Since Muslims more often than not suppress freedoms, predominately define their character by violent rage, are intolerant of nonbelievers, and defend all this as righteous, it would seem that they are indeed worshiping an evil god. Muslims who reject those wicked values rarely fight or speak up against other Muslims who endorse them, and thus like Nazi sympathizers in WWII, are complicit in the evil those other Muslims serve. That leaves a very small minority of Muslims who can claim to actually be worshiping and serving a good god, and yet they have no arguments to make that theirs is the true god, and not the evil god most other Muslims manifestly worship.
Christians likewise predominately worship and serve what they themselves define as the Antichrist, yet claim the Antichrist is in fact Christ, and Christ the Antichrist. If "Christ" is the spirit exemplified by the character of Jesus in the Gospels, serving Christ means despising all war, violence and wealth, giving all you have away to the poor, renouncing all divorce, and praying only in private (Jesus condemned public prayer as hypocrisy and commanded those who follow him to pray in a closet alone). Yet most Christians fiercely oppose socialist benefits for the poor, defend wealth and the most ruthless displays of capitalism, never give all their wealth away, support war and capital punishment and torture and killing in self-defense and the ownership of weapons, divorce and remarry as much as anyone, and insist on government-enforced public prayer.
If serving the "Antichrist" (which literally means "The Opposite of Christ") means serving exactly the opposite spirit to Christ, most Christians are manifestly serving the Antichrist. That they have been fooled into thinking otherwise is indeed actual proof that if there is a God, he is evil, and has fooled Christians into thinking the vile God they serve is good. Their actual God supports the accumulation of wealth, war, violence, torture, weapons, divorce, hypocritical displays of worship, and selfish disdain for the poor. That sure sounds like an evil god. Like the Muslims, Christians who reject those wicked values rarely fight or speak up against other Christians who endorse them, and thus like Nazi sympathizers in WWII, are complicit in the evil those other Christians serve. That leaves a very small minority of Christians who can claim to actually be worshiping and serving a good god, and yet they have no arguments to make that theirs is the true god, rather than the evil god most other Christians manifestly worship.
Of course, there are no gods, neither evil nor good, just the imaginary gods that people invent. The Antichrist is not a literal spirit, but an idea, like the spirit of the law or the spirit of democracy, which only becomes real insofar as people embody it and enact it. But that so many Muslims and Christians (apparently the majority of them) have fooled themselves into thinking that what they manifestly represent as an evil god, is in fact the paradigm of good, is frightening indeed, and is the cause of many of the world's ills.
Any person with a conscience can easily differenciate between the good and the bad.
God consciousness is a natural thing and one can connect to God directly.
God is not good or bad but God loves those who are good. Only one's conscience can guide him/her to be good and to be loved by God.
Rather than replying with an assertion, can you please answer the question? The questioner asked "how" you know that your god is good. You merely replied that you knew because the contrary is impossible. That is an assertion. The questioner is asking for an explanation for your belief, though evidence would be much more appreciated.
Jesus said you shall know his disciplines by their fruits. And by this standard, I have yet to meet any of his disciplines. Unless of course, they are producing the "true" fruit that is expected from Christianity. Then, I would say that Christianity is no different than secularism, and is arguably far worse.
Seeing the behavior of Christians (or Muslims), I see no reason to convert. Neither religion offers anything to me.
Christ's teaching "has nothing to do with whether we should pray in public or not. This passage is related to the reason we are praying. We can, indeed, pray everywhere (1 Timothy 2:8), as long as we are praying for the right reasons."
The question is, how do you know that all those reasons you listed are not actually influenced by satan?
Here's a simplified version: Bob is good and Jack is bad. You are talking to Bob on an instant messenger, and he is telling you all kinds of good things. The question is, how do you know its not actually Jack on the other end, pretending to be Bob, but having a hidden agenda that he is manipulating you to do?
P.S. I submitted the original question
That was someone named 'Tim', but it was not me.
What specific assertion did I make that you believe is inadequately defended?
My answer above does the following:
1. Establish the truth of Christianity.
2. Conclude that if Christianity is true, then it is not a lie.
I don't see how this process does not address your question. Looking at your example with Jack and Bob, we could go about the same process:
1. Establish it is true that I am talking to Bob on IM.
2. Conclude that if it is true that I am talking to Bob, then it is not false that I am talking to Bob.
It seems to me that the process works equally well for your Bob/Jack example as it does for the original question. So, my question to you is: how have I failed to answer your question?
More pertinent to the issue being considered here is the question: how do you claim that God is good despite the fact that He damned his entirely innocent Son, Our Lord.
What exactly did you find to be weak about the argument?
What? Affirming the non-existence of God in no way calls into question one's ability to acknowledge observable fact, randomness notwithstanding. Holding to a naturalistic worldview does not entail the absence of order, structure, apprehension, etc.
Interesting assertion. How did you come to that conclusion?
You asked me how I've come to my conclusion. I think you're missing my point. I'm not an atheist! What I'm suggesting is that there are category problems in your argument. The natural world is just as accessible to the atheist as it is to the Christian. The metaphysics professed by the atheist may indeed be "random" or "undependable," sure. But I don't care if my surgeon's an atheist or not, as long as she knows what she's doing on my heart. It seems that your disregard for atheistic philosophy is spilling over into your assessment of the atheist's ability to access the natural world in any meaningful way. That's the category problem that I'm speaking to. Thanks.
I just hit my shin against my desk. It hurt. I don't understand how I couldn't deny the existence of God and still acknowledge basic cause/effect relationships, etc. Is the assertion that my leg hurt b/c I hit it on the desk "random" or "undependable" in any way?
The argument I presented essentially states that all Atheists must necessarily be inconsistent in their thinking, as thinking itself would not be possible if Atheism were true. My argument was not that it is impossible for Atheists to think, but rather that it IS possible for Atheists to think, but only BECAUSE Atheism is false.
So, yes, Atheists can certainly recognize cause and effect, but only because Atheism is false. Were Atheism true, no one would be able to recognize cause or effect.
"If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning. -CS Lewis."
Isn't it safe to say that certain elements of truth are indeed found all over this place? Isn't it true that Islam has some things right? Isn't it true that Hinduism in some very important ways reflects certain aspects of reality? Isn't it true that even atheists, through their appeals to logic and reason presuppose universal truths which do indeed reflect the fact that all things were created through Him? As St. Paul suggests in Acts Ch. 17, even the Greek Poets had begun to grasp at truths of Christ. In other words, their poetry, to some extent "reflected reality" prior to Christ's Incarnation... this is precisely what led to conversion for many Greeks. They recognized in Christ the fullness of what their previous systems of thought had only begun to sketch out. Fair enough? Thanks.
re: CS Lewis, I suppose that is basically what I am saying, yes.
re: reflecting reality, I agree with your essential point, yes. My meaning in making that statement was not that "there can be found no truth in any other worldview", but rather that "every other worldview necessarily conflicts with reality on some critical point".
In my experience there is a noticeable difference between the lives of Christians and non Christians. You seem to have experienced the difference between real and false believers. Christ gives a way to distinguish between true and false believers he does not mean that every person who goes to church will demonstrate the life he talks about.
Secondly your arguement is completely ad hominen and relies on a clearly biased view of Christians and Muslims that you may or may not know.
Your conclusions are almost the opposite of Kierkegards in relation to fake and real Christianity.
If we do not rely on Gods revelation in the bible we will surely invent the God we want. I see it often.
The life, death, and ressurection of Christ lies on a solid historical core (I reach this position through source criticism rather than an a priori assumption of the bibles historicity). I believe God is good because of the person of Jesus as revealed by scripture.
Another thing, you said:
"If we do not rely on Gods revelation in the bible we will surely invent the God we want. I see it often."
There are countless contradictory Christian doctrines which faithful men and women believe to be expresses clearly in the Bible. Heretics have argued FROM THE BIBLE throughout history. Have you ever considered Arian arguments from Scripture?
It's Scripture + Proper Interpretation that = correct doctrine... NOT Scripture + Sincerity, as SEEMS you imply. Thanks.
I am not too familiar w/ this venue. I've commented a few times and had a brief dialogue w/ Tim McCabe (above). I am just wondering if due to the fact that J Hoffman directed his comments towards Richard Carrier I shouldn't be expecting a response. Just curious. Thanks!!!!!!
These comments are nothing more than additions to the webpage. Currently, no one is automatically notified and there is also currently no way to subscribe to them. Mr. Hoffman may or may not respond to your query, and Dr. Carrier may or may not respond to Mr. Hoffman.
Initially I wasn’t, even planning on responding to any of these posts, in fact, I am just doing research for my worldview class. However, I would like to point out what I see as an error in your argument.
“Satan” means enemy or opposer in the Hebrew language, and is specifically used in the Bible as a way of referring to Lucifer, who is an enemy of God, and as far as I know, was the first enemy of God. Therefore, calling an enemy “satan”, is incorrect, as that word has come to represent the devil.
To list another example, "Christ" and “Jesus” are used almost interchangeably, in the Bible, and in modern times, the trend has continued. “Christ” is a greek word which means messiah, or “anointed one”. Calling anyone who is anointed “Christ”, would be incorrect, as the word Christ has become a symbol representing Jesus of Nazareth.
regards speak again soon
That's exactly my point. The question asks how you actually know someone (Bob,God) is talking to you via a medium (Instant Messenger,Bible,Revelation) and is not actually someone else (Jack,Satan)
You said you "1. Establish it is true that I am talking to Bob on IM." But you do not actually explain how you establish it is Bob rather than Jack.
The contention is that it is impossible to establish this, since Jack can masquerade as Bob for all intents and purposes, while maintaining a hidden agenda.
The take home message here is, divine revelation is inferior to reason.
"And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues, and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have recieved their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you."
The classic argument for this, cogito ergo sum, was provided by Descartes:
I think (premise), therefore I am (conclusion).
A criticism of this is that Descartes is begging the question in his premise. That is, by stating 'I think' you are already assuming that you exist, and so you are assuming the conclusion from the outset. This seems like a valid criticism, but I would suggest that it is simply impossible to prove your own existence without begging the question.
Timothy claims that he is certain that God exists, and that he is also certain of x, y and z. My challenge to him is to provide his own proof that he exists for certain. To clarify, I'm not asking him to prove it to me, but just to provide the proof that he claims he has.
As I see it (and please correct me if there are more), the two possible proofs
1) Descartes' proof, which he doesn't accept because it begs the question
2) God has revealed to him that he exists in such a way that he can be certain. Ignoring the other issues with this statement, if he uses this proof, he is also begging the question as shown here...
P1: God can reveal things for certain
P2: God has revealed to me that I exist for certain
C: I exist for certain
The conclusion is being assumed by the use of the word me in P2.
Timothy could accept that we all know we exist for certain, and then continue with his argument. But he can't do this because this would mean that certainty is possible without God - God is not needed for cogito ergo sum to hold.
So, do you exist for certain Timothy? If so, please provide the proof.