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My Strange Obsession with Death on Mondays

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One man, an atheist of course, accused me of being a necromaniac; that is, one who has an abnormal tendency to dwell with longing on death (from Dictionary.com).

No.

I actually have an abnormal tendency to remind people of the fact that they can have eternal life.

Or eternal punishment in Hell.

I have a valid reason for posting these Sudden Death articles every week: to remind people that there is a Day of Judgment coming when God will make the pronouncement that one is either “Guilty” or “Not Guilty” after they die.

For some it may be years from now, for others, possibly tonight. Don’t play that “Prove it” game with me. Your conscience continually reminds you that you have done wrong. You know the standard: The Ten Commandments. Break one and that’s called sin. Sin one time and you’re guilty deserving of Hell.

Yes, one lie makes you a liar; one theft a thief; one OMG makes you a blasphemer. Jesus says that one X-rated thought toward another is adultery, and hatred murder. You don’t stand a chance. You will not just rot in the ground. You will not disappear out of existence. The Bible is clear: You will end up in Hell for all eternity. Unless…

Unless you repent of your sin and trust in Christ for forgiveness. While we were still sinners Christ died for us.

Will you trust him today?

Jonathan Edwards had a few words to say about God’s creative ways in taking people out of this world and catapulting them into the next. Read his perspective by clicking here.

73 Comments

  1. Keep it up, Pastor Steve! Everyone will deal with death; the atheists have figured out a way to ignore it. But, the instant they leave this world, they’ll be forever thinking about the decision they refused to make.

  2. Some of us know the standard Steve… but don’t you think that if God thought that the Ten Commandments were the end all be all standard of morality and the most important set of laws with which we ALL will be judged he would have given them… to everyone. Written them into all of our DNA, told everyone mentally that this was the standard with his absolute power, or inscribed them onto every stone on the Earth for all time? Why give them to the Jews and rely on text to spread his set of laws to humanity, was the rest of the world unworthy somehow? Were the rest of the ‘unwashed masses’ destined for Hell because of their birth location? Does God not like Chinese people, because he didn’t feel like giving them any sort of revelation? What about those lost tribes in South America that still haven’t received any contact from the outside world, how are they supposed to know about the sins they’re committing because they’re in violation of the 10 Commandments?

  3. vintango2k,

    You’re right! And God did write it into your DNA and everyone else’s too. It’s called a “conscience” in modern English vernacular. Every person has one, and that includes you.

    So you see, argumentation and pleading ignorance aren’t going to work in His courtroom. It’s better if you repent and trust Jesus for salvation before it’s too late.

  4. “…Don’t play that “Prove it” game with me…”

    It’s not a game.

    Perhaps one day you will understand that people who come here, try to discuss with you in a civil manner, genuily disbelieve that God exists and/or that our “soul” will survive the death of our physical body.

    Perhaps there are atheists that actually believe in God but pretend otherwise and secretly hope that they will be forgiven. Some of these eventually turn out Christians and then pretend that all atheists are like them. Reality tells us a different story.

    We all have an inner voice, a conscience, that tells us what’s right or wrong, what’s good or bad, what’s evil or not. This inner voice is not absolute however, it’s not ever lasting, it’s not perfect and we all need to pay attention to it, but without ever forgetting that others have a slightly different, or completely different, inner voice.

    By pretending that you “know” God, Steve, you pretend that your inner voice is better than anyone else’s. That’s what I will never understand when it comes to fundamentalists Christians. This arrogance in front of the vast reality that we live in.

    Even if I assume God is real and created the universe. What we see around us is very different from what you want us to acknowledge. This world is not as simple as you want us to belive it is, and if God created the world, we need to learn about the world as much as we can in order to honor God. I wonder why you don’t do that Steve…

  5. @Glenn

    It’s interesting that we both wrote about having a conscience at the same time, without knowing because of comments moderation! 🙂

    What’s weird though is that you don’t seem to believe us when we say that we listen to our conscience…

    It goes back to what I just wrote. You don’t believe us when we say that we don’t believe God exists? You don’t believe us when we say that we listen to our conscience and try to do what’s best for us and others?

    That’s one big difference between fundamentalists and non-fundamentalists, be it religious or not: fundamentalists are not able to see the good intentions of non-fundamentalists. For you guys, we are either Satan’s tool or some little devils who want to do harm to all you good Christians.

    But it’s all an illusion… we are just like you. We are all humans who try to do what’s best. I recognize your good intentions, you wanting to save others and yourself from Hell.

    I believe you, and I believe that you really belive.
    I just don’t believe what you believe.

    What part of all this don’t you understand?

  6. Steve,

    Your “Sudden Death” posts are wonderful. First, they remind the reader how close the Grim Reaper is to every one of us. Second, they remind the reader to take the time to evaluate their life. Third, you share the Gospel of Jesus.

  7. Glenn wrote:

    Everyone will deal with death; the atheists have figured out a way to ignore it.

    I can only speak for myself (something I’d encourage you to consider), but I don’t “ignore it”; I accept it, Glenn.

    I accept that I’ll die at some point.

    But no, I’m not afraid of judgment by your God or Allah or whomever, because I don’t currently have any reason to believe that any of them exist.

    But, the instant they leave this world, they’ll be forever thinking about the decision they refused to make.

    So you say.

    And the Muslims say the same about you, with the same conviction that you say this about me.

  8. Glenn wrote:

    It’s better if you repent and trust Jesus for salvation before it’s too late.

    Only if you’re correct.

    If the Muslims are correct, then repenting to Jesus is one of the things that I absolutely should not do.

    So, it goes back to this: you say one thing, the Muslims say another. How should I know which is correct?

  9. Glenn wrote:

    You’re right! And God did write it into your DNA and everyone else’s too. It’s called a “conscience” in modern English vernacular.

    Glenn, are you suggesting that everyone has the second commandment written into their conscience?

  10. @ Glenn

    That makes sense! If you don’t think about it for more than a few seconds. A ‘conscious’ has natural explanations yes, human beings as well as other social animals have time and time again demonstrated social behaviors such as altruism, mourning, crime and punishment, regret and cooperation. As human beings we DO have conscious but it can vary wildly depending on the culture, though many things that follow the common sense of the Golden Rule usually appeal because they are conducive to the construction of a society among a group of people. This, however, has not and does not grant people any special insight in Christianity or Judaeism or any other divine revelation that Yahweh Sabaoth chose to gave humanity. If a Native American keeps to their conscious and doesn’t lie, cheat, steal, but worships an ancestory spirit as a divinity what do you think that native would say to God on judgement day? Sorry Mystery God but I thought this spirit was God, couldn’t you have told me about Jesus or the Jews or whatever, if it meant that much to you? Why do I have to get sent to a place I have no clue about because you chose not to tell me anything about anything?

  11. Glenn Parker observed: “And God did write it into your DNA and everyone else’s too. It’s called a “conscience” in modern English vernacular. Every person has one, and that includes you.”

    What, then, am I to make of the fact that my conscience – which you’ve just defined as the morality that God programmed into me – conflicts in several significant areas with the morality presented in the Bible? (To use an example from Pastor Steve’s post: “Jesus says that one X-rated thought toward another is adultery, and hatred murder.” This strikes me as self-evident nonsense. Thinking about sex with someone I’m not married to, or simply pausing to appreciate the… how to say this… secondary sexual characteristics of another person – this is not even remotely the same as adultery. Likewise, there have been people that I’ve disliked extremely, felt extremely hostile and angry towards, and even wished ill-will upon… and that was not at all the same as murdering them. How do I know? Because they didn’t end up dead.)

    So if my God-given conscience tells me that the God-given Bible is wrong about these things, do I go with the text? Or do I go with the living Word in my heart? Would a just God forgive me for having honest doubts?

  12. That should really say “ill-fortune” instead of “ill-will.” Ill will was what I had; ill fortune was what I wanted them to have.

  13. Plus, it brings us back to Gandhi. Is he in hell?

    And my follow-up question: Are you kidding?”

  14. Nohm,

    Am I to understand that you are at a crossroads where you’ll either accept Christianity or Islam, and you simply need help deciding? You seem to hide behind this notion quite often, so if you’re really needing help, we can be more than accommodating.

  15. I love this post.

    I love J. Edwards description of how easily one can be taken into hell.

    I love the fact that unbelievers must use the Christian standard of goodness to support their unbelief.

    And how about unbelievers faithfulness to their faith.

    Like Bob Dylan said, “… your going to have to serve somebody…”

    As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.

    Don’t forget to vote today.

  16. “I love the fact that unbelievers must use the Christian standard of goodness to support their unbelief.”

    Um… are you sure you’re not talking about somebody else with the same name?

  17. I love this post too Richard.

    “Momento Mori Monday” isn’t as sweet as “Atheist Tuesday” but it sure does give me something to look forward to reading.

    Death happens. The unbelievers would be wise to heed the warnings of God’s servants. It is never too late to invite Jesus into your life, repent your sins and accept Him as your Lord and Savior… unless you are dead then your going to be like, “I should have listened to that preacher dude.”

    To the unbelievers Jesus can be your Best Friend Forever too.

  18. Glenn wrote:

    Am I to understand that you are at a crossroads where you’ll either accept Christianity or Islam, and you simply need help deciding?

    That’s not how I’d describe it, but I am quite open-minded to either religion being correct.

    My current point of view is that neither is correct, but I can be wrong.

    You seem to hide behind this notion quite often,

    I’m not hiding behind anything, Glenn. I’m trying to make a point when I bring up Islam.

    Do you understand the point that I’m trying to make when I bring up Islam or Muslims? Because quite a few other people understand it, so I don’t think I’m being sneaky.

    so if you’re really needing help, we can be more than accommodating.

    Okay, so please give me your answer to my basic question:

    If Muslims are convinced that they are right in the same way you’re convinced that you are right, and I’m supposed to use faith, how do I decide which religion is correct?

  19. Richard wrote:

    I love the fact that unbelievers must use the Christian standard of goodness to support their unbelief.

    Hi Richard. Please explain what you mean by this statement. What exactly is the “Christian standard of goodness”, how does this differ from other standards of “goodness”, and how exactly is it used by nonbelievers to “support their unbelief”?

    And how about unbelievers faithfulness to their faith.

    I don’t have faith, so I have no idea what you’re talking about here. Was this just a dart with no point other than to belittle, or do you have an explanation as to what you meant with this statement?

    If it’s the latter, please explain what you meant, because you lost me there.

  20. Oh, wait unbelievers have no moral standards. Because a moral standard implies a moral law giver.

    Here is the Christian ethic: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10

  21. I, for one, get a guilty concious when I wear garments made of mixed fabrics.

  22. Richard wrote:

    Oh, wait unbelievers have no moral standards.

    Absolutely false. I ask you to attempt to support this insulting claim.

    Because a moral standard implies a moral law giver.

    Please support this claim. Define exactly what you mean by “moral law giver”.

    But watch this: Let’s say that I claim that my “moral law giver” is my mother. Therefore, by your logic, I have a moral standard, which renders your first comment (that unbelievers have no moral standard) incorrect. I am an unbeliever and I have a moral standard.

    Richard, quick side question: do you intend to be so insulting?

    Something tells me that the goalposts will be moved soon… 🙂

  23. Oh, and again:

    I love the fact that unbelievers must use the Christian standard of goodness to support their unbelief.

    Richard, please explain what you meant by that.

  24. @ Nohm – I suspect that Richard Chavarria has mistaken my question to Glenn Parker. I was, for the sake of argument, accepting his assertion that my conscience is the Word of God written on my heart, and posing a hypothetical question based on those assumptions. I was not using the Christian standard of goodness to support my unbelief (it does just fine on its own, thanks), but I can see how someone could easily miss that distinction – especially given the difficulties of communicating without visual or voice-tone cues.

    If that’s not the case, then I have no idea whatsoever what Richard might be referring to.

    But, here’s the thing – and now I’m addressing you, Richard Chavarria. When you say, “Oh, wait unbelievers have no moral standards,” you’re simply wrong. Oh, they may not be your moral standards. They may not even be moral standards that you approve of. But even casual observation will quickly demonstrate that there are moral standards being applied.

    (If not, why are we here? I could be out robbing and speeding and raping and drinking and singing Country/Western tunes and… well, the list of selfish pleasures is nearly endless! And so many of those things would be far more rewarding to me; some are positively lucrative, if you’re smart enough not to get caught. But I’m not doing them. Why is that, if unbelievers have no moral standards?)

    This… “Because a moral standard implies a moral law giver.” …is self-evidently nonsense as well. It’s a logical fallacy known as the “false dichotomy” – in this case, the argument seems to be that either there’s a divine source of morality, or else anything goes. Which, again, is self-evident nonsense. In fact, there are plenty of other ways to develop morality: numerous religious systems, not all of which require an all-powerful Creator; various philosophical systems, of which the simplest is probably the Golden Rule (which predates Jesus by quite a bit); and simple trial and error, which seems to me how most people learn. There’s an entire field of study devoted to how people compare their subjective experiences against other people’s subjective experiences to get closer to an objective standard (and it isn’t limited to morality, but it is relevant here). It’s called intersubjectivity.

    Look, that’s not to say that there’s no value to Christian or Biblical morality. But if you’re going to say that the only choices are Christian morality or no morality, I call shennanigans. Because, well, just look around…

  25. @ Righteous Richard

    If you haven’t discovered this by now, the atheists are incivil. They are trying to set a snare for you by asking you endless questions. They want you to waste your time. You shouldn’t pay them any heed. You warned them but they are heading for the ditch anyway.

  26. Don’t worry Richard, the Troll has your back!

  27. Nohm said…

    Richard, quick side question: do you intend to be so insulting?

    @Richard

    Not only are these nonbelievers blind to the Truth but they are blind to their own behavior too.

  28. Storm-puppets wrote:

    If you haven’t discovered this by now, the atheists are incivil.

    Says the person who uses sock-puppets and, therefore, has no leg to stand on.

    You’re a hypocrite, Stormbringer.

    When I first realized that it was you posting on Steve’s blog, Stormbringer, you’ll remember that I said something to the effect that it wasn’t worth it to have a conversation with you.

    You replied by asking me about my civility, clearing missing the mark.

    THIS STUFF is why I don’t see it worth it to have an actual conversation with you; you are a troll’s troll, and a hypocrite. Take care of that plank in your eye first.

    You talk about the civility of others, yet you use sock-puppets and constantly do failed mind-reading. Hypocrite.

  29. Richard, no one is setting a snare for you. You make claims that baffle me, therefore I ask you to explain what you mean.

    It’s that basic.

    If I made a claim that baffled you, I would have no problems explaining myself further. And I have done exactly that with you. I just ask for some common courtesy in return.

    Thank you.

  30. I’m not Stormbringer.

    You must be a paranoid individual.

  31. Storm-puppets wrote:

    Not only are these nonbelievers blind to the Truth but they are blind to their own behavior too.

    Says the person who uses sock-puppets and uses failed mind-reading. Motes and beams.

    If I thought you’d actually respond, I’d ask you for an example of my own behavior that you feel is insulting.

    And no, calling you out on your dishonesty is not insulting.

  32. Do not feed the Trolls.

  33. Do not feed the Trolls.

    Point taken.

  34. To the most excellent and powerful Nohm,

    If you thought that I was Stormbringer then it seems to me that you yourself are a failed mind reader.

    I’m not even sure what you mean by mind reader to begin with.

    I don’t think you understand the term sockpuppet. I do not think it applies to me.

    As for lying I have no idea what you are talking about.

    Furthermore, the last I looked I have two relatively healthy legs. I can stand on both of them as well as on one or the other without any difficulty. Thank you for your concern though.

    Sincerely, your most humble servant,

    Me

  35. My apologies to my brother for addressing the group of non believers who are posting on this blog. But, I don’t think Pastor Steve will soon give up posting atheist Tuesdays.

    Mr. Mock, I’m not going to answer all of your concerns with this post.

    I don’t know which of my earlier statements you consider to be a false dichotomy or a contradiction. And I was not aware that there are other faiths that have a written record of the golden rule. Jesus quoted the golden rule from the Old Testament, Lev. 19:18, which was written in about 1445-1405B.C.

    Do you lean toward a secular humanistic worldview? While I await your answer here’s the answer to your previous question concerning the heart.

    The scriptures are truthful and divinely inspired as to the nature of the human heart.
    Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

    Yes, God is not only looking to see what we do, but the intents of our hearts. Jesus came to fulfill the law. He never lied, never stole anything, never used God’s name in vain, and never committed adultery. He said that not one part of the law would ever disappear. Then he went on to rise the nature of the law by saying if you hate your brother you’re a murder and if you call him a name you’ll be subject to God’s judgment and if you look with lust your guilty of adultery because you committed it in your heart. Not only that he’s going to judge every idol word you have ever spoken. Now, there’s no way that we can keep God’s moral standard, we are all criminals deserving of his eternal justice.

    Sometimes non believers do what is right. A broken clock is right twice a day.

    How can we get right with God. The answer: Christ Jesus the Lord.

  36. Richard Chavarria,

    (First off, do you have a preferred form of address? I don’t mind using your full name, but if there’s a shorter version or a particular title that you prefer – “Brother Richard”, for example – I don’t mind using that. What should I be calling you?)

    I’m going to try to answer you topic by topic, so please bear with me.

    My concerns: To be honest, I don’t think you can answer all of my questions – not well enough to bring me back into Christianity. I don’t say that to be mean or insulting; instead, I hope it will make this conversation easier for you. It is, as Pastor Steve suggested, a matter of faith before evidence; and I don’t have faith.

    The concerns that bring me to this blog are basically: 1) that I think you have a skewed and inaccurate view of unbelievers, and 2) I think the streetcorner-and-tracts approach to evangelism is inappropriate, and often counterproductive. (The more “hard-sell” techniques you use, the more likely it is to be counterproductive.)

    False dichotomy: What you said was, “A moral standard implies a moral law giver.” This is false precisely because it sets up a false dichotomy: there is a moral law giver, or else there are no moral standards; there can be no middle ground between these two choices. I responded by pointing out several areas where you can, in fact, find middle ground between those two choices. This is why I say the dichotomy is false.

    Secular humanism: I don’t consider myself a secular humanist, and I’m not entirely sure how you’re using the term. So… maybe? Or maybe Materialist might be a better description, but in that case I’m not sure I’m using the term the same way everyone else does.

    The heart: I’m not sure which question about the heart you think I asked – is this the one where I was asking Glenn Parker about conscience being at odds with Bible? That would make sense, given the passage you quoted – in that case, you’re saying to trust the Bible, not our hearts. (That would tend to imply that Glenn is wrong about our consciences being God’s morality written onto our hearts, but that’s fine with me.)

    …Ah, okay, yes. That pretty much has to be what you’re addressing. But I fail to see how connecting wrath – or hate – to murder (and lust – or attraction – to adultery) raises the nature of the law. At worst, hate is starting off in the same direction as murder; but the actions are different, and the results are different. It may head in the same direction, but it’s a very different path. So connecting hate to murder (and etc.) seems to muddy the issues, not clarify them.

    But that’s a sidetrack, really. It doesn’t have anything to do with why I’m not a Christian.

  37. If the word of God is true. Then we have a moral obligation to follow its commandments. The word of God teaches that we are guilty criminals in his sight. This applies to all peoples everywhere. And yes it applies to those who haven’t heard the gospel. That’s why Christian is commanded to go into all the world and preach the gospel. The Bible says that if the world hates me (Jesus the Lord) it will hate you too. Now the hard sell techniques Christian employ are offense and at the same time are received with joy by those who repent and put their trust in Jesus. The Bible says that the word of God will not return void. It will accomplish all that it has been sent to do.

    Personally, I’m so thankful to the man who modeled Christ and asked me to repent and trust the Lord. He did not let his light stand on the shelf and wait for someone to ask him what must I do…He spoke the words of truth.

    Remember the story Jesus told about Lazarus and the rich man. The rich man went to hell and while in hell asked Abraham to send someone to warn his brothers. And Abraham replied not even if someone rises from the dead will they believe. And later in Mathews account it states that after Jesus rose from the dead and was seen alive many worship him, “but some doubted.” So, it’s not a matter of evidence. One could give evidences till the cows come home. It’s a matter of the heart. God demands moral perfection from us. In thought, word and deed. If you say you have never lusted in your life you are not being intellectually honest with yourself. I hope this helps.

  38. Richard wrote:

    If the word of God is true.

    Or, it could be phrased, if your specific beliefs of your interpretations of the Bible, along with your specific beliefs about God, are true…

    Because, as you know, there are many sects of Christians who do not believe exactly as you do.

    And that’s the whole question, isn’t it? If this is true… so, Richard, how do we determine whether or not something is true?

  39. If the Word of God is true (that is, if God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and perfectly good; and if the Bible is His set of moral instructions for us), then yes, we would have a moral obligation to follow its commandments to the best of our abilities.

    But there’s an interesting little Catch-22 here. In order to understand the reasons why I should believe, I have to believe already. Which is fine if you’re a believer, but does me no good at all since I’m not. For this among other reasons, I agree: “choosing” Christianity is not a matter of evidence.

    For the same reason, there’s very little point in telling me that the Word of God teaches that we are all irredeemably flawed, sinful, and/or guilty. For one thing, I’m not a Christian, so I have no particular reason to assume that the Bible is correct about that. For another, that claim really doesn’t match my own experience and observations.

    Which brings us to the man who modeled Christ and asked you to repent. How exactly did he go about doing that? Did he accost you on a street corner and hand you a tract? Or was he someone you already knew reasonably well, who sat down and spoke to you as a friend?

  40. Oops, I left off the last two points…

    The first one is that even if the Bible is not God’s perfect set of moral instructions for us, we still have a moral obligation to develop and follow the best morality that we can.

    The second one is this: I’m not claiming never to have lusted. What I’m saying is that lust and adultery are two very different things.

  41. Mr. Mock,
    I appreciate your honesty. But, is it possible that your experiences and observations could be wrong about how you have arrived at your worldview? What is your standard for determining if your experiences and observations are correct?
    What proof do you have that the Bible is not the word of God. When you set up your own standard for morality your are being irrational as one could easily say establish morals one chooses to follow and which to reject. You can’t pick and choose a moral standard as one could easily say I choose this: Killing babies in the womb is fine moral standard. A Man marrying man is fine moral standard, etc. Lusting in your heart and committing adultery are un-godly and un-holy. Can you see why we need the Savior?

    You already live like a Christian, you just need to repent of your sins. The reason I say you already live like a Christian is because you assume that tomorrow will be like today. Among other reasons: such as you are using the laws of logic to make an argument, laws of science and laws of morality. God sustains the world as we know it because Genesis 8: 22 tells us so. The fact that you already assume these proofs means that you already believe in God in your heart of hearts.
    Now, for Christians the hardest people to witness to are family and friends…very hard, even to the point of giving up. It is much easier to witness to strangers. And I’m sure you would agree with me on this point. The man who witnessed to me was a coworker and the day I repented he accosted me on the street. You would be very inspired to hear my testimony of how God revealed himself to me.

    I hope this helps.

  42. Mr. Nohm, one cannot be persuade by evidence.
    The issue of life and death is a matter of the heart. Because scripture tells us that everyone believes in God. Romans 1:18-23.
    What is truth?

    For the consistent Christian Bible believer the answer is understood.
    One needs to see if their worldview is logically consistent. There cannot be any internal contradictions.

    Only the biblical worldview can account for the laws of logic and morality. I’m not saying that non believers are not moral at times. What I’m saying is that any worldview that cannot account for immaterial laws is false. Evolution cannot account for such laws. Therefore, it is false, irrational and inconsistent.

    God has revealed his moral character to us by giving us his law: the Ten Commandments. These laws are hard wired into us. It is wrong to lie because lying would be a contradiction to who God is. Idolatry is wrong, it is un-holy. Idolatry denies the one true God. God does not change and he cannot lie. When we die we will give an account of our life. Know now that you will not be able to stand on your own merit. You need to repent.

  43. I would, actually, be very interested to read your testimony of how God revealed himself to you.

    But, is it possible that your experiences and observations could be wrong about how you have arrived at your worldview?

    Absolutely. It’s entirely possible that I’m wrong. And there are plenty of things that I simply don’t know.

    What is your standard for determining if your experiences and observations are correct?

    Now we’re back to the topic of intersubjectivity, which I mentioned a few posts back. First, I check my experiences and observations against those of other people – which is what we’re doing right now, actually.

    Second… well, I’m trying to look for a way to explain this that’s a little more detailed than, “It works.” But, based on my experiences and observations, the predictions I make have reasonable odds of being correct. And it’s been a while since I’ve encountered anything that conflicted with my worldview in a significant way, anything that made think, “Wait, that shouldn’t be possible.”

    I’m out of time for the moment, so let me come back to the question of moral standards – hopefully this afternoon.

  44. Okay, so, moral standards…

    I don’t think that having a fixed and unchanging moral standard is a good thing. In fact, I think it can be a problem.

    Why? Because we don’t live in a fixed and unchanging world. The Bible, for instance, accepts the existence of slavery very matter-of-factly – so much so that in the years leading up to the Civil War, Bible verses were being quoted in support of the practice. (To be fair, other Bible verses were also quoted to argue against the practice.) And yet, for the most part, modern people consider slavery a moral wrong.

    To offer another example, what does the Bible say about when it’s okay to cut someone off in traffic?

    On a day to day basis, even the most ardent Christians aren’t following direct Biblical instructions in their conduct and decision-making. (Direct is the key word in that sentence.) Instead, they make judgements based on the situation, relying on their consciences, and checking their observations and experiences against those of other people. Their judgements and their consciences may be informed by the teachings of the Bible, but those teachings are still being applied by imperfect people, which means that they will be applied imperfectly.

    I think that having a changeable, non-eternal morality is actually a good thing. It allows us to update our moral standards when they prove insufficient (or even just inefficient). It allows us to incorporate new knowledge and new understandings. It allows us to learn, grow, and improve.

  45. Mr. Mock,

    You and I agree on the issue of slavery. However, it is my desire to be a slave for Christ.

    As a materialist (to my understanding of this worldview) you believe that matter is the only reality in the world, which accounts for the universe and denies the existence of God.

    I would totally expect you to say that one can have changing moral standards. Non believers have no logical reason to believe in an ultimate standard of right and wrong within their worldview. And your right, having a consistent moral standard it is a problem for those who break them. Because as a Materialist you regard matter as the only reality in the world.

    However, your idea of having a changing moral standard is irrational. As is your idea that we do not live in a fixed and unchanging world. You as a nonbeliever are being irrational because you’re using the Genesis concept of right and wrong. Albeit inconsistently. And inconsistent with the law of uniformity of nature.

    Think about it. If laws of morality were ever changing why was Hitler not right? If things are always changing in the world…then how could science conduct experiments today and expect same results tomorrow. If things were continuously changing we could not expect astronomers to calculate the distances in other space.

    The Christian worldview is consistent in that God promises to maintain the world. Genesis 8:22. The laws of logic, mathematics, science, and morality are unchanging. These laws are perfectly supported by the Christian worldview . How does the materialist account for them. The holy moral standards do not change because God cannot change. The laws of morality are everlasting.

    Lastly, you and I agree that humans have a sin nature. It is in us. It’s in our hearts to sin. That’s why we need Jesus. Repent while you still have time.

  46. As a materialist (to my understanding of this worldview) you believe that matter is the only reality in the world, which accounts for the universe and denies the existence of God.

    Yeah, this was why I said that I was probably using “materialist” differently from the way most people do. But that’s close enough to get us started, I think, so…

    If laws of morality were ever changing why was Hitler not right?

    Short answer? Because he was hurting people.

    You seem to think that when I say that working moral systems can change, I mean that they can change willy-nilly, going any old which way. That isn’t what I mean at all. I mean that whatever principle(s) you choose as the basis of your moral system – whether that’s “Do what God commands me to do” or “An it harm none, do as you will” or “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you” – at a practical level our ideas and application of moral behavior will change as we learn. Sometimes that’s on a cultural level (as with slavery), sometimes that’s on a personal level.

    If things are always changing in the world…then how could science conduct experiments today and expect same results tomorrow.

    Beg pardon. I was not suggesting that the laws of physics are subject to change; I was suggesting that the circumstances in which people learn and apply their morality has, over the course of human history, changed radically and is continuing to change. A world of automobiles and Twitter and grocery stores is a vastly different place from a world of hunting and gathering on foot, and only communicating face to face.

    The Christian worldview is consistent in that God promises to maintain the world.

    When you say “the Christian worldview,” I assume you mean your Christian worldview, right? I know quite a number of Christians, and they argue waaaaaaaaay too much for people who share a common worldview. Some of their worldviews include evolution, marriage equality, and other things that I believe you’d find incompatible with your Christian worldview; these Christians don’t find those beliefs incompatible with Christianity at all.

    Lastly, you and I agree that humans have a sin nature.

    No, actually we don’t. We agree that people are imperfect, but that’s as far as it goes.

  47. Richard wrote:
    “If things are always changing in the world…then how could science conduct experiments today and expect same results tomorrow. If things were continuously changing we could not expect astronomers to calculate the distances in other space.”

    Yet another comment that falls in the ‘wow’ category…

    Richard, you don’t believe the observations that astronomers make, so why do you bother given them as example?

    Astronomers are telling us that space is expanding, that no matter where we look around, other galaxies are ALL going away from us, that our galaxy has satellite galaxies, that at least one of them is going to merge with ours in the future, etc, etc etc…

    In other words, EVERYTHING is moving and changing, EVERYTHING! You could not be more inaccurate!

    Once again, thanks for the entertainment… but it make me so sad at the same time to see how you mock scientific advancement like that!

    I have absolutely no problem with people who believe in God, zero issues, but I do have issues with people who mock the knowledge of humankind and the process called EDUCATION. By exposing your false beliefs and wrong interpretations of the world we live in, Richard, you spit on the face of all the smart people who studied the universe before you.

    You want to be humble in front of your God’s Creation, well be humble in front of people who study His Creation as well. These people, believers or not, are not lying to you. They only want to pursue the quest for knowledge and understanding.

    In short, here’s the bottom line: we live in a moving and ever-changing galaxy. Think about that for a second and when you can explain all the implications, let us know.

  48. Mr. Mock,

    Now my understanding of the materialist worldview is this. ” A materialistic atheist does not believe in anything beyond the physical universe. In this view, all that exists is matter in motion. But of course laws of logic are not matter; they are not part of the physical universe.”

    So, then how do you account for the laws of logic which are immaterial, do not change and are universal?

    If within your materialist worldview you cannot account for these laws then it is doesn’t make sense to apply it to oneself.

    So, if there is imperfection there must perfection. This implies the consistent Christian God of the Bible. For God is perfect and we are made in his image and therefore we should not lie. Repent and believe the Gospel.

  49. Hugo,

    We are talking past each other it seems to me. My point is that we need science to understand the world in which we live and to help us to live in it. You and I agree on this point. I know we do.

    Science has basic laws that are consistent. I hope you agree with this point. Math is consistent: 2+2=4. This law does not change. Unless you use another form of math then it does not change either. The law of non contradiction is another law we could look at as well.

    In the consistent Christian worldview we expect scientist to be able to make successful predictions about the future. The reason being is due to the mathematical laws are consistent over time and space. I hope you see my point.

    In order for the atheist to do science he must assume these laws to be true. How then can the atheist account for these unchanging laws and still do science and be true to his worldview. Now Mr. Nohm says “atheism is neither faith nor is it religion. It is simply non acceptance of supernatural claims of theists. That it”.

    God upholds the universe by his power which is consistent, universal and does not change. When atheist uses the laws of science he assumes these immaterial laws to be true. God is immaterial he does not change and he is universal. If your true to your atheist religion you cannot use laws that immaterial, unchanging and universal. That is quiet clearly stealing from the consistent Christian worldview. If there are condradictions to one’s utimate worldview than it can be said to be false.

  50. Richard C. wrote:

    If your true to your atheist religion you cannot use laws that immaterial, unchanging and universal

    I guess I have to repeat myself:

    atheism is neither faith nor is it religion. It is simply the non-acceptance of supernatural claims of theists. That it.

    I’ll also add this: atheism is not a worldview. It is simply the non-acceptance of supernatural claims of theists. That’s it.

    You make an unsupported claim, such as:

    God upholds the universe by his power which is consistent, universal and does not change.

    But you don’t give us a reason to accept the claim. Therefore we remain, as we were before the claim, in non-acceptance of the unsupported claim.

    Both you and Muslims claim that your God (and for the Muslims, Allah) exists. That has not been demonstrated to my satisfaction. Therefore I do not currently accept your claim. Therefore, I’m an atheist. That’s it.

    As long as you claim to believe in miracles, I see a contradiction when you claim that these “laws” are unchanging; a miracle is the breaking of one of these laws, in which it has been changed.

  51. Richard C. wrote:

    So, if there is imperfection there must perfection. This implies the consistent Christian God of the Bible.

    Please show how your conclusion follows from your premise (assuming the premise is even correct, which I’d argue that you need to show how it follows from its own premise).

    Because I don’t see it.

    I could just as easily say, “This implies the consistent Islamic view of Allah from the Qur’an”.

  52. Mr. Chavarria,
    (May I call you Richard? I’m okay with being called Michael, though I dislike Mike or other abbreviations.)

    Yes, your understanding of materialism is a bit different from mine. I think that all we can directly or indirectly observe is, basically, matter and energy in various states of organization. The laws of logic are neither matter or energy; they are, for our purposes here, patterns of thought that beings of matter and energy have found to yield reliable results. This is, if you want to look at it this way, one kind of organization found among material (i.e. made of matter) beings. They are not some Platonic ideal floating outside space and time; they are principles that human beings have formulated because they work. Logic is not a spiritual quality; it has a history, just like religions do.

    So, if there is imperfection there must perfection. This implies the consistent Christian God of the Bible.

    I’m sorry, I mean no offense, but this is Underpants Gnomes logic. You remember the Underpants Gnomes? They appeared in an early episode of South Park, and they had a business plan… sort of. It looked like this:
    1. Collect Underpants.
    2. ???
    3. Profit!

    If there is a supreme Creator of the Universe, and if that Creator is perfect – neither of which we’ve actually established – you’ve offered me exactly no reason whatsoever to believe that the Bible in any way describes such a being. In fact, the likelihood of such a Creator being even vaguely comprehensible to spacial, temporal species like human beings is so close to zero as makes no difference.

    For God is perfect and we are made in his image and therefore we should not lie. Repent and believe the Gospel.

    I’ve never been entirely clear on what “we are made in his image” means in this context. We’re certainly not perfect, and He’s certainly not humanoid. (Again, I’m not conceding that such a being exists, I’m just considering what we might expect if He did.)

    I… I feel like we’re a little bit sidetracked here. Because really, when you tell me I should repent of my sins and find Jesus (that is, I should become a Christian), I tend to respond with questions. Which questions depend on which reasons you’re using to try to convince me. But all my questions can be reduced to one basic question: why should I believe that? Because Christianity, as I’ve mentioned before, doesn’t make sense to me.

    The rest of my questions (about the fellow who modeled Christ and convinced you to repent, for example – and I’d still like to hear that story) are only slightly different: they all boil down to, Why do you believe that?

  53. @Richard

    Yes we are passing past each other. It’s ok though, no hard feelings. We are online so it’s hard to have a real discussion. As I said in the other thread, this is entertainment mainly, for myself at least, so let’s just enjoy what we can get from that, and one day we might get to discuss that in person, who knows, I will be much closer to your area in a few months time 😉

    Ok, so, concerning your last comment, look, I can do that to…

    In order for you to use logic, you must assume my worldview, because my worldview starts with:

    – Logical absolutes exist (laws of logic)
    – I exist
    – Other minds exist

    Without assuming these first, nothing makes sense. If logical absolutes don’t exist, we cannot make truth statements such as A is A, or ‘I exist’. (1) has to be true.

    If I don’t exist, or if you don’t exist, I cannot interact with you. (2) and (3) have to be true.

    Make sure you read Vagon’s comment on the other thread by the way…

    Moreover, just to make sure, this is completely useless for discussing beliefs in God, science, morality, etc… I don’t go through life constantly reminding myself of these logical absolutes, and you don’t either. So please stop acting as if you have some sort of unbeatable rhetoric that can nail all non-Christians. You did not even know what ‘to falsify’ meant, lol.

    To push a bit farther, I will try to explain to you, in my own words, the difference between the 3 types of “laws” you mentioned.

    – Science laws: They are descriptive laws, manmade, they are not laws at all actually. They approximate the way the universe works, in a certain context, in order to describe what will happen next. Remember Newton’s laws? They were pretty good right? We could send humans to the moon using them! Did you forget however that they are “wrong”? Newton laws fail on very large distances or at speeds close to the speed of light…

    – Mathematic laws: These are absolute in their framework, but they are still manmade, and depend on the context and on the existence of logical absolutes. (You cannot make a statement that is consistent if ‘A = A’ is not always true, thus math depends on logical absolutes.) Moreover, 2+2=4 works in base 10, but in base 3 you would get 2+2 = 11, or in base 4 you would get 2+2=10. I probably lost you already but anyway… the point is that they are not all black or white as you pretend they are, and they are definitely a human construct used to represent the physical quantities we see in real life. That’s why we need to constantly adjust our understanding of mathematics to fit the observations.

    – Logical laws: As mentioned above, these are the only laws that are truly absolute from our point of view. The second we start making a statement, we use these laws. We cannot even say ‘I exist’ without respecting these laws. Trying to argue for their existence or trying to account for them is absurd and futile. BUT, some people have done it! It’s interesting but again, you probably don’t care since you say that we have to accept your simplistic views on God before we can discuss them… Life is complex Richard. Why are you trying to dumb it down?

  54. Mr. Nohm,
    Ok, so you have a new broader personal definition for atheism. Additionally, your definition says that atheism is not a worldview. And I perfectly know why your definition is ever changing. That makes sense to me as you are moving albeit slowly. OK, next time I’ll quote the scripture verse. I hope it will help.

    Here’s how I know that God promises to support the world. Genesis 8:22 “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease”.

    Ok, here’s the argument for miracles: Jesus preformed miracles, he turned water into wine, he healed the blind, and he raised the dead from the grave. In the Old Testament, God open the Red Sea to allow the Hebrews to walk on dry ground. These miracles are a demonstration of his power and where accomplished not for his benefit but for ours so that we might believe. Now which man can say that God violated the laws of nature. Man does not know all the laws of nature, such as DNA, which was recently discovered. The Christian can account for laws that govern the world and when there are exceptions (miracles) they can be accounted for in the Christian worldview. The atheist cannot account for the laws of nature because they are law like. The atheist, apart from your definition, says that the world came about by accident of cooling gases and we came from pond slime. How then can atheism account for the universal laws of science and math and morality. Where do these laws come from?

    Now if you have an open mind you will need to look at both claims to determine which to believe. Islam claims to be a religion of peace. How then do you account for the verses in the Koran such as this one from Sura 9:5 “Then when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due the leave their way free. Lo! Allah is forgiving, merciful.

    Now you decided is Islam a religion of peace? I have made up my mine.. what about you?

  55. Michael,

    You cannot be saying that logic was formulated by humans because they work. This implies that humans can change laws of logic to suit his every whim. Yesterday I thought it was OK to lie, steal, and cheat. Today I understand that it is wrong to do these things. NO, laws of logic don’t change? Do you have a better reason for the laws of logic?

    I have never watched South Park. By your understanding does Gnomes apply logic in the sense that I understand what it is: immaterial, universal, and unchanging? If so, then I need to watch that show.

    No, I have established that there is a creator, you are the one who has doubts. Since God is eternal as the Bible says, he lives outside of time. Since God is able to see time, he knows the beginning from the end. Now, God attributes are omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence. These attribute he has not given to us. What he has given to us is an understanding of his moral attributes. His justice, his wrath, his love and his plan of salvation. God is sovereign. That means he can do what ever does not conflict with his nature. God cannot lie. God said in Genesis let us make man in our image. The reason we don’t lie is because God doesn’t lie. We are made in his image. Now when you become a Christian I will certainly tell how I became one.

    I hope this helps.

  56. Richard wrote:

    Ok, so you have a new broader personal definition for atheism.

    No, Richard; my definition on that word has not changed.

    Atheism is the non-acceptance of the supernatural claims of theists.

    Please show how that has changed.

    Additionally, your definition says that atheism is not a worldview.

    That has nothing to do with the definition.

    As I’ve mentioned many times on this blog before, the word “atheist” describes what I am not. It does not describe what I am.

    I am not a theist. Therefore I am an atheist. Theist accept claims of that one or more gods exist. I currently do not accept any of those claims.

    And I perfectly know why your definition is ever changing.

    No, it is not.

    Please support your assertion that it is. When did I define it as anything else? If anything, I’m simply clarifying it, since it appears you continue to misunderstand it.

    That makes sense to me as you are moving albeit slowly.

    I have no idea what you mean by that.

    OK, next time I’ll quote the scripture verse. I hope it will help.

    I have no idea why it would.

    Ok, here’s the argument for miracles: Jesus preformed miracles, he turned water into wine, he healed the blind, and he raised the dead from the grave. In the Old Testament, God open the Red Sea to allow the Hebrews to walk on dry ground.

    Yes, I understand that you believe that these things actually happened. But, for the same reason that you don’t believe in the scientific miracles of the Qur’an, or the miracles of the Greek gods, I have a hard time believing these stories. They appear to be mythology to me.

    The Christian can account for laws that govern the world and when there are exceptions (miracles) they can be accounted for in the Christian worldview.

    You haven’t demonstrated this. You haven’t even attempted to demonstrate this. You just state it, by fiat. I don’t find that method to be persuasive.

    The atheist cannot account for the laws of nature because they are law like.

    Why would an atheist not be able to account for the laws of nature because they are “law like”? What prevents an atheist from doing so?

    And what in the blue blazes does “law like” even mean?

    The atheist, apart from your definition, says that the world came about by accident of cooling gases and we came from pond slime.

    Oh my goodness. :-O

    Seriously?

    Like, seriously?

    Where do you get these ideas?

    You’re going to sit here, someone who seems to have never actually met an atheist outside of the internet (and I’m not even sure about that part), and tell me what atheists believe?

    Pond slime? Do you get all of your information about atheists from anti-atheist and creationist sources? Don’t you think that might be a bit biased?

    You’re not making sense, Richard.

    How then can atheism account for the universal laws of science and math and morality. Where do these laws come from?

    Ok, let’s make one point clear: your understanding of atheists does not match reality.

    “Atheism” can account for anything besides the existence of one or more gods. You still appear to think that it’s a worldview or a set of beliefs.

    Richard, please understand that it is not. It is simply the non-acceptance of the supernatural claims of theists. That’s it.

    (I’d also point out that you’re equivocating greatly on the word “laws”, but that’s a quibble for a later time.)

  57. Oh, and as for whether or not Islam is a religion of peace, it doesn’t matter to me. It either is true, or it is not true.

    My point is that when you ask me to come to Christ in faith, and the Muslim asks me to come to Allah in faith, what method should I use to determine my choice?

  58. Mr. Chavarria,

    This is not really relevant to our conversation, but that Sura you quoted puts me very much in mind of Deuteronomy 21:18-21. I mention this to caution you: a religion is more than its writings. Islam is a difficult religion to study, in part because English-language information about it tends to be very biased, in part because the way the Koran is read is not always linear, and in part because Islam, like Christianity, can be practiced in very different ways by different people.

  59. Bit by bit, again:

    You cannot be saying that logic was formulated by humans because they work.

    Really? Why not? (I’m neither arguing nor making fun of you, here. I genuinely don’t understand your objection. It’s quite possible, incidentally, that some of my fellow unbelievers would agree with you on this point; Nohm seems to believe otherwise, for example.)

    This implies that humans can change laws of logic to suit his every whim. Yesterday I thought it was OK to lie, steal, and cheat. Today I understand that it is wrong to do these things.

    Two things:
    1. You seem to have jumped from logic (the structure of valid argument) back to morality (the nature of right action). These are related topics, but not the same.
    2. There is, as I’ve pointed out before, a difference between changing one’s system (or morality, or worldview) to incorporate new information and/or greater understanding of existing information; and altering it to suit one’s every whim. The second practice is not generally what people consider a “system.”

    I have never watched South Park. By your understanding does Gnomes apply logic in the sense that I understand what it is: immaterial, universal, and unchanging? If so, then I need to watch that show.

    You’ve lost me. I don’t understand what you’re trying to convey here. So instead of wasting time on pop-culture references, let me back up and explain exactly what I meant when I mentioned the Underpants Gnomes.

    You said, “So, if there is imperfection there must perfection. This implies the consistent Christian God of the Bible.”

    Breaking that down for the actual structure of the argument (that is, its logic), I get the following:
    1. People are imperfect. (I had said that we agree on this much.)
    2. Therefore, there is imperfection. (That follows.)
    3. Therefore, there must be perfection. (This is a reasonable inference from the definition of “imperfection,” though I’d argue that the fact that we can conceive of perfection does not necessarily mean it exists in a tangible sense. But ignore that for now, because it’s beside the point.)
    4. Therefore, the Bible (and in particular your reading of it) is true in all its particulars.

    The problem with this argument is that point 4 does not follow at all from point 3. This is why I referred to it as “Underpants Gnomes logic” – there are a huge number of steps necessary to get from point 3 to point 4, and you’ve simply skipped over them and asserted that point 4 must be true. For example, you’d have to show that perfection can have a real, rather than conceptual existence; you’d have to show that perfection must exist in the form of an all-powerful being that exists outside of space and time; you’d have to show that the Universe must necessarily have been created by such a being; and then you’d have to show that the Bible must necessarily be a message from that being to humanity. You haven’t done any of that.

    Is that any clearer?

    No, I have established that there is a creator, you are the one who has doubts.

    I’m not sure how much we’re arguing logic, and how much we’re arguing semantics, but… No. You haven’t established any such thing. You’ve asserted it, but you haven’t shown me that it’s true. You haven’t even shown me that it’s likely. You believe it, and it may very well be so blindingly obvious to you that it’s hard to imagine how anyone could doubt it, but you haven’t actually shown it.

    Since God is eternal as the Bible says, he lives outside of time. Since God is able to see time, he knows the beginning from the end. Now, God attributes are omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence. These attribute he has not given to us. What he has given to us is an understanding of his moral attributes. His justice, his wrath, his love and his plan of salvation. God is sovereign. That means he can do what ever does not conflict with his nature. God cannot lie. God said in Genesis let us make man in our image. The reason we don’t lie is because God doesn’t lie. We are made in his image.

    I realize that you’re trying to answer my question about what “made in God’s image” means in terms of the nature of human beings. I would have answered the question slightly differently back when I was a Christian, but I can see that this is an answer for that question. But… and I’m sorry if this feels like a sucker-punch… I’m going to take this as a useful point at which to change the subject. This isn’t meant to avoid addressing what you just said (I will, if you want), but rather to move us to something that I think is more important.

    Here’s the thing I don’t think you understand: none of that means anything to me. I have no reason to believe that an entity even remotely resembling your description of God actually exists, and if such a being does exist I have no reason to believe that the Bible describes Him accurately at all. In fact, I have some reason to believe that the Bible’s explanations of How Things Are, while not entirely without merit, are not actually the most accurate depictions of human nature or man’s place in the world.

    I’m not being obstinate; I genuinely don’t see it. And one of the difficulties you have in addressing atheists is that you seem to have trouble understanding that.

    You could be right about all of this. (As you suggested in relation to atheists behaving morally, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.) But that is not the same thing as giving the rest of us any reason to think it might be true.

    Now when you become a Christian I will certainly tell how I became one.

    This is puzzling to me. Why would you hold out on telling me what persuaded you? Admittedly, it’s probably very personal, and admittedly it might not be persuasive to me. And if you’re uncomfortable trying to explain it to an unbeliever, that’s… well, honestly, that’s more understandable than I was originally going to suggest. So… really, that’s fine. I’d like to know, but that does not in any way obligate you to tell me.

  60. Michael Mock wrote:

    It’s quite possible, incidentally, that some of my fellow unbelievers would agree with you on this point; Nohm seems to believe otherwise, for example

    Hi Michael. I have no idea what you’re talking about here, but that’s less a problem of my reading comprehension of what you’re writing than it is…

    To be clear, with someone that I thought I could have a deep and non-antagonistic philosophical discussion with (like yourself, Michael), I would say that it seems to me that logic was formulated by humans because it works. But then I’m also a determinist, so… yeah. Basically, I think that the illusion works well enough.

  61. Hugo,

    You are absolutely right. I don’t know everything. Only God does. Nor do I pretend to know everything. Your are right about that. I don’t see how you showed I was dumbing down life, by the points you stated. I do not disagree with you when you say life is complex.

    You did a fine job of outlining the laws of math. However the laws of logic cannot be interpreted from one’s point of view. In order to live we assume them to be true.

    Are you saying that the existence of the laws of logic is absurd and futile. Yet at the same time you want to be logical. I could see that you would turn away from trying to explain the laws of logic, but why would you say they are absurd and futile.

    One thing you did not do is to explain how these laws came into existence. Did they come about by human invention or by his convention?

  62. @ Nohm – Honestly, at this point, arguing about the fundamental nature of logic is probably just a huge distraction. Something you wrote earlier seemed to describe logic as having more of an independent existence, but I may simply have misread you (or you may have simply been going along with that view of it because it wasn’t worth arguing about). So, um, nevermind?

  63. “Here’s the thing I don’t think [Richard et al.] understand: none of that means anything to me. I have no reason to believe that an entity even remotely resembling your description of God actually exists, and if such a being does exist I have no reason to believe that the Bible describes Him accurately at all. In fact, I have some reason to believe that the Bible’s explanations of How Things Are, while not entirely without merit, are not actually the most accurate depictions of human nature or man’s place in the world.”

    AMEN!

  64. Richard said:
    “….However the laws of logic cannot be interpreted from one’s point of view. In order to live we assume them to be true.

    Are you saying that the existence of the laws of logic is absurd and futile. Yet at the same time you want to be logical. I could see that you would turn away from trying to explain the laws of logic, but why would you say they are absurd and futile.

    One thing you did not do is to explain how these laws came into existence. Did they come about by human invention or by his convention?”

    First, thank you for taking the time to consider what I wrote.

    Second, what I find absurd is simply the fact that you keep asking how we can account for the laws of logic.

    Third, they did not come into existence. They just are, by definition. They are axioms. They are eternal and not dependant on any mind. They transcend space and time, etc…

    Ok, I ran out of synonym, but that’s the simplest way to put it. Wihtout logical absolutes, you cannot assess the truth of any statement.

    You know what I find really weird with all this though? It’s that saying ‘God created them’ does not account for them at all. It actually creates more problems…

    By saying that God created the logical absolutes, you are basically saying that they are not absolutes, because God could have made them otherwise, since he had the choice.

    If God did not have a choice, it means he was bound by the logical absolutes Himself, which does not make sense right?

    But then again, God, according to some Chrisitian (I don’t know about you) can do anything he wants, as long as it’s logical. Some come up with that explanation to solve the ‘Can God create a rock so heavy he cannot lift it’ problem. This could then be apply to the logical absolutes to say that God could design them the way he wants, as long as it’s logical. but wait! We are saying he created the logical absolutes themselves, but had to be logical when creating them?

    Don’t you see how having a mind that generates the logical absolutes does not work?

    In other words, either God created the logical absolutes, which makes them non-absolutes and make the entire enterprise of logic fail.

    or

    God did not create the logical absolutes, is bound by them, and he did everything else.

    NOTE: This is not, in any way, a proof that God exists, it is, in the simplest way that I can, a way to express why I find the whole debate on ‘accounting for logic’ absurd.

    We all use logic and reason to discuss. Saying that one person cannot account for logic and reason is dishonest. We are all in the same position regarding to them.

    Where we differe is concerning morality, and that’s another complete different subject, with completely different ways of approching it. That’s a problem that Mock has noted in a previous comment by the way, because you, Richard, seens to be confusing the logical absolute with moral absolutes.

    I am not a philospher or specialist in any of this so correct me if I made mistakes…

  65. (correction)
    NOTE: This is not, in any way, a proof that God **does not** exists, …

  66. Michael wrote:

    Honestly, at this point, arguing about the fundamental nature of logic is probably just a huge distraction.

    Agreed.

    Something you wrote earlier seemed to describe logic as having more of an independent existence, but I may simply have misread you (or you may have simply been going along with that view of it because it wasn’t worth arguing about).

    Either of those explanations are likely, especially the latter. 🙂

    So, um, nevermind?

    All good. 🙂

  67. Nohm,

    Which scientific miracles are in the Koran? I do not know of any. It is my understanding that years later in Islamic history like 200 years after Mohamed. The copies of the existing Koran where compiled into one version and the exigent copies were than burned. That’s why one does not see foot notes in the Koran. Additionally, since the issue of miracles was clearly written into the Bible, the critics of (the Koran) that day would argue for such proofs (miracles) of the prophet Mohamed being a true prophet. Hence, miracles were inserted into the revised version of the Koran.

    For a clearer understanding you can view: Dr. James White on the Reliability of the New Testament text.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuiayuxWwuI&feature=player_embedded

    Beyond this than you would definitely agree that the Koran is not a religion of peace. And by the way, Christianity is not a religion. Religion implies that we must do something to earn salvation. The Bible clearly teaches that it is by grace we are saved not by works.

  68. “Religion implies that we must do something to earn salvation.”

    What? Where are you getting this?

    Definitions of Religion.

    I’m now officially baffled.

  69. Richard wrote:

    Which scientific miracles are in the Koran? I do not know of any.

    Well, earlier you stated that you had never read the Qur’an so… I’m not sure why this (you not knowing of the scientific miracles in the Qur’an) is supposed to be a surprise.

    Is there a reason why looking stuff up appears to be anathema to you? I mean, all you have to do is type in “scientific miracles of the koran” into google. It would take you five seconds.

    Here’s the link: http://www.google.com/search?aq=0&q=scientific+miracles+in+the+quran

    Additionally, since the issue of miracles was clearly written into the Bible, the critics of (the Koran) that day would argue for such proofs (miracles) of the prophet Mohamed being a true prophet.

    And Muslims would tell you that Mohammed displayed these proofs.

    Again, I’m at an absolute loss as to why you wouldn’t look this stuff up.

  70. Michael,

    I know you are baffled because you are a non-believer.

  71. No, I’m baffled because you are defining the word “religion” in a way that’s completely different from the way everyone else in the world uses it. I’m pretty sure that has nothing to do with me being a non-believer.

  72. Nohm,

    I am not really a lazy person, as your post seems to imply. I have worked very hard all my life from the age of 7 and only recently have I retired. I have a family and I pay my taxes. I would consider myself to be very responsible. (there goes my humbleness, I repent)

    You failed to understand my argument. The argument is, the original writings in the Koran do not contain miracles. It is only the revised version written hundreds of years later that they (miracles) where inserted. Why do you not understand this? This subject has been debated on various forums.

    This information is available to you or you can accept my word on it. Again, when evaluating a worldview, if there are contradictions within it, it should be tossed out. Would you not agree with this?

    I put forth the argument that the Koran if a false religion. This is my premise based on the contradictions which I have already shared, and others that I have come to learn. Of which, you have agreed. Once an open minded person finds contradictions then one need not study it to find or explain and answer the reasons for man’s existence. The Christian worldview explains life questions completely and absolutely and ultimately.

    What Muslims will tell me is not the issue. The issue is which worldview do you believe to make more sense the Islam or Christianity. Based upon the passage I have pointed out from the Koran so far. It seems to me that you are throwing out the baby with the bath water.

    I challenge you to see if you find any contradictions in this:

    “The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies. The Lord is slow to anger and great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished”.

    I hope this helps.

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