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    ... Your entire existence testifies to your acceptance of the material world. So the problem of coming up with a criteria for reality is your problem, not
    Message 1 of 40 , Feb 28, 2005
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      --- JesusTrance <jesustrance@...> wrote:
      > >You misunderstand, you have advocated testing
      > SPIRITS,
      > >which ones are from god and which aren't. This
      > >assumes they already exist.
      > >
      > So maybe if you give me your definition of what
      > would be a sufficient
      > test to prove the material realm, I could prove to
      > you a spiritual
      > realm.

      Your entire existence testifies to your acceptance of
      the material world. So the problem of coming up with a
      criteria for reality is your problem, not mine.
      Unless you are trying that old hat about "you don't
      believe in spirits? Oh yeah? Well you can't even
      prove that YOU exist! Soooo...everybody has to take
      everything on faith, therefore Christian faith is no
      less justified than any atheist materialist's faith in
      the physical world's existence".

      >How do I know that the material realm exists?
      > Or am I just
      > assuming things?

      I should have guessed. Tell me, do you ask questions
      about reality regularly in your life, or do you only
      throw this stubble in the air because you know you
      have no evidence and you wish to drag materialist's
      down the drain with you?

      If you honestly don't think the material world is a
      mere assumption on your part, taken by faith, then you
      already accept the material world and therefore the
      problem of how to figure out what's real and the
      reality of that which is merely alleged is YOUR
      problem.

      > Are we all assuming things? I'm
      > telling you that you
      > can't prove the physical realm to me!!! (Go ahead.
      > Prove me wrong... ;-) )

      Sorry, your entire life testifies that you DO in fact
      accept the material world. You cannot back up and
      pretend not to believe it. For by asking me to prove
      it, you must first believe it exists. Did you ask me
      a question, or is even your question a figment of your
      imagination?

      The fact that you accept the physical world 99% of the
      time, and the other 1% of your life, you discover you
      have no proof to show your religious views true, and
      so you choose to "question reality", proves that you
      are INSINCERE when you ask whether the material world
      exists. You only pretend to question it and then ask
      me for proof, because you mistakenly think that by
      saying "ah, but how do you know THAT is true" a
      thousand times when analysing a single proof for the
      material world, you are thereby showing that walking
      down the street and waving to the neighbors takes just
      as much faith as it does to believe Jesus walked on
      water. Sorry, those days are over.

      > >Unfortunately for you, Christians are divided down
      > the
      > >center as to whether "spiritually dead" means they
      > >wouldn't acknowledge spiritual things if they were
      > >beaten with them, or if the expression just means
      > they
      > >are biased toward naturalism.
      > >
      > Why does it have to be either or? Why can't it be
      > both?

      Because of what I JUST SAID. Does "spiritually dead"
      mean total inability, or partial inability? Come on.

      > Just because some other people can't make up their
      > minds, doesn't mean I
      > can't take a stance on it.

      But it DOES mean that the text underlying the belief
      is capable of more interpretations than one, unless
      you take one interpretation and say all other bible
      scholars that interpret differently are stupid.

      I know I can feel the
      > spiritual realm. I
      > don't know if you can feel the spiritual realm or
      > not, but given your
      > staunch denial of it, I would wager a no. Say we had
      > two scientists: one
      > with a barometer, and the other without. Just
      > because one scientist
      > lacks a barometer, does this make the other
      > scientist's readings false,
      > or disprove the existence of barometric pressure?
      By
      > no means. In the
      > same way, I can tell you that the spiritual realm is
      > true, and so can
      > many other Christians.

      False analogy, you are again assuming you HAVE that
      tool by which to test the spirit world, so you know it
      is real, while the atheists don't have the tool, and
      fallaciously conclude the spirit world doesn't exist.

      Let's keep your analogy going....why does the first
      scientist find it so hard to just let the second
      scientist borrow his barometer for a few days so he
      can see if he gets the same readings as the first?

      The analogy is also false because it makes your tool
      for testing the reality of the spirit world something
      that definitely exists, when there is actually much
      debate about whether the spirit world can be tested in
      the first place, and what "tools" are acceptable
      testing devices for it.

      Does your unbelief therefore
      > make us all liars?

      False comparison. I "unbelieve" because of arguments.
      I don't just stand around with my hands over my ears
      and say "I can't hear you". I've heard the evidence
      and I fail to believe because the arguments fail
      logically or evidentially.

      > We are only liars if we are not telling the truth,
      > and being that the
      > existence of the spiritual ream is a universal
      > concept, crossing
      > cultures, peoples, and tongues, even where the
      > gospel has not been
      > preached, I would say our best conclusion from the
      > evidence would be an
      > emphatic "Yes!" The spiritual realm does, in fact,
      > exist...

      Sorry, but the failure of specific spiritual proofs
      convinces me to search for a naturalistic explanation
      for the assumed proofs. Man is naturally desirous to
      live forever, therefore it is only to be expected that
      he would fantasize about living forever if in fact he
      couldn't. This digs to the core of the heart of every
      person; most people don't want to die someday, and
      most people believe in some form of the
      afterlife...what a conicidence!

      > >>I don't believe I've ever heard of any real-life
      > >>> cases in which damaging
      > >>> the brain ever affected moral direction.
      Better stated,
      > what I'm saying is there is no case where in which
      > one brain-damaging
      > event ever caused an individual to permanently loose
      > all moral direction
      > when they previously held what I would call the
      > "default," or normal,
      > conscience of an average human being.


      If you strangle somebody to death, you cut off the
      blood supply to the brain, which materialists say is
      ncessary to keep the neurons firing, which produce
      thoughts.

      All moral direction is lost when the brain is damaged
      by oxygen deprivation. But for the dualists, this is
      ridiculous, the mind should continue to work in
      conjunction with the body, because what exactly
      happens to the brain, doesn't affect what happens to
      the mind. But no, you strangle somebody and then they
      stop feeding the kids period. I'd say the mind is a
      VERY physical thing. How you can gloss over that and
      say "but but but, perhaps the mind just goes somewhere
      else when the brain stops working?" is beyond me.
      perhaps when a car is totalled in an auto accident,
      the engine's power just "goes somewhere else" when the
      engine is damaged? Nah.

      Here's another
      > thought, why do
      > intelligent people and unintelligent people all have
      > the same
      > conscience?

      I don't know what you mean. if you meant
      "consciousness", that's easy, the neurons in the brain
      don't function as freely in people who are less smart.
      Also, a person could have the brain ability, but
      simply choose to ignore becoming educated for some
      reason.

      >If intelligence in caused by a different
      > physical build of
      > the brain, why does the conscience remain unaffected
      > in unintelligent
      > people?

      I don't see why it WOULD be affected in the
      physicalist view. From my own perspective, the part
      of the brain that controls
      consciousness/unconsciousness seems to be seperate
      from the part that produces thoughts.

      > Strangely, the wise and fools alike are born
      > with the same moral
      > direction...

      THAT is foolish. I've seen babies that share
      willingly their toys, and I've seen babies that like
      to hurt other babies. Some of them have a natural
      inclination against violence, and others have
      inclination FOR it.

      > >>Some people's brains work better than others.
      > >>> >
      > >>
      > >>> With no physical signs as to why? That doesn't
      > fit
      > >>> with your allegations.
      > >
      > >
      > >Well sure there are physical reasons! Some kids
      > can't
      > >sit still and can't concentrate, others can. Give
      > the
      > >problem kids Ritilan, and suddenly, their neurons
      > will
      > >process information more readily.
      > >
      > Just ask any kid who's taken Ritalin, or parents of
      > Ritalin kids. It
      > doesn't work. The kids aren't themselves.

      That's false, my son has been taking Ritilan for 8
      years. As long as he doesn't take more than his
      prescribed dose, he is much better able to control his
      thoughts. You cannot sweep away the physicalist
      implications argued from ADHD and Ritilan with the
      hasty generalization that "kids" aren't themselves
      when they take it. Mine certainly is.

      >There are
      > even studies
      > pointing out that Ritalin is harmful to those who
      > take it.

      But not to my son.

      > Beyond that,
      > that ignores my example. What about Einstein vs the
      > average Joe?

      I don't see how difference in intelligence level
      suddenly argues against physicalism or FOR dualism.

      >Or if
      > you can't adequately answer that one, howabout one's
      > disposition? Do you
      > also believe the aspects of one's personality are
      > linked physically in
      > the brain, and one could altar another's
      > constitution by simply
      > manipulating their brain?
      > If so, has there been any
      > evidence for that?

      Absolutely. Ever drink alcohol sufficiently to get
      drunk or buzzed? Everybody agrees you will either
      become quiet and reserved, loud and obnoxious, or just
      plain less reserved and more inclined to violate your
      own morals. Drunks either drink alone, or become
      sudden social buffs, or love to start fights and
      attract attention. There is a limited range of
      perosnality changing stuff that alcohol can do. Sure
      sounds like the personality is chemical fizzing in the
      brain. How utterly unacceptable, that the mind is
      NON-physical, but but but, somehow, the chemical
      "alcohol" is able to cause this non-chemical mind to
      make decisions it normally doesn't? If the mind was
      not equal to the brain, we would fully expect the mind
      to function APART from not only the brain, but
      therefore apart from things that AFFECT brain
      chemistry. Not a chance. The spirit world is a
      fantasy world and nothing more.

      Give a calm friendly mature faithful Pastor 500 cc's
      of steriods or testosterone, watch him turn into a
      girl-chasing lothario that feels the need to prove
      that he can beat other guys in sports competitions, or
      beat them up just because. Same answer.

      > Is is something physical in the brain that causes a
      > lion to have
      > different instincts than a mouse?

      level of testosterone for one thing.

      > No, there is no exact comparison for God, but as I
      > stated before, an
      > inexact comparison, and therefore an analogy, would
      > be human beings. We
      > were made in His image.

      Inexact? ok, we are made in his image. Is god a
      hemaphrodite? If he doesn't have a physical image,
      NOW you are starting to veer off course from what many
      non-evangelicals believe; namely, that the image of
      god that humans have, is a physical image, and that
      the female genitals are accounted for when god says
      "let US make man in OUR image", i.e., his wife
      Ashereth helped in creation.

      > >I believe in NOTHING that isn't scientifically
      > >demonstrable. Take your best shot.
      > >
      > Scientifically, nuclei should fly apart because of
      > the positive and
      > negative charges. Scientifically, you should believe
      > the universe will
      > fall apart into nothingness in about point three
      > seconds. What makes you
      > believe otherwise?

      "Scientifically" means "using the scientific method".

      The "scientific method" is based on repeatability of
      experiment.

      Since life goes on for everybody in the world WITHOUT
      nuclei flying apart as you propose, then however long
      you believe humans have been on earth, is how long
      there have been scientific experiments that FAIL to
      confirm the nuclei flying apart, and therefore, the
      failure of your hypothesis. How many scientific
      experients do you need to conduct before you gain the
      scientific law that nuclei do NOT fly apart as you
      propose they "should"? What scientific evidence did
      you ever come across that told you they "should" in
      the first place?

      > Scientifically, we still don't
      > know how gravity works

      Gravity is particularly scientifically proven.
      Obviously you don't need to know EVERYTHING about
      causes to have a scientific confirmation of some
      process taking place. let go of a brick from up in a
      a three story window, it will fall to the ground every
      time. That's the principle of repeatability that
      underscores "science". Nobody refrains from calling
      repeatedly confirmed results, "scientific" simply
      because they can't explain every last little possible
      doubt all the way down past the anti-matter.

      > - plasma research is proving all the current
      > theories false all the
      > time.

      The guy who invented that stuff was a real "Crooke" :)

      >Why do you still doggedly hold to your idea of
      > gravity? Science
      > can't prove absolutely everything...

      Failure to prove absolutely, is not scientific
      failure. Please stop trying to justify the lack of
      evidence for your position, by trying to drag the
      obvious physical world down with you, wherein you
      mistakenly think that asking millions of "but why did
      THAT happen", and getting somebody to admit "I don't
      know yet", suddenly means that walking down the street
      and waving to the neighbors takes just as much blind
      faith as belief in the spirit world. No way.

      > >Didn't I already ask HOW, if god was perfect before
      > >Genesis 1:1, that he could have had the slightest
      > >motivation to create anything? Motivation to make
      > >something for one's self indicates a feeling of
      > >"lack".
      > >
      > Now you're trying to fit God in a box again.

      Unfortuately for you, you never prove that "trying to
      get god in a box" is fallacious.

      You must always DEFINE your terms.(what is god?)

      But unfortunately for you, when you define what god
      IS, you therefore imply what he ISN'T, due to the law
      of non-contradiction. If you say god IS "alive", then
      you are FORCED by logic to also say god is NOT
      "non-alive (i.e., dead)

      You may not want to hear this, but defining your
      terms, forces you to admit to what a thing IS, and
      thus what a thing ISN'T.

      And when you know a thing IS and what it ISN'T...then
      THAT is putting god in a box no less than a Christmas
      present for Billy.

      Who
      > said He was motivated?

      You wish to talk about god "doing" things because he
      "loves" us, but you DON'T want to talk about his
      "motivation"? Now you are contradicting yourself.

      Your god gets stranger by the day, as i talk with you.
      Now he is a god that does things without being
      motivated. He is now even LESS capable of any
      analogy.

      > And even if He was, motivation does not imply lack.
      > I can be motivated
      > to help someone or do something without lacking
      > anything myself.

      False, if you see someone in need of help, and you
      wish to help, then that WISH of yours will remain
      unfulfilled until you fulfill it. BUT during that
      small window of time between wishing to help, and
      making the first MOVE to start helping, you
      experienced the LACK of helping the person.

      > There
      > is nothing in the Bible that tells us why God
      > created everything, so to
      > make up a reason and subsequently prove it wrong
      > does nothing to
      > discredit God. That's simply setting up a strawman.

      I didn't make up the reason. To do something, is to
      imply the DESIRE to do it having preceded it. Unless
      you wish to say god shakes uncontrollably with
      epilepsy; thus "doing" something without the desire
      preceding?

      If there is DESIRE, then this is also MOTIVE.

      I have made up nothing. I am working from within the
      basic truths about your god that you will admit to.
      if you admit that god "does" things, then you are
      committing yourself to certain limitations that govern
      what words mean.

      > >What is a spiritual dimension?
      > >
      > The Bible speaks of three heavens.

      > The first one
      > being from the earth to
      > the sky, the second from the sky to the ends of the
      > universe,

      you already messed up. before you instantly reject my
      notion that the universe is infinitely large, ask
      yourself how stupid it is to think that the universe
      is LIMITED in size. Hypothesize a rocket ship flying
      in a single direction for billions of light years.
      According to those who say the universe is of limited
      size, the rocket will one day REACH that other side.
      What then? What will it bump into? A sign that says
      "no trespassing"?

      It should be perfectly obvious that there would NEVER
      be a time when the rocket would hit anything. If it
      is NOT obvious then you must have some idea of what
      the rocket ship would hit when it reached one extreme
      end of the universe. What would the rocket bump into?

      >and the
      > third heaven is the spiritual dimension I've been
      > talking about, which I
      > understand as an underlay underneath the physical
      > world; physicality
      > overlapping it.

      "underlay underneath the physical world"? Unless you
      mean "deep in the ground"? "underneath" means
      "below", implying direction. Which direction can I go
      in order to get underneath the physical world?

      Of course you can't answer that, there is no such
      thing as "underneath" the physical world.

      It is just a fancy sounding idea that nobody really
      questions today in our post-modern hellenistic
      society.

      >As a physical being, I interact with
      > the physical
      > universe all around me, and as a spiritual being, I
      > also can interact
      > with the spiritual realm all around me.

      You are no longer desribing what it IS and are now
      merely assuming it as if you are talking with a friend
      who believes everything you do.

      >That's also
      > how Jesus is said to
      > reside inside of Christians when they are saved.

      But Jesus is a person, and persons cannot be
      everywhere at once. If you know of any such person
      who can, please introduce me to him. I am NOT asking
      you to read me a story from a book.

      > Physically speaking,
      > that would be ludicrous. Spiritually, the Holy
      > Spirit, which the Bible
      > describes as the spirit of God's Son, resides within
      > us in the spiritual
      > realm.

      What the hell is a spiritual realm? Underneath the
      physical world? Makes about as much sense as 'north
      of the number 5'.

      > >"spirit" is a word that makes no sense to me. What
      > >exactly is a "spirit". Don't say "non-physical",
      > that
      > >is a statement of what a spirit ISN'T.
      > >
      > >I want to know what a spirit IS.
      > >
      > A spirit is then a being that resides within the
      > spiritual realm only,

      you fail.

      > most likely possessing (obviously) a spirit and a
      > mind, but no body.

      you fail, you assume a mind without a physical brain,
      when this debate is no finished. You are just begging
      the question.

      > Animals, then, AFAIK, have physicality and a mind,
      > but no spirit.
      > Humans, then, since we are in the image of God,
      > possess all three.

      I am not a friend at your Sunday School that shares
      your presupposition that humans are either made in
      god's image, or that your specific understanding of it
      is necessarily the right interpretation of Genesis
      1:26

      > >False analogy, having faith in the bus driver to
      > >safely get me from point A to point B, is a far cry
      > >from faith that god is real. The first faith is
      > based
      > >on direct physical scientific confirmation that
      > >directly exposes itself to all the five physical
      > >senses.
      > >
      > Just because the bus driver has gotten you where
      > you're going before,
      > doesn't therefore prove that he's going to be
      > successful at it again and
      > again.

      Sure, there is a certain amount of "faith" in everyday
      physical life, but it's all a major longshot from the
      kind of faith that says a man who died 2000 years ago,
      came back to life and is still living....and this man
      is invisible...

      >You put your faith in his abilities for that.
      > And I'm not
      > necessarily relating that faith as similar to faith
      > that God is real,
      > but faith in trusting in Him with your life.

      But now you are confusing concepts. I do NOT believe
      the bus driver has complete control over my life while
      I am on the bus. That's a far cry from the faith that
      says "god controls my life". There's too many
      differences. Two different types of gas, for one
      thing.

      > >You have not exhausted all the possibilities to
      > >explain the change in your life naturalistically.
      > >
      > Oh, yes I have. You don't know what I've been
      > through.

      Yes I do. Unless you start flying off the handle with
      crap like 'I asked god to make 30 cents worth of gas
      get me 2000 miles across America, and he did", there
      are perfectly good naturalistic explanations for why
      you gave up ANY bad habit or addiction of your choice
      and statistics will take care of the coincidences
      which you see no explanation for except god. One of
      my last girlfriends had an ex-husband, whose birthday
      was the same as mine. That proves NOTHING WHATSOEVER,
      but her friends and my friends at the time were sure
      certain that this meant god was giving us a sign that
      we were supposed to be together for life.

      >It's been nothing
      > short of a miracle... there have been too many
      > variables, too many
      > things I can't control in situations... to many
      > "coincidences."

      I don't believe you can give me one that you think is
      a true miracle, but which also isn't some grandiose
      story where god suspended the laws of physics just for
      you. Yes, you are right...if you give me a story that
      has too big of a miracle, I will deny the truth of it
      immediately and with full confidence that apostle Paul
      was an absurd liar for saying men are without excuse.
      Paul was too ignorant to know what a good excuse would
      be due to his fanaticism.

      >Too many
      > times things worked out the way they shouldn't have.

      or you think they shouldn't have ignorantly, when the
      truth is it's just a simple matter of statistics.

      > To many things
      > science and naturalism can't explain... there has to
      > be a spiritual realm.

      But when an explanation for an unexplained phenomena,
      itself raises many questions as to what exactly it is
      and how to test if it is real, then it becomes
      explaining a mystery with another mystery and thus
      accomplishing nothing.

      > >Name any religion you think is false, mormonism,
      > >Muslimism, etc. They believed their lives were
      > >transformed by god.
      > >
      > Wrong. They believe they're supposed to transform
      > their lives all on
      > their own to appease their god.

      Distraction argument, I realize how interested you are
      in telling everybody they got religion, but you got
      Jesus, but the fact is, for example, the Mormons, have
      testified how god has changed their lives.

      > Christianity is the
      > only religion I know
      > of that says your *can't* change your life on your
      > own.

      Then you obviously aren't familier with Romans 2,
      which teaches that eternal life is a reward to those
      who do good works.

      5But by your hard and impenitent heart you are storing
      up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath, when God's
      righteous judgment will be revealed.
      6 For he will repay according to each one's deeds:
      7 to those who by patiently doing good seek for glory
      and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;
      8 while for those who are self-seeking and who obey
      not the truth but wickedness, there will be wrath and
      fury.

      > >You are free to
      > >believe what you wish, but you cannot seriously
      > >maintain that unbelievers need to realize that god
      > has
      > >worked in your life.
      > >
      > If you don't realize it was God who worked in my
      > life... at least
      > realize it wasn't me. It was something far beyond
      > me.

      If you aren't gonna specify what happened, and thus
      open up what you believe to examination and
      interpretations other than yours, I can't do anything
      about it.

      > >That is more than sufficient to make your own
      > changes
      > >to your own life.
      > >
      > Haha... not the stuff out of my control.

      Such as?

      > >Jesus never equated them in the first place.
      > >
      > How is "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh
      > on a woman to lust
      > after her hath committed adultery with her already
      > in his heart." not a
      > comparison?

      Sure, it's a comparison of the mental act with the
      physical act, but where does he state that the mental
      act is as bad as the physical act?

      > Looking to lust means that there is
      > adultery in your heart -
      > the same as in actual physical adultery.

      YOU are supplying "the same as". But not Jesus.

      The two are
      > in essence the
      > same. One is just more noticeable than the other.

      same answer.

      let me shoot your rebuttal out of the sky.

      If you are gonna be condemned for THINKING it, you
      might as well DO it. Your rebuttal to this will
      contain the proof that the lusting and the doing are
      vastly different.

      > >Secondly, it should be intuitively obvious that the
      > >physical act involves MORE sin, in a Christian
      > world
      > >view, than the mere mental image.
      > >
      > >From a Christian worldview? How so?

      I you lust after a woman, you sin. But if you
      convince her to have sex with you, you are now
      involving another person. That's obviously worse than
      just sinning by yourself, in the Christian world view,
      correct?

      > >Really? Are there any biblical tests that are for
      > the
      > >purpose of seeing whether what you believe in is
      > real?
      > >
      > Highly generalized statement. Mind being more
      > specific?

      No, it was general for a purpose, to show the shallow
      extent to which the bible asks it's readers to think
      critically.

      > And 'Biblical'
      > tests?!? Aren't you using that word there in more of
      > a connotative sense
      > than denotative? I'm talking about ways separate
      > from the Bible to prove
      > the Bible as true.

      Our debate is already strung out too think as it is,
      let's try to stick to divine "love".

      > >I find Jesus blessing blind faith in John 20 with
      > >doubting Thomas. That doesn't doesn't exactly mesh
      > >smoothly with testing your beliefs to see if they
      > have
      > >evidence to support them.
      > >
      > Of course it does. Seeing is only one way of testing
      > what you believe.
      > Another would be reading eyewitness accounts, or
      > testing through real
      > life experience.

      Who cares? Your belief without seeing, is BLESSED by
      Jesus, amen? So who cares if you have something more
      to rest your faith on than those who don't see?
      Getting blessed by god is all that counts, amen?

      >Philosophical discussion and
      > debates work well, too.

      not exactly.

      > Case in point. ;-) Jesus isn't saying you shouldn't
      > test your beliefs,
      > he's saying you don't necessarily need to see his
      > nail-scarred hands to
      > believe he rose from the dead.

      Incorrect, Jesus is doing more than than, he is
      blessing blind faith. Now lets get that down first.
      jesus blesses the kind of faith that does NOT see.
      Amen?

      > >It's quite possible that god created man with the
      > >ability to never choose to sin? How do you explain
      > >sin's consistent success in getting EVERYBODY to
      > sin?
      > >
      > Have you read Romans 5:12-17? It pretty much
      > explains your question for
      > you.

      I don't need it explained. You were arguing that
      there is no inevitability in sinning, because we have
      freewill. Let me ask you, do you know any non-deity
      human, that has just happened to always choose
      correctly? if so, who? If not, then sin seems to be
      inevitable.

      > From other scripture and this, we can gather
      > that because Adam and
      > Eve sinned, death and the curse passed upon all
      > creation, and now all
      > creation travails in pain waiting for the redemption
      > by God through
      > Jesus Christ. Sin comes naturally because we
      > inherited a sinful nature
      > from our parents, and they from their parents before
      > them.

      Dogs also bark naturally. So are you saying sinners
      sinning is inevitable? Sure makes sense, but but but,
      you will then be laying the groundwork for saying man
      isn't responsible. You cannot be responsible for
      something that was inevitable.

      > >You didn't answer the analogy! If somebody built a
      > >nuclear bomb in their basement, they went out of
      > the
      > >city, some theives broke in and set off the bomb,
      > >would you argue that the bomb-maker was NOT
      > >responsible for leveling the city, because he only
      > >MADE the bomb, but didn't set it off?
      > >
      > Your analogy misses one crucial point. What God made
      > by giving up free
      > will not only had the potential for destruction, but
      > also had the
      > amazing perpetual benefit of liberty and freedom.

      that's perfectly false....the free will that adam and
      eve had BEFORE the fall...IS "liberty and freedom".
      That's exactly what you call it when you debate
      calvinists who deny freewill, amen?

      If you read god's words to them in the garden of eden
      before they fell, he addresses them as free creatures
      immediately and before the fall.

      >If
      > we want to stay
      > with the nuclear theme, I think a nuclear power
      > plant would be a much
      > more fitting analogy.

      It's just that some bozos
      > inside listened to some
      > idiot who told them the button labeled "Boom" wast
      > the automatic soft
      > drink dispenser... :-P

      If the workers are stupid enough to confuse the boom
      button with the soft drink dispenser, can they be held
      responsible for their actions?

      However stupid you paint Adam and Eve to be, you've
      got three problems;

      1 - God talks with them BEFORE they fell, as if they
      were already completely freewilled. What then do you
      mean that freewill has the potential to bring freedom
      and liberty? They already had it before they fell,
      amen?

      2 - Adam and Eve chose to sin logically BEFORE they
      had a sinful nature. So even INNOCENCE is
      insufficient to prevent sin. Why would god create
      them with such a constitution of the will, if he
      rationally expected them to what innocence cannot be
      relied on to do? Do you bash sombody in the head with
      a bat, then ask them to solve calculus problems
      correctly? If no, then why does god create their
      freewill a certain way, then make demands on it that
      innocence obviously cannot shoulder?

      3 - Many Christians believe god took away the tree of
      life to prevent them from becoming eternal sinners.
      This sort of sounds like if they would have resisted
      the devil, and then ate from the tree of life, they
      would have had their wills confirmed in righteousness
      for the rest of eternity. Why couldn't god just
      bypass this interlude and create their
      will-constitution as righteously confirmed from the
      beginning, sort of like he causes to happen to good
      Christian's spirits when they die? Everybody goes to
      heaven, nobody goes to hell, and nobody's will was
      violated any more than what god can already be agreed
      to do in THIS dispensation. Does god just toy with us
      like this? Or does he just WANT us to sin, when the
      solution to getting what he wants without violating
      our wills is staring him in the face the whole time?
      Or perhaps god wasn't smart enough to come up with the
      solution that I did, and created hell because he knew
      of no better way?

      > >Sure he does, he created souls, he can destroy them
      > >permanently like animals, the way 7th Day
      > Adventists
      > >and Jehovah's Witnesses say.
      > >
      > I don't care what the Jehovah's Witnesses or 7th Day
      > Adventists say
      > about it... they're wrong. Solomon said in
      > Ecclesiastes that we can't
      > conclusively say whether or not animals go to heaven
      > or just 'cease from
      > existing.' We do know that the lion lays down with
      > the lamb, but are
      > they the same animals from the first earth?

      Excuse me, if god creates something, then he obviously
      can destroy it if he wants to, agreed?

      > >What, god didn't know the future? God knew for all
      > >eternity there would be specific people in hell,
      > and
      > >for all eternity he wished it would have been
      > >different?
      > >
      > Yet it is the sinner's choice to go to Hell.

      You are not answering the question! You did an about
      face.

      >How is
      > it God's
      > responsibility for their /second /bad decision?

      see above, I proved god could make their wills of the
      type that always choose the good without violating
      their wills anymore than what the bible already says
      he does.

      > First they sinned, and
      > he gave them a way out of that.

      Correction, god never told them what to do when they
      found sin tempting them. God simply said "don't do
      it."

      You DO realize how stupid school teachers are, when
      they KNOW they have a child that can't sit still, and
      they say "when you feel like moving around, just sit
      still".

      Commanding something does NOT guarantee that the
      person who is to obey, will have the tools necessary
      to resist disobeying.

      >Then, they refused
      > to take the way out.
      > Sounds like the responsibility falls squarely on the
      > sinner's shoulders.

      God commanding innocent people to resist the devil is
      commanding them to violate their natures. to be
      "innocent" is to NOT KNOW the difference between good
      and evil, and so therefore Adam and Eve cannot have
      appreciated the seriousness of "do not eat of the
      tree, because you will DIE in the same day you eat of
      it." An innocent person who lives logically BEFORE
      knowledge of good and evil, logically cannot
      appreciate what god meant, and therefore has no
      intellectual basis upon which to obey. In their
      innocent minds, god said don't eat, and they have no
      reason whatsoever to take him seriously.

      If god wants to be taken seriously when he threatens
      death as the dangerou8s consequences of eating from
      some tree, he should tell only people who DO have the
      knowledge of good and evil. If you agree WE TODAY, as
      knowing good and evil, are thus responsible, then Adam
      and Eve's innocence REMOVES their own responsibility.

      > >"spiritual" means nothing to me, because there is
      > no
      > >evidence for it.
      > >
      > That's because I'm still trying to figure out what
      > exactly you want as
      > evidence.

      That's your problem not mine. I already believe the
      spiritual realm is absolutely nothing but meaningless
      jumble of letters, thus you can't expect me to request
      evidence for it that I will believe, when i can't even
      make sense of the words you use.

      > >Oh, so you quote from somebody who DID make these
      > >things up.
      > >
      > I thought we were sticking with the Trinity? Unless
      > you wish to discuss
      > the viability of the Bible, too... otherwise jabs
      > like these are
      > unwarranted and unnecessary.

      You thought we were sticking to the Trinity, after
      many exchanges where we left the subject and got into
      responsibility for sin? Please answer my point that
      instead of making it up as you go along, you QUOTE
      from ancient authors who made it up.

      > >Quoting the bible is not a problem, but does become
      > >curious when you quote it to atheists, who already
      > >know what the bible says on the subjects.
      > >
      > Well, being that you're still an atheist, I would
      > argue that you still
      > /don't/ know what the Bible says on the subject. ;-)

      I also know what the Book of Mormon says; but I refuse
      to trust it.

      Do you therefore believe that my lack of trust means I
      probably don't understand correctly what's in the Book
      of Mormon? Why not? Why doesn't your logic work
      elsewhere?

      > >>A judge who just lets a criminal go free is
      > >>> blatantly irresponsible.
      > >
      > >
      > >Really? When you god offers to let sinners go
      > free,
      > >you call it "mercy". Why are there so many excuses
      > ad
      > >nauseum for your god, but you are quick to say
      > earthly
      > >judges are wrong for acting the same way as god?
      > >
      > No, God is not doing the same thing as earthly
      > judges who let people off
      > scott-free. God requires obedience and a true heart
      > towards Him; I've
      > already stated this.

      Oh, so god DOESN'T have mercy?

      > >Paul argued from a literal truth about a potter's
      > >relationship to clay to refute an objection:
      > >
      > >Shall the thing formed, say to the one that formed
      > it,
      > >'why have you made me this way'? (Romans 9:20)
      > >
      > >Why not continue along in Paul's logic?
      > >
      > There comes a point at which an analogy stops.

      I would say Humans have freewill, clay doesn't, and
      therefore Paul was wrong to argue that we shouldn't
      complain simply because clay doesn't. Fence posts
      don't complain either, but how stupid, amen?

      > That's why it's an
      > analogy. We can't draw from Paul's analogy that
      > human beings are
      > literally lumps of clay in the same way we can't
      > infer the lack of free
      > will since clay doesn't have any.

      Sorry, clay doesn't have freewill, so the analogy
      breaks down immediately, because humans are
      qualitatively MORE than clay. The analogy will let
      "god created us for his use" and that's about it.
      Nothing more theologically advanced than that.

      > There are certain
      > truths Paul wanted
      > us to draw from this analogy, and the two former
      > weren't any of them.
      > Though clay may collapse and crack and dry out, that
      > doesn't stop the
      > Potter from trying to make us into something better.
      > That was his point.

      No, his point was "who are you that repliest to god?
      The thing formed, won't say to the One that formed it,
      'why have you made me this way', will it?"

      His point was that inanimate clay doesn't talk back,
      therefore when animate humans talk back, it is
      equivilent to the absurdity of clay talking back.
      Paul pushed the analogy too far.

      > >"we have a choice to be supple? The clay does not
      > >choose whether it becomes hard of soft, does it?"

      > There are different kinds of clay, are there not?

      Oh, so I guess some humans are more sinful than
      others, since some humans are harder to work with,
      just like some kinds of clay are harder to work with
      than others?

      > Some are easier to
      > work with, and others aren't. Some dries out faster
      > than others.

      Thank you for pushing the analogy so far that you now
      contradict your stance that all people are equally
      sinful, by equating them with at least two different
      types of clay.

      By the way, the sovereign god who molds the clay,
      doesn't find one type of clay "harder" to mold than
      any other, IF he is "all-powerful".

      > Sometimes when a potter fashions a pot, it collapses
      > on them,

      I know this happens to human potters, but you would
      figure god can control his hands and knows when the
      clay is about to give out long before any human does.

      >or keeps
      > on cracking. We have a choice to be supple - it all
      > depends on how much
      > we harmonize with what the Potter's doing...

      clay can choose to harmonize with what the potter is
      doing? I'm sorry, you are pushing the analogy way too
      far just like Paul did. Clay does NOT choose to do
      anything by itself, so the analogy is unfitting and
      false, if it is carried beyond "god created us for his
      own reasons".

      > >Nonsense, all verbs already presuppose time to be
      > in
      > >existence before during and after the action
      > described
      > >by the verb.
      > >
      > >"Billy jumped over a chair."
      > >(there was a time before he jumped over the chair,
      > >during the jump over the chair, and a time after he
      > >jumped over the chair)
      > >
      > >"God created time."
      > >(there was a time before the creation of time, the
      > >time DURING the creation of time, and the time
      > AFTER
      > >the creation of time)
      > >
      > >Sorry, when you use verbs to describe the very
      > >creation of the thing that verbs PRESUPPOSE, you
      > are
      > >talking nonsense.
      > >
      > You /do/ realize the limits on human language don't
      > limit reality?

      No I don't. In order to suppose some part of reality
      is real, but cannot be explained in human language,
      you must have already had it explained to you,
      defeating the statement.

      One hypothesis to explain this problem is that your
      ideas are FALSE. What other subject besides god, do
      you automatically infer that human language
      limitations are to be blamed for failing to express
      an idea coherently.

      And doesn't the failure of an idea to find coherent
      expression in language, qualify the idea as
      "INcoherent"? If not, what qualifies it as
      incoherent?

      >I
      > really don't care if the grammar doesn't mesh nice.
      > There's really not a
      > good way of putting it.

      I don't care if you can't imagine what a square circle
      being held by a married bachelor would look like.
      There's really not a good way of putting it. But But
      but, it is real.

      > The fact is that there once
      > was a time when
      > there was no time, and English wasn't a language
      > invented to say that
      > correctly.

      Sorry, you are spouting incoherent nonsense when your
      idea cannot be expressed in human language. Again,
      the failure to express an idea coherently, could
      easily be because the idea itself is faulty. It is
      not safe to automatically blame language limits when
      your idea can't find expression.

      Can you imagine somebody saying "2+2=3, and if that
      doesn't make sense, this proves that mathematics is
      all wrong, not that my idea is wrong."

      That's bull. The ONLY people who attack the limits of
      human language are religionist who believe in ideas
      that human language forbids just as quickly as it
      forbids square circles. Everybody else knows that if
      they come up with an idea that doesn't make sense when
      expressed in human language, that's because the idea
      itself is absurd, not because the human language used
      to express the idea is limited.

      Please specify the criteria that must be satisfied
      before saying an idea is "incoherent".

      > >Excuse me, god said he would harden pharaoh's heart
      > >with the very first command of moses to let the
      > people
      > >god, as recorded in Exodus 4:21.
      > >
      > Yes He did, but he's referring to His act of
      > hardening Pharaoh's heart
      > in Exodus 10:20.

      That's false,


      21 And the LORD said to Moses, "When you go back to
      Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the
      wonders that I have put in your power; but I will
      harden his heart, so that he will not let the people
      go.
      22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the LORD:
      Israel is my firstborn son.
      23 I said to you, "Let my son go that he may worship
      me." But you refused to let him go; now I will kill
      your firstborn son.'"

      Moses therefore went as early as chapter 5, and said
      those exact words to pharaoh. Moses obviously thought
      that the thing he was told in 4:21-23 were to be
      fulfilled the VERY NEXT TIME he went to Pharaoh,
      because he said the exact words to Pharaoh in chapter
      5, that he was command by god in 4:21-23 to say to
      Pharaoh.

      >Every time before that Pharaoh
      > hardened his own heart.
      > It's not until 10:20 that it tells us it was God
      > hardening Pharaoh's
      > heart. Go ahead and read it... it's there. I
      > promise!

      Go ahead and read chapter 5, Moses understood god's
      instructions to him and thus the promises in the same
      speech in 4:21-23 as applying to his very next visit
      with Pharaoh, read it, it's there, I promise!

      > >But the analogy can still be true under a Christian
      > >world view! Suppose the parent decides the child
      > >deserves death just like all sinners, and god is
      > now
      > >motivating the parent to just sit still and let
      > death
      > >claim the child?
      > >
      > Now you're just being unreasonable. There's nothing
      > out of a Christian
      > worldview that would make someone reason to let a
      > child suffer for no
      > reason at all, or simply to "play God."

      Then why are you quick to accept Israelite leaders in
      the OT playing god, when they use the "god told us to
      do it" to justify stealing land and lives of other
      people?

      > >And why doesn't your answer to me here,
      > >refute the many times in the OT where the ancient
      > >Israelites used the exact same cheap excuse "god
      > told
      > >us to do it" to justify their bloody deeds?
      > >
      > Two totally different and unrelated situations.

      no rebuttal, I win the point. I think you refused to
      comment because stating your personal wishes was the
      honest extent to which you believed you could argue
      the point without being refuted easily.

      > >You would figure a normal person would get tired of
      > >torturing people that way after a few million
      > years.
      > >But that's just naturalistic evolutionary thinking
      > >that has blinded my eyes with secular humanist
      > poisen
      > >to the true love of god.
      > >
      > Again, God's not gaining anything by this.

      Many Christians, mostly those of the Reformed
      persuasion, said our torture in hell forever, will
      forever glorify god's justice. So god IS gaining, and
      thus the picture of god that you paint, of a god that
      reluctantly lets sinners choose hell, isn't working.
      And the pain is far worse for the sinner in hell, than
      for the god who experiences the loss of one more
      creature in hell. God wishes forever that the sinner
      would have chosen differently (not exactly a bright
      future for god) while the sinner is screaming in
      mindless agony forever in hell; the two cases are very
      far from each other. I hardly think your apologetic
      deserves further review on this point.

      And who
      > says there will be
      > time anymore?

      The limitations of language, which you fault before
      faulting the idea that human language can't express.

      > What if time is to be done away with,
      > just like everything
      > else?

      "done away" is the verb. Like all verbs, there must
      be a time before, during and after the action.

      > What if time is to be done away with (so there must
      be a time before the doing away with time, the time
      DURING the doing away with time, and the time AFTER
      time is done away with),
      > just like everything
      > else?

      Nah, your postulate doesn't make sense.

      > Assuming torture to be going on for 'millions
      > of years' is an
      > assumption that is being made on unsupported
      > grounds.

      Where does the lake of fire ever get extinguished?

      10 And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into
      the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the
      false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and
      night forever and ever....
      15 and anyone whose name was not found written in the
      book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
      (Revelation 20)

      > >Really? he sounds rather confident in matthew 7
      > and
      > >Matthew 25 and he commands them off into flames.
      > >
      > That's because He's not only a loving Father, but
      > he's also a Judge.

      No loving father let's those whom they love, make
      deadly mistakes, if the father has ability and
      opportunity to prevent them from doing so. Otherwise
      you are now talking about a "love" that cannot be
      defined in any way that will make sense on earth, and
      thus subject yourself to conjuring up incoherent
      ideas, which will cause you to fallaciously once again
      blame human language limitations instead of the idea
      itself.

      > If
      > you don't accept Him as your Father, He will one day
      > be your Judge.

      That's not what a true loving being would do. Unless
      you define love as a "hitler" sort of love, and then
      demand that other people disagree with it only because
      they are blind. It ain't looking good.

      > >Your logic doesn't make any sense. You might as
      > well
      > >say Hitler wasn't sadistic, because he only ordered
      > >Jews killed out of his presence, and didn't
      > actually
      > >stand over them while their heads were sliced off.

      > Sadism involves the suffering of others for one's
      > own personal gain.

      people in hell glorify god's justice as eternal
      reminders that god was a righteous judge, amen?

      > Justice involves the suffering of others for their
      > own wrongdoings. God
      > is *not* sadistic.

      So if my son steals candy from the neighbor's house
      (sinner sinning), and I spank him without ever ceasing
      for 20 years (god sending sinners to hell that never
      ends), I am NOT sadistic.

      > >I already proved in a previous post that god is
      > >wasting his time crying about people that are lost
      > in
      > >hell, because I showed a way he could achieve ALL
      > that
      > >he wanted without anybody going to hell and without
      > >violating human freewill.
      > >
      > If you had, this debate wouldn't still be going on.

      I've also proved that the book of mormon is full of
      contradictions to the Mormons. They insist I have
      not, otherwise, my debate with them wouldn't be going
      on as long as it does.

      What do you think? Do you think perhaps the debate is
      still going on with the Mormons because IN SPITE OF
      HAVING PROVED MY CASE, their religion absolutely
      forbids them any reason to disbelieve?

      > >To say that you were given faith, but that this
      > didn't
      > >cause you to be faithful, doesn't make a whole lot
      > of
      > >sense.
      > >
      > Someone can give you batteries, and you can choose
      > to never use them.
      > Doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but it is
      > possible.

      No comparison. I can imagine someone being given
      batteries and not using them. But I cannot imagine a
      person who was given faith, but chose not to use it.

      Your logic necessarily requires the opposite to be
      real as well. Please point out a few people who were
      NOT given faith, so that I may know that "people who
      were given faith" is something more than a fantasy.

      > "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:
      > and the knowledge of the holy is understanding."
      > Proverbs 9:10 (KJV)

      It's bible verses like that that cause people to
      automatically reject knowledge that refutes their
      beliefs. The rebuttal didn't come from the wisdom of
      what they accept as god; it must be a false rebuttal
      therefore. How untrue.

      Your bible verse is nothing different than

      "Acceptance of the book of Mormon is the beginning of
      wisdom. Do they reject the book of mormon? Then they
      don't have wisdom"

      It's the same exact thinking.

      i will not pursue this gargantuan effort with you
      further. That means I will not fault you for not
      responding to all the points, though you can so
      respond if you wish. I desire to concentrate on the
      Trinity as being "persons", and with the next stage of
      that argument that somebody advanced, to prove that
      immaterial persons could exist.

      I was asked if a thought was material, so let's stick
      with the mind/brain problem for now.



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    • Robert Bowman
      All, I have added another new feature to the CBA web site, called the Apologetics Answer Alert (AAA). This feature draws attention to a recent book or article
      Message 40 of 40 , Mar 5, 2005
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        All,

        I have added another new feature to the CBA web site, called the Apologetics
        Answer Alert (AAA). This feature draws attention to a recent book or article
        attacking some aspect of Christianity that merits an apologetics response.
        The first AAA concerns a newspaper opinion piece that argues that the Ten
        Commandments are antithetical to American values. For details, visit the
        home page of our web site (see link below).

        In Christ's service,

        Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
        Center for Biblical Apologetics
        Online: http://www.biblicalapologetics.net
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