I could certainly modify my positions on specific minor issues if it were demonstrated to me that scripture, or plain logic not contradicting scripture, were opposed to my views. But that would be it.
My worldview will not change because I know Jesus.
When you know someone, you know that you know them. People can try their hardest to convince you that you don't, but you do.
I know Christ and I recognize the work of the Holy Spirit in me (John 10:27, 14:26).
For me personally, nothing else is necessary.
Having said that, every other worldview is logically incoherent anyway, so to endorse any worldview other than Christianity is to reject that worldview at the same time.
You too can come to an intimate relationship with Christ, if you accept His offer of forgiveness for your sins (Romans 10:9-13; John 3:16, 6:37).
If you don't accept His forgiveness, you will be condemned (Romans 6:23; Acts 4:12; Hebrews 9:22).
Please clarify, is this a claim that you have perfect knowledge about Jesus?
If this is a claim of perfect knowledge, can you please explain how it is possible to have perfect knowledge about a subject? Wouldn't some future fact, currently not known, be able to dispute your knowledge, therefore making it imperfect?
If this is a claim of imperfect knowledge, can you please explain why it is impossible for you to change your mind, when your position is based on imperfect knowledge? In other words, imperfect knowledge implies there are future facts about Jesus that you currently don't know, so how can you say none of them can change your position on the God issue?
I have perfect knowledge about some aspects of Christ, like that He is the only Savior from sin (Acts 4:12), and that He is divine (John 1). I don't have perfect knowledge about every aspect of Christ, such as what He ate for breakfast on His fifth birthday.
Future facts would not be able to dispute the things that I know with certainty. If they could, I wouldn't know them with certainty.
If knowledge of some fact is divinely revealed, it isn't uncertain (Titus 1:2).
Thanks for the clarification, but I can't help but wonder: exactly what facts do you presently know with such certainty that no future facts would be able to dispute them?
Can you give a concrete example?
If something is, then it is.
This is a fact, and no fact in the future could possibly disprove it, because if it isn't true, then facts don't exist to disprove it with.
If you avoid addressing these Bible C&V issues, do you really know Jesus?
First, I'm sorry the body of Christ let you become an ordained minister when, as you yourself say, you had absolutely no idea what the Bible taught.
Second, you've acknowledged you had no idea what the Bible said when you supposedly decided to follow it, you've acknowledged you had no idea what the Bible said when you became a Bible teacher, and it seems clear to me that the trend continues -- you still have no idea what the Bible says. Your GodMurders website rips verses out of context left and right, sets up straw men to attack, and basically mischaracterizes everything imaginable.
Third, I don't think you've read much of what I've written, even on this very website. If you had, I doubt you would have posted the comment above.
If God wants everybody to be saved, wouldn’t the gospel have spread a lot faster if...?
How can you dare say that God wouldn't want everyone saved?
Do we have free will?
Aren't our sins God's fault?
Are you certain you can tell who has an open mind and who doesn't, or are you keeping an "open mind" about it?
Mr McCabe, do you realise how intellectually corrosive and societally dangerous to try and reason with that sort of illogicality?
Particularly: "My worldview will not change because I know Jesus.
When you know someone, you know that you know them. People can try their hardest to convince you that you don't, but you do.
I know Christ and I recognize the work of the Holy Spirit in me"
1. Imagine one of the 9/11 terrorists was resurrected and brought to a supreme court of justice. Asked how he knows his views were the desire of God and not his superiors, he answers on global television to the entire world: "My worldview will not change because I know [Alah].
When you know someone, you know that you know them. People can try their hardest to convince you that you don't, BUT YOU DO.
I know [Alah] and I recognize the work of [Alah] in me"
2. Imagine a world where kids at our schools ignorantly rebutted future knowledge they are taught by teachers with a "My opinion will not change because I know what I know.
I mean, when you know something, you know that you know it! People can try their hardest to convince you that you don't, but you do.
I know I'm right, and what my CLOSEST friends and parents told me is right and I recognize the working of clear reasoning and their sincere truths in me"
...On my initial introduction to learning English at pre-school, I also thought similar to the abovementioned fashion; that, as my mom taught me, 'e' is always and only pronounced in a particular way. It was a belief I held as fact amongst the other cherished 'truths' imparted/indoctrinated_unto by my beloved mother.
Eventually, other languages soon attested differently, thus paving the way for a more critical way of thinking in Theseus.
Those two comments that you just posted...
I actually posted them. You didn't.
I know you believe that you posted them. You say you know that you posted them. You say no one can convince you otherwise, because you know that you know it.
But you're wrong. I posted them.
I don't "know because I know" that I posted those two messages. Rather, my knowing is founded elsewhere; away from illogicality... :
1. It just so happens that my friends witnessed me posting it to you. Hence me posting it is strongly validated by shared experience. We can get a lie-detector and test you, me, and them. It's us against you.......and I'd say that would reveal to us something fairly scientific we can work with, yea?
Can you do the same to validate yourself? No. ....or maybe you can cheat your way around that with administrator privileges? I don't know..
3. I'm still efforting interaction with you, which means I doubt that you'd be mentally disturbed so-as-to:
a) ...resurrect a question which YOU answered and successfully quieted a long while ago,
b) ...spend a good thirty minutes of your life crafting two lengthy responses against yourself,
c) ...deceive the entire site's audience by posing as someone else - someone who's views are anything but Christian. Do you like to pretend that you're an atheist sometimes?? Hmm...
What is "GODCON"? Who are Richard and Shaheed?
All of those friends of yours you mentioned...? They are only figments of your imagination. I didn't want to have to be the one to break this to you, but you're actually quite deluded. The padding of your cell is covered with crayon writings, and none of it makes any sense. Oh, I know you don't believe me, because you know that you know that what I am saying isn't true, but it is.
Your father and mother are actually a grain of wheat and a warthog. You are nothing more than an experiment by genetic engineers, of whom I am one.
I realize this is not something you want to believe, especially because it goes against what you "know" to be true, but you really have no solid foundation for your delusions except for the misconceptions of your own weak mind.
Your beastly ire violates Christ's philosophy and the site's rules on posted content, Mr mcCabe:
Nonsensical insults don't support your arguments but only serve to further weaken our esteem for you.
I'm outta here.
Actually, this was simply an attempt to make a logical point:
You stated: "I don't "know because I know" that I posted those two messages. Rather, my knowing is founded elsewhere; away from illogicality."
However, your knowing of posting messages (as well as anything else you claim to know) is grounded in the same place my knowing of Christ is grounded. You say that my claim to have met Christ and to know Him personally is a poor grounding for my conclusion that He is.
I am simply reiterating your own argument against you, and expanding it to include every aspect of your existence, far beyond the creation of a couple of posts, but even to the existence of your parents, your friends, and the room you are in.
My point is that ultimately you have no more justifiable reason to claim knowledge of your friends than the reason I gave above for knowledge of Christ.
- Is Christ calling you on the phone?
- Does he send you letters?
- Can you invite him to the movies?
- Have you introduced him to your family and have they seen him eating cake and shaken his hands?
- Has Christ left a piece of hair or dead skin that can be analysed for DNA?
- Can he record himself jumping into the water so that is splashes and then send the video to you?
- Does he have a passport? Bank account? A car?
These are examples that would support the idea that my friends and family are real. None of those apply to Christ. Or god. Your only claim is that you know him. It is so because it is so.
Don't say "But love cannot be measured". We CAN measure the existence of love (it's easy), we CANNOT measure the existence of Christ. We can measure the existence of invisible rays that can kill us but not Christ who presumable also affects us.
The context of this page is "why am I, Timothy McCabe, personally convinced of Christ?" It is not "why should Mike or anyone else be personally convinced of Christ?" That is a completely different question with a completely different answer.
My questions for you are just like my questions for Theseus...
How do you KNOW the phone exists?
How do you KNOW the movies exist?
How do you KNOW that DNA analysis has any validity?
How do you KNOW that anyone whose hand you shake exists?
To the root of the matter, how do you KNOW that sensory perception, which is what you seem to be primarily relying upon for knowledge, is reliable?
In considering how we KNOW what we believe we KNOW, it all ultimately comes down to our basic presuppositions. Ultimately, either humans claim to know what they know on their own authority, which they themselves believe to be nonexistent, or else humans claim to know what they know on God's authority, which, if it exists, is in fact authoritative.
You assume sensory perception is reliable. But why? Probably because in your personal experience it has always "worked". But this makes your own personal experience a measure by which you determine truth, which presupposes that your own evaluation of your own personal experiences is reliable. But how do you KNOW that your own evaluation of your own personal experiences is reliable?
Either you rely on your own claim to authority to establish the reliability of your own evaluation of your own experiences, which amounts to nothing more than "I am right because I said so", or else you rely on someone else's truly authoritative claims, someone with actual inherent authority on the subject, which is tantamount to saying "I am right because God said so".
If we do not or cannot say "I am right because God said so", then we are left with only our own individual authority as the only grounds for all knowledge. Yet, we cannot authoritatively claim to have authority. We are not the makers of the universe. There are many things we do not know and have not experienced. We are not our brothers' masters. Thus, our own ultimate authority is completely nonexistent from our own perspective.
If we have ultimate authority, then under our own ultimate authority, we wisely declare ourselves to be ultimately unauthoritative.
In other words, either knowledge is possible because God is, or knowledge is not possible at all.
So again, how do you know what you know? If it isn't grounded in the Word of God, then it has no grounds.
Or my senses are not reliable then why should you believe in a God just because you feel to know him?
In either case, it is much more rational to decline something for which there is no evidence except personal feelings and accept the things that I mentioned above as real.
We don't have to rely on our senses anyway because we can test for certain properties of the world. If we'd only relied on our sense we wouldn't know about basic stuff like radiation or bacteria. When we die from bacterial infection or radiation poisening then this is not just the perception in my head.
"Either my senses are reliable and therefore God or Jesus are unlikely because he does not do any of the things I talked about above. Or my senses are not reliable then why should you believe in a God just because you feel to know him?"
If your senses are reliable, it can only be because of God, as I explained above.
If your senses are not reliable, this discussion may not be going on at all.
The conclusion therefore is God.
Your argument places the cart before the horse and ignores the necessary consequences of its own premises.
Carrier's 1st argument in the link you provided appears to be:
P1. If Christianity is true, God only creates necessary things.
P2. If Christianity is true, brains are not necessary.
C. Brains exist, therefore Christianity is not true.
If we agree with P1 and P2, the conclusion seems to follow. However, according to both Christianity and reason, P1 is plainly false. According to Christianity, God does not create out of necessity -- He is not in need of anything! Indeed, the very idea of "creating" something negates the possibility that the something could be "necessary". Were it necessary, it would already exist. The fact that it has to be created to exist demonstrates that it is not necessary.
Since P1 is false, the conclusion does not follow.
Carrier's 2nd argument in the link you provided appears to be:
P1. If Christianity is true, God does not design handicaps that cause misery, death, or inefficiency.
P2. If Christianity is true, God designed the brain, which causes misery, death and inefficiency.
C. Christianity is not true.
Again, if we agree with P1 and P2, the conclusion seems to follow. However, according to both Christianity (John 1:3) and reason, P1 is plainly false.
Carrier concludes by stating that "this enormous, problematic brain is necessarily the only way conscious beings can exist if there is no God nor any other supernatural powers in the universe."
However, this is false. Nothing can exist if there is no God.
However, the concept that humans have a non-physical aspect to them is definitely essential to Christianity, and the scriptures point out significant differences between the two (Matthew 10:28; 2 Corinthians 4:16).
Some apparent overlap of functionality or properties is not problematic, as both the physical and non-physical are representative of the same whole.
Does this adequately address your concern?
The second pointed out the continuous renewal of the "inner man", something not applicable to the body.
So it continuously exists alive, and it is continually renewed in the Christian. Neither of these is true of the physical body, including the brain.
These are simply 2 verses where the difference between "brain" and "soul", for lack of better words, was most striking to me. Many would argue philosophically that the "mind" and the "brain" are clearly two different things, and I tend to agree, but I wanted to limit my presentation to the scriptures.
P1. No two things can appear to have identical functionality and both exist.
P2. The soul's functionality appears identical to that of the brain.
C. Either the soul or the brain does not exist.
When laid out like this it is fairly clear that there is really no reason to accept P1, even if we were to grant P2, though I think I have demonstrated that scripturally P2 is also not accurate.
The verses you have cited certainly say that there is some nonphysical part of me, but I guess I was looking for something more substantial. I want something more than "there are nonphysical parts there, trust me." I was hoping for "trust me, those things you feel, those things you do, they are a result of your spirit/soul/psyche."
But I am not saying that the soul does not exist. I am saying that it might not exist, or perhaps what was described in the Bible as something nonphysical is perhaps the brain. Maybe your second verse is referring to the brain. While your body may age, your inner man, your mental state, your brain, is renewed ever day?
But back to the original question. If everything the Bible attributes to the soul were scientifically proven to be specific brain functions, how could you not seriously question His existence?
However, the Bible says that all of us are innately aware of His existence, but we suppress this truth because we prefer to sin rather than to be held to a law that we cannot follow perfectly.
Beyond this, I think I have provided on this website some clear and convincing logical arguments for His existence:
Finally, if science could prove that the brain continues to function after death, as the Bible suggests of the "soul", and if everything else attributable to the "soul" were proven to hold for the "brain", like its non-physical nature (etc), then the most that would lead us to conclude is that the "soul" of scripture is what we refer to as the "brain" in modern English. No harm, no foul.
Nothing can be completely explained by nature, because nature itself offers no framework for explaining things: nature itself is not rational. "Explanation" in a non-rational, closed-system is meaningless.
Would anything convince you to leave your wife? Likewise, nothing would convince me to leave Christ. It is an issue of permanent commitment to a person that I know and love.
There is no conceivable evidence that could convince you that your wife doesn't exist. If you actually found any "evidence" toward that end convincing, it would merely serve to demonstrate that you were never really committed to her, and didn't take your vows seriously.
See if you can dream up a scenario -- go for it -- in which you would really and truly be convinced that your wife doesn't exist, and I will be happy to point out how it would merely show a dishonorable lack of commitment rather than an honorably objective thought process.
Any argument that proves solopsism is true would be self-defeating. You would be preferring a nonexistent proof over your own wife.
Your second example represents a misunderstanding, but it may be entirely on my end. Let's work through this. My challenge was intended to specifically refer to "evidence," "proof," or an "argument" that would convince you *in your current mind-state* that your wife did not exist. I realize that may not have been clear on my part. I also realize that the original questioner may have had something in mind like what you are suggesting, and yet I answered the question per the notion of evidence, argument or proof in my current mind-state instead.
In my own personal experience, when waking up, I recognize that I was dreaming not because of new evidence, but rather because evidence itself is interpreted differently in dreams than outside of them: the mind functions differently. While asleep, it makes perfect sense for the cheshire cat to officiate my wedding, and for the honeymoon in Paris to begin just a few seconds after the "I dos" are said in New York city. Awakening, all of that suddenly seems absurd. The evidence is identical. The processing of the evidence is different. This is because the mind-state is different.
Thus, if the change of mind is based on evidence, proof, or argument, it is merely choosing a commitment. If the change of mind is based on a change of state, it doesn't really fall into the category of things I was intending in my challenge to you, or referring to in my original answer to the original question.
Per your challenge to me, if I am not mistaken, Mohammed originally believed that the other-worldly messenger that he encountered was a demon. I personally suspect he got that right. His wife convinced him he was wrong, because he had no real commitment to his conclusion.
If a Muslim claimed to have met Allah (I don't think any Muslims make this claim, but perhaps I am mistaken), and further claimed that Jesus never died and rose again, and that Allah had told him so, etc, then yes, per Mohammed, I would probably conclude that this person had been involved with a demon. Evidence, argument, reason, proof, logic, etc, would probably do nothing to convince the person that I am right though. That would be expected (not that I wouldn't try). Instead, the gospel message preached would be the power of God to salvation for that person, if God Himself chose to move in them. If not, I would have nothing to offer.