Unknown God—Loyisms

How less comprehension makes god more real—understanding the argument.

Non–believers, if our version of god is not real, and words can’t demonstrate a human conceptualization to compare to an unimaginable god, is it real in unknowable comparison to human reality? This is the dilemma. Which version of an un-knowable, inconceivable version shall we postulate and embrace? The completely unknowable one is the real god, but how they know that is unknown—It’s speculation. They even admit they can’t know. And that’s how they know their god is real. Or unreal to earthly interpretations. Make sense?

This is a problem when you conjure up an immortal that leaves no evidence for his existence, but evidently does not exist in a comprehensible state of matter, not anti-matter, not dark matter, nor space nor time. That too, is how we know this is THE GOD—Ee Gads!

So we guess. And our guess is as good as their guess. Single handedly god is in a realm of immense un-knowedness, so how can the experts who claim we can’t know, even know this? Because fiction still outsells nonfiction 3-1?

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools”. The red words of their own Bible clearly states that Loy’s version is not the case at all. That if we have seen him, we have seen the father. The finger of the lord. Jacobs wrestle? And so on.

Occam is rolling in his grave. This god is a god of fiction begetting fiction. That is how he exists in the minds of men. Loy’s sokal-style has proven nothing Dr Maarten Boudry didn’t already prove to your own people. You’ll believe anything if it is unbelievable enough! (Read the entire post if you can)

Therefore be it known—I’m quite certain our god is more unknowable, therefore more real than your god. He’s less evident, less comprehensible for he has no personal relationship with us, does not tinker in the affairs of men, and less full of shit than your god. How do I know this? I can know this by not knowing this, that is what makes him ultimately more than your god. Your god—Is only a so so, because you think you actually have a personal relationship. That screws the entire line of bs! How could you not know, that believing you can have this is the key to worshipping false gods? You are unbelievable with this nonsense! Unimaginable! Unintelligible! Therefore, Loy. Is. God? Humans have a seventh sense…a way to knowing there is something out there that our senses can’t detect. It’s a non-electrical, non perceptible, non-knowable sense unique only to Christians. It’s a non-sense.

See Swarn’s final comment if you will. It’s quite good.

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

105 thoughts on “Unknown God—Loyisms”

  1. Holding on to opinions, convictions and world views does not make them true and will never alter or change the truth behind it ever. This goes for all of us. Humans in general suffer from the god complex https://www.ted.com/talks/tim_harford?language=en , and view themselves as less bias than any other. Humans are not experts with their own opinions and never will be. Being arrogant, self-boasting, self-anointed experts are never going to get anyone to really truly listen to us. That goes for both sides of the argument. We are all here trying to figure out our existence and should do so in a loving manner.

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  2. Lest we forget, Gandhi was a Hindi. He believed in Krishna (How close is that to Christ? Another piece of evidence he [or someone] studied in India during his so-called sojourn in the desert!) and a whole pantheon of other gods and goddesses. When he uses the term “god” Gandhi does not mean the christian god, but some kind of other force that is not quite so picky about who can or cannot worship it.
    Meanwhile, there is a force or energy in our world that outshines all the rest, and that is life. Without life, there is nothing to know anything, not even a god. And life does not demand to be worshipped.

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    1. He did throw in the tree-roots analogy that it’s one god and many paths. That contradicts his Christian allegiance-“no man comes to the father but by me”

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      1. Oh, Gandhi-ji definitely was not christian, though he tried to make it sound that way to impress the British governers (those who govern, not the wearers of a title). I think most believed he was christian. He got the British to vacate his country. But he was Hindi to the end…

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  3. If god was unknowable
    Then it would be impossible for anyone to know that god is unknowable because there would be absolutely no way to know that god is unknowable
    Unless you or someone else made up the whole “god is unknowable” tale

    And
    If your proposed god is invisible, inaudible, incorporeal, immaterial, exist outside of the universe, is timeless, not observable, immeasurable, does nothing we can observe and leaves no evidence for it’s existence
    That pretty much satisfies the exact definition of Imaginary

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    1. Pretty much. I imagine back in the day of the Justinian 1 plague that killed 25million people, it was because they weren’t worshipping the unimaginable god. He was johnny on the spot with a cure though—1000 years later. If they’d only put their allegiances a little more to the gap in left field…

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  4. One thing is for certain and sure (even if God isn’t) … your posts always get feedback from Loy. 😀

    BTW, for a person to say they “have a personal relationship with God” is such an airy-fairy comment. It essentially means nothing. Might as well say they have a personal relationship with the Loch Ness Monster!

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    1. Exactly. It means they feel settled in their beliefs that someone cares? Others have had personal relationships with imaginary friends and wound up seeing a shrink.

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    2. NO Nan! Lochy-Nessy is not the true God! My Holy Sasquatch is the ONLY true God!!! Even though He’s never been proven to exist, I know He does cuz I have a personal (coughs and spits out hair-balls!) relationship with Him! 😁

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  5. Jim, as you know I cover a litany of problems and failures of Christianity and the imaginations of “the God” on one of my blog-pages. I’ll sum up a small portion of it that applies to your post here regarding just the General Problems & Failures vs. the plethora of Specific problems and failures, focusing at the bottom simply on the literally hiding or game-playing this “God” continues to do. First, some quick bullet-points about some major shortcomings, problems and failures of their imaginary “God”…

    • No Medical-Scientific Foresight
    • Tunnel-vision in an Astronomical Cosmos
    • Gender Inequality
    • Vast Prenatal Sexual Ambiguity & Orientations
    • Delimitation of Eternal Life
    • Ovum, Zygote, Embryo, or Fetus?
    • Age of Accountability
    • Unaccountability or Passing the Buck
    • Mindset/Words over Action/Deeds
    • Unproductive Praying
    • Double Standards & Mutable Grace with Time
    • Contortion, Fragmenting and Disunity of Their Church
    • Natural Causes – Not Moody, Finicky Tantrums
    • Lack of Independent Sources to Verify Scripture
    • Confounding Slippery Judgment

    And then…

    • Why the Literal Hiding? — This argument was proposed by Dr. Theodore Drange in his book Nonbelief & Evil: Two Arguments for the nonexistence of God. Basically it says:

    …there is no good argument or evidence for God’s existence. […] Even theists sometimes say such things as “God is hidden” or “the world is ambivalent or ambiguous (as between being governed by God or being totally natural).” Whether such a statement is made in terms of “hiddenness” or “ambivalence” or “ambiguity,” it runs counter to Saint Paul’s (General-revelation) idea, expressed in Rom. 1:20, that “God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.” So if it is a statement made by Christian writers at all, they would not be Calvinists or evangelical Christians, but rather Christians of a more liberal persuasion.

    Drange goes on to explain why arguing from a position of non-belief is much more reasonable and sound than from a position of lacking evidence (or LEA):

    Argument from Nonbelief:

    • (A) Probably, if God were to exist, then there would not be many nonbelievers in the world.
    • (B) But there are many nonbelievers in the world.
    • (C) Therefore, probably God does not exist.

    The term “nonbelievers” as it appears here can be taken in various ways. Let us take it to refer to nontheists. Since that class includes not only atheists and agnostics but also deists, pantheists, Buddhists, Hindus, and countless other individuals throughout our planet who do not believe in a single Supreme Being, it actually contains close to half the earth’s population… a well-established empirical truth, given a suitable definition for the term “nonbelievers.”

    Why did their omnipotent, omniscient God design(?) things this way and continues to allow it? Because he is sadistic? Because he is bored? Because he doesn’t give a shit for millions of different humans suffering? Answer?

    Because there is no such being, especially in a “Christian” costume. 😄 Thank you Jim in advance for letting me post this comprehensive list.

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    1. I like that! That type of explanation is counter to our indoctrinations. If only a few don’t believe makes it just as plausible as if many don’t believe. We’ve been conditioned to give faith a chance first, then disprove something that carries no signature, and somehow the burden of proof is ours? Masterful!

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      1. Yes. Sadly, the blind-deaf faith-followers have mastered the personal art of denial and delusion at the detriment of themselves. Ostrich head in the sand, fat frog in the pot/pan… if you catch me drift. :/

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        1. There is nowhere to go from here. A god that has merely been philosophized into existence and declared untenable can only be philosophized out of existence.

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          1. What Loy and his colleagues usually don’t recognize — or they do and just silently deny it — is that his/the untenable, unknowable “God” and Its/Her/His interventions in the world argument achieves nusquam, Latin for nowhere, achieves nothing, because they operate in and on the same reality as all other 7.6+ billion humans. Their nowhere-ness is no more, no less valid as any non-Christians.

            And THAT you can take to the Nowhere Bank & Trust! 😁

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  6. Fascinating discussion – I missed most of it but just went back to look. What I find most interesting is the way Loy (and others who believe as he does) formulate (or at least repeat) “theories” that are essentially exercises in deception.
    -When people ask what God is like, what can we tell them to keep them believing?
    We tell them god is beyond comprehension.
    -How does God-Liability work?
    Everything positive is attributed to god, everything negative to human “free will”, so god and religions are never to blame for anything…
    It’s almost as if teams of con-men spent substantial amounts of time arranging and rearranging ideology into a system where they always have control and can extract maximum benefit for themselves 😀

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  7. It has always baffled me that people who can say in one breath “No one can know the mind of god.” and in the next tell me what god’s will is have any credibility at all.

    Instead of listening to tortured apologetics, try a little experiment: if you were given the powers of being all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful, etc. how would you behave? (I know this is a movie plot several times over.) Almost none of the behavior of Yahweh/Jesus/Allah in the Abrahamic religions describes how such a being would act. One one hand this being created billions and billions of galaxies … with a thought … and then can’t seem to deal with Satan, who he created in the first place. This god seems to be only able to attract the attention of illiterate tribesmen in the Near East when it should be able to be a voice in every head on the planet, usw.

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      1. actually he’s hiding to protect himself from us. If you go back to Genesis and read some of the things he says and does he’s obviously afraid of us and what we could potentially become. He throws Adam and Eve out of the garden not so much because of their “sin” but because he’s terrified that they’ll find the “tree of life” and become immortal like he is and challenge his power and authority. His actions through most of the old testament are those of a petty despot who bluffs and blusters and bullies in order to cover up his own weaknesses

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        1. Genesis 3:22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”

          Yep, God rage quit once they got hold of that juicy fruit. Well that’s one interpretation out of many lol.

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  8. Reminds me of what the late, great Rene Descartes’ uncle, Albert De’shoes once said of religiously minded folks, “They don’t know; therefore, they do.” Or, to but it more into modern vernacular, “Jesus Christ, Emil! Since we really don’t know how things came inta bein’, it surely musta been tha doin’s of Jesuuuusss!!! Amen!”

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  9. It creates an arena for much silly (as in not logical) argument; as in the points for existence of the entity. For example, ‘god is love, love is real; therefore, god exists.’ (The existence of love is questioned by some). How often do we hear, ‘prove he does not exist’? These days I simply ask which one.

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    1. All of them according g to Loy. One-only by the book. Best not talk about these things too much. It creates conundrum each direction it travels. Thanks Bill

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  10. “Man can only conceive God within the limitations of his own mind. What matters then whether one man worships God as Person and another as Force? Both do right according to their lights. None knows and perhaps never will know what is the absolutely proper way to pray. One need only remember that God is the Force among all the Forces. All other Forces are material. But God is the Vital Force or Spirit which is all-pervading, all-embracing and therefore beyond human ken.” — Gandhi

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    1. Man imagines god. Man can’t prove his imagination is accurate. Man concedes the god he imagined must be greater than he imagined. On in into the simplicity of the gospel we go.

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      1. That quote from Gandhi is also self contradictory. He claims man cannot understand god, but then goes on to claim that he does understand god and that he is some kind of universal force? If you don’t understand god as he claims, then how do you know he wants prayers or anything else, for that matter? How do you know he’s this universal force? How do you know he isn’t, oh, one of my cats? Those dopey siamese certainly act like they’re the lords of the house.

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          1. Ah, Personality, that’s what it is! Don’t get me wrong, I love the little stinkers. We’ve had Siamese cats for, oh, heck, almost 40 years, rescue cats who were in bad situations or were abandoned. Amazing creatures. They just aren’t, well, normal. Not normal cats, anyway. Being Siamese *and* rescue cats, of course they have some “issues” as they say. These two are about 15 years old now and as kittens were never socialized to people. For years they were the “ghost cats”. We’d get up in th emorning and food would be gone and the litter boxes would be used, and that was the only way we knew they were in the house. It was years before they realized we weren’t going to try to eat them or something. Now the goof balls have turned almost into lap cats coming and yelling at us when they want back scratches or treats or want to play. When we have visitors they turn into ghost cats again, but with us they’re cute, fun and attention hogs 🙂

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            1. Right on.. had one as a kid growing up. It was a queen. She tolerated us ok, I could always see an eye of skepticism in her. She was the epitome of that old saying, “the Egyptians used to revere the cat as a god—she never had forgotten that!

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      1. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” John‬ ‭14:9‬ ‭KJV‬‬
“If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.” John‬ ‭14:7‬ ‭KJV‬‬
“And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.” John‬ ‭5:37‬ ‭KJV‬‬
So he has a shape and he resembles his son. Go ahead with the metaphorical explanations, but I think Christian apologetic thinking has put their “personal” god out of argumental reach for either side, as well as contradicting their own holy book.

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    2. All this your Gandhi’s quotes are just commiting the fallacy of appeal to authority. Like Gandhi serves as proof or evidence for the claims he is making
      Gandhi’s is right in saying that the concept of god is the product of man’s imagination

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      1. We’re not to far from discovering that the god they seek is an anticlimactic us. Right between the ears! I hear pulpits make good firewood—or entrance pieces to torture museums.

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  11. It’s a non-sense.

    LOL…Brilliant!

    I read like the first line to his response to my comment that you linked here, and I was just like, I can’t read the rest. It’s ridiculous. And you’ve captured the ridiculousness well here. And I realize that this comment will probably get a response from him but this “non-sensery” has gotten way out of hand. At some point there is no debate to be had when the other side has simply redefined his assertion as to be beyond any mode of argumentation. To assert the existence of something, and say that proof is not possible because it is beyond all modes of proof and definition is just the height of chicanery. I don’t even think it will get much applause from other Christians, because as you say it contradicts not only the bible, but it contradicts this personal relationship that many Christians say they have with this deity. Perhaps he might get some praise from Sufis or other mystical religions who believe that God is unknowable but spend their lives pursuing such a God anyway. It inspires some beautiful poetry actually. If one feels emotionally captured by such a notion, that’s all well and good, but to assert that it’s rational in anyway is ridiculous. Just keep it to yourself, enjoy the feeling and your aesthetic preference I say. We’ve all get emotional about the beauty and mysteries of the universe, but this is hardly a reason to let our imaginations determine what is real.

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    1. get emotional about the beauty and mysteries of the universe“. True. I can’t read pale blue dot without getting emotional. Thanks Swarn. Great comment.

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      1. Because I knew exactly where it was going and Jim’s post confirms that. The god I am refuting is not the one you believe in. You already said as much in your previous response. Your God is so unknowable that he can’t be defined, understood, described, and thus is real. Tell you what I’ll go look at your response and see if I’m right.

        And I was spot on. I am not begging the question, because God has never been proven. You’re the one whose argument rests on an unverifiable premise. And if the best you got is that your parlor tricks are rooted in ancient theology, that doesn’t make them any less illogical…it just makes them old. Congratulations you’ve imported old bad arguments and are still peddling them. It’s like you’re saying that if you con somebody with a con that has been used before, you are essentially being honest. Nope, it’s still a con. And don’t use your “if you’re not willing to engage…” crap. That’s a typical tactic of someone who can’t win an argument. And I already know what you’re going to say, “You’re the one who isn’t responding and who has decided that it is fruitless”. Well let me give you the reason why it’s fruitless for me to continue:

        You have yet to make an actual assertion that isn’t a logical fallacy or doesn’t rest on an unproven premise. Everytime I point this out, there is more hand waving, accusations that I don’t understand what somebody is saying or what God is supposed to be. Since we’ve been communicating you have used the following fallacies:

        Appeal to authority – e.g. It’s rooted in ancient Judeo-Christian philosophy. Going to see your priest when you have a skin disease is also rooted in Judeo Christian philosophy. Big fucking deal.

        Appeal to popularity – e.g. many people have said this, Gandhi just said it more eloquently

        To quoque – this is every time you claim someone is too daft to understand your arguments (or Gandhi’s arguments)

        Burden of Proof – Saying that it is up to us to disprove your notions, not the other way around

        These are some of the most basic logical fallacies. You could commit even better ones if you tried to offer some evidence for your claims.

        Try starting a sentence with “God is real because….”, now I want you to finish that sentence with evidence that backs your claim that doesn’t commit any logical fallacies. That’s all you have to do, and I’d be happy to engage you.

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          1. You’re the one making the claim…do I have to decide the evidence for you as well? This is a test for you to determine A) Do you have evidence and B) Do you know what constitutes evidence?

            The fact that you answered back with a question is telling.

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        1. Appeal to authority – e.g. It’s rooted in ancient Judeo-Christian philosophy.

          No, this is not an appeal to authority. It simply clarifies the terms of our discussion, and also serves to rebut the specious assertion that it is just some sort of tactic or “parlor trick” to acknowledge that our finite and imperfect minds produce finite and imperfect conceptions, including and especially of the divine.

          Appeal to popularity – e.g. many people have said this, Gandhi just said it more eloquently

          No, this is not an appeal to popularity. The fact that many people have said it does not make it so, but it does mean there are plenty of examples to weigh and consider.

          To [sic] quoque – this is every time you claim someone is too daft to understand your arguments (or Gandhi’s arguments)

          That wouldn’t be a tu quoque, but I plead guilty. When I read a daft comment, I sometimes fail to self-censor my rejoinder.

          Burden of Proof – Saying that it is up to us to disprove your notions, not the other way around

          Sorry to break it to you, but there are no free passes. Everybody has to justify their own beliefs and opinions.

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          1. No, this is not an appeal to authority. It simply clarifies the terms of our discussion, and also serves to rebut the specious assertion that it is just some sort of tactic or “parlor trick” to acknowledge that our finite and imperfect minds produce finite and imperfect conceptions, including and especially of the divine.

            Wrong again. Pointing out that a bad argument is an old argument doesn’t change it from being a bad argument. Whether it’s your parlor trick or someone else parlor trick doesn’t make it not a parlor trick. You are still guilty of parlor tricks.

            No, this is not an appeal to popularity. The fact that many people have said it does not make it so, but it does mean there are plenty of examples to weigh and consider.

            You presented a quote as if it said something factual, and when you said you weren’t appealing to authority but that many people have said it, I accused you of appealing to popularity. Gandhi or anybody else who says what he said (even if less eloquent) still made a statement that relies on unverifiable premises. There is no reason to weigh and consider anything.

            That wouldn’t be a tu quoque, but I plead guilty. When I read a daft comment, I sometimes fail to self-censor my rejoinder.

            Answering criticism with criticism is tu quoque. This is your tactic when someone points out the illogic of your arguments.

            Sorry to break it to you, but there are no free passes. Everybody has to justify their own beliefs and opinions.

            I have not asserted the existence of a being. You are the one making the argument and you have to provide the evidence for it. As we’ve already noted, you don’t know what constitutes evidence.

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        2. do I have to decide the evidence for you as well

          Well, yes, if one demands evidence, it’s quite reasonable to inquire about the rules of evidence, that is, what constitutes evidence.

          Furthermore, the question is intended to clarify the subject, that is, whether we’re talking about God, or what you mean by God.

          If the latter, then we’re already in agreement: what you mean by God is not real.

          If the former, then I would say that God is real because it is a fundamental concept that grounds reality itself, being itself. It is justified by the mere fact of existence.

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          1. Loy, you’re holding your imaginary game ball under your shirt. It’s an old trick that has taken us nowhere. What is the benefit to believing in this incomprehensibity? Genuine human imaginary irrelevance? Even Jesus couldn’t know this god you’ve conjured—

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          2. If you don’t know the rules of evidence yourself, or think there is a variety of rules for evidence, then you don’t know what evidence is. I shouldn’t have to define it for you.

            God is real because it is a fundamental concept that grounds reality itself, being itself. It is justified by the mere fact of existence.

            And you accuse me of begging the question? This is pure hogwash. God is real because it is a fundamental concept? How have you determined that it’s a fundamental concept? How do you know reality would become ungrounded if there was no God? How do you know that existence isn’t possible without God?

            You’ve just proven that you don’t have evidence and you don’t know what evidence is. Congratulations.

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            1. And you’ve proven that what really prevents this dialog from being more fruitful is the fact you are unwilling or unable to say what you think God is, and how you justify that opinion.

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            2. I don’t think anything of God. I am waiting for someone to demonstrate that there is one. I don’t define God, or assert it’s existence. I don’t even assert it’s non-existence. I listen to what other people who believe in God, think God is, and I try to determine if it matches reality in anyway. I lack belief in God or Gods, or unicorns, vampires, ghosts…these are all fictions unless someone can prove otherwise. I’m pretty patient in waiting, because really there are so many other things in the universe to interest me. But I do think it’s important we have shared understanding of how we acquire knowledge. Too many mistakes have been made by those who have asserted that their beliefs are a means for determining what is real.

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            3. @Swarn — this is soooo good! — ” Too many mistakes have been made by those who have asserted that their beliefs are a means for determining what is real.”

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            4. We have covered that before Loy. Neurons, hormones, emotions, curiosity, hope, neural cleansing, sleep, and more. All of the spiritual experiences you have had to get to where you are can be manufactured in any university study or drug study. From shadow figures to voices in your head, dreams and OBE’ s, along with every other supernatural explanation, vision, or inspiration, can be duplicated—Even by lying to the subject, especially during vulnerability.
              What you want to attribute to god in nothing more that mans ever changing neurological adjustments, tic, hypnagogias, or temporal lobe hallucinations, just to name a few. You have only proven today you have a great imagination, and a god conviction the even contradicts the words of the very Christ you profess loyalty to. Swarn is right, it is a difficult argument to win when we mingle facts, studies, and solid explanations with pure belief that can’t even be measured—but we’ll get there.
              Can you tell me one supernatural explanation that has supplanted a natural/scientific explanation? Your god is getting smaller

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            5. @jim – You have only proven today you have a great imagination

              The words and misstatements are mine, but the underlying ideas are not original, they’re Theology 101.

              Can you tell me one supernatural explanation that has supplanted a natural/scientific explanation?

              No, of course not, and with all respect, that’s a red herring.

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            6. It’s important in theology 101 to lay the ground rules for the belief in god. Once you get a person to buy into this ancient, underlying basic, 101 idea, the remainder is irrelevant. You can say or do anything you want to show the absolute ridiculousness and depth of the word-play, even against their own intuition. Interesting psychological play. I am sure, as Mr Boudry proved, that you can say or do anything at all, and as long as the ecclesiastical wording is impressive, it will be heavily considered and Christians will eat it up. Congratulations. Theology 101 = brainwashing 101, and EEG’ bare that out. Conversion is a faith Trap.

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            7. @Swarn: “I don’t think anything of God. I am waiting for someone to demonstrate that there is one. I don’t define God, or assert it’s existence. I don’t even assert it’s non-existence. I listen to what other people who believe in God, think God is, and I try to determine if it matches reality in any way.”

              I’m skeptical that you’re truly a blank slate when it comes to God. Very well, let’s say God is the period at the end of this sentence. Are you going to deny that? Are there really no preconceptions that you’re going to insist upon?

              “it’s important we have shared understanding of how we acquire knowledge”

              Agreed, provided we differentiate types of knowledge. Getting to know a person, for example (and getting to know oneself in the process), is not like acquiring a set of objective facts. Everyone’s knowledge of that person is going to be unique and subjective. Same goes with respect to their knowledge of God.

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            8. I mean I’ve read about many religions and listen to many people about what they believe God is and it’s nature, they never really made sense to me for many reasons.

              I’m skeptical that you’re truly a blank slate when it comes to God. Very well, let’s say God is the period at the end of this sentence. Are you going to deny that? Are there really no preconceptions that you’re going to insist upon?

              Wittingly or unwittingly this is the best argument you’ve had. Because you’ve made up a being to be useful to me as a human. Am I going to deny that God is a period at the end of this sentence? Well if God’s nature is to mark the end of a sentence and represent a pause between statements, then I have no problem with that. A word to describe a bit of punctuation that has a specific purpose is arbitrary so if you’d like to call it God, that’s fine.

              Getting to know a person, for example (and getting to know oneself in the process), is not like acquiring a set of objective facts. Everyone’s knowledge of that person is going to be unique and subjective. Same goes with respect to their knowledge of God.

              Now wittingly or unwittingly this a terrible argument. To suggest first of all that another person, or myself that exists in at least 4 dimensions (perhaps more) is comparable to getting to know an invisible deity which no can demonstrates exists in any way, shape or form is ridiculous. And there are tons of objective facts we can get about another person or ourselves for that matter. I could sample DNA, describe the color and thickness of hair, pitch of their voice, size of their liver. I means there are very many objective facts. And it could very well be that I don’t even have to talk to them to know a lot about them, the structure of their brain, fMRI data, hormone levels, genetic history, family history, education can all help me learn facts about that person. Now whether this person is someone I want to be friends with, be around, feel safe with, etc are all subjective to my aesthetic preferences, but as a species with similar DNA there are going to be quite a lot of similarities. We might fear different things but likely we both feel fear. We may love different things, but likely we both experience love. These are all objective facts. To suggest that something that can manipulate an interact with the environment, and who the environment can interact and manipulate them is the same as somebody concept of an invisible person that no one can show exists is ridiculous.

              Liked by 3 people

            9. @Swarn: I can honestly say that upon introducing myself, nobody’s ever inquired about the size of my liver. Heck, my doctor’s never asked. Obviously you’re just being obtuse when you assert that you don’t even have to talk to someone to “know a lot” about them. A person is not an object (or an animal) and can’t be reduced to facts and data. If you truly believe otherwise, then that is a more radical philosophical difference between us than any theological beliefs.

              To know a person, I must enter into a relationship — a relationship that shapes everything I know about that person (including the way I interpret any relevant facts); a relationship that changes my self-knowledge; a unique relationship that produces unique knowledge. Knowledge of a person is not factual knowledge. Of those two modes of knowledge, knowledge of God is more like the latter.

              “I’ve read about many religions and listen[ed] to many people about what they believe God is and [its] nature, they never really made sense to me for many reasons.” (As a wise person once said, maybe you just haven’t read enough books.)

              So I was right to be skeptical that you’re a blank slate with respect to God. But why so reticent to share with us what you mean when you use that word?

              We found at least one definition you’re willing to accept. It has to be “useful to me as a human”. Well, indeed, that’s a given. We can work with that.

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            10. I’m the one being obtuse? Please. Just because nobody has inquired about the size of your liver doesn’t make it a non-objective fact about you. A doctor trying to determine you have liver disease would definitely be interested in that information. What does it mean to “know” a person. There are lots of different ways of doing this. Talking can be in many ways a less reliable way in that people can withhold or lie about information about themselves. The ways to know a person are many, and observations about that person in whatever form represent data. We might want many people’s observations to see what facts are subjective and what are objective, but there are plenty of objective facts about person. To deny such is what is obtuse. Furthermore to say that a human is not an animal is also ridiculous.

              Your knowledge is less unique than you think, although of course one might expect some level of uniqueness given nobody has the exact same DNA and environmental influences. It would be surprising if each person wasn’t slightly different, but there are specific causes for that uniqueness, namely the genetic nature and the environmental nurture that lead to that. That makes that uniqueness a result of objective facts about the person, even if these aren’t facts that you can easily observe or recreate.

              Since I don’t find any evidence for any God that anybody has presented to me, including the one you seem to believe in, my statement was factually correct. One of the reasons I don’t believe in God is that everybody has a different definition of what God is. When I believed I redefined God several times myself. It seems like this is what everybody is doing, including yourself. So I wait for others to make their assertion about what God is, what God is responsible for and see if they’ve arrived at this conclusion through some process of inductive reasoning, or deductive reasoning through sound logical means. You have failed that test as has anybody I’ve met who have claimed to assert the existence of a divine creator. Once you shoot down a few conceptions of God you realize the commonality between all conceptions of God they simply fail any standards of evidence that applies to every other real thing in this universe. When you study the brain, and our cognitive biases it becomes clear how easily God becomes manufactured and evolution actually favored belief based thinking.

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            11. @Swarn: One of the reasons I don’t believe in God is that everybody has a different definition of what God is.

              Why is that at all surprising? Why doesn’t it count as an argument for God, not against?

              When I believed I redefined God several times myself.

              That sounds healthy. Hopefully you’ve redefined yourself and your relationships a number of times as well.

              It seems like this is what everybody is doing, including yourself.

              Grown-up life is like that. Unless you’re sleepwalking.

              So I wait for others to make their assertion about what God is, what God is responsible for and see if they’ve arrived at this conclusion through some process of inductive reasoning, or deductive reasoning through sound logical means.

              Oh, so you’re just an innocent bystander. You can’t be held responsible.

              Once you shoot down a few conceptions of God you realize the commonality between all conceptions of God they simply fail any standards of evidence that applies to every other real thing in this universe.

              Well, I guess you’ve read enough books then. So, please enlighten us, given your awesome powers of inductive and deductive reasoning and mastery of logic, what have you found is a better approach to discerning what matters, and how to live a life that matters? (If it involves emulating apes, no need to rehash that.)

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            12. Why is that at all surprising? Why doesn’t it count as an argument for God, not against?

              That’s not surprising at all. Did I say it was so. In fact it’s exactly what one would expect from something conjured as a result of our desires and fears.

              That sounds healthy. Hopefully you’ve redefined yourself and your relationships a number of times as well.

              Did I say it was unhealthy. We all use tools to help us cope with uncertainty at times. Believing there was a God and redefining it to suit my personal needs helped me cope. Just as a child has an invisible friend to help them cope with life. Again, am under no confusion as to why people believe in a God. But belief is simply not a criteria for what actually exists.

              Oh, so you’re just an innocent bystander. You can’t be held responsible.

              I have no idea what you mean by this comment. I remain open to the possibility that God is real, but I simply require that proof of such be held to the same standards that allows us to understand anything else about the universe. Theists and deists alike feel that their ideas are not subject to the same standards of evidence. I simply don’t accept that. There is no reason why something that is supposed to actually be real wouldn’t have the same type of evidence as anything else we know about. Maybe we don’t have the technology yet, maybe someday we will have such evidence. That’s awesome. But I’m not going to spend my time dwelling on it, especially when there is a great deal of evidence that any conception of God humans have come up with so far is just made up, because we really didn’t know how to explain our everyday world. If it interests other people to prove God exists, that is fine for them to pursue…just as I have little interest in being a wildlife biologist. When that one theist finally has evidence at submits it for peer-review I’ll happily read the article and see the fool proof methodology and unarguable data and say wow…I guess there is a God.

              Well, I guess you’ve read enough books then. So, please enlighten us, given your awesome powers of inductive and deductive reasoning and mastery of logic, what have you found is a better approach to discerning what matters, and how to live a life that matters? (If it involves emulating apes, no need to rehash that.)

              It would take far too long to tell you all the things that inform me about discerning what matters. I’ll never read every book every written obviously, but the sources of information about discerning what matters does come from many places. Where it does not come from is divine authority. It comes from constantly being skeptical, it comes from constantly questioning, re-evaluating, and constantly learning. It comes from adhering to the system of knowing that has thus far been proven as the most reliable way of knowing we have. If a better way of knowing comes along, I am open to that, but thus far none has been revealed. And yes it even comes from understanding religion. There is much that religion can tell us about how we work, what value we gain from stories, and why stories are important to us. It’s quite possible to find religion interesting without believing in a god. I’m still discerning what matters, it’s not a process that stops, or at least it shouldn’t be. God just doesn’t enter in to the picture for me. There is enough wonder, inspiration, and joy in things that do exist that I don’t need to spend time worrying if there is a god or not. The only thing I worry about are people promoting belief-based thinking as a valid way of defining what is real. This is precisely what you are doing. If believing in God makes you happy…be happy and keep to yourself. But if you want to be part of conversation that is concerned with logic and science, you better bring that to the table to assert the existence of whatever conception of God you believe in. Thus far you have not done so. The fact that you can’t recognize this as being the case is evidence of either a level of delusion you are experiencing or a level of confusion you are experiencing. The question you should be asking yourself is why you think it is so important to prove the existence of God to other people. If your belief has helped you discern what matters and brings you joy, this should be enough for you. If you aren’t the type of person to push your belief on others, and are happy not exploiting people for their beliefs, or enacting laws and legislation on belief based thinking then none of really care what you believe. Go and be happy. Perhaps it’s you that feels conflicted…perhaps it’s you that is worried about experiencing the realization that you have wasted much time and energy believing in something that doesn’t exist. Perhaps somewhere deep inside you know you are selling snake oil, but just don’t want to admit it. I don’t know. But in the end there is only one of us in this conversation who claims to know the unknowable and that’s you.

              Liked by 1 person

            13. I remember in my time in the church, whether I wanted to admit it or not Swarn, was time mastering the apologetic arguments seeking validation. There are many doubts, although the culture to impress others through unshakable faith is quite strong. Doubt is the catalyst for delving in too deep, and when you dive in with that kind of ferver it becomes mere habit to defend the indefensible, block by block you build a mountain of excuses until you’ve created an impenetrable pyramid of hairsplit half-truths and justifications for the outcome of faith, or the inconsistencies. Eventually you wind up arguing for the sake of arguing. Arguing to the point where god has become unknowable, dismissing every good argument to hang on to an idea that is blatantly false in every premise. No one here agrees with Loy or his conclusion because it’s based on fantasy, remove the words faith and religion and his argument is still ridiculous, where your argument could be used in a variety of topics and still be sound reasoning. His neurons are fixed due to repetition, prayer, mantra, and the constant search to validate the invalitable. The ability to dismiss contradiction or fact is now physiological. Multiple studies bare this out. It’s a hard-wired muscle memory and a first response to every sound objection—a knee jerk, if you will against reality.

              Liked by 2 people

            14. @Swarn: I have zero interest in proving anything to anybody. This site seems to be a place for the self-consciously godless to congregate and buck themselves up with endlessly recycled malarkey and kvetching. I’ve invested a little time to provide alternative viewpoints. My services have been offered gratis, purely as a good deed and in the spirit of public service. A labor of love, if you will. And enormously entertaining, I don’t deny that.

              (And if you fervently, passionately believe that God simply must be “a thing in the universe” that plays by your rules, then dammit, stick to your guns! Don’t let anybody tell you different! It’s too dangerous.)

              Liked by 2 people

            15. @Loy– I for one appreciate you sharing your insights, although a little frustrating at times I admit. Overall a positive experience. I would offer one suggestion, based on others neurological studies and reasonable psychological explanations of your convictions, if you were to look into such research for a few weeks and the evidences of such neurotheological explanations, I would conclude you would arrive at a crossroads. If you are afraid to look, most likely you already have your answer. However, there are mounds of evidence to suggest religious belief and morality is a human construct of neuro functions.

              Liked by 1 person

            16. I’ve invested a little time to provide alternative viewpoints. — Hmmm. It seems your concept of time is considerably different than mine.

              Liked by 2 people

          3. I think I can summarize your view as:

            To understand reality we need evidence. However what constitutes evidence that allow us to understand reality don’t apply to that which grounds reality. Yet that which grounds reality is real. Because without that thing we wouldn’t have reality.

            And this somehow makes perfect sense to you?

            I mean aren’t all real things part of reality? Why is one part of reality not subject to the same standards the rest of reality must meet?

            I’ll admit, I can’t defeat that argument. But it’s comforting to know that I can decide for myself what real things don’t require evidence and for which all reality will become ungrounded should it not be real.

            There is a giant tea pot…well honestly it only resembles a teapot…it probably doesn’t or ever had tea in it, and to be quite honest teapot is just all our limited language can do to describe it. It’s located in the Corona Borealis Void (that a empty space between galactic superclusters). Nobody knows about this, but it just came to me through divine revelation. One could say I was teabagged. Anyway, as it turns out this teapot (for want of a better word) is the reason for existence. I don’t know whether it’s a consciousness or not, but the fact that we have existence means this teapot is real. There is no evidence for it…well when I say evidence, I mean the kind of evidence that these stupid atheists are probably looking for, but fortunately this teapot does not require evidence since, as I said before, without this teapot we wouldn’t have reality. QED

            Your God idea is interest, but it’s really got nothing on the teapot, in fact without this teapot, apparently we wouldn’t even be able to imagine something as beyond reality as God without this amazingly real, but unknowable teapot.

            Liked by 3 people

  12. It’s astonishing, really, that enough people manage to reconcile their personal imaginary friends to create a religion in the first place. Probably the ones with the best imagination win.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. That was the case at 4th century Nicea. The most cleverly worded argument comes from the most wrong assessment. It has to be eloquent to pass through the process. Like Boudrys letter…Pure gibberish with the right ecclesiasticals in it fooled two theology conferences. The fact is, they called the meeting at Nicea because they didn’t know the nature of God. Then they made it up and voted.

      Liked by 5 people

  13. @jim – A fascinating and trenchant post!

    A minor quibble: You say, “It’s a non-electrical, non perceptible, non-knowable sense unique only to Christians…”

    Not at all unique. Christians inherited it from the Jews, and the Muslims appropriated it from both.

    And many find it to be universal:

    Even as a tree has a single trunk, but many branches and leaves, there is one Religion, but any number of faiths. All faiths are a gift of God, but partake of human imperfection, as they pass through the medium of humanity. God-given religion is beyond all speech. Imperfect men put it into such language as they can command, and their words are interpreted by other men equally imperfect… —Gandhi

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    1. Thank you Loy. I was wondering how to overcome the one true faith thing that has unknowingly not known this. Sort of washes away “I am the way the truth and the light, no man comes to the father but by me” thing—Contradictions 12:800,000

      Liked by 2 people

      1. If you listen to Jesus through fundamentalist ear buds, you get very low fidelity with tons of static.

        Many armchair atheists seem to get their theology from fundamentalists.

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        1. Fundamentalist meaning those that take it seriously? Are you just funnin’ with us Loy? I’ve heard your arguments before, so I know your not alone. Working at eastern state hospital we saw a lot of this. The only difference was functioning vs non functioning. Many fundys function fairly flawlessly. When they speak too much about the delusion is when they get noticed. The reason for your anonymity?

          Liked by 2 people

            1. Yes. One that believes what they are told and embraces it. Like a child. Simple. Fundamentalist. Break it down so simply into a nonexistent nothing.

              Liked by 2 people

            2. Ah loy… Aside from not being a true statement that fundamentalists are mindless or not taking the bible seriously, I find your statement lacking in gal 5 “love joy peaceablness, patience kindness goodness faithfulness and self control” towards your brothers and sisters in Christ, and definitely not eph 5 “edifying and ministering grace to the hearers”. Much more filled with “corrupt communication” that “grieves the holy Spirit.”
              You should think long and hard about repenting and asking forgiveness of those fellow believers you have slandered with your comment. 🙂

              Liked by 3 people

          1. Fundamentalists take their faith literally but not seriously.
            Non-fundamentalists take their faith seriously but not literally.

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            1. So loy, what particular flavor or denomination of Christian are you? “Loy” stand for Loyola possibly? Catholic maybe?

              Liked by 2 people

            2. My time in the church was much the same. I could no longer align myself with the evils of religion or the god of the Bible, where “god is love” is a contradiction on display through the scripture and the behavior of its followers. Even if I believed in god I could no longer be a part of it. Unfettered religion is always the same—force and control. The only reason we’re getting a break from it now is less religiosity, not more. Happy secular laws forbid its tyranny here. Others around the world are not so lucky. For a sui generis, it certainly falls in line with most of the ontology of mainstream apologetics.

              Liked by 2 people

  14. For an unknowable and ineffable god, He sure does have a lot of people professing to know alot about Him and His ways, and able to eff or describe them to anyone in earshot.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I love the debate whether theologians went far enough in their assessment of a fake letter. It did remind me of debating whether the heaven in the faked NDE was accurate it not. Words for this are still unknown, i.e. God!

      Liked by 4 people

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