To: Paul Dry Msg #523, 19-Jun-93 09:17pm Subject: Re:

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From: Tyler A. Wunder Kill To: Paul Dry Msg #523, 19-Jun-93 09:17pm Subject: Re: GOD G'day Paul: In a msg of , Paul Dry writes to Tyler A. Wunder: TA>> Atheists (at least this one) aren't afraid to admit that I don't TA>> know the answers to many questions. PD> Why do you take Christians to task for being unable to explain the PD> mysteries of God when it's O.K. to say you don't understand them PD> either. Sounds like a double standard to me. Hardly. I was taking one Christian to task for being unable to explain God, when the very reason he adopted God-belief (as he claims) was because he couldn't explain some natural phenomena. It is he, not I, that has the double standard, as it is he who creates a solution, for which he doesn't understand the origin of, to solve a problem of origins. You see, it's rather foolish of me to not know the answer to a question, and then invent an (or adopt a pre-invented) answer for the question which has the very characteristics of the question which made it problematic in the first place (e.g. where did it come from?). Strike one for Paul. PD> It's safe to say we will never understand the mysteries of God. Our PD> minds are too limited to understand the nature of our Creator. This demonstrates the mentality quite nicely: I can't understand where life came from, but life has no taboo about questioning, and it get's frustrating if we can't understand it. Hence, an answer is invented that we fully accept the mysterious nature of. Why not simply accept the answer re: where life came from, that you don't know? Instead, you back it up to God and then say you don't know. PD> He PD> tells us this in the Psalms. So what? Prove Psalms wasn't written by men. Prove Psalms expresses the thoughts of an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent, omnivorous being that created us (hint: first, you have to prove the existence of said being). As Shakespeare tells us, "This is the excellent foppery of the world..." PD> If you would try to explain the mechanics of a car to a 2 year old, PD> I doubt that you would get very far. True. PD> The child's mental capacity to PD> understand the laws of science is just not there. True. Is there a point to this? PD> All the child PD> knows is everyone jumps in the car and it takes off. So...? The only point I can see from this is that in not knowing, people can convince a gullible child of all manner of false explanations for how the car works. Naively, the child will likely accept any sort of answer that he is given for how the car works. I really wish I could answer questions about where we came from, but I can't and because this is so I don't pretend to be able to answer those questions. Stop pretending. PD> God describes faith as the assurance of things hoped for and the PD> conviction of things not seen (as I'm sure you know). Well, if you'll remember that men wrote the bible, men who were creating a religion, of course they would wish for you to have conviction in things not seen (or provable). After all, if I wanted someone to believe in something for which no proof existed, the first thing I would do would be to rationalize the lack of proof. That way, when people say, "Hey, no proof!" you can smugly nod and say, "That's right! Cause God said there'd be no proof! See no proof, so He must be real!" The same mentality works against persecution (e.g. "See! They said we're being persecuted, so we must be right cause they told us we'd be persecuted!"), but unfortunately, the persecutors quickly forget the rightousness of the persecuted when they become the persecutors. PD> We do not need PD> to be able to explain the makeup of God to believe in Him. So far, you can't even prove the veracity of the bible or of the events described within. You see dozens of religions in the world (there are more, but it's unlikely you're familiar with them), and have no problem writing them off as not true in an ultimate sense, yet you accept this one. Why? What is your reason? Once again, I think I'm going to find that one who claims there is no proof will nevertheless think he's got some. PD> We can PD> simply put trust in seeing how God affects our own lives and the PD> lives of others . How so? Do those who trust in God lead better lives than those who don't? Can you prove this claim? Do you attribute everyday happenings to the intervention of an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent (etc) being? For some reason, I suspect that you would thank God if you were in a car accident but, seemingly against the odds survived said accident. For similar reasons, I also suspect that if the same accident happened to someone else and they were killed, you'd find God somewhere in there, too. It's kind of hard to make testable claims for something when you'll incorporate any result into the "God-paradigm". Baby survived accident? Proof of God! Baby didn't survive accident? Proof of God! Therefore, God exists! PD> God has given us His Word which has stood the test of time. How so? Prove God has given us his word. Prove it has stood the test of time. PD> Historians do not dispute the validity of Scripture. We have exact PD> locations mapped out regarding where the events took place. ends what you mean by validity. NT scripture can be dated, if that's what you mean, and none of it is dated prior to 70-80 A.D. (hint: your Christ supposedly died about 40-50 years before that). In addition, the earliest of the NT scriptures are written by a character who claimed not to even have met Christ. The gospels are from the second century, and if by validity you mean that Matthew wrote Matthew, Mark wrote Mark, Luke wrote Luke, and John wrote John, I've got news for you on that one too: historians do not dispute the fact that the gospels were NOT written by their namesakes, and that some of them were used as sources for the others (e.g. Mark used as source document for Matthew and Luke). For the real details on scripture, you'd be best to ask John Mussellwhite or Joshua Lee -- they've actually looked into this stuff, whereas I suspect you haven't ("historians do not dispute scriptural validity" sounds very much like an unresearched blanket statement, which I suspect you are taking from authority [e.g. your preacher] and not personal knowledge). As for exact locations mapped out, is that like people who have actual pieces of the cross Christ was crucified on? In any event, if the writers of the scriptures knew the geography of the area, it's hard not to get those details correct. Oh look, the hill is exactly where it's supposed to be! Therefore, everything in this book is true! By the same logic, a novel which correctly gave the layout of the city of Toronto would also be infallible, I suppose. PD> Furthermore, in the book of Hebrews, God gives us page after page PD> of examples of how He affected the lives of Biblical figures PD> throughout the ages. So? Paul, you don't think that this can be fictionalized? If I come up with an account of how Vishnu affected the lives of his prophets, does Vishnu exist? Exercise a little critical thought here, Paul, instead of sitting there like a fish waiting to swallow the bait. PD> If we will look, we will see God active in the PD> lives of those around us. Really? I see people's lives going on, and they do not need a god to explain them. What do you see that makes you think a god is there, that could not happen if a god was not there? And remember, I'll be asking for proof or at least a demonstration of reason, so be prepared to back up and argue anything you say. PD> Christ was asked for repeated physical signs to prove His diety. "Deity". Not a jab, just a common courtesy. PD> His PD> response was that generations have already received their signs PD> through His life and His Words. Christ tells the Apostle Thomas, " You have PD> seen me (risen from the dead) and believed. I didn't see him rise from the dead. I also didn't see Mohammed rise from the dead, or Hercules rise from the dead. I have seen none of the saviours who supposedly beat death, yet you expect me to believe exclusively that yours did? What about Tammuz, who was a "...prototype of the Classical Adonis, who was the consort, as well as son by virgin birth, of the goddess-mother..." (Campbell, Oriental Mythology, pp. 39-40). What about Osiris? Dionysos? These fellows supposedly rose from the dead, yet I don't see you following them, or trying to convince me that they actually rose. I remember very clearly from my Chuch Camp Christianity days being told repeatedly that Jesus was the only god who ever came back from the dead. In reality, no "god" has ever come back from the dead, but even the claim that Jesus is the only god _claimed_ to have ever been resurrected is false. In short, they were ignorant or they were lying. In addition, they tried very hard to imply that the scriptural testimony must have been true as no one disputed it. After all, if it had been false, the average man in the street would have said, "Hey! That's a lie! That never happened!" Hence, by Camp Silver Lake logic, as no eye-witnesses ever appeared to contradict the biblical claims, it must have been true! What they forgot to mention was that the NT wasn't compiled until the fourth century A.D., and that the earliest stuff wasn't written until late 1st/early 2nd century, when the writers themselves could not have been eyewitnesses, let alone the "average man on the street".

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