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kcrady



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Graybeard,

Probably not things we can test.  Then again, maybe we can?  I'll start with a few things that perhaps we can discuss while I wait for Screwtape to review 1 John to see if he has any additional questions.

A few things Jesus has offered/taught me:
  • Reconciliation
  • Counsel
  • Wisdom
  • Faith
  • Comfort
  • Hope
  • Renewed Purpose
  • Grace
  • Forgiveness
  • Joy
  • Endurance
  • Freedom
  • Knowledge
  • Kinship
  • Love
  • Patience
  • Peace
  • Kindness
  • Gentleness

I have taken the liberty of bolding the three elements of your list that represent testable claims.  Most Christian theologians would assert that Jesus has three qualities when it comes to his cognitive faculties:

1) Omniscience: he knows everything; his knowledge has no limits.
2) Infallibility: none of the things he thinks he knows is in error; he can't be wrong.
3) Perfect honesty: he literally cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18).

Now let's take a brief detour.  Human and chimpanzee DNA differ by only a few percent of the whole (about 2 or 3 percent is unique to humans).  Yet, humans have vastly superior cognitive abilities.  Now, imagine a person whose DNA differed from ours by a similar amount, and whose mind was to ours as ours are to those of chimpanzees.  For such a person, the most difficult mathematics we can grapple with would be like '2+2=4.'  For them, Mozart's greatest and most elaborate compositions would be like 'Chopsticks.'  For them, our most profound philosophical thought would either be obvious, or ridiculous (depending on whether it's accurate or not).

Imagine then, if I told you that for one hour each day, I could soup my brain up to such a level.  Would you consider that to be a testable claim?  By "testable," I mean, that other people ought to be able to anticipate consequences in reality that would be different if the claim is accurate, vs. what they ought to expect if it is false.  In other words, even with only an hour a day with superhuman cognitive abilities, you should be able to anticipate that I could produce results that would leave not just some humans, but all humans slack-jawed with awe.  Would you agree?  If you asked for a demonstration of my superhuman cognitive ability, and I tried to offer some reason or other why I could not produce any unambiguously superhuman results with it (even a sonnet that would make everyone weep with rapturous joy), wouldn't you agree that this would falsify my claim?  In short, that there ought to be observable differences, in reality, between "Kcrady has this ability" and "Kcrady does not have this ability"?  And that if I cannot provide any demonstrable difference, then "Kcrady does not have this ability" is the rational option for you to accept?

Now let us return to your claim that Jesus gives you counsel, wisdom, and knowledge.  Given the traits of Jesus' cognitive faculties I've listed above, even my superhuman abilities (if I had them) ought to pale to nothing compared to what Jesus gives to you.  Any decision you make in accordance with the counsel, wisdom, and knowledge Jesus gives you would not only be infallible, it would be maximally advantageous toward whatever goal you're aiming for.  You, and anyone with comparable access to Jesus ought to have an enormous (arguably infinite) advantage over us unaided humans when it comes to decision-making and navigating through life.  You Christians should be superheroes by comparison! 

Even if Jesus limits the flow of knowledge he offers, as long as some of your decisions come from a place of infallible omniscience, you should be able to measurably achieve things we unaided mortals can't.  Now, I think you'll have to agree with us that Christians, yourself included, do not have this kind of measurable advantage over non-Christians.  So would you agree then, that given the nature of the claim and the state of the observable evidence, that we ought to reject your assertion as false?
Changed Change Reason Date
lotanddaughters Good stuff. March 14, 2013, 09:17:59 PM
screwtape good post March 13, 2013, 10:57:30 AM