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Religion / Re: Dear Atheists by NnennaG6(f): 2:50pm On Nov 09, 2021
This is an issue that existence of god doesn't fix. Even if we assume that there is some transcendent basis for reason, we have no good reason to believe that we have any sort of reliable access to it.

If you presume that you have no reasoning power, maybe. But since we make claims, and we transcend concepts in unity, there is good reason. Otherwise, you should not have posted anything at all. Or, you must be admitting that what you write has no truth value at all.

People behave irrationally most of the time

You should say "always" instead of most of the time. But, as I noted above, you should not even say that as something with any truth value.

It might seem like a valid syllogism, but it's actually not. In order to infer C from P1 and P2, you need to apply reason (specifically modus monens). Which you can't do (justifiably) unless you already have prior justification for reason. If you do have it, that defeats the purpose of the argument.

While you write these, you already assume that you have reason.

The syllogism must be revised as:

1. If there is reason, it has a transcendent, unitary, and coherent basis irreducible to particles bumping one onto another.

2. There is reason since we transcend and communicate in unity that which is true and that which is false and able to confirm or falsify the results of reason and truth.

3. Therefore there is the transcendent, unitary, and all-encompassing basis of reason.

The least "damaging" position is to just presuppose it.

You mean without reason?

1 Like

Religion / Dear Atheists by NnennaG6(f): 2:12pm On Nov 09, 2021
If you as an atheist are nothing but particles bumping one onto other, deterministically or indeterministically, you should not be able to claim that you are reasonable.

I understand that for many atheists, atheism is no more than lacking belief in god.

But if there is no all-encompassing one being who transcends all, if there is no all encompassing truth who can empower other beings, if your concepts are just local, if your syllogisms are no more than epiphenomenal, what might be your basis for reason?

Some of you may be believing in spirits, or emergence, or ... I do not think any of these can be a basis for reason. But anyway, I would like to see on what basis you claim (if you do) to be acting on reason.

And I think that without an all-encompassing transcendent basis of knowledge and freedom you cannot have such a basis, hence you cannot claim to be behaving on reason.

I hope I did not offend anyone.

I just articulate my sincere thoughts. Maybe you will convince me that without god you may have what is necessary for reason.

Thanks in advance
Religion / Re: God Is Well-suited For A Rational Explanation For Creation by NnennaG6(f): 9:30pm On May 19, 2021

Please explain what you mean by "womb man" and "lying theory".
Wombman is clearly woman, and yes the point she made about the bible not specifying if women had souls is clearly silly. Thats like asking if a chicken has eggs or pineapples when it gives birth.
Religion / Re: God Is Well-suited For A Rational Explanation For Creation by NnennaG6(f): 11:36am On May 19, 2021
NnennaG6, you aren’t off to a very good start at all.

Its been well established, for several hundred years, amongst Jewish and Christian academics, linguists/philologists and archaeologists following exhaustive examination of the various texts from the Jewish scriptures that Moses had nothing at all to do with the writing of the Pentateuch much less Genesis. That claim is a weary old fable and doesn’t make much sense under closer scrutiny. Scholars can show most of the earlier parts of the Torah were edited and rehashed together around the time between the Assyrian and Babylonian exiles. Friedman suggests its the combined editorial work of Jerehmiah, Baruch ben Neriah, and Ezra. It’s another opinion like yours, but better evidenced.

You claim to actually know what your god wants us to know about ‘creation’. That’s a mighty claim about an ineffable god who doesn’t seem capable of keeping to a clear script as shown in the following.

In Genesis 1 the El version of the creation of man and women does not involve giving either man or woman a soul. There is no breathing of life into nostrils. It’s in Genesis 2:7 YHWH creates man from clay and breathes life into him making him a living soul. But YHWH did not do the same for Eve. So where in the Bible did her soul come from? Are you suggesting, as ancient Hebrews most certainly did, that women are lesser creatures?

As far as animals not having souls I offer the following Bible quotes.
Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 ESV
For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity. All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return. Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?

Who knows indeed? You, NnennaG6? Pope Francis is of the opinion pets go to heaven. If he is right I’ve got a truck load of dogs to take walkies and bathe and feed as my reward if I’ve been good.

Psalm 74:19 ESV
Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild beasts; do not forget the life of your poor forever.

You might well believe in the veracity of these highly specific narrations from Genesis about the cause and occurrence of life on earth, but that’s probably more because you don’t really understand the basics of modern evolutionary theory, in particular the biochemistry of genetic variation, which as well as being incredible in its beauty and simplicity, can alone adequately account for the vast abundance of ‘endless forms most beautiful’ and the curiously fabulous emergence of Homo sapiens sapiens an animal so vain about his own intelligence he uses the word ‘wise’ twice when he named himself and sometime lays claims to understanding the intentions of a god for whom he cannot provide substantive objective proof.

I don’t criticise you or your belief, but based on the limited information you have voluntarily presented here I would only comment it seems you have based your entire view on the garbled creation myths of the ancient Jews which does not provide any evidence for your god, or your presumptions about it, or the role you claim it had in creating the physical natural reality we share. You have merely expressed a claim. That’s not a bad thing, but the reality is your claim for the existence of an ineffable god cannot be proven and it is not the burden of others to prove it does not exist.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
I did not know the earliest last remaining copies were re-printed by those authors, that is very interesting but irrelevant. It doesn’t change what’s written about dinosaurs. I believe you missed the point. I also don’t buy that argument because the torah is a verbal tradition and they most certainly kept records before their captivities in different nations and in between their captivities they still had it mentally even though their temples and documents may have been largely destroyed. That is logical is it not?
Religion / God Is Well-suited For A Rational Explanation For Creation by NnennaG6(f): 6:56am On May 19, 2021
I would like to bring up is the following from the book genesis written by Moses:

Genesis 1:20 "And EL said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that has life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open expanse of heaven. (22)And EL created great dragons (tanniyniym - a marine or land monster) and every living creature that moves, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: And EL saw that is was good. (22) And EL blessed them saying, Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let the fowl multiply in the earth."

This explains accounts of dragons, which are dinosaurs and other monsters from the beginning.

The key point here though and what God wants you to know about creation is this:

Genesis 1:26 "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth."

God goes on to explain that man was given a living soul presumably unlike the animals which simply had life. So it pleased God to make man and women because we are partakers of His nature, above created things and worthy of eternal life and this is what separates you from an animal and why humans are indeed not animals or rather above them.

So this is evidence that the creation of mankind was intentional and a process that proceeded from the logos of God and was carried out in the literal world by natural processes in accordance with His word. The part I consider relevant is that these specific things were stated before any conceptions of evolution or real ideas about how people and animals were created or what origins there are. This is a highly specific narration of what the cause of life on earth is and how it occurred.

This account is starkly different than any alien theories of creation or purely evolutionary perspectives because there is an extraordinary intention within the universe that is designed into the fabric of the human essence as reality was created for us.

I believe theory has more explanatory power. Only God could organize a structure like planet earth to bring forth creatures in abundance and humans, it is intentional and makes sense. There is really no other explanation that makes sense to me other than choosing to believe in blind reality. It also explains why we are in the situation we are in with our attitudes towards life and how we behave out of line with the cosmic order.
Religion / Re: God's Failure As A Moral Standard by NnennaG6(f): 1:16pm On Jun 01, 2019

Very good response, Nnenna.

I will just correct one thing:

There were two laws here:

1. If the man raped an unbetrothed virgin, then he had absolutely no choice but to marry her and be a responsible husband to her as long as both of them lived (Deuteronomy 22:28-29).

2. If the man seduced her, so that it was consensual, then he still had no choice but to marry her unless her father rejects him, in which case he is responsible to pay the dowry anyway to protect her from any future trouble with a new husband (Exodus 22:16-17).
Appreciate the help as always, sir
Religion / Re: God's Failure As A Moral Standard by NnennaG6(f): 1:14pm On Jun 01, 2019

Or maybe you have got it completely wrong? There are countless different ways that the bible could be interpreted. How have you determined that your particular interpretation is correct?
No, if you've studied the text (if you actually have), you'll see this is the way it is interpreted. Have you done any work on
researching the text? Your comments make me think you haven't; you've possibly just read it superficially.

Yes a man can be 'forced' to
marry a woman he raped. Do you seriously not see any issue with that?
Their worldview was very different from our own. In our day, this is not a suitable arrangement, but this was not written to us. In their world, this was very affirming and protective of women. They would look at this as a tremendous boon, not the "wtf?" way we look at it.
In their world, a victimized woman didn't think the way we do about marrying her rapist (cf. 2 Sam. 13.1-20). Since the primary way women achieved financial and social security was through marriage, a rape victim would often end up impoverished. This law was perceived as providing protection and security for an innocent victim, and was welcomed. It's not the way we think, but that's beside the point. It's for their world, not ours.

Who decides whether the woman should marry the man who raped her?
The father and the daughter would. There's more about these things in Exodus 22.16-17, which is a backdrop to this scenario. The father and daughter, in cooperation with the wisdom of a judge, would decide how best to handle it.
Religion / Re: God's Failure As A Moral Standard by NnennaG6(f): 7:39am On Jun 01, 2019

Not OP, but I think the point is that in present-day Kyrgyzstan a woman can be forced to marry her rapist, something that you and I and everyone reading this can agree is disgusting and vile. And yet the same thing was a requirement of the Old Testament law, i.e., things that Israel was told to do if they wanted to be blessed by God.
Thanks for your comment, but it shows a serious misunderstanding of the biblical text. I'd love to discuss it with you.

Deuteronomy 22.28-29. First of all, the Torah is not legislation. It is a covenant agreement the point of which was to establish a reputation for YHWH as the patron of order. It addressed how the Israelite people should maintain their culture's concept of order in the relatively unique context of a vassal relationship with a deity. In other words, Deuteronomy 22.28-29 is neither legislation nor a command. We'll dispense with that misunderstanding first.

Second, this was written to protect the woman. As it would have been more difficult for a woman to find a husband had she been sexually involved with another before marriage, her bride-price, a kind of economic security for her future, would have been in jeopardy. Her wellbeing is the underlying theme. The passages suggest two courses of action:

1. If the father and daughter both agree to it, the rapist must marry the woman and provide for her all her life, without the possibility of divorce. The father (in conjunction with the daughter) has the final say-so in the arrangement. The girl isn’t required to marry the seducer.

2. The girl’s father (the legal point person) has the right to refuse any such permanent arrangement as well as the right to demand the payment that would be given for a bride, even though the rapist doesn’t marry his daughter (since she has been sexually compromised, marriage to another man would be difficult if not impossible). The girl has to agree with this arrangement, and she isn’t required to marry the seducer. In this arrangement she is still treated as a virgin.

You say the woman is "forced to marry her rapist." But a plain reading of the text shows that it is the man who is being pronounced guilty, and the man who is being forced to marry. Remember, they didn't marry for romance, but largely as a financial arrangement. So what's going on in Deut. 22:28-29 is that when the man rapes the woman, he will be required to take over that woman's upkeep for the rest of her life, with no possibility of divorce. This is not forced on the woman. it is forced on the man. It is his punishment. The entirely to the financial burden fell on the rapist. Of course, people fell in love with each other, and sometimes that could become the basis for an arranged marriage, but love and the feelings of individuals were not fundamental to the system. Marriage and the dowry was to provide financial security for the wife.

We can talk more, as you wish.

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Religion / Re: God's Failure As A Moral Standard by NnennaG6(f): 7:55pm On May 31, 2019
In North Korea, the ultimate authority is worshipped.

In Iran, homosexuals are put to death.

In Saudi Arabia, apostasy is a capital offense.

In Kyrgyzstan, if a man kidnaps and rapes a woman, he can force her to marry her and refusal results in a woman considered to be unmarriable. Many victims commit suicide as their chance of happiness has been ripped away from them.

These are egregious human rights violations, things that the civilized world rightfully condemns. Yet, every, single, one, of these terrible laws existed in ancient Israel. Dictated directly by God.

But God is good....if he commanded these things, there must have been some context or another in which it was good? But can anyone name a context outside of Christianity in which these actions are justified?

Nonchristian societies that engage in these very immoral actions are rightfully seen as immoral.

But not God's people.

A standard is defined as "something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model or example.", God cannot be a general model if replicating his actions are immoral when humanity does it.

By the very definition of a standard, God isn't one.

It's odd that you address your question to Christians and then use 4 examples from Islam. You probably know that Christians neither agree with nor endorse Islamic teaching and practice. Then you proceed to say that "Yet, every, single, one, of these terrible laws existed in ancient Israel." This is what is worthy of discussion. The question is, I guess, do you want to talk about God as the standard of morality, or proper understandings of authority, homosexuality, apostasy, and capital punishment? They are very different conversations.

But God is good....if he commanded these things, there must have been some context or another in which it was good?
Here's another piece of misunderstanding. The Old Testament is not legislation. "Legislation" is OUR worldview on law, but it was not the ancient worldview. This is yet another conversation. Therefore your conclusion "By the very definition of a standard, God isn't one" is mistaken.

So which piece do you want to discuss? General (perhaps objective) morality, authority, homosexuality, apostasy, legislation, capital punishment, or God's morality?


Religion / Re: Free Will: A Re-examination by NnennaG6(f): 1:31pm On May 05, 2019

You didn't say that god knew the probabilities of all choices. You didn't even mention that human choices are random, which I agree is the only alternative to determinism, but many believers in libertarian free will deny.
God does know the most likely scenario based on human trends. Think of it as a river current and where the current flows is the most likely future humanity will experience. Yet, it can be changed because of the human free will steering out of that current. Also, do you consider God being discovered and understood in 200 years as a possibility?
Religion / Re: Free Will: A Re-examination by NnennaG6(f): 1:15pm On May 05, 2019

Unfortunately, i don't know if Nairaland comments have a character limit and i wouldn't want to bore guests and users who may be viewing the thread, so I won't be able to talk about literally every single square-millimeter in the universe. But here are a couple more examples of my amazing prediction skills smiley

There will be a human colony on mars if there will be a human colony on mars.

There will have been a nuclear WW3 on earth if there will have been a nuclear WW3 on earth.

There will be sentient soap dispensers if there will be sentient soap dispensers.

I never realised I'm basically omniscient. LoL!! grin
So which of those are the most likely scenario humanity would experience given the current trend? Does any of those future involve understanding God and proving God's existence?
Religion / Re: Free Will: A Re-examination by NnennaG6(f): 12:22pm On May 05, 2019

Nne, that is an interesting assertion,.....
but are you sure that it has any basis in fact?......
Or is it simply a necessary supposition for the free will argument to remain coherent?......
It has an objective basis with regards to the nature of consciousness. That's why the solution to free will and omnipotence allows for both to be true.
Religion / Re: Free Will: A Re-examination by NnennaG6(f): 12:21am On May 05, 2019

Yes, I do.
So can you tell me the state of the whole earth, say 200 years from now? Go on. Tell me and don't be limited to just the weather.

Your god isn't really outside the universe, because he's still bound by time if he doesn't know the future. And he doesn't. You seem to agree that there is one unifying actual reality, of which god doesn't know what choices will be made in the future.
His consciousness resides outside the universe's timeline which is what gives us a sense of time. That's why I used the maze analogy as well because that's the closest to what a timeline would more or less look like at the perspective of someone outside of it. In your perspective, the maze looks different and feels limited since you are in it. Walking through the maze is experiencing time. That's basically why time is considered an illusion. A brick in the wall is considered space and those bricks "change" as you walk through it. Our consciousness flows at the speed of light at the 4th dimension hence why nothing can exceed the speed of light.
Religion / Re: Free Will: A Re-examination by NnennaG6(f): 12:07am On May 05, 2019

LOL @red. Heaven and hell are NOT other universes.

I think you are missing the point here but its ok, I've got enough replies. We don't need to continue.
That's your belief and assertion. Think about it. Our universe has a set of laws. Heaven and hell have theirs as well. So they do count as universes. Within universes, timelines exists because of the laws restricting how we manifest and perceive things.

That's ok if we agree to disagree. Hopefully you got an answer about free will and omniscience.

1 Like

Religion / Re: Free Will: A Re-examination by NnennaG6(f): 11:58pm On May 04, 2019

Nne, when you say ME, you have to be more specific o!.....
I am an aggregate subject to change, not a self-existent entity......

What I was when I first posted......
is different from what I am now,.....
and will be very different ten years in the future......

My dear, you have assumed some sort of intrinsic essence for the self that has yet to be demonstrated!
I'm talking of the conscious you. You are the same consciousness when you were born and you will be the same consciousness until you die. That's why your experience on earth is continuous and not broken by you being a different consciousness at different moments.

That's another story about the soul. I am just answering the question about free will.
Religion / Re: Free Will: A Re-examination by NnennaG6(f): 9:44pm On May 04, 2019

I do not choose the universe I am in. There is only one universe, that we can demonstrably know of. Thus there is no choice, I was always going to be in this universe. However, that doesn't mean there was not other potential universes where things could have been different.
You chose the universe and you simply don't remember it like what happens when you do things in a dream or mundane things in the past. There are other universes which religion calls heaven and hell. In fact, there are multiple heavens just as there are multiple hells.

The issue is, God knows all choices and events of the VN, but he chose to create the specific VN where I choose A over B.
Like I said, there are many VNs out there and this is the particular VN you chose to experience. There are many choices you can make within this VN and your choice determines how the story unfolds. That doesn't change God's knowledge of the VN as the programmer. You do know that events and choices are already programmed within a VN, right? You are not creating new ones when you make a choice.

1 Like

Religion / Re: Free Will: A Re-examination by NnennaG6(f): 9:13pm On May 04, 2019

Pls ma, who is the YOU who does the choosing?
Literally YOU: the person itself and the one I am speaking to.

Like I said, you are choosing already existing and known futures and that's why God knows while allowing free will because you get to choose which of those futures you get to experience.
Religion / Re: Free Will: A Re-examination by NnennaG6(f): 9:07pm On May 04, 2019
Your choice affecting others is also known. VN analogy is simply a simplified way of demonstrating omniscience and free will being compatible.

In any case, I know the future almost as well as your god.
Do you know the possible events 10 years from now? How about 2000 years from now?

God sees all kinds of possible events even to a very distant future because of his perspective from a higher dimension. Basically, he can see everything in the maze from above while you can only see directly what is in your vision within the maze and predict the future as far as you can see within it.

Also, what do you mean defy laws? You mean laws outside the universe? Then indeed laws outside the universe are basically created at will and the universe we are in already has a law set for it and limits us. Humans have complete free will. Omniscience is about knowing all the exact events that can happen in the future and humans are free to choose which events would unfold. Our personalities is what pushes us towards a certain direction and this is why there is this thing called destiny. You can go against it with your free will or flow with it. Either way, both possible future already exists and known to God and you simply choose.

1 Like

Religion / Re: Free Will: A Re-examination by NnennaG6(f): 8:31pm On May 04, 2019

BUT doesn't that still mean that God chose the universe in which I ran along that specific timeline? Given his omniscience surely he does?
You choose the universe you are in because your free will cannot be violated. So you basically chose the Visual Novel (VN) to play and the choices you make playing the VN. God, as the programmer, knows all choices and events of the VN no matter what you choose.
Religion / Re: Free Will: A Re-examination by NnennaG6(f): 8:19pm On May 04, 2019

So god doesn't know the future. Saying that he knows how it will unfold is little more impressive than me saying I know what color your car is, because if it's red it's red, if it's blue it's blue, etc.
He does. You are simply choosing to experience a future he already knows. That's why I compared it with a visual novel because the creator of the VN knows every choice and every scenario in the game and making him omniscient with regards to how the story unfolds. You simply choose which of those path do you want to experience with your choice.
Religion / Re: Free Will: A Re-examination by NnennaG6(f): 7:09pm On May 04, 2019
God, being omniscient and all-
powerful, created and thus selected the universe in which I chose A rather than B.
This is actually a misunderstanding of timelines. Multiple timelines exists in the same universe we exist now. Think of a universe as a visual novel title while timelines are choices within that title. God knows all possible choices and how it will unfold. Whichever choice you choose and get to experience is up to you. Either way, God knows what happens no matter the choice you make. Basically, you are just experiencing what is already existent in the future and your choice determines which future you see.

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Religion / Re: I Want Your Opinions by NnennaG6(f): 11:33am On May 03, 2019
Ihedinobi3 and IAmSabrina
I'd like to know your opinions here too
Religion / Re: I Want Your Opinions by NnennaG6(f): 11:31am On May 03, 2019
I've heard most of this before, so i'm not sure it's as original as you are thinking.

The ego as original sin I've read in at least one book: The Idolatry of God by Peter Rollins (a book that I do not recommend and didn't bother finishing but which nevertheless proposes exactly what you do about the fall) and I'm not sure it's his original either since his influence isn't that great and I've heard it from others. The idea of God as the cosmic universal consciousness is an old idea as well. In fact, it's not that far from classical theism. I've heard such ideas from proponents of process theology and others who have a more panentheist understanding of God. Your view of God is reminiscent of Rob Bell's recent work and all of Marcus Borg's writings.

I would not describe your views as Christian, however. Are you able to recite the Nicene-
Constantinopolitan Creed and genuinely mean it? If not, your views don't qualify as Christian. You can certainly argue that you've transcended Christianity if you'd like and that what you believe is better. But you shouldn't argue that it is Christian because it simply isn't.
I've never heard of any of those people, so I didn't get my thoughts from them (though I never claimed my theory was uniquely original). But I thank you for the resources, I'll take a look. No I cannot recite the Creed, I've actually never heard of it before. Nor am I Catholic, nor do I care for Appeal to Authority or Doctrine. Reading the Creed, I agree with (what I would call) the core tenets, but disagree with others (such as the Second Coming and Rapture as future events -- I believe careful understanding of scripture and analysis of historical accounts point to those events as already happening, but the prophecy was misunderstood as too literal by later Christians). In my opinion, the Creed (or ability to recite it) is not a good metric for measuring a Christian, unless you are Orthodox Catholic and believe doctrine is core, but I disagree. That aside, I understand why you wouldn't consider my views Christian. I do disagree; I don't think my beliefs are in conflict with any Christian beliefs or scripture. Given more length to my post, and if I were more articulate, I might be able to make a better case for it.

However, my understanding is still being developed and I try to adjust my beliefs according to truth, as I certainly don't know everything. I did ask for criticism, so I appreciate the response.

1 Like

Religion / I Want Your Opinions by NnennaG6(f): 7:43am On May 03, 2019
To preface, this is just a theory based on my own musings & partly my understanding of parts of the Bible: I'm still thinking this through, but feel like I've really come across something that just makes sense. Not in a casual way, but in a way that aligns itself with the nature of reality, which proves itself as "true" (practically at least) when implemented in real life/spiritual development. I can't help but think that this is, in part, not an accident, but rather speaks to the nature of our existence, and how that relates to God. I think there may be such a focus on interpreting the bible literally, and stopping there, that much is missed in terms of the deeper meaning and Truth.

Whether that deeper understanding is necessary (or even accurate) remains to be seen, but it's something I've been exploring, and would like to hear other perspectives on.

I've come to believe that "God" is the universal consciousness that we all came from. "Original sin" is the birth of the ego (and consequently pride, which is the root of literally all "sins"wink. God's "love" is an emotionless love; a desire for closeness, for oneness, an unconditional acceptance. The goal being reunification with the universal consciousness. The path to this "redemption" is two fold:
1. To repent your "sins", meaning, to acknowledge your ego as the root of suffering and evil, and that apart from "God" you are weak and purposeless. By acknowledging that your ego is wrong ("evil" even), you will see clearly/take to heart that your "will" (opinion, judgement, selfish desire) is not conducive to a peaceful existence, and can never fulfill you. By acknowledging this sin and repenting it, God forgives you.
2. When you know this, you are able to let go of your ego. This is where "prayer" comes in, but it's more like eastern meditation than stereotypical prayer. "Be still and know God", "Pray and never cease" -- this doesn't mean to talk to God endlessly and aimlessly. What it really means is to empty your mind, observe yourself and your thoughts without opinion or judgement, as a way of acknowledging your will is in the way (it is after all this "sin" that sets you apart from God). By emptying yourself of thoughts and will, you open yourself to "receive God's grace".

This means to have God's will as your own, to know God's discernment (which is also to say, you can view reality (more) objectively when it isn't tainted with your own goals/emotions/ judgements), and to know God's love (oneness/acceptance). By making peace with God, you will have the peace of God. And that, is heaven. Perhaps it's only a state of being while on earth, perhaps it's how we rejoin the universal consciousness that is God after shedding our physical bodies, or whatever.

Hell on the other hand, is that state of being apart from God. And those in hell often don't want to leave it, because it is self serving and pleasurable, but also filled with the suffering and pain of hardship and isolation. That is seen on earth as well. But when you die, I imagine you lose all connection to God. On earth it is like we are in the shade cast by God's "light", but from the peripheral light we can still see. If you die apart from God, you lose even that, and will be in true darkness/isolation, which is Hell.

The pain and suffering of isolation, the burning self hatred knowing you did it to yourself but the anger of being abandoned by God, never to see light again, is Hell. Hell is not a place of torture, punishment, justice or judgement. It is simply "where" you go when you have no connection with God, which is innately akin to torture, but is not dealt out by any entity. It just is, and God wants to save us, but he can't make the choice for us to desire oneness again.

I think this is fully congruent with Christianity, and I do consider myself a Christian. So if you dislike my use of language or description, please let me know why you disagree before you label me a heretic smiley Maybe I can clarify, but either way I would love to hear some opposing views or some further thoughts to my own.



Religion / Re: Why Do Christians Act As Disturbed Fellows? by NnennaG6(f): 9:30pm On Apr 10, 2019

Because your whole disputing it is saying "it can be inductively refuted" but do not provide any rationale for that!
It has been clear from the beginning that you have trouble understanding the argument. At this point I can only assume that you cannot, or will not, make an intelligent reply and are going to continue to stonewall the discussion by pretending that no argumentation has been given for you to reply to. Whatever the reason, forward progress here is impossible.


I was responding to the fact that in almost every single conversion story, at some point they divorce themselves of reason and adopt faith and claims of divine revelation. As I've said, those methods for claiming knowledge are indistinguishable from being made-up and ultimately special pleading.
God! Sabrina! Can you be any more obtuse & unsophisticated? McIntyre states explicitly, "I was lead to theism by philosophy." Your reply is, "Other people convert to theism on faith so McIntyre is no different."

If you really think that is a satisfactory response then I am happy to let the matter rest here. A profitable discussion with you will not be possible.


No, that is your strawman and putting words in my mouth!
You are claiming that they do not have philosophical grounds for their theism as they claim and so are delusional for thinking that they do. The real reason for their theism, you are suggesting, is private religious experience.


As I've said above, if you divorce yourself from reason and adopt a form of knowledge that steps outside of that, are they being "reasonable"? How is one supposed to figure out whether someones supposed knowledge gained through faith or divine revelation is indeed knowledge, them making it up or their mental health is unstable?
Easy: Instead of declaring by fiat that the majority of professional philosophers of religion are delusional, you can substantiate the claim on which the logic of this objection is based; i.e., that they do not in fact have sound philosophical grounds for theism.

Anyone can claim anything about the state of a philosophical field but if you actually do the heavy lifting and lay out your case you would get both my attention and my respect. Will you do it or will you tentatively withdraw your insinuation as unsubstantiated? There is no third option - at least, not one that avoids intellectual dishonour.


Given everything that has gone before, it should not surprise me in the least that you misread and misunderstand Aquinas. The Summa is very clear on this point and, unlike you, other theologians and commentators have had no trouble understanding him - see for yourself.

Aquinas thinks that if the angels had the beatific vision it would have been impossible to sin. Some of the angels sinned. Therefore, the angels did not enjoy the beatific vision when they sinned.

To enjoy the beatific vision is to see God face-to-face. Anything less that the beatific vision is a result of divine hiding; that is, epistemic distance.

Aquinas's speculations on this subject are incompatible with your objection and compatible with my argument. So again, even if your objection from theological speculation were not philosophically worthless, which it is, it would still be worthless.

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Religion / Re: Why Do Christians Act As Disturbed Fellows? by NnennaG6(f): 8:38pm On Apr 10, 2019

That is because you've not falsified it and saying "in principal" is unjustified. You've to explain why it can be or even gone about falsifying it. Seems odd that Swinburne himself would use it as an example.
I don't know what more I can do if you do not attend to the argument or cannot understand it after repeated readings.


No I am saying that, as soon as you depart from reason and assert divine revelation or faith, you appeal to something that is indistinguishable from fabrication or someone having mental health issues. I cannot investigate what you claim is divine revelation or on faith. So it leaves me with nothing to assess what you're saying with, or if it is true or not. This is of course, a large part why I reject particularly Christian theism.
What are you talking about? This was in response to Alisdair MacIntyre's conversion to Catholicism which came about as a result of his failed attempt to disprove Aquinas. To quote his Wiki page,
In an interview with Prospect, MacIntyre explains that his conversion to Catholicism occurred in his fifties as a "result of being convinced of Thomism while attempting to disabuse his students of its authenticity."

He followed the philosophical argumentation to theism.


They are just not basing the main reason for what they believe on reason or philosophy!
So they're delusional. Remember: These professional philosophers who hold to or lean towards theism all claim to be persuaded by the philosophical arguments for theism. You are saying that they are mistaken. Therefore, they are self delusional.

Again: Anyone can claim anything about the state of a philosophical field but if you actually do the heavy lifting and lay out your case you would get both my attention and my respect. Will you do it or will you tentatively withdraw your insinuation as unsubstantiated? There is no third option - at least, not one that avoids intellectual dishonour.

Also, I did a little reading on Aquinas' view of angels about which I knew very little in response to your repeated invocation of him during our discussion, i.e.,
YOU: multiple well-known and respected Theologians provide very specific information about angels (Barth, Augustine, Pannenberg and Aquinas for example)
YOU: This ignores the fact that theologians the likes of Thomas Aquinas (who I think you'd hold in higher regard than WLC) have written a specific treatise on angels

I am grateful to you for motivating this. To be honest, the question of the epistemic distance between angels and God is not something I've looked into or cared to look into because it is pure conjecture and I am interested in the philosophy of religion. But if we were to include the conjectures of theologians like Aquinas as you seem to think we should (though again I remain persuaded that it is philosophically pointless) then in any case it would appear to favour my view.

Aquinas held that the angels did not possess the full beatitude of heaven (that is, were held at an epistemic distance) at the Fall. Aquinas thinks they basically underwent a period of trial and those that made the choice to serve and to love the Lord and to remain faithful to Him attained the full happiness of heaven, whereas those that rebelled were cast into hell - much like us here on Earth, as it turns out.
See Q. 62, Article 8.

So even if your objection were not worthless, which it is, it would still be worthless.

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Religion / Re: Why Do Christians Act As Disturbed Fellows? by NnennaG6(f): 5:19pm On Apr 10, 2019

I'm saying that you did not start like that. You started with citing what you think most theologians say about the subject but then quickly renege on that. If you think it does not, then why start with that?
What have I reneged on?

I have said from the beginning that I believe in angels and that I believe that they were held at an epistemic distance from God. I did not claim to have an argument for either of these beliefs but, on the contrary, affirmed that whatever anyone says about the epistemic distance that obtains for angels at the Fall is based on conjecture.


No, it is because I bring up a point as a refutation of part of an argument you present and go straight to offering an opinion that directly counters my argument. You also seem to conveniently disagree with a number of theologians and, of course, the bible on the existence and details of angels. Which, again, seems to be very convenient, considering the point I raised.
This part of your last two replies is boring and pointless. Let's drop it.


I never said anyone has to commit to anything. I'm saying that, using the same arguments and principals you agree with, I've argued for the existence of angels and that is all it needs to do.
And I've carefully demonstrated that the Argument from Religious Experience cannot establish the existence of angels because any religious experience apparently of an angel is (according to the argument itself) inductively falsifiable even if only in principle. You have not said anything of interest against that demonstration.


Once it has done that, we can start looking at information from theologians or the bible to gain more information about angels.
If you have an analytic or synthetic argument showing the epistemic conditions that obtained for angels at the Fall, by all means let's hear it.

Note, however, two things: A conjecture made by a theologian is not a philosophical argument and a verse of scripture is not a philosophical argument.


No, but we can turn to theologians, whose speciality and training is to ascertain such knowledge, correct? But for some reason, you deny even the most prominent theologian's conclusions about angels, strange.
This is ridiculous. Do you think that every claim must be viewed as true by a theist if a theologian says it? It does not matter who makes a claim. It matters only whether the argument they offer for that claim is a good one. I am not aware of any good arguments demonstrating the epistemic distance that obtained for angels at the Fall. Are you? No. It is all conjecture about an unknowable and a conjecture about an unknowable cannot be the basis for a good argument.


you're free to choose whatever conclusion you make. But it is certainly not because of scientific, philosophical and historical evidence.
It is precisely because of scientific, philosophical and historical evidence.


Frank Collins:
Nobody gets argued all the way into becoming a believer on the sheer basis of logic and reason.
I completely agree. A Christian is someone who comes to have a relationship with a divine person. Everyone who comes to Christ tells a similar story. I myself had paranormal experiences at the end of my intellectual conversion. But part of that journey for Collins was awakening to the evidence for God which lead him on to the religious and mystical experiences:



LOL. The man who argued from personal incredulity? I.E "The universe is just too complex, couldn't have been chance, must be God". I'm crying grin grin grin
Carl Sandage was persuaded by the Argument from Cosmic Teleology and the Argument from Adequation.

ME: Alasdair MacIntyre
YOU: I do not know of him. But if he turned to Aquinas' theology then again, reason is not most important.
A glib ipse dixit that is equivalent to saying, "No!"
To be persuasive here you need to show the flaws in MacIntyre's defence of Aquinas' theology


Ah yes, but that is accounted for by selection bias.
So the philosophical evidence massively weighted toward atheism and the majority of professional philosophers of religion who hold or learn towards theism are all self-delusional? I take it that is your claim. If so, I suggest you make your case and create a thread about it here on Nairaland. I'm being serious. Anyone can claim anything about the state of a philosophical field but if you actually do the heavy lifting and lay out your case you would get both my attention and my respect. Will you do it or will you tentatively withdraw your insinuation as unsubstantiated? There is no third option - at least, not one that avoids intellectual dishonour.

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Religion / Re: Why Do Christians Act As Disturbed Fellows? by NnennaG6(f): 11:44am On Apr 10, 2019

I just find it highly suspicious that your initial comment was indeed citing what "most theologians" say, as though that carried some weight and placed doubt on my argument.
This is very obtuse. Look back over the discussion. As you rightfully said, i have been repeating ad nauseum that my view about the epistemic distance between God and angels is pure conjecture of no philosophical value. And I do not need that conjecture to place doubt on your argument. Indeed, it is because it can only ever be conjecture one way or the other that your argument is not worth the pixels composing it.

You are still accusing me of saying a conjecture holds weight when I have been emphasising for some time now that it does not. That is intellectually dishonest.


Funny that. I wonder why, of all conjecture you'd come to, you'd uncannily come to the one that would cast my criticism into doubt!
Here you sound paranoid, self-important and irrational. I have held my view for some time - and long before this discussion with you - because I think it follows from other arguments that seem to me sound. That is, it coheres with what common experience and common sense has to tell us about the conditions which conduce to the unmitigated exercise of moral liberty.

It is quite bizarre that you should think I hold my position simply because it disagrees with yours - as though the criterion by which I selected my beliefs is: "They oppose IAmSabrina."


So to summarise, like you've said above:
a) Someone claims they experienced an angel. This, under Swinburne's "religious experience" segment, said person had a "religious experience".
b) Using the principal of credulity, it is reasonable to believe the person probably did experience an angel.
c) Using the principal of testimony, we can gather lots of different claims of experiences of angels and assuming we have a cohort of trustworthy and reliable sources, it is safe to assume they did indeed experience an angel.
This means, we have good evidence to support the existence of angels!! Unless of course you somehow omit "angels" from "religious experiences"!
I feel like you have skipped over the key points - the very thrust - of my reply. I said that the Argument from Religious Experience holds that particular detailed claims about finite entities can be falsified inductively. Therefore, the argument does not in principle entail a commitment to, and cannot in principle prove, particular detailed claims about finite entities since someone could, even just in principle, come along with inductive evidence to refute it.

The difference between angels and God that is of great importance to the dispute is this: If God exists then, being all powerful, all knowing and all present, he is necessarily present at, aware of and causally active throughout any religious experience. So: Some detail of my experience apparently of a particular finite supernatural being can be falsified inductively (perhaps conflicting experiences are better authenticated and more numerous; or perhaps the same non-omnipresent being was experienced in two places at the same time) but even if I am required to withdraw some details of my claim it will remain evidence of a supernatural entity of some kind which is consistent with the claims of theism; and even if I am required to withdraw my claim to an experience apparently of some finite entity altogether, what I am left with is an experience apparently of some supernatural being and that is evidence for God.

In short: There are in principle ways to inductively falsify a religious experience apparently of finite entities but there is no available way to inductively falsify a religious experience apparently of God without a proof of atheism. Therefore, the Argument from Religious Experience holds for experiences apparently of God but not necessarily for experiences apparently of angels.

Still more important: All of this is quite irrelevant to your objection because whether or not the Argument from Religious Experience can prove that angels exist it would still not tell us a thing about the epistemic conditions that obtained for angels before and at the Fall or whether angels are even sufficiently like us to justify comparison. And all this is what you need to establish to give your objection even a scintilla of warrant.


I find your heavily-reliant-on-Swinburne copy and paste, is ripe for giving would-be readers who may not be entirely versed with these line of arguments, the impression that your position is somehow sound, when it really isn't.
Then why don't you give some rigorous argumentation to demonstrate to them that the overall case for Christian Theism isn't sound? Those poor, ignorant would-be readers have yet to hear this from you. If only IamSabrina can tie up her hair back in a bun, roll up her sleeves, and save them from their own stupidity. Here you are just resorting to personal attack without any substantive engagement with the issues. This suggests to me that you have run out of arguments.


It seems like you have barely looked into criticisms of Swinburne's material and arguments, of which in academia, there is a lot
Whatever position anyone stakes out, it will be possible to find someone who objects to it fiercely. Counting heads who disagree with Swinburne or anyone else counts for nothing. You need to present the counterarguments. Feel free to do so.

And if you think I have not looked at what atheists have to say about these arguments you are quite mistaken. My path to Christianity began with me reading books on atheism (Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, Grayling, Dennett, Mackie, Schellenberg, Oppy and many others) while still an agnostic in the university. After reading evenly from both sides of the battlefront I saw that the scientific, philosophical and historical evidence was clearly weighted in favour of Christian Theism.


Dawes was on his way to becoming an ordained Catholic priest (steeped in the same classical theism you study) and is now a Professor of Philosophy and quite the atheist (as most professional philosophers are).
I've never heard of him (and nor has Wikipedia) but who cares? This gets us nowhere. Francis Collins was the director of the Human Genome project and is now a Christian based on the evidence for theism. Allan Sandage was the foremost physical cosmologist of the century and followed the same path. Alisdair McIntyre is considered one of the most important anglophone philosophers of the twentieth century and converted to Catholicism after trying, and failing, to refute Aquinas. Should i go on? Need i say more?

Again, counting heads gets us nowhere, though if it did, it would favour theism, since in the philosophy of religion (the only philosophical discipline to take God as its direct object) we find that 70-odd percent of philosophers hold to or lean towards theism. But I am interested in hammering out the arguments, not name dropping.
Religion / Re: Why Do Christians Act As Disturbed Fellows? by NnennaG6(f): 7:38am On Apr 10, 2019

LoL! Because you think I am here to "evangelise" right? Again I am here to laugh at silly ideas for my entertainment and I will point them out and ridicule them as I please.
Religion / Re: Why Do Christians Act As Disturbed Fellows? by NnennaG6(f): 7:35am On Apr 10, 2019

To start with,
No, Sabrina. This objection is dead. It is boring. It is stupid. Theists are under no obligation to accept as true what theologians or anyone else says about angels; nor do they contradict themselves just by disagreeing with the theologians on subjects unrelated to the subjects on which they does agree with them.

Most theologians I've heard on this subject think that all created intelligences are held at an epistemic distance during their moral development - including angelic beings.
Yes, my view is that angels were held at an epistemic distance from God. I have no argument for this. It is a conjecture. If Theologian A makes the same conjecture as me, I am free to note this. It does not mean I think he or I can demonstrate what we believe. And if Theologian B disagrees, well and good, with the same caveat. But the discussion is philosophically worthless.

This must be the third time I have had to state this obvious truth. Why are you repeating yourself?


Matthew 1:20-21
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

This seems to describe, using Mathew 1:20-1, what Swinburne classes as a "religious experience" where someone experienced an angel. This type of experience is of course not that uncommon, and what Mathew 1:20-1 describes is something many people around the world report experiencing.
You search and find the word "angel" in it and think you can rest your case? It is clear you haven't even read or don't understand Swinburne's argument.

I said that the argument, "does not entail a commitment to particular detailed claims about finite spiritual entities."

Let's remember this.

The section you have quoted is not part of the argument. It is part of a classification of religious experience.

What the argument shows is that anyone who has an experience apparently of God has, on the Principle of Credulity, a good reason for believing that there is a God, and anyone who has not himself had an experience apparently of God has, on the Principle of Testimony, a good reason for believing that there is a God on the testimony of many others who have had such experiences.

The only way to circumvent this conclusion is to falsify the two principles of rationality discussed (Swinburne shows that this cannot be done without incoherence) or provide a proof of atheism - since no objection or special consideration can be universally applied to religious experience without that proof. It is not possible to prove atheism. Therefore the arguments stands.

But the reason that the argument establishes the evidential force of experiences apparently of God, and not of experiences apparently of particular finite entities, is that the argument allows that experiences apparently of particular finite entities can be falsified inductively while experiences of God cannot.

For example: Suppose I have a forceful religious experience apparently of some particular finite spiritual entity, an angel called Om, who created the Sun. I then discover that there is a rational proof for a supreme transcendent creator of all material reality, God, and, moreover, experiences of God as the creator of all material reality are more numerous and better authenticated. Swinburne writes and i quote

It is true that sometimes religious experiences do entail doctrinal commitments that are in conflict. An apparition of Christ, for example, commits one to a belief in the Incarnation which an orthodox Jew, perhaps reporting an apparition of his own, would not accept. In that case, Swinburne says, the opponent of the doctrine must produce good grounds for rejecting it—say, that conflicting claims are more numerous and better authenticated. But even if he can do so, the subject of the religious experience need not withdraw his original claim completely but only describe it in a less committed way—such as, “I was aware of some supernatural being, though not necessarily Dionysus, as I originally claimed.”

Swinburne makes the further point that religious experiences in traditions outside of Christianity are of beings having similar properties to God or of lesser beings but not of beings whose existence is incompatible with the existence of God.

His point is that these beings are compatible with and consistent with the existence of God - are indeed evidence for the existence of God - but are of limited evidential force for the particular finite entity since that can be falsified inductively. An example of this would be two simultaneous apparitions of Mary. Since Mary is not omnipresent she cannot be in two places at the same time. This would in principle count against the authenticity of at least one of the experiences but the experiences (ceteris paribus) would remain evidence for the existence of God. And this is because however much we are forced by contradictory evidence to re-describe our experiences in a less committed way - that is, however many of the details we are required to withdraw - a religious experience of any kind will remain evidence for the existence of God.

Therefore the argument, "does not entail a commitment to particular detailed claims about finite spiritual entities," since it allows that these can be falsified inductively. And most certainly it does not entail a commitment to particular detailed claims about the epistemic conditions that obtained for any finite spiritual entity at any time!

You are working so hard to try and make this objection work but I think this simply reflects a lack of good intellectual judgement on your part. For it has been obvious from the very beginning that neither atheist nor theist knows or can know what epistemic conditions obtain for angels if they exist. And it has been obvious that you need this datum for your objection to have any warrant. And it has been obvious, therefore, that your objection is without any possible warrant.

It's strange. You don't want to cede an inch of ground, even when reason and common sense require it, and so end up holding to this totally insignificant objection on pain of irrationality. One cannot help wondering what ulterior factors are at play here.
Religion / Re: Why Do Christians Act As Disturbed Fellows? by NnennaG6(f): 12:00am On Apr 10, 2019

I will mention you when and how I like, you don't get to tell me that. If the super obvious contradiction you posted is not glaring enough for you thats your headache, I am just here laugh at dumb ideas.
That it's a public forum doesn't automatically translate to "i must get involved".
Obviously you wouldn't know that. What else should one expect from a troll?
Please, by all means, carry on with your antics. Let's see how much good it'll do you here.
Religion / Re: Why Do Christians Act As Disturbed Fellows? by NnennaG6(f): 11:22pm On Apr 09, 2019

LoL! What piss? You need an epistle from me stating the obvious?
Only thing obvious here is that you have nothing to say and are deliberately trying to waste my time.
Stay off my mentions pls

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