claimant responds with the Drake equation. No, no, no---I get to meet ET or no deal. Same thing here----you guys make some bold assertions re: God. So far, however, the Almighty has been remarkably mum on the subject, and this requires some explanation on your part. Otherwise, all your theological claims----all of them----go in the pending file, as in pending additional evidence (God actually dispensing with the hide an seek and showing up). Just like the Rastafarians.

Let's face it. Apologetics is a lost cause. I mean, God's either there or he isn't. If somebody hands you a phone and says "It's for you" and there isn't so much as a dial tone....

Og3
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Re: Where the **** was Paul?

Post by Og3 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:13 am

captain howdy wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:17 am
Og3 wrote:Okay, I took him at "The atheists have examined everything" as saying that he has faith that others have already considered it and so he doesn't need to.

I'm not offering proofs here at this point. I'm suggesting that the atheists -- SEG especially and HG in passing -- "level the playing field" and look at the question without preconceived notions.

Reading the gospel of John end to end, and considering it as presented (as opposed to going along with a notepad and making notes of things we disagree with) would be a good place to start. Excellent suggestion.

Your key phrase: "With an open heart." My key phrase, "On a level playing field."
First you Christians tell us God wants to relate to us. When he doesn't show up, you guys tell us to just open our hearts....then read a book and go live by it in lieu of God actually you know---showing up. Thank you, no. I decline. This is like asserting oneself to be in "a relationship" with an extraterrestrial, but when asked to be introduced with said extraterrestrial the claimant responds with the Drake equation. No, no, no---I get to meet ET or no deal. Same thing here----you guys make some bold assertions re: God. So far, however, the Almighty has been remarkably mum on the subject, and this requires some explanation on your part. Otherwise, all your theological claims----all of them----go in the pending file, as in pending additional evidence (God actually dispensing with the hide an seek and showing up). Just like the Rastafarians.

Let's face it. Apologetics is a lost cause. I mean, God's either there or he isn't. If somebody hands you a phone and says "It's for you" and there isn't so much as a dial tone....
I'm not asking you to live by anything.

I'm just asking you not to pre-judge the question. If you can read the entire book of John "with an open heart," and on a "level playing field," and in the course of that reading God does not show up, then why would I ask you to live by it?

And if God does show up, then live by what He tells you through the book, not what I or anyone else am telling you.

Why is it so frightening to level the playing field? Why is it so scary to weigh Christianity in the same scale that you use to weigh whether to buy a new car or whether Adelaide United has a chance to sweep their league?

It's a remarkably short book, and if you want crib notes, here are two great youtube videos -- under 9 minutes each -- that break down the style and content into an easy outline:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-2e9mMf7E8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUfh_wOsauk

Read it with an open heart and a level playing field, and see what, if anything, it says to you.

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