Is there really a "One True Church"? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 100 Old 01-05-2008, 05:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jennica View Post
I think of it this way; with the AP/NFL stuff, we all know we can back up these beliefs with cold hard facts. Study after study about no circ, gentle discipline, natural birth, etc. and why these things are better for us as human beings to incorporate in our lives. You can't do the same with any religion. You can point to the bible, or other books written by men, but you can't prove that the writers of these books were inspired by any higher power. That is were faith comes in. Faith is subjective, what one person has so much faith for that they would die for it, another thinks they are misinterpreting the scriptures. You can't point to studies, or facts, or anything at all to prove that a certain religion is true and others are false, or to even prove that the bible is true, or to even get really basic and prove that God exists. To believe these things is called faith. To tell others that you have the correct path and they have the wrong one can certainly be perceived as arrogant, especially when they have just as much faith in their path that you do in yours. What keeps them believing in their path is faith and what keeps you believing in yours is faith. You can't prove that your path is correct, yet you claim that it is the correct path for all to follow (not you specifically, just anyone claiming to have the true religion). It's not like a math problem that was mentioned earlier, or like the AP/NFL comparison, it's more like trying to tell people that potatoes taste better than ice cream, or that modern art is much more beautiful that impressionism, or that winter is a much better season than summer, and expecting them to change their feelings about these things and conform to your feelings about them, when there is no evidence that these things are true. They are simply opinions, or feelings, on the behalf of the believers of them.
If there were no studies to back up NFL or AP, it would not make them less valid. Before people knew definitively that the world was round, it still was. I believe there is proof that God exists, but just as there is a flat Earth society and plenty of people clinging to CIO, many people reject that evidence.

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#62 of 100 Old 01-05-2008, 06:02 PM
 
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If there were no studies to back up NFL or AP, it would not make them less valid. Before people knew definitively that the world was round, it still was. I believe there is proof that God exists, but just as there is a flat Earth society and plenty of people clinging to CIO, many people reject that evidence.
: and there are studies to contradict NFL. there are studies that say circ is healthier, formula fed babies thrive just as well, and co-sleeping is dangerous.

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#63 of 100 Old 01-05-2008, 06:05 PM
 
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i think we lost each other somewhere. i'm not saying you believe your church is the true one. i'm saying that your church has a "we're right, you're not" attitude just like every other church/religious path does. it's great that you say everyone is entitled to their beliefs but you do still disagree with some of those beliefs- in other words believe they are "wrong".
i'm not a member of any church or religion. i attend a uu church, but am not a member.

the uu doesn't have a doctrine. each church is indendant and affiliated through a national organization called the uua. never have they said that they are the true church or the right church.

here are the seven principles two that are applicable to your comment:
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- Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
- A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
some of the places they draw inspiration from that same page:
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Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
and just a little about the beliefs within UU:
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Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion that encompasses many faith traditions. Unitarian Universalists include people who identify as Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Pagans, Atheists, Agnostics, Humanists, and others. As there is no official Unitarian Universalist creed, Unitarian Universalists are free to search for truth on many paths.

To quote the Rev. Marta Flanagan, "We uphold the free search for truth. We will not be bound by a statement of belief. We do not ask anyone to subscribe to a creed. We say ours is a non-creedal religion. Ours is a free faith."

Although we uphold shared principles, individual Unitarian Universalists have varied beliefs about everything from scripture to rituals to God.
put yourself on the recieving end of
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"we have the truth, come follow us to salvation/exaltation/God"?
from a person who has a completely foreign religion from you. Does that sound arrogant?

Thank you Jennica for your post. It pretty much sums up how I feel about those comparisons to AP, math, documented historical events... apples and oranges.

I guess I don't see what value exists in calling your church the true one for everyone. where is the diversity? respect for other cultures. I suppose someone who has never been called to god outside the norm of an organized religion would not understand it. But to that I ask, just because you have not experienced it, does it not exist?.... isn't it humble to admit that humans are of limited experience and cannot possibly know the mind of god and what her/his intentions were, so it is possible that there are other (many) ways to worship... hence the beauty of the diversity in religions that exist.

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#64 of 100 Old 01-05-2008, 06:07 PM
 
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it's great that you say everyone is entitled to their beliefs but you do still disagree with some of those beliefs- in other words believe they are "wrong".
IMO, there is a huge difference between saying that I disagree with some ideas within a faith that I acknowledge is a legitimate path to God, and saying that my faith is the one true faith and all others are not paths to God. I may think that some teachings of the Protestant church, or the LDS church, or the Catholic church, or Judaism, or Islam, or Paganism are false, but I still believe that the faiths are legitimate paths to God (although I probably have a very different idea of God than the followers of many of these faiths).

I am not trying to put words in your mouth, because I think you already said on this thread that the LDS church teaches that members will be saved along with nonmembers. But the church *I* was raised it believed its path to be the only legitimate path, and all other paths were false. That is arrogant, and was extremely off-putting (and logically problematic) for me.
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#65 of 100 Old 01-05-2008, 06:08 PM
 
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there can be, and is, great diversity within religions. i don't know why people say there isn't. it's like saying because we all breath that there isn't diversity.

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#66 of 100 Old 01-05-2008, 06:28 PM
 
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there can be, and is, great diversity within religions. i don't know why people say there isn't. it's like saying because we all breath that there isn't diversity.
i'm talking about diversity OF religions. not diversity WITHIN one, true religion.

as I mentioned in a PP, that it might be hard for someone who is a member of a "majority" religion to understand how oppresive it is to have people saying that their religion is the "true church" and discounting your own very different and very important personal path.

everyday these people listen to the radio, drive by signs and are spoken to with disrespect to their own beliefs because of assumptions by the majority religions that consider themselves the "True church" or the only right path.

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#67 of 100 Old 01-05-2008, 07:54 PM
 
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AHHHHHH, I had a 1/2 page written, and poof it was all gone:. Later, when I feel like it, I will write again. However, for now I just wanted to say:

Hi Sunnmama

Sorry totally OT, but I do not get to see her family since they moved!

Head covering Pagan-Quaker mama to 6yo DS, and DH. Recent WAHM www.napleshealthadvisers.com
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#68 of 100 Old 01-05-2008, 09:15 PM
 
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AHHHHHH, I had a 1/2 page written, and poof it was all gone:. Later, when I feel like it, I will write again. However, for now I just wanted to say:

Hi Sunnmama

Sorry totally OT, but I do not get to see her family since they moved!
Hi feyfollow!
I keep watching your siggie for updates.
I miss our church!!!
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#69 of 100 Old 01-05-2008, 10:00 PM
 
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If there were no studies to back up NFL or AP, it would not make them less valid. Before people knew definitively that the world was round, it still was. I believe there is proof that God exists, but just as there is a flat Earth society and plenty of people clinging to CIO, many people reject that evidence.
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: and there are studies to contradict NFL. there are studies that say circ is healthier, formula fed babies thrive just as well, and co-sleeping is dangerous.
You guys are missing my point, and disregarded my entire comment to pick on one small aspect. Okay, with AP/NFL, yeah there is conflicting information out there, but we have a body of evidence that we look at and can see from this body of evidence, not just one study here or there, that this stuff makes more sense, is more logical, and is also more emotionally fulfilling for a child and a parent.

When I look at the body of evidence that tries to prove that God exists, or tries to prove that one particular religion is true, it doesn't hold up. That "evidence" that God exists is called faith. That is the answer you will get if you call into question any "evidence" of his existence; "well, you have to have faith", "you have to want to believe", or some other such statement that lacks true evidence.

If you asked me why not circing is better, or why CIO is bad, or if co-sleeping is safe, I would never respond with; "well, first you have to want to believe that it is better for your child", or "you need to simply have faith in the process". No way would I ever say that, I would quote studies, and point out logical arguments, and explain the emotional benefits of this type of life style.

Like Black Orchid said, your comparing apples and oranges. One thing, AP/NFL parenting, and another, the belief in the bible/god/your specific brand of christianity, is not comparable. Like I said before, it's much more comparable to something like food preference or art preference.

And I'm not saying I don't believe in god, I just don't see any clear cut evidence that I can point to that proves he/she exists. If I have no religion, and look around and see several religions that claim that they alone are the "true" one, and I don't feel God directing me to any of them, and I don't see any tangible proof that god even exists, then I do see it as disrespectful to my individual spiritual path and arrogant for people to tell me that their way is correct for me because they have faith in it. First of all, how can all these religions that claim to be the true one, be so? Only one of them must really be true, if any of them are, and how would I ever be able to figure that out based on this thing called faith that I seem to have been born without?

This is why I don't think there is one true church. Truth is concrete and provable. God is not, the bible is not, and religion certainly is not.
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#70 of 100 Old 01-06-2008, 06:18 AM
 
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Black Orchid (and jennica): The problem with your 'it's all about faith' argument is that Christians do not use the term 'faith' in the same way that it is conventionally used today. The Biblical term, pistis, does not refer to the post-Kierkegaard definition of faith usually used today--the 'leap of faith', in which faith is a substitute for reason, or based only on instinct or superstition. The Biblical definition of faith, in contrast, means absolute trust or assurance based on evidence. So one could (Biblically) say 'I have faith this machine will run', after having inspected its design and checked its maintenance, tested it, etc. One could not, using the Biblical definition, say 'I have faith this machine would run' if one merely had a hunch that it might, or wanted to believe that it would. A NT-era Christian would look at you as though you were loony, if you used the word 'faith' in that way. Christianity is not a 'religion of intellectuals', but it is an intellectual religion--and Christians are commanded to use their brains!

More importantly, you seem to be denying the efficacy of communication. Religions of any kind are based on words--either a text, as in Christianity, Islam etc, or a principle or set of principles which can be reduced to words (Wicca, for instance). Words have meanings. These meanings can be determined. Those words form phrases, the meanings of which can also be determined. Logical laws can be applied to the phrases to see if they are valid or invalid. In other words, while it may not be philosophically possible to prove that a religion is sound (ie. valid and true), it is certainly possible to prove that a religion is valid or invalid. And if A can prove that A's religion is logically valid, while B's religion is internally self-refuting or inconsistent, it is not arrogance or presumption for A to point this out (albeit hopefully in a tactful way). Quite the opposite from jennica's example of 'potatoes taste better than ice cream', logic is fortunately not subjective, and it is entirely possible to prove--beyond personality or bias--that a point of view (whether religious or secular) is either logically valid, and therefore worth consideration, or logically invalid, and therefore undeserving of intellectual respect.

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#71 of 100 Old 01-06-2008, 11:04 AM
 
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The Biblical definition of faith, in contrast, means absolute trust or assurance based on evidence.
The definition of faith that I was taught when I attended Christian services is "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (A quick google reveals this is Hebrews 11:1). That scripture seems to hold faith up *as* the evidence, not as a conclusion based on evidence.

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. And if A can prove that A's religion is logically valid,
The problem here, and we've been around and around this issue quite a few times on the RS board, is that what is logical to someone in the faith is not always logical to someone outside the faith. Often that logic is based on assumptions that faithful hold as a truth, so it simply does not hold up for the unfaithful.
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#72 of 100 Old 01-06-2008, 11:35 AM
 
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Black Orchid (and jennica): The problem with your 'it's all about faith' argument is that Christians do not use the term 'faith' in the same way that it is conventionally used today. The Biblical term, pistis, does not refer to the post-Kierkegaard definition of faith usually used today--the 'leap of faith', in which faith is a substitute for reason, or based only on instinct or superstition. The Biblical definition of faith, in contrast, means absolute trust or assurance based on evidence. So one could (Biblically) say 'I have faith this machine will run', after having inspected its design and checked its maintenance, tested it, etc. One could not, using the Biblical definition, say 'I have faith this machine would run' if one merely had a hunch that it might, or wanted to believe that it would. A NT-era Christian would look at you as though you were loony, if you used the word 'faith' in that way. Christianity is not a 'religion of intellectuals', but it is an intellectual religion--and Christians are commanded to use their brains!

More importantly, you seem to be denying the efficacy of communication. Religions of any kind are based on words--either a text, as in Christianity, Islam etc, or a principle or set of principles which can be reduced to words (Wicca, for instance). Words have meanings. These meanings can be determined. Those words form phrases, the meanings of which can also be determined. Logical laws can be applied to the phrases to see if they are valid or invalid. In other words, while it may not be philosophically possible to prove that a religion is sound (ie. valid and true), it is certainly possible to prove that a religion is valid or invalid. And if A can prove that A's religion is logically valid, while B's religion is internally self-refuting or inconsistent, it is not arrogance or presumption for A to point this out (albeit hopefully in a tactful way). Quite the opposite from jennica's example of 'potatoes taste better than ice cream', logic is fortunately not subjective, and it is entirely possible to prove--beyond personality or bias--that a point of view (whether religious or secular) is either logically valid, and therefore worth consideration, or logically invalid, and therefore undeserving of intellectual respect.
You are making many, many assumptions of things that I amd simply not saying. My point is very simple. And it is my own.

I think it is wrong for ANY church or religion to say that they are the one true way/church/religion for EVERYONE in all the world.

There is simply no accepted evidence that any religion is that to the world. I do not accept the bible literally, even the religions that say they are the true church do not take it literally and admit that it is the writings of man inspired by god... not god literally writing the bible.

Logic and science is thrown out the window when it comes to releigion and spirituality. On a very basic level it is something that comes from inside you... you are either inspired to have faith by it or you are not. Maybe it takes time and effort, but it is still a very personal experience. No writings of philosophers and logicians can determine what someone feels inspired or not.

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#73 of 100 Old 01-06-2008, 05:44 PM
 
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The definition of faith that I was taught when I attended Christian services is "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (A quick google reveals this is Hebrews 11:1). That scripture seems to hold faith up *as* the evidence, not as a conclusion based on evidence.
That's just one of many Biblical quotes about faith, though--they have to be collated and examined together in order to give a complete theological picture. But even within Hebrews 11, look at the following verses, most of which follow the format 'By faith X did Y'. In all the cases mentioned, the faith of the faithful wasn't based on a hunch or a feeling, but on evidence--usually a promise of God, either given directly to the individual or as found in the Torah. Joseph 'gave directions concerning his bones' because he believed the evidence, God's promise that the Israelites would one day leave Egypt for the Promised Land (and presumably, corroborated by God's other promises to Joseph during his lifetime, which he had seen fulfilled--the dreams, for example).

http://www.tektonics.org/whatis/whatfaith.html has a rather good article by James Patrick Holding on the subject, if you're interested. Among other things he points out that the Greek noun pistis was used as a technical term for forensic proof, and is translated as 'assurance' in Acts 17:31. He also goes through a number of instances in the NT where the term is used, and points out that the faith of those concerned was based on evidence (whether of Jesus' past works, Scriptural prophecies, eyewitness accounts of the resurrection or what-have-you). It's a rather good article, and amusing to boot, so have a look if you feel inclined.

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The problem here, and we've been around and around this issue quite a few times on the RS board, is that what is logical to someone in the faith is not always logical to someone outside the faith. Often that logic is based on assumptions that faithful hold as a truth, so it simply does not hold up for the unfaithful.
But logic is not subjective. If someone says 'Your point of view is illogical', he or she must be prepared to defend that statement by pointing out the logical fallacy present in the argument. This can certainly include questioning the presuppositions or premises of the argument; but even that questioning must be done logically. The problem with logical discussion isn't that the system is flawed or impossible to work with--it's that people are flawed, rarely trained to think logically, and (especially in charged subjects such as religion) often disinclined to do so. My husband is currently having a religious debate on another forum with a woman who admits that his premises are true and his logic is valid, and in fact that his argument is sound--but that she still disagrees with him. In this case it is obvious (I suspect, even to her) which point of view is correct, but she is unwilling to face the logic because she dislikes the necessary conclusions of the argument. It ain't logic's fault, it's hers.
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I think it is wrong for ANY church or religion to say that they are the one true way/church/religion for EVERYONE in all the world.
Yet many of the major religions do say exactly that. So you're saying that for a Christian to believe in Christianity (which claims universality and exclusivity) is wrong; that, therefore, being a Christian is wrong. Which is fine, but if you're shooting for tolerance I don't see how 'It's wrong to be a Christian' is any particular improvement on 'It's right and necessary to be a Christian'.

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There is simply no accepted evidence that any religion is that to the world. I do not accept the bible literally, even the religions that say they are the true church do not take it literally and admit that it is the writings of man inspired by god... not god literally writing the bible.
I think you've misunderstood the doctrine of inspiration. Those who take the Bible literally don't see a dichotomy between 'man inspired by God' and 'God literally writing the Bible', unless by 'literally' you mean 'with His own ten fingers'. The doctrine of plenary inspiration declares that God was in control, to the minutest degree, of what ended up in the Bible, even though He used human agency to get the words down on paper.
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Logic and science is thrown out the window when it comes to releigion and spirituality.
I'm sorry, but I couldn't disagree more. Logic is an important part of my religion, at least. If a religion denies logic (which of course is ultimately self-refuting, as you can't deny logic except by using logic, to communicate at least), then it is not a religion worthy of intellectual respect. Religion is indeed a personal experience, but if that personal experience leads one to believe that A can be both A and not-A at the same time and in the same relationship, it is a personal experience which is irrational and wrong.

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#74 of 100 Old 01-06-2008, 05:52 PM
 
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but because none of the people who wrote relgious books are around anymore, it take FAITH to believe that what they say are true, haven't been corrupted, mistranslated and further you have to have FAITH that the person claiming to have been divinely inspired truly was and isn't allowing their own ideas and thoughts to come through and taint it.

tradition and faith. and i disagree with your final statement Smokering. 100% disagree with your premise. and i believe it is attitudes like that that cause people like myself to be called "unpatriotic" and have our ethics and values questioned by members of "accepted" religions.

ahhhhh. oh well.

i am sick today (flu, i think) but even though, i do not think i will be actively posting on this discussion anymore. i truly have said what i needed to say and i dont have much mroe to add. i feel like my last few posts are redundant.

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#75 of 100 Old 01-06-2008, 06:11 PM
 
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[QUOTE=EvansMomma;10135249]I said the same thing to my JW friend, and she said "What's cryptic? It's right there written in the bible, everything you need to know". And you know, everything she points to will explain perfectly why she has certain beliefs - yet someone from another religion will point to the same thing and have a totally different perspective on what it means. So what's clear to her is so drastically different from say a Catholic person's interpretation.


One thing that has always made things more clear (for me), is if I am not understanding something... to ask the Lord to reveal it to me. I actually ask this most times before i read scripture. It helps clear up a lot of confusion for me. I know this is somewhat off topic, but i thought i could add it in. This is not to say that I don't seek the answer.... quite the contrary. But if you seek, and ask for guidance it usually helps.

Maybe that made sense... possibly not. but there it is!
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#76 of 100 Old 01-06-2008, 06:26 PM
 
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but because none of the people who wrote relgious books are around anymore, it take FAITH to believe that what they say are true, haven't been corrupted, mistranslated and further you have to have FAITH that the person claiming to have been divinely inspired truly was and isn't allowing their own ideas and thoughts to come through and taint it.
Sure, and there are ample philosophical and evidential reasons for so believing.

Sorry to hear you're bowing out of the discussion, but I hope your flu improves. :/

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#77 of 100 Old 01-06-2008, 06:31 PM
 
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But logic is not subjective. If someone says 'Your point of view is illogical', he or she must be prepared to defend that statement by pointing out the logical fallacy present in the argument. This can certainly include questioning the presuppositions or premises of the argument; but even that questioning must be done logically. The problem with logical discussion isn't that the system is flawed or impossible to work with--it's that people are flawed, rarely trained to think logically, and (especially in charged subjects such as religion) often disinclined to do so.
Again, we've been round and round this block on the RS board. A couple time it was about logically "proving" the existence of God--and there is always some assumption or leap that is obvious to the unfaithful, but completely logical to the faithful.

Can you link a website that represents your logic as it applies to Christianity? I just found this one that is claiming to logically prove that God exists, and I can tell you exactly where it takes the leap that is completely illogical for me.
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#78 of 100 Old 01-06-2008, 06:41 PM
 
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If it's a leap, as in a logical leap, as in a logical fallacy, then the argument isn't logical; it's as simple as that. Assumptions can be trickier, but there's no reason an assumption can't be questioned according to logical principles as well.

The website which bests represents my POV is probably my husband's blog: bnonn.blogspot.com. The most relevant portion is his book, 'The Wisdom of God' (it's available for download, although of course if you want to buy it I won't stop you). http://bnonn.blogspot.com/2007/06/wisdom-of-god.html

Please note, however, that Bnonn's website isn't so much about 'proving God exists' per se as demonstrating that the Christian worldview is logical, internally consistent and epistemologically sound. Bnonn is an ex-atheist, so much of his argumentation is directed against atheism (simply because he's familiar with the arguments, having been a staunch proponent of them for much of his career). You'll probably find his writing style somewhat prickly, but his logic works. And he's fairly diligent about answering comments, if you want clarification (or, you know, ask me... being his wife and all...).

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#79 of 100 Old 01-06-2008, 06:45 PM
 
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Thanks Smokering! I'll check it out.....
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#80 of 100 Old 01-06-2008, 08:14 PM
 
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Thanks for your posts, Smokering.

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#81 of 100 Old 01-06-2008, 11:39 PM
 
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Smokering, I have questions about this part:

Now Judaism and Islam believe, and strongly affirm, that God ultimately is one. That is to say, he is a unity, and is also unary. They deny that he is several persons in one substance. While this does permit them to claim a unifying principle between propositions, since God, being one, is ultimately unity, it denies them the ability to have propositions themselves in any meaningful way. This is because propositions tend to describe things which are different—and if God, ultimately, is one, then how could plurality come about? This problem is only satisfactorily resolved by the Christian God; who, being three in one, represents an equal ultimacy of unity and plurality. Therefore, of the three religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), only Christianity remains viable, because God has revealed perspicuously in the New Testament that he is a trinity.

I don't understand what he means by propositions in this passage??
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#82 of 100 Old 01-06-2008, 11:58 PM
 
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And then the immediate problems I have with his logic. First this:

If I can show that an aseitic and trinitarian deity must exist, then, given the existence of such a deity in Christianity and his absence from any other religion, I consider that sufficient to persuade the unprejudiced intellect.

This passage is on the subject of precluding "speculative deities".

Why is it illogical that no religion knows the true nature of God? (Esp when there are many other reasons to question the Christian idea of God?)

And this:

By definition, the mental entails a mind; and so universal, necessary mental laws therefore must imply a universal, necessary mental mind. We could otherwise phrase this by saying that such laws must imply an aseitic God.

I have read this logic before, and I simply don't understand. Why does a universal mental law require an other-than human mind? Why can it not simply be universal to the human mind? I just don't understand this leap that universal mental law = God???


And one more issue I have, that is not directly refuting anything....just something I wonder about since I am clearly not a philosopher. I know at least 2 people who are extremely educated in religion and logic who are not Christian. Why would that be, if it is so clearly logical? One is a university professor who holds a doctorate in Religion and Philosophy, and another is UU minister who holds a Master's of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School. Are they assumed to be prejudiced? Or simply dense?
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#83 of 100 Old 01-07-2008, 06:27 AM
 
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sunnmama: I have forwarded your posts to Bnonn, and will pass along his replies when he gets around to writing them (hopefully tomorrow). In the meantime I'll answer as best I can, although of course he knows his book better than I do.

Quote:
I don't understand what he means by propositions in this passage??
He's talking about unity and plurality in this passage, so 'propositions' is a fairly broad term which could mean 'matter' or 'concepts' or, more accurately, both--stuff which exists in the universe. One could call anything from 'blue' to 'canary' to 'love' a proposition in this context.

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Why is it illogical that no religion knows the true nature of God? (Esp when there are many other reasons to question the Christian idea of God?)
Not 100% sure what you're asking--do you mean, why is it necessary that any one religion has to know the true nature of God (as opposed to God being entirely unknowable to the whole human race)? I'm not sure how that relates to the passage you quoted, but maybe I'm misunderstanding your question--help?

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I have read this logic before, and I simply don't understand. Why does a universal mental law require an other-than human mind? Why can it not simply be universal to the human mind? I just don't understand this leap that universal mental law = God???
Well, take for example the law of non-contradiction. Supposing all the human minds in the world (and there's no such thing as 'The Human Mind', really, in this context, just lots of human minds) became permanently brain-damaged through the consumption of non-organic beetroot, so that they were unable to recognise or assert the law of non-contradiction (which is one of logic's most fundamental laws). Would this mean that the law of non-contradiction ceased to exist? Or if humanity was wiped out from the earth by a massive avalanche of disposable diapers--again, would this mean that the law of non-contradiction ceased to exist?

Of course not. Which means that the law of non-contradiction is not dependent on humans minds--hence the term universal. If no humans existed at all, A could still not be both A and not-A at the same time and in the same relationship. Because that would be nonsensical. Make sense?

So if logic (I used the law of non-contradiction as an example, but obviously you could substitute any of the logical laws) exists independently of human minds, it cannot have originated from them. The question then becomes, from whom or what did it originate? As logic is a series of mental laws, by definition, a mind must have created them. While this mind does not necessarily correlate with the Christian God--ie, you can't say 'Logic exists, therefore the Bible exists'--calling the 'universal, necessary mental mind' God of some description is not a leap. Does this make sense? Bnonn will no doubt explain it better than I can, especially as it's late, but I hope that makes the argument... vaguely clearer.



Quote:
And one more issue I have, that is not directly refuting anything....just something I wonder about since I am clearly not a philosopher. I know at least 2 people who are extremely educated in religion and logic who are not Christian. Why would that be, if it is so clearly logical? One is a university professor who holds a doctorate in Religion and Philosophy, and another is UU minister who holds a Master's of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School. Are they assumed to be prejudiced? Or simply dense?
The Biblical answer to that is that nobody can come to faith without the Holy Spirit. Logical arguments do not convert anyone--the Spirit converts, although it may certainly use logical arguments (as in the case of my husband). In fact, the Bible would claim that the unregenerate are both prejudiced (enemies of God) and 'dense' (darkened hearts and understanding), and that these conditions are permanent and irrevocable without the power of the Holy Spirit. On a more practical level, few courses even in religion teach presuppositional theology, so Christianity is not necessarily studied at all from a philosophical/logical perspective. Even when it is, the presuppositionalist method of argumentation is deemed difficult or offputting by a large number of people, who simply don't like to think 'that way' or prefer classical apologetics.

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#84 of 100 Old 01-07-2008, 11:29 AM
 
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Thanks for your responses Smokering.....I just want to say that this stuff really interests me; thanks for indulging me Like I said, I am no philosopher, but I do enjoy bending my brain around these puzzles (and, as an atheist-raised Christian-seeking some understanding of God that makes sense to me, I am personally helped by these exercises).

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Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
Well, take for example the law of non-contradiction. Supposing all the human minds in the world (and there's no such thing as 'The Human Mind', really, in this context, just lots of human minds) became permanently brain-damaged through the consumption of non-organic beetroot, so that they were unable to recognise or assert the law of non-contradiction (which is one of logic's most fundamental laws). Would this mean that the law of non-contradiction ceased to exist? Or if humanity was wiped out from the earth by a massive avalanche of disposable diapers--again, would this mean that the law of non-contradiction ceased to exist?

Of course not. Which means that the law of non-contradiction is not dependent on humans minds--hence the term universal. If no humans existed at all, A could still not be both A and not-A at the same time and in the same relationship. Because that would be nonsensical. Make sense?

So if logic (I used the law of non-contradiction as an example, but obviously you could substitute any of the logical laws) exists independently of human minds, it cannot have originated from them. The question then becomes, from whom or what did it originate? As logic is a series of mental laws, by definition, a mind must have created them. While this mind does not necessarily correlate with the Christian God--ie, you can't say 'Logic exists, therefore the Bible exists'--calling the 'universal, necessary mental mind' God of some description is not a leap. Does this make sense? Bnonn will no doubt explain it better than I can, especially as it's late, but I hope that makes the argument... vaguely clearer.
.

Ok this is clearer. But backing up (from the blog):

But we have just established that mental states do really have causal influence on other mental states. If they don't, then logical inference does not actually take place, and the relationship between premises and conclusions does not really exist.

But we agree that this relationship does exist. What is interesting about it, however, is that, although it entails a mind (because it is a mental relationship), it does not entail our minds. We could none of us exist, and yet we must acknowledge that this mental relationship would still hold. We perceive that it is a necessary one, and that it could not be otherwise; that it applies to everyone, and it is not a matter of convention, but of necessity. It is what we might call a mental law—or, really, mental laws, since there are several discrete relationships which we apprehend. We give them names, like noncontradiction and identity.

But mental laws do imply a mind. By definition, the mental entails a mind; and so universal, necessary mental laws therefore must imply a universal, necessary mental mind. We could otherwise phrase this by saying that such laws must imply an aseitic God.


This may sound simplistic....but I am having trouble with the bolded. If none of us existed, the Law would exist but it would not be a mental law. It needs to be processed by a mind to be a mental law. So I would argue that Universal laws stand without a mind to perceive, process, and understand them. If all the humans are wiped out by cell-phone radiation, the laws will stand without a mind to process them. Universal law does not depend on the existence of mental laws.

So in this passage:

We know, because we are immediately aware of it through introspection, that we believe Socrates is mortal because of the premises: that all men are mortal, and that he is a man. When we say because of, we are acknowledging a causal relationship between the premises and the conclusion. The relationship is real; believing the premises really does cause the belief in the conclusion. We therefore conclude that our mental state in which we apprehend that Socrates is a man, and our mental state in which we apprehend that all men are mortal, are both causally linked in some way to our mental state in which we apprehend that Socrates is therefore mortal. There is a real, non-physical relationship between these premises and the conclusion.

all this reflects our mental processing of Universal laws, but does not reflect the nature of universal law.
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#85 of 100 Old 01-07-2008, 11:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
Not 100% sure what you're asking--do you mean, why is it necessary that any one religion has to know the true nature of God (as opposed to God being entirely unknowable to the whole human race)? I'm not sure how that relates to the passage you quoted, but maybe I'm misunderstanding your question--help?
.

Not nec that God is unknowable....just that it is very possible that the true nature of God is unknown. That many religions have tried to explain the true nature of God, and all have failed to do so completely.

He is saying that if he:

A. proves that an aseitic God is necessary, and
B. proves that a trinitarian God is necessary, then
C. the Christian God (both aseitic and trinitarian) is proven necessary, since it is the only God described in religion that fits the bill. He further assumes that should be enough evidence for the "unprejudiced intellect".

But the logical alternative is that an aseitic God is necessary and a trinitarian God is necessary but that God is NOT the Christian God....but rather is a God undescribed by human religions.
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#86 of 100 Old 01-07-2008, 11:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
He's talking about unity and plurality in this passage, so 'propositions' is a fairly broad term which could mean 'matter' or 'concepts' or, more accurately, both--stuff which exists in the universe. One could call anything from 'blue' to 'canary' to 'love' a proposition in this context.
.
And finally....the trinitarian nature of the Christian God defies logic, so it is difficult for me to talk about it in a logical way . But my feeling here is that this is largely semantics...are you saying that a unitarian God can not be everywhere and in all things, because it is only one thing? Could it be one thing that is everywhere?
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#87 of 100 Old 01-07-2008, 03:09 PM
 
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Ok, I did a whole bunch more reading on your dh's site. And the conclusion I've come to is that his logical Christian God is so unappealing that He inspires atheism

But one more question about this passage, under "Salvation":

If he believes in God, then either he believes in the God of the Bible, which necessarily entails believing the Bible itself first; or he believes in some arbitrary, speculative God of his own creation.

What if a person believes that their understanding of God is derived through direct communication with God?
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#88 of 100 Old 01-07-2008, 03:46 PM
 
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Smokering, you're Reformed?! Thanks for the blog link.

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#89 of 100 Old 01-07-2008, 05:02 PM
 
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Without reading any of the responses.....

The church is a building or a group of like believers. I don't believe that any one Christian church is "the only way"..... It's Jesus Christ is the only way. If you follow Him (and only Him) and all His teachings (not the "church's teaching/ rituals)...that is the only true way.

I think there are different types of churches because different things appeal to different people. And I think we appeal to different things because each person is called to do something specific (their gift) in the body of Christ. When we follow Jesus Christ, we become one body. We can't all be hands, nor feet, nor eyes.....but we all work together for God through the common relationship we have with Jesus Christ. I think some Christian churches excel in different areas because they have specific gifts from God in that area....but all should evidence the fruit of the Spirit.

Have Scripture that back these things up....but the kids just woke up. So I don't have time to post them right now.
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#90 of 100 Old 01-07-2008, 06:27 PM
 
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mommaduck: Yup, Reformed. You too? And I'm one of six homeschooled children as well, go figure.

sunnmama: I'm still waiting on DH's response to your first questions (he said he'll answer them as soon as he has his coffee! He spent much of yesterday updating the prettiness of his blog, hence the delay). Again, I'll answer your new questions the best I can in the meantime, but he'll no doubt do a better job later... (You can also add comments to his blog if you feel so inclined, incidentally).

Quote:
Not nec that God is unknowable....just that it is very possible that the true nature of God is unknown. That many religions have tried to explain the true nature of God, and all have failed to do so completely.

He is saying that if he:

A. proves that an aseitic God is necessary, and
B. proves that a trinitarian God is necessary, then
C. the Christian God (both aseitic and trinitarian) is proven necessary, since it is the only God described in religion that fits the bill. He further assumes that should be enough evidence for the "unprejudiced intellect".

But the logical alternative is that an aseitic God is necessary and a trinitarian God is necessary but that God is NOT the Christian God....but rather is a God undescribed by human religions.
Ah, OK. Yes, in theory. However (as you'll discover if you keep going through the book) there are other qualities to God which he also proves necessary, and which correlate with the Christian God. While it's possible to conceive of an unknown God who is ontologically identical to the Christian God, but not the Christian God, that is pretty much special pleading.

Quote:
And finally....the trinitarian nature of the Christian God defies logic, so it is difficult for me to talk about it in a logical way . But my feeling here is that this is largely semantics...are you saying that a unitarian God can not be everywhere and in all things, because it is only one thing? Could it be one thing that is everywhere?
The Trinity doesn't actually defy logic--as in, it doesn't break any logical laws. So it isn't illogical, just hellishly confusing. The problem is that to a truly unary God, the concept of diversity--multiple things--would be unknown, and therefore creation would be impossible.

Actually, Bnonn has just pointed out that you're quoting his opening statement to a debate he attempted to make (except that the other guy never fronted up). His book would probably make things a lot clearer, as he by necessity condensed his arguments a lot to fit his debate into 500 words.

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Ok, I did a whole bunch more reading on your dh's site. And the conclusion I've come to is that his logical Christian God is so unappealing that He inspires atheism
It helps to be Aspergic. But God isn't there to be a fluffy teddy bear, KWIM? Finding him unappealing isn't really an objection--particularly if you find Him morally objectionable, which of course requires an objective moral standard against which to compare His behavior.

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What if a person believes that their understanding of God is derived through direct communication with God?
Understanding of... which God? The God of the Bible? In that case their understanding of the Biblical nature of revelation is flawed. If not the Biblical God, then Bnonn would call any other deity arbitrary and speculative, unless it happened to coincide with the ontological necessities for God which he has outlined (such as aseity and unary/diversity (trinitarianism or what-have-you).

Oh, Bnonn just sent me his responses to your original questions. Shall I PM them to you or add them to the thread (which of course we've already taken wildly off-topic by now...)? His response to your more recent question, which confused me a little:

Quote:
This may sound simplistic....but I am having trouble with the bolded. If none of us existed, the Law would exist but it would not be a mental law. It needs to be processed by a mind to be a mental law. So I would argue that Universal laws stand without a mind to perceive, process, and understand them. If all the humans are wiped out by cell-phone radiation, the laws will stand without a mind to process them. Universal law does not depend on the existence of mental laws.

What it meant by "universal law"? Is it referring to a physical law? Because much of the argument I made demonstrated that physical laws have nothing to do with mental events. If "universal laws" are physical laws, then the relationship between premises and conclusions does not really exist. But of course, that is itself a conclusion based on premises, so obviously "universal laws" in this case are mental laws.

Unless something else is meant by "universal laws"; but I cannot think what.
--Bnonn

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