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Christianity &Rationals Johnson on 17 Oct 2008 12:45 pm

The curse of blessings, or, how Christians can learn to think rationally

If you are a Christian, the goal here is to help you to see the world through rational eyes for just a moment.

For this exercise we will use an example that comes from the newspaper column called “God Squad”. Keep in mind that this is a religious column that is carried in hundreds of newspapers around the world:

Can’t quite embrace faith? Start with gratitude

A reader writes to the God Squad with the following question:

I’m having a hard time keeping my faith. I was raised a Christian, yet we didn’t attend church regularly. I consider myself blessed, yet I’m having trouble accepting that God had anything to do with it.

I can seemingly explain my good fortune by a combination of science and hard work. I very much want to believe and have God be a daily part of my life, but my heart doesn’t feel the same way. Can you help?

Almost Godless in Florida

Here is how the God Squad begins the answer to this question:

Let’s begin with what you doubt. You doubt that God has had anything to do with your success; that it all can be explained by science and hard work. Fine. You’re responsible for giving yourself the intelligence you possess. You’re responsible for keeping you free of fatal diseases, fatal injuries and debilitating accidents. You’re responsible for being born into a family that could love you and help you on your path to success. You make the sun rise and the rain fall so you have food to eat. You are responsible for all the goodness and bounty that’s sustained you and enabled you to prosper.

And you haven’t been able to give thanks to God for any of the blessings you did not create but from which you’ve prospered.

The problem you have seems mislabeled. You’re not suffering from a loss of faith but a loss of gratitude. Somehow, you have to open your eyes to all the factors in your life that you did not create. Whether you decide to call these factors blessings, and whether you attribute them to God or not is not important in the early steps of your journey.

This is a classic Christian theme: Give thanks to God for all blessings. To put it another way, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.” Specifically the God Squad lists these items as blessings from God:

- intelligence
- freedom from fatal diseases
- freedom from fatal injuries
- freedom from debilitating accidents
- birth into a family that could love you and help you on your path to success
- sun rises
- rainfall
- food to eat
- all the goodness and bounty that’s sustained you and enabled you to prosper

Here is the God Squad’s proposition: everything good in your life is a blessing caused by God. You should give thanks to God for all of the blessings that he has bestowed upon you. The God Squad states this directly a bit later in the piece: “God is the object of our thankfulness for all our blessings.”

Here is where rationality comes in. According to the God Squad, God is the cause of all blessings. There is no reason to thank God if he is not the cause. Therefore, all the people who live in an unblessed state – the thirty thousand children who will die of starvation today, for example, or the thousands who will die of cancer, or the billions who live in stark, abject poverty – must of necessity be in those situations because God has cursed them. If you happen to live in Ethiopia and starve to death today, it has to be because God has failed to bless you.

In other words, God curses everyone who is suffering on earth. The suffering must come from God’s withholding of his blessings of health, food, rain, etc. Meanwhile, over in the United States, God blessed Bill Gates with another billion dollars today, and Bill should be grateful to God for that since God made it happen.

When you think about it rationally, you cannot escape this obvious problem. If we are supposed to thank God because he is the cause of all blessings, then it means that the lack of blessings (starvation, cancer, poverty, etc.) is caused by God as well. And this means that God is the most twisted, capricious, biased, despicable creature in the universe. 30,000 innocent children will starve to death today specifically because God withheld blessings from them.

Rational thinking forces reality upon you. God cannot get credit for all blessings unless we also blame him for lack of said blessings. The God squad gives this specific example: “You make the sun rise and the rain fall so you have food to eat.” If God gets the credit for making the sun rise and the rain fall, then that automatically means that God gets the blame for the opposite. Everywhere the rain is not falling, the starvation and death caused by drought is specifically caused by God. And that makes God a murderous, satanic demon of the highest order.

The God Squad states this problem explicitly:

How can you do that? I suggest you start by serving a meal to a homeless person, preferably a child. Look at that kid and think about the life lottery that put you on the serving side and that child on the receiving side of the soup kitchen line.

Perhaps that will be the moment when you fall to your knees and say, ”There but for the grace of God go I.” Science and hard work don’t explain why that child is hungry and you are full.

If it is the Grace of God that causes one to have plenty, then it is the curse of God that causes the other to be homeless. And having an invisible being in the sky that capriciously blesses some while cursing others is the plot of a horror movie, not something to worship.

If you are a Christian, chances are that you will now use your delusion to come up with some explanation for why God blesses some and curses others. Or you will try to recharacterize the curse that God must obviously be causing if he were to exist. Or you will simply not think about it to avoid reality. Unfortunately, that does not change reality. If God gets credit for blessings, then he also gets the blame for all the death, disease and torture caused by lack of blessings.

To any person who does does take the time to think about it rationally, reality becomes obvious in just a few minutes. God is imaginary. There is no being in the sky causing blessings, nor curses.

If you are a Christian and you would like to begin thinking rationally rather than delusionally, this web site can help:

Whywontgodhealamputees.com

29 Responses to “The curse of blessings, or, how Christians can learn to think rationally”

  1. on 18 Oct 2008 at 9:20 am 1.Hermes said …

    Johnson: “If it is the Grace of God that causes one to have plenty, then it is the curse of God that causes the other to be homeless. You can’t have one without the other. And having an invisible being in the sky that capriciously blesses some while cursing others is the plot of a horror movie, not something to worship.”

    Exactly.

    There are two classic questions I ask of Christians that think comments like these are ‘too basic’ or ‘too crude’;

    The problem of evil and the Euthypro dilemma. The results of those long investigations tends to either end in special pleading or bare assertions — “who are you to question God!” or “we are flawed and don’t know enough”. Yet, those don’t follow from other claims made at different times by Christians. It’s entirely arbitrary or based on a feudal mindset.

    Thus, the best answer is…

    Johnson: “To any person who does does take the time to think about it rationally, reality becomes obvious in just a few minutes. God is imaginary. There is no being in the sky causing blessings, nor curses.”

    The Problem of Evil
    http://www.philosophyofreligion.info/arguments-for-atheism/the-problem-of-evil/

    The Euthypro Dilemma
    http://www.philosophyofreligion.info/christian-ethics/divine-command-theory/the-euthyphro-dilemma/

  2. on 19 Oct 2008 at 5:04 am 2.Crowned Messenger said …

    If you do as God says and carefully keep His instruction, you will experience a good life:
    Your city, neiborhood, family and job will be blessed(cared for).
    Your family will be unitied. You will enjoy your work and it will bless others. Wherever you go and what ever you do, confident you will be, with a clear conscience. God will help you conquer your enemies when they attack you. They will attack you from one direction, but be scatter abroad! You will have great hope and joy. Your home, family and friends will be true to you and you will honor and love them, and be loved by them.
    If you obey what God says and walk with Him, God will establish you. Nations of the world will see that you are blessed by God and you can help them know the truth of God’s love by assisting them with your many provisions. You will prosper, have many children, and possess more than enough goods. If you listen to His instructions, if you do them, God will make you confident, not insecure.
    If you refuse to listen to God, who sees trouble long before it happens, and deny His perfect way, you will get ripped you off. Your city/country will be in trouble, your food will be gone. You will put a curse on yourself by refusing instrustion. Your family and friends will come and go. You will neither have peace in your heart, nor happiness or patience. You believe you can bring peace to the world, yet you fight in your very homes and work places. Your wife will sleep with another man. Your children will be troubled, and after all is said and done, you will still be fighting against the One you say does not exsist.

  3. on 19 Oct 2008 at 11:42 am 3.Hermes said …

    First off, it’s your deity not mine. Consider me a Buddhist or a Hindu.

    As for your tone and choice of words, I take it that you no longer claim to be a deity anymore, yet you know exactly what it thinks and what it will do, right?

    Tell me this: Why are atheists are called arrogant, and you don’t qualify?

  4. on 19 Oct 2008 at 12:40 pm 4.Hermes said …

    Crowned Messenger, if you want to really convince me of your wisdom after the embarrassments you posted previously … address *one* or both of the questions I’ve posed in my first post;

    The Problem of Evil
    http://www.philosophyofreligion.info/arguments-for-atheism/the-problem-of-evil/

    The Euthypro Dilemma
    http://www.philosophyofreligion.info/christian-ethics/divine-command-theory/the-euthyphro-dilemma

    If you are unable or unwilling, I have to consider that you do not have the capacity for wisdom and as such your words are not worth considering on the issues you assert are true.

    Overview …

    The first one is ‘easy’ and should take you a couple days if you take it seriously but have not thought about the issues before.

    Here’s a video summary of the Problem of Evil;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEkJJidVjGU

    “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
    Then he is not omnipotent.

    Is he able, but not willing?
    Then he is malevolent.

    Is he both able and willing?
    Then whence cometh evil?

    Is he neither able nor willing?
    Then why call him God?”

    The second question is very difficult and could take you days to weeks to years to address depending on your understanding of both philosophy and morality. (Most of the summaries of the Euthypro Dilemma that offered as ‘solutions’ on the net are very poor and have substantial holes in them. Using those summaries will only show me you can copy someone else’s work and not that you understand what they said.)

  5. on 19 Oct 2008 at 8:34 pm 5.SteveK said …

    Johnson,
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that we have two choices wrt the concept of good —

    a) the good we perceive is grounded in something that is part of reality, or
    b) the good we perceive is NOT grounded in something that is part of reality.

    If goodness is grounded in something that is part of reality then it is by definition objective because there is one reality that we all share. We may view reality differently or subjectively but we know there is one objective reality. When two people disagree if something is good or not, one or both must be wrong. This rules out relativism being true.

    If goodness is NOT grounded in something that is part of reality then by definition our perception of it is an illusion. Relativism is false here too because all perceptions of goodness are illusions.

    Am I wrong?

  6. on 19 Oct 2008 at 10:58 pm 6.Hermes said …

    SteveK, I’m obviously not Johnson. Yet, I doubt you’ll ever get a response from that person here. Here’s my stab at what you’re saying.

    Since anything ‘not in reality’ is not known, B gets thrown out. Since that’s a given, why bother with B at all?

    Getting back to A, though, it’s not a given that what flows from it is necessity one way for everyone. This is actually a big problem for all sorts of areas in life; what I think I noticed may differ from what you noticed — in fact it probably will.

    Good is literally like sweet; it is not the same to everyone, but the closer any two entities match in nature and nurture, the more likely it is that they would share an understanding of that thing even if they disagree on some small part.

    Bottom line: It is not necessary to pick from Plato’s eternal forms nor is it necessary to drench ourselves in solipsism. Neither describes what we know to be true.

    Let me explain…

    Good and bad are contextual. As absolutes, they point toward a theoretical perfection. Yet, there is no such thing as perfection — only perfect for. The example I use often is that of a perfect peach. Bite down into one and let the juice run over your lips … feel the taste and the texture.

    There is no ideal abstract peach that this peach came from. No Platonic source of perfection. A cat — having no taste buds for sweets — would not be fascinated with that peach. Someone with an allergy to peaches, or someone with chapped and broken lips, would not describe that as peach as we would describe that peach.

    Yet, most people who know what I mean. Slice by slice, a group of us could evaluate a bushel of peaches and at the end of our feast we’d be in general agreement on what peach was the best one — which one was ‘perfect’ (if any were).

    So, to return to your comment. What is good depends on context. It depends on the observers. It is not arbitrary, though, and it is not solipsistic. We can taste what the cat can not, but not all people can see or feel the same thing … or be tuned to it. As we are in the same world, though, and as human share language we can reach a deeper understanding of the usually small ways where we differ from one another.

    At this point, I can think of a half dozen real world examples of this, as you may as well. Do I need to name them all? Hopefully not.

    On a tangent, here is a video that explains something that has been puzzling me about religious people (not only Christians but mainly Christians) for quite a while;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaUtzhdlFto
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpE91tpkmnc

  7. on 19 Oct 2008 at 11:33 pm 7.Crowned Messenger said …

    (1) If God exists then he is omniscient, omnipotent and perfectly good.

    TRUE!

    (2) If God were omniscient, omnipotent and perfectly good then the world would not contain evil.

    FALSE!

    (3) The world contains evil.

    TRUE!

    Therefore:
    (4) It is not the case that God exists.

    I AM THAT I AM!

  8. on 20 Oct 2008 at 12:28 am 8.Crowned Messenger said …

    1.(ii) Morally good acts are morally good because I AM good!
    P.S. THE CHICKEN CAME FIRST

    2.If (i) morally good acts are willed by God because they are morally good, then they are morally good independent of God’s will.

    SEE 1.(ii)

    (3) It is not the case that morally good acts are morally good independent of God’s will.

    SEE 1.(ii)

    Therefore:
    (4) It is not the case that (i) morally good acts are willed by God because they are morally good.

    AGAIN! THE CHICKEN CAME FIRST!

    (5) If (ii) morally good acts are morally good because they are willed by God, then there is no reason either to care about God’s moral goodness or to worship him.

    UNTHANKFUL! ONLY HURTS YOU!
    P.S. CARE AND WORSHIP YOURSELF? FAILURE!

    (6) There are reasons both to care about God’s moral goodness and to worship him.

    YES! YES! NOW YOUR ON TO SOMETHING RIGHT!

    Therefore:
    (7) It is not the case that (ii) morally good acts are morally good because they are willed by God.

    AGAIN YES! ALMOST A BRAKE THROUGH!

    Therefore:
    (8) Divine command theory is false.

    FALSE! SEE 1.(ii) ABOVE

  9. on 20 Oct 2008 at 1:30 am 9.Hermes said …

    If you’re not even going to try, why should I talk with you?

  10. on 20 Oct 2008 at 2:32 am 10.Crowned Messenger said …

    Because I AM concerned about you. You’ve been led to disprove My existance. In your search, it may be, as a true science enthusiast, that you find the truth and receive Me. It is hard for you to admit I AM, because your views are motivated by old wounds, present fear, and bouts of anger. But you also care for others Otherwise you would not be doing what you are. You really believe you are helping others. That I put in you. Still you wonder, “why wasn’t I there when you were younger and called upon Me? You think I didn’t hear? I did, and still do.
    Even though you turn your back on Me, I love you. My love is not based on your performance. My love is unconditional. I have kept you through success, failure, loneliness and depression. When you felt like quiting it all, I interceeded. It’s not over until I say it’s over.
    I created you!

  11. on 20 Oct 2008 at 4:51 am 11.SteveK said …

    Bottom line: It is not necessary to pick from Plato’s eternal forms nor is it necessary to drench ourselves in solipsism. Neither describes what we know to be true.

    We agree. I’m not advocating either. The question remains, is goodness grounded in reality? I think we both are saying ‘yes’. The implications of this are huge.

    Good and bad are contextual. As absolutes, they point toward a theoretical perfection. Yet, there is no such thing as perfection — only perfect for.

    Again we agree. Your thinking is similar to what Christianity teaches…that good is contextual. Really, this is what most theistic religions teach.

    The example I use often is that of a perfect peach. Bite down into one and let the juice run over your lips … feel the taste and the texture.

    These are not imagined perceptions by any stretch of the word. Everything experienced/perceived here is real even though nobody else can experience or perceive them – just the person experiencing the peach.

    To me this says subjective perceptions can tell us a lot about reality. The fact that everyone subjectively perceives good and evil says something important about reality. How so?

    If someone were to say a peach subjectively tasted like fish we would conclude there was something wrong with their sense of taste. We would NOT conclude that taste is subjective and that a peach can both taste peachy and fishy *at the same time and in the same way*.

    Yet moral relativists think this is the correct conclusion to draw when it comes to the human perception of good and evil. The human who subjectively perceives good coming from the torture of babies needs to have their head examined just like the human who thinks a peach tastes fishy. Something is broken that needs fixing.

    Slice by slice, a group of us could evaluate a bushel of peaches and at the end of our feast we’d be in general agreement on what peach was the best one — which one was ‘perfect’ (if any were).

    We agree again. The collection of subjective experiences tells us something about reality. The same goes for moral perceptions. This is realism.

  12. on 20 Oct 2008 at 8:12 pm 12.Hermes said …

    Crowned Messenger: “Because I AM concerned about you. You’ve been led to disprove My existance.”

    Now, you’re a god again. Fine. Since my grass required a lawnmower, may I suggest that you consult a psychiatrist or a psychologist — whichever can prescribe medication.

  13. on 20 Oct 2008 at 8:27 pm 13.Hermes said …

    SteveK: “If someone were to say a peach subjectively tasted like fish we would conclude there was something wrong with their sense of taste. We would NOT conclude that taste is subjective and that a peach can both taste peachy and fishy *at the same time and in the same way*.”

    Along those lines, it depends on the person’s sensory system. I have a friend — bubbly and blond — who can chow down a vat of very hot peppers and not taste a bit of the heat (well, till later).

    Is there something ‘wrong’ with her sense of taste? She doesn’t think so. You (and I) could argue that she suffers a from a deficit, but she could care less … and has won some money based on this trait.

    Additionally, some women now have the ability to view energy wavelengths beyond the ‘visible spectrum’. Like color blindness, it’s inheritable.

    “Yet moral relativists think this is the correct conclusion to draw when it comes to the human perception of good and evil. The human who subjectively perceives good coming from the torture of babies needs to have their head examined just like the human who thinks a peach tastes fishy. Something is broken that needs fixing.”

    Well, that’s one of the things that makes morality difficult. It is culturally tied. For example, slavery. (Grant this or we’ll end up wasting acres of time talking about what the ‘meaning of “is” is’ in respect to slavery.)

    “We agree again. The collection of subjective experiences tells us something about reality. The same goes for moral perceptions. This is realism. ”

    Then why did moral acts change over time?

    The answer to me is that we learned — and are learning — more about what is moral all the time. As humans we have to if we are to grow in our understanding of what is good.

    Yet, make no mistake, what is good for a human is not necessarily good for other creatures. We are cultural relativists and speciests relativists on some level — though we can reach a better mutual understanding by our concerted efforts. This is hard work, not a given.

  14. on 20 Oct 2008 at 9:09 pm 14.JAM said …

    May God have mercy on your soul and the souls of all those who buy into your site. Forget global warming…the real danger is in cyberspace!

  15. on 20 Oct 2008 at 9:21 pm 15.Hermes said …

    Jam, did you practice that melodrama, or does it come naturally?

  16. on 20 Oct 2008 at 11:11 pm 16.Crowned Messenger said …

    YOUR LAWN? YOU MOW IT! JAM HAS SPOKEN TRUTH!

  17. on 20 Oct 2008 at 11:33 pm 17.Hermes said …

    Crowned Messenger: “YOUR LAWN? YOU MOW IT! JAM HAS SPOKEN TRUTH!”

    Yet, you’re a god … so what’s a little lawn mowing? Next week will be fine; it should be long enough by then.

    Both of you are poster children for insane asylums or for the Hitler Youth. You have no use for talking, and quite a bit of use for blaming. Never look inside … it’s *them* … the godless.

    Thank you for showing me that what is done here and elsewhere is important. The poison is what you cherish, and detox may save you or others not quite as far gone.

  18. on 21 Oct 2008 at 2:38 am 18.SteveK said …

    Then why did moral acts change over time?

    Because the context of reality changes over time. Morality being contextual, it sometimes means that moral rules change over time. Don’t misunderstand…what was evil then is still considered evil today. A different context, however, means you might deal with the evil differently.

    Speaking from the Chrisitian perspective, this is why many of the OT laws changed over time and it’s why we don’t hold to many of the OT laws today. Think animal sacrifice, stoning. On the other hand, some OT laws never changed because as I said, evil then is still considered evil today. Think murder and adultry.

    Yet, make no mistake, what is good for a human is not necessarily good for other creatures. We are cultural relativists and speciests relativists on some level

    Again your thinking parallels that of Christianity. Your use of the word ‘relativist’ would not be my first choice, but I understand what you mean. It’s not the same moral relativism that I talked about earlier.

    Anyway, yes, what is good for a human is not necessarily good for other creatures because different natures are involved. God is one of those ‘other creatures’ because his nature is different than anything he created.

  19. on 21 Oct 2008 at 10:50 am 19.Hermes said …

    “Because the context of reality changes over time.”

    So, slavery was OK … then it was not OK? Slavery was *not* OK then, and it is *not* OK now. What changed is that we learned that from hard experience. It was OK to slaughter everyone but the virgin women, but not OK not? How is that not relativistic?

    The context that I was talking about was along the lines of “perfect for” as opposed to “perfection”. It’s an important difference.

    Back to the peach; a peach can be perfect for the situation of most people eating it. It’s not perfect for every person.

    In the case of slavery and slaughtering all but the virgin women, the “good” is not universal it is tribal. One tribe benefited, the other did not … yet, now that we know more about what it is to be human it’s clear that the ‘winning’ tribe did not benefit except in the most short-sighted ways.

    The parallels you’re seeing are those of the secular world that infuse all of society with the morals it lacked — such as no prohibition on enslaving other human beings.

  20. on 21 Oct 2008 at 2:21 pm 20.SteveK said …

    So, slavery was OK … then it was not OK?

    No. Slavery was never OK, but it was there and had to be dealt with. As I said, what was evil then is still considered evil today. What changed over time was how it was dealt with. You see this in the changing OT laws.

  21. on 21 Oct 2008 at 4:14 pm 21.Brian E said …

    No. Slavery was never OK, but it was there and had to be dealt with.

    Tell us SteveK, how exactly did the god of the OT ‘deal’ with slavery? Or other issues of moral question, such as burning people alive?

  22. on 21 Oct 2008 at 5:17 pm 22.Hermes said …

    SteveK, the changes were not based on an edict from an ultimate authority, they were based on humans figuring out difficult issues for themselves.

    To put this another way; if God came to you and said directly how it wanted you to treat other people … would you do it? Well, Jesus supposedly was your deity personified. He supposedly walked on this planet for ~33 years. In that time, he could have told anyone he met that ‘slavery was wrong … now cut it out!’ Yet, not one word banning or forbidding or even speaking against the practice was supposedly said on the subject.

  23. on 22 Oct 2008 at 4:29 pm 23.SteveK said …

    Tell us SteveK, how exactly did the god of the OT ‘deal’ with slavery? Or other issues of moral question, such as burning people alive?

    You’re welcome to read it yourself to answer your own questions. Of course, keep in mind the obvious fact that we aren’t told everything that occured.

  24. on 22 Oct 2008 at 4:30 pm 24.SteveK said …

    SteveK, the changes were not based on an edict from an ultimate authority, they were based on humans figuring out difficult issues for themselves.

    I don’t understand what you mean here – even after reading the next paragraph.

  25. on 22 Oct 2008 at 5:12 pm 25.Hermes said …

    We humans figured out what was moral. The books of religious wisdom did not help. At best, they codified what was accepted after it was accepted.

  26. on 22 Oct 2008 at 5:39 pm 26.SteveK said …

    We humans figured out what was moral. The books of religious wisdom did not help. At best, they codified what was accepted after it was accepted.

    So the concept of morality was discovered over time through trial and error, not created out of whole cloth? Christianity would agree with that for the most part.

    Where we disagree is that you say divine wisdom can’t help bring clarity and insight to the process. Other than a Johnson-esque response like ‘because God is imaginary’, what reason do you give for saying it can’t help?

  27. on 22 Oct 2008 at 9:05 pm 27.Hermes said …

    I started to write something different and decided that it was more confusing than necessary. As an introduction, Christopher Hitchens;

    “… name one ethical statement made, or one ethical action performed, by a believer that could not have been uttered or done by a nonbeliever.”^^

    We all swim in the same waters. Claiming divine wisdom or secular inspiration for a moral claim does not discard the need to examine the claim on it’s own merit.

    Asking me to accept or refute your divine source — then refute it’s influence — opens you up to the same demands. How would you address the Hindu or other supernaturalists, or new age quantum crystal claims, or ones made from whole aether?

    ^^. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/13/AR2007071301461.html

  28. on 23 Oct 2008 at 1:28 pm 28.SteveK said …

    “… name one ethical statement made, or one ethical action performed, by a believer that could not have been uttered or done by a nonbeliever.”

    I could give several statements as examples but I don’t see what the point is. One example being an unbeliever would never utter the statement “I believe God is the non-contingent grounding for all moral reality”. They may live the same moral life as the believer, which is certainly commendable. Again, I don’t see the point of this statement.

    Claiming divine wisdom or secular inspiration for a moral claim does not discard the need to examine the claim on it’s own merit.

    How do you examine a claim on it’s own merit? You can only compare the claim to various known standards – but these competing standards are the same claims you are trying to examine.

    Asking me to accept or refute your divine source — then refute it’s influence — opens you up to the same demands. How would you address the Hindu or other supernaturalists, or new age quantum crystal claims, or ones made from whole aether?

    I welcome being subject to the same demands. That’s certainly fair. Your final question is a good one but too big a topic to address here. Philosophers and theologians have been writing on the subject for centuries.

  29. on 23 Oct 2008 at 2:52 pm 29.Hermes said …

    SteveK: “I could give several statements as examples but I don’t see what the point is.”

    The point is there are no more. Yet, if you do know more — Mr. Hitchens knows the one you posted — drop him a line. He’s had that challenge out for a few years and that’s the only one he’s gotten so far.

    “How do you examine a claim on it’s own merit? You can only compare the claim to various known standards – but these competing standards are the same claims you are trying to examine.”

    As I said … we swim in the same ocean. There is no divine part here and an un-divine part there.

    “I welcome being subject to the same demands. That’s certainly fair. Your final question is a good one but too big a topic to address here. Philosophers and theologians have been writing on the subject for centuries.”

    …and why I prefer the forums.

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