Author Topic: One simple question [#1]  (Read 1794 times)

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Offline PostalGirl

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One simple question [#1]
« on: July 21, 2008, 03:40:50 PM »

Greetings.  Hopefully this email msg will not bore you as perhaps do many
you receive from Christians who apparently didn't bother to read and
thoughtfully consider much, if any, of the content on your web site before
they proffer "insights" you've already discredited.



As background, I'm one of those well-educated Christians you are reaching
out to.  I've worked as an IT professional in a Fortune 50 corporation for
20+ years, and I am trained and experienced in rational, critical, logical,
analytical, strategic, and systematic thinking.  I also do strategic
planning, management consulting, and organization development work.  I am
also in leadership at my church.



It's pretty amazing to me that someone could expend so much time and energy
and nevertheless get it mostly wrong, as in your case.  You raise some good
questions, but, for the most part, you do not have the correct answers.
Although, you do a great job of revealing the faulty thinking of many
Christians who have created various rationalizations due to them also not
knowing the correct answers, which I won't try to get into in this msg.



Instead, I'll just ask one simple question.  What would you do if God
started healing amputees?  That is, what would you do if a Christian prayed
(or commanded), in the name of Jesus, for an amputee to be healed, and a
limb grew back in just a few seconds or minutes, and there was no doubt that
it was not a trick, hoax, etc., and it was repeatedly happening around the
world?



You see, you have assumed that God won't heal amputees.  However, perhaps a
better question is, why hasn't God yet healed amputees?  (Or, at least not
done so in a public venue.)  That is, if God exists, what would be His
purpose in withholding creative miracles and refraining from doing other
things that would be nearly impossible to deny?



I won't get into the answer to that question, but you might be able to
figure it out if you would just think about it, although perhaps not.  I'm
not trying to be disrespectful or arrogant, but you clearly have given these
matters a great deal of thought, but with little (in my opinion) fruit.



I will say, however, that I think that God is mostly just waiting for the
right moment.  That moment may not be far off.  So, what would you do if God
started healing amputees?



My guess is that your educated, trained, scientifically-oriented mind would
rationalize some impossibly improbably explanation rather than go with the
obvious reason:  God is real and He heals, even amputees.



Sadly, when - if I may be so presumptuous to say "when" - God starts
performing creative miracles through Christians on a greater scale, many of
the more intellectually inclined Christians will be alongside you, also
saying that severed limbs growing back is not of God.  You see, they also
have hard hearts, full of unbelief, without faith, except (perhaps) for
basic salvation.



If you have the time and interest to reply, I would like to know your answer
to my one simple question.



Thanks,

[Name]



P.S.  The main reason you cannot perceive and understand spiritual truth is
explained in 1 Cor. 2:12-14.  Also see John 16:13.



P.P.S.  You are focusing on the wrong things - the Bible, Christians,
empirical evidence, logic, reasoning, etc. - to try to disprove the
existence of God.  Instead, you need to primarily focus on the person of
Jesus Christ.  You will be unable to successfully refute His claims, dispute
His teachings, criticize His character, disprove His resurrection, etc.

Offline StPatrick

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Re: One simple question [#1]
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2008, 03:50:02 PM »
If an amputee suddenly regrew a limb, we'd investigate it, and we might actually start believing in God. Sure, God might be waiting for the right time.   But we've seen no evidence of this. It hasn't happened yet.  If it does happen, we'll cross that bridge when we get there.
And by the way, it says in the bible that "ask and ye shall receive" - not "ask and ye will receive later."  What about the amputees who prayed and died before receiving their new limb?

P.P.S. Actually, the very existance of Jesus is in doubt.  Many prominent historians who should have investigated the things that transpired in the Bible - the darkness in the sky after the resurrection, etc. - are silent.  These include people like Philo, Pliny the Elder, and Seneca the Younger.  That wasn't too hard.
If we come together and do not fight over religion, class and borders then we hold the key to a peaceful world. There are two possible futures in store; either a March of power and greed or a March of a unified human race.

Offline Onesimus

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Re: One simple question [#1]
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2008, 04:04:07 PM »
...I'll just ask one simple question.  What would you do if God
started healing amputees?  That is, what would you do if a Christian prayed
(or commanded), in the name of Jesus, for an amputee to be healed, and a
limb grew back in just a few seconds or minutes, and there was no doubt that
it was not a trick, hoax, etc., and it was repeatedly happening around the
world?

Well, that would certainly be a different thing than what's now occurring, now, wouldn't it?  Sure.  If and when that sort of thing starts happening, we have an entirely different discussion going on.  

But as of now, there's not a shred of evidence that this is happening anywhere in the world.  The evidence that this sort of thing has ever happened before is all hearsay and easily hoaxed.  The question remains a good question because of the devastating lack of evidence.  

P.S.  The main reason you cannot perceive and understand spiritual truth is
explained in 1 Cor. 2:12-14.  Also see John 16:13.

P.P.S.  You are focusing on the wrong things - the Bible, Christians,
empirical evidence, logic, reasoning, etc. - to try to disprove the
existence of God.  Instead, you need to primarily focus on the person of
Jesus Christ.  You will be unable to successfully refute His claims, dispute
His teachings, criticize His character, disprove His resurrection, etc.

Actually, it is you who may find yourself unable to support his claims, affirm his teachings, stand up for his character, prove his resurrection, or perhaps even hold on to most of what you believe about Jesus Christ.  Many of us here were once born-again, bible-believing Christians; a few were even seminary graduates and ministers.  Yet here we are, now affirming that our "personal relationships with Jesus" were nothing more than sociologically enabled delusion.    

By all means, bring on the bible as a topic of discussion; it absolutely will not be censored here.  However, be warned that we know it much better than you might think, and that it will be scrutinized in a way that may shock those who have only approached the scriptures with reverence and credulity.  

Offline Apotheosis

Re: One simple question [#1]
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2008, 04:20:25 PM »
Instead, I'll just ask one simple question.  What would you do if God
started healing amputees?  That is, what would you do if a Christian prayed
(or commanded), in the name of Jesus, for an amputee to be healed, and a
limb grew back in just a few seconds or minutes, and there was no doubt that
it was not a trick, hoax, etc., and it was repeatedly happening around the
world?

I would convert to the religion and denomination of that Christian, having seen irrefutable proof of a deity's existence. Providing, of course, that the Christian wasn't pulling any sort of David Blaine on me.

And now for a rebuttal question: What would you do if God never healed amputees? That is, what would you do if a Christian prayed (or commanded), in the name of Jesus for an amputee to be healed, believing in the words of Jesus when he said,

"Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!",

"For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.",

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.",

and a limb never grew back, and the prayer was never answered in any distinguishable way, and we atheists could still look on, shaking our heads, asking, "Why won't God heal amputees?"

You see, you have assumed that Yahweh exists and will yet heal amputees. But in reality, the existence of your god is indistinguishable from his nonexistence.

Quote
I will say, however, that I think that God is mostly just waiting for the
right moment.

It is far more likely that you are deluded.

Quote
That moment may not be far off.  So, what would you do if God
started healing amputees?

As I said above, if a Christian commanded or prayed for an amputee to be healed instantly and there was no way for trickery to be involved, I would convert on the spot.

So, what would you do if God never healed amputees (as is the case)?

My guess is that your deluded, indoctrinated, emotionally-driven mind would come up with all sorts of apologetica to rationalize away why Jesus lied when he said, "ask, and you shall receive." In your confusion and desperation, you would email skeptical sites, fumbling with explanations like, "well, God might heal amputees one day. You're just assuming he won't." Just like we're assuming rainbows don't have pots of gold at the far ends of them.
You would ignore logic, reason, rationality and cling to your delusion and your crutch belief-system rather than go with the obvious reason: God is imaginary, and your religion is the product of Bronze-age barbarians and goat-herders.

Quote
Sadly, when - if I may be so presumptuous to say "when" - God starts
performing creative miracles through Christians on a greater scale, many of
the more intellectually inclined Christians will be alongside you, also
saying that severed limbs growing back is not of God.  You see, they also
have hard hearts, full of unbelief, without faith, except (perhaps) for
basic salvation.

Faith is belief in the absence of evidence, or believing something because you want it to be true. Also known as the epitome of stupidity. If Christians were restoring lost limbs miraculously, neither the skeptical Christian nor the atheist would have any need for faith because we would now have evidence.

Quote
P.S.  The main reason you cannot perceive and understand spiritual truth is
explained in...

Spiritual truth does not exist.

Quote
P.P.S.  You are focusing on the wrong things - the Bible, Christians,
empirical evidence, logic, reasoning, etc. - to try to disprove the
existence of God.

We're not trying to disprove the existence of god, proving a negative is a logical fallacy. The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that your god exists, not on us to demonstrate that it doesn't.

Offline Dkit

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Re: One simple question [#1]
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2008, 04:23:29 PM »
Quote
What would you do if God started healing amputees?  That is, what would you do if a Christian prayed (or commanded), in the name of Jesus, for an amputee to be healed, and a limb grew back in just a few seconds or minutes, and there was no doubt that it was not a trick, hoax, etc., and it was repeatedly happening around the world?
I would be curious to know what would you do if the same thing happened in the muslim world.  Muslims praying to Allah or the Hindus to their gods for the regrowth of lost limbs?  Would you give up Jesus for Allah or Vishnu?

   
"The Bible is a Banquet table not a snack tray!" - Anonymous Facebook User

Offline MadBunny

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Re: One simple question [#1]
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2008, 05:05:06 PM »

As background, I'm one of those well-educated Christians you are reaching
out to.  I've worked as an IT professional in a Fortune 50 corporation for
20+ years, and I am trained and experienced in rational, critical, logical,
analytical, strategic, and systematic thinking.  I also do strategic
planning, management consulting, and organization development work.  I am
also in leadership at my church.
It's good that you are well educated, and familiar with logical constructs.  This will help you greatly if you wish to continue this conversation.


Quote
It's pretty amazing to me that someone could expend so much time and energy
and nevertheless get it mostly wrong, as in your case.  You raise some good
questions, but, for the most part, you do not have the correct answers.
Although, you do a great job of revealing the faulty thinking of many
Christians who have created various rationalizations due to them also not
knowing the correct answers, which I won't try to get into in this msg.

Equally amazing to me, is the idea that somebody can spend their entire lives and never getting past the security blanket aspect of religion.  To me, what you are doing is the equivalent of defending the easter bunny.  I'll get into that below.

The thing about using a phrase like 'the faulty thinking of many christians' is that it implies that YOU have the correct answers and the correct thinking.  The only way you would have of knowing the 'correct answers' would be through either the bible, or through a form of devine revelation.  Both have been shown to be exeedingly innacurate, and massively devisive.  It is through arrogance of assuming that you have the right answers and everyone else has the wrong answers that the devisions have formed within christianity, and indeed many sects.  I suggest that you take a moment and look up the 'no true Irishman' fallacy.


Quote
Instead, I'll just ask one simple question.  What would you do if God
started healing amputees?  That is, what would you do if a Christian prayed
(or commanded), in the name of Jesus, for an amputee to be healed, and a
limb grew back in just a few seconds or minutes, and there was no doubt that
it was not a trick, hoax, etc., and it was repeatedly happening around the
world?
If it were shown that unequivocably that god is indeed answering prayers then there would be some sort of proof that he exists to go along with that.  If your example was repeatable, and testable then obviously I'd most likely believe that god really did exist.


Quote
You see, you have assumed that God won't heal amputees.  However, perhaps a
better question is, why hasn't God yet healed amputees?  (Or, at least not
done so in a public venue.)  That is, if God exists, what would be His
purpose in withholding creative miracles and refraining from doing other
things that would be nearly impossible to deny?

Actually you have made a very basic mistake here.  Most atheists do not assume that god does not exist, we have seen no proof that he does.  There is a big differnce.

If you were to go back to ancient Greece they would tell you their gods lived at the top of Mt Olympus with a garden filled with nectar and golden apples.  This is a positive claim.  All you would need to do was to climb the mountain, see the garden full of golden apples, and maybe check out the castle of the gods.  If it wasn't there then the various claims of 'only the faithful can see' or 'it's invisible to everyone except the gods' starts to ring a bit hollow.  That's what you are trying to do here.  You're saying that because we haven't seen it, then maybe it's invisible, or that he doesn't want anybody to know he's there.


Quote
I will say, however, that I think that God is mostly just waiting for the
right moment.  That moment may not be far off.  So, what would you do if God
started healing amputees?
If your god starts healing amputees, then we have room to talk.
Till then he's the easter bunny.

Ask yourself this: Do you believe in the Easter Bunny? 
If you're an adult, probably not.  How would you deal with a group of people that insisted it was real, that it came and planted colored eggs on people's lawns once a year.  You'd probably think they were delusional.  I sure would.  Then, if they asked you the one questionm, the one simple question: What would you do if you came out and there were eggs on your lawn?  Once a year, around the world on a certain day.  Would you then be forced to admit the Easter Bunny was real, and at work?

My guess is that your educated, trained, scientifically-oriented mind would
rationalize some impossibly improbable explanation rather than go with the
obvious reason:  The Easter Bunny is real and He delivers, even to Christians.

Quote
My guess is that your educated, trained, scientifically-oriented mind would
rationalize some impossibly improbably explanation rather than go with the
obvious reason:  God is real and He heals, even amputees.

See above

Quote
P.P.S.  You are focusing on the wrong things - the Bible, Christians,
empirical evidence, logic, reasoning, etc. - to try to disprove the
existence of God.  Instead, you need to primarily focus on the person of
Jesus Christ.  You will be unable to successfully refute His claims, dispute
His teachings, criticize His character, disprove His resurrection, etc.

Actually it is you who are focusing on the wrong things.  Rather than simply accepting without question the things you take for granted, why not challenge yourself with tough questions, if your faith is strong, and most importantly based in reality, then you should be able to do so without issue.  If your faith is weak, or you are basing your world on lies and delusion, then perhaps it's better to find out sooner rather than later.   

You are invited to join the forums and welcomed to discuss your letter, or any other areas in detail.
Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night.  Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Offline spider

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Re: One simple question [#1]
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2008, 12:12:12 AM »
Instead, I'll just ask one simple question.  What would you do if God
started healing amputees?  That is, what would you do if a Christian prayed
(or commanded), in the name of Jesus, for an amputee to be healed, and a
limb grew back in just a few seconds or minutes, and there was no doubt that
it was not a trick, hoax, etc., and it was repeatedly happening around the
world?
I guess... I would believe.   I can't conceive of how you could show me it wasn't a coincidence, that it was directly related to the prayer, and that it was specifically biblegod, but if it happens as you lay out in your hypothetical, so that there is no doubt, then it would be like disbelieving gravity to say I wouldn't believe then.

What would you do if a Christian prayed or commanded in teh name of Jesus for an amputee to be healed, quoting the verse in the bible that promises an answer, and then it doesn't happen?  Rationalisation?   Because that's the world we live in.  God doesn't heal amputees, right here, right now, and asking us to believe based on the vague possibility that amputee healings could happen at some undefined point in the future is just as flawed as any of the rationalisations from other Christians that you say the video debunked.

Quote
You see, you have assumed that God won't heal amputees.  However, perhaps a
better question is, why hasn't God yet healed amputees?  (Or, at least not
done so in a public venue.)  That is, if God exists, what would be His
purpose in withholding creative miracles and refraining from doing other
things that would be nearly impossible to deny?


I won't get into the answer to that question, but you might be able to
figure it out if you would just think about it, although perhaps not.  I'm
not trying to be disrespectful or arrogant, but you clearly have given these
matters a great deal of thought, but with little (in my opinion) fruit.
Why not get into that answer?  Without answering those questions, your argument completely lacks any persuasive power. 


Quote
I will say, however, that I think that God is mostly just waiting for the
right moment.  That moment may not be far off.  So, what would you do if God
started healing amputees?
I would ask why he hadn't healed them all this time, so as to make it look like he didn't exist.   

That's the crux of the issue here - until God does this, it looks very much like there is no God, and therefore I have to wonder how you think it is rational to posit that God will one day suddenly decide to heal amputees out of the blue.


Quote
My guess is that your educated, trained, scientifically-oriented mind would
rationalize some impossibly improbably explanation rather than go with the
obvious reason:  God is real and He heals, even amputees.
No,  I would always go with the most probable explanation in light of the evidence.  You produce the evidence sometime, and we'll see that.   However, you don't have the evidence, just an irrational hypothetical.

I think it is perfectly fine to disbelieve something until the evidence comes to light.  It's called skepticism.  99.9999% of the time, people don't just guess these things out of thin air and get it right.  You mention probability, so I ask you to calculate the probability that the specific god you believe in exists based on guesses and hypotheticals instead of evidence. 

Quote
Sadly, when - if I may be so presumptuous to say "when"
So you understand that it's a gross presumption and absolutely no evidence for your claims, right?

When Thor comes down from Olympus and starts chucking lightning bolts at people, will you recognise that you were wrong and that Thor is the king of Gods?

Quote
God starts
performing creative miracles through Christians on a greater scale, many of
the more intellectually inclined Christians will be alongside you, also
saying that severed limbs growing back is not of God.  You see, they also
have hard hearts, full of unbelief, without faith, except (perhaps) for
basic salvation.
Ahhh... so you're not one of those intellectually inclined Christians after all.  I mean, if you were, why would you keep disparaging intellectual reason and doubt over blind acceptance of events?   

Your hypothetical was carefully qualified before.  Let me reword it:  if one person prayed to god and then a limb regrew, would you immediately assume it was god instead of investigating possible natural causes that could be used to recreate this phenomena?    My new answer is: no, that's irrational.


Quote
P.S.  The main reason you cannot perceive and understand spiritual truth is
explained in 1 Cor. 2:12-14.  Also see John 16:13.
Bible verses to explain why we don't believe in the claims of the bible.  I think you have a poor understanding of what "evidence" and "argumentation" is.

So it's not our fault, right?  Without the spirit, how can we be expected to believe?  It seems like God has designated us for non-belief, so why do you bother trying to persuade us?  It's not up to you. 

Oh, is that what John 16:13 tells us?  You're the spirit of truth?  Or has the spirit of truth tried to use you to get to us?      Well, you are one of the extra special chosen ones who have the magic decoder ring to understand things that otherwise seem like nonsense and suddenly see them as truth.

Blessed are the meek...

Quote
P.P.S.  You are focusing on the wrong things - the Bible, Christians,
empirical evidence, logic, reasoning, etc. - to try to disprove the
existence of God.  Instead, you need to primarily focus on the person of
Jesus Christ.  You will be unable to successfully refute His claims, dispute
His teachings, criticize His character, disprove His resurrection, etc.
But... his claims... are all in the Bible... and anything not in the Bible seems to come from Christians.   In order to dispute or concede to His claims, His teachings, His character and His resurrection, we have to at least look at the Bible, if not to the claims of Christians, and then compare them with empirical evidence, logic and reasoning.

It's almost like you're suggesting that if we just made ourselves believe, then it'd make sense.  But how can we believe it, even if we try to force ourselves to, if it doesn't make sense?   How can we be persuaded without persuasion? 

Offline Nam

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Re: One simple question [#1]
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2008, 01:38:46 AM »
I thought my grammar was bad. "Fortune 50"? Isn't it "Fortune 500"? Anyway, I have a problem with this part:

Quote
That is, what would you do if a Christian prayed
(or commanded)

Commanded? A Christian commands Jesus, or Biblegod to do something? Do I laugh now, or later?

-Nam
This is my signature "Nam", don't I have nice typing skills?

ReasonRules

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Re: One simple question [#1]
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2008, 10:36:58 PM »
This is my first post to this site, but this question from this person is so far removed from the rational that it almost seems impossible to believe anyone could think like her. However, aside from that, this type of thinking does occur in humans. When it does, it forms the basis for extreme conflicts in the daily lives of these people. Conflicts occur when one's life is run by mystic beliefs, yet also is run by reason. Then if one believes somewhat in individualism along with having an altruistic outlook, plus half accepting our capitalistic social economic system, while also accepting socialism, then we have a person that is in conflict. This Fortune 50 person, I believe lives a life of extreme conflicts, which also induces a low grade happiness, and that person seeks perceived happiness rather than rational happiness.  Since everyone seeks happiness of some sort, then people on this level of happiness, that have conflicts in the philosophical structure of their foundations, seek primarily perceived happiness, which simply says,: "The good is what makes me happy." And  their good in this case may include the acceptance of religion. A more rational person who seeks happiness, seeks rational happiness, which to them is: "I will be made happy by that which is good." These are two totally different axioms. The Fortune 50 writer, no doubt, is a victim of the former. So, rather than try to argue with this writer, or even attempt to answer her questions, a critical analysis of her foundation is needed. Once one sees that her foundation has cracks, one easily sees the reasons for her questions, that seemingly have no rational answers. Before this person can understand this website, she will have to cast off the shackles of the mystic, accept herself as an individual living for her own happiness, and certainly will have to accept our capitalistic system, and realize that clinging to a belief in socialism or communism is going to produce nothing but a lifetime of unhappiness and strife.

Offline Codswallop

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Re: One simple question [#1]
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2008, 03:33:11 PM »
[First of all, let me just say that in addition to her thankless job here on WWGHA, Postal Girl is smokin' hot. I want to have her children. Thanks, PG, for a job well done.]

Now, on to the "simple question":

I couldn't bring myself to read the entire post. So I used my massive intellect and reasoned that a question typically ends with a question mark. I searched the page for a "?" and found it right away.

Goody for me.

Now for the answer, and it's similar to some others:

All knowledge (real knowledge, the testable kind, not the stuff we claim we know but really just wish and hope to be true) is subject to revision as more information and better methods become available. If amputees start really regrowing limbs, that's worthy of investigation and ought to be verifiable. If reputable people investigate and do verify the event, that changes things. But it would be hard to do. But, that's reality for you. As Carl Sagan said, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

I can imagine how one might verify a regrown limb. But if doing so is difficult, verifying that a god is the active agent in the event seems well nigh impossible. I'm just not clear on how this information could be communicated in an objective, unambiguous manner. There may be a way; I just don't know what it would be.

Still, I refuse to believe or disbelieve. It's not a question of belief. I have to go with the evidence. If it surfaces, I go with it. If it doesn't, I stay where I am.
"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons."
             --Gene Wilder as The Waco Kid, Blazing Saddles

Offline PostalGirl

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Re: One simple question [#1]
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2008, 04:53:34 PM »
[First of all, let me just say that in addition to her thankless job here on WWGHA, Postal Girl is smokin' hot. I want to have her children. Thanks, PG, for a job well done.]

Thanks, Codswallop.  ;)

Offline Ashe

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Re: One simple question [#1]
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2008, 05:38:56 PM »
Is this like one of those Rapture deals? "He might start healing amputees soon! You never know! He hasn't healed amputees yet, but maybe he's just waiting for the right time!"

Yes, well, just like the Rapture, I won't hold my breath.
2 miles!
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Offline Airyaman

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Re: One simple question [#1]
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2008, 07:37:02 PM »
Why was this titled "ONE simple question"?
If you are following God why can I still see you?

Offline Ashe

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Re: One simple question [#1]
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2008, 07:57:50 PM »
Why was this titled "ONE simple question"?

I'm assuming because it was supposed to center on "What will you do if God heals an amputee?"
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Offline Onesimus

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Re: One simple question [#1]
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2008, 10:46:17 PM »

I'm assuming because it was supposed to center on "What will you do if God heals an amputee?"

And, really, who wouldn't groove on that?  It's not like we're all jumping up and down and angrily chanting "No healing for amputees!"...   

Offline L6

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Re: One simple question [#1]
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2008, 11:07:40 PM »
Greetings. 
Hello. I'll just come out and say right now that sadly your email didn't present anything new other than proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. That's a great start, though, so I hope you join the forum.

As background, I'm one of those well-educated Christians you are reaching
out to.  ...[etc]
That's great, but that alone won't lend any weight to your arguments, since we don't appeal to authority around here. Sadly it also means that you're just extra-extra-extra-good at rationalizing beliefs that you came to for not-so-good reasons. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you were raised in your religion as a child, which is as good an excuse as you could give for buying into something false.

It's pretty amazing to me that someone could expend so much time and energy
and nevertheless get it mostly wrong, as in your case. 
We feel the same about people like you. Assuming, of course, you actually have put thought or energy into it and not merely accepted everything at its word as your clergy expect.

Instead, I'll just ask one simple question. 
Oh good, a subject change. We get those a lot.

What would you do if God started healing amputees?  That is, what would you do if a Christian prayed
(or commanded), in the name of Jesus, for an amputee to be healed, and a
limb grew back in just a few seconds or minutes, and there was no doubt that
it was not a trick, hoax, etc., and it was repeatedly happening around the
world?
Well after that kind of feat, I can think of all sorts of things to do. For one, I would be intrigued, and I would no doubt have at least the "faith of a mustard seed", so I should then be able to repeat the experiment, myself. I would try it with and without invoking Jesus, just to make sure the healing was being done by Yahweh and not one of the other thousand or so gods from history. Then I'd pray to move a mountain, just as a cross-check. I'd pray to have a direct line to god so that I could actually hear his voice and not have to deal with the "yes, no, wait" garbage. I'd pray for all the answers to every scientific question, careful to note that I would not accept "goddidit" as an answer from god himself. I'd pray for an end to world hunger, poverty, rape, child abuse, high taxes, warfare...you know...suffering kinda stuff...and I'd also pray that nobody else prayed for things contrary to what I prayed for, because it would be a hassle if other people kept praying world hunger back into the world after I prayed it away. Would all this make me a Christian?

You see, you have assumed that God won't heal amputees. 
Jesus made the claim. We're just looking for evidence. It's up to you to prove it, not us. Someone as educated as you should know that the onus of proof is on the person who makes the positive claim.

However, perhaps a better question is, why hasn't God yet healed amputees?  (Or, at least not
done so in a public venue.)  That is, if God exists, what would be His
purpose in withholding creative miracles and refraining from doing other
things that would be nearly impossible to deny?
Christians are fond of saying that nobody can know the mind of god, so there's no point in even asking your question. The simplest and most parsimonious answer is because there is no such thing as god.

I won't get into the answer to that question, but you might be able to
figure it out if you would just think about it, although perhaps not.  I'm
not trying to be disrespectful or arrogant, but you clearly have given these
matters a great deal of thought, but with little (in my opinion) fruit.
You're a typical smug Christian dressed up in eloquence. We get it.

I will say, however, that I think that God is mostly just waiting for the
right moment.  That moment may not be far off.  So, what would you do if God
started healing amputees?
So let me get this straight. The supreme creator of the universe started everything in motion, waited 13 billion years, told some desert people how to behave, and in just a few more years (relatively speaking), will emminently reveal himself to his chosen people? As a systems programmer, doesn't that sound like, oh, a hack to you? More likely it's just all rubbish. Not that those are the only two explanations.

My guess is that your educated, trained, scientifically-oriented mind would
rationalize some impossibly improbably explanation rather than go with the
obvious reason:  God is real and He heals, even amputees.
Scientifically-oriented minds, by definition, start with the most probable explanation and work from there. If "god" were the most probable explanation--and if it gave testable predictions--then it might be worthwhile. Otherwise, not so much.

Sadly, when - if I may be so presumptuous to say "when" - God starts
performing creative miracles through Christians on a greater scale, many of
the more intellectually inclined Christians will be alongside you, also
saying that severed limbs growing back is not of God.  You see, they also
have hard hearts, full of unbelief, without faith, except (perhaps) for
basic salvation.
Something tells me such miracles could never happen without a totalitarian Christian government decreeing that it is so. I'm sure there would be many "documented" miracles under such a regime. Sadly, totalitarianism is Christianity's goal...all because a few ugly nomads who couldn't get laid found out that sperm was needed to make babies, too, and invented a sadistic patrist god to justify rape and murder.

If you have the time and interest to reply, I would like to know your answer
to my one simple question.
Well it'd be great if you joined us.

P.S.  The main reason you cannot perceive and understand spiritual truth is
explained in 1 Cor. 2:12-14.  Also see John 16:13.
"He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered."
—Proverbs 28:26

you need to primarily focus on the person of
Jesus Christ.  You will be unable to successfully refute His claims, dispute
His teachings, criticize His character, disprove His resurrection, etc.
Jesus never existed. There is not a shred of evidence that he ever did. Next.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2008, 11:12:00 PM by L6 »
God's existence is contingent upon the illusion that morality is dictated by religious authority.

Offline john

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Re: One simple question [#1]
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2008, 11:20:07 PM »
I am not going to address your "one" question.  Others have already done that better than I could.

P.P.S.  You are focusing on the wrong things - the Bible, Christians,
empirical evidence, logic, reasoning, etc. - to try to disprove the
existence of God.  Instead, you need to primarily focus on the person of
Jesus Christ.

Okay.

Quote
You will be unable to successfully refute His claims

That he would return within the generation living in his time?  (Matt 16:28, Mark 9:1, Luke 9:27) Refuted.

That the Jewish people are the spawn of Satan (john 8:44)?  Refuted.

That his believers can command mountains to jump into the sea?  Refuted.

Quote
, dispute His teachings

Jesus taught that we should engage in self-mutilation. (Matt 5:40)  Disputed.

Jesus taught that we should be at war with our families (Matt 10:35, Luke 14:26, John 2:4)  Disputed.

Jesus taught that we should seek death in exactly the same way and for exactly the same reason as Muslim suicide bombers. (Matt 16:24-26)  Disputed.

Quote
criticize His character

Jesus introduced into scripture the idea of punishment after death for the first time.  This is brutal on a scale unknown even to the OT Yahweh.  He is cruel.

Jesus cursed a fig tree for not bearing fruit out of season.  He is capricious.

Quote
disprove His resurrection

The gospels disagree with each other as to the course of events, the timing of the events, and the people involved.  The appearance of Jesus in the gospel of Mark was added after it was written by a different author.  All of us remember where we were on 9/11.  Why can none of the gospel writers seem to remember this about what is claimed to be the most stupendous event in the universe?

Quote
etc.

Etc.
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Offline john

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Re: One simple question [#1]
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2008, 11:43:52 PM »
I've worked as an IT professional in a Fortune 50 corporation for
20+ years, and I am trained and experienced in rational, critical, logical,
analytical, strategic, and systematic thinking.

I'd like to test that assertion with the following quiz.  (these questions are deliberately obscure so as to be google-proof)

1. What device would most commonly have been found on an ISA based PC on interrupt 16?

2. What is the layer 2 broadcast address for the network 192.168.1.0/24 assuming four hosts are connected on a network that uses vampire taps?

3. True or False:  The default shipping IP network stack in MS-DOS 6.2 is capable of address configuration in CIDR format.

4.  What command is required to access the registry editor in Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.11?

5.  What is the input voltage of the power supply for an IBM 8228 MAU?

everyone else - NO HINTS
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Offline Onesimus

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Re: One simple question [#1]
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2008, 01:56:42 AM »
Etc.

We have GOT to get karma soon, because that whole post was +1able to the max.

Offline Codswallop

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Re: One simple question [#1]
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2008, 07:33:21 AM »
John,

You are one evil motherf*cker.

I admire that in a person.
"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons."
             --Gene Wilder as The Waco Kid, Blazing Saddles

Offline Ashe

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Re: One simple question [#1]
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2008, 12:00:32 PM »
I've worked as an IT professional in a Fortune 50 corporation for
20+ years, and I am trained and experienced in rational, critical, logical,
analytical, strategic, and systematic thinking.

I'd like to test that assertion with the following quiz.  (these questions are deliberately obscure so as to be google-proof)

1. What device would most commonly have been found on an ISA based PC on interrupt 16?

2. What is the layer 2 broadcast address for the network 192.168.1.0/24 assuming four hosts are connected on a network that uses vampire taps?

3. True or False:  The default shipping IP network stack in MS-DOS 6.2 is capable of address configuration in CIDR format.

4.  What command is required to access the registry editor in Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.11?

5.  What is the input voltage of the power supply for an IBM 8228 MAU?

everyone else - NO HINTS

 :o
2 miles!
"All men(humans )were demon possed and were planning to attack God. Just like if you talk back to your parents." - Failbag quote

Offline velkyn

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Re: One simple question [#1]
« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2008, 12:42:21 PM »
Quote
As background, I'm one of those well-educated Christians you are reaching
out to.  I've worked as an IT professional in a Fortune 50 corporation for
20+ years, and I am trained and experienced in rational, critical, logical,
analytical, strategic, and systematic thinking.  I also do strategic
planning, management consulting, and organization development work.  I am
also in leadership at my church.
mmm, so? 
Quote
It's pretty amazing to me that someone could expend so much time and energy
and nevertheless get it mostly wrong, as in your case.  You raise some good
questions, but, for the most part, you do not have the correct answers.
Although, you do a great job of revealing the faulty thinking of many
Christians who have created various rationalizations due to them also not
knowing the correct answers, which I won't try to get into in this msg.
Again, how do we "get it wrong"?  Always with the claims but nothing to back it up. It seems that this "christian" is sure that they and only they have the "right" answers.  Could you prove that please? 

Quote
Instead, I'll just ask one simple question.  What would you do if God
started healing amputees?  That is, what would you do if a Christian prayed
(or commanded), in the name of Jesus, for an amputee to be healed, and a
limb grew back in just a few seconds or minutes, and there was no doubt that
it was not a trick, hoax, etc., and it was repeatedly happening around the
world?
As has been said, I'd study it.  A "well-educated Christian", like yourself, must be aware that miracles can be done in Jesus' name without his involvement. 
Quote
You see, you have assumed that God won't heal amputees.  However, perhaps a
better question is, why hasn't God yet healed amputees?  (Or, at least not
done so in a public venue.)  That is, if God exists, what would be His
purpose in withholding creative miracles and refraining from doing other
things that would be nearly impossible to deny?

I won't get into the answer to that question, but you might be able to
figure it out if you would just think about it, although perhaps not.  I'm
not trying to be disrespectful or arrogant, but you clearly have given these
matters a great deal of thought, but with little (in my opinion) fruit.
No, you're are succeeding quite well in being arrogant and disrespectful.  If you have an answer, give it. Again, it seems that yet another Christian who claims to have all the "right" answers can't provide one. 


"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

http://clubschadenfreude.wordpress.com/

Offline Codswallop

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Re: One simple question [#1]
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2008, 01:02:37 PM »
Quote
You see, you have assumed that God won't heal amputees.


There is of course the FACT that no amputee has ever been reliably observed being healed in this way. That's not actually an assumption.

The writer of the OP, however, assumes that there is a god who does heal. How do I know this is an assumption? because he accepts these stories of alleged healing as factual with no evidence.

Quote
However, perhaps a better question is, why hasn't God yet healed amputees?  (Or, at least not done so in a public venue.)  That is, if God exists, what would be His purpose in withholding creative miracles and refraining from doing other things that would be nearly impossible to deny?

yes, that is a good question, but it is ultimately a dishonest question for the simple reason that the most obvious Ockham's Razor-type answer is not even given serious consideration by the believer.


"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons."
             --Gene Wilder as The Waco Kid, Blazing Saddles

Offline john

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Re: One simple question [#1]
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2008, 06:29:33 PM »
John,

You are one evil motherf*cker.

I admire that in a person.

Someone in the IT industry since 1988 would know at least some of these.  I'll give the guy 24 hours, then provide the answers for the amusement of everyone else.
If anything can mean everything, then nothing can mean anything.
I can also be found at isgodimaginary.com

Offline velkyn

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Re: One simple question [#1]
« Reply #24 on: July 25, 2008, 09:49:13 AM »
John,

You are one evil motherf*cker.

I admire that in a person.

Someone in the IT industry since 1988 would know at least some of these.  I'll give the guy 24 hours, then provide the answers for the amusement of everyone else.

Heh. I should see what my husband can do about answers.

love your avatar, btw, John. 

""The universe is run by the complex interweaving of three elements: energy, matter, and enlightened self-interest."
- G'Kar to Garibaldi: "Survivors" "
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

http://clubschadenfreude.wordpress.com/

Offline john

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Re: One simple question [#1]
« Reply #25 on: July 25, 2008, 10:20:21 AM »

I'd like to test that assertion with the following quiz.  (these questions are deliberately obscure so as to be google-proof)

1. What device would most commonly have been found on an ISA based PC on interrupt 16?

There was no interrupt 16 on ISA systems.

Quote
2. What is the layer 2 broadcast address for the network 192.168.1.0/24 assuming four hosts are connected on a network that uses vampire taps?

ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff

The TCP/IP stuff is misleading.  The 2 key elements of this question are "layer 2" and "vampire taps".  Layer 2 of the OSI network stack is data link layer.  In this layer, IP addresses are not yet resolved, and so don't matter.  The question depends on the particular network on which the IP network runs.  "Vampire taps" provides this clue.  With old-fashioned thick ethernet, the data cable consisted of a large coaxial cable that usually ran through the building.  Hosts would be connected on the end of short uplink cables.  These uplink cables would be attached to the main by a connector that stabbed two metal teeth into it to specificied depths in order to make contact with the conductors within the cable at different depths.  These were called vampire taps.

Quote
3. True or False:  The default shipping IP network stack in MS-DOS 6.2 is capable of address configuration in CIDR format.

False, but invalid.  MS-DOS 6.2 did not ship with an IP stack.

Quote
4.  What command is required to access the registry editor in Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.11?

WFWG3.11 did not have a registry.

Quote
5.  What is the input voltage of the power supply for an IBM 8228 MAU?

This sounds hideously obscure, but it really isn't.  The notable thing about the 8228 is that it does not have its own power supply.  It gets power from the network connectors.  This would make it very annoying in the event that one had to reboot the damn thing, as it required removing each and every network cable from the device.  Anyone in the business in the time of the early 90s would have been much more familiar with resetting MAUs than they would want to be.
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I can also be found at isgodimaginary.com

Offline spider

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Re: One simple question [#1]
« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2008, 02:01:51 AM »
Well I guess we have a no-show then.  I'm disappointed.

I'm also disappointed because when I saw the answers posted, I thought he/she had turned up and pwned your test.  I thought it was game on, and that we didn't have a backwater nutter with a dictionary, a thesaurus and a tendency to lie.  : (  I still hold out some hope.  You can always post another test.