To Deny God is to deny life

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To Deny God is to deny life

Life requires an all-powerful being, God, to even exist. Life is too complex to simply be something that fell into place. The replication of DNA to formation and cooperation of cells. The very beginning of matter requires God.


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how can a scientist

how can a scientist reproduce something that is not material?

 

how can you prove that God can't be there (yes i know the "can" part oo, it can't be proven on my side either to my knowledge) 


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I'm talking about

I'm talking about re-producing results based on scientific experimentation.  Evolution is an observable and producible phenomenon through genetic research and experimentation.  It is also observable through fossilized evidence. 

Perhaps someone with a better background in evolutionary biology could pipe in?  I was denied a normal education, which I've only made up for partially in my own time. 

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Quote: Answer: Because we

Quote:
Answer:

Because we are imperfect and create things that are imperfect.

God by definition is perfect, therefore all things that come from him MUST be perfect.  Perfection can not create imperfection, otherwise this thing ceases to be perfect.  Likewise, an imperfect thing cannot create perfection.  You're either perfect or you're not, there is no gray area here.

If you were perfect, you would be God. If God caused a perfect thing, He would be merely willing His own existence. It does not follow from the premise "God is perfect," that "all created things must be perfect." The premise I believe you to be alluding to is that, "the effect must be like the cause." In this way, human beings and the rest of creation are like God, but not identical with Him. You use, "perfection cannot create imperfection, else it would be imperfect," but this is misleading. Perfection only creates perfections, not necessarily perfect beings. God creates existing things, not non-existing things (which is a contradiction). In other words, God does not create imperfection, it is merely a negative term indicating that the being lacks in some way the perfect being of God.

Quote:
 

But all the good stuff that happens is the work of God?  I hope this isn't your case, it's rather flawed.

Lets say it's not, you still don't want to play this hand.  You say it's human nature...okay, who created nature?  Beyond that, who created disease?

Further, how is HUMAN nature responsible for diseases we didn't create?!  Again, I'd like Peer Reviewed evidence here.  I demand it, in fact.

I'm still waiting for your other naked assertions to be backed by Peer Reviewed papers, and published articles by some of the top scientists.  Chop chop this is now the second time I've asked you.

God does not cause evil, as evil indicates an imperfection, or a lack of being. It would be a contradiction to say that God gives being to non-being. God allows evil to exist for a greater good. Moral evil is a result of free will. The evil that resulted from the fall (death, disease, ect.) was not of God's direct intention, but the result of human choice in turning away from God. As per Catholic/Christian faith, God, as a result, sent His Son in an attempt to bring humanity back to God and to save them from death. As the Exsultet (the Catholic hymn announcing Easter) says:

O certe necessarium Adae peccatum,
quod Christi morte deletum est!
O felix culpa,
quae talem ac tantum meruit habere Redemptorem!

O necessary sin of Adam, O happy fault, which gained for us so great a Redeemer!

(though this is not a literal translation of the Latin)

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

  

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote:

StMichael wrote:

Answer:

God by definition is perfect, therefore all things that come from him MUST be perfect. Perfection can not create imperfection, otherwise this thing ceases to be perfect.

 

Ahem...clears throat:

Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things].

I guess "I the LORD" isn't perfect, eh?

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First, Sacred Scripture

First, Sacred Scripture uses metaphors; get over it.

Second, the evil referred to in the text is to natural evils (light vs. darkness, peace vs. evil, afflictions and punishments versus consolations and pleasures). God causes all these things by His Providence according to His wisdom so that they work out for the salvation of men. He never creates evil in the sense of moral evil - sin. This is indicated elsewhere in Scripture:

In the book of Wisdom, "11:25. For thou lovest all things that are, and hatest none of the things which thou hast made: for thou didst not appoint, or make any thing hating it. 11:26. And how could any thing endure, if thou wouldst not? or be preserved, if not called by thee? 11:27. But thou sparest all: because they are thine, O Lord, who lovest souls."

Those places in Sacred Scripture where God is said to turn people over to sin, or to 'harden their hearts,' are not the same as God being the direct or even indirect cause of sin. God can do neither. The sense in which these passages are interpreted are such that God allows sinful men to follow their own desires and does not actively stop them in their sin. In this way, He 'turns them over' to sin, rather than causing it. 

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote: First,

StMichael wrote:

First, Sacred Scripture uses metaphors; get over it.

My, my. Look who's getting irritated. Smiling I must have hit a nerve.

So...who gets to decide what's a metaphor and what's not? You?

If the word of god is so important, why couldn't god have made it easy for everyone to understand? Why does he need people like you to translate it for me?

God says, "I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things." That seems pretty straightforward to me. I'm amazed and appalled when I see Christians like you twist the Bible to meet their own meanings, to save their own delusional beliefs. In effect, you're saying, "The Bible doesn't say what it says. It doesn't! It doesn't! It doesn't!"


StMichael wrote:
Second, the evil referred to in the text is to natural evils (light vs. darkness, peace vs. evil, afflictions and punishments versus consolations and pleasures). God causes all these things by His Providence according to His wisdom so that they work out for the salvation of men. He never creates evil in the sense of moral evil - sin.

Once again you're interpreting the Bible to meet your own meaning. I didn't see any such qualifiers when I read Isaiah 45.

When the Bible makes absurd claims and promotes immorality, theologists have to go into contortions to explain it away. Why can't we just admit that the bible means what it says? Oh yeah, that's right: because it 1) is illogical, 2) doesn't make sense, 3) contradicts facts or other parts of scripture, 4) makes YHWH look bad (which is pretty much what YHWH is into: making himself look bad).

And if you tell me I have to "believe" to understand or study the original Hebrew, again I will ask: If the word of god is so important, why didn't he make it easy for everyone to understand? Why didn't he make sure each translation was without error?

Let's take it a step further. He's god, right? He knows everything, right? How come he wasted so much space on telling people which kinds of food could be eaten and which kinds of cloth could be worn together? Why is he so whiny, clamoring for mere humans to worship and believe in him? I mean, we could have used some knowledge. God could have told us about microorganisms, for example. He could have told us how important it is to wash our hands and boil water. He could have done a lot of things, but instead he insisted on using most of the bible to kill people and demand worship. What a homicidal and insecure bastard YHWH is! What a wasted opportunity! And what a wasted life for those who actually buy into this crap!

StMichael wrote:
This is indicated elsewhere in Scripture: In the book of Wisdom,

Last time I checked, the Book of Wisdom wasn't a canonical book, at least according to Protestants who make up most of America's Christians, so I'll just ignore it. The fact that some Christians have a different canon of "inspired scripture" should also raise a red flag.

Again I say: If scripture is so godawful important, why can't Christians agree on which books should be canonical? Why can't Christians agree about what god is "really" trying to say? Why are there a bazillion sects and denominations? Could it be that perhaps the scriptures aren't very clear? Or aren't very moral? Or aren't very logical? Or contradict other parts of scripture? Could it be that YHWH is portrayed as a homicidal, whiny dick because he doesn't exist?

What a relief such a creature doesn't exist. I certainly wouldn't worship him.

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Iruka Naminori

Iruka Naminori wrote:
StMichael wrote:

Answer:

God by definition is perfect, therefore all things that come from him MUST be perfect. Perfection can not create imperfection, otherwise this thing ceases to be perfect.

 

Ahem...clears throat:

Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things].

I guess "I the LORD" isn't perfect, eh?

 

Um , "I form the light, and create darkness" God is referring to the day (i.e. from the beginning of the sun, to the settingEye-wink "I make peace, and create evil" If you think about it, evil isn't the proper comparison to peace, "disaster" "war" "calamity" is

this is God showing to the people just who He is


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Causing disaster, war, and

Causing disaster, war, and calamity would be an act of evil..

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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You really need to go back

You really need to go back and study the Greek, Michael, as you want to make arguments but you're just not learned enough on the subject matter to make them effectively, and usually your points are simply inadequate or wrong.

To prove this, take a look at the Greek in Isaiah 45:7, "εγω ο κατασκευασας φως και ποιησας σκοτος ο ποιων ειρηνην και κτιζων κακα εγω κυριος ο θεος ο ποιων ταυτα παντα" which when you break it down is very literal. 

Take for example, the phrase "κτιζων" means 'to create, bring into being, bring about, make, build' according to the LSJ 7th Edition.  The root is κτιζων which other Greek writers, like Sophicles, used when discribing inventions or perpetuations.  Never once does it have some sort of twisted meaning.  

In fact, κτιζω appears in other books of the Bible too.  Consider if you will Amos 4: 13, "διοτι ιδου εγω στερεων βροντην και κτιζων πνευμα" when the author of Amos is discussing , "he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought."  Unless you're going to suggest that the term "create" here doesn't mean "create?"  Do you have a better understanding of Greek in which you can show us this doesn't mean what the Greek suggests it means?

The Hebrew is really just as literal.  The Hebrew word used here for "create" is bara' (baw-raw) which when looked up in any Hebrew dictionary doesn't just mean 'create', but it means "to create absolutely, make; or to be QUALIFIED to cut down" - for example a lumberjack.  The only other meaning for this word is "root" as this is also the name of a plant.

So before you go claiming something as a metaphor, make sure the words can't me turned or twisted within the context of the passage.  In fact you should go ahead and show us all how to interpret the passage better with the Greek.  Because you are basically refuting the work of scholars and historians everywhere and guys like myself and Iruka have to point out the reality of it to you.  As Carrier put it, an anology to people like you is that you'll claim irrationally that my lawn is red.  And I have to go through the ridiculous process of finding witnesses and data to prove my law is really green.

Oh, and as per the whole God creating evil thing, there isn't just one passage:

See also Judges 9:23; 1 Sam. 16:14-16, 23, 18:10, 19:9; 1 Kings 14:10, 21:29, 2 Kings 21:12; 2 Chron. 34:24, 28; Isaiah 31:2; Jer. 11:11, 14:16, 18:11, 19:3, 23:12, 26:3, 32:42, 35:17, 36:3, 40:2, 42:10, 42:17, 44:2, 45:5, 49:5, 49:37, 51:64; Lam. 3:38; Exek. 6:10, 14:22, 20:25-26; Amos 3:6; Mic. 1:12, 2:3. (C. Dennis McKinsey, Biblical Errancy: A Reference GuideEnjoy.

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Vastet wrote: Causing

Vastet wrote:
Causing disaster, war, and calamity would be an act of evil..

I'll say. Smiling 


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An aside concerning ancient texts...

Hi Rook,

You're the expert on ancient texts, so I thought I'd ask you some questions. It was my understanding that the Old Testament was mostly written in Hebrew while the New Testament was mostly written in Greek. Yet even as I type that, it doesn't make sense in an historical context. The NT should have been written either in Latin or Aramaic. It makes sense that originally the Old Testament would have been written in ancient Hebrew.

I know we don't have some of the ancient texts in their original language. In some cases, a Greek translation is the the earliest surviving text. Then there was, of course, the Septuagint, which was, in effect, Jewish scripture translated into Greek.

Perhaps you could give us a brief history lesson in another thread or point to a pertinent URL or something you've already written. Now I'm curious. Smiling

The Dead Sea Scrolls...what language were they written in? Okay, I'll shut up now. It's just that I find ancient things of any description fascinating.

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Rook_Hawkins wrote: You

Rook_Hawkins wrote:

You really need to go back and study the Greek, Michael, as you want to make arguments but you're just not learned enough on the subject matter to make them effectively, and usually your points are simply inadequate or wrong.

To prove this, take a look at the Greek in Isaiah 45:7, "εγω ο κατασκευασας φως και ποιησας σκοτος ο ποιων ειρηνην και κτιζων κακα εγω κυριος ο θεος ο ποιων ταυτα παντα" which when you break it down is very literal.

Take for example, the phrase "κτιζων" means 'to create, bring into being, bring about, make, build' according to the LSJ 7th Edition. The root is κτιζων which other Greek writers, like Sophicles, used when discribing inventions or perpetuations. Never once does it have some sort of twisted meaning.

In fact, κτιζω appears in other books of the Bible too. Consider if you will Amos 4: 13, "διοτι ιδου εγω στερεων βροντην και κτιζων πνευμα" when the author of Amos is discussing , "he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought." Unless you're going to suggest that the term "create" here doesn't mean "create?" Do you have a better understanding of Greek in which you can show us this doesn't mean what the Greek suggests it means?

The Hebrew is really just as literal. The Hebrew word used here for "create" is bara' (baw-raw) which when looked up in any Hebrew dictionary doesn't just mean 'create', but it means "to create absolutely, make; or to be QUALIFIED to cut down" - for example a lumberjack. The only other meaning for this word is "root" as this is also the name of a plant.

Wow!  Thanks for the language lesson.  Very interesting stuff! 


Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Oh, and as per the whole God creating evil thing, there isn't just one passage:

See also Judges 9:23; 1 Sam. 16:14-16, 23, 18:10, 19:9; 1 Kings 14:10, 21:29, 2 Kings 21:12; 2 Chron. 34:24, 28; Isaiah 31:2; Jer. 11:11, 14:16, 18:11, 19:3, 23:12, 26:3, 32:42, 35:17, 36:3, 40:2, 42:10, 42:17, 44:2, 45:5, 49:5, 49:37, 51:64; Lam. 3:38; Exek. 6:10, 14:22, 20:25-26; Amos 3:6; Mic. 1:12, 2:3. (C. Dennis McKinsey, Biblical Errancy: A Reference Guide) Enjoy.

That's a buttload of verses.  I found a few, but nothing like this. Smiling  It will be interesting to look at these. 

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StMichael wrote: First,

StMichael wrote:

First, Sacred Scripture uses metaphors; get over it.

Why is it that Christians take the Bible literally when it is written metaphorically? If God has something on His mind why doesn't He say it clearly? He would rather leave it up to interpretation and then be a prick and punish us eternally if it is interpreted wrong? How do you know when the Bible is speaking metaphorically and when it is to be taken literally? Couldn't the resurrection of Jesus be a metaphor for something and not a literal event?


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Iruka Naminori wrote: Hi

Iruka Naminori wrote:

Hi Rook,

You're the expert on ancient texts, so I thought I'd ask you some questions.

Sounds good. 

Quote:
 It was my understanding that the Old Testament was mostly written in Hebrew while the New Testament was mostly written in Greek. Yet even as I type that, it doesn't make sense in an historical context. The NT should have been written either in Latin or Aramaic. It makes sense that originally the Old Testament would have been written in ancient Hebrew.

Actually, blame the clergy/preachers for this one.  The Old Testament - or the group of texts that make it up, were translated into many languages before they were codified into the Hebrew Testament in the second century CE.  (Although the Greek Septuagint existed much longer and the Greek texts were found at Masada and the Qumram region)  Some texts were written in Coptic and variant versions of Hebrew.  Greek was the most common at the time, mainly for hellenistic sects of Judaism, it's important to remember there were nearly 30+ jewish sects that we know about, many we probably don't. 

The New Testament took many forms.  It was for the most part (90% or so) written in Greek, the epistles of Paul and the pseudographs were all written by intelligent and learned individuals who wrote in, at this time the elitest language.  Latin was used mainly by Roman authoritative pros, or legistaltive or judicial matters, or magistrative matters.  The Gospels, likewise, were written in Greek.  In fact the first several codices we have (dating from the Vaticanus on) were compiled in Greek.  The Septuagint was chosen by the Ecumenical councils because the Greek was easy to manipulate where the Hebrew was much harder.  That and it was also more practical to have one codice in one language.

It wasn't until the Latin Vulgate (the Latin Codex) appeared some hundred years later that you see the decay of the Greek text.  And it wasn't really (although some came before him) William Tyndale who sat down and wrote out a copy of the Bible into english before 1611.  Tyndale was later excommunicated and executed for heresy by the church.  Others took over where he left off.

 

I know we don't have some of the ancient texts in their original language. In some cases, a Greek translation is the the earliest surviving text. Then there was, of course, the Septuagint, which was, in effect, Jewish scripture translated into Greek.

Perhaps you could give us a brief history lesson in another thread or point to a pertinent URL or something you've already written. Now I'm curious. Smiling

The Dead Sea Scrolls...what language were they written in? Okay, I'll shut up now. It's just that I find ancient things of any description fascinating.

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Quote: When the Bible

Quote:
When the Bible makes absurd claims and promotes immorality, theologists have to go into contortions to explain it away. Why can't we just admit that the bible means what it says? Oh yeah, that's right: because it 1) is illogical, 2) doesn't make sense, 3) contradicts facts or other parts of scripture, 4) makes YHWH look bad (which is pretty much what YHWH is into: making himself look bad).

I would argue that the Scriptures do no such thing. Again, it depends on your interpretation of the text (of which I will be speaking of more later).

Quote:
And if you tell me I have to "believe" to understand or study the original Hebrew,

I do not believe everyone has to look at the original Hebrew in order to understand Scripture. However, there is a certain amount of belief required to understand the interpretation of Scripture. I think that a great deal can be said a priori apart from belief about Scripture, but I cannot really see how an atheist could argue against a Christian with proof from Sacred Scripture. The reason why not would be that it is a text of whose authority is accepted on faith, not on reason. I could say that the text is internally coherent and show that it does not contradict reason if interpreted properly. While a lot of that interpretation is based on natural inquiry into the text (biblical criticism), the main authority in Scripture is the text's own authority as revealed by God. The proper interpretation of the text is likewise accepted on faith, not on reason's grounds (by which I mean, natural enquiry into the text). I can go so far with reason, but Scripture is a document whose authority is accepted on faith. Just wanted to point that out.

Quote:

again I will ask: If the word of god is so important, why didn't he make it easy for everyone to understand? Why didn't he make sure each translation was without error?

Frankly, as Catholics, we believe God has given a mechanism to safeguard the proper interpretation of Scripture: the Catholic Church. The Scriptures are difficult to understand without aid (think of Philip and the eunuch). The Church exists to ensure that all men know and do what is necessary for their salvation and to ensure that the doctrine of the Church is preserved.

Quote:

Let's take it a step further. He's god, right? He knows everything, right? How come he wasted so much space on telling people which kinds of food could be eaten and which kinds of cloth could be worn together? it is to wash our hands and boil water. He could haWhy is he so whiny, clamoring for mere humans to worship and believe in him? I mean, we could have used some knowledge. God could have told us about microorganisms, for example. He could have told us how important ve done a lot of things, but instead he insisted on using most of the bible to kill people and demand worship. What a homicidal and insecure bastard YHWH is! What a wasted opportunity! And what a wasted life for those who actually buy into this crap!

On a sidenote, I think it would be a waste of time had God written a manual of scientific knowledge. Not because science is unimportant, but because it would be infinite in depth and would do nobody any good in the all-important area of the salvation of souls. Rather, Scripture's aim is to save souls. The Scriptures contain metaphor and poetry, stories and literal accounts; nevertheless, the message is still salvation.

Quote:
 

StMichael wrote: This is indicated elsewhere in Scripture: In the book of Wisdom, Last time I checked, the Book of Wisdom wasn't a canonical book, at least according to Protestants who make up most of America's Christians, so I'll just ignore it. The fact that some Christians have a different canon of "inspired scripture" should also raise a red flag. Again I say: If scripture is so godawful important, why can't Christians agree on which books should be canonical? Why can't Christians agree about what god is "really" trying to say? Why are there a bazillion sects and denominations? Could it be that perhaps the scriptures aren't very clear? Or aren't very moral? Or aren't very logical? Or contradict other parts of scripture? Could it be that YHWH is portrayed as a homicidal, whiny dick because he doesn't exist? What a relief such a creature doesn't exist. I certainly wouldn't worship him.

The fractioning of Christians is one of the most terrible events in history. Christ Himself prayed that "all might be one." It is the Catholic Church's belief that Christ meant to found a Church unified in these areas and thus founded His Church on St. Peter and the Popes in order to remain unified in teaching until the end of time. Most of the fracturing in Christianity has occurred in the past couple hundred years, and it is lamentable. We believe, however, that God was not silly enough not to foresee this happening and provided a mechanism to ensure that His Church would remain unified.

Quote:
You really need to go back and study the Greek, Michael, as you want to make arguments but you're just not learned enough on the subject matter to make them effectively, and usually your points are simply inadequate or wrong.

I admit that my area is not specifically Scripture, but philosophy and systematic theology. However, I believe the text coherent, and I think it can be proven without a PhD (though a more scientific look at the text could prove helpful). If you want, I'll move through this with some more scholarly help.

Quote:
To prove this, take a look at the Greek in Isaiah 45:7, "εγω ο κατασκευασας φως και ποιησας σκοτος ο ποιων ειρηνην και κτιζων κακα εγω κυριος ο θεος ο ποιων ταυτα παντα" which when you break it down is very literal. 

Take for example, the phrase "κτιζων" means 'to create, bring into being, bring about, make, build' according to the LSJ 7th Edition.  The root is κτιζων which other Greek writers, like Sophicles, used when discribing inventions or perpetuations.  Never once does it have some sort of twisted meaning.  

In fact, κτιζω appears in other books of the Bible too.  Consider if you will Amos 4: 13, "διοτι ιδου εγω στερεων βροντην και κτιζων πνευμα" when the author of Amos is discussing , "he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought."  Unless you're going to suggest that the term "create" here doesn't mean "create?"  Do you have a better understanding of Greek in which you can show us this doesn't mean what the Greek suggests it means?

The Hebrew is really just as literal.  The Hebrew word used here for "create" is bara' (baw-raw) which when looked up in any Hebrew dictionary doesn't just mean 'create', but it means "to create absolutely, make; or to be QUALIFIED to cut down" - for example a lumberjack.  The only other meaning for this word is "root" as this is also the name of a plant.

Well, I would begin to point out that these books were not written in Greek, so I believe your view begins badly. Second, the contention that God 'creates' literally is not in contention. The question is the meaning of 'evil' in the passage. God does not create evil; this is both Christian and Jewish doctrine supported by Scripture. I do not think this passage indicates that God creates evil, as evil properly speaking. I believe the interpretation of this text is clearly speaking more directly about God allowing the existence of natural evil (evil being opposed to peace in the text).

I would quote the New Jerome Biblical Commentary on this text, "...evil is not giant swaggering ruthlessly through tht word; somehow, it accomplishes God's will for Israel (Amos 3:6; 4:13; Isa 10:5-20; Judg 2:6-3:6)." This same interpretation that God allows evil to exist in the world is further confirmed wholeheartedly throughout the Scriptures in the Old Testament. I would point out that the entire book of Genesis is precisely on this point.

Quote:
Oh, and as per the whole God creating evil thing, there isn't just one passage:

See also Judges 9:23; 1 Sam. 16:14-16, 23, 18:10, 19:9; 1 Kings 14:10, 21:29, 2 Kings 21:12; 2 Chron. 34:24, 28; Isaiah 31:2; Jer. 11:11, 14:16, 18:11, 19:3, 23:12, 26:3, 32:42, 35:17, 36:3, 40:2, 42:10, 42:17, 44:2, 45:5, 49:5, 49:37, 51:64; Lam. 3:38; Exek. 6:10, 14:22, 20:25-26; Amos 3:6; Mic. 1:12, 2:3. (C. Dennis McKinsey, Biblical Errancy: A Reference GuideEnjoy.

I don't have canned answers to everything. It would be an exercise in futility to analyze all these passages, as I doubt that they would result in any further real discussion and it would take far too long. If you want, we could discuss one or two. However, I would maintain that God does not create evil and that the proper interpretation of these passages indicates that.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

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If god is the creator, but

If god is the creator, but didn't create evil, then there are only two possibilities. Either god is not all powerful, or god is evil himself and simply unaware of it. Or, I suppose, aware but intentionally decieving you. Either way, this is a critical argument that always falls apart. No matter how it's interpretted, god is not perfect, therefore god does not exist.

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StMichael
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  Quote: If god is the

 

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If god is the creator, but didn't create evil, then there are only two possibilities. Either god is not all powerful, or god is evil himself and simply unaware of it. Or, I suppose, aware but intentionally decieving you. Either way, this is a critical argument that always falls apart. No matter how it's interpretted, god is not perfect, therefore god does not exist.

This argument falls apart for a few reasons. First, because something can not be and not be in the same way, at the same time. God cannot cause things that do not exist. It would be an utter and absolute contradiction. It has nothing to do with being 'all-powerful,' as it falls beyond God power. He can do all things, not nonsense. Second, that God is evil does not follow from this argument. Third, God would not be evil for allowing evil to exist because He brings about a greater good for it.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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Quote: This argument falls

Quote:
This argument falls apart for a few reasons. First, because something can not be and not be in the same way, at the same time. God cannot cause things that do not exist. It would be an utter and absolute contradiction. It has nothing to do with being 'all-powerful,' as it falls beyond God power. He can do all things, not nonsense.

Excuse me? You're the contradiction. You first attribute super powers to your deity, and then you think you can limit them. You think you understand god. And you have the sheer arrogance to assume noone else can understand what you do. Here's arrogance for you: You're living a lie. Your god does not exist. It never has, it never will. You cannot prove this statement false. You cannot even provide cooincidental evidence to call it into doubt. You cannot prove me wrong. Every post you lay down furthers my argument.

 

Quote:

 Second, that God is evil does not follow from this argument. Third, God would not be evil for allowing evil to exist because He brings about a greater good for it.

On the contrary. It does follow. Bringing about evil cannot create greater good, even if they were to exist. And they don't. You're just unwilling to accept the contradictions in logic and physics that prove your god impossible.

 

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Quote: Excuse me? You're

Quote:

Excuse me? You're the contradiction. You first attribute super powers to your deity, and then you think you can limit them. You think you understand god. And you have the sheer arrogance to assume noone else can understand what you do. Here's arrogance for you: You're living a lie. Your god does not exist. It never has, it never will. You cannot prove this statement false. You cannot even provide cooincidental evidence to call it into doubt. You cannot prove me wrong. Every post you lay down furthers my argument.

Frankly, I do not give "super powers" to God, nor does Christianity. God is 'limited' by His own existence, which is necessary. God exists as the foundation of being, which entails the foundation of truth. God cannot contradict Himself, nor can He create nonsense. It has nothing to do with super powers, or even a real limit on omnipotence. God cannot do intrinsically impossible things.

I do not understand what this has to do with arrogance. My religion has its own beliefs and I can define them per its own terms. However, this does not even fall into the realm of something believed, but of something known by natural reason. On the other hand, your own position clearly smacks of something like a very blind faith in your belief that God does not exist. Just because you might not like an idea does not mean you reject it on the basis of your personal feeling about it. If the idea is true, you accept it.

Quote:

On the contrary. It does follow. Bringing about evil cannot create greater good, even if they were to exist. And they don't. You're just unwilling to accept the contradictions in logic and physics that prove your god impossible. 

It is not a bringing about of evil, but a toleration of evil. This is done all the time. We undergo surgery, such as an amputation on a gangrenous limb, undergoing pain and physical harm in order to achieve a greater good - the health of the body. God does not will that evil exist, nor does He create evil, but He allows it to exist to bring about a greater good - our salvation.

I also cannot see how you can claim that evil and good, truth and falsity cannot exist. Your own statements presume that they do (if you want to claim that it is true that there is no God).

Also, you never justify your remark that logic and physics proves God does not exist. I see no contradictions in either that prove that.

Finally, the existence of God is something that most people in history have recognized in one way or another because human reason can attain to this knowledge without revelation. God's existence can be proven a number of ways. First, because of the necessity of a first cause of change in the universe. Second, because of the necessity of a necessary cause of existence. Third, because of the necessity of a first efficent cause. Fourth, because of the necessity of an absolute standard of truth, goodness, or any other transcendental attribute (of which God is the cause). Fifth, because of the fact that things in the universe tend toward ends (and a cause of their ordering towards ends is necessary). In all these ways, God is shown to exist.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote: I

StMichael wrote:

I disagree with Rational Faith's method of trying to prove this the way he is, but I beg to differ with you, Sapient. Faith is and can be rational.

No, it cannot. It's irrational by definition.

Quote:
 

There is no oxymoron. Faith is a type of knowledge whereby we accept certain truths according to a higher authority

And here is the irrationality: you beg the question of the existence of the higher authority, when you can have no grounds at all to do so. You do so even though there is clear evidence that 'faith' based beliefs have no rational grounds.... (i.e. suicide bombers who die for their faith.

 

Quote:
 

(either within religion or without). Faith is a type of knowledge, differing in source (and sometimes object) than natural inquiry

If faith were a type of knowledge, why call it faith at all?

Faith is simply belief  without any rational grounds. It's not an epistemological position, it's a rejection of epistemology.

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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StMichael wrote:  I would

StMichael wrote:

 I would argue that the Scriptures do no such thing.

Actually, just asserting that you'd argue it isn't an argument.

 

Quote:
 

I do not believe everyone has to look at the original Hebrew in order to understand Scripture. However, there is a certain amount of belief required to understand the interpretation of Scripture.

In other words, you have to have a desire to believe it's true, otherwise, it won't work.

Now, you tell me, do you have to have a desire that a mathbook is 'true' to accept it?

 

Quote:
 

Frankly, as Catholics, we believe God has given a mechanism to safeguard the proper interpretation of Scripture: the Catholic Church.

and yet there's a billion christians who reject it. And even within catholicism you see little agreement.  

 

Quote:
 

The Scriptures are difficult to understand without aid

I think you mean, the errors point out clearly unless there are people like you to rationalize the problems away 

 

Now, you tell me: why would an omnipotent, omniscient god need help in transmitting a message to his own creation, a creation for which he is perfectly responsible for?

Care to actually examine the internal contradiction there, or are you already racing towards your next rationaliziation? 

Quote:

On a sidenote, I think it would be a waste of time had God written a manual of scientific knowledge.

Ridiculous! Such a work would be able to stand on its own as evidence of its otherworldy origin!

A book of Euclid stands on its own as a proof of its truth. We don't need any Euclidean clergy going around trying to convince  people that it's true. If your 'god' wanted to actually communicate to us humans, he could have created a book that at least had the credibilty of a geometry text! 

Of course, one really ought to ask why a 'god' is using a book at all. I consider this idea akin to AT&T communicating its most important messages by hiring some kids with tin cans and strings to sent it out. This is basically my version of Thomas Paine's point that a fallible book could never be the means of transmitting a perfect message. 

Yet another clear internal contradiction that must be waved aside by a rationalization.

 

Quote:
 

The fractioning of Christians is one of the most terrible events in history. Christ Himself prayed that "all might be one."

And yet god himself couldn't communicate a clear enough message to fulfill his own wishes

Actually, the problem is far worse for you: your god is perfectly responsible for his own creation, for every parameter of existence that influences the choices that people make, including their personalities......so this 'god' is responsible for the fact that he's not having his wish fulfilled...

 

How utterly odd.... but I'm sure none of these trifles concern you.... 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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StMichael wrote: Frankly,

StMichael wrote:

Frankly, I do not give "super powers" to God, nor does Christianity.

You're flat out wrong here, but I'll get back to this.

Quote:

God is 'limited' by His own existence, which is necessary.

Two metaphysical/ontonlogical errors here.

1) To say that 'god is limited by his existence' is to say that god is natural. To exist is to exist as something, to have positive characteristics. To have identity.

This is how we define natural entities. So you'e 'god' would have to be a natural entity! You've just left theism and entered pantheism

2) To hold that 'existence' is a necessary attribute is to commit a basic error in ontology that we've know about since the time of Kant, if not earlier. Your 'necessary being argument" uses 'existence' as a predicate. But 'existence' is not an attribute that can be used in a predicate, because again, to exist is to exist as something, to have characteristics. The characteristics grant identy.

Please, I've advised you before to read your Kant. I now implore you to do so. Your claims violate basic precepts of ontology.

Now, to expose your claim that the bible does notaver that 'god' is supernatural and without limits:

In some debates with theists, I've seen theists try to run from the logical contradictions inherent in the negative characteristics of omnipotence and omniscience by claiming that the christian god is NOT averred to be omnipotent or omniscient.


The problem with such ad hoc claims is that they are not biblical. Yet to deny what the bible says about the christian god would leave the christian without any basis for his claims at all. Hence, I wish to show here that the bible does assert that god is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, and therefore, the christian is basically trapped by the logical conundrum of an omnimax "god" - i.e. this god is without limits, ergo cannot possess identity.

Important note: Atheists will point to passages in the bible that contradict god's omnipotence in order to show that contradictions exist in the books of the "bible. However, it is an error to take this to imply that the bible does not in fact assert that the christian god is an omnimax god.

For example, the most common citation is in the old testament book of Judges, where it is stated:

1:19 And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.

Some may therefore hold that this "proves that god is not omnipotent."

Let me say first that I do agree that this is a contradiction of god's averred omnipotence. However, it is an error to take from this contradiction that that bible does not assert that god is in fact, omnipotent! In other words, this contradiction is irrelevant vis-a-vis the biblical claim that god is in fact, omnipotent. All this passage shows is that the biblical authors were clearly human - i.e. they made a claim and then bungled the job by contradicting it!

If for example, I assert that 2+2=5, and you respond by stating "Imbecile! 2+2=4!" this does not mean that I did not assert that 2+2=5, all it means is that my assertion is in error!

Now, let's take a look at what the bible states, clearly and obviosly, about god's omnipotence, omniscience and omnibenevolence.


Biblical god's omnipotence


Luke 1:37: For with God nothing shall be impossible.

The following passage is from: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11251c.htm

The omnipotence of God is a dogma of Catholic faith, contained in all the creeds and defined by various councils (cf. Denziger-Bannwart. "Enchiridion", 428, 1790). In the Old Testament there are more than seventy passages in which God is called 'Shaddai', i.e. omnipotent. The Scriptures represent this attribute as infinite power:

Old School

god's omnipotence is so well established, that the genesis writer can't refer to the concept without being sardonic:


Gen.18:14 "Is any thing too hard for the LORD?"

Job 42:1 Then Job answered the LORD, and said,

42:2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.


Jerimiah holds a conference with the creator, and asserts that the big guy is all powerful:


Jer. 32:17 Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:

to which god replies with an affirmative, rhetorical question:

Jer. 32:26 Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying,

32:27 "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?


How can nothing 'be' too hard for thee": if his will is limited by his nature.

Isaiah:

55:11 So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please,and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

1 Kings 8:27
27 "But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!

New School

Matthew 19:26 "But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."

Mark 10:27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Luke 18:27 And he said (jesus), The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.


Rev 19:6 from the KJV - "And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth."



The following passage is from: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11251c.htm

The Greek and Latin Fathers unanimously teach the doctrine of Divine omnipotence.

Origen testifies to this belief when he infers the amplitude of Divine providence from God's omnipotence: "Just as we hold that God is incorporeal and omnipotent and invisible, so likewise do we confess as a certain and immovable dogma that His providence extends to all things" (Genesis, Hom. 3).

St. Augustine defends omnipotence against the Manichaeans, who taught that God is unable to overcome evil (Haeres, xlvi and Enchir., c. 100); and he speaks of this dogma as a truth recognized even by pagans, and which no reasonable person can question (Serm. 240, de temp., c. ii).

Reason itself proves the omnipotence of God. "Since every agent produces an effect similar to itself," says St. Thomas (Summa, I, Q. xxv, a. 3), "to every active power there must correspond as proper object, a category of possibilities proportioned to the cause possessing that power, e.g. the power of heating has for its proper object that which can be heated. Now Divine Being, which is the basis of Divine power, is infinite, not being limited to any category of being but containing within itself the perfection of all being. Consequently all that can be considered as being is contained among the absolute possibilities with respect to which God is omnipotent."


Omniscience


This following states that god is a god of knowlege - implying that he knows all.

1 Samuels 2:3 Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.

God's knowledge is so great that he is able to count the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them, and he even names them all:

Psalm 147:4 '(god) telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.'

God is also said to know even the number of hairs on our heads:

P. 10:30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

Next, god sees everything:

Genesis 22:14. god is called "the Lord Who Sees" (Adonai Yireh).

Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

Not only does god see all, no one can hide from god

Job 42:1 Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
42:2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.

Ps.139:7-8 "Whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there."

Jer.16:17 "For mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes."

Hebrews 4:13) Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

god also hears all

Psalms 94:9 He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?

The inner most thoughts of men are known to god,...

Proverbs 15:11 Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?

1 samuels 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

In case there remains any doubt, this sorta makes my point plainly

Ps.44:21 "He knoweth the secrets of the heart."

Ps.139:2-3 "Thou knowest my down-sitting and mine up-rising; thou understands my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

Paul in the new testament also tells us that god knows our innermost thoughts:

Acts 1:24 "And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men."

Nothing is hidden from god:

Hebrews 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Jer.23:24 "Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth?"

More on predestination here:

http://www.biblegateway.com/topical/topical_resource.php?source=1&tid=3941

matthew assures us that god hears our secret prayers:

matthew 6:2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

6:3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

6:4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

God knows both the past and the future perfectly:

Isaiah 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,

46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

if god says something will happen, it will happen:

Isaiah 46:11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

and he knows all that happens because he causes everything that happens!

matthew 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.

again, god is omniscient because he planned everything perfectly, before any of us even existed:

Peter 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

all that happens is already known to god, and written in his book:

revelations 13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

god knows all because all is already written: the book of revelations also tells us that the damned were damned before they were even born:

17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

jesus also verifies that all was already known to god before any of us were born:

matthew 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

Paul also chimes in and agrees:

Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

an old testament version of this same claim:

Jeremiah 1:4 Now the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee, and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee; I have appointed thee a prophet unto the nations.

From a newer translation:

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations." (NRSV)



See also this thread: http://www.infidelguy.com/ftopic-15493-days0-orderasc-75.html

Finally, Isaiah 41:21-24 emphasizes foreknowledge as a distinguishing characteristic of deity.

"21 Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob.

22 Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come.

23 Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.

24 Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you."




Biblical God's stance as the creator of existence itself

Now that we have ascertained that the god of the bible is without limits, and is omnipotent and omniscient let us now confirm that this god is the supernatural creator of all existence itself, making this god beyond existence (as the term supernatural denotes)


John 1:3 All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that hath been made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

This passage clearly implies that this 'god' creates all the parameters of existence:


Colossians 1:15 who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 for in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him; 17 and he is before all things, and in him all things consist.

Ephesians 3:9 and to make all men see what is the dispensation of the mystery which for ages hath been hid in God who created all things;

Revelation 4:11 Worthy art thou, our Lord and our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power: for thou didst create all things, and because of thy will they were, and were created.

Romans 4:17 (as it is written, A father of many nations have I made thee) before him whom he believed, even God, who giveth life to the dead, and calleth the things that are not, as though they were.

 

It should now be clear that the bible defines god negatively, as omnipotent, omniscient, and outside of existence as its creator....
As per negative theology, a supernatural "being" is necessarily imcomprehensible.

The bible itself states this in Job 11:7-9

7 "Can you fathom the mysteries of God?
Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?

8 They are higher than the heavens—what can you do?
They are deeper than the depths of the grave [a] —what can you know?

9 Their measure is longer than the earth
and wider than the sea.

This passage does not deny that one can believe in a god, but it denies that one can know anything about this 'god'.



Other passages affirming this:

Incomprehensible:
(God cannot be fully known.)

OT: Job 9:10; 36:26; Ps 139:6; 145:3; Isa 40:28; 55:8f.

NT: Rom 11:33-36; 1Cor 2:11,16; Eph 3:9; Phil 4:7.


Immanaul Kant

Kant states that man can have no direct knowledge of a transcendent being.

On Kant: http://www.hkbu.edu.hk/~ppp/srp/arts/KTS.html

 

Kant also gives us a good argument for why we cannot include existence as a characteristic (i.e. the necessary being argument)

 

Martin Luther


Luther states clearly that no man can have knowledge of god, save for revelation, which is natural - natural symbols such as the bible, or jesus.


This has direct biblical support:

Deuteronomy 29:29

29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.


More on Luther found here: http://www.candleinthedark.com/luther.html


http://atheism.about.com/od/theology/a/negative.htm

On negative theology:

St. Macrina explained this method in this manner: "In the very act of saying that a thing is `not so and so,' we by implication interpret the very nature of the thing in question." (Pelikan 205) (Incorrect - without a universe of discourse, this is not possible) This form of apophaticism is more pervasive than might be realized. Words such as "infinite" and "ineffable" are obviously negative. Less apparent is the negation hidden in words like "individual" or "immense" (not measurable). Finally there is apophaticism hidden even in positive terms. For example, one defines God as "free" in order to show that He lacks the contrarieties found in finite creatures, and one calls Him "alive" merely to discriminate His nature from that of the lifeless. (James 431)

http://bahai-library.com/personal/jw/my.papers/apophatic.html

And

St. Augustine wrote:

What then, brethren, shall we say of God? For if thou hast been able to understand what thou wouldest say, it is not God. If thou hast been able to comprehend it, thou hast comprehended something else instead of God. If thou hast been able to comprehend him as thou thinkest, by so thinking thou hast deceived thyself. This then is not God, if thou hast comprehended it; but if this be God, thou has not comprehended it.

Gregory of Nyssa wrote:

‘Since Moses was alone, by having been stripped as it were of the people’s fear, he boldly approached the very darkness itself and entered the invisible things where he was no longer seen by those watching. After he entered the inner sanctuary of the divine mystical doctrine, there, while not being seen, he was in company with the Invisible. He teaches, I think, by the things he did that the one who is going to associate intimately with God must go beyond all that is visible and—lifting up his own mind, as to a mountaintop, to the invisible and incomprehensible—believe that the divine is there where the understanding does not reach.’

—Gregory of Nyssa

Life of Moses, §46

Keith Augustine wrote:

As defined by philosopher Paul Draper, naturalism is "the hypothesis that the physical world is a 'closed system' in the sense that nothing that is neither a part nor a product of it can affect it." More simply, it is the denial of the existence of supernatural causes. In rejecting the reality of supernatural events, forces, or entities, naturalism is the antithesis of supernaturalism. I agree that once we subtract out the natural, there is no positively characterized ontological category to which the nonnatural or supernatural belongs.

George Smith wrote:

All of the supposedly positive qualities of God arise in a distinctively human context of finite existence, and when wrenched from this context to apply to a supernatural being, they cease to have meaning.

Derrida:

"Considering that every predicative language is inadequate to the essence, in truth to the hyperessentiality (the being beyond Being) of God; consequently, only a negative (‘apophatic’) attribution can claim to approach God and to prepare for a silent intuition of God." - Jacques Derrida

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus:
3.032 It is as impossible to represent in language anything that 'contradicts logic' as it is in geometry to represent by its coordinates a figure that contradicts the laws of space, or to give the coordinates of a point that does not exist.


P1 God is ‘above’ logic
P2 Therefore he is not bound to it
P3 Which means he can do the logically impossible.
P4 We cannot represent anything that contradicts logic.
C1 Therefore we cannot represent god. At all.
C2 Hence talking of god is necessarily incoherent and meaningless.

QED

 

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Sapient wrote: StMichael

Sapient wrote:
StMichael wrote:

I have been proving the existence of God, and have offered one proof for His existence.

Feel free to repost it, I missed it.

Quote:

To Deny God is to deny life

I deny god.

*poof Sapient collapses in a sudden heart attack*

 

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To deny god is to deny holy

To deny god is to deny holy wars.


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Vastet wrote: If god is the

Vastet wrote:
If god is the creator, but didn't create evil, then there are only two possibilities. Either god is not all powerful, or god is evil himself and simply unaware of it. Or, I suppose, aware but intentionally decieving you. Either way, this is a critical argument that always falls apart. No matter how it's interpretted, god is not perfect, therefore god does not exist.

How many years ago did Epicurus make this argument to demolish the idea of a perfect god?  Yet so many persist in delusion. Sad

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.  Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.  Is he both able and willing?  Then whence cometh evil?  Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"  -Epicurus  

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My golly, we are reaching

My golly, we are reaching back to the beginning of this discussion! Back to faith again, as well, I see! Ah well, on we go. For those not terrifically interested in the specific points of the discussion, I provide a summary at the end.

Quote:

...[Faith]'s irrational by definition.

...

And here is the irrationality: you beg the question of the existence of the higher authority, when you can have no grounds at all to do so. You do so even though there is clear evidence that 'faith' based beliefs have no rational grounds.... (i.e. suicide bombers who die for their faith.

Faith does not beg the question of God's existence. We assume God exists, yes, but it does not properly beg the question. Faith assumes God exists, but does not properly deal with the fact that He exists. The same is true of a good deal of things faith assumes (such as the fact that I exist for the revelation to be given to me).

I would point out that I began a discussion of God's existence in a more recent post in this forum (according to how it can be logically proven).

Faith has a two-fold logical ground: by internal coherence (not contradicting what we already know naturally), as well as according to the fact that the belief in general is made logically. We believe in what God has revealed because it seems worthy of belief; in other words, because it seems to 'make sense' or be a probable belief. If we want to be rather theological (which of course is no way binding as any form of proof in this conversation) God's own authority in the supernatural gift of faith through grace is an additional way in which faith is rational - because it proceeds from Truth itself and hence cannot be untruthful.

I would point out that suicide bombers fall into a seperate category of people who do not necessarily fit into this category. I would also point out that such people are not in the mainstream of the Christian, let alone most, religions.

Quote:

...

If faith were a type of knowledge, why call it faith at all?

Faith is simply belief  without any rational grounds. It's not an epistemological position, it's a rejection of epistemology.

I would point out that you like to continually impose your own interpretation on the terms of the debate. You are challenging the Christian faith, not your own concept of what faith means. This entails that you must hypothetically accept the Christian beliefs accurately in order to criticize them. If you use your own definition of faith, that is not an accurate criticism. However, I would likewise point out that faith, commonly speaking, corresponds to my definition. Faith, in common speech, is acceptance of a proposition as true due to the authority of another, such as when I accept that the earth revolves around the sun on the authority of my teachers and the scientists who have discovered it. Religious faith is a subspecies of this knowledge.

It is a type of knowledge, but as a type of knowledge it has a proper name: "faith." It is likewise not a rejection of epistemology, but an acknowledgement of proper epistemology that the human reason, acting on its own power, cannot discover certain truths. Thus, acting on a superior authority, we accept these precepts as true. This is what Christians understand faith to be (or at least, this is what reason would tell us true faith consists in, and this is further what the Catholic Church defines as faith).

Quote:

In other words, you have to have a desire to believe it's true, otherwise, it won't work.

Now, you tell me, do you have to have a desire that a mathbook is 'true' to accept it?

Frankly, I was just making a conjecture that it seems odd debating with people who do not accept the authority of the text in the first place. I can argue the text, however, as it remains consistent.

My own desires or beliefs only have to do with it insofar as it is accepted as true by myself. It has nothing to do with a 'desire for it to be true' as faith does not consist in a desire.

Lastly, a math book is of a different character from the Sacred Scriptures, and that is basically my point in speaking about it. I cannot prove to you that the Scriptures are true because they concern themselves with articles of faith and in fact their own authority is dependent upon belief that they are revealed. That does not mean they are untrue, they are just have a different character.

Quote:
and yet there's a billion christians who reject it. And even within catholicism you see little agreement.  

I don't know about a billion Christians, but I would agree that many people would disagree. I would believe them to be wrong both by my faith and by my natural reason which tells me that 'sola scriptura' is not a tenable position. Also, Catholics do agree that the Church exists to ensure proper interpretation of Scripture (we might have internal disputes over other things, but Catholics accept this proposition, otherwise they are not Catholic. Period.).

On the other hand, I find this rather irrelevant to the discussion.

Quote:

...

Now, you tell me: why would an omnipotent, omniscient god need help in transmitting a message to his own creation, a creation for which he is perfectly responsible for?

Care to actually examine the internal contradiction there, or are you already racing towards your next rationaliziation? 

It has nothing to do with ad hoc rationalizations. The Church has believed these things since its inception. It is likewise a matter of natural reason that if God exists, He would act in accord with logic (especially insofar as He is its author).

Specifically, God does not 'need help' in transmitting the message. The Holy Spirit acting by/in the Church is the 'message' and the 'means' of disseminating the message (the Scriptures and their interpretation, the Sacraments, the teaching authority are all one real thing in Christ's Church). God acts ordinarily through natural means to achieve a supernatural end.

Quote:

Ridiculous! Such a work would be able to stand on its own as evidence of its otherworldy origin!

A book of Euclid stands on its own as a proof of its truth. We don't need any Euclidean clergy going around trying to convince  people that it's true. If your 'god' wanted to actually communicate to us humans, he could have created a book that at least had the credibilty of a geometry text! 

First, God dealt with supernatural articles of faith which are unable to be discovered by natural reason. That is precisely the point. Only God knows these things, and only God can reveal them. Second, it would have been useless for God to write a textbook because it could not be proven to be supernatural. Is Euclid's geometry supernatural in the least? Does it point to a supernatural author? No, and any book with was purely a book of natural science would be purely that: natural science. The Scriptures are a textbook of supernatural science. They work according to different principles. God's authority in revealing them is manifested in the miracles which He and His Church work.

Quote:

Of course, one really ought to ask why a 'god' is using a book at all. I consider this idea akin to AT&T communicating its most important messages by hiring some kids with tin cans and strings to sent it out. This is basically my version of Thomas Paine's point that a fallible book could never be the means of transmitting a perfect message. 

God did not just write a book, He founded a Church and gave many miracles to substantiate His claim that He gave the said message. His Revelation was infallible and the Church likewise is infallible as it acts as the organ of His Revelation (in the Scriptures, in Tradition, in Teaching). God did not just give everyone books (like the Gideons, for example Smiling ), but rather sent His Son, sent Apostles, and sent priests. The apostles brought His message and showed forth its truth by great miracles, as did Christ. God sends a person, not a book. The words are tied to the person.

Quote:

Yet another clear internal contradiction that must be waved aside by a rationalization.

It is not an internal contradiction, as you keep repeating with this dismissive attitude. Christian theologians and philosophers have known about these problems for a long time and have nevertheless understood them as not being contradictions. Your attitude seems to indicate nobody in the past 2000 years has ever considered them; frankly, we have and I believe that we have answered them satisfactority.

Quote:
And yet god himself couldn't communicate a clear enough message to fulfill his own wishes

Actually, the problem is far worse for you: your god is perfectly responsible for his own creation, for every parameter of existence that influences the choices that people make, including their personalities......so this 'god' is responsible for the fact that he's not having his wish fulfilled...

In a manner of speaking, God is only indirectly responsible for our faults in that He created us. But He created us with free will. Our own wills are the only thing to blame for refusing freely His love. We are the direct and efficent cause of our disobedience to God. The same goes for why people reject Revelation.

Quote:

How utterly odd.... but I'm sure none of these trifles concern you.... 

I don't understand why you have such an overly dismissive attitude. I place myself here to be at your service, not my own. I am here to answer your questions. Nor do I consider your questions as trifles - they are real difficulties that need to be answered. I propose to give an answer.

Quote:

Two metaphysical/ontonlogical errors here.

1) To say that 'god is limited by his existence' is to say that god is natural. To exist is to exist as something, to have positive characteristics. To have identity.

This is how we define natural entities. So you'e 'god' would have to be a natural entity! You've just left theism and entered pantheism

First, God's essence is His existence. This is the definition God gives in the Old Testament when He says, "I am." It does not say He is natural; He is supernatural in that He is other than creation as its cause. Further, it is not how we define natural entities. It might be how you do so, but it is not contradictory to speak of God as having positive characteristics, at least for Christians.

Quote:

2) To hold that 'existence' is a necessary attribute is to commit a basic error in ontology that we've know about since the time of Kant, if not earlier. Your 'necessary being argument" uses 'existence' as a predicate. But 'existence' is not an attribute that can be used in a predicate, because again, to exist is to exist as something, to have characteristics. The characteristics grant identy.

Please, I've advised you before to read your Kant. I now implore you to do so. Your claims violate basic precepts of ontology.

I would utterly disagree with you. Existence can and is a predicate of ordinary conversation. I can truly say that "the dog exists" as truly as I can say "God exists." Both are predicated existence. On a sidenote, most philosophers have conceded this view post-Kant. Time to move beyond the old boy.

Quote:

Now, to expose your claim that the bible does notaver that 'god' is supernatural and without limits:

In some debates with theists, I've seen theists try to run from the logical contradictions inherent in the negative characteristics of omnipotence and omniscience by claiming that the christian god is NOT averred to be omnipotent or omniscient.

The problem with such ad hoc claims is that they are not biblical. Yet to deny what the bible says about the christian god would leave the christian without any basis for his claims at all. Hence, I wish to show here that the bible does assert that god is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, and therefore, the christian is basically trapped by the logical conundrum of an omnimax "god" - i.e. this god is without limits, ergo cannot possess identity.

Except that I do not deny that God is omnipotent, but go right ahead.

Further, it is incorrect that if God is infinite He cannot possess identity. He possesses identity insofar as He is the cause of things that exist and thus a likeness can exist between Himself and those things caused.

Lastly, I have no idea what 'omnimax' is supposed to imply, as God does not truly fit into this strange, fictional category. God is all-loving, but cannot be said to be all-hating, or something else contradictory, nor do Christians hold it to be such.


Quote:

Let me say first that I do agree that this is a contradiction of god's averred omnipotence.

First, I think that interpretation of the book of Judges very silly for obvious reasons. Second, I think that there is no contradiction in the text. God did not drive the people out of the said valley due to the distrust of the Israelites in God's help in the fight against their enemies. This sort of wording is used elsewhere metaphorically.

Quote:

However, it is an error to take from this contradiction that that bible does not assert that god is in fact, omnipotent!

I would agree that it does not assert that God is not omnipotent.

Quote:
All this passage shows is that the biblical authors were clearly human - i.e. they made a claim and then bungled the job by contradicting it!

I would agree that they were human, but I disagree that the human authors were stupid. Further, I see no internal reason in the text to prove that this is a true contradiction.

Quote:

Biblical god's omnipotence

How can nothing 'be' too hard for thee": if his will is limited by his nature.

I agree with this entire section in that God is truly and really omnipotent. I just disagree that omnipotence involves the ability to do logically impossible things. The reason is because omnipotence is the 'power to do all things,' whereas such a contradiction is a non-thing. Further, it is to be pointed out that to do something against His nature would be to act badly, or to fall short of acting correctly. This God cannot do as it would be a denial of His omnipotence and a denial that God is all-powerful. I would point basically here to the famous formulation (which the Catholic Church holds) taken from Saitn Thomas Aquinas: "Therefore, everything that does not imply a contradiction in terms, is numbered amongst those possible things, in respect of which God is called omnipotent: whereas whatever implies contradiction does not come within the scope of divine omnipotence, because it cannot have the aspect of possibility. Hence it is better to say that such things cannot be done, than that God cannot do them." God can do all possible things. God cannot do something that does not exist in the first place. It indicates no limitation on God, but rather it would be a limitation if God could contradict Himself.

In fact, you quote Aquinas yourself here:

Quote:
Reason itself proves the omnipotence of God. "Since every agent produces an effect similar to itself," says St. Thomas (Summa, I, Q. xxv, a. 3), "to every active power there must correspond as proper object, a category of possibilities proportioned to the cause possessing that power, e.g. the power of heating has for its proper object that which can be heated. Now Divine Being, which is the basis of Divine power, is infinite, not being limited to any category of being but containing within itself the perfection of all being. Consequently all that can be considered as being is contained among the absolute possibilities with respect to which God is omnipotent."

For some reason, I do not think you assert that reason clearly shows that God is all-powerful? You must have just cut and paste this off of some website. It is nevertheless funny to behold.

Quote:
It should now be clear that the bible defines god negatively, as omnipotent, omniscient, and outside of existence as its creator....
As per negative theology, a supernatural "being" is necessarily imcomprehensible.

Actually, the Scripture defines God as omnipotent, omniscient, ect. but not as 'negative.' Further, neither the Scriptures or Catholics or most Christians accept this negative theology that you propose.

Quote:

This passage does not deny that one can believe in a god, but it denies that one can know anything about this 'god'.

That's almost funny as the whole Scriptures is a disclosure of things about God and hence contradicts this statement. The passage does not assert that; it says "who can fathom the mysteries...." This is a different statement from, "You cannot know anything about God." The same goes for the other passages.

Quote:


Immanaul Kant

Kant states that man can have no direct knowledge of a transcendent being.

On Kant: http://www.hkbu.edu.hk/~ppp/srp/arts/KTS.html

 

Kant also gives us a good argument for why we cannot include existence as a characteristic (i.e. the necessary being argument)

I don't see why Kant is such a dogmatic authority with you. I never pull out Aristotle or any other philosopher with whom I agree (of whom I could cite Heideggar, Husserl, Aquinas, Pieper, Maritain, Gilson). Kant does not hold some fantasic weight with me.

Quote:

Martin Luther


Luther states clearly that no man can have knowledge of god, save for revelation, which is natural - natural symbols such as the bible, or jesus.

This has direct biblical support:

Deuteronomy 29:29

29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.

More on Luther found here: http://www.candleinthedark.com/luther.html


http://atheism.about.com/od/theology/a/negative.htm

First, I would point out that the Catholic Church rejects Luther's doctrine basically for precisely the reason that he denies such fundamental parts of Christianity as the compatibility of faith and reason, as well as nature and grace and free will and grace.

Second, the Scriptures support no such thing. The passage speaks of 'secret things' not indicating that this is knowledge of God. Knowledge of God is possible, it is just not comprehensive (which is a big difference). There are further things that have not yet been revealed ("We do not know what we shall be like, but we shall see Him as He is," ect.) but it does not follow that nothing can be known. Further, in faith we know true things about God.

Quote:

On negative theology:

St. Macrina explained this method in this manner: "In the very act of saying that a thing is `not so and so,' we by implication interpret the very nature of the thing in question." (Pelikan 205) (Incorrect - without a universe of discourse, this is not possible) This form of apophaticism is more pervasive than might be realized. Words such as "infinite" and "ineffable" are obviously negative. Less apparent is the negation hidden in words like "individual" or "immense" (not measurable). Finally there is apophaticism hidden even in positive terms. For example, one defines God as "free" in order to show that He lacks the contrarieties found in finite creatures, and one calls Him "alive" merely to discriminate His nature from that of the lifeless. (James 431)

http://bahai-library.com/personal/jw/my.papers/apophatic.html

First, the Ba'hai hold no authority with me or the Church in the area of what they believe. Second, St. Macrina is not implying that nothing can be said about God. In fact, she implies the opposite. If negative theological thought were true and nothing could be said about God, even negative theology (following St. Macrina's statement that to say a negative thing says a positive thing about the substance of the thing) would fail because it would indicate something about God, which would be (following the premise) impossible.

Quote:

St. Augustine wrote:

What then, brethren, shall we say of God? For if thou hast been able to understand what thou wouldest say, it is not God. If thou hast been able to comprehend it, thou hast comprehended something else instead of God. If thou hast been able to comprehend him as thou thinkest, by so thinking thou hast deceived thyself. This then is not God, if thou hast comprehended it; but if this be God, thou has not comprehended it.

This is not new; Catholics hold this. Comprehension of God is different from saying something true about God.

Quote:
Gregory of Nyssa wrote:

‘Since Moses was alone, by having been stripped as it were of the people’s fear, he boldly approached the very darkness itself and entered the invisible things where he was no longer seen by those watching. After he entered the inner sanctuary of the divine mystical doctrine, there, while not being seen, he was in company with the Invisible. He teaches, I think, by the things he did that the one who is going to associate intimately with God must go beyond all that is visible and—lifting up his own mind, as to a mountaintop, to the invisible and incomprehensible—believe that the divine is there where the understanding does not reach.’

—Gregory of Nyssa

Life of Moses, §46

God's essence is beyond human reason's natural reach, but that does not mean that nothing can be said of God. We just cannot speak of God a priori, but we can speak of Him a posteriori (as effect to cause).

 

 

Before I proceed, I would point out that these people's statements are not authoritative. Just because Jacques Derrida says something does not indicate that I hold it as true. Also, their philosophy in my estimation falls apart.

Quote:

Keith Augustine wrote:

As defined by philosopher Paul Draper, naturalism is "the hypothesis that the physical world is a 'closed system' in the sense that nothing that is neither a part nor a product of it can affect it." More simply, it is the denial of the existence of supernatural causes. In rejecting the reality of supernatural events, forces, or entities, naturalism is the antithesis of supernaturalism. I agree that once we subtract out the natural, there is no positively characterized ontological category to which the nonnatural or supernatural belongs.

I would disagree. The supernatural, again, is related to natural as cause to effect and hence a similarity exists.

Quote:

George Smith wrote:

All of the supposedly positive qualities of God arise in a distinctively human context of finite existence, and when wrenched from this context to apply to a supernatural being, they cease to have meaning.

They do not cease to have meaning. They are just not always applied in the same sense. I say God is powerful not in the same sense that a double-A battery is powerful. These terms have meaning because God exists in relation to natural things as their cause. As such, a likeness exists and real things can be said of God because they exist in Him as their cause (and they exist in Him as exemplars of those things we know in finite terms).

Quote:

Derrida:

"Considering that every predicative language is inadequate to the essence, in truth to the hyperessentiality (the being beyond Being) of God; consequently, only a negative (‘apophatic’) attribution can claim to approach God and to prepare for a silent intuition of God." - Jacques Derrida

Except that language can attain to predicate something of God. It cannot predicate it in the same way, but it can predicate something of God because He is related to creation. This very relationship enables our predication (as I have been saying).

 

Quote:

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus:
3.032 It is as impossible to represent in language anything that 'contradicts logic' as it is in geometry to represent by its coordinates a figure that contradicts the laws of space, or to give the coordinates of a point that does not exist.

P1 God is ‘above’ logic
P2 Therefore he is not bound to it
P3 Which means he can do the logically impossible.
P4 We cannot represent anything that contradicts logic.
C1 Therefore we cannot represent god. At all.
C2 Hence talking of god is necessarily incoherent and meaningless.

QED

Except that God cannot do anything illogical, as I said earlier. God, in a certain sense, is not just logical, but is logic. His own identity of essence and existence means that He is being. He cannot also be non-being. This entails that God cannot contradict Himself.

Geez, long discussion.

In sum:

A) Faith is a type of knowledge which is a knowledge based on the authority of another. In religion, faith is knowledge based on God's authority.

B) Faith, then, cannot contradict natural truths because God is the author of both natural and supernatural truths.

C) God is omnipotent in the sense that He can do all things

     1) God cannot do a non-existent action, nor contradict logic. This would be a) a limitation on His power, and b) contrary to His essence (which is His existence).

D) Negative theology is impossible and contradictory because it posits something of God.

E) Negative theology is not held by Catholics or Christians

F) God can be spoken of by human beings because a relationship exists between creation and God as God is the cause of all being. In this way, we can speak of God a posteriori (from effect to cause).

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote: I would

StMichael wrote:
I would point out that suicide bombers fall into a seperate category of people who do not necessarily fit into this category. I would also point out that such people are not in the mainstream of the Christian, let alone most, religions.

 

To me it does not matter that you think that someone is not a Christian or is less of a Christian because they are a Religious Suicide Bomber or don't follow things in the Bible properly or any other such reasons to specify that they are not a Christian or is less of a Christian. What matters to me is that *THEY* believe they are a Christian and that *THEY* believe in God and that *THEY* believe they are doing the right thing according to God's Word.

 

I could find 1000 Christians who would say that you are not a proper Christian and should be dismissed, I then can find 1000 Christians for each one of those first 1000 Christians that would say the same exact thing. 

I'd honestly rather see the 1st Commandment be: Thou shalt not put any gods before your fellow human beings.

 

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Pikachu wrote: To deny god

Pikachu wrote:
To deny god is to deny holy wars.

 

Good one!


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Thank you for providing the

Thank you for providing the summary, Michael.

 A) Faith is a type of knowledge which is a knowledge based on the authority of another. In religion, faith is knowledge based on God's authority.

This is a logical fallacy, appeal to authority.  If I accept your word as true, I also must accept the word of every religious authority on the planet.  I will obviously end up with contradictions, which will prove this notion false.

 B) Faith, then, cannot contradict natural truths because God is the author of both natural and supernatural truths.

If we use natural truth as a test for faith, then it's called reason.

 C) God is omnipotent in the sense that He can do all things

Thank you for completely ignoring the voluminous proofs of the falsehood of this notion.  It makes all of us feel very good about the time we've spent writing them.

1) God cannot do a non-existent action, nor contradict logic. This would be a) a limitation on His power, and b) contrary to His essence (which is His existence).

Then again, thank you for refuting your own argument.  The fact that you can sit there, presumably with a straight face and say that God's inability to do a thing is actually proof of his ability to do anything... well, it's mind boggling.

 D) Negative theology is impossible and contradictory because it posits something of God.

Well, theology is impossible, too.  At least, in any scientific sense.  I suppose I agree that it is impossible to not know nothing about a being that can't exist, although I'm so lost in double negatives that I'm pretty sure it's just easier to say that god is impossible.

Yes, I know I just butchered the logic of your point.  I did it because your point is illogical, and I figured, what the hell...

 E) Negative theology is not held by Catholics or Christians

Um... yeah.   I suppose you mean the true scotsmen, right?

 F) God can be spoken of by human beings because a relationship exists between creation and God as God is the cause of all being. In this way, we can speak of God a posteriori (from effect to cause).

I'm so tired.  All you've done for this entire entry is say, "No, you've got it wrong.  I've got it right."

Nothing you've said is logically coherent.  Lots of people have refuted your arguments, repeatedly.

Why don't you just come out with it?  Just say, "You just have to believe me because I believe I'm right, and I have absolutely no proof of it."

It'll make you feel better, I promise.

I know it would make me feel better.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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StMichael wrote:

StMichael wrote:

Quote:

Excuse me? You're the contradiction. You first attribute super powers to your deity, and then you think you can limit them. You think you understand god. And you have the sheer arrogance to assume noone else can understand what you do. Here's arrogance for you: You're living a lie. Your god does not exist. It never has, it never will. You cannot prove this statement false. You cannot even provide cooincidental evidence to call it into doubt. You cannot prove me wrong. Every post you lay down furthers my argument.

Frankly, I do not give "super powers" to God, nor does Christianity.

Yes you do. It's the only way you can claim it exists in the face of denial. 

Quote:
 God is 'limited' by His own existence, which is necessary. God exists as the foundation of being, which entails the foundation of truth.

If god were truly the foundation of existance, then god would be easily proven. God is not provable at all, and so the foundation of your argument crumbles away.

Quote:
 God cannot contradict Himself, nor can He create nonsense.

And yet according to your beliefs, he did. 

Quote:
 It has nothing to do with super powers, or even a real limit on omnipotence. God cannot do intrinsically impossible things.

Define intrinsically impossible. You have such a flawed understanding of language I'm not always certain you even understand what you're saying.

Quote:
I do not understand what this has to do with arrogance. My religion has its own beliefs and I can define them per its own terms. However, this does not even fall into the realm of something believed, but of something known by natural reason.

It is not known by reason. Natural or otherwise. It is believed. Which means you are spreading a belief, not truth. And you claim to hold the only valid one, which makes you arrogant. Someday you'll get it. You don't seem dimwitted enough to be able to hold off rationality forever.

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 On the other hand, your own position clearly smacks of something like a very blind faith in your belief that God does not exist.

Because you are irrational, and apply irrational logic. You are forwarding a belief I have never had. I was not born with it. It does not require faith to disbelieve your claims. It requires a foundation in reality. Mine is very strong. In order for me to accept your belief, it must therefore be proven. Especially when there are 3 billion other people out there who say your religion is wrong and theirs is the right one. Your understanding of the word faith appears to be as flawed as that of truth and harm.

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Just because you might not like an idea does not mean you reject it on the basis of your personal feeling about it. If the idea is true, you accept it.

Yay! I've been waiting for this one. Congrats on being the first to raise it to me in 15 odd years of debates on religion. Let me let you in on a little secret: I do like the idea that many religions espouse. I wouldn't mind living in heaven for eternity. If it existed. But I'm not going to waste my life on a claim from someone else. If I were to do so, someone could tell me to jump off a bridge and I'd have to listen to them. Otherwise I'd be a hypocrite, like yourself.

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It is not a bringing about of evil, but a toleration of evil.

So you're saying evil always existed, even when there was nothing? What an interestingly flawed concept. If evil always existed, and god always existed, then god must be evil. Thanks for clearing that up.

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 This is done all the time. We undergo surgery, such as an amputation on a gangrenous limb, undergoing pain and physical harm in order to achieve a greater good - the health of the body.

That would imply there were inherrent qualities of the act that were evil, yet there aren't. Especially since evil is only a concept. Not a reality. 

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 God does not will that evil exist, nor does He create evil, but He allows it to exist to bring about a greater good - our salvation.

He allows it to exist, yet didn't create it. That implies he could destroy it. The act of not destroying it is equal to creating it. If he didn't create or destroy it(but is capable of both), then he is evil himself. An biblical act of evil does not lead to a biblically greater good. It leads to more biblical evil as revenge. Creating a vicious cycle.

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I also cannot see how you can claim that evil and good, truth and falsity cannot exist. Your own statements presume that they do (if you want to claim that it is true that there is no God).

I never said truth and falsity do not exist. You simply have flawed perceptions of their meaning. Your lack of capability to understand the nonexistance of good and evil are rooted in the irrationality of your theism.  

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Also, you never justify your remark that logic and physics proves God does not exist. I see no contradictions in either that prove that.

Laws of conservation: Matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed.

The logic you've seen applied from a number of people, but I suspect you are currently incapable of recognizing rational logic. As such, it would follow that you can't understand how logic denies your god. There's really only one way for you to get it.

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Finally, the existence of God is something that most people in history have recognized in one way or another because human reason can attain to this knowledge without revelation.

Nope. Most people in history had no concept of a god. It wasn't until about 50,000 years ago that we would have even been mentally capable of the concept. At which point it became a survival trait. And stayed that way for a very long time. But it is no longer needed to explain existance and give us the courage to explore, and so like any no longer useful trait, it's on the way out.

 

 

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God's existence can be proven a number of ways. First, because of the necessity of a first cause of change in the universe.

That's all well and good, if you can prove the universe had a beginning. And that god was the cause. Which would raise a whole bunch of new questions in science. Otherwise you're merely forwarding an unproven hypothesis. 

 

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Second, because of the necessity of a necessary cause of existence.

Contradictory. Existance doesn't need to be necessary. Unless you can prove that there's a consequence to nonexistance somehow? Lol. Even if you pull that off, you'll be contradicting yourself again. Nonexistance can't be nonexistance if there can be consequence.

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 Third, because of the necessity of a first efficent cause.

At this point I could start repeating myself or refer to earlier statements. I choose the latter.

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 Fourth, because of the necessity of an absolute standard of truth, goodness, or any other transcendental attribute (of which God is the cause).

A fatal flaw. I love those. If there were an absolute standard of goodness, than it would be provable and universal. It is not, and therefore your cause is irrelevant and impossible. 

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 Fifth, because of the fact that things in the universe tend toward ends (and a cause of their ordering towards ends is necessary). In all these ways, God is shown to exist.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

That's like saying there's a god because the grass is green instead of blue. In other words, it's not proof.

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Michael, If: My religion

Michael,

If:

My religion has its own beliefs and I can define them per its own terms. However, this does not even fall into the realm of something believed, but of something known by natural reason.

Then:

Would you mind producing a documented case of a person who had never heard of Christianity, and yet knows the theology?

This is so patently obvious!  If natural reason proves Christianity, then the proof would be people becoming Christians without being taught, complete with the theology in their brains.  Otherwise, this argument is nonsense and you should put it into the trash can.

Seriously, this is probably your weakest argument yet.

Or... did you mean knowledge of the supernatural is an result of natural reason?

If that is so, why does the knowledge of the supernatural defy natural reason?

 

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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The beauty of this theist

The beauty of this theist argument is that I'm living proof it's not true. If it were natural, I would have been a theist. I've never been a theist, so it's not natural.

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This is going to be fun -

This is going to be fun - just thought I should state that. 

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
You really need to go back and study the Greek, Michael, as you want to make arguments but you're just not learned enough on the subject matter to make them effectively, and usually your points are simply inadequate or wrong.

I admit that my area is not specifically Scripture, but philosophy and systematic theology.

So you're an apologetic then?  So you've pretty much proven that you cannot be taken seriously in this area, as your job is literally to make amends for the shortcomings of the text. 

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 However, I believe the text coherent, and I think it can be proven without a PhD (though a more scientific look at the text could prove helpful).

Ironically, that is what I'm doing, and what you're trying to get me away from.  What's more amusing is you find the text coherent.  What exactly does that even MEAN?  I find it coherent as well, does that mean I win a medal?  Quite honestly your talent for stating the irrelevant is dragging down most of our conversations - but again it's your job.

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 If you want, I'll move through this with some more scholarly help.

Quite frankly, my dear, I just don't give a damn.  Honestly, scholarly opinion on these verses are pretty cut and dry.  There is no "contextual" issue, and trying to do as you do - i.e. using other parts of the Bible to sort of "ammend" verses like this is the worst thing you can do.  Psalms was not written by the author of Isaiah, and Isaiah would have definitely had a different context for writing his peice (his people were just conquered by an opposing Empire of people and he witnessed the destruction of almost his entire civilization - the author of Psalms probably didn't have that on his mind).

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To prove this, take a look at the Greek in Isaiah 45:7, "εγω ο κατασκευασας φως και ποιησας σκοτος ο ποιων ειρηνην και κτιζων κακα εγω κυριος ο θεος ο ποιων ταυτα παντα" which when you break it down is very literal. 

Take for example, the phrase "κτιζων" means 'to create, bring into being, bring about, make, build' according to the LSJ 7th Edition.  The root is κτιζων which other Greek writers, like Sophicles, used when discribing inventions or perpetuations.  Never once does it have some sort of twisted meaning.  

In fact, κτιζω appears in other books of the Bible too.  Consider if you will Amos 4: 13, "διοτι ιδου εγω στερεων βροντην και κτιζων πνευμαwhen the author of Amos is discussing , "he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought."  Unless you're going to suggest that the term "create" here doesn't mean "create?"  Do you have a better understanding of Greek in which you can show us this doesn't mean what the Greek suggests it means?

The Hebrew is really just as literal.  The Hebrew word used here for "create" is bara' (baw-raw) which when looked up in any Hebrew dictionary doesn't just mean 'create', but it means "to create absolutely, make; or to be QUALIFIED to cut down" - for example a lumberjack.  The only other meaning for this word is "root" as this is also the name of a plant.

Well, I would begin to point out that these books were not written in Greek, so I believe your view begins badly.

But you USE the Septuagint.  Whether or not it was WRITTEN in Greek originally is quite irrelevant as the version of the Bible Catholics (and all Christians use) is the Greek version.  You do this, again ironically so, because the Greek is easier to mend to your needs in terms of prophecy.  The Hebrew is not so easy to bend, and is pretty sturdy as a word structure.  So your whole case here is worthless.

Second, I've also included the Hebrew, but perhaps you skipped over that part?  I high-lighted the Greek and Hebrew so it's easier for you to understand and perhaps comprehend, because you don't seem to get the picture.

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 Second, the contention that God 'creates' literally is not in contention. The question is the meaning of 'evil' in the passage. God does not create evil;

OKay you just contradicted yourself.  Is the point in contention "evil" or "create?"  Because if you want to argue whether God "created" evil, well you need to go back and read what I wrote, don't you?  Because I already proved, without a doubt, that this passage means what it means using the Greek and Hebrew.  So make up you're mind.

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 this is both Christian and Jewish doctrine supported by Scripture. I do not think this passage indicates that God creates evil, as evil properly speaking. I believe the interpretation of this text is clearly speaking more directly about God allowing the existence of natural evil (evil being opposed to peace in the text).

Again, you deliberately miss the point, or perhaps you just don't have the honesty to admit to being wrong - but we've been through this.  The passage CLEARLY means "crea evil".  The word "evil" in Hebrew - because you'll whine and bitch if I use the Greek first - is ra' from the word ra'a [raw-aw] meaning literally "evil".  So when you combine the two points - theone I made earlier and the one I made now - in Hebrew the line is:

  • Bara' ra' or "creates evil"

 In the Greek, the word used for evil is κακος, which literally means "EVIL."  There is no other translation for this word.  None.  When combined with my earlier point, the Greek line is:

  • και κτιζων κακα or "and creates evil"

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I would quote the New Jerome Biblical Commentary on this text, "...evil is not giant swaggering ruthlessly through tht word; somehow, it accomplishes God's will for Israel (Amos 3:6; 4:13; Isa 10:5-20; Judg 2:6-3:6)." This same interpretation that God allows evil to exist in the world is further confirmed wholeheartedly throughout the Scriptures in the Old Testament. I would point out that the entire book of Genesis is precisely on this point.

Perhaps you need to go back and read the chapter of Isaiah?  The surronding verses are thus:

Isaiah 45:4-7, "For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."

All God is doing here is telling people WHO HE IS.  He is discribing himself, and telling the people what he has done and pretty much going off on some ranting ego-trip.  In no way can that context which you used be applied to the context of the passage.  You are grasping at straws here.  And failing to pick any.  As I have shown over and over you fail to understand the big picture.   

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Oh, and as per the whole God creating evil thing, there isn't just one passage:

See also Judges 9:23; 1 Sam. 16:14-16, 23, 18:10, 19:9; 1 Kings 14:10, 21:29, 2 Kings 21:12; 2 Chron. 34:24, 28; Isaiah 31:2; Jer. 11:11, 14:16, 18:11, 19:3, 23:12, 26:3, 32:42, 35:17, 36:3, 40:2, 42:10, 42:17, 44:2, 45:5, 49:5, 49:37, 51:64; Lam. 3:38; Exek. 6:10, 14:22, 20:25-26; Amos 3:6; Mic. 1:12, 2:3. (C. Dennis McKinsey, Biblical Errancy: A Reference GuideEnjoy.

I don't have canned answers to everything.

At least you can admit you don't think for yourself and can't, by your own admission, form a unique argument of your own. 

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 It would be an exercise in futility to analyze all these passages, as I doubt that they would result in any further real discussion and it would take far too long.

Way to cop out.  First, this would help further discussion, as these verses clearly indicate that God creates evil, and even at times places it in specific areas or destinations.  Second, you aren't doing the analyzing, thus far you've just argued without any factual support, you haven't contended my Greek or Hebrew, thus far you've only shown yourself to be supportive of newadvent.com and not on any other real sources.   

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 If you want, we could discuss one or two. However, I would maintain that God does not create evil and that the proper interpretation of these passages indicates that.

I know you would, because you're dishonest and can't admit when you've been shown to be wrong.  You'll maintain this idea even when it has been shown to contradict the nature of the passage.

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StMichael wrote:My golly,

StMichael wrote:

Faith does not beg the question of God's existence. We assume God exists, yes, but it does not properly beg the question.

If you assume god exists, then you beg the question. That's what 'properly' begging the question means.

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Faith assumes God exists, but does not properly deal with the fact that He exists.

If faith assumes god exists, then it begs the question.

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The same is true of a good deal of things faith assumes (such as the fact that I exist for the revelation to be given to me).

You don't need to take it on faith that you exist, your own existence is unavoidably axiomatic. If you deny that you exist, you defend your existence through retortion! Do you follow this point?

And yet another error hides here: you're conflating contingent faith with theistic faith.

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Faith has a two-fold logical ground: by internal coherence (not contradicting what we already know naturally),

Your attempt to 'resurrect' Aquinas fails. The christian faith involves holding to beliefs that contradict science, such as... the resurrection.

It's painfully obvious that christian claims are at odds with what we know naturally, so I don't know why you thought you could sneak this one by us.

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as well as according to the fact that the belief in general is made logically. We believe in what God has revealed because it seems worthy of belief; in other words, because it seems to 'make sense' or be a probable belief.

Yet there are many logical refutations of your beliefs.

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If we want to be rather theological (which of course is no way binding as any form of proof in this conversation) God's own authority in the supernatural gift of faith through grace is an additional way in which faith is rational

I trust you see that you are again begging the question of your god's existence. Perhaps now you'll see the truth on this matter.

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- because it proceeds from Truth itself and hence cannot be untruthful.

It proceeds from truth, ergo it cannot be untruthful?

BEGGING THE QUESTION

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If faith were a type of knowledge, why call it faith at all?

Faith is simply belief without any rational grounds. It's not an epistemological position, it's a rejection of epistemology.

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I would point out that you like to continually impose your own interpretation on the terms of the debate.

I would like to point out that this is untrue. I's not my own intepretation. Non contingent faith is in fact unjustified belief. This is not a controversial claim. Many theists have no problem accepting that, they recognize that there can be no rational grounds for holding to a belief in the supernatural.

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You are challenging the Christian faith, not your own concept of what faith means.

No, I'm getting you to recognize what the definition of theistic faith is...

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It is a type of knowledge, but as a type of knowledge it has a proper name: "faith." It is likewise not a rejection of epistemology, but an acknowledgement of proper epistemology that the human reason, acting on its own power, cannot discover certain truths. Thus, acting on a superior authority, we accept these precepts as true.

Read this to yourself again:

"Acting on superior authority"

This is the assumption.

I.e. you're begging the quesiton.

You assume what you seek to prove.

You assume that 'god' gives you some 'knowledge' through 'faith'.

Do you see it now?

If you 'knew' that there was a superior authority, then why have FAITH in the first place?!

Will you ever see this?

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It has nothing to do with ad hoc rationalizations. The Church has believed these things since its inception. It is likewise a matter of natural reason that if God exists, He would act in accord with logic

here's the problem:

If he acts in accord to logic... who created the logic that he must 'act in accordance to...... and if he didn't, if it's part of his nature, can he change this nature?

Oh, and can you explain to me how people act in accordance to logic? Logic has to do with evaluating arguments... so what on earth do you mean by 'logic' here?

Metaphysics?

Physics?

Cosmology?

Natural law?!

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Specifically, God does not 'need help' in transmitting the message. The Holy Spirit acting by/in the Church is the 'message'

Yet billions of people get different messages......

Tell me, do people who read Euclid all come up with different competing versions of the axioms? Is there a need for churches of Euclid and Eluclidean apologists who go around taking things from algebra text and English lit books and matchbook covers to "settle the problems"?

Why was Euclid able to do what god can't? Provide a simple, basic text that stands on its own, that defies any rational person's ability to refute it?

Before you rush to the sancturay of the apologetic response (the bible has different goals!) ask yourself: might it not have better met it's goal if it were at least as stable as a 2200 year old mathematical text?!

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Of course, one really ought to ask why a 'god' is using a book at all. I consider this idea akin to AT&T communicating its most important messages by hiring some kids with tin cans and strings to sent it out. This is basically my version of Thomas Paine's point that a fallible book could never be the means of transmitting a perfect message.

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God did not just write a book, He founded a Church and gave many miracles to substantiate His claim

But he did "use a book' according to you. I don't see how the church is any less error ridden.

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Yet another clear internal contradiction that must be waved aside by a rationalization.

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It is not an internal contradiction, as you keep repeating with this dismissive attitude. Christian theologians and philosophers have known about these problems for a long time and have nevertheless understood them as not being contradictions.Your attitude seems to indicate nobody in the past 2000 years has ever considered them; frankly, we have and I believe that we have answered them satisfactority.

On the contrary, I recognize that they've recognzied these problems... but they haven't solved them.... any more than you've answered any of my questions....

 

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And yet god himself couldn't communicate a clear enough message to fulfill his own wishes

Actually, the problem is far worse for you: your god is perfectly responsible for his own creation, for every parameter of existence that influences the choices that people make, including their personalities......so this 'god' is responsible for the fact that he's not having his wish fulfilled...

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In a manner of speaking, God is only indirectly responsible for our faults in that He created us. But He created us with free will.

In a manner of speaking, this is illogical. The free will defense cannot absolve a perfect god's perfect responsibilty for his own creation. Why? Because this god is necessarily perfectly responsible for creating the nature of the free will precisely as it is... its limits, as well as all the parameters of existence that influence free will!

So he still maintains perfect responsiblity for what happens to his own creation.

Error 2: People don't have free will to not believe things... they can be in denial, but they don't have the freedom to simply not believe... belief is not a choice, belief is something thrown at you... like a baseball at your head...

But please, focus on problem one, as it's the fatal problem for you.

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I don't understand why you have such an overly dismissive attitude.

Because you just wave your hands at every problem put to you. When you do make a claim, you assert, without backing it up.

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Two metaphysical/ontonlogical errors here.

1) To say that 'god is limited by his existence' is to say that god is natural. To exist is to exist as something, to have positive characteristics. To have identity.

This is how we define natural entities. So you'e 'god' would have to be a natural entity! You've just left theism and entered pantheism

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First, God's essence is His existence.

First, stolen concept fallacy.

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This is the definition God gives in the Old Testament when He says, "I am." It does not say He is natural; He is supernatural in that He is other than creation as its cause.

This is why I dismiss your posts... because I've already shown you why, numerous times, that this makes no sense.

To exist is to exist as something, to have positive characteristics. To have identity. To say "I AM" is to have identity, to exist, to be a part of nature.

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Further, it is not how we define natural entities.

Yes it is. I've given you basic ontology here. Your naked assertion otherwise is of no value in rational discourse, because you don't give any reasons for it.

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2) To hold that 'existence' is a necessary attribute is to commit a basic error in ontology that we've know about since the time of Kant, if not earlier. Your 'necessary being argument" uses 'existence' as a predicate. But 'existence' is not an attribute that can be used in a predicate, because again, to exist is to exist as something, to have characteristics. The characteristics grant identy.

Please, I've advised you before to read your Kant. I now implore you to do so. Your claims violate basic precepts of ontology.

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I would utterly disagree with you.

Of course, but unless you give a reason why, you're just naysaying.

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Existence can and is a predicate of ordinary conversation.

So you assert.

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I can truly say that "the dog exists" as truly as I can say "God exists." Both are predicated existence.

Oh boy. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy....

To say "the dog exists" is NOT to give the dog 'existence' as a characteristic! It is to use the term 'exist' in the colloquial sense of saying "Yes, there is a dog here. It's true. It exists. Here it is. It exists."

I warned you to read your Kant.

But notice that if we explore the phrase "it exists" that the term is redundant. Do you see that? "IT" is a reference to an existent. So to say 'it exists' i redundant. It adds nothing.

So to use 'exists" as a characteristic of "it" is to make a basic error in metaphysics.

Do you see it now?

Please tell me you do, because I had hopes of having good discussions with you.

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On a sidenote, most philosophers have conceded this view post-Kant.

On a side note, this is untrue. At any rate, you've not cited anyone who does so, nor have you given a legitimate grounds for doing so.

If you don't recognize the error of using 'existence' as a predicate (and since you don't know what that means, I'll make it clear: using it as a characteristic) then you're not ready for this part of the conversation.

Please, I implore you to learn about the topic before debating it further.

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He (god) possesses identity insofar as He is the cause of things that exist

again, this is a stolen concept fallacy. You can't refer to 'causality' when discussing the supernatural, as it would be acausal. "Causality" is a description of how natural entities interact.

You can't rule out a concept by definition (an omnipotent god creating ex nihilo) and then rely upon the concept. That is stealing the concept.

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Lastly, I have no idea what 'omnimax' is supposed to imply, as God does not truly fit into this strange, fictional category.

You don't know what it is, but you call it strange, and fictional?

Omnimax just refers to the fact that all 'god descriptors' are omni traits. Not so strange, and absolutely not fictional.

I find it troubling that you now openly admit to arguing a point that you don't understand.

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I agree with this entire section in that God is truly and really omnipotent. I just disagree that omnipotence involves the ability to do logically impossible things. The reason is because omnipotence is the 'power to do all things,' whereas such a contradiction is a non-thing.

This is not a reason. You're just begging the question! And your stealing the concept.

A contradiction is not a 'non-thing" it is two acts (or more, I suppose) that are mutually exclusive.

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Further, it is to be pointed out that to do something against His nature

Another stolen concept fallacy.... I'll cover the other errors below.

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For some reason, I do not think you assert that reason clearly shows that God is all-powerful?

As per the definitions. A priori.

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You must have just cut and paste this off of some website. It is nevertheless funny to behold.

Of course you do, because we often laugh at what we don't understand. My posting his claim does not mean that I accept the existence of an omnimax god. What I do accept is that IF you do define such a 'god', as omnimax, then Luther's point does follow.

Got it now?

Again, I was hoping from better from you.

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It should now be clear that the bible defines god negatively, as omnipotent, omniscient, and outside of existence as its creator....


As per negative theology, a supernatural "being" is necessarily imcomprehensible.

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Actually, the Scripture defines God as omnipotent, omniscient, ect. but not as 'negative.'

Actually, omni traits are negative traits.

You didn't know that, did you?

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This passage does not deny that one can believe in a god, but it denies that one can know anything about this 'god'.

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That's almost funny as the whole Scriptures is a disclosure of things about God and hence contradicts this statement. The passage does not assert that; it says "who can fathom the mysteries...." This is a different statement from, "You cannot know anything about God." The same goes for the other passages.

It's not different... if one cannot fathom the mysteries, then they cannot know this 'god'

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I don't see why Kant is such a dogmatic authority with you.

He's not. He's given a good argument, one that I've replicated, briefly for you. His argument has helped to unseat some of my own claims as well.... so I accept his argument based on the logic,, which is inescapable. Not on his name.

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In sum:

A) Faith is a type of knowledge which is a knowledge based on the authority of another.

And this begs the question that there is a god who grants this knowledge.

So again, faith is simply belief without justification.

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B) Faith, then, cannot contradict natural truths

yet the christian faith contradicts science. So much for aquinarian arguments....

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C) God is omnipotent in the sense that He can do all things

And the error here is that you are placing a limit on the unlimited!

Here's a way for you to see the error: who places this 'logical limit" on god?

Is your god responsible for it?

When you run to the 'it's part of his nature" response

3 problems arise:

1) stolen concept fallacy - 'god having a nature

2) How can 'things' be logical ?!

3) Can he change this limit?

If he can, you're back to square zero.

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1) God cannot do a non-existent action,

Contradictions are only 'non existent' because nothing in nature can contradict itself by definition.

But if something is 'beyond nature' then it can be contradictory. So you can't use the fact that contradictions do not exist to hold that they are 'non existent actions' because you would be stealing the concept of naturalism to do so.

Contradictions would involve (or more?) mutually exclusive actions!

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D) Negative theology is impossible and contradictory because it posits something of God.

Very common error!

It posits NOTHING about god.

It DEFINES god as a set of negatives, devoid of any universe of discourse, A PRIORI!

Come on! I expected better from you!

Please, can you at least see this mistake?

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E) Negative theology is not held by Catholics or Christians

Oh? You're incorrect on both counts.

A friend of mine wrote this:


For a negative theologian to say that God does not exist is incorrect. To think it leads to atheism also appears to me to be incorrect unless we accept the RC Church as an covert atheist organisation. The Roman Catholic Church has built one of the oldest, most powerful and dynamic religions in existence upon the bed-rock of negative theology.

As I understand it, negative theolgians are stating that there is nothing we can state about the nature of God's ontology. All existence that we know has a cause, dwells in time, by nature is limited and contained by boundariesetc, No matter how we try to break out of our concept of existence, we will always fail. We cannot grasp God's ontology, to think we can is to create a false God.

That is very different from saying God does not exist, or even that there are not things we cannot know about God, since God has revealed them, but even those things are beyond our comprehension and have to be accepted on faith.

It is hardly likely that the Augustine, Aquinas, Thereasa of Avila or Catherine of Sienna, would be called Doctors of the Church, if they had nothing but incomprehensible things to say about God. They have lots of positive things to say - just look at Augustine's debates with Pelagians, Donatists and Arians - but it is all based on faith, accepted by faith, and limited by our finite nature.

The only time we will fully comprehend according to via-negative theology is when we see the beatific vision (Similar, but not the same as a protestant idea of heaven), we will at that time understand: "For now we see things in a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now my knowledge is in part; then it will be complete, even as God's knowledge of me. 1 Cor 13:12

To paraphrase John Paul II "Reason is faith's handmaiden, but the handmaiden is unable access faith's chamber." See JPII's encyclical letter Fides et Ratio.' (Faith and Reason)

And here's something very interesting from Aquinas himself:


Thomas Aquinas, did introduce the idea that natural reason can tell us things 'about' God, by telling us those things which God cannot be. What we are left with is the nearest we can come to 'comprehending' God. However, he also taught that there are mysteries of the faith: those revealed truths that natural reason cannot even in principle come to knowledge of without the aid of divine revelation.

Summa Theologiae I, Q.3, Prologue:

"The existence of a thing having been ascertained, the way in which it exists remains to be examined if we would know its nature. Because we cannot know what God is, but rather what God is not, our method has to be mainly negative…What kind of being God is not can be known by eliminating characteristics which cannot apply to him, like composition, change, and so forth."[


Remember this is the canonised theologian of the RC Church. I would not call the RC Church a cover for atheism.

The others are traditional via - negative theologians. Catherine of Sienna and Teresa of Avila where only made Doctors of the Church in 1970. This title is the highest honor that the RC Church can pay to a theologian.


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F) God can be spoken of by human beings because a relationship exists between creation and God as God is the cause of all being. In this way, we can speak of God a posteriori (from effect to cause).

No. Matters induction deal with nature by definition. Any cause must be natural by definition. The supernatural would be 'acuasal' by definition. You cannot work from nature back to its very antithesis, the supernatural.

 

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


Sybarite
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I think the logic is

I think the logic is leaning towards:

 

Assumption 1: God exists

Conclusion: God exists

 

Obviously, you are working off faulty assumptions. And that is the basis behind faith. Prove your assumption. 


StMichael
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 I apologize for the

 I apologize for the formatting beforehand. I was also unable to post a summary of points at the end due to the volume. Sorry! Smiling

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To me it does not matter that you think that someone is not a Christian or is less of a Christian because they are a Religious Suicide Bomber or don't follow things in the Bible properly or any other such reasons to specify that they are not a Christian or is less of a Christian. What matters to me is that *THEY* believe they are a Christian and that *THEY* believe in God and that *THEY* believe they are doing the right thing according to God's Word.

Revelation must coincide with what we know by natural reason. I argue that it does not in the case of suicide bombers. Second, they are not Christians. Third, belief in God is not exclusively determined by faith, but can be arrived at without revelation at all.

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Thank you for providing the summary, Michael.

You are quite welcome.

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 A) Faith is a type of knowledge which is a knowledge based on the authority of another. In religion, faith is knowledge based on God's authority.

This is a logical fallacy, appeal to authority.  If I accept your word as true, I also must accept the word of every religious authority on the planet.  I will obviously end up with contradictions, which will prove this notion false.

Not necessarily. The fallacy of appeal to authority only comes in when the appeal is made in a purely logical proposition. If I were to make a syllogism that says that X is true because somebody asserts it, it is false because it lacks proper logical justification to demonstrate the truth of the statement. We are not proving the truth of revelation (which is impossible), but merely showing how it does not conflict with reason. The most reason can say in this event is that the authority does not necessitate the truth of the statement. As God, the authority is supreme and most certain. However, again, faith propostions are not able to be proven from natural inquiry, but that does not imply that they are irrational.

Second, not all religious authorities are of the same authority for various reasons. Some are unsubstantiated with supernatural evidence of authority. Others contradict natural reason. Thus, these are all false. I would have to conclude that either Catholicism is correct (according to my natural reason), or that no religion is correct and God exists but has not revealed Himself.

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 B) Faith, then, cannot contradict natural truths because God is the author of both natural and supernatural truths.

If we use natural truth as a test for faith, then it's called reason.

It is not exactly a test. Rather, if faith truly proceeds from God it cannot contradict naturally known truths because God is the author of both. Basically, yes, reason can be used to determine the internal coherence of faith because faith, if both really supernatural and true, cannot contradict naturally known truth.

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 C) God is omnipotent in the sense that He can do all things

Thank you for completely ignoring the voluminous proofs of the falsehood of this notion.  It makes all of us feel very good about the time we've spent writing them.

I answer them in my post. This is a summary. I treat your 'proofs' elsewhere. Likewise, you do not cite anything here. Further, the following posts are particular answers to the accusation, as indicated by the numbered subsets.

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1) God cannot do a non-existent action, nor contradict logic. This would be a) a limitation on His power, and b) contrary to His essence (which is His existence).

Then again, thank you for refuting your own argument.  The fact that you can sit there, presumably with a straight face and say that God's inability to do a thing is actually proof of his ability to do anything... well, it's mind boggling.

It is not. I am not arguing what you wish to have me say ("God's inability to do a thing is actually proof of his ability to do anything&quotEye-wink, but rather that if God could do something against Himself, it would limit His omnipotence (and He would not truly be omnipotent). This is, in fact, the opposite argument: if God can do all things, He cannot do "no-things."

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 D) Negative theology is impossible and contradictory because it posits something of God.

Well, theology is impossible, too.  At least, in any scientific sense.  I suppose I agree that it is impossible to not know nothing about a being that can't exist, although I'm so lost in double negatives that I'm pretty sure it's just easier to say that god is impossible.

Science does not touch on theology at all. Further, God's existence is not a matter of theology properly, but philosophy (metaphysics).

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 E) Negative theology is not held by Catholics or Christians

Um... yeah.   I suppose you mean the true scotsmen, right?

Except that I, nor the Catholic Church, nor the Scriptures, nor most Christians in the world hold the view of 'negative theology.' To paint us as if we did if misleading and incorrect.

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 F) God can be spoken of by human beings because a relationship exists between creation and God as God is the cause of all being. In this way, we can speak of God a posteriori (from effect to cause).I'm so tired.  All you've done for this entire entry is say, "No, you've got it wrong.  I've got it right."Nothing you've said is logically coherent.  Lots of people have refuted your arguments, repeatedly.Why don't you just come out with it?  Just say, "You just have to believe me because I believe I'm right, and I have absolutely no proof of it."It'll make you feel better, I promise.

I know it would make me feel better.

Except that I am writing a summary of my points, not a complete rebuttal of all arguments made (which was in my post itself).

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Yes you do [posit superpowers in God]. It's the only way you can claim it exists in the face of denial. 

I do not. I manifestly do not maintain that God possesses superpowers. He is all powerful because He maintains the existence of all things and brought them into being. As Creator and Cause, His knowledge and willing of each thing sustains it in existence. His power to do anything flows from this.

 

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If god were truly the foundation of existance, then god would be easily proven. God is not provable at all, and so the foundation of your argument crumbles away.

God is the cause of existing things. That is precisely our point. However, your assertion that God is not provable at all is unjustified.

 

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And yet according to your beliefs, he did. 
Where do I claim that? 
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Define intrinsically impossible.

A logically impossible action, a contradiction. Where something is said to be and not be in the same way at the same time.

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 It is not known by reason. Natural or otherwise. It is believed. Which means you are spreading a belief, not truth. 

God's existence is provable by natural reason. It is not a matter of belief, except incidentally as we must believe God exists before we can say, for example, that God is a Trinity of persons.

 

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And you claim to hold the only valid one, which makes you arrogant. Someday you'll get it. You don't seem dimwitted enough to be able to hold off rationality forever.

The truth in this matter is one. There could clearly be a right and a wrong answer to these questions. I know that God exists because my observation of the natural world shows God to be logically necessarily for existence of other things to be possible. Even in matters of faith, such as my belief that God is a Trinity of persons, this is a matter of truth and falsity where a right and a wrong answer is possible. I hold my belief in this particular area upon my faith in God's Revelation and not upon my reason. It has nothing to do with arrogance.

  

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Because you are irrational, and apply irrational logic. You are forwarding a belief I have never had. I was not born with it. It does not require faith to disbelieve your claims. It requires a foundation in reality. Mine is very strong. In order for me to accept your belief, it must therefore be proven. Especially when there are 3 billion other people out there who say your religion is wrong and theirs is the right one. Your understanding of the word faith appears to be as flawed as that of truth and harm.

Just because other people disagree with my particular articles of faith does not mean that God does not exist. His existence is not a matter of articles of faith, but of reason. Your insistence that God does not exist is based not upon argument, but upon a consistent conviction or desire that He does not exist. This is virtually the definition of irrational, blind faith.

 

 

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Otherwise I'd be a hypocrite, like yourself.

Name-calling gets you nowhere. Make an argument if you wish a response.

 

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So you're saying evil always existed, even when there was nothing? What an interestingly flawed concept. If evil always existed, and god always existed, then god must be evil. Thanks for clearing that up.
I never said anything of the sort. God tolerates the existence of evil in creation to ensure a greater good. 

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That would imply there were inherrent qualities of the act that were evil, yet there aren't. Especially since evil is only a concept. Not a reality. 

Pain is a natural evil, as is removing a limb. Evil is a concept and a reality. An assertion on your part is not an argument.

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He allows it to exist, yet didn't create it. That implies he could destroy it. The act of not destroying it is equal to creating it. If he didn't create or destroy it(but is capable of both), then he is evil himself. An biblical act of evil does not lead to a biblically greater good. It leads to more biblical evil as revenge. Creating a vicious cycle.

God cannot properly destroy evil as it does not exist as a being to destroy. Evil is merely a form of non-being. God is being. Further, the act of destruction is not equal to creation nor does it necessitate that God is somehow evil. Further, I have no idea what 'biblical' good or evil (whatever you mean by that) has anything to do with it.

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I never said truth and falsity do not exist. You simply have flawed perceptions of their meaning. Your lack of capability to understand the nonexistance of good and evil are rooted in the irrationality of your theism.

I can just as easily say: "Your lack of capability to understand the existence of good and evil is rooted in the irrationality of your atheism." It is not an argument, my friend. Further, you must deny truth if you deny good and evil (as you do in the next sentence).

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Laws of conservation: Matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed.

This physical law is slightly misleading how you are using it, as Big Bang dictates likewise that these things came into existence at a point. It says nothing of how these things came into existence in the first place.   

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Nope. Most people in history had no concept of a god. It wasn't until about 50,000 years ago that we would have even been mentally capable of the concept.

What does that mean? That is utterly preposterous. For the entire time of recorded history and, with evidence prior to that, mankind has had a knowledge of divinity. If you mean that human beings were animals before 50000 BC, that would be saying that animals cannot believe in God (which I would agree with).

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At which point it became a survival trait. And stayed that way for a very long time. But it is no longer needed to explain existance and give us the courage to explore, and so like any no longer useful trait, it's on the way out.

The need to explain existence is still around. Further, it has nothing to do with survival. Survival does not dictate truth.

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 That's all well and good, if you can prove the universe had a beginning. And that god was the cause. Which would raise a whole bunch of new questions in science. Otherwise you're merely forwarding an unproven hypothesis. 

That the universe had a beginning is not a matter of science, but of philosophy. Further, I am not merely indicating a beginning of time. I am speaking of the logical necessity of a necessary cause, which is something different.

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Contradictory. Existance doesn't need to be necessary. Unless you can prove that there's a consequence to nonexistance somehow? Lol. Even if you pull that off, you'll be contradicting yourself again. Nonexistance can't be nonexistance if there can be consequence.

I am not claiming that existence is 'necessary.' Things exist, and are possible existences. Hence, a being must exist who brought the others into existence (and is hence necessary).

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A fatal flaw. I love those. If there were an absolute standard of goodness, than it would be provable and universal. It is not, and therefore your cause is irrelevant and impossible.

Not necessarily. We refer to truth as something which we can place in existing things as 'more' or 'less' indicating some standard, even if the standard is merely goodness or truth itself. As we can speak of these qualities, it requires a cause of the genus in order for these qualities to exist. In this manner, goodness is a universally known thing - as a quality.

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That's like saying there's a god because the grass is green instead of blue. In other words, it's not proof.

No it is not. Because things act in a rational manner, an ordering intelligence is necessary.

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If:My religion has its own beliefs and I can define them per its own terms. However, this does not even fall into the realm of something believed, but of something known by natural reason.Then:Would you mind producing a documented case of a person who had never heard of Christianity, and yet knows the theology? This is so patently obvious!  If natural reason proves Christianity, then the proof would be people becoming Christians without being taught, complete with the theology in their brains.  Otherwise, this argument is nonsense and you should put it into the trash can.

Seriously, this is probably your weakest argument yet.

There are different categories of truth. The existence of God is not properly a truth of faith. And, as we see, men do discover the existence of God by natural reason. The same goes for the immortality of the soul, the judgement of the soul, eternal beatitude, ect. These particular things are not matters of faith, per se. People have found these things out (Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Socrates, the Stoics, ect.).

Then there are truths of faith. This would be, for instance, the belief in the Trinity, or in the Incarnation, or in the Sacraments. These things are built upon faith as their authority. Thus, these are things which natural reason cannot attain to on its own. Only by Revelation can we discover these things. Only God could tell us what He is like in Himself, for instance.

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Or... did you mean knowledge of the supernatural is an result of natural reason?

If that is so, why does the knowledge of the supernatural defy natural reason?

Knowledge of the supernatural in terms of articles of faith is not a result of natural reason, except as we can be moved to accept faith on the basis of reason. It is a result of God's grace given to our souls.

Further, knowledge of the supernatural does not 'defy' natural reason in the sense of a contradiction.

 

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So you're an apologetic then?  So you've pretty much proven that you cannot be taken seriously in this area, as your job is literally to make amends for the shortcomings of the text. 

I'm just not a scholar of Scripture.

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What's more amusing is you find the text coherent.  What exactly does that even MEAN?  I find it coherent as well, does that mean I win a medal?  

The text makes sense without needing to prove it with a PhD. 

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 There is no "contextual" issue, and trying to do as you do - i.e. using other parts of the Bible to sort of "ammend" verses like this is the worst thing you can do.  Psalms was not written by the author of Isaiah, and Isaiah would have definitely had a different context for writing his peice (his people were just conquered by an opposing Empire of people and he witnessed the destruction of almost his entire civilization - the author of Psalms probably didn't have that on his mind).

First, I am not being contextual in the sense of applying Isaiah to Psalms in my discussion. I was arguing that the text is internally coherent in the books themselves. Isaiah applied to Isaiah. I would support that the text is likewise contextually accurate, so that Isaiah can be used to illuminate the text of Psalms, but that is a theological position where one accepts the text on faith (which is not a strategy where one does not accept that premise).

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But you USE the Septuagint. Whether or not it was WRITTEN in Greek originally is quite irrelevant as the version of the Bible Catholics (and all Christians use) is the Greek version.  You do this, again ironically so, because the Greek is easier to mend to your needs in terms of prophecy.  The Hebrew is not so easy to bend, and is pretty sturdy as a word structure.  So your whole case here is worthless.

Where do I use the Septuagint? You might, but I and the Catholic Church (as well as most Christian editions) use texts corrected against the Hebrew original (such as the Neo-Vulgate, which is the most official text of Scripture in the Catholic Church).

 

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Second, I've also included the Hebrew, but perhaps you skipped over that part?  I high-lighted the Greek and Hebrew so it's easier for you to understand and perhaps comprehend, because you don't seem to get the picture.

I did not miss it, as my text later indicates.

 

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OKay you just contradicted yourself.  Is the point in contention "evil" or "create?"  Because if you want to argue whether God "created" evil, well you need to go back and read what I wrote, don't you?  Because I already proved, without a doubt, that this passage means what it means using the Greek and Hebrew.  So make up you're mind.

We are not contesting that God creates; the question is whether He literally creates evil. The use of evil in this passage is not that He creates metaphysical evil, but that He creates/causes war/affliction and peace (opposed in the text).

 

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Again, you deliberately miss the point, or perhaps you just don't have the honesty to admit to being wrong - but we've been through this.  The passage CLEARLY means "crea evil".  The word "evil" in Hebrew - because you'll whine and bitch if I use the Greek first - is ra' from the word ra'a [raw-aw] meaning literally "evil".  So when you combine the two points - theone I made earlier and the one I made now - in Hebrew the line is:

  • Bara' ra' or "creates evil"
Depending on the meaning of "ra'"; I quote Strong's definition of this word: "

from 'ra`a`' (7489); bad or (as noun) evil (natural or moral):-- adversity, affliction, bad, calamity, + displease(-ure), distress, evil((- favouredness), man, thing), + exceedingly, X great, grief(-vous), harm, heavy, hurt(-ful), ill (favoured), + mark, mischief(-vous), misery, naught(-ty), noisome, + not please, sad(-ly), sore, sorrow, trouble, vex, wicked(-ly, -ness, one), worse(-st), wretchedness, wrong. (Incl. feminine raaah; as adjective or noun.)." This definition, in fact, includes the meaning I intend to give it.

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 In the Greek, the word used for evil is κακος, which literally means "EVIL."  There is no other translation for this word.  None.  When combined with my earlier point, the Greek line is:

  • και κτιζων κακα or "and creates evil"
Strong's again gives the definition of "κακος" : "

apparently a primary word; worthless (intrinsically, such; whereas ponhroV - poneros 4190 properly refers to effects), i.e. (subjectively) depraved, or (objectively) injurious:--bad, evil, harm, ill, noisome, wicked." which is related to the phrase meaning "afflicted." It has to do with the sense in which the word is used. The context tells the meaning in the text. Evil is being used to refer to affliction.

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Perhaps you need to go back and read the chapter of Isaiah?  The surronding verses are thus: Isaiah 45:4-7, "For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."

All God is doing here is telling people WHO HE IS.  He is discribing himself, and telling the people what he has done and pretty much going off on some ranting ego-trip.  In no way can that context which you used be applied to the context of the passage.  You are grasping at straws here.  And failing to pick any.  As I have shown over and over you fail to understand the big picture.

The picture being what? I mean to contend that God cannot be the author of evil in the sense of either moral or metaphysical evil. God is the cause of affliction and suffering only in an indirect sense, which is what the text shows. God is the cause of disturbance and peace, of all things.

  

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If you assume god exists, then you beg the question. That's what 'properly' begging the question means.

God's existence is revealed by faith, as well as being known by natural reason. Faith discloses truths about God, who we must know already exists. If we do not know that He exists naturally, faith would obviously show us that He does. It has nothing to do with begging the question. Show me how faith commits that fallacy before you assert that it does again. Further, I do not personally assume in my debate that God exists.

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You don't need to take it on faith that you exist, your own existence is unavoidably axiomatic. If you deny that you exist, you defend your existence through retortion! Do you follow this point?

I do not necessarily take it on faith that God exists. God's existence is naturally knowable as well as being revealed (and presumed for revelation's truths). God reveals His existence for the sake of our fallen intellects, which lack the light of perfect reason; people screw up and make mistakes. God revealed it to give people a clear knowledge of the truth: that He exists, is one, ect. though these can be discovered naturally.

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And yet another error hides here: you're conflating contingent faith with theistic faith.

I would argue that they are species of the same genus.

 

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Your attempt to 'resurrect' Aquinas fails. The christian faith involves holding to beliefs that contradict science, such as... the resurrection.

It's painfully obvious that christian claims are at odds with what we know naturally, so I don't know why you thought you could sneak this one by us.

The Resurrection of the body is not contrary to science at all. It is merely unable to be proven scientifically that a body could rise from the dead, but it is likewise unable to be disproven that it could happen. It is a matter of faith and beyond the ability to naturally know.

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I trust you see that you are again begging the question of your god's existence. Perhaps now you'll see the truth on this matter.

A proper definition of religious faith includes God. It has nothing to do with begging the question. It would be begging the question if I said, "God exists, hence you are wrong," or, "The Bible is revealed by God, hence Scripture cannot contradict reason," in which case I would be assuming likewise that Scripture is revealed and that God exists. However, if we ask, "how can religious faith be cogent?" I must assume that, 'if God reveals something,' as a premise in order to discuss the matter at all.

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Quote:- because it proceeds from Truth itself and hence cannot be untruthful.It proceeds from truth, ergo it cannot be untruthful?

BEGGING THE QUESTION

Assuming that an article of faith is revealed by God, God is the author of natural and supernatural reality, hence, these cannot contradict. It has nothing to do with begging the question.

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I would like to point out that this is untrue. I's not my own intepretation. Non contingent faith is in fact unjustified belief. This is not a controversial claim. Many theists have no problem accepting that, they recognize that there can be no rational grounds for holding to a belief in the supernatural.

The Catholic Church does not hold that, nor do I. Imposing your own definition on faith does not help. I do not accept that definition precisely because it is makes faith irrational by definition. However, faith as contingent flows from rational grounds that give reason for accepting faith as true. This is the doctrine of the Church and is the only way, assuming rational faith exists, that it may exist.

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Read this to yourself again: "Acting on superior authority"This is the assumption.I.e. you're begging the quesiton.You assume what you seek to prove.You assume that 'god' gives you some 'knowledge' through 'faith'.Do you see it now?If you 'knew' that there was a superior authority, then why have FAITH in the first place?!

Will you ever see this?

Faith is not a begging of the question. It believes that God reveals something and believes in what He has revealed upon His authority as God. Our reason can offer that such a belief is probable, but cannot demonstrate its truth.

We know, however, naturally that God exists and that Revelation is possible from God. We can know that God can reveal something, but what is revealed and whether we accept it is a matter of faith. Reason can merely indicate whether it is logically consistent and whether it is a probable belief.

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here's the problem:

If he acts in accord to logic... who created the logic that he must 'act in accordance to...... and if he didn't, if it's part of his nature, can he change this nature?

Everything in God is one, including His nature and Himself. There is no division. God, in a certain sense, is logic. He cannot act against His nature, because His action is identical with what He is.

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Quote:Specifically, God does not 'need help' in transmitting the message. The Holy Spirit acting by/in the Church is the 'message'

Yet billions of people get different messages......

We are talking about the Catholic Church. This particular phrase is not speaking about other religions.

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Tell me, do people who read Euclid all come up with different competing versions of the axioms? Is there a need for churches of Euclid and Eluclidean apologists who go around taking things from algebra text and English lit books and matchbook covers to "settle the problems"?

Why was Euclid able to do what god can't? Provide a simple, basic text that stands on its own, that defies any rational person's ability to refute it?

Because it is a piece of natural science and hence naturally demonstrable. God's Revelation deals with things per se beyond human demonstration; God cannot do the same thing Euclid did because He is revealing supernatural truths which cannot be demonstrated.

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Before you rush to the sancturay of the apologetic response (the bible has different goals!) ask yourself: might it not have better met it's goal if it were at least as stable as a 2200 year old mathematical text?!

That depends what you mean by 'stable,' as I would argue that the Revelation God has given to man has not changed in the past 2000 years, preserved by His Church and the Holy Spirit.

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But he did "use a book' according to you. I don't see how the church is any less error ridden.

I said that God did not just write a book; He gave it likewise a teaching authority to ensure that the same message is given until the end of time. And the Church has done this, guided by the Holy Spirit.

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In a manner of speaking, this is illogical. The free will defense cannot absolve a perfect god's perfect responsibilty for his own creation. Why? Because this god is necessarily perfectly responsible for creating the nature of the free will precisely as it is... its limits, as well as all the parameters of existence that influence free will!

So he still maintains perfect responsiblity for what happens to his own creation.

God does not move free will, else it would not be free. He gave human beings and spirits the ability to have personal choice. Thus, He has no real responsibility, except indirectly, for their choices as He allows them personal autonomy.

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Error 2: People don't have free will to not believe things... they can be in denial, but they don't have the freedom to simply not believe... belief is not a choice, belief is something thrown at you... like a baseball at your head...

You seem to have the freedom not to believe in articles of faith. The argument does not negate free will.

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First, God's essence is His existence.

First, stolen concept fallacy.

No reason why this is violates the stolen concept fallacy.

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This is why I dismiss your posts... because I've already shown you why, numerous times, that this makes no sense.

To exist is to exist as something, to have positive characteristics. To have identity. To say "I AM" is to have identity, to exist, to be a part of nature.

God exists and it does not necessitate that He is thence a part of nature. He is related to nature as its cause, again.

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To say "the dog exists" is NOT to give the dog 'existence' as a characteristic! It is to use the term 'exist' in the colloquial sense of saying "Yes, there is a dog here. It's true. It exists. Here it is. It exists."I warned you to read your Kant.

But notice that if we explore the phrase "it exists" that the term is redundant. Do you see that? "IT" is a reference to an existent. So to say 'it exists' i redundant. It adds nothing.

To say that something exists is to indicate that the thing has existence in reality. It indicates the conformity. We can make fallacious assertions, such that unicorns exist. If you wanted seriously to maintain your point, unicorns must thence exist because I can make a reference to them. 'Existence' is a word indicating the conformity of the essence of a thing to reality. If you wanted to maintain that to say that "It is raining outside/"Raining outside" is." adds nothing to the idea of rain occuring outside, I would maintain that position is absurd. Most modern philosophers have rejected this particular thesis of Kant for precisely this reason.

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Quote:He (god) possesses identity insofar as He is the cause of things that exist again, this is a stolen concept fallacy. You can't refer to 'causality' when discussing the supernatural, as it would be acausal. "Causality" is a description of how natural entities interact.

You can't rule out a concept by definition (an omnipotent god creating ex nihilo) and then rely upon the concept. That is stealing the concept.

I do not agree that this is the sense in which Christians apply 'supernatural.' Supernatural does not indicate a lack of relation to natural things, it indicates a relation of being 'above' them. In the sense of God, He is their cause. In this way, things may be said of Him because a relationship exists.

 

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I find it troubling that you now openly admit to arguing a point that you don't understand.

I figured that is what it meant. My phrase was rather hyperbolic, I admit.

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This is not a reason. You're just begging the question! And your stealing the concept.

A contradiction is not a 'non-thing" it is two acts (or more, I suppose) that are mutually exclusive.

A logical contradiction lacks being - it is a non-thing. As a result, God cannot perform such an action because His omnipotence extends to doing all things, not to doing "no-thing." Nothing you cited would prove that God's omnipotence extends to logical contradictions.

If a contradiction is two 'acts,' I ask how the phrase, "Cheese is not cheese," is a contradiction. It would seem it is not two actions.

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Quote:Further, it is to be pointed out that to do something against His nature

Another stolen concept fallacy.... I'll cover the other errors below.

No explanation of how it applies. Stop using fallacies that do not apply! Stolen concept applies only when a certain idea is denied which is essential for the premise. In other words, "Truth is an illusion," or "Reality does not exist." Begging the question applies when one assumes the conclusion to support the premise. In neither way do I commit these fallacies here or elsewhere. I suggest you either clearly define how I violate these fallacies instead of just throwing them out as assertions.

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Quote:For some reason, I do not think you assert that reason clearly shows that God is all-powerful?

As per the definitions. A priori.

Are you claiming an a priori knowledge of God? I find that odd for many reasons.

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Quote:You must have just cut and paste this off of some website. It is nevertheless funny to behold.

Of course you do, because we often laugh at what we don't understand. My posting his claim does not mean that I accept the existence of an omnimax god. What I do accept is that IF you do define such a 'god', as omnimax, then Luther's point does follow.

Luther's points do not follow. Further, this term omnimax is both unnecessarily silly and inaccurate.

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Got it now?

Again, I was hoping from better from you.

I don't patronize you. Please stop patronizing me.

 

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Actually, omni traits are negative traits.

You didn't know that, did you?

Omni-benevolence is a positive trait. God loves all things. The same is true of all the others. Only if you begin with the assumption that they are negative do you have to assert that.

Again, this does not show that the Scriptures maintain this.

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It's not different... if one cannot fathom the mysteries, then they cannot know this 'god'

Fathoming mysteries are different from having knowledge of God. Markedly different. I cannot, as man, understand many things involving God's wisdom and providence, but I can clearly know God to some degree; the least that could be said is that neither the Scriptures nor the Church believe that God is unknowable. Quoting the beginning of the book of Sirach, which treats of this point: "1:1. All wisdom is from the Lord God, and hath been always with him, and is before all time.

1:2. Who hath numbered the sand of the sea, and the drops of rain, and the days of the world? Who hath measured the height of heaven, and the breadth of the earth, and the depth of the abyss?

1:3. Who hath searched out the wisdom of God that goeth before all things?

1:4. Wisdom hath been created before all things, and the understanding of prudence from everlasting.

1:5. The word of God on high is the fountain of wisdom, and her ways are everlasting commandments.
1:6. To whom hath the root of wisdom been revealed, and who hath known her wise counsels?

1:7. To whom hath the discipline of wisdom been revealed and made manifest? and who hath understood the multiplicity of her steps?

1:8. There is one most high Creator Almighty, and a powerful king, and greatly to be feared, who sitteth upon his throne, and is the God of dominion.

1:9. He created her in the Holy Ghost, and saw her, and numbered her, and measured her.

1:10. And he poured her out upon all his works, and upon all flesh according to his gift, and hath given her to them that love him.

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And this begs the question that there is a god who grants this knowledge.

So again, faith is simply belief without justification.

The fact of whether or not God reveals does not beg the question in the matter that Revelation is a revealing by God. The conclusion is not in the premise. I do not have to assume that Revelation happens before I can say that, if God reveals, it is supernatural knowledge. Further, it does not beg the question of whether or not God exists (which is a subset of whether or not He reveals), because it merely states that, hypothetically, if God were to reveal something, faith would be acceptance of it, ect.

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yet the christian faith contradicts science. So much for aquinarian arguments....

Christian faith does not contradict science in the least. Stop asserting without justification. It is your burden of proof.

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And the error here is that you are placing a limit on the unlimited!Here's a way for you to see the error: who places this 'logical limit" on god?Is your god responsible for it?

When you run to the 'it's part of his nature" response

Which it is. God is the same as His nature.

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3 problems arise:

1) stolen concept fallacy - 'god having a nature

Stolen concept applies only when the first disproves the second even though it assumes the second. I think you mean that I beg the question of whether God has a nature. He does, as He is a being with existence. He is unique however as the first cause, having an utter identity between His essence and His existence. God's logic is God, God's love is God, God's existence is God, God's power is God, they are all unified in one substantial attribute which is God.

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2) How can 'things' be logical ?!

God cannot 'perform' or 'create' any entity that is a contradiction. A thing can be a contradiction in terms as, for example, a tree that is a man (as this violates both the definition of tree and man), or when we say a round square (a more clear example of a logical contradiction in a thing). Either event, God cannot 'create' these things because their terms are nonsense.

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3) Can he change this limit?

If he can, you're back to square zero.

God cannot 'change His limit,' as it is identical with Himself. God is the rule that binds Him as a necessary being. He wills His own existence necessarily.

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Contradictions are only 'non existent' because nothing in nature can contradict itself by definition.

But if something is 'beyond nature' then it can be contradictory. So you can't use the fact that contradictions do not exist to hold that they are 'non existent actions' because you would be stealing the concept of naturalism to do so.

I do not see how this applies. Naturalism versus supernaturalism is not an issue. Concepts are contradictory, not things. Contradictions cannot exist because they deny themselves.

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Contradictions would involve (or more?) mutually exclusive actions!

It is unclear what you mean by "actions," as contradictions do not involve acting (except incidentally).

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Very common error!It posits NOTHING about god.

It DEFINES god as a set of negatives, devoid of any universe of discourse, A PRIORI!

Any statement which says that "A is not in B" is a statement that posits "not A" of its object (even if that something is negative). If it posited absolutely nothing, modus tollens would be impossible.

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Oh? You're incorrect on both counts. A friend of mine wrote this:For a negative theologian to say that God does not exist is incorrect. To think it leads to atheism also appears to me to be incorrect unless we accept the RC Church as an covert atheist organisation. The Roman Catholic Church has built one of the oldest, most powerful and dynamic religions in existence upon the bed-rock of negative theology.

This is unjustified in a statement on the Catholic Church. Nowhere does the Church believe this (I challenge you to place an official statement of the Church endorsing negative theology in your next post; you can't find any because they only exist among a particular group of Protestants). Further, a negative theologian must hold purely only that God is not non-existent. In fact, Tillich would hold that God can be said to not exist. Lastly, quoting a friend (while a nice tribute) does not prove anything by his authority. You need to substantiate your claims.

 

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As I understand it, negative theolgians are stating that there is nothing we can state about the nature of God's ontology. All existence that we know has a cause, dwells in time, by nature is limited and contained by boundariesetc, No matter how we try to break out of our concept of existence, we will always fail. We cannot grasp God's ontology, to think we can is to create a false God.

That is very different from saying God does not exist, or even that there are not things we cannot know about God, since God has revealed them, but even those things are beyond our comprehension and have to be accepted on faith.

Except that this theology fails on both the natural level and the supernatural level. In the natural level, we would not be able to say anything about God (even to pronounce His name would be a contradiction, then). If God has no relation to categories of existence, there is no category in which to place Him, even negative ones. Negative theology fails.

In the supernatural level, certain truths such as the Trinity are by nature beyond human reason. However, this does not mean that they are contradictions. Further, positive things can be said of the Trinity (which is why the Church can make doctrinal statements about the Trinity, for example, at Nicea). Also, faith enables knowledge of God on a supernatural level because God is possessed by grace in the heart of him who believes.

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It is hardly likely that the Augustine, Aquinas, Thereasa of Avila or Catherine of Sienna, would be called Doctors of the Church, if they had nothing but incomprehensible things to say about God. They have lots of positive things to say - just look at Augustine's debates with Pelagians, Donatists and Arians - but it is all based on faith, accepted by faith, and limited by our finite nature.

This is not true. Many positive things are said of God by faith, but it is not all based exclusively on faith (as Aquinas and Augustine are very philosophical and tell many natural truths about God stemming from sources outside of faith), nor is it "limited by finite nature," in the sense that we cannot say anything true. Lastly, this is not what the Catholic Church believes (read my post from the Council of Trent in the Seminarian thread; this is doctrine of the Catholic Church); if you don't believe me, read the Catechism:

;">36 "Our holy mother, the Church, holds and teaches that God, the first principle and last end of all things, can be known with certainty from the created world by the natural light of human reason."11 Without this capacity, man would not be able to welcome God's revelation. Man has this capacity because he is created "in the image of God".12

 

;">39 In defending the ability of human reason to know God, the Church is expressing her confidence in the possibility of speaking about him to all men and with all men, and therefore of dialogue with other religions, with philosophy and science, as well as with unbelievers and atheists.

 

40 Since our knowledge of God is limited, our language about him is equally so. We can name God only by taking creatures as our starting point, and in accordance with our limited human ways of knowing and thinking.

 

;">41 All creatures bear a certain resemblance to God, most especially man, created in the image and likeness of God. The manifold perfections of creatures - their truth, their goodness, their beauty all reflect the infinite perfection of God. Consequently we can name God by taking his creatures" perfections as our starting point, "for from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator".15

 

;">42 God transcends all creatures. We must therefore continually purify our language of everything in it that is limited, image-bound or imperfect, if we are not to confuse our image of God--"the inexpressible, the incomprehensible, the invisible, the ungraspable"--with our human representations.16 Our human words always fall short of the mystery of God.

 

;">43 Admittedly, in speaking about God like this, our language is using human modes of expression; nevertheless it really does attain to God himself, though unable to express him in his infinite simplicity. Likewise, we must recall that "between Creator and creature no similitude can be expressed without implying an even greater dissimilitude";17 and that "concerning God, we cannot grasp what he is, but only what he is not, and how other beings stand in relation to him."18

I would point out that the last phrase indicates that a purely negative theology is not possible, especially insofar as we can form true concepts of God by analogy with creatures (how they stand in relation to Him), though we have to admit a dissimilarity

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The only time we will fully comprehend according to via-negative theology is when we see the beatific vision (Similar, but not the same as a protestant idea of heaven), we will at that time understand: "For now we see things in a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now my knowledge is in part; then it will be complete, even as God's knowledge of me. 1 Cor 13:12

This is accepted.

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To paraphrase John Paul II "Reason is faith's handmaiden, but the handmaiden is unable access faith's chamber." See JPII's encyclical letter Fides et Ratio.' (Faith and Reason)

This applies only to cases where articles of faith are undiscoverable by natural reason (which they are), but naturally known things about God do not fall into this category.

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 And here's something very interesting from Aquinas himself:

Thomas Aquinas, did introduce the idea that natural reason can tell us things 'about' God, by telling us those things which God cannot be. What we are left with is the nearest we can come to 'comprehending' God.

I am surprised you skip over the fact that he defined how we analogically speak of God (outside of a purely negative theology), which is one of his most famous achievements. Negative theology is not a complete picture; it is not entirely false.

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However, he also taught that there are mysteries of the faith: those revealed truths that natural reason cannot even in principle come to knowledge of without the aid of divine revelation.Summa Theologiae I, Q.3, Prologue:

"The existence of a thing having been ascertained, the way in which it exists remains to be examined if we would know its nature. Because we cannot know what God is, but rather what God is not, our method has to be mainly negative…What kind of being God is not can be known by eliminating characteristics which cannot apply to him, like composition, change, and so forth."

Except that it is 'mainly' negative. Actually, you are quoting an objection (a point Aquinas answers). I quote Aquinas' reply to this and objection 3: "Reply to Objection 1. The existence of God and other like truths about God, which can be known by natural reason, are not articles of faith, but are preambles to the articles; for faith presupposes natural knowledge, even as grace presupposes nature, and perfection supposes something that can be perfected. Nevertheless, there is nothing to prevent a man, who cannot grasp a proof, accepting, as a matter of faith, something which in itself is capable of being scientifically known and demonstrated.

Reply to Objection 3. From effects not proportionate to the cause no perfect knowledge of that cause can be obtained. Yet from every effect the existence of the cause can be clearly demonstrated, and so we can demonstrate the existence of God from His effects; though from them we cannot perfectly know God as He is in His essence."

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Remember this is the canonised theologian of the RC Church. I would not call the RC Church a cover for atheism.

Nor would I.

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The others are traditional via - negative theologians. Catherine of Sienna and Teresa of Avila where only made Doctors of the Church in 1970. This title is the highest honor that the RC Church can pay to a theologian.

No proof that these were negative theologians in the pure sense you indicate. I recall to your attention that no Catholic theologian is purely negative in the sense, for example, Tillich is negative, and it would be incorrect to say so.

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Quote:F) God can be spoken of by human beings because a relationship exists between creation and God as God is the cause of all being. In this way, we can speak of God a posteriori (from effect to cause).

No. Matters induction deal with nature by definition. Any cause must be natural by definition. The supernatural would be 'acuasal' by definition. You cannot work from nature back to its very antithesis, the supernatural.

You are making up slanted definitions. Causes are not natural by definition, nor is the supernatural acausal by definition. Don't just begin with an a priori assumption, but demonstrate why you believe these terms carry this meaning.

 

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My contention is that indeed because of complexity, there could not be a creator.  You see, if an all powerful god created us, then why build such complex systems that are flawed?  Nature, in it's complexity is flawed: example: Cancer, auto-immune diseases, congenital defects to name a few.  Others are the "design" of the knee.  The simple fact that the sun is also lethal to us (skin cancer).

Just because nature is flawed in its action is not an argument against the fact that it nevertheless acts toward ends in an ordered manner. Cancer follows rules, as do auto-immune diseases and congenital defects.

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If god is so omnipotent, why create life in such a manner that it is so complex?  Why would god not create a more simple living organism? Why would god create viruses, bacteria and parasitic protozoans?  Why would god create plants in nitrogen defecient environments?

Well, this is a rather theological question. God created things in a variety of ways from angels to rocks to show forth His goodness under different aspects, out of love. All things are made in His image in different ways and the entire universe is a great reflection of His beauty. That is not a particularly justified answer (at least, not yet), but I hope that is a satisfactory answer.

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  Fact is there is no god and we are the products of whatever cosmic accident, and certainly and without doubt, humans are the product of evolution on earth. 

Things follow order. That does not seem strange to you? If no cause of order exists, we would expect all things to be random and helter-skelter. However, they are not; they are orderly. Why is this?

Further, I do not see any evidence that we are a purely cosmic accident. That would be pure speculation.

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 Give up this idea that complexity=god, this assertion is ridiculous.   A god, could not have designed us, becuase if he/she/it had, I think we would not see children in third world countries dying of malaria. Plain and fucking simple.

Death and suffering was not God's creation, but something that came into existence as a result of human sin. Prior to the fall, such things did not exist. Free will allowed man to do such a thing, but God, while allowing free will to cause such a fall, used it to bring about a greater good as a result.

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  Now, unless you have some wonderous proof and as Rook put it Peer reviewed papers backing your silly assertions, then I suggest you get a biology book and start reading.

You don't need a peer-reviewed paper to prove complexity at all. Further, unless you have peer-reviewed papers waiting in the wings to tell me that the universe is a giant cosmic accident without a creator, I wouldn't be asking others for them.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


Iruka Naminori
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Hambydammit wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:

C) God is omnipotent in the sense that He can do all things

Thank you for completely ignoring the voluminous proofs of the falsehood of this notion. It makes all of us feel very good about the time we've spent writing them.

1) God cannot do a non-existent action, nor contradict logic. This would be a) a limitation on His power, and b) contrary to His essence (which is His existence).

Then again, thank you for refuting your own argument. The fact that you can sit there, presumably with a straight face and say that God's inability to do a thing is actually proof of his ability to do anything... well, it's mind boggling.

E) Negative theology is not held by Catholics or Christians

Um... yeah. I suppose you mean the true scotsmen, right?

F) God can be spoken of by human beings because a relationship exists between creation and God as God is the cause of all being. In this way, we can speak of God a posteriori (from effect to cause).

I'm so tired. All you've done for this entire entry is say, "No, you've got it wrong. I've got it right."

Nothing you've said is logically coherent. Lots of people have refuted your arguments, repeatedly.

Why don't you just come out with it? Just say, "You just have to believe me because I believe I'm right, and I have absolutely no proof of it."

It'll make you feel better, I promise.

I know it would make me feel better.

I feel like I'm watching the Cirque du Soleil of apologetics. Smiling As I said before, it's AMAZING to watch theologists go through contortions to justify their god belief. I should make some popcorn.

Seriously, StMichael, you've been repeatedly pwned on this thread. Sad Following the truth wherever it may lead is hard, especially when you have to admit to yourself, "I was wrong." I had to do that with a number of beliefs I'd been brought up to believe. I didn't have anyone to help me. At least there's a community of atheists on the Internet now. You wouldn't be entirely alone.

Dan Barker, head of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, used to be a fundamentalist preacher. In fact, he has ties to the area where I live and he and I have exchanged, "Hey, do you know such-and-such?" e-mails. It's such a small community that I did indeed know many of the people he inquired after.

Well, when Dan Barker went looking for the truth and finally had to admit to himself he'd pretty much wasted a big chunk of his life on a lie, imagine how hard that was. Also, imagine the fallout from his decision to follow the truth. Like many of us he lost friends and family because he would no longer adhere to god delusion. I have a hell of a lot of respect for someone who follows the truth no matter the cost because it's harder than hell. Take that from someone who's been through it.

Luckily, Mr. Barker was able to deconvert his parents. He'd always had a good relationship with them. I can't think of anyone else who was that fortunate. Sad My friends deserted me. The fallout from family and community has been mind-blowing. I'm sure others here could tell similar stories.

So, besides the allure of an invisible friend who's always there and the wish fulfillment of life everlasting, religion also provides a construct upon with to base encounters with family and friends. There are a lot of pressures against someone who seeks the naked truth. I'm hoping that it gets easier. I wasn't cut out to be a trail blazer. Smiling

I know there are a lot of internal and external pressures propping up your god belief, but you sound like an intelligent person. Hey, it takes a smart person to go through all those mental contortions for the sake of apologetics. I bet you can think your way out if you really try.

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StMichael
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The truth is often a matter

The truth is often a matter of distinctions and complicated matters.

I have also not only responded to defend my position, but have done so in a manner that refutes my opponents arguments.

Also, I would never ever become an atheist for so many reasons, but the most basic one will suffice: because atheism is contrary to reason.

 Finally, I work on no basis of wish fulfillment in God; I know God exists by my reason and further:

I firmly believe that God is one God in Three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I believe that His Divine Son became Man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because God Himself hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.

Further, relying on His almighty power and infinite mercy and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and Life Everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer. 

Lastly, I love God above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because He is all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of Him. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured.

 I believe in these more firmly than I can know anything else, including what I know that I exist.

In these virtues I wish to live and to die.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

 

PS - If you wish to admit that you have no answer and hold your position on blind faith, go ahead. You just won't find converts to your anti-religion here. 

 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote: The truth

StMichael wrote:

The truth is often a matter of distinctions and complicated matters.[\quote] 

I have also not only responded to defend my position, but have done so in a manner that refutes my opponents arguments.

No. You haven't.  In the post before this quoted one, you said something to the effect that the idea of God cannot to be shown to be irrational.  You basically said that we can't use natural reason to  disprove the things you have faith in.  

If that is all you have, then you must admit that all you are doing is believing what you want to believe. 

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Also, I would never ever become an atheist for so many reasons, but the most basic one will suffice: because atheism is contrary to reason.

No. It isn't.  Atheism is the lack of belief in any gods.  This would only be contrary to reason if if was indiputably shown with natural reason that any god exists.  Atheism is the position that comes about as a result of their not being sufficient reason to believe that God exists.  Saying that there is not reason not to believe it--even if that held--would not make atheism contrary to reason.   

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Finally, I work on no basis of wish fulfillment in God; I know God exists by my reason and further:

No, you don't know God exists.  You asuume your conclusions.  You beg the question. I'm wasting my time. 

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I firmly believe that God is one God in Three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I believe that His Divine Son became Man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because God Himself hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.

Further, relying on His almighty power and infinite mercy and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and Life Everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.

Your "sins" are of not being completely honest with yourself.  You are intellectuall either dishonest or incapable.  I don't believe you are incapable, as you are articulate and thoughtful.  You are just mis-guided.

There is nothing to be saved from.  There is no revelation, just ideas from men that you attribute to God. 

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Lastly, I love God above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because He is all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of Him. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured.

No doubt these words give you solace and comfort because you have associated them with goodness and truth all of your life.  Loving God above all things is loving an illusion about reality.  Loving your neighbor as yourself is the height of humanist ethics and has nothing to do with God.  Seeking recompence for wrongs is also humanistic, and a worthy goal. 

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I believe in these more firmly than I can know anything else, including what I know that I exist.

 ]In these virtues I wish to live and to die.

Who are you trying to convince, us or yourself?

 

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PS - If you wish to admit that you have no answer and hold your position on blind faith, go ahead. You just won't find converts to your anti-religion here.

I have no faith.  everything i believe I believe for a demonstratable reason. I may be wrong about some of them (perhaps all of them!), but I nonetheless do not hold anything in "faith."  

 I admit I have limited answers.  What I find interesting is that your projection here betrays what you really think about faith.  If you deride my faith that cannot be proven, perhaps you might want to turn that derision around. But the Christian doctrine already tells you you are guilty and sinful, so that should not be difficult to internalize.

I am not anti-religion.  I am anti-faith.  I very luch like some religions.  I don't like any faiths.

Shaun 

I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.


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StMichael wrote:

StMichael wrote:
Lastly, I love God above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because He is all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of Him. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured.
This is typical presuppositionalism - morals cannot be absolute or objectively true without some absolute authority in place to enforce them. It's also known as "might makes right". Morals cannot be enforced at the point of a gun.

God said: If you dont love me, burn in hell. 

God had no time to create time.


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Quote: Life requires an

Quote:
Life requires an all-powerful being, God, to even exist.
Bald assertion and guesswork...

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Life is too complex to simply be something that fell into place. The replication of DNA to formation and cooperation of cells.
Too complex compared to what? Exactly how complex does something have to be to be able to say that a god was definitely involved? How simple does something have to be to infer that no god is required? Suppose nothing, even DNA, is complex enough to require a god.

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The very beginning of matter requires God.
The very beginning of god required a super-god, etc...

And, oh yeah, faith is not a type of knowledge. Saying so is like saying that "same as cash" is the same as cash. It isn't and you know it isn't. Notice how I use the word "know" correctly.


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StMichael wrote: Also, I

StMichael wrote:

Also, I would never ever become an atheist for so many reasons, but the most basic one will suffice: because atheism is contrary to reason.

Finally, I work on no basis of wish fulfillment in God; I know God exists by my reason...

 

I will leave it to others to discuss atheism being contrary to reason, and how you know god exists by reason.  I would simply like to know, on your premise that god exists by reason, how do you further reason that the catholic god is true,  unlike Allah, Ganesh, or even any of the Protestant versions of the Triune god.

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Brian37
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Rational Faith wrote: Life

Rational Faith wrote:
Life requires an all-powerful being, God, to even exist. Life is too complex to simply be something that fell into place. The replication of DNA to formation and cooperation of cells. The very beginning of matter requires God.

Intelectuall cop out. "It is too hard for me to find answers so I will incert God as a default when I dont have answers" 

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LeftofLarry wrote:

LeftofLarry wrote:

My contention is that indeed because of complexity, there could not be a creator. You see, if an all powerful god created us, then why build such complex systems that are flawed? Nature, in it's complexity is flawed: example: Cancer, auto-immune diseases, congenital defects to name a few. Others are the "design" of the knee. The simple fact that the sun is also lethal to us (skin cancer).

If god is so omnipotent, why create life in such a manner that it is so complex? Why would god not create a more simple living organism? Why would god create viruses, bacteria and parasitic protozoans? Why would god create plants in nitrogen defecient environments? Fact is there is no god and we are the products of whatever cosmic accident, and certainly and without doubt, humans are the product of evolution on earth. Give up this idea that complexity=god, this assertion is ridiculous. A god, could not have designed us, becuase if he/she/it had, I think we would not see children in third world countries dying of malaria. Plain and fucking simple. Now, unless you have some wonderous proof and as Rook put it Peer reviewed papers backing your silly assertions, then I suggest you get a biology book and start reading.

No no no no no, combine a really emotional person who doesnt want to give up their fairy tales with a biology book and you end up with Crapinism and ID. I think you have to get them to back off their emotions first before you hand them something usefull that they would only shred and distroy.

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In response to Pikachu,

In response to Pikachu, Catholics do not believe that the absolute character of morality is determined by God's punishment. Rather, moral failing is a punishment in itself (it follows a good that can never make one happy). I believe that a moral authority has to exist (even if one says that it is subjective) for morality to exist. I would likewise say that, if morals are to remain intelligible, an absolute moral standard is required. That would be God, ultimately.

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God said: If you dont love me, burn in hell. 

More accurately, if you do not love God, you will never be happy and this is the pain of hell.

 

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No. You haven't.  In the post before this quoted one, you said something to the effect that the idea of God cannot to be shown to be irrational.  You basically said that we can't use natural reason to  disprove the things you have faith in.  

If that is all you have, then you must admit that all you are doing is believing what you want to believe. 

Belief is not itself irrational because it only builds on what we know by our natural reason. It likewise does not reject logic or truth, because God is the author of both. We believe because we trust in God's authority when He reveals.

However, again, I point out that our knowledge of God's existence is not from faith, but from natural reason.

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Also, I would never ever become an atheist for so many reasons, but the most basic one will suffice: because atheism is contrary to reason.

 

 

No. It isn't.  Atheism is the lack of belief in any gods.  This would only be contrary to reason if if was indiputably shown with natural reason that any god exists. 

 I merely stated that my own position is that atheism is contrary to right reason and never attempted to prove it. I believe that God's existence, while not necessarily something very easy to attain to, can be demonstrated by natural reason. Further, I think this attested (not proven, mind you) to by human history where most people in every age have had some knowledge of God apart from Revelation. I also, however, believe atheism to be irrational on other levels. I find it lacks any possible morality (because of a lack of foundation for being), as well as lacking a true explanation for any manner of true logical discourse (as truth requires some standard, likewise in being). I believe atheism to be extremely contrary to the spirit of wisdom, philosophically speaking, as I find the logical conclusion of atheism to be that one must reject truth itself. I also am highly suspect when it properly becomes "atheism" rather than an agnostic position and begins to proceed (as I believe the RRS does) with quasi-missionary activity on its own brand of blind faith. I believe knowledge of God to be naturally attainable and that all men can find knowledge of God within their own minds because God created them.

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 Atheism is the position that comes about as a result of their not being sufficient reason to believe that God exists. 

That would properly indicate agnosticism. Atheism indicates opposition to belief that God exists and hence is a stronger term.

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 Saying that there is not reason not to believe it--even if that held--would not make atheism contrary to reason. 

I never said that, nor would I endorse that.  

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Finally, I work on no basis of wish fulfillment in God; I know God exists by my reason and further:

 

 

 

No, you don't know God exists.  You asuume your conclusions.  You beg the question. I'm wasting my time. 

What conclusions do I beg? That I can prove it such? I can, but am merely stating my position that I know it can be done.

I believe God's existence is provable in a number of ways, among them that it would seem logically necessary to posit that the existence of things in the world (as they are only possible; they go in and out of being) requires a necessarily existing being which sustains/causes their existence. It would seem that a first cause of the universe and all that is within it must logically exist.

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I firmly believe that God is one God in Three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I believe that His Divine Son became Man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because God Himself hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.

 

Further, relying on His almighty power and infinite mercy and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and Life Everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.

 

Your "sins" are of not being completely honest with yourself.  You are intellectuall either dishonest or incapable.  I don't believe you are incapable, as you are articulate and thoughtful.  You are just mis-guided.

I don't understand why I am labeled as being "intellectually dishonest." If I have made some sort of dishonest comment in my remarks, I apologize. But I see no place that I have and I see no reason why my own belief is inherently intellectually dishonest (which I will never admit). Even more so, I can just as equally say that I believe you misguided by your own blind faith in atheism. If you wish to argue with me, do so on the merits of my arguments, not on my motives in presenting them (which has no bearing on their truth). If my arguments are true, I hope that you have the intellectual honesty to admit to them.

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There is nothing to be saved from.  There is no revelation, just ideas from men that you attribute to God. 

This is purely your own faith in your atheism. I see no reason to believe this and you present no proof that this is the case. Further, I believe there is natural proof that God could reveal Himself to man should He so wish and I believe that God has revealed Himself to man in Jesus Christ because of the miracles by which Christ showed He was God.

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Lastly, I love God above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because He is all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of Him. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured.

 

 

No doubt these words give you solace and comfort because you have associated them with goodness and truth all of your life. 

It has nothing to do with giving me solace and comfort. Comfort has nothing to do with Christ; "Take up your cross and follow me." I believe these words to be true because God has so revealed it. My own intellect finds nothing amiss in these statements and I see no reason to find them irrational. In fact, I find them to be highly probable if we merely looked at them naturally and, further, by faith I am more certain that these things are true than it is true that I exist. Lastly, I have not concieved them as true my entire life.

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 Loving God above all things is loving an illusion about reality.

So you believe. No proof or reason for that, however.

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Loving your neighbor as yourself is the height of humanist ethics and has nothing to do with God.  Seeking recompence for wrongs is also humanistic, and a worthy goal.

Doesn't work. No place in which to place absolute moral or intellectual truth. Further, loving neighbor as self is very hard to rationalize into a humanistic ethic (in my opinion, impossible). If you are a Dawkins-lover (as most of the people on this site are), it would doubtless be impossible as such altruism is merely a fantasy foisted upon you by evolution.

However, I believe that our knowledge of the moral law, including this knowledge of justice, is connatural to man, which is why human reason can easily discover precepts like these.

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Who are you trying to convince, us or yourself?

I was merely quoting a statement of faith. It has nothing to do with convincing.

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I have no faith.  everything i believe I believe for a demonstratable reason. I may be wrong about some of them (perhaps all of them!), but I nonetheless do not hold anything in "faith." 

Well then, if that is true, we might get along. There is a point at which, however, faith is necessary. This is even true in ordinary life when we have faith that somebody is telling us the truth when they tell us, for example, that the world is round. If you say that these are different from religious faith, I ask you to tell me why. 

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But the Christian doctrine already tells you you are guilty and sinful, so that should not be difficult to internalize.

The Christian religion says that I am sinful by Original Sin and that my nature is wounded, but it likewise says that, by grace, I become a child of God and share in the very life of the Most Blessed Trinity. It does not just offer the fact that we are sinful, but more importantly offers the means of forgiveness (and not just a juridical forgiveness, but a complete regeneration so much so that we are said to be 'divinized' - made into gods).

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I am not anti-religion.  I am anti-faith.  I very luch like some religions.  I don't like any faiths.

I find the two first statements hard to reconcile. If by that you mean that you like some people who are religious, I have no problem with that. I have friends who are atheists. I dislike atheism itself.

I would likewise point out that you do have faith, if only on a human level. You believe what other people tell you because you believe them to be trustworthy, ect. and you could not live if you did not. It is not the same faith, but it is related.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


zarathustra
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Kindly respond to my post,

Kindly respond to my post, just a few up.  I was asking how reason, in addition to leading you to the conclusion of god's existence, leads you also to believe in the catholic portrayal of god over that of any other religion.

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Sorry, zarathustra, you

Sorry, zarathustra, you posted between when I was writing my response Smiling

 I was explaining that in my post. The move to the Christian God is by faith. However, it is faith in a certain sense. The Christian God is defined according to Christians as being the first cause (at least, according to Catholics, most Protestants, and Judaism). So, there is a substantial conformity because they define the identical term. Also, in terms of other religions, most other divinities are not compatible with the nature of the first cause (for instance, they are not one, or they are not of the various qualities required).

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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Quote:

Quote:
In response to Pikachu, Catholics do not believe that the absolute character of morality is determined by God's punishment. Rather, moral failing is a punishment in itself (it follows a good that can never make one happy). I believe that a moral authority has to exist (even if one says that it is subjective) for morality to exist. I would likewise say that, if morals are to remain intelligible, an absolute moral standard is required. That would be God, ultimately.
These atheist peoples are happy. Why are they soo happy ?
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More accurately, if you do not love God, you will never be happy and this is the pain of hell.

Im happy the way i was born, im happy the way i am. I dont want to be different. I was raised atheist. So i dont care if you curse me an my familly to hell.

If a certain god didn't suit you you could find another one more to your liking. Also the multiplicity of gods eliminated the centralized authority for "morality" and put the whole issue of morality back where it belongs: with the people who have to BE MORAL.

It has always been something we humans have to argue and talk about and live with. With monotheism the individual is assaulted with an air-tight system with everything all neatly defined and commanded. There is no alternative. "OBEY OR GO TO HELL." Monotheism seems to completely miss the idea that before we have actual life experiences we have no basis on which to consider what morals are. They are human business for humans.

In rejecting this simple fact of life; in accepting the redemption of the savior and anticipation of eternal joy in paradise, people seem to abandon the ordinary existence and their part in the lives of others. Being already forgiven their sins and carrying the ten commandments before them like a shield, they avoid analysis of their own activities. Hence we have a modern society that accepts things like nuclear weapons and germ warfare and economic greed...with no analysis.

If you don't like someone is it okay to hurt them? What is it about that person you don't like? If it is non-acceptance of virtually everything you have trained yourself to believe, then according to the monotheist, it is okay to kill them, okay to enslave them, okay to rob them. No thought ever is given to what this kind of behavior (the behavior or the "moral theist&quotEye-wink does to the social environment.

God had no time to create time.


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StMichael wrote:

StMichael wrote:
if you do not love God, you will never be happy and this is the pain of hell.
Is this your definition of happyness ?

Your belief is a mind disorder. 

God had no time to create time.


zarathustra
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Thank you for responding.

Thank you for responding.

 

StMichael wrote:

The move to the Christian God is by faith. However, it is faith in a certain sense. The Christian God is defined according to Christians as being the first cause (at least, according to Catholics, most Protestants, and Judaism). So, there is a substantial conformity because they define the identical term. Also, in terms of other religions, most other divinities are not compatible with the nature of the first cause (for instance, they are not one, or they are not of the various qualities required).

It is still not apparent to me how you arrive at the Catholic god, through reason. You have only gone so far as to mention the first cause argument, seeking to support the argument by the fact that Jews and Protestants conform to this term. Curiously you exclude Allah, although it is just another version of the Abrahamic god. It is still unclear, after your acknowledgment of the first cause, how one proceeds with reason to infer the Trinity, and all other aspects of god as defined by catholicism, to the exclusion of protestantism or judaism. You then also say "most other divinities" are not compatible with the nature of the first cause. Please provide some examples from this overwhelming majority of incompatible divinities, and also address the remaining few divinities that are compatible, and how by reason we determine that they do not exist.

Regards

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