Incoherence

Jesus told his disciples he'd never leave them. Then he left them.

He said he'd be back soon. He didn't come back soon.

We're told God lives in heaven. We're told God lives in us, but we aren't heaven.

We're told we are in God, but we are not in heaven.

Jesus said he is present when people gather in his name. We're told he sits at God's right hand, and isn't present.

We're told the church is Christ's body. We're told the Eucharist is Christ's body. We're told Christ's body floated off to heaven.

We're told Jesus is present through the Holy Spirit. We're told the Holy Spirit isn't Jesus.

We're told God is hidden in unapproachable light. At what point do we simply give up and stop trying to know the unknowable?







«134

Comments

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    We're told that the soul is a non-material entity, but that the eyes are their window.



  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited May 5
    And why would Britannia have any more luck ruling the waves than King Canute did?
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited May 5
    And how can there be a road to Hell that's paved with good intentions, if all roads lead to Rome?

    (Granted, Ian Paisley might have been able to square the circle on that one.)
  • TelfordTelford Shipmate
    Jesus told his disciples he'd never leave them. Then he left them.

    He said he'd be back soon. He didn't come back soon.

    I am happy that statements like this are in the gospels.

    It gives me confidence that they are accurate.



  • GalilitGalilit Shipmate
    Great posts to wake up to, guys!
  • AnteaterAnteater Shipmate
    I suppose you give up if you can't cope with any area of knowledge/belief which has paradoxes. Actually I quite like the term used by J I Packer in his book "Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God" which was "antinomies" but it's not widely used and hard to pronounce (as are all English words with "N" shortly followed by "M").

    Anyhow pace Packer, a paradox is only really verbal, and it is used for rhetorical effect, but the underlying reality could have been set out consistently. An antinomy is a real contradiction in any model of reality that we can build, and cannot be reduced to any consistent belief.

    I think there are more difficult cases than those cited in the OP. Traditional Christianity would say, I think, that all we can know is God's Revelation which is essentially self-contradictory, so we end up believing propositions which cannot be reconciled.

    So Jesus is God, God cannot die, Jesus died. We could go on and on. So I would say embrace the limitation that means we cannot know God as He is, or give up. And while you're at it, may as well give up Physics, and most science. Maybe Maths remains, I don't know.

  • Anteater wrote: »
    So I would say embrace the limitation that means we cannot know God as He is, or give up. And while you're at it, may as well give up Physics, and most science. Maybe Maths remains, I don't know.

    Quoting Trumpkin, "But, if you ask my private opinion, I'm a plain dwarf who doesn't think there's much chance of finding a road by night where you couldn't find one by day. And I have no use for magic lions which are talking lions and don't talk, and friendly lions though they don't do us any good, and whopping big lions though nobody can see them. It's all bilge and beanstalks as far as I can see."

    This pretty-much has become my position. I have no use for coherent lions that make no sense.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    God as hinted at is not human and so does not need to be trapped in human ideas.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Hugal wrote: »
    God as hinted at is not human and so does not need to be trapped in human ideas.

    qua ideas no, but when those ideas point to an external logical contradiction the situation changes.

    God cannot create square circles, for example, or, for that matter, rocks that he can't lift.
  • It's all water this morning, there's no wine.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    edited May 5
    Jesus told his disciples he'd never leave them. Then he left them.

    He said he'd be back soon. He didn't come back soon.

    We're told God lives in heaven. We're told God lives in us, but we aren't heaven.

    We're told we are in God, but we are not in heaven.

    Jesus said he is present when people gather in his name. We're told he sits at God's right hand, and isn't present.

    We're told the church is Christ's body. We're told the Eucharist is Christ's body. We're told Christ's body floated off to heaven.

    We're told Jesus is present through the Holy Spirit. We're told the Holy Spirit isn't Jesus.

    We're told God is hidden in unapproachable light. At what point do we simply give up and stop trying to know the unknowable?

    When we can only do literal meanings?
  • :lol:

    Dear me, what a can of worms we open, when we try to take the Bible, God, Jesus, and all that Stuff, literally!
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    :lol:

    Dear me, what a can of worms we open, when we try to take the Bible, God, Jesus, and all that Stuff, literally!
    Indeed. And some of the things in the OP’s list aren’t incoherent or contradictory to start with.

  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    We're told that the soul is a non-material entity, but that the eyes are their window.



    Where?
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Martin54 wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    We're told that the soul is a non-material entity, but that the eyes are their window.



    Where?

    Well, for one, wikipedia. "Incorporeal" is the word used in the opening definition.
  • :lol:

    Dear me, what a can of worms we open, when we try to take the Bible, God, Jesus, and all that Stuff, literally!

    Sure. Let's not be literal. God is not actually our Father, but something more like the Ground of Being (whatever that might be.) God is not a "he", or even an "it". God's not a person you can sensibly talk to. He's not a "thing", or even an "entity" you can identify or locate. God is that which remains when all that is destructible is destroyed (whatever that might be). God is Ultimate Reality (whatever that might be).

    Truth be told, God only knows what God is. We little humans sure as hell don't.

    If two dread beings descended from heaven mid fire and earthquake, and both declared themselves to be God, who among us could distinguish between them?

    I've grown so tired, trying to know what cannot be known.

    Speaking of which, how does God know he's GOD? Can GOD create an astonishingly powerful being who sincerely believes he is God? How does Gabriel know the Shiny Person sitting on the Celestial Throne is GOD, and not a very convincing stand-in? Perhaps GOD is off somewhere in a cunning disguise, playing golf. Lucifer certainly doubted God was GOD when he challenged his judgement concerning Job. So did Jesus, by the way, when he cried, "Why have you forsaken me?"

    It's like infinities in maths. You can always make a number bigger by adding one more. GOD is the Lord Most High, right there at the top of an infinite hierarchy of Gods. But as with all infinities, you can always add one God more.

    Puddleglum's wager has kept me going for years. Our wise Wiggle set off in the dark seeking Narnia, even though he knew full-well that Narnia might not exist. He decided he'd rather die in a ditch than live a life enslaved to the witch. But no doubt, from time to time on his long journey, he sat on a rock, exhausted, and stared into the dark.







  • questioningquestioning Shipmate
    :lol:

    Dear me, what a can of worms we open, when we try to take the Bible, God, Jesus, and all that Stuff, literally!

    Sure. Let's not be literal. God is not actually our Father, but something more like the Ground of Being (whatever that might be.) God is not a "he", or even an "it". God's not a person you can sensibly talk to. He's not a "thing", or even an "entity" you can identify or locate. God is that which remains when all that is destructible is destroyed (whatever that might be). God is Ultimate Reality (whatever that might be).

    Truth be told, God only knows what God is. We little humans sure as hell don't.

    If two dread beings descended from heaven mid fire and earthquake, and both declared themselves to be God, who among us could distinguish between them?

    I've grown so tired, trying to know what cannot be known.

    Speaking of which, how does God know he's GOD? Can GOD create an astonishingly powerful being who sincerely believes he is God? How does Gabriel know the Shiny Person sitting on the Celestial Throne is GOD, and not a very convincing stand-in? Perhaps GOD is off somewhere in a cunning disguise, playing golf. Lucifer certainly doubted God was GOD when he challenged his judgement concerning Job. So did Jesus, by the way, when he cried, "Why have you forsaken me?"

    It's like infinities in maths. You can always make a number bigger by adding one more. GOD is the Lord Most High, right there at the top of an infinite hierarchy of Gods. But as with all infinities, you can always add one God more.

    Puddleglum's wager has kept me going for years. Our wise Wiggle set off in the dark seeking Narnia, even though he knew full-well that Narnia might not exist. He decided he'd rather die in a ditch than live a life enslaved to the witch. But no doubt, from time to time on his long journey, he sat on a rock, exhausted, and stared into the dark.

    Good golly, Miss Molly! If you accept that we are not going to be literal, then what is this all about?
    If two dread beings descended from heaven mid fire and earthquake, and both declared themselves to be God, who among us could distinguish between them?
    You're falling right back into some sort of literalism. As does your next paragraph.

    And what makes you claim that "GOD is ... at the top of an infinite hierarchy of Gods"?????

  • Good golly, Miss Molly! If you accept that we are not going to be literal, then what is this all about? You're falling right back into some sort of literalism.

    And what makes you claim that "GOD is ... at the top of an infinite hierarchy of Gods"?????

    If we cannot judge between two literal God-candidates (fire, earthquakes and all), I cannot see how we can judge between non-literal, metaphorical, symbolic or allegorical god-candidates either.

    On your second point, the Psalmist declares "God presides in the great assembly; he renders judgment among the gods..."

    GOD (most high) judges gods less high. And there's lots of them. But how can these gods know that this God is GOD?
  • Lamb ChoppedLamb Chopped Shipmate
    edited May 6
    I think you're trying too hard. That is, if you're not just having us on...

    The only way out of the various traps you are illustrating is if God himself chooses to make himself known. Rightly or wrongly, that is what Christianity claims. If God makes himself known, we have a fighting chance of touching bottom in the sea of reality and being able to stand up. That's because he knows far better than we ever could what the best metaphors / analogies / etc. are in our experience. If he calls himself "Father" in preference to "Ground of being," it's sensible to follow his choice on the grounds that he knows what he's talking about, and "Father" corresponds to something in the divine nature more closely than the other metaphor does (and if you don't think "ground of being" is a metaphor, look again).

    To be sure, all of these metaphors are going to fall short; but if they are in fact God-chosen, they are going to get us closer than anything we ourselves are likely to dream up.

    They also let us off the endless impossible trouble and worry of trying to get our concept of God ever more "right" and more precise. If God has in fact authorized certain concepts / analogies / metaphors, then we may safely use them, and relax, without thinking we're going to ... come under divine fire for not being smart enough? Commit some unspeakable incomprehensible blasphemy in our effort to understand? Offend him horribly by our mere creaturely limitations?

    Because on our own, without divine input and intervention, we are never going to escape the hamster wheel of trying to improve our mental image of God. We think in metaphors, and we cannot avoid doing so; metaphor is built into our languages; we may make our metaphors duller, but we cannot escape them into some real-er reality. (yes, of course you recognize my source. “It's all in Lewis, all in Lewis: Bless me, what do they teach them at these schools?")
  • I think you're trying too hard. That is, if you're not just having us on...

    The only way out of the various traps you are illustrating is if God himself chooses to make himself known. Rightly or wrongly, that is what Christianity claims.

    If two Divine Revelations descend from on high, which mere mortal will we trust to distinguish correctly between them?

    We can only hope that God really does know who GOD is, and that he's willing and able to pull us out of this epistemological bog.

  • SusanDorisSusanDoris Shipmate
    Puddleglum's Wager

    I wonder if you have ever tried to take a really detached look at your questions, stepping outside belief for a moment and considering them all from the point of view that God is a human idea?
  • SusanDoris wrote: »
    Puddleglum's Wager

    I wonder if you have ever tried to take a really detached look at your questions, stepping outside belief for a moment and considering them all from the point of view that God is a human idea?

    Let's say God is a human idea. What are these ideas made of? Can we bottle them, pin them to a board or examine them under a microscope? If they're not matter/energy, what mysterious substance are they?

    Ideas about God exist in my mind. I know I have a mind because I'm thinking this thought. So where is this mind of mine? How far does it extend? In what ways can it interact with other minds?

    Good ideas express truth. Truth is real because it has real effects. It is boundless and immaterial. Truth is found only in minds. Therefore, there must exist a real, immaterial, boundless mind in which all truth exists.

    And so on.

    The moment we begin to think about thinking, we fall headlong into the metaphysical world. We must wrestle with God, even if it cripples us. For all the signs and wonders of science and technology, materialism is no escape.

  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    We're told that the soul is a non-material entity, but that the eyes are their window.



    Where?

    Well, for one, wikipedia. "Incorporeal" is the word used in the opening definition.

    Do they get that from the Bible? And are they writing as if it were a scientific fact?
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited May 6
    Martin54 wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    We're told that the soul is a non-material entity, but that the eyes are their window.



    Where?

    Well, for one, wikipedia. "Incorporeal" is the word used in the opening definition.

    Do they get that from the Bible? And are they writing as if it were a scientific fact?

    Perhaps they were following Merriam-Webster, which defines partly "soul" as "the immmaterial essence".

    And yes, I'm sure you can find passages in the Bible that aren't as explicit about the non-corporeal quality of the soul. The point is, the idea that the soul is non-physical isn't just something I made up to post on this thread.
  • Puddleglum's wager has kept me going for years. Our wise Wiggle set off in the dark seeking Narnia, even though he knew full-well that Narnia might not exist. He decided he'd rather die in a ditch than live a life enslaved to the witch. But no doubt, from time to time on his long journey, he sat on a rock, exhausted, and stared into the dark.

    I have always loved Puddleglum's speech to the witch queen:
    Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things-trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia.

    I guess for me, this sums up what it means to "live by faith" - to hold on to things even when it sometimes might seem pointless to do so.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    The soul has many definitions. For Christians it is where we connect with God. For some atheists it is the ultimate inner self. It is where we express from.
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    God as hinted at is not human and so does not need to be trapped in human ideas.

    qua ideas no, but when those ideas point to an external logical contradiction the situation changes.

    God cannot create square circles, for example, or, for that matter, rocks that he can't lift.

    Why would he! What is the pointed doing those thing? How would it help?
    If God is as we say he is then there is nothing he cannot do that is the definition of omnipotent.
    Getting on to your two Devine beings question. Why would we not recognise God. Your assumption that we won’t is just an assumption. The classic answer is to look at how we recognise fake money. Not by learning what is fake, but by learning what is real. If we have a relationship with the real God we will know him from a fake because we know him.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    If God is as we say he is then there is nothing he cannot do that is the definition of omnipotent

    No it isn't. As C S Lewis put it:
    His Omnipotence means power to do all that is intrinsically possible, not to do the intrinsically impossible. You may attribute miracles to him, but not nonsense. This is no limit to his power. If you choose to say 'God can give a creature free will and at the same time withhold free will from it,' you have not succeeded in saying anything about God: meaningless combinations of words do not suddenly acquire meaning simply because we prefix to them the two other words 'God can.'... It is no more possible for God than for the weakest of his creatures to carry out both of two mutually exclusive alternatives; not because his power meets an obstacle, but because nonsense remains nonsense even when we talk it about God
    (C.S. Lewis. The Problem of Pain, my bold)

    Nonsense in this sense includes square circles (they are mutually exclusive categories so an object which is both is a logical non-entity) and rocks God cannot lift (by definition God can lift any rock, so a "rock that God cannot lift" is again a logical non-entity).
    If we have a relationship with the real God we will know him from a fake because we know him.

    Wouldn't that be nice? Doesn't make it happen though.

  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    If God is as we say he is then there is nothing he cannot do that is the definition of omnipotent

    No it isn't. As C S Lewis put it:
    His Omnipotence means power to do all that is intrinsically possible, not to do the intrinsically impossible. You may attribute miracles to him, but not nonsense. This is no limit to his power. If you choose to say 'God can give a creature free will and at the same time withhold free will from it,' you have not succeeded in saying anything about God: meaningless combinations of words do not suddenly acquire meaning simply because we prefix to them the two other words 'God can.'... It is no more possible for God than for the weakest of his creatures to carry out both of two mutually exclusive alternatives; not because his power meets an obstacle, but because nonsense remains nonsense even when we talk it about God
    (C.S. Lewis. The Problem of Pain, my bold)

    Nonsense in this sense includes square circles (they are mutually exclusive categories so an object which is both is a logical non-entity) and rocks God cannot lift (by definition God can lift any rock, so a "rock that God cannot lift" is again a logical non-entity).
    If we have a relationship with the real God we will know him from a fake because we know him.

    Wouldn't that be nice? Doesn't make it happen though.

    Again why not? I say it does happen. The more time we spend with God, the better we know him. Praying allows us to be in God’s presence. I knew God was calling me from Preston to London. You may not believe it, therefore you probably won’t experience it, doesn’t mean it is not true.
    What are you trying to prove. If there can never be a rock to big for God to lift, then asking the question is illogical
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    We're told that the soul is a non-material entity, but that the eyes are their window.



    Where?

    Well, for one, wikipedia. "Incorporeal" is the word used in the opening definition.

    Do they get that from the Bible? And are they writing as if it were a scientific fact?

    Perhaps they were following Merriam-Webster, which defines partly "soul" as "the immmaterial essence".

    And yes, I'm sure you can find passages in the Bible that aren't as explicit about the non-corporeal quality of the soul. The point is, the idea that the soul is non-physical isn't just something I made up to post on this thread.

    So who's doing the telling again? Who's telling us that there are such things as immaterial souls in the Bible? Or science? Where?
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Martin54 wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    We're told that the soul is a non-material entity, but that the eyes are their window.



    Where?

    Well, for one, wikipedia. "Incorporeal" is the word used in the opening definition.

    Do they get that from the Bible? And are they writing as if it were a scientific fact?

    Perhaps they were following Merriam-Webster, which defines partly "soul" as "the immmaterial essence".

    And yes, I'm sure you can find passages in the Bible that aren't as explicit about the non-corporeal quality of the soul. The point is, the idea that the soul is non-physical isn't just something I made up to post on this thread.

    So who's doing the telling again? Who's telling us that there are such things as immaterial souls in the Bible? Or science? Where?

    My point was that IF someone believes(as many do) that the soul is non-corporeal, believing that "the eyes are the window to the soul" doesn't contradict that.

    My post was meant to be a parody of what I regarded as the false conundrums in PuddleglumsWager's OP.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    If two Divine Revelations descend from on high, which mere mortal will we trust to distinguish correctly between them?
    Neither of them is a divine relevation. The divine revelation came out of a woman's stomach and started crying in a manger.
    I think that's not just a clever answer. God is not just about power. Finite gods may be really powerful and descend in earthquake, wind, and fire. The infinite God is just as manifest in a sound of thin silence.
    We may not be able to understand the infinite God as God is in Godself. I think we can have a reasonably clear understanding of a lot of things that aren't God. Also, I think we have a rough idea of what sorts of things might be images of God: we think that it makes sense to say that goodness and truth and beauty point us towards G, so that even if we can't see what the signposts are pointing us towards we can see the direction in which they point.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    We're told that the soul is a non-material entity, but that the eyes are their window.



    Where?

    Well, for one, wikipedia. "Incorporeal" is the word used in the opening definition.

    Do they get that from the Bible? And are they writing as if it were a scientific fact?

    Perhaps they were following Merriam-Webster, which defines partly "soul" as "the immmaterial essence".

    And yes, I'm sure you can find passages in the Bible that aren't as explicit about the non-corporeal quality of the soul. The point is, the idea that the soul is non-physical isn't just something I made up to post on this thread.

    So who's doing the telling again? Who's telling us that there are such things as immaterial souls in the Bible? Or science? Where?

    My point was that IF someone believes(as many do) that the soul is non-corporeal, believing that "the eyes are the window to the soul" doesn't contradict that.

    My post was meant to be a parody of what I regarded as the false conundrums in PuddleglumsWager's OP.

    I realise that. But it's nowt ter do wi' Biblical 'incoherence' is it.
  • Dafyd wrote: »
    Neither of them is a divine relevation. The divine revelation came out of a woman's stomach and started crying in a manger.
    I think that's not just a clever answer. God is not just about power. Finite gods may be really powerful and descend in earthquake, wind, and fire. The infinite God is just as manifest in a sound of thin silence.
    We may not be able to understand the infinite God as God is in Godself. I think we can have a reasonably clear understanding of a lot of things that aren't God. Also, I think we have a rough idea of what sorts of things might be images of God: we think that it makes sense to say that goodness and truth and beauty point us towards G, so that even if we can't see what the signposts are pointing us towards we can see the direction in which they point.

    The people in Jesus' day had to decide between two revelations, Moses or Messiah, and they got it wrong. They had a rough idea of the sorts of things that definitely were not God, and that included carpenters from Nazareth.

    Finite creatures cannot know if a given god-candidate is infinite and eternal. Gabriel himself cannot know that God is GOD. (I often wonder how God knows he's GOD, given there exist an infinite number of infinities, all of different sizes.) All creatures live by faith from first to last. They have no alternative.

    The venerable doctrine of divine simplicity tells us that God *is* love, life, truth, goodness, beauty etc. When you see truth (twice two is four), you literally see God. The heavens declare the glory...
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    The people in Jesus' day had to decide between two revelations, Moses or Messiah, . . .
    Jesus was pretty clear that he was not a “different” revelation from Moses, but rather that he was the fulfillment or completion of the revelation to Moses and to the prophets.
    . . . and they got it wrong.
    Not all of them.

  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    The people in Jesus' day had to decide between two revelations, Moses or Messiah, . . .
    Jesus was pretty clear that he was not a “different” revelation from Moses, but rather that he was the fulfillment or completion of the revelation to Moses and to the prophets.
    . . . and they got it wrong.
    Not all of them.

    That was a major part of His genius. Proclaiming Himself in the TaNaKh when He isn't there.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    The people in Jesus' day had to decide between two revelations, Moses or Messiah, . . .
    Jesus was pretty clear that he was not a “different” revelation from Moses, but rather that he was the fulfillment or completion of the revelation to Moses and to the prophets.
    . . . and they got it wrong.
    Not all of them.

    That was a major part of His genius. Proclaiming Himself in the TaNaKh when He isn't there.
    So, if his genius was proclaiming himself in the Tanakh when he actually isn’t there, is that genius rooted in dishonesty or self-delusion?

  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Jesus was pretty clear that he was not a “different” revelation from Moses, but rather that he was the fulfillment or completion of the revelation to Moses and to the prophets.

    Jesus pulled rank on Moses all the time. "You have heard it said... but I tell you..."

    In the end, everyone voted with their feet. Of the handful who remained, we don't know their motive. Did Mary stay close to the cross because she believed he was the Messiah, or because she knew she was his mother?



  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Jesus was pretty clear that he was not a “different” revelation from Moses, but rather that he was the fulfillment or completion of the revelation to Moses and to the prophets.

    Jesus pulled rank on Moses all the time. "You have heard it said... but I tell you..."
    “Pulling rank”as such and saying they had to make a choice between them are not the same thing. In the same discourse as all the times of “You have heard it said… but I tell you…,” Jesus also said “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.”
    In the end, everyone voted with their feet. Of the handful who remained, we don't know their motive. Did Mary stay close to the cross because she believed he was the Messiah, or because she knew she was his mother?
    I wasn’t aware that the crucifixion was being set as the moment at which the determination of everyone “getting it wrong” was set in stone, ignoring, say, opportunities after the resurrection, Peter’s sermon on Pentecost, or any number of other opportunities.

  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.”

    In which case, the people had to decide if Jesus did fulfil the Law, something every hero of old had failed to achieve. But how can any finite creature decide if someone has perfectly fulfilled God's law?
    I wasn’t aware that the crucifixion was being set as the moment at which the determination of everyone “getting it wrong” was set in stone, ignoring, say, opportunities after the resurrection, Peter’s sermon on Pentecost, or any number of other opportunities.

    Let's take the resurrection as given. People still have to decide what it means. Perhaps it was Pilate's idea of a practical joke (he crucified a look-alike to appease his hysterical wife and annoy the Jewish leaders.) Or perhaps Jesus was a Time Lord and regenerated. Perhaps he was transmogrified by a sympathetic alien from the planet Zorg. Perhaps he was the Son of God whose death brought forgiveness of sin. Perhaps the whole Jesus business was a spectacular Satanic deception.

    No finite creature can make this judgement with any degree of confidence.

    Puddleglum set off in the dark, not because he knew Narnia existed, but because he hoped it did. The same is true for all of us and our mad quest for God.
  • questioningquestioning Shipmate
    Puddleglum set off in the dark, not because he knew Narnia existed, but because he hoped it did. The same is true for all of us and our mad quest for God.
    @PuddleglumsWager Do you identify with Puddleglum setting of in the dark? Is that what you have done or are doing in your mad quest for God? If so, is that a problem for you?

    Or are you trying to tell us that we're all setting off in the dark, in our own mad quests for God. If that's what you are arguing, what are you hoping that our discussion here will accomplish?
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.”

    I've always kinda read that line to mean something like "I've come to abolish the laws, in order to fulfill the Law."

    IOW "I want the same thing as Moses did, but he gave you all these laws to reach that goal, and now I'm telling you that those laws are getting in the way of reaching the goal."



  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    ^ As a very rough analogy, doctors today still agree with Hippocrates that physicians should do no harm. But towards that end, they've had to discard most of Hippocrates techniques, because we now know that following those techniques WILL do the patient serious harm.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Hugal wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    If God is as we say he is then there is nothing he cannot do that is the definition of omnipotent

    No it isn't. As C S Lewis put it:
    His Omnipotence means power to do all that is intrinsically possible, not to do the intrinsically impossible. You may attribute miracles to him, but not nonsense. This is no limit to his power. If you choose to say 'God can give a creature free will and at the same time withhold free will from it,' you have not succeeded in saying anything about God: meaningless combinations of words do not suddenly acquire meaning simply because we prefix to them the two other words 'God can.'... It is no more possible for God than for the weakest of his creatures to carry out both of two mutually exclusive alternatives; not because his power meets an obstacle, but because nonsense remains nonsense even when we talk it about God
    (C.S. Lewis. The Problem of Pain, my bold)

    Nonsense in this sense includes square circles (they are mutually exclusive categories so an object which is both is a logical non-entity) and rocks God cannot lift (by definition God can lift any rock, so a "rock that God cannot lift" is again a logical non-entity).
    If we have a relationship with the real God we will know him from a fake because we know him.

    Wouldn't that be nice? Doesn't make it happen though.

    Again why not? I say it does happen. The more time we spend with God, the better we know him. Praying allows us to be in God’s presence. I knew God was calling me from Preston to London. You may not believe it, therefore you probably won’t experience it, doesn’t mean it is not true.
    What are you trying to prove. If there can never be a rock to big for God to lift, then asking the question is illogical

    I thought my point was clear; we cannot raise "God is not bound by human limitations" or "God is omnipotent, he can do anything" as defences against logical inconsistency.

    The reason for asking the question about the rock is to illustrate the point. If we allow omnipotence to mean "can do anything, even the intrinsically nonsensical or impossible", then the fact that such a rock cannot exist is irrelevant, and we create a paradox. If on the other hand we accept that omnipotence doesn't include the ability to do the intrinsically nonsensical or impossible, then the paradox is resolved and the answer is "no, he can't", and that answer can be given without compromising the concept of his omnipotence.

    I used to believe that praying allowed us to be in God's presence. I used to believe we could "know" God. I used to believe God spoke to people and told them what to do. I no longer believe that because it didn't happen. You have cause and effect totally the wrong way round when you say "You may not believe it, therefore you probably won’t experience it". Perhaps God does that for other people; I don't know. I can only know what he does or doesn't do for me.

    I could tell you the story of what happened the one time I was absolutely sure God was calling me to do something, but no, not here. Suffice it to say the thing never happened.
  • SusanDorisSusanDoris Shipmate
    SusanDoris wrote: »
    Puddleglum's Wager

    I wonder if you have ever tried to take a really detached look at your questions, stepping outside belief for a moment and considering them all from the point of view that God is a human idea?

    Let's say God is a human idea. What are these ideas made of? Can we bottle them, pin them to a board or examine them under a microscope? If they're not matter/energy, what mysterious substance are they?
    They are not a ‘substance’. Because we as members of the human species as a result of one or some random mutations have the ability to verbalise thoughts does not make them different from the thoughts of other animals; fa more sophisticated, yes, but not different, in that they are a result of neural synapses etc enabling us to have ideas which, in the case of our species, have led, via verbal communication, to a very successful survival. Just because we have words to express the ideas we think of does not make them material or able to be observed as some thing separate from the brain. The brain is material and Ideas cannot be themselves separated from the brain. The thinker can verbalise them, perhaps draw, speak or write something which can be communicated to others and be developed into something material, but the thought itself cannot be communicated to another brain directly.
    Ideas about God exist in my mind.
    I think that must be true of every educated person throughout the world, although the idea will be of a variety of different gods or spirits, because humans have been talking about such ideas for ever.
    I know I have a mind because I'm thinking this thought. So where is this mind of mine?
    There is no such separate thing as a mind. The word mind is a word to label the aspects of the brain dealing with the non-automatic functions.
    How far does it extend?
    seems sensible to say that this aspect called mind is contained within the physical substance of the brain. So far, no detection of any of it exiting the head has been found..
    In what ways can it interact with other minds?
    by language or drawings or demonstrations of a practical sort.
    Good ideas express truth. Truth is real because it has real effects.
    Can you give an example of this?
    It is boundless and immaterial. Truth is found only in minds. Therefore, there must exist a real, immaterial, boundless mind in which all truth exists.
    I think that doesn’t work! The words before ‘therefore’ are a claim which I think is too vague to have a ‘therefore’!
    The moment we begin to think about thinking, we fall headlong into the metaphysical world. We must wrestle with God, even if it cripples us.
    I would say that that is you wrestling with an idea in your own mind. With my lack of belief in any God/god, the ideas of gods remain as abstract ideas in my mind. . I can still think about them of course and it is always most interesting to do so and read such topics as this and express my point of view too.
    but For all the signs and wonders of science and technology, materialism is no escape.
    I have never thought of materialism as an escape before, so will ponder on it a bit!

    Tangent: I did not know there was a character called Puddleglum in the Narnia series until this topic. When I was a Primary School teacher, I read the books the children were interested in in order to understand why they enjoyed and recommended them. However, the heavy Christian message in the one I read (i.e. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe) meant that I couldn’t face any more. The children of course would, correctly, have read it as an excellent adventure.

    Too long, I’m afraid, but hope you don’t mind.

    [/quote]

  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    The people in Jesus' day had to decide between two revelations, Moses or Messiah, . . .
    Jesus was pretty clear that he was not a “different” revelation from Moses, but rather that he was the fulfillment or completion of the revelation to Moses and to the prophets.
    . . . and they got it wrong.
    Not all of them.

    That was a major part of His genius. Proclaiming Himself in the TaNaKh when He isn't there.
    So, if his genius was proclaiming himself in the Tanakh when he actually isn’t there, is that genius rooted in dishonesty or self-delusion?

    Neither. It's rooted in Him being God anyway and meeting the expectations of His culture including His own. Which He continued to do after His resurrection. Until then He was right for the wrong reasons. From then He was pragmatic.

    If you didn't know any history from 5 BCE, you're a sci-fi AI given everything but that, and in your superhuman emergent consciousness, fully aware of all cognitive bias, what would you infer of the TaNaKh? What would you infer that humans would infer?

    Where did God have to ID Judaism to assume it?

  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    And then you get all of history from 5 BCE.

    The thing is, it's so easy to come up with a rational, faithless Jesus story full of goodwill.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    @Dafyd said -
    The divine revelation came out of a woman's stomach and started crying in a manger.

    Stomach?

    Well, giving birth does feel just like shitting a melon but ...
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    Boogie wrote: »
    Stomach?
    I think that can refer to the front of the lower torso generally? If someone is lying on their stomach that's doesn't mean they're specifically lying on their digestive organ.

  • Do you identify with Puddleglum setting off in the dark? Is that what you have done or are doing in your mad quest for God? If so, is that a problem for you?

    Or are you trying to tell us that we're all setting off in the dark, in our own mad quests for God. If that's what you are arguing, what are you hoping that our discussion here will accomplish?

    Puddleglum's defiant good sense has kept me in the fold for decades. It's not a problem, though I grow weary of the dark. The dim lamps that guide my way are few and far between, and rising water laps my feet.

    I'm hoping one day to have a direct experience of God that will be luminous, unambiguous and transformative. It did the trick for Aquinas. It's almost certain I'll die sometime in the next 20 years, and given the accelerating rate at which time seems to pass, I've not long to wait. I'm hoping strong arms will reach down from the Real World and pull me out of this wretched tunnel. Until then, I'll keep plodding along hoping for the Very Best, because only an idiot would hope for anything less.

    Apart from rare exceptions who are genuinely enlightened, I suspect we're all on the same dark and uncertain road, though many are blissfully ignorant of the fact and skip along happily.





  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Dafyd wrote: »
    Boogie wrote: »
    Stomach?
    I think that can refer to the front of the lower torso generally? If someone is lying on their stomach that's doesn't mean they're specifically lying on their digestive organ.

    Usage seems to vary.
Sign In or Register to comment.