The Hand of God Withheld—Necessary Restraint

Making an argument for the Christian god and his incompatible nature—for them

The argument for an inconceivable and unimaginable, all powerful god. One that is without parts of physical matter as we could even comprehend. Consider a character so foreign to our nature, that his eternal compositions could not be seen, felt, or tasted, for our matter is not compatible nor can mix with his attributes (No wonder the psalms are so many) in any way.

All god can do at this point is watch, for historically when he has interfered or tinkered with the deeds of men (parting seas, global floods, Israelite armies laying waste to entire regions) are a horrible affect of mixing his perfect nature with this synthetic world. His attributes and ours—immiscible. Simply looking at the LORD, his foreign composition is too different, too toxic to be presenced by human neurons, optic nerves, or flesh—or are we too toxic to his, in this artificial scape, to mingle outside our petri-dish? A mite of dust cast to the outer reaches of creation as isolated, contained contaminants whose only purpose of matter holds the little interest of an out-of-state trash-dump, where when only goes to visit creates more carnage?

By merely dipping his finger into the stratosphere of our world—cutting stone tablets and etching stone walls. Presenting his hand—regional, if not global catastrophe, churning the elements, like adding ammonium perchlorate to a mixing bowl of “earthly” matter of which we are so crudely formed. That god, by pressing his arm into the ionosphere, simply splits atoms starting chain reactions of global upheaval. Are we but a plant that withers upon touching it? How long will he withhold his finger…his hand? His holy arm? What if he were to present his whole self? The world would melt as a sea of molten glass, where any man-thing that peeks at his composition withers and consumes itself. To this god, the total power in the world is but a firework sparkler, hardly a threat to ourselves, let alone an immortal. Splitting atoms is as natural for him as spearing your flattened, pointed hand into a bucket of air, or water. We are nothing but .02% solid waste, not even worthy of his attention—but to open the lid carefully contaminates our meager world with carefully placed attributes of cataclysm, tectonic shifts, and drought, while we maintain our only sense of order in the heavens by his leaving us alone for a blink of an eye.

“And the Lord said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the Lord to gaze, and many of them perish.” Exodus‬ ‭19:21‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” Daniel‬ ‭4:35‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.” Daniel‬ ‭5:5‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“That birds may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.” Revelation‬ ‭19:18‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Setting aside your contradictions for the moment to complete this thesis, for what will it matter in a moment or two what we achieve, or what we do when the world will soon be rolled together like a scroll? This man-create has been an interesting exercise, and man has proven quite genius with his teaspoon of dirt and a dash of consciousness. While we have been watched long enough and the experiment nearly over, GOD is ready to roll up his experiment and head off to yonder galaxies to admire his handiwork. It doesn’t matter—our world of refuse unfit will be dispersed when the meeting of the gods conclude, and victoriously he’s showed he can create something living out of a thimble full of hardly anything, as long as it is left alone long enough to generate order. It doesn’t matter that however dismal our minds and actions may seem to him, that our collective consciousness will sit on a shelf for forthcoming eons. It may not matter to him that our struggles and achievements have been fought and won with nothing but handicaps and soulful soil, but it matters to us, the lowliest of life-forms. So, a god of mercy? A god of compassion? A god of love? We shall see.

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

126 thoughts on “The Hand of God Withheld—Necessary Restraint”

  1. If, as we are told by so many apologists and so-called “true believers”, that God is not knowable by our senses as every other thing is in our lives, how is it we are to know God at all? All people have, at best, 5 senses. Some people are born without one or more, and others have lost senses due to disease or accidents. But for the most part, we have sight, taste, hearing, smell and touch. If we can observe all things through the use of these senses, it would stand to reason that God should be observable in this way. If God is not knowable in this way (as is the Christian excuse) then how is it that anyone has one shred of knowledge of him? Are true believers given an extra sense that the rest of us do not have? Did I have it once when I believed, but then had it taken away? If God exists outside of time and space and also outside of our senses, there should be no believers, no religion and no time wasted having this argument. Faith is not a sense. Faith is used when our senses (both the five I mentioned and also common sense) come up empty in our pursuit of God.

    Also, to anyone saying that it takes a lifetime to find God and understand him I would ask, at this point in your life, what makes you believe? You must have some reason that you believe, even if your lifetime isn’t up yet. What is it that the rest of us are missing? An investigation into God’s existence shouldn’t take a lifetime…unless of course you simply want to believe and haven’t found any evidence yet. If you have found some, your investigation would be over instantly and your belief would change from faith of the unknown to knowledge of the observable. If I found truth now, I wouldn’t keep on searching for it for the rest of my life. Treasure hunters don’t find the treasure they are seeking and then keeping on looking for it. And they don’t go blindly looking for it in the first place. They have credible evidence that it exists, not just a feeling that there must be treasure somewhere. If God wanted us to know him, we would…and it shouldn’t take a lifetime. Saying it does is a personal belief, not a fact.

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    1. Excellent comment Ben. Many people find the same fulfillment through mindfulness and intentional self awareness. Perhaps Christians are crediting god for feelings of contentment that can be found a variety of ways. They choose to seek enlightenment in searching a god, when it can be found anywhere positive fulfillment is sought.

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      1. I was a Christian for a long time, as you well know. I definitely gave God credit for things I know I worked hard for myself. I was conditioned to believe that all good things are the work of God. If I did a good thing, God must have given me the ability. If I solved a problem, God must have blessed me with the knowledge to do so. He was so involved in my life, taking credit for all my hard work and yet was never there when things didn’t work out so well. Those times were a test and part of God’s will. Unanswered prayers were opportunities for the church to heap on some extra guilt to explain why God was silent in our lives. There must have been some sin in our lives or something God wanted us to learn. The Christian life is a life of excuses and misplaced credit and misplaced blame. We work so hard to succeed in life, only to thank someone who is never there when we actually need help.

        I can find happiness without God in my life. I can find purpose. I can find fulfillment. I was told it could only be found in one place. I was told wrong. I think the correct way to say it was that I was lied to.

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    2. It takes a lifetime to know ourselves. It takes at least a lifetime to know those close to us. Most of us strive to grow in knowledge and wisdom each and every day that’s granted to us. And yes, faith — the total of all those things and more — broadens and deepens and matures day by day, all the days of our life.

      Nothing that matters is simple or obvious. Thank God.

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      1. Yes Loy, it can take a lifetime to fully know ourselves and those close to us. I’ve been with my wife for almost 23 years and I’m still learning more about her. Taking time (even a lifetime) to get to know and understand someone is reasonable. But it’s only reasonable because it involves known entities. I know I exist. I know my wife exists. I can easily prove that to another person. God, however, is an unknown…correction…UNKNOWABLE entity and even if you had an eternity to try to know and understand God, you could not…unless God were to change tactics and make himself known. If God cannot be observed, then we cannot learn more about him day by day. All we can do is imagine what God would be like and create an image of him based on our personal preferences.

        You cannot get to know about anyone BEFORE you establish if they exist or not. It simply can’t be done. If a scientist was looking for life on Mars, they would not try to determine the nature and characteristics of a Martian before they find out if it even exists. A Martian’s personality or feelings on social issues cannot be determined before we can first determine if they are real or if they are not. Scientists could not form a relationship with it, talk to it or know whether it was hostile or friendly towards humans BEFORE any evidence that it exists. If someone wrote down stories about Martians, interactions with humans and words they supposedly said, people wouldn’t read that and say “Aha! There’s your proof! It says right here that they do exist and not only that, we can know them personally.” Only religion does that.

        The idea of God is no different than any other unknown entity. It could be Bigfoot, The Loch Ness Monster, or even aliens. No one tries to get to know these things personally and intimately before even knowing for sure if they are real. They strive to prove their existence first. They are still trying to do that. Has anyone shared their deep, personal relationship with an alien or Bigfoot and been taken seriously? No. There is much debate about their existence, but no one speaks of them as being so real that we can know more and more about them personally and it that would take a lifetime to fully know them. You can’t just say “I believe they exist” and then proceed to take your lifetime to get to know them. What is there to know? How can you possibly know one single thing about their character without any evidence that they are real? If you can’t prove to another person that God is real, yet you say you are gaining more and more understanding of him day by day, what is your source of understanding? I know from previous conversations, that you reject the Bible as literal truth, so where is it that you get this personal revelation from? Where does this “new every day” knowledge come from? What source do you have that educates you more and more about God? Without evidence of God’s existence, what do you have to go on? Where is this lifetime of knowledge coming from? You need to establish existence BEFORE you can establish a relationship and before you can learn anything at all about these things. Otherwise, you are either taking someone else’s word for it or you are guessing based on personal feelings. You cannot spend a lifetime understanding something and learning more about it if you cannot even prove it’s real.

        I am curious, though I am sure I’ll regret even asking, are you taking this lifetime of yours to examine and rule out every other religion? Have you pondered every single faith? If not, why not? How can you rule any out if you haven’t examined them? There must be some evidence convincing you of the one you chose. And let me explain what I mean by evidence before you ask. What I mean is “What has convinced you that you are on the right path? What led you to Christianity and not another religion? And where does your lifetime of knowledge originate from?”

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        1. ¡Que bueno mi amigo! Easy to understand and thoughtful—You may have just lobbed over the seed I was needing myself five years ago. Better late than never. Let me tighten the net…

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        2. I assume everyone has a similar experience: Every time I enter (without my will) a conscious state, I instantly confront a crisis: Who am I? So what? Now what? What matters? How do I matter? If I am reasonably sane and lucid at that particular moment, then I usually can muster a certain level of trust that these are intelligible questions that I am capable of engaging. I trust that I am more than a mere victim of meaningless forces. It’s the ultimate moment of truth: trusting that truth is. At bottom, it’s where faith comes from, and what we mean by faith.

          By faith I don’t mean a way of belief so much as way of life. But the two are interdependent and inseparable. You get out of bed daily; acquire and assimilate more knowledge; reassess what you believe to be true; challenge your faith or allow it to challenge you; examine your conscience; make a firm purpose of amendment; and sleep soundly. (Don’t take that too literally, but hopefully you get the idea.) This is the life of faith: a life lived in the pursuit of Truth. Everything we learn from life, relationships, or any source adds to and refines our base of knowledge and understanding. So no, I don’t accept at all that “The idea of God is no different than any other unknown entity.” (Although when you and I use words like God and faith, we’re really speaking different languages.)

          What has convinced you that you are on the right path?
          We all have to ask ourselves that question on a daily basis. We should avoid becoming too “convinced” of anything, and should make course corrections when warranted based on new information or new arguments.

          What led you to [Judeo-]Christianity and not another religion?
          No, I haven’t invested a lot of time learning about Islam or Eastern religions (although I did make a pilgrimage to Japan once to stay in a Zen Buddhist monastery and pray in a number of temples). I rule nothing out. The Judeo-Christian faith obviously is much more culturally accessible to us in the West, in terms not only of resources available in Western languages, but also in terms of proximity to practicing faith communities, which is important.

          And where does your lifetime of knowledge originate from?
          Same as anybody else.

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          1. You are absolutely correct Loy. We are speaking different languages. I don’t want to speak for anyone else here, but I would guess that your language is different than most. Your concept of God and faith is so unique to you personally that most would have a hard time relating to you and understanding where your religious understanding comes from. A lot of us who comment here have some religious background, having lived it for so long. So when we hear anything that is so far off from what any of us have come to understand, we are curious as to where you could have possibly learned that from.

            Contemplating questions such as “Who am I? So what? Now what? What matters? How do I matter?” may very well lead you to a belief in a higher power. What it cannot do is lead you to a specific higher power as there is simply no evidence of as specific higher power. The Judeo-Christian version might be “more culturally accessible to us in the West, in terms not only of resources available in Western languages, but also in terms of proximity to practicing faith communities” but that doesn’t make it true or verifiable. It is your personal preference. That seems more like a faith of convenience than an actual pursuit of truth. Believing in a god is world’s apart from believing in a specific god. Specific gods require specific evidence. Believing in a generic god or some sort of creator only requires your personal feelings.

            If you believe that “This is the life of faith: a life lived in the pursuit of Truth”, then what other unprovable things do you consider to be truth? If God is truth to you, yet cannot be proven to exist, what other things do you accept in this way? If something cannot be proven to exist, then belief or disbelief in it are both acceptable positions…but belief does require a bit more explaining. Which side can prove they are right if there is no way to prove the other is wrong? People who do not believe in God (or at least the Judeo-Christian God) do not believe simply because there is no evidence whatsoever that the stories we are told are real. It’s a reasonable position to take; if there is no evidence of something, choosing to disbelieve makes sense. If someone else believes in that same thing (with the very same lack of evidence) it is a much more UNreasonable position to take. That’s why unbelievers continue to ask for evidence. Without any, God DOES get associated with all other unknown entities. The fact that you choose to still believe in God doesn’t make him any more real.

            As much of your response is an avoidance of my actual questions, I will just move on. I’ve done this dance with you before and my feet are getting tired of getting stepped on. It’s not that I don’t like dancing, but when you (and only you) know the moves to your made-up dance, it’s tough to find it enjoyable. I will say that if you are seriously searching for truth, you need to understand the meaning of the word. Truth is “that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.” It doesn’t matter if we speak different languages when it comes to religious matters. Truth is a universally understood idea. It requires both fact and reality.

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            1. @Ben – Thanks for the reply (and for once again accusing me of heresy!). We all have much to learn, that’s for sure. I wish you luck. I hope you heed the wise words below. I hope someday you can figure out just what “evidence” it is that you seem to think you’re talking about. I hope someday you might also discover a little bit about mainstream Christianity outside your old bible-thumping bubble, and about the richness of the many forms of perfectly orthodox spirituality (hint: I’m not a heretic).

              “When you open yourself up to truth, you usually find it.” — Ben

              “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” — Joseph Campbell

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            2. Out of all this gibberish you just said, you did get one thing correct. That one thing? My quote.

              No one accused you of heresy. I asked you about evidence and as usual, you make it seem as if evidence is not important or attainable. Good luck to you as well on your lifelong journey to a destination that no one but you seems to be able to comprehend.

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            3. As former White House insider George Stephanopoulos explains it, “The fundamental rule is to shoehorn what you want to say into the answer no matter what the question is, or to present incoherent bullshit points using topically relevant verbiage without actually answering—give em something to analyze.

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            4. He is a smart guy. Politics is a dirty game, and the right hated george, but all he did was take a tactic from the apologist playbook, but of course they would never see it that way.

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        3. EXCELLENT, Ben!!! I’m seriously considering using some of your wisdom in a blog post. So many believers either deliberately or unknowingly overlook many of the extremely good points you make. 👏 👍

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          1. Why thank you Nan. The points I made here would have seemed wrong to me a few years back. That’s because I myself was unwilling to entertain an alternative to belief. That’s not a pursuit of truth. That’s denial and fear. When you open yourself up to truth, you usually find it.

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  2. Loy wrote — there is no such thing as a “concise and meaningful statement of what god is.” (quoting Jim).

    My question to Loy then becomes … why do you continue to offer one? You attempt to counter every post about “God” that Jim writes, yet you yourself have declared such attempts are fruitless.

    And around and around we go.

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    1. I assume Jim was asking for a statement that fully described a true conception of God, rather than something less than that. The former is impossible, but that does not preclude proposing or criticizing a limited understanding.

      I think many of our exchanges have been fruitless because our difficulties tend to be more philosophical than theological: What do we mean by words like reality, knowledge, person? How are we to inquire and reason about our common predicament?

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      1. I think it absurd that two people asking the same question can’t understand the answer with the same motives. Another apologist we frequent, Mel, always accuses me of not understanding the question. The reason behind this is we can’t split/ignore through the contradictions to satisfy a presuppositional answer. I understand him and you, but I won’t hand wave off the scripture and the philosophies in an angst to prove a feeling. The fact is you all arrive at a fantasiacal different answer to suit what you want to believe.

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        1. Speaking of our favorite blogger and apologist, did you see brainyawn’s comment on the latest post? It actually was quite good; to wit: “You either believe God exists or you don’t. It’s your choice.”

          Of course, the question then becomes … why do you and your believer buddies not accept this and move on?

          P.S. Why doesn’t you blog recognize the coding for italics?

          Liked by 1 person

            1. No, I’m commenting directly onto your blog. I rarely use the Reader … except to “like” comments when the option isn’t available on the person’s blog (like Mel’s).

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  3. These people want us to “know” their god … but if we catch a glimpse of him, we are destroyed utterly? WTF? They say their god is invisible, yet their book describes him walking around in his garden, wrestling with people, masquerading as a burning bush and a pillar of fire for Halloween, but now that we have video cameras in our pockets, He is invisible.

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    1. Good point! This is precisely why the drip-fed scientific/technological advances. Once the cameras were on, the religious advancement on humanity and phony miracles would be over. Thanks Steve.

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  4. I was going to point out that the comment of a certain person that “the whole premise of Christianity is that God presents his whole self” is blatantly false. I was going to add that the whole premise of christianity is that you have to believe that a poor, itinerant, self-proclaimed prophet (his name wasn’t Jesus, by the way, it was ישוע‎, which translates as Yeshua) was really god, didn’t stay dead after he was killed, that he somehow “saved” the whole human race in the process, and that you have to really, really believe that and follow the rules of whatever christian sect you belong to, or you’re going to go to hell where you’ll burn for eternity. That is the whole premise of christianity. God *never* presents “his whole self” to anyone in the bible. To claim christianity’s premise is god “presents his whole self” is, from christianity’s point of view at least, heresy.

    I was going to point that out but considering that the person in question never actually answers questions or responds to comments with anything but generalities and quotes from Ghandi, well, why bother. I don’t know if I could handle another out of context Ghandi quote this early in the morning.

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    1. It’s never too early to pretend in faith, Grouchy. He is in his own world of definitions regarding god. My version is more like able anyway. It’s interesting how I offered him an open platform to make a statement and got nothing. If I wanted to argue for the fun of it, I’d go back to my first wife. He only goes down roads he knows he can travel. Nothing to offer is very telling.

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      1. I know what you mean. Trying to have a discussion with some people reminds me of the old Monty Python bit “Hello, I’d like to have an argument” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLlv_aZjHXc

        One interesting item I ran across the other day indicates that a lot of christians don’t actually understand the stated beliefs of their own religion, so this person’s often curious comments and claims don’t surprise me.

        http://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2018/10/19/survey-shows-most-evangelicals-dont-understand-the-core-beliefs-of-their-faith/

        Considering some of the things I encountered when I taught religion some 20 years ago, I would imagine that is also true for virtually all religions. Even the most devout catholics I encountered at the time had a fundamental misunderstanding of the actual teachings of the church and it’s core beliefs.

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        1. I had a coworker criticizing another belief one day, so I asked her what Catholics thought about the topic? She said “I don’t really know that much about my religion”. It appears one thing they must learn first, is the others are wrong. She obviously didn’t come to her own conclusions. It’s nice to have a faith to do yer thinkin’ for ya.

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          1. At least she admitted she didn’t know. I do wonder about people who still profess a belief in a religious faith that they really don’t understand themselves. I’ve run into a lot catholics who didn’t know that the host they’re eating at mass is literally Jesus according to church teaching. They think all that “this is my body” stuff is symbolic. It isn’t. At communion you are literally eating the actual body of Jesus according to church teaching. It’s called transubstantiation. Nothing like a bit of ritual cannibalism to start out your day. I don’t know about you and the others here, but the whole eating your own god thing is just, well, just weird.

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      2. So when I comment, I’m accused of being insecure, and when I don’t comment, I’m accused of having nothing to offer. And of course, “brainwashed” either way. You guys slay me.

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        1. It’s the elusive nature of the comment. You only address little snippets that suit you, hand wave the rest with an initial general inaccuracy. That’s all

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          1. Proselytizing has turned apologetic. The basic info is too easy to look through and dispute. Must muddle it up to keep the search going. Stick with it, you’ll see. Just believe and it will all come together. When the neurons are fixed with muscle memory then…voilet! Unshakable faith.

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            1. @ Jim — I might be able to help out Loy with sharing information/knowledge of “God.” I’m not sure WHY Loy hasn’t done this yet, but anyway…

              There are only TWO ways to know “God,” or Loy’s “God”:

              General Revelation. This is indirect, and available to everyone who can decipher God’s creation. Some truths about God can be revealed through reason, conscience, the natural world, or moral sense. But this knowledge is insufficient for salvation.

              Special Revelation. This is direct revelation to an individual or a group. This sort of revelation includes supernatural dreams, visions, experience and prophecy like manifestations of “tongues.” It also includes holy scriptures, i.e. the Old and New Testaments or the canonical Bible.

              So it’s very simple Jim! 😉 Everyone can find the one and only TRUE God in one or both of these ways. BOOM!!! 🤭

              Liked by 3 people

            2. Yeah, sure, I agree that some truths about God can be revealed through reason, conscience, the natural world, or moral sense. I would not accept the premise that this knowledge cannot lead to salvation.

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            3. I would not accept the premise that this knowledge cannot lead to salvation.

              Would you please elaborate on that, particularly the reasons why God’s revelations to a person cannot lead to salvation? Thank you.

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            4. @taboo: Sorry for the double negative. You said, “this knowledge is insufficient for salvation.” I am denying that statement, meaning I am affirming that this knowledge can potentially be sufficient for salvation.

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            5. I am affirming that this knowledge can potentially be sufficient for salvation.

              Ok, thank you for that clarification. Then I have two more questions please and then likely several more for the sake of clarification. 🙂

              1. “…can potentially be sufficient.” What or where are you basing that type knowledge? How can others verify that statement to be true or false?

              2. How do you interpret these passages regarding salvation and obtaining it with this knowledge?

              What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” (Romans 9:14-15)

              For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. (Romans 8:29-30)

              …just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will… (Ephesians 1:4-5) and “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will…” (Eph 1:11)

              For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; (Eph 2:8)

              …who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, [or knowledge?] but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity… (2 Tim 1:9)

              But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:8-9)

              From these passages it seems quite clear it makes no difference whatsoever what knowledge anyone should have about “God.” These epistles teach against that. Your thoughts? Thank you Loy.

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            6. @Taboo: I’m just unrepentant Papist.

              What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:14-17)

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            7. Sorry Loy. That doesn’t answer my questions. Perhaps you misread. I’ll kindly repeat. You stated:

              I am affirming that this knowledge can potentially be sufficient for salvation.

              Then I asked two questions:

              1. “…can potentially be sufficient.” What or where are you basing that type knowledge? How can others verify that statement to be true or false?

              2. How do you interpret these passages regarding salvation and obtaining it with this knowledge?

              I think those are clear coherent questions. I did not ask what YOU thought of yourself. The questions address your knowledge source and its verification, and your interpretation of “salvation” and “knowledge” of God thru the six “God spoken” passages I quoted for you. James 2:14-17 does not align with these 6 other passages. Please explain how they are all congruent AND please answer my 2 questions and withhold the diversions. Thank you.

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            8. @taboo: Sorry, but I really have no idea what you’re getting at. Hairsplitting random bible verses holds no appeal for me, much less “verifying” them or showing them to be congruent. If your point is that they are unverifiable and incongruent, that’s great. Good to know.

              Nor have I much interest in arcane doctrinal disputations. (If that’s what you want, let’s talk about transubstantiation and the Immaculate Conception.)

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            9. Wow. 🤔 Now I understand why you are so disliked here. LOL

              No, I’m pretty sure you just don’t want to give any serious effort in demonstrating your “true” sound(?) faith in God’s power and wisdom to answer for Christ and how other humans learn about him and his lamb. Truth be known that’s what you are obviously skirting here. Or maybe you have no clue, I don’t know. You won’t answer or adequately explain. Anyway, it is very unimpressive, empty.

              So long. Have a good week.

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            10. Loy has tons of evidence that we are wrong here, he/she just can’t bring any of it to the table. He has his own secret evidence too, he just can’t share it. But, ya gotta believe. Testimony is an unreliable force. Courts are pretty good proof of that.

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            11. Yes, agreed. I wanted to give Loy the benefit of the doubt to at least elaborate well, backup his personal claims/comments here, but instead he doesn’t answer sensible, simple questions that would demonstrate available “knowledge” or “revelations” of his God and salvation from this God. He did the exact opposite and made his case worse by giving this cop-out:

              Everybody’s got to puzzle it out for themselves, man. There is no instruction manual.

              That last sentence I emphasized is Loy’s blatant lie as a Christian! As I spelled out above in General and Special revelations, the correct answer, and the one his God wants him to answer with AND be prepared to give witness for Christ is in fact… there IS (according to a True-blue Faith-following Christian worth his/her salt) multiple ways to know his God/Christ in the two categories I mentioned! Loy either can’t do that or refuses to do that — which would mean his claims are really just hypocrisy and/or fraudulent. Disappointing and very unimpressive, particularly for his God.

              Liked by 1 person

            12. Another thing Jim, did you notice that when I simply shared what “God’s Word” says about knowledge of Him and salvation by Him/Jesus, indirectly Loy finished my argument and supported it as VERY HARD to explain, incongruent not congruent, contradictory not harmonious, problematic not easy, failing not worthy with admittances like…

              Hairsplitting random bible verses holds no appeal for me, much less “verifying” them or showing them to be congruent.

              Nor have I much interest in arcane doctrinal disputations.

              Did I create the “arcane doctrinal disputations”? Did I create (at least for Loy?) the confusion and disunity rampant throughout his church, belief-system, or “revelations”? No. They were already there from the beginning. Loy showed my point by his laziness and naivety to make sense of what he himself cannot.

              Oh well, at least others here see the scam. 😉

              Liked by 1 person

            13. The ability to ignore the contradictions is now physiological. Hard wired through a lifetime focusing on proving one thing.

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            14. Exactly. I feel sorry for him and those who bought into the whole “arcane” Sales & Marketing scam, especially if they did it as adults. But what is much worse, more sad are all the young children SCARED into the bogus “faith” because of mythical hell, torture, Satan, demons, darkness, et al, then exactly like the radical Islamists do… drill it into their heads over and over and over and reinforce all of it neurologically with theatrical shows/performances at mosques/churches, i.e. the Placebo-effect. If all of that isn’t blatant brainwashing and indoctrination of young naive minds no less, then the Moon is made of green goat-cheese. LOL 😛

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            15. It’s funny you mention puzzling. Those last few pieces of the difficult puzzle…atheism. Makes ya wonder what the hell took so long? Ah, indoctrinal road blocking, labels, herd mentality, gullibility, peer pressure, threats of hell, but, in the end only a few have the wherewithal to walk away. The ultimate test of integrity! Few there be that find it? Who is the few, Loy?

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            16. @jim – That seems like a pretty wan rationalization. When your explanation for the astonishingly diverse 80% who disagree with you is that they all somehow have been brainwashed, then maybe you should think again.

              Atheism doesn’t supply any puzzle pieces. It simply stamps its feet and insists that, because we can’t see the big picture, the completed puzzle, it’s pointless to try.

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            17. And how many Christians have completed the puzzle? Zero. Pretty good odds you’re barking up the wrong tree. And yes, the way things have played out, 80% could very well be dead wrong. The game wasn’t supposed to last as long as it did. Even the prophesies were imminent. After the force feeding all that was left were was a heritage of forced conversions. Yes, 80% can be wrong. Look at Islam.

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            18. The difference is between those who work on the puzzle and those who just stand idly by pouting and kvetching.

              Yes, 80%, 90%, or 100% can be wrong. However, when the 80% encompasses such a broad range of beliefs, you have to wonder about the likelihood that 100% of them are 100% wrong.

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            19. Not really wondering “if” anymore. I went through that phase too. The evidence is strong of the manipulative cards played on human psychology and fear, often at the point of a sword, now all that is left are the compliant and a legacy built on forced conversions. Now it’s tradition. Catholicism left its mark on multiple founders, Luther, Calvin, etc to the point they were spewing the same nonsense that they though they left behind. Now the game is rigged. Indoctrination, coronation, christening, baptism, full blown card carrying jesus-ers before they even know a difference. Now the herd is in control, veering left and right and backwards to no end, and the majority of people just follow along like they have in countless other scenarios. 100% have the same starting point, the same information, and the same search based on failed systems.

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            20. There is no puzzle Loy. That is what YOU are creating in your head and unwilling to testify for your God’s plan of reconciliation.

              Now, if you want to discuss the so-called “puzzle” about God’s revelations to humanity, as I amply demonstrated and invited you to do above, I am quite happy to go there. But you ran away after throwing out another contradictory bible verse. That would imply you can’t explain your own puzzle; you coped out.

              @ Jim — Your patience with his circus magic tricks is very commendable Jim! I have a parrot and a puppet I think you could save as well if you’ve got the time after this! 😉 🤭

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            21. Lol. It is going to click soon…my clip is about empty. Ya know, a lot is going on in the deconverting mind. I’ll sit with him/her anonymity until the real Loy is revealed, that man if sin, the son of perdition. I do think the greatest test of faith all time is fact. The internet makes faith a tough sell anymore when viable psychological and neurological explanations are easy to find, as well as the exposed manipulation of scripture, powers, scandals, and so on.

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  5. If that’s what you mean by God, then you’re quite right not to believe in it. Actually I find most atheists are right: What they mean by God isn’t real.

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    1. Which one are you referring to tonight?Go ahead and clear this up without your generalities. Did you even read the post?
      Show me where I’m wrong and back it up.

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      1. I read it a couple of time and, to the extent I could follow it, saw nothing that sounded at all like a version of God that I could accept. Then when you ask, “What if he were to present his whole self?” — well, needless to say, the whole premise of Christianity is that God presents his whole self.

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        1. Thanks. If one could ever unlearn a profundity richly laden with pure thought it should be that one. Not unlike many of your statements that decrease ones depth of understanding. I should have injected the god of confusion somehow richening the scenario. Afraid to cast pearls Loy? Have you been lost in the desert so long you’ve walked in a circle…Again?

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          1. You’ve completely lost me. Your post seems rather odd if speaking specifically of incarnational religion, a religion that inherits from Judaism a profound emphasis on God’s love for his creation, and especially his presence among and love for humanity — imprinted with his divine image, nearly angels. The human person fully alive is the glory of God.

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            1. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Nothing could be further from your conception of God.

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            2. Says who? I’ve read that scripture too. Is just not very compelling when you add the contradictions, which I tried to avoid and couldn’t even in the short creative explanation. I couldn’t put four scriptures in context without contradicting several others. But I’m supposed to believe your word on THE WORD, How do you know this? The word was made flesh, died, took up the flesh again and now sits that on the right hand of god. But flesh is corrupt? Hmm.

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            3. So where is the chasm between us and his greatness? I didn’t write god was no big deal, quite the contrast. He just doesn’t care what we think, what we have attempted in our feeble limitations, nor what befalls us daily—and will close the scrolls on us sinners at his will and pleasure.

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            4. If someone fashions a false idol out of “scripture”, perhaps they’re missing the point.

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            5. I offered you a space to explain your version of god and you waved it off. You could clear up what you call atheist misconceptions, then we could discuss your definition of god, instead of my “inaccurate” portrayal. Go for it! If you can’t present a concise and meaningful statement of what god is (that an investigator to your faith can understand) then your wasting everybody’s time.

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            6. “Caring” obviously is an anthropomorphic mode of expression, but why would you posit that God is “uncaring”? That’s an unconventional view.

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            7. Unconventional view that does not match-up with objective reality. From the scripture to the actions of “his” people, the living version of contradiction. Even yourself, offended when I mention the current scandals. It may not follow your personal mantra, but it is a natural, unavoidable script of Christian faith. Sure there are anomalies, but they are rare. What happened and is happening is an unavoidable path of religious faith.

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            8. Sorry, but as I’m sure you must realize there is no such thing as a “concise and meaningful statement of what god is.”

              The only way to “investigate” a faith is to live it. A full-blown investigation takes a lifetime.

              And living a particular faith for an extended period in no way qualifies you to make statements about someone else’s faith, or generalized statements about all faiths.

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            9. I am more than qualified to report what I see. In religious environs it rarely matches with what we hear. It’s so obvious even a heathen can see it. Faith equates to no more than a feeling, hoping you are right. Too mush time on any one discipline skews the importance of ones views.

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            10. It is quite egoism that declares one must live a lifetime of faith to understand the nature of god, but then declare in snippets that my view is wrong, after telling me no one can judge another’s faith. Why are you trying to correct my faith Loy, when you can’t possibly make qualified statements? It is belief of this nature that takes humanity nowhere.

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            11. Sure, one can objectively report what they directly observe. When they veer off into interpretation, commentary and bald opinion, however, that’s another matter.

              I’m sure I’m guilty of eye-rolling, but I don’t recall taking offense. I respect everyone’s right to believe whatever. As Swarn says, as long as you aren’t the type of person to push your beliefs on others, or to enact laws and legislation based on your belief-based thinking, then I really don’t care what you and your pals believe.

              But as Swarn also says: “Perhaps somewhere deep inside you know you are selling snake oil, but just don’t want to admit it.”

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            12. I apologize for criticizing and/or judging your faith. My intent was to challenge your statements criticizing and/or judging others’ faith.

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            13. It’s interesting that no one is qualified to judge another’s faith, while that is the exact way someone determines what faith to embrace. The key to conversion then devotion is maintainable ignorance? It appears so.

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            14. I would draw a distinction between, on the one hand, learning, considering, and even challenging other people’s beliefs and opinions, versus, on the other hand, presuming to understand and judge another person’s inner life.

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            15. And you say that god is unknowable and incomprehensible

              Then you start to say things like this

              Loy, if god is unknowable then how do you know what you are saying about god here

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            16. @jonathan – You’re just restating the last question. There is a difference between being perfectly and completely knowable versus being imperfectly or incompletely knowable.

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            17. @jonathan – You’re just restating the last question. There is a difference between being perfectly and completely knowable versus being imperfectly or incompletely knowable.

              Yes there is a difference

              But what you said was that god is unknowable ( check Jim’s previous posts and their comments if you have forgotten )
              So, I ask again
              Loy, you previously stated that god is unknowable then you are now saying this things about god. How did you know what you are saying about your unknowable god

              Or is god only unknowable when it suits you

              Liked by 3 people

            18. @Jonathan: If I stated elsewhere that God is not even imperfectly or incompletely knowable, then I should have expressed myself more precisely.

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        2. Loy

          The only way to “investigate” a faith is to live it. A full-blown investigation takes a lifetime

          This is rubbish
          How is the only way to verify the faith based claim that the world was created in 7 days is “to live it”
          How is the only way to verify that Quetzalcoatl exist and carried out his actions is “to live it”
          How is the only way to verify that a being created the universe is “to live it”
          How is the only way to verify that faith based teachings match reality is “to live it”
          How is the only way to verify that an individual was resurrected is “to live it”
          How is the only way to verify that the faith based teaching that the earth is flat is “to live it”

          And how does it take a life time to ascertain that any faith based teachings are false

          Sure if what you mean is whether a particular faith is helpful in anyway
          Then you would be partially right

          BUT
          If what you mean is
          whether a particular faith is actually true
          Then what you said is WRONG

          Liked by 2 people

          1. @Jonathan: Sure, it takes more than just experience alone to judge the validity of a faith. It would also take sound philosophical reasoning and a lot of other knowledge. But lived experience is indispensable.

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            1. Thou shalt have sound pre suppositionally reasoned philosophies. Layogenics 1:1
              It’s preposterous to think that this is where the simplicity of the gospel has had to go to remain relevant.

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            2. If you want the simplicity of the gospel, you can find it inside the four walls of a monastery. If you’re going to deal with the real world, in all its messy complexities, however, you will need more.

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            3. It takes empirical evidence to validate any claim ( faith based claim included )

              I don’t need to live my life as a flat earther to know that the faith based claim that the earth is flat is wrong
              I don’t need to live my life as a young earther to know that this claim is wrong
              I don’t need to live my life as a creationist/ intelligent design proponent to know that evolution and the big bang is probably how we got here

              Sure my experience as a christian is helpful in investigating the claims of christianity but it is not a necessity that I most have a “lived experience” to investigate the claims of christianity
              At the very most, what I need is just a working knowledge of the claims of christianity

              If you want the simplicity of the gospel, you can find it inside the for walls of a monastery. If you’re going to deal with the real world, in all its messy complexities, however, you will need more

              I don’t get what you’re saying
              Are you saying that the gospels are far from being simple

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            4. @Loy, you certainly don’t need evidence for something to be a personal truth/opinion
              Mutually exclusive statements can all be personal truths

              But it takes evidence for a personal truth to be more than an opinion

              Your god existence can be your personal truth, but without evidence it remains an opinion, a product of your imagination

              CAN YOU PROVIDE EVIDENCE FOR THE EXISTENCE OF YOUR GOD

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          2. @jonathan – Sure, you can investigate those particular claims empirically, but they have nothing to do with Christianity.

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            1. Those claims have a lot to do with christianity
              For example if it is found that the serpent god Quetzalcoatl exist and carried out all the deeds attributed to him then, then christianity would be FALSE

              Now you are saying that we should investigate those faith claims empirically because they are not the ones you hold
              But according to you

              The only way to “investigate” a faith is to live it. A full-blown investigation takes a lifetime

              We should subject other faith claims to empirical testing but your own faith claims should not

              Great double standard you have there

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            2. @jonathan – Okay, here are my faith claims. How do you propose to “empirically test” them?

              “Honesty is the best policy.”
              “Everyone is born equal.”
              “There is a set of prime numbers.”
              “I will never betray you.”
              “I love you.”
              “All claims can be empirically tested.”

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            3. @jonathan – Okay, here are my faith claims. How do you propose to “empirically test” them?

              “Honesty is the best policy.”
              “Everyone is born equal.”
              “There is a set of prime numbers.”
              “I will never betray you.”
              “I love you.”
              “All claims can be empirically tested.”

              “Honesty is the best policy.”
              I don’t entirely agree with this claim. This statement first off all is too vague. But In order to “empirically test”, we would first have to identify what is desirable in the particular instance, in some situations, not being honest ( what I mean is either lying or keeping quiet ) would lead to the best outcome and the greater good than being honest
              Again this statement is too vague

              “Everyone is born equal.”
              Again this statement is too vague. More specific forms will have different methods of testing them. And this statement would be true or false depending on the specific form you mean.
              What do you mean by equality here

              The general form of this statement, is usually used when talking about human rights and privileges. Equality in this sense normally refers to your status as a human being, this can be empirically tested

              But, if you are meaning “Everyone is born equal.” in a biological/physiological sense, this would not be entirely correct ( again this depends on what you mean by “equal” ). It can be empirically tested

              “I will never betray you.”
              This is just an emotional statement. That even you making it cannot proof, simply because no one including the person making the claims can tell what would happen in the future.
              When people make this statement claim. The most we can do is use their past records, what we have observed about the person, the information we have about the person to see how probable or improbable the person making this claim will keep their word

              “I love you.”
              This can be verified through direct observation.

              “There is a set of prime numbers.”
              I don’t get what you mean. Are you asking how we can check if prime numbers exists. If this is what you mean, then certainly the existence of prime numbers are verifiable. For example, the number 2 has only two factors; 1 and 2.

              A prime number is a whole number greater than 1 whose only factors are 1 and itself

              The number 2 clearly matches the definition of a prime number

              “All claims can be empirically tested”
              This was what I said

              It takes empirical evidence to validate any claim ( faith based claim included )

              If the claim does not have any empirical evidence nor can it be empirically tested at the moment, it simply isn’t true. Now this does not necessarily mean the claim is false, it simply just means the claim is not true.

              All claims are initially the product of human thinking/reasoning/imagination, if there is no empirical evidence to support the claim, the claim remains an imagination and not a fact/tenet of reality

              By the way I don’t see how your “faith” claims are inline with the meaning of faith in this discussion

              Faith: strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.

              CAN YOU PROVIDE EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE THAT YOUR GOD EXIST AND STOP TRYING TO SHIFT POSTS

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            4. @Jonathan: You say, “If the claim does not have any empirical evidence nor can it be empirically tested at the moment, it simply isn’t true. Now this does not necessarily mean the claim is false, it simply just means the claim is not [known to be] true.”

              Thus you accept that [a] there are some claims that cannot be empirically tested, and [b] such claims may be either true or false. I gave several examples of such statements — statements about the future, about abstract entities, about value judgments and subjective experience. We have to rely on reason to judge the truth or falsity of such statements.

              And, of course, your own claim that “It takes empirical evidence to validate any claim,” is itself a claim that cannot be empirically tested, and therefore may be either true or false.

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            5. Thus you accept that [a] there are some claims that cannot be empirically tested, and [b] such claims may be either true or false. I gave several examples of such statements — statements about the future, about abstract entities, about value judgments and subjective experience

              if there is no empirical evidence to support the claim, the claim remains an imagination and not a fact/tenet of reality
              I will repeat again, if there is no evidence to support a claim, the claim remains an opinion and not a fact of reality

              Statements about value judgements can be empirically tested. But the way they are tested depends on the scenario
              Your honesty example like I said is too vague for me to give just a single test case that satisfies all scenarios

              Same thing with your “everyone are born equal”, this claim can be empirically tested. But it is too vague for me to give a test case that satisfies all scenarios.

              “I will never betray you.”
              “I love you.”
              If you read my reply you would see that I gave how this claims can be tested.

              statements about the future

              What are you saying. Statements about the future are empirically tested all the time. Scientists do that all the time.

              “I will never betray you.”
              “I love you.”
              These statements can be empirically tested. But like everything in science it isn’t 100% certain, new data can cause us to reevaluate

              I gave several examples of such statements

              All those claims you mentioned can be empirically tested

              “It takes empirical evidence to validate any claim,” is itself a claim that cannot be empirically tested, and therefore may be either true or false.

              “It takes empirical evidence to validate any claim,”
              This is a claim that can be empirically tested. You simply need to look at the history of the scientific method

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            6. @jonathan – You claim that the claim, “It takes empirical evidence to validate any claim,” can itself be empirically tested. You say, “You simply need to look at the history of the scientific method.”

              That’s a mere tautology. By definition, the scientific method deals only with claims that can be empirically tested. The history of the scientific method therefore tells us zilch about claims that might be valid but are not empirically testable. And indeed, the claim, “It takes empirical evidence to validate any claim,” cannot itself be validated empirically, however fervently you may wish the case to be otherwise.

              Your other responses similarly fail.

              “Honesty is the best policy.”
              You say, “we would first have to identify what is desirable….would lead to the best outcome and the greater good.” Well, yeah — but all you’ve done is restate the question. By what empirical means would you determine the “desirable” or “best” outcome?

              “Everyone is born equal.”
              You say, “Equality in this sense normally refers to your status as a human being, this can be empirically tested.” Well, yes, it’s implicit that we are talking only about actual human beings, but the claim is that all human beings ought to enjoy the same rights. By what empirical means would you determine the validity of such a claim?

              “I will never betray you.”
              You acknowledge that no one can foretell the future. In personal relationships we proceed on the basis of trust and faith.

              “There is a set of prime numbers.”
              Here you simply beg the question: There is a set of prime numbers because there are prime numbers. The question is, by what empirical means would you establish that you are speaking of a real entity?

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            7. Well, yeah — but all you’ve done is restate the question. By what empirical means would you determine the “desirable” or “best” outcome?

              The definition of words are subjective. Even in the sciences, words have a subjective meaning ( though it’s frown out to change the meaning of terminologies anyhow).

              Same thing applies here the meaning of “desirable” or “best” outcome is subjective. But once you chose a definition of “desirable” or “best” outcome
              Then we can empirically test the claim “Honesty is the best policy.”
              There is a good reason why in many research works, you find a section called “definition of terms” or “glossary”
              If you define “best outcome” as the outcome with the most profit. We can empirically test “Honesty is the best policy.”
              If you define “best outcome” as the outcome that promotes human survival. We can empirically test “Honesty is the best policy.”
              Define what you mean by “best policy” then I would tell you how to empirically test your honesty claim

              “I will never betray you.”
              You acknowledge that no one can foretell the future. In personal relationships we proceed on the basis of trust and faith.

              You didn’t ask me what people base their personal relationship on, you asked me if the can be empirically tested and my answer is yes.
              Sure no one can tell with absolute certainty what would happen in the future BUT that doesn’t mean that one can not predict what would happen in the future. You can empirically test if someone will betray you in the future, the same way meteorologist predict the weather, the same way economists predict the stock market and economic growth, the same way physicists can predict how the universe will end, the same way astronomers predict when eclipse occurs etc. There use the data we have available and predict what will happen in the future. Just because the astronomer or the meteorologist etc can’t be 100% certain about the future, does not make their findings any less empirical
              That’s the same way you can empirically test or predict ones future behavior. You use a person past records, his or her words and actions, current social and environmental circumstances etc to tell the likelihood of the person betraying you.

              The question is, by what empirical means would you establish that you are speaking of a real entity?

              Let’s be on the same page. Are you asking if numbers exist or are you asking if among the numbers that exist they are numbers that fit the description of prime numbers

              The history of the scientific method therefore tells us zilch about claims that might be valid but are not empirically testable

              If the claim can not be empirically tested then it is a subjective claim that depends on human feelings, tastes, or opinions to be valid.

              The scientific method deals with investigating objective claims. Claims that are true whether one likes it or not

              all human beings ought to enjoy the same rights. By what empirical means would you determine the validity of such a claim?

              Some of the human rights are tightly coupled with morality. Which implies that there are subjective and depends on the morality of the society at the particular point in time
              Those human rights that have nothing to do with morality, are basically just civic benefits which depends on the laws of the society

              “all human beings ought to enjoy the same rights”
              This statement doesn’t have validity in an objective sense. But it’s validity depends on the moral framework of the culture/society at any particular point in time

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            8. That’s a mere tautology …
              “It takes empirical evidence to validate any claim,” cannot itself be validated empirically, however fervently you may wish the case to be otherwise.

              Empirical evidence is information acquired by observation or experimentation

              It’s an observation that valid claims are those that are supported by evidence. It’s a tautology because that the definition of what it means for a claim to be valid

              An observation of how objective claims are validated in the sciences, history, archaeology etc are empirical evidence that the claim “It takes empirical evidence to validate any claim” is valid

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            9. There are certain people that continually avoid context and criticize the style of debate, following all the specific semantics, but somehow never address the core of their knowledge. This is philosophy…guessing eloquence. The pointless charade and circle-bending is getting a little old Loy. I tend to look through any mistakes of speech or debate styles to understand the intent, like reading for comprehension, not reading to find fault in the writing style. Try it Loy, I know your capable of it, but just don’t want to expose the fallacy of belief.

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            10. The history of the scientific method therefore tells us zilch about claims that might be valid but are not empirically testable.

              Can you give examples of valid claims that are not empirically testable and are also not subjective

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            11. The history of the scientific method therefore tells us zilch about claims that might be valid but are not empirically testable.

              If it is a claim whose validity only depends on ones personal preference, taste or opinion. Sure, the scientific method won’t tell you much about such claim because those claims are valid if humans want them to be and are invalid if humans don’t want them to be
              But if it is a claim that is valid regardless of ones personal preference, taste or opinion, whether one likes it or not. It is empirical evidence that determines the validity of such claims

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            12. @jim- It’s not about style. If we employ or imply concepts like reality, knowledge, or truth without examining what we mean by them (and yes that’s philosophy – sorry), then we’re just babbling. What’s worse, we’re just meekly and mindlessly following someone else’s philosophy.

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            13. @jonathan – You say, “This statement doesn’t have validity in an objective sense. ”

              Which is exactly the point. These and many other true statements cannot be validated empirically.

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    2. It is not what we mean by god, Loy, but what others tells us they mean. How can we mean anything by god, when there is no such being. This is the one thing two many religious folk do not understand, when we say we don’t believe, that is what we mean. We cannot deny something that is not there. It’s like asking us to comment about Santa Claus, or a pink elephant in the middle of the room. Those things are metaphors, but they still are not real. The word god, it’s not even a metaphor…

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      1. @raw: If you can’t tell me precisely what it is that you claim to be denying, then you’re saying precisely nothing.

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            1. Oh,I have lots to say, just nothing on your favourite subjects. If you want to think I do not exist, or have nothing to contribute, that is up to you. As long as you realize that you are putting your beliefs before a living being, that is okay with me. But I know the English alphabet, and I know how to form sentences. Gee, I even know how to do arithmetic. I know, computers can do those things too. I’d say I can sing, though that would be a lie. But I do breathe, when a computer has no need to do so. Anyway, if you would rather not acknowledge my personhood, that’s your choice. However, that will not make it true…

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  6. Exactly. But as I see it, the only reason anyone believes in any god is that someone told them they should or, more often, must. After teaching a lesson on ‘the problem of evil’ at church one day, someone asked me how I reconcile what I had said during the lesson with what I believe. I gave some BS answer, but I still think that was day I started looking for the exit.

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    1. This was a bit of an exercise for me. I know I try to keep things difficultly short for a topic of this size, but this is more or less where we stand to embrace the inconceivable god idea. My reading would lead me to believe the idea of god only got this big to avoid the evidence issues. The Bible catches glimpses of god throughout, so lots of contradiction compared to the founders. Keeping god out of reach now is the only thing left to preserve the idea.

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        1. Funny that you mention that. The photo is from Lake Natron in Tanzania. It has a Ph of 10.5 to 12 and animals that die within its reach are preserved indefinitely.

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          1. I never heard of Lake Natron, or knew there was such a lake in Africa, let alone Tanzania. But the “pillar of salt” metaphor was in my mind just a few lines into your writing. Don’t know why, but it just wouldn’t go away…

            Liked by 1 person

            1. There has been a few times where I’ve wondered what the hell is he talking about? But I get you (mostly). Hehe

              Like

  7. The untouchable being who touches, but we can’t determine that touch because it’s untouchable.

    I passed a theology college today on my travels and had to wonder: doesn’t anyone ever raise their hands and ask, “Wait, what…?”

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Of course they do. Those arguments are hedged, programmed, and ready for rebuttal. It’s a knee jerk-retell of a religious consensus. It’s NIMOW…not in my own words.

      Liked by 3 people

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