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seer
02-26-2014, 08:11 AM
Kirsten Powers is a noted liberal and former atheist. It is story that somewhat mirrors my own conversion experience. It is at least an interesting read.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/november/fox-news-highly-reluctant-jesus-follower-kirsten-powers.html?start=2



I began to read the Bible. My boyfriend would pray with me for God to reveal himself to me. After about eight months of going to hear Keller, I concluded that the weight of evidence was on the side of Christianity. But I didn't feel any connection to God, and frankly, I was fine with that. I continued to think that people who talked of hearing from God or experiencing God were either delusional or lying. In my most generous moments, I allowed that they were just imagining things that made them feel good.

Then one night in 2006, on a trip to Taiwan, I woke up in what felt like a strange cross between a dream and reality. Jesus came to me and said, "Here I am." It felt so real. I didn't know what to make of it. I called my boyfriend, but before I had time to tell him about it, he told me he had been praying the night before and felt we were supposed to break up. So we did. Honestly, while I was upset, I was more traumatized by Jesus visiting me.
Completely True

I tried to write off the experience as misfiring synapses, but I couldn't shake it. When I returned to New York a few days later, I was lost. I suddenly felt God everywhere and it was terrifying. More important, it was unwelcome. It felt like an invasion. I started to fear I was going crazy.

whag
02-26-2014, 08:42 AM
Kirsten Powers is a noted liberal and former atheist. It is story that somewhat mirrors my own conversion experience. It is at least an interesting read.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/november/fox-news-highly-reluctant-jesus-follower-kirsten-powers.html?start=2

Is this an example of Holy Spirit epistemology?

Cow Poke
02-26-2014, 10:47 AM
The horror of the prospect of being a devout Christian crept back in almost immediately. I spent the next few months doing my best to wrestle away from God. It was pointless. Everywhere I turned, there he was. Slowly there was less fear and more joy. The Hound of Heaven had pursued me and caught me—whether I liked it or not.


I love stories like this where the "Hound of Heaven" prevails. :smile:

(for those who might not know, the "Hound of Heaven" is a poem written by English poet Francis Thompson)


(looks like cite tags work, but not yet box tags :smile:)

whag
02-26-2014, 11:24 AM
The horror of the prospect of being a devout Christian crept back in almost immediately. I spent the next few months doing my best to wrestle away from God. It was pointless. Everywhere I turned, there he was. Slowly there was less fear and more joy. The Hound of Heaven had pursued me and caught me—whether I liked it or not.


I love stories like this where the "Hound of Heaven" prevails. :smile:

(for those who might not know, the "Hound of Heaven" is a poem written by English poet Francis Thompson)


(looks like cite tags work, but not yet box tags :smile:)

Does the bible give any indication as to why God selectively hounds?

seer
02-26-2014, 11:42 AM
Is this an example of Holy Spirit epistemology?

I would say yes. But it is amazing how her experience was so much like mine. I understand, subjectively, exactly what she is saying - and more importantly I understand the internal sense of this.

whag
02-26-2014, 12:09 PM
I would say yes. But it is amazing how her experience was so much like mine. I understand, subjectively, exactly what she is saying - and more importantly I understand the internal sense of this.

Does the bible give any indication as to why God selectively hounds people, giving some unmistakable encounters while giving no experiences to others? I'm 42 and have had no such dreams, visions, or persistent feelings of etheric dread.

Sparko
02-26-2014, 12:29 PM
Does the bible give any indication as to why God selectively hounds people, giving some unmistakable encounters while giving no experiences to others? I'm 42 and have had no such dreams, visions, or persistent feelings of etheric dread.maybe he thinks you are an ass.

whag
02-26-2014, 12:34 PM
maybe he thinks you are an ass.

In what sense?

seer
02-26-2014, 01:50 PM
Does the bible give any indication as to why God selectively hounds people, giving some unmistakable encounters while giving no experiences to others? I'm 42 and have had no such dreams, visions, or persistent feelings of etheric dread.

Christ said that to whom much is given, much is required. In other words the more light one receives to more accountable he or she is. I do believe that such encounters can be dismissed or rejected - and if rejected that person would be under greater judgment. So it is possible that God only reveals Himself in such a manner to those He knows will respond favorably, thereby sparing those that would reject Him a more severe punishment. Besides whag, you're still breathing - who knows what tomorrow will bring.

:pray:

whag
02-26-2014, 02:20 PM
Christ said that to whom much is given, much is required. In other words the more light one receives to more accountable he or she is. I do believe that such encounters can be dismissed or rejected - and if rejected that person would be under greater judgment.

What's standard punishment compared to more severe punishment?


So it is possible that God only reveals Himself in such a manner to those He knows will respond favorably, thereby sparing those that would reject Him a more severe punishment. Besides whag, you're still breathing - who knows what tomorrow will bring.

:pray:

It seems to me that a predisposition to believe (people like you who accept dreams and persistent dread as evidence) wouldn't require sensory intervention in the first place. Those with a skeptical disposition would seem to be most in need of strong signs.

seasanctuary
02-26-2014, 02:26 PM
She was one type of Christian under her father's influence, and unbeliever under her working environment's influence, and another type of Christian again under her boyfriend's Church's influence?

This is the sort of conversion story that makes skeptics more comfortable about being skeptics.

Outis
02-26-2014, 02:30 PM
She was one type of Christian under her father's influence, and unbeliever under her working environment's influence, and another type of Christian again under her boyfriend's Church's influence?

This is the sort of conversion story that makes skeptics more comfortable about being skeptics.

Pretty much. The citation of personal gnosis is also a big tip-off. A splendid "feel-good" story for those who like it, but nothing substantive.

whag
02-26-2014, 03:05 PM
Pretty much. The citation of personal gnosis is also a big tip-off. A splendid "feel-good" story for those who like it, but nothing substantive.

What would qualify as "substantial" in a conversion story?

whag
02-26-2014, 03:08 PM
There's major subtext in the story in the form of Tim Keller. The article strongly insinuates that Keller's acceptance of science--code for "evolution"--was critical to her taking Christianity seriously.

Tim Keller is a pretty outspoken theistic evolutionist.

Outis
02-26-2014, 03:09 PM
What would qualify as "substantial" in a conversion story?

Some form of knowledge that can be transmitted.

Failing that, an obvious, physically observable change, such as the regrowth of an amputated limb, or something of that sort. Supposedly, signs like this were given in the past, yet today some Christians state that because the Bible is "complete," the signs have stopped. It seems ... convenient.

whag
02-26-2014, 03:25 PM
Some form of knowledge that can be transmitted.

Failing that, an obvious, physically observable change, such as the regrowth of an amputated limb, or something of that sort. Supposedly, signs like this were given in the past, yet today some Christians state that because the Bible is "complete," the signs have stopped. It seems ... convenient.

I like how Paine put it. Revelation is only revelation to the hearer and hearsay to everyone told thereafter.

Perhaps it's also convenient to interpret divine encounters as only given to those who'd never reject such signs anyway. My position is that if one is already predisposed to accept dreams and burning bosoms as evidence, then why bother giving them such signs? The predisposition to faith would be sufficient to seal one's salvation.

I don't find these stories compelling as evangelism tools, as all religions have adherents with powerful personal encounter stories. It's best to not use them as data to persuade since Christians aren't the only people that experience them.

Outis
02-26-2014, 03:31 PM
I don't find these stories compelling as evangelism tools, as all religions have adherents with powerful personal encounter stories. It's best to not use them as data to persuade since Christians aren't the only people that experience them.

Agreed, but the primary historical purpose of these stories is not as conversion tools: they are primarily to re-affirm to those already converted. Those who use them as proseletization tools are going against the historical purpose.

seer
02-27-2014, 03:12 AM
What's standard punishment compared to more severe punishment?

I will leave that to God.


It seems to me that a predisposition to believe (people like you who accept dreams and persistent dread as evidence) wouldn't require sensory intervention in the first place. Those with a skeptical disposition would seem to be most in need of strong signs.

I'm not sure if that is the case. There are probably degrees of skepticism, more to over come in specific cases. Even though Kirsten Powers, CS Lewis, myself and others were very reluctant converts I suspect that God knew it would stick with us. Either that or the Calvinists are correct.

firstfloor
02-27-2014, 03:51 AM
Kirsten Powers is a noted liberal and former atheist. It is story that somewhat mirrors my own conversion experience. It is at least an interesting read.
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/november/fox-news-highly-reluctant-jesus-follower-kirsten-powers.html?start=2
If Jesus came to her it was an experience no less significant than Paul’s and she should have her testimony appended to the new edition of the Bible. Why not? Powers’ Epistle to the Americans could slip in somewhere between Hebrews and James.

Cow Poke
02-27-2014, 04:13 AM
If Jesus came to her it was an experience no less significant than Paul’s and she should have her testimony appended to the new edition of the Bible. Why not? Powers’ Epistle to the Americans could slip in somewhere between Hebrews and James.

The experience she claims comes nowhere near the experience of Saul on the Damascus road described in the Bible. :doh: You really overshot the runway on this.

firstfloor
02-27-2014, 04:55 AM
The experience she claims comes nowhere near the experience of Saul on the Damascus road described in the Bible. :doh: You really overshot the runway on this.
I appreciate that Jesus didn’t say anything very profound but surely the visitation must be a sign of Kirsten Powers’ importance and divine approval of her evangelizing journalism. Perhaps a by-line like “Approved by Jesus” would not go amiss.

robrecht
02-27-2014, 05:12 AM
... and burning bosoms ...Burning bosoms?

Cow Poke
02-27-2014, 05:17 AM
I appreciate that Jesus didn’t say anything very profound but surely the visitation must be a sign of Kirsten Powers’ importance and divine approval of her evangelizing journalism. Perhaps a by-line like “Approved by Jesus” would not go amiss.

Wow.... you really haven't read the account of Saul's conversion for yourself, have you? And I suspect you really haven't read (with any appreciable comprehension) the story of Kirsten's conversion. Not even close. :glare: I'll be happy to cover the differences, if you're interested in anything more than childish and petty criticism. :shrug:

Cow Poke
02-27-2014, 05:18 AM
Burning bosoms?

Mrs. Doubtfire.

robrecht
02-27-2014, 05:32 AM
A nice story of someone coming to belief in something she had previously discounted and now found very fulfilling. I thought it was funny about how she feared that Christians would try to convert her to being Republican.

firstfloor
02-27-2014, 05:48 AM
Wow.... you really haven't read the account of Saul's conversion for yourself, have you? And I suspect you really haven't read (with any appreciable comprehension) the story of Kirsten's conversion. Not even close. :glare: I'll be happy to cover the differences, if you're interested in anything more than childish and petty criticism. :shrug:
I have just been reading Acts 9. Even with the involvement of Ananias it is quite a simple story. Jesus says surprising little (Hello and go). I am definitely interested in what you have to say about it. I think Kirsten’s story is just as elaborate. And she is a writer, like Paul. I think there are strong parallels.

Cow Poke
02-27-2014, 06:04 AM
I have just been reading Acts 9. Even with the involvement of Ananias it is quite a simple story. Jesus says surprising little (Hello and go). I am definitely interested in what you have to say about it. I think Kirsten’s story is just as elaborate. And she is a writer, like Paul. I think there are strong parallels.

"Hello and go"? That's what you got from the Acts 9 account? :huh: Or do you find it necessary to misrepresent scripture to support your claim?

]*He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”[5]*“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. [6]*“Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

I have to believe you're just playing games, and pretending interest.

Saul was blinded for three days - he had been a Christian killer very actively working against Christianity - it was a dramatic physical encounter, not a "dream" or a "vision".

To compare that to Kirsten's account is just plain goofy.

firstfloor
02-27-2014, 06:37 AM
"Hello and go"? That's what you got from the Acts 9 account? :huh: Or do you find it necessary to misrepresent scripture to support your claim?
]*He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”[5]*“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. [6]*“Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
I have to believe you're just playing games, and pretending interest.
Saul was blinded for three days - he had been a Christian killer very actively working against Christianity - it was a dramatic physical encounter, not a "dream" or a "vision".
To compare that to Kirsten's account is just plain goofy.
Paul was blinded and Kirsten was traumatized for several days at least. I think if you were to remove Paul’s story from its special place in the Bible and put him in a modern setting beside Kirsten you would be hard pushed to say which was the more authentic experience and consequently, whose wisdom we should pay more attention to.

I know this discourse seems to you an outrageous wind up but I think it is interesting to reflect on how we deal with contemporary claims of this sort. (I think it is because we worship the book.)

OingoBoingo
02-27-2014, 06:41 AM
I don't even understand the argument. Every person who has a vision or experience of Jesus must append their experience to the Bible? Huh?

There have been thousands, maybe millions, of people who have claimed to have seen or experienced Jesus after his resurrection, going all the way back to the first century, and their writings haven't been canonized. Having had an experience of Jesus, in of itself, doesn't seem to be the reason for canonization. If I'm remembering correctly, the reason for canonization usually had to do with things like Apostolic authority, closeness to the events of the 1st century, content, and occasion of the writing, etc.

seer
02-27-2014, 06:41 AM
I tried to write off the experience as misfiring synapses, but I couldn't shake it. When I returned to New York a few days later, I was lost. I suddenly felt God everywhere and it was terrifying. More important, it was unwelcome. It felt like an invasion. I started to fear I was going crazy.

In the late summer and early Autumn of 1990 I had three of these experiences - powerful, terrifying and wonderful. At one point I thought this "presence" was going to kill me - I begged Him/it to stop. At that point I had no knowledge of the experience of a CS Lewis or others who went through this, so I too was questioning my sanity. I was 37 years old at the time, and like most human beings I had run the gambit of emotional experiences - good and bad. But this was nothing like any experience I had in the past, it was completely different. I don't believe that one could understand this encounter unless one experienced it themselves. It was wholly foreign to any past reference. So the skeptic would have to reduce this to a mere psychological event, that is understandable, but for the person who had this overwhelming "sense" that reduction just doesn't ring true.

Sparko
02-27-2014, 06:45 AM
In what sense?

In this sense:

http://www.theliberaloc.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Mule.jpg

whag
02-27-2014, 06:50 AM
In the late summer and early Autumn of 1990 I had three of these experiences - powerful, terrifying and wonderful. At one point I thought this "presence" was going to kill me - I begged Him/it to stop. At that point I had no knowledge of the experience of a CS Lewis or others who went through this, so I too was questioning my sanity. I was 37 years old at the time, and like most human beings I had run the gambit of emotional experiences - good and bad. But this was nothing like any experience I had in the past, it was completely different. I don't believe that one could understand this encounter unless one experienced it themselves. It was wholly foreign to any past reference. So the skeptic would have to reduce this to a mere psychological event, that is understandable, but for the person who had this overwhelming "sense" that reduction just doesn't ring true.

psychological events have a wide and terrifying range, all while being composed merely of physiology.

why does God couch his communication this way rather than more clearly?

OingoBoingo
02-27-2014, 07:13 AM
psychological events have a wide and terrifying range, all while being composed merely of physiology.

why does God couch his communication this way rather than more clearly?

What sort of personal experience of God would not be psychological in nature? I'm thinking any personal experience with the creator of the universe is bound to blow your mind.

But there are many claims of people converting to Christianity through more mundane experiences. Some have converted after witnessing something they believe was miraculous. Some have converted after considering the teachings of the Bible. Some have converted because they were impressed by the experiences of others. Some have converted for other reasons, or because of a mixture of reasons. Its not always a mind blowing event. Some people convert quietly and calmly, some people convert kicking and screaming.

Anyways, if the Christian worldview is true, then God has communicated in a non-psychological way in the form of an itinerant Jewish sage living in ancient Palestine.

firstfloor
02-27-2014, 07:14 AM
I don't even understand the argument. Every person who has a vision or experience of Jesus must append their experience to the Bible? Huh?
If revelation is ongoing then canonization is a bad idea. Jesus can’t get a word in edgeways because we are too focused on His old material.

seer
02-27-2014, 07:15 AM
psychological events have a wide and terrifying range, all while being composed merely of physiology.

Yes and I have experienced most psychological events common to man, and this was nothing like those, nothing.


why does God couch his communication this way rather than more clearly?

Well this experience was not only powerful, but clear. See whag, I can not explain to someone else what this is like, its enough to say that you know that you are in the presence of something awesome, terrifying and wonderful.

OingoBoingo
02-27-2014, 07:45 AM
If revelation is ongoing then canonization is a bad idea. Jesus can’t get a word in edgeways because we are too focused on His old material.

The article in the OP isn't an example of ongoing revelation. Maybe you're confusing a personal revelation of Jesus with the revelation of original doctrine and inspired teaching. In the orthodox Christian tradition revelation of new teaching and doctrine is fixed, with the anticipation of the second coming and the general resurrection. Claims to revelation that seek to add to or contradict fixed teaching and doctrine are deemed outside of the pale of orthodox Christian belief.

Outis
02-27-2014, 08:13 AM
I don't even understand the argument. Every person who has a vision or experience of Jesus must append their experience to the Bible?

Firstfloor is engaged in mockery.

Cerebrum123
02-27-2014, 08:16 AM
Firstfloor is engaged in mockery.

Yup, he's a :troll:. Even though I disagree with you often, I have far more respect for you, than for him.

OingoBoingo
02-27-2014, 08:48 AM
Firstfloor is engaged in mockery.

Well that makes better sense of it then.

whag
02-27-2014, 08:51 AM
In this sense:

http://www.theliberaloc.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Mule.jpg

David used Uriah as arrow fodder, and Paul persecuted Christians. Despite their assery, they were divinely interacted with. I merely told you that Job isn't pure recorded history, and you're still holding a grudge.

Cow Poke
02-27-2014, 08:54 AM
Paul was blinded and Kirsten was traumatized for several days at least.

Yeah, find a blind person, and tell them that you are "traumatized for a couple days" by a vision, and see if he/she agrees with the "sameness". :doh:

You really aren't very good at this, are you?

Sparko
02-27-2014, 09:00 AM
David used Uriah as arrow fodder, and Paul persecuted Christians. Despite their assery, they were divinely interacted with. I merely told you that Job isn't pure recorded history, and you're still holding a grudge.

God will use whatever means he deems effective to reach someone, whether it be divine intervention or a website like theologyweb. Your mockery of God just shows you to be a jackass and will not respond to anything God would do to reach you so why would he bother? Or maybe he is trying to reach you but you are just ignoring him. But like Seer said, you are still breathing so there is hope for you yet.

whag
02-27-2014, 09:23 AM
God will use whatever means he deems effective to reach someone, whether it be divine intervention or a website like theologyweb.

You mean he uses you to post ass pictures? That's a more mild form of divine intervention but intervention nonetheless, where you're the medium of God's expression.


Your mockery of God just shows you to be a jackass and will not respond to anything God would do to reach you so why would he bother?

You'll have to cite where I mocked god.

As to "why would he bother?" that's an anthropomorphic question and idiotic in the context of all those the bible says he bothered with. It's like you really don't read the bible.



Or maybe he is trying to reach you but you are just ignoring him. But like Seer said, you are still breathing so there is hope for you yet.

You don't really believe that. You're more content to think God has forsaken me for imagined reasons, such as my mocking him. Good luck looking for those posts, and make sure to look at the context before you quote me. I'm perfectly willing to apologize if I think I went over the line.

whag
02-27-2014, 09:39 AM
Yes and I have experienced most psychological events common to man, and this was nothing like those, nothing.

People with temporal lobe epilepsy can feel condemned by god. It's not common, but neither are the experiences you and this lady describe.




Well this experience was not only powerful, but clear. See whag, I can not explain to someone else what this is like, its enough to say that you know that you are in the presence of something awesome, terrifying and wonderful..

Please don't take offense, but you offered her story as a proof of sorts. If I have questions about that proof, please don't think I'm mocking god.

As for the indescribability of this experience, other religious believers have similar claims. So if I were to take the indescribability of it as somehow being proof of its divine origin, I would similarly have to regard non-Christian numinous experiences as genuine. I'd have no good reason not to.

Sparko
02-27-2014, 09:47 AM
Whag, her experiences were not to convince you, they were to convince her.

Outis
02-27-2014, 09:51 AM
Whag, her experiences were not to convince you, they were to convince her.

Which rather undercuts the logic of using such stories in an attempt to persuade non-believers.

whag
02-27-2014, 09:56 AM
I will leave that to God.

You posited that rejecting a numinous experience as merely psychological might result in a more severe punishment. To whom much is given, much is expected. If someone is given little, should she be expected to have ardor of belief?

whag
02-27-2014, 09:57 AM
Whag, her experiences were not to convince you, they were to convince her.

Seer offered her experience as an apologetic for Holy Spirit epistemology.

Sparko
02-27-2014, 09:59 AM
Which rather undercuts the logic of using such stories in an attempt to persuade non-believers.

I don't think many people do that. Other Christians might find the story encouraging, but I don't think it will convince anyone who doesn't know the person and hears the story second or third hand if they are not predisposed to believing it.

Outis
02-27-2014, 10:02 AM
I don't think many people do that. Other Christians might find the story encouraging, but I don't think it will convince anyone who doesn't know the person and hears the story second or third hand if they are not predisposed to believing it.

Sparko, this thread is in Apologetics--specifically dedicated to the discussion between theists and atheists. Had it been purposed to encourage Christians, why is it not in a Christian area?

By all evidence available, Seer intended to use this in his or her continued argument against atheism.

whag
02-27-2014, 10:02 AM
I don't think many people do that. Other Christians might find the story encouraging, but I don't think it will convince anyone who doesn't know the person and hears the story second or third hand if they are not predisposed to believing it.

That's immaterial given the context. The context is that seer offered the story here in this forum as evidence of Holy Spirit epistemology.

firstfloor
02-27-2014, 10:02 AM
Yeah, find a blind person, and tell them that you are "traumatized for a couple days" by a vision, and see if he/she agrees with the "sameness". :doh:
You really aren't very good at this, are you?
Paul got his sight back! I’m doing my best CP but you are a difficult case. We’ll get there eventually.

Christianbookworm
02-27-2014, 10:10 AM
David used Uriah as arrow fodder, and Paul persecuted Christians. Despite their assery, they were divinely interacted with. I merely told you that Job isn't pure recorded history, and you're still holding a grudge.

And both were called on it by God. God sent Nathan to tell David off for what he did. And Paul did that before his experience on the road to Damscus.

OingoBoingo
02-27-2014, 10:10 AM
Which rather undercuts the logic of using such stories in an attempt to persuade non-believers.

There can be a cumulative affect in these sorts of testimony. A few testimonies probably wont impress non-believers by themselves, but if you're investigating the teachings and claims of Christianity, it may be part of a larger picture that convinces you that there's something to the whole thing. Tales of personal testimony probably aren't going to do much for the hardened skeptic, but for the theist or open agnostic it could be that little bit that pushes them in the right direction.

whag
02-27-2014, 10:12 AM
What sort of personal experience of God would not be psychological in nature?

There are many described in the bible. Abraham and Paul are to good examples from the OT and NT.

A regrown limb would do. Dreams and persistent dread, not so much.

whag
02-27-2014, 10:17 AM
And both were called on it by God. God sent Nathan to tell David off for what he did. And Paul did that before his experience on the road to Damscus.

Actually, god did more than send Nathan. He killed David's baby with a prolonged illness as punishment. The issue of being called is irrelevant to Sparko's suggestion that God withholds interaction with believers because he thinks they're asses. There are plenty of asses in the Bible who receive tangible proof of his existence.

Outis
02-27-2014, 10:17 AM
There can be a cumulative affect in these sorts of testimony. A few testimonies probably wont impress non-believers by themselves, but if you're investigating the teachings and claims of Christianity, it may be part of a larger picture that convinces you that there's something to the whole thing. Tales of personal testimony probably aren't going to do much for the hardened skeptic, but for the theist or open agnostic it could be that little bit that pushes them in the right direction.

Whag brings up a good point, OB: how am I to judge between your transcendent experience and the transcendent experience of a Muslim, or a Buddhist?

firstfloor
02-27-2014, 10:19 AM
Firstfloor is engaged in mockery.
I’m trying hard to be taken seriously here but spooky logic is quite versatile and throws up some weird conundrums that sometimes look mocking.

OingoBoingo
02-27-2014, 10:20 AM
There are many described in the bible. Abraham and Paul are to good examples from the OT and NT.

A regrown limb would do. Dreams and persistent dread, not so much.

Abraham and Paul also had dreams and visions. But I'd find it hard to believe witnessing a regrown limb won't have some sort of psychological impact .

I don't really believe that a regrown limb will be THE thing that gets some people to convert anyways. To the person it happens to, it might be convincing proof, but some hardened skeptic will rub their eyes and think they imagined it. Some will say it was an illusion or a hoax. Miracles happen every day. Claims of resurrection, the blind receiving sight, and cripples walking are not at all unknown, but most people go about their day thinking there's nothing in it.

Outis
02-27-2014, 10:22 AM
I’m trying hard to be taken seriously here but spooky logic is quite versatile and throws up some weird conundrums that sometimes look mocking.

Perhaps it would be more effective to respond to what you perceive as "spooky logic" with what you understand as logic, instead of attempting to argue using the "spooky logic" that you, seemingly, do not understand?

I don't know if you actually understand it or not, but your posts here seem to indicate that you do not. (And if you do not, that is not a criticism on my part.)

OingoBoingo
02-27-2014, 10:26 AM
Whag brings up a good point, OB: how am I to judge between your transcendent experience and the transcendent experience of a Muslim, or a Buddhist?

For a non-theist or agnostic it may be the desired push towards theism regardless of origin. A commonly shared experience of the divine across world religions? "Maybe there's something to it" one may think. That, in of itself is a hurdle for some people. I don't think Christians think they have the market cornered on legitimate supernatural experience.

firstfloor
02-27-2014, 10:30 AM
Perhaps it would be more effective to respond to what you perceive as "spooky logic" with what you understand as logic, instead of attempting to argue using the "spooky logic" that you, seemingly, do not understand?
I don't know if you actually understand it or not, but your posts here seem to indicate that you do not. (And if you do not, that is not a criticism on my part.)
I’m going to shut up for a while and watch developments.

whag
02-27-2014, 10:34 AM
Abraham and Paul also had dreams and visions. But I'd find it hard to believe witnessing a regrown limb won't have some sort of psychological impact .

I don't really believe that a regrown limb will be THE thing that gets some people to convert anyways. To the person it happens to, it might be convincing proof, but some hardened skeptic will rub their eyes and think they imagined it. Some will say it was an illusion or a hoax. Miracles happen every day. Claims of resurrection, the blind receiving sight, and cripples walking are not at all unknown, but most people go about their day thinking there's nothing in it.

I didn't say they didn't have dreams and visions. I said they had physical encounters that couldn't be confused with psychological episodes. You implied the medium was always psychological, as if God could only meet people through their wetware.


Miracles happen every day. Claims of resurrection, the blind receiving sight, and cripples walking are not at all unknown, but most people go about their day thinking there's nothing in it

Perhaps all skeptics are as stubborn as you say. I find it more likely that miracles usually have plausible explanations and that lots of people lie about them, or, as in the case of Keener and Licona, simply believe any eyewitness account that fits their view.

Outis
02-27-2014, 10:36 AM
For a non-theist or agnostic it may be the desired push towards theism regardless of origin. A commonly shared experience of the divine across world religions? "Maybe there's something to it" one may think. That, in of itself is a hurdle for some people. I don't think Christians think they have the market cornered on legitimate supernatural experience.

There are (at least) two possible conclusions:

1. That there is something to this stuff.
2. Considering that similar, perhaps identical, experiences also happen in relation to NO religion due to certain psychological situations (including trauma, intoxication, side effects of certain drugs, and the effect of certain illnesses and non-illness conditions), that ALL of these phenomena are natural.

The major problem is there is no objective verifiability. This is all subjective experience, and all of us have had subjective experiences.

whag
02-27-2014, 10:37 AM
For a non-theist or agnostic it may be the desired push towards theism regardless of origin. A commonly shared experience of the divine across world religions? "Maybe there's something to it" one may think. That, in of itself is a hurdle for some people. I don't think Christians think they have the market cornered on legitimate supernatural experience.

There's a video of WLC answering this question in which he said the Christian would be beholden to convince the Muslim he's been deceived by a counterfeit experience.

seer
02-27-2014, 10:40 AM
Whag brings up a good point, OB: how am I to judge between your transcendent experience and the transcendent experience of a Muslim, or a Buddhist?

You can't judge. I have no idea if the Buddhist's or Muslim's experience is anything like mine - even if we used the same language it doesn't mean that the subjective experiences were similar. Even with Kirsten Powers' encounter in the OP - some of the language she uses mirrors my experience exactly, but was her "internal" sense of the event really like mine? That is something we can not know.

OingoBoingo
02-27-2014, 10:42 AM
I didn't say they didn't have dreams and visions. I said they had physical encounters that couldn't be confused with psychological episodes. You implied the medium was always psychological, as if God could only meet people through their wetware.

Abraham's wrestling with the angel and Paul's road of Damascus experience was as much psychological as physical, and they continued having purely psychological experiences mixed with physical encounters. Someone who all of a sudden regrows a limb isn't going to think "huh, that was weird", and go about his day. It's going to be a mind-blowing experience, and a deeply psychological and spiritual one as well.


Perhaps all skeptics are as stubborn as you say.

I don't think all skeptics are that stubborn.


I find it more likely that miracles usually have plausible explanations and that lots of people lie about them, or, as in the case of Keener and Licona, simply believe any eyewitness account that fits their view.

Sure you do.

OingoBoingo
02-27-2014, 10:43 AM
There's a video of WLC answering this question in which he said the Christian would be beholden to convince the Muslim he's been deceived by a counterfeit experience.

So?

Outis
02-27-2014, 10:43 AM
You can't judge. I have no idea if the Buddhist's or Muslim's experience is anything like mine - even if we used the same language it doesn't mean that the subjective experiences were similar. Even with Kirsten Powers' encounter in the OP - some of the language she uses mirrors my experience exactly, but was her "internal" sense of the event really like mine? That is something we can not know.

Precisely. And even more problematically, some of the language mirrors psychological situations (such as those I listed above) that have nothing to do with any religion.

Would it be illogical to assume that ALL of these experiences are nothing more than psychology?

seer
02-27-2014, 10:43 AM
The major problem is there is no objective verifiability. This is all subjective experience, and all of us have had subjective experiences.

Well let's be honest here - everything we know is, in the end, filtered through personal subjective experience.

Outis
02-27-2014, 10:46 AM
Well let's be honest here - everything we know is, in the end, filtered through personal subjective experience.

The actuality is far more complex, and far more nuanced, than your brief statement above, but the statement in and of itself is certainly vital in understanding the limits of sharing knowledge.

OingoBoingo
02-27-2014, 10:50 AM
There are (at least) two possible conclusions:

1. That there is something to this stuff.
2. Considering that similar, perhaps identical, experiences also happen in relation to NO religion due to certain psychological situations (including trauma, intoxication, side effects of certain drugs, and the effect of certain illnesses and non-illness conditions), that ALL of these phenomena are natural.

Sure. But you do concede that some people will conclude "there is something to this stuff".


The major problem is there is no objective verifiability. This is all subjective experience, and all of us have had subjective experiences.

That's a major problem for most of us concerning most things in life. We rely on expert testimony for things we can't personally verify. Somehow people are able to form opinions and come to conclusions and get on with their life.

whag
02-27-2014, 10:51 AM
Abraham's wrestling with the angel and Paul's road of Damascus experience was as much psychological as physical, and they continued having purely psychological experiences mixed with physical encounters. Someone who all of a sudden regrows a limb isn't going to think "huh, that was weird", and go about his day. It's going to be a mind-blowing experience, and a deeply psychological and spiritual one as well.

I also didn't say the two experiences aren't intertwined.

The point is that mere feelings of dread and strange dreams aren't proof of anything. A regrown limb would be spectacular proof. There are cases in which sight is restored and spinal cords recover from being pinched. Those are medically explicable. A regenerated human limb is not explicable through physical means.

seer
02-27-2014, 10:51 AM
Precisely. And even more problematically, some of the language mirrors psychological situations (such as those I listed above) that have nothing to do with any religion.

Like I said, I have no idea if those psychological events are anything like what I experienced.


Would it be illogical to assume that ALL of these experiences are nothing more than psychology?

It would be logical for you but not for me. Since this experience was unlike anything I ever encountered before. I can not pawn it off as a mere psychological event, of course psychology is certainly involved. Here is another reason - I wasn't looking for this kind of encounter and there was a clear realization that the timing was not of my making. And since 1990, though I still sense a remnant or trace of His presence, this has not happened again.

OingoBoingo
02-27-2014, 10:53 AM
Well let's be honest here - everything we know is, in the end, filtered through personal subjective experience.

Yep.

OingoBoingo
02-27-2014, 10:55 AM
The point is that mere feelings of dread and strange dreams aren't proof of anything.

For you maybe.

whag
02-27-2014, 10:56 AM
Like I said, I have no idea if those psychological events are anything like what I experienced.



It would be logical for you but not for me. Since this experience was unlike anything I ever encountered before. I can not pawn it off as a mere psychological event, of course psychology is certainly involved. Here is another reason - I wasn't looking for this kind of encounter and there was a clear realization that the timing was not of my making. And since 1990, though I still sense a remnant or trace of His presence, this has not happened again.

How much more is expected of you after this powerful interaction compared to the person who receives nothing in comparison?

seer
02-27-2014, 11:01 AM
The actuality is far more complex, and far more nuanced, than your brief statement above, but the statement in and of itself is certainly vital in understanding the limits of sharing knowledge.

Actually I don't think it is more complex or more nuanced, it is a clearly true. No man can escape his subjective view of the world.

seer
02-27-2014, 11:03 AM
How much more is expected of you after this powerful interaction compared to the person who receives nothing in comparison?

I think I'm expected to love and follow the God of scripture and His Christ in a deeper, more committed fashion. But that is just a guess...

Outis
02-27-2014, 11:05 AM
Sure. But you do concede that some people will conclude "there is something to this stuff".

I've never had any objection to that conclusion. While I am an agnostic, I certainly don't begrudge theists their beliefs.


That's a major problem for most of us concerning most things in life. We rely on expert testimony for things we can't personally verify. Somehow people are able to form opinions and come to conclusions and get on with their life.

For my part, I have to admit I find it much easier to do so with claims that I can verify. Your mileage may vary--and if it does, to my mind, there's nothing wrong with that.

whag
02-27-2014, 11:10 AM
For you maybe.

That's because, like Thomas, I have a predisposition to doubt. Unlike Thomas, I didn't see fishes multiplied and people brought back from death.

OingoBoingo
02-27-2014, 11:18 AM
I've never had any objection to that conclusion. While I am an agnostic, I certainly don't begrudge theists their beliefs.

In posts 12, 17 and 46 you implied that personal testimony is not a convincing apologetic. My reply to you was to show that it can be. It looks like you agree with that.


For my part, I have to admit I find it much easier to do so with claims that I can verify. Your mileage may vary--and if it does, to my mind, there's nothing wrong with that.

Sure. As individuals there's no one size fits all.

Outis
02-27-2014, 11:21 AM
In posts 12, 17 and 46 you implied that personal testimony is not a convincing apologetic. My reply to you was to show that it can be. It looks like you agree with that.

I should have stated my views with a bit more detail.

There may be individuals for whom a conversion story is a persuasive apologetic. Based on my experience, however, those individuals are few and far between. Using a conversion experience story as a general apologetic is ineffective _for the vast majority_.

Cow Poke
02-27-2014, 11:25 AM
I should have stated my views with a bit more detail.

There may be individuals for whom a conversion story is a persuasive apologetic. Based on my experience, however, those individuals are few and far between. Using a conversion experience story as a general apologetic is ineffective _for the vast majority_.

I pretty much agree, with the notable exception that the person telling the conversion story is somebody you genuinely know and respect.

whag
02-27-2014, 11:28 AM
I pretty much agree, with the notable exception that the person telling the conversion story is somebody you genuinely know and respect.

Even in that case, I'd have to tell my Muslim friend that Allah should personally tell me what he sent a human messenger to tell me.

OingoBoingo
02-27-2014, 11:29 AM
I should have stated my views with a bit more detail.

There may be individuals for whom a conversion story is a persuasive apologetic. Based on my experience, however, those individuals are few and far between. Using a conversion experience story as a general apologetic is ineffective _for the vast majority_.

I don't agree with that. Conversion doesn't generally happen overnight. A lot of people convert through progressive and open-minded investigation. The personal testimony of others plays a cumulative role in that investigation.

Outis
02-27-2014, 11:31 AM
I don't agree with that. Conversion doesn't generally happen overnight. A lot of people convert through progressive and open-minded investigation. The personal testimony of others plays a cumulative role in that investigation.

That is your experience. I will respect it, without necessarily agreeing.

OingoBoingo
02-27-2014, 11:32 AM
That is your experience. I will respect it, without necessarily agreeing.

Alright.

Cow Poke
02-27-2014, 11:34 AM
Even in that case, I'd have to tell my Muslim friend that Allah should personally tell me what he sent a human messenger to tell me.

And, in that case, I'd suggest we look at the life of Jesus vs. the life of Muhammad.

whag
02-27-2014, 11:42 AM
And, in that case, I'd suggest we look at the life of Jesus vs. the life of Muhammad.

Ok, let's start with Muhammed. By what mechanism did his revelation come?

Cow Poke
02-27-2014, 12:48 PM
Ok, let's start with Muhammed. By what mechanism did his revelation come?

I suggested we look at their lives, and you switch to "by what mechanism" came their "revelations"? Jesus lived a sinless life. Did Muhammad?

That's what I was referencing.

Jesus was born of a virgin (understanding, of course, that atheists won't accept that, but it's part of "who Jesus is") Was Muhammad?

(by the way, you're disrespecting Muhammad by spelling his name incorrectly -- so off with your head! :glare:)

Darth Xena
02-27-2014, 12:55 PM
In what sense?

In the hat sense.

seer
02-27-2014, 12:57 PM
Ok, let's start with Muhammad. By what mechanism did his revelation come?

From the angel Gabriel - according to him. But let me ask you whag, whose moral teachings resonant more with you? Christ's or Muhammad's?

Outis
02-27-2014, 01:08 PM
From the angel Gabriel - according to him. But let me ask you whag, whose moral teachings resonant more with you? Christ's or Muhammad's?

That's arguing from the consequences, Seer--also a culture based question. If one of the two is correct, then it is correct, regardless of how much it "resonates" with someone raised in a Western culture.

Sparko
02-27-2014, 01:19 PM
In the hat sense.:rofl:

whag
02-27-2014, 01:48 PM
I suggested we look at their lives, and you switch to "by what mechanism" came their "revelations"? Jesus lived a sinless life. Did Muhammad?

That's what I was referencing.

Jesus was born of a virgin (understanding, of course, that atheists won't accept that, but it's part of "who Jesus is") Was Muhammad?

(by the way, you're disrespecting Muhammad by spelling his name incorrectly -- so off with your head! :glare:)

Fair enough, but you're comparing two different missions. Muhammed didn't claim to be god enfleshed to be sacrificed.

Both religions have experienced success and both adherents attribute that survival to divine authenticity. It's not that persuasive in determining one conversion experience more genuine than another.

whag
02-27-2014, 01:51 PM
In the hat sense.

That's what I thought: in the asshat and donkey sense.

The bible is rife with asshats with whom god personally interacts. Your argument is invalid, you naughty Calvinist.

Cow Poke
02-27-2014, 01:55 PM
Fair enough, but you're comparing two different missions. Muhammed didn't claim to be god enfleshed to be sacrificed.

True enough.


Both religions have experienced success and both adherents attribute that survival to divine authenticity. It's not that persuasive in determining one conversion experience more genuine than another.

I think it's legitimate to look at the "founder" of a religion as part of the process of determining that religion's validity. Mormonism has also had quite a following, but I can demonstrate (as can nearly anybody with an open mind) that Joseph Smith was involved in a number of questionable activities, and even activities that violated his own principles.

(how did we get here, anyway? :smile: I'm not sure where we're going with this, but I'm also involved in real life with my wife's situation, so maybe I'm just distracted)

whag
02-27-2014, 02:01 PM
True enough.



I think it's legitimate to look at the "founder" of a religion as part of the process of determining that religion's validity. Mormonism has also had quite a following, but I can demonstrate (as can nearly anybody with an open mind) that Joseph Smith was involved in a number of questionable activities, and even activities that violated his own principles.

(how did we get here, anyway? :smile: I'm not sure where we're going with this, but I'm also involved in real life with my wife's situation, so maybe I'm just distracted)

I have no idea! Go tend to your wife, mr. poke. We'll talk later about this or something similar. =)

seer
02-27-2014, 02:04 PM
That's arguing from the consequences, Seer--also a culture based question. If one of the two is correct, then it is correct, regardless of how much it "resonates" with someone raised in a Western culture.

Of course Outis you have to assume that our moral sense is based solely on cultural considerations. I on the other hand believe that as image bearers of God we all carry His moral stamp, as it were. However marred or darkened by sin. For instance, if we listened to the "better angles of our nature" I think we all would agree with the cardinal virtues - and so on.

Outis
02-27-2014, 02:09 PM
Of course Outis you have to assume that our moral sense is based solely on cultural considerations. I on the other hand believe that as image bearers of God we all carry His moral stamp, as it were. However marred or darkened by sin.

That's a belief-based assertion that you are comfortable with. I personally have no objections to your having or voicing that belief (and if I did, kindly tell me to mind my own business). But if you were to use that belief to base arguments regarding how I think, or or to suggest that my words do not match my innermost heart (as some Christian apologists are wont to do), I'm likely to respond with rudeness.

Cow Poke
02-27-2014, 02:15 PM
I have no idea! Go tend to your wife, mr. poke. We'll talk later about this or something similar. =)

Actually, the distraction is kinda helpful, maybe. :thumb:

seer
02-27-2014, 02:19 PM
That's a belief-based assertion that you are comfortable with. I personally have no objections to your having or voicing that belief (and if I did, kindly tell me to mind my own business). But if you were to use that belief to base arguments regarding how I think, or or to suggest that my words do not match my innermost heart (as some Christian apologists are wont to do), I'm likely to respond with rudeness.

Well I did edit to my post. For instance I think we all would agree with the cardinal virtues, no matter our culture. And if one didn't I would question their moral sanity. Fair?

Outis
02-27-2014, 02:25 PM
Well I did edit to my post. For instance I think we all would agree with the cardinal virtues, no matter our culture. And if one didn't I would question their moral sanity. Fair?

Unfortunately, even your list of cardinal virtues is culturally based, not universal. Are you going to use the Catholic list (prudence, justice, temperance, courage)? Or do you prefer a different list?

Even worse, two people will disagree on how the terms are defined. What is justice? For one person, justice is punishing wrong-doers. For another person, justice is treating all people equally before the Law. Neither is wrong, but the definitions, while similar, are not the same.

whag
02-27-2014, 02:34 PM
Actually, the distraction is kinda helpful, maybe. :thumb:

Good!

Well in that case I'll respond to what you said. I tend not to regard the purity of a religion's author since that's hard to quantify. I'm more intrigued by the wide variety of Christian beliefs that formed after Jesus died than the religious requirements for sacrifice Jesus had to meet.

Cow Poke
02-27-2014, 02:39 PM
Good!

Well in that case I'll respond to what you said. I tend not to regard the purity of a religion's author since that's hard to quantify.

OK, but wouldn't you agree, for example, that a person who preaches a prohibition on alcohol, but owns a bar and sells the stuff, might not be somebody who's teachings we should take seriously? Christianity does, in fact, hinge on who Christ claimed to be, and whether or not he rose from the dead. Even Paul preaches that in his "if Christ be not risen" assertion.


I'm more intrigued by the wide variety of Christian beliefs that formed after Jesus died than the religious requirements for sacrifice Jesus had to meet.

Not really sure what you mean here.

FlimFlamboyant
02-27-2014, 02:42 PM
Does the bible give any indication as to why God selectively hounds people, giving some unmistakable encounters while giving no experiences to others? I'm 42 and have had no such dreams, visions, or persistent feelings of etheric dread.

I tend to look at these incidents with a very skeptical eye myself, though I am a Christian, but consider this. Perhaps you ask too many questions. No, seriously. You might think that questions are the tenets of enlightenment and reason, but they can just as easily be the tenets of foolishness and arrogance. It's the difference between asking an honest question with the goal of acquiring knowledge, and asking a question out of spite because you think you already know everything.

whag
02-27-2014, 03:02 PM
OK, but wouldn't you agree, for example, that a person who preaches a prohibition on alcohol, but owns a bar and sells the stuff, might not be somebody who's teachings we should take seriously? Christianity does, in fact, hinge on who Christ claimed to be, and whether or not he rose from the dead. Even Paul preaches that in his "if Christ be not risen" assertion.

Surely, but if the doctrines of religions are incoherent to me, the purity or consistency of a religion's founder doesn't make me believe the spiritual experiences of a Muslim over a Christian or vice versa.




Not really sure what you mean here.

You were using purity and consistency as an indicator of a religion's truth, and I was saying that disagreements among early Christian groups speaks louder to me than virgin birth and sinlessness claims, which aren't quantifiable. Differences in belief in the early church are quantifiable.

whag
02-27-2014, 03:08 PM
I tend to look at these incidents with a very skeptical eye myself, though I am a Christian, but consider this. Perhaps you ask too many questions. No, seriously. You might think that questions are the tenets of enlightenment and reason, but they can just as easily be the tenets of foolishness and arrogance. It's the difference between asking an honest question with the goal of acquiring knowledge, and asking a question out of spite because you think you already know everything.

Bolded so you can consider the range between those two motives.

Darth Xena
02-27-2014, 03:12 PM
That's what I thought: in the asshat and donkey sense.

The bible is rife with asshats with whom god personally interacts. Your argument is invalid, you naughty Calvinist.

He has an asshat quota, you wascally heathen.

Darth Xena
02-27-2014, 03:12 PM
I tend to look at these incidents with a very skeptical eye myself, though I am a Christian, but consider this. Perhaps you ask too many questions. No, seriously. You might think that questions are the tenets of enlightenment and reason, but they can just as easily be the tenets of foolishness and arrogance. It's the difference between asking an honest question with the goal of acquiring knowledge, and asking a question out of spite because you think you already know everything.

Very good post.

Cow Poke
02-27-2014, 03:13 PM
Surely, but if the doctrines of religions are incoherent to me, the purity or consistency of a religion's founder doesn't make me believe the spiritual experiences of a Muslim over a Christian or vice versa.

Ah, OK.


You were using purity and consistency as an indicator of a religion's truth, and I was saying that disagreements among early Christian groups speaks louder to me than virgin birth and sinlessness claims, which aren't quantifiable. Differences in belief in the early church are quantifiable.

Yeah, well you just need to get Baptized in the Holy Ghost and speak in tongues.

These "disagreements among early Christian groups"... are you referring to differences on the essentials?

whag
02-27-2014, 03:24 PM
He has an asshat quota, you wascally heathen

Verses please. =)

whag
02-27-2014, 03:27 PM
Ah, OK.



Yeah, well you just need to get Baptized in the Holy Ghost and speak in tongues.

I *do* speak in tongues. When I speak, I use my tongue.


These "disagreements among early Christian groups"... are you referring to differences on the essentials?

Yes. Have you read Lost Christianities by Bart Ehrman?

robrecht
02-27-2014, 03:28 PM
So what is a converstion anyway?

Cow Poke
02-27-2014, 03:29 PM
So what is a converstion anyway?

It's a conversion followed by spontaneous combustion. (hence, the burning bosom)

robrecht
02-27-2014, 03:30 PM
It's a conversion followed by spontaneous combustion. (hence, the burning bosom)From the tongues of fire, no doubt.

Cow Poke
02-27-2014, 03:31 PM
From the tongues of fire, no doubt.

Yup -- just ask Mrs. Doubtfire. :yes:
:outtie:

Outis
02-27-2014, 03:35 PM
So what is a converstion anyway?

Imperial to metric? :shrug:

Depending on who gives the answer, it can (functionally) be anything from a life-changing experience to a shibboleth (meaning if you don't tell your story just right, they don't accept it as "true").

Carrikature
02-27-2014, 04:54 PM
So what is a converstion anyway?

It's seer taking spelling lessons from CP.

Cow Poke
02-27-2014, 08:45 PM
It's seer taking spelling lessons from CP.

I resemble that. :glare:

Tassman
02-28-2014, 01:45 AM
Some form of knowledge that can be transmitted.

Failing that, an obvious, physically observable change, such as the regrowth of an amputated limb, or something of that sort. Supposedly, signs like this were given in the past, yet today some Christians state that because the Bible is "complete," the signs have stopped. It seems ... convenient.

Oh, but that can’t be right. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”. Hebrews 13:8 :wink:

Outis
02-28-2014, 01:49 AM
Oh, but that can’t be right. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”. Hebrews 13:8 :wink:

Meh. Not the best of counter-arguments--the most obvious response from Christians being Heb 1:1-2.

firstfloor
02-28-2014, 02:31 AM
... today some Christians state that because the Bible is "complete," the signs have stopped. It seems ... convenient.
I think this is a really big problem for Christianity. It is a stagnant pool ideologically but the adherent is required nonetheless to be respectful about it and very conservative – “the canon is closed” and so on. It’s too bad if God has something else to tell us because He is automatically rejected by the conservatives. But there is a movement in Christianity away from this dead centre (literally dead) which is entirely welcome. It is exemplified by Dr. Michael Jones and the New Covenant Group. Anyone interested in modernity should check out kaine diatheke on youtube.

Cow Poke
02-28-2014, 04:04 AM
I think this is a really big problem for Christianity. It is a stagnant pool ideologically but the adherent is required nonetheless to be respectful about it and very conservative – “the canon is closed” and so on. It’s too bad if God has something else to tell us because He is automatically rejected by the conservatives. But there is a movement in Christianity away from this dead centre (literally dead) which is entirely welcome. It is exemplified by Dr. Michael Jones and the New Covenant Group. Anyone interested in modernity should check out kaine diatheke on youtube.

You really don't understand Christianity. While "the canon is closed", God still speaks, and your assertion that "conservatives" automatically reject Him is just patently silly.

firstfloor
02-28-2014, 04:11 AM
You really don't understand Christianity. While "the canon is closed", God still speaks, and your assertion that "conservatives" automatically reject Him is just patently silly.
In what way does God still speak?

Cow Poke
02-28-2014, 04:13 AM
In what way does God still speak?

In a Godly way. :smug:

firstfloor
02-28-2014, 04:26 AM
In a Godly way. :smug:
It’s a bit lame CP. I think He does still speak, or at least we hear Him in nature itself which is the foundation of all things.

seer
02-28-2014, 04:36 AM
It's seer taking spelling lessons from CP.


What did I spell wrong now?

Cow Poke
02-28-2014, 04:40 AM
What did I spell wrong now?

The Title. There is no T in conversion. They're poking fun because I went through a spate where I kept misspelling my titles. :smile: Rouge is a spelling nazi -- which makes it all the more fun when he misspells something.

seer
02-28-2014, 04:45 AM
Unfortunately, even your list of cardinal virtues is culturally based, not universal. Are you going to use the Catholic list (prudence, justice, temperance, courage)? Or do you prefer a different list?

I doubt that the Catholic list is much different than Plato's or Aristotle's.




Even worse, two people will disagree on how the terms are defined. What is justice? For one person, justice is punishing wrong-doers. For another person, justice is treating all people equally before the Law. Neither is wrong, but the definitions, while similar, are not the same.

That is just muddying the waters. We know what justice is, you know what justice is. Plato and Aristotle knew what justice was. So when we see the acts of the Nazis or Communists we know that what they did was unjust. If our moral sense really is just culturally dependent then they did nothing wrong, objectively wrong.

seer
02-28-2014, 04:46 AM
The Title. There is no T in conversion. They're poking fun because I went through a spate where I kept misspelling my titles. :smile: Rouge is a spelling nazi -- which makes it all the more fun when he misspells something.

Oops, my bad... But I did spell it correctly in the OP. Go figure...

MaxVel
02-28-2014, 06:27 AM
The Title. There is no T in conversion. They're poking fun because I went through a spate where I kept misspelling my titles. :smile: Rouge is a spelling nazi -- which makes it all the more fun when he misspells something.

This 'Rouge' must be a bit red in the face when you catch him making spelling mistakes.... ? :wink:

Outis
02-28-2014, 07:18 AM
I doubt that the Catholic list is much different than Plato's or Aristotle's.

The Catholic church used Plato's list of four. Aristotle had nine. The Church preferred Plato's, but Augustine radically redefined them from Plato's meanings.


That is just muddying the waters. We know what justice is, you know what justice is. Plato and Aristotle knew what justice was. So when we see the acts of the Nazis or Communists we know that what they did was unjust. If our moral sense really is just culturally dependent then they did nothing wrong, objectively wrong.

Augustine didn't think it was "muddying the waters."

seer
02-28-2014, 07:27 AM
The Catholic church used Plato's list of four. Aristotle had nine. The Church preferred Plato's, but Augustine radically redefined them from Plato's meanings.

No, the list of four is found in all the lists I that have seen and on those four perhaps you would show us how Augustine radically redefined them.



Augustine didn't think it was "muddying the waters."

How is this radically redefined from Plato? How do they lead to a different moral end?

St. Augustine:


"For these four virtues (would that all felt their influence in their minds as they have their names in their mouths!), I should have no hesitation in defining them: that temperance is love giving itself entirely to that which is loved; fortitude is love readily bearing all things for the sake of the loved object; justice is love serving only the loved object, and therefore ruling rightly; prudence is love distinguishing with sagacity between what hinders it and what helps it." (De moribus eccl., Chap. xv)

And again: So when we see the acts of the Nazis or Communists we know that what they did was unjust. If our moral sense really is just culturally dependent then they did nothing wrong, objectively wrong.

Outis
02-28-2014, 08:11 AM
No, the list of four is found in all the lists I that have seen

Look in Aristotle's _Rhetoric_: "justice, courage, temperance, magnificence, magnanimity, liberality, gentleness, prudence, wisdom."


How is this radically redefined from Plato? How do they lead to a different moral end?

Auggie defined all of these in the context of Christian love, a concept entirely foreign to Plato. In Plato's definition, virtues were dependent upon class: temperance was assigned to all classes, but is associated with the "producing class"--laborers, farmers, artisans, craftsmen, and the like. Fortitude was of primary importance to the military class (and contrary to Augustine was meant in a military sense). Prudence dealt with the rulers, and with those who use reason, thus to philosophers. Justice was not part of the class system--instead, justice was what ruled the proper relation between the classes.

How does that lead to a different moral end? Remember, Plato had no problems with wars of conquest, slavery, theft (as long as you were stealing from those who were "enemies of the city"), or despotism. Plato opposed democracy in favor of a benevolent dictatorship by philosopher kings.


And again: So when we see the acts of the Nazis or Communists we know that what they did was unjust. If our moral sense really is just culturally dependent then they did nothing wrong, objectively wrong.

Again, Seer, you are arguing from consequences, which is fallacious. If a thing is, it is; if a thing is not, it is not. Arguing from the consequences of the existence or non-existence of that things is irrelevant.

Whether or not there is such a thing as an objective moral or ethical standard does not depend upon the presence of human moral standards. Or, more simply, if no objective moral standard exists, then our horror at the actions of the Nazis or the Soviets is irrelevant.

seer
02-28-2014, 08:33 AM
How does that lead to a different moral end? Remember, Plato had no problems with wars of conquest, slavery, theft (as long as you were stealing from those who were "enemies of the city"), or despotism. Plato opposed democracy in favor of a benevolent dictatorship by philosopher kings.

But none if this leads to a different moral end Outis. Whether one starts from the premise of love or not. Who you apply it to may apply it to may vary. But that is not a problem with with the virtues themselves.


Look in Aristotle's _Rhetoric_: "justice, courage, temperance, magnificence, magnanimity, liberality, gentleness, prudence, wisdom."

Yes and they include the classic four cardinal virtues. I'm not saying that one can not add others. But there is a core, Augustine himself recognized these basic four and couched them in terms of love. Which again, would lead to the very same ends.


Again, Seer, you are arguing from consequences, which is fallacious. If a thing is, it is; if a thing is not, it is not. Arguing from the consequences of the existence or non-existence of that things is irrelevant.

I'm saying that objective moral law does exist and our moral horror over things like the Holocaust or Communists purges is evidence of its reality. Is a fish horrified because it is wet?

Outis
02-28-2014, 08:42 AM
But none if this leads to a different moral end Outis. Whether one starts from the premise of love or not. Who you apply it to may apply it to may vary. But that is not a problem with with the virtues themselves.

Seer, if one person says "'Don't murder' means don't kill anyone," and another person says "'Don't murder' means don't kill anyone in your city, but those folks from the other city are fair game," you have radically different moral outlooks. No attempt to blur the lines between those two will make them the same. They have points of similarity, but the difference in definition means that the similarities are surface appearance, not substance. The start is different, the means are different, the ends are different.


I'm saying that objective moral law does exist and our moral horror over things like the Holocaust or Communists purges is evidence of its reality.

I cannot use moral outrage as an indicator of the reality of an objective moral law. Especially since some people are morally outraged over things that other people find to be not only acceptable, but morally necessary. From all evidence I have available, moral outrage is a subjective, culturally based feeling.


Is a fish horrified because it is wet?

This is a complete and total nonsequiter, Seer.

seer
02-28-2014, 09:11 AM
Seer, if one person says "'Don't murder' means don't kill anyone," and another person says "'Don't murder' means don't kill anyone in your city, but those folks from the other city are fair game," you have radically different moral outlooks. No attempt to blur the lines between those two will make them the same. They have points of similarity, but the difference in definition means that the similarities are surface appearance, not substance. The start is different, the means are different, the ends are different.

The difference is in application not in the idea that murder could be morally wrong or unjust.


I cannot use moral outrage as an indicator of the reality of an objective moral law. Especially since some people are morally outraged over things that other people find to be not only acceptable, but morally necessary. From all evidence I have available, moral outrage is a subjective, culturally based feeling.

Again you are assuming that moral outrage is merely the result of cultural bias. I have seen no good reason to accept that. Are you really suggesting that there is no moral thread that runs through all cultures? That they are all disconnected and completely disjointed?




This is a complete and total nonsequiter, Seer.

Nope, like the fish would not complain that it is wet, one wonders why we would find any moral behavior objectionable - after all it is just animals doing what animals do.

Outis
02-28-2014, 09:21 AM
The difference is in application not in the idea that murder could be morally wrong or unjust.

No, Seer--the difference is in the definition. You and I would define going to the next town and killing someone as murder. Plato would not define that as murder. THat is a fundamental difference.


Again you are assuming that moral outrage is merely the result of cultural bias.

Considering the different things that people become morally outraged about, and that there are conflicting cases of outrage, that is the only conclusion.


Are you really suggesting that there is no moral thread that runs through all cultures? That they are all disconnected and completely disjointed?

Considering the differences in definitions and reactions, yes, that certainly seems to be the case.


Nope, like the fish would not complain that it is wet, one wonders why we would find any moral behavior objectionable - after all it is just animals doing what animals do.

Still a non-sequiter, Seer. Regardless of the potential source of moral outrage, those who feel it are feeling what is--to them--a very real and valid emotional reaction.

Here's an example I think we can both agree upon. In 1958, 4%--four percent--of Americans approved of interracial marriage. Those who opposed it felt moral outrage at the very thought, for a variety of reasons, including religious reasons. In 2013, 87% approved. Which view is "objectively moral," seer?

whag
02-28-2014, 09:31 AM
Still a non-sequiter, Seer. Regardless of the potential source of moral outrage, those who feel it are feeling what is--to them--a very real and valid emotional reaction.

Here's an example I think we can both agree upon. In 1958, 4%--four percent--of Americans approved of interracial marriage. Those who opposed it felt moral outrage at the very thought, for a variety of reasons, including religious reasons. In 2013, 87% approved. Which view is "objectively moral," seer?

You bring up a good point. How does the evolution of morality affect the ontological argument?

Outis
02-28-2014, 09:33 AM
You bring up a good point. How does the evolution of morality affect the ontological argument?

The "ontological argument" is not actually an argument: it's a "preaching to the choir" justification for a priori beliefs. The evolution of morality does nothing to the argument, because those who buy into the argument take their a priori believs as more important than a posteriori evidence.

robrecht
02-28-2014, 09:38 AM
The "ontological argument" is not actually an argument: it's a "preaching to the choir" justification for a priori beliefs. The evolution of morality does nothing to the argument, because those who buy into the argument take their a priori believs as more important than a posteriori evidence.
I agree, but I've always liked the ontological argument. I think it may have been more convincing to those living within a (neo-)Platonic metaphysic and epistemology.

Outis
02-28-2014, 09:42 AM
I agree, but I've always liked the ontological argument. I think it may have been more convincing to those living within a (neo-)Platonic metaphysic and epistemology.

Whereas I feel Plato's insistence of "Forms" is somewhere between ridiculous and laughable. :hehe:

seer
02-28-2014, 09:43 AM
No, Seer--the difference is in the definition. You and I would define going to the next town and killing someone as murder. Plato would not define that as murder. THat is a fundamental difference.

Did Plato have a concept of murder, a concept of justice? As a Christian application is not an important consideration since men are sinful and hypocritical. These moral categories would exist despite a haphazard application.




Considering the different things that people become morally outraged about, and that there are conflicting cases of outrage, that is the only conclusion.

Considering the differences in definitions and reactions, yes, that certainly seems to be the case.

So if different cultures, separated by time and distance, came up with a moral axiom like the golden rule that would merely be chance?



Still a non-sequiter, Seer. Regardless of the potential source of moral outrage, those who feel it are feeling what is--to them--a very real and valid emotional reaction.

The question remains - why would we feel moral outrage about any behavior?


Here's an example I think we can both agree upon. In 1958, 4%--four percent--of Americans approved of interracial marriage. Those who opposed it felt moral outrage at the very thought, for a variety of reasons, including religious reasons. In 2013, 87% approved. Which view is "objectively moral," seer?

I never suggested that moral opinions, in some areas, could not change - sin influences everything. And the second view would be closer to biblical truth since were are all created in the image of God and are of the same blood line.

Outis
02-28-2014, 10:01 AM
Did Plato have a concept of murder, a concept of justice? As a Christian application is not an important consideration since men are sinful and hypocritical. These moral categories would exist despite a haphazard application.

So, let me get this straight. The universality of human moral standards is evidence for an absolute moral standard, even when the human moral standards can be radically different, thus not actually universal?


So if different cultures, separated by time and distance, came up with a moral axiom like the golden rule that would merely be chance?

It certainly can be, especially if there is a common psychological foundation for such a rule, such as empathy.


The question remains - why would we feel moral outrage about any behavior?

Social groups develop rules about what is allowable or not allowable within the group. Regardless of the putative source of these rules (whether based on a putative objective standard, or developed from putative natural processes), these rules are taught to children at a very young age, depending on the appropriateness of the rule to the child's understanding. Those children become adults, and in turn teach their children. We learn the moral standards of our culture at an early enough age that for many of us, these are the rules that we have "always known." Many do not remember being taught that lying is wrong, or stealing is wrong, or hitting people is wrong, though (if you have had children) you doubtless remember teaching your children these things.


I never suggested that moral opinions, in some areas, could not change - sin influences everything. And the second view would be closer to biblical truth since were are all created in the image of God and are of the same blood line.

The variability of human moral standards indicates that your argument "Human moral standards point to an objective moral standard" is unsupported.

This does not _refute_ your argument, nor does the variability of human moral standards somehow "prove" that no objective moral standard exists. It simply means that the argument does not support your assertion, and your assertion must find other support.

seer
02-28-2014, 10:17 AM
So, let me get this straight. The universality of human moral standards is evidence for an absolute moral standard, even when the human moral standards can be radically different, thus not actually universal?

No, universal moral categories exist. We do believe that somethings are just or unjust, that there even exists a concept of murder, or that prudence is an ethical good as well as courage (BTW - I know of no culture where cowardice is considered praiseworthy).



It certainly can be, especially if there is a common psychological foundation for such a rule, such as empathy.

Ok, so is empathy a universal norm?


Social groups develop rules about what is allowable or not allowable within the group.

Yes, but why.

Outis
02-28-2014, 10:23 AM
No, universal moral categories exist. We do believe that somethings are just or unjust, that there even exists a concept of murder, or that prudence is an ethical good as well as courage (BTW - I know of no culture where cowardice is considered praiseworthy).

But I do know of behaviors that are considered courageous in one culture, and cowardly in another, thus under-cutting your assertion.


Ok, so is empathy a universal norm?

Empathy is a facet of human psychology. It is not a prescriptive "norm," any more than having four fingers and a thumb on each hand is a prescriptive norm: it is a descriptive feature that is typical, but not universal.

seer
02-28-2014, 10:28 AM
But I do know of behaviors that are considered courageous in one culture, and cowardly in another, thus under-cutting your assertion.

Really you know of a culture where cowardice is considered a good thing?




Empathy is a facet of human psychology. It is not a prescriptive "norm," any more than having four fingers and a thumb on each hand is a prescriptive norm: it is a descriptive feature that is typical, but not universal.

So if empathy is "typical" then the moral law that flows from that could be also typical - correct?

Outis
02-28-2014, 10:36 AM
Really you know of a culture where cowardice is considered a good thing?

Seer, when you reply to my arguments, it helps if you actually reply to what I am saying. I did not say that I know a culture where cowardice was considered to be a good thing: I said I know of behaviors that are considered courageous in one culture, and cowardly in another.

And yes, that culture is called "Christianity." The insistence on turning the other cheek was considered cowardly by the Germanic pagans (among others).


So if empathy is "typical" then the moral law that flows from that could be also typical - correct?

Empathy is not the source of local moral laws, though it is one possible influence. Other influences are the will to power (those in power want to keep it, and to expand their power if possible), the need for civic stability, cultural views of "outsiders," cultural concepts of propriety ... the list goes on.

seer
02-28-2014, 10:45 AM
Seer, when you reply to my arguments, it helps if you actually reply to what I am saying. I did not say that I know a culture where cowardice was considered to be a good thing: I said I know of behaviors that are considered courageous in one culture, and cowardly in another.

And yes, that culture is called "Christianity." The insistence on turning the other cheek was considered cowardly by the Germanic pagans (among others).

Ok, so you know of no culture where cowardice is considered praiseworthy.




Empathy is not the source of local moral laws, though it is one possible influence. Other influences are the will to power (those in power want to keep it, and to expand their power if possible), the need for civic stability, cultural views of "outsiders," cultural concepts of propriety ... the list goes on.

When I brought up the fact that we find the golden rule in diverse cultures, with no necessary connection, you pointed to empathy as the source. The golden rule is in fact a moral rule.

Outis
02-28-2014, 10:49 AM
Ok, so you know of no culture where cowardice is considered praiseworthy.

Did I not say as much? My point is that the definition of "courage" is not universal.


When I brought up the fact that we find the golden rule in diverse cultures, with no necessary connection, you pointed to empathy as the source. The golden rule is in fact a moral rule.

I pointed to empathy as a source, Seer--not as "the source." Again, please respond to what I am actually saying, and please do not try to make my words say something they do not.

OingoBoingo
02-28-2014, 11:43 AM
Did I not say as much? My point is that the definition of "courage" is not universal.

So you agree that there are certain universal core virtues. You just believe that there is variation in the application of those virtues.

Outis
02-28-2014, 11:48 AM
So you agree that there are certain universal core virtues. You just believe that there is variation in the application of those virtues.

As I indicated earlier, no. Two people may invoke an attribute by a common name, but if their definitions are different, they are actually not invoking the same thing.

OingoBoingo
02-28-2014, 11:55 AM
As I indicated earlier, no. Two people may invoke an attribute by a common name, but if their definitions are different, they are actually not invoking the same thing.

You know of no culture where cowardice is considered praiseworthy. You don't agree that all cultures share a common definition of courage, but you do agree that all cultures have a concept of courage. Is that correct?

Outis
02-28-2014, 12:01 PM
You know of no culture where cowardice is considered praiseworthy. You don't agree that all cultures share a common definition of courage, but you do agree that all cultures have a concept of courage. Is that correct?

I also agree that all cultures have a concept of food, but I'm not (for instance) eating raw meat, raw milk, and raw blood (the Maasai), nor do I care to indulge in a nice meal of lutefisk. :hehe: Seriously, OB, if two cultures have a concept called "courage," but the behavior in one culture is the opposite of the behavior in the other, then the idea of a "common concept" is ludicrous.

OingoBoingo
02-28-2014, 12:18 PM
I also agree that all cultures have a concept of food, but I'm not (for instance) eating raw meat, raw milk, and raw blood (the Maasai), nor do I care to indulge in a nice meal of lutefisk. :hehe: Seriously, OB, if two cultures have a concept called "courage," but the behavior in one culture is the opposite of the behavior in the other, then the idea of a "common concept" is ludicrous.

How can you be so sure that you know of no culture that praises cowardice, if a common concept of courage is ludicrous?

Carrikature
02-28-2014, 12:23 PM
How can you be so sure that you know of no culture that praises cowardice, if a common concept of courage is ludicrous?

:lol:

I think you want to rephrase that.

seer
02-28-2014, 12:24 PM
Did I not say as much? My point is that the definition of "courage" is not universal.

You see as a Christian I would not make the case for objective moral values with particulars. The reality of sin would preclude that. But moral concepts are a different story. The four Cardinal Virtues seem to be found most everywhere - even in the Tao, in one form or another. Application is less important than thinking in moral categories, or what you fill those categories with. We do believe that it is better to be just than unjust, courage is better than cowardice, self-control is better than no self-control, wisdom is better than foolishness.



I pointed to empathy as a source, Seer--not as "the source." Again, please respond to what I am actually saying, and please do not try to make my words say something they do not.

Well no you said: It certainly can be, especially if there is a common psychological foundation for such a rule, such as empathy.

Sounds like the common psychological foundation is the basis for the rule.

OingoBoingo
02-28-2014, 12:24 PM
:lol:

I think you want to rephrase that.

Why?

Outis
02-28-2014, 12:26 PM
How can you be so sure that you know of no culture that praises cowardice, if a common concept of courage is ludicrous?

Two separate questions with no real connection.

I do know of several people who condemn the Christian insistence upon "turning the other cheek" as cowardice. But I cannot agree that such an assertion is correct OR incorrect. From where I stand, these are cultural differences ... and I have no clues, outside of my own cultural teachings, that either definition is "objectively" correct.

Both may be wrong. There may be no "objective" standard of what courage is, nor an "objective" standard of whether or not courage is praiseworthy.

I do not know. And I seriously doubt that those who claim they do know actually have knowledge. From where I stand, each view seems to be borne from the prejudices of the originating culture.

Outis
02-28-2014, 12:29 PM
You see as a Christian I would not make the case for objective moral values with particulars.

Yet you base your argument upon particulars. Without particulars, the argument cannot be made. It may be accepted as an a priori belief, but it cannot be defended.


Well no you said: It certainly can be, especially if there is a common psychological foundation for such a rule, such as empathy.

Sounds like the common psychological foundation is the basis for the rule.

That is one interpretation, but your interpretation requires an over-arching presupposition. My interpretation does not make presuppositions ... but comes to no certain conclusions.

OingoBoingo
02-28-2014, 12:33 PM
Two separate questions with no real connection.

I do know of several people who condemn the Christian insistence upon "turning the other cheek" as cowardice. But I cannot agree that such an assertion is correct OR incorrect. From where I stand, these are cultural differences ... and I have no clues, outside of my own cultural teachings, that either definition is "objectively" correct.

Both may be wrong. There may be no "objective" standard of what courage is, nor an "objective" standard of whether or not courage is praiseworthy.

I do not know. And I seriously doubt that those who claim they do know actually have knowledge. From where I stand, each view seems to be borne from the prejudices of the originating culture.

They're connected. Courage and cowardice are antonyms. You know you've never seen cowardice praised, but you're less certain about the definition of courage.

Looks like you're pretty sure a concept of cowardice is universal, just not courage, which is a little strange.

Outis
02-28-2014, 12:38 PM
They're connected. Courage and cowardice are antonyms. You know you've never seen cowardice praised, but you're less certain about the definition of courage.

Looks like you're pretty sure a concept of cowardice is universal, just not courage, which is a little strange.

Looks to me like you're taking my words and attempting to twist them, instead of reading them for what they actually say.

You have two concepts that are antithetical:
* Courage consists of turning the other cheek when injured or insulted.
* Courage consists of responding to any injury with vengeance.

Which one is true? The only thing I can say is that these are the value judgements of the cultures from whence they originate.

The argument that both are examples of "courage" is nothing less than arguing that blue is actually orange when you need it to be.

OingoBoingo
02-28-2014, 12:59 PM
Looks to me like you're taking my words and attempting to twist them, instead of reading them for what they actually say.

You have two concepts that are antithetical:
* Courage consists of turning the other cheek when injured or insulted.
* Courage consists of responding to any injury with vengeance.

Which one is true? The only thing I can say is that these are the value judgements of the cultures from whence they originate.

The argument that both are examples of "courage" is nothing less than arguing that blue is actually orange when you need it to be.

I'm not twisting your words, I'm following them to their logical conclusions. You keep saying that cultures have different definitions of courage, but dealing with your own definition of courage and cowardice, you know of no culture that praises cowardice. There is a universal that you acknowledge. Another culture may define "courage" or "cowardice" in some way that's foreign to you, but you do see that regardless of how another culture defines a word, you do see universals.

Outis
02-28-2014, 01:04 PM
I'm not twisting your words, I'm following them to their logical conclusions.

No, OB, You are not. The _specific_ issue here is what I objected to as ludicrous. I objected to courage being simultaneously defined as two opposite concepts. I have not commented on the idea of a common concept of courage: my objection was to these two examples being applicable.

The more general issue here is that you refuse to see anything outside of your own pre-supposed context. :shrug: That's your choice, and there's nothing intrinsically wrong with that, that I am aware of. But it does mean that, as long as you choose to do so, you will not understand what I am actually saying. You will only understand what you think about my words.

whag
02-28-2014, 01:15 PM
I do know of several people who condemn the Christian insistence upon "turning the other cheek" as cowardice.

Even some Christians here regard the precept as applicable only in a situation like ancient Palestine, or the Jim Crow south. meaning they believe a literal interpretation of it would constitute something like cowardice.
It's a malleable precept.

OingoBoingo
02-28-2014, 01:16 PM
No, OB, You are not. The _specific_ issue here is what I objected to as ludicrous. I objected to courage being simultaneously defined as two opposite concepts. I have not commented on the idea of a common concept of courage: my objection was to these two examples being applicable.

But you have acknowledged a common concept of cowardice. That it isn't praised.


The more general issue here is that you refuse to see anything outside of your own pre-supposed context. :shrug: That's your choice, and there's nothing intrinsically wrong with that, that I am aware of. But it does mean that, as long as you choose to do so, you will not understand what I am actually saying. You will only understand what you think about my words.

I haven't stated "my" context. I'm still trying to figure out yours.

Outis
02-28-2014, 01:23 PM
But you have acknowledged a common concept of cowardice. That it isn't praised.

I have not acknowledged a "common concept." I've acknowledge only that I've never heard of a culture that says "We think cowardice is tops."


I haven't stated "my" context.

So your appeal to "universals" is not an appeal to Platonic forms, or a related concept?


I'm still trying to figure out yours.

If I have the Latin correct, "Quaesto omnibus."

OingoBoingo
02-28-2014, 01:34 PM
I have not acknowledged a "common concept." I've acknowledge only that I've never heard of a culture that says "We think cowardice is tops."

So, no commonality that you're aware of except that commonality.


So your appeal to "universals" is not an appeal to Platonic forms, or a related concept?

Maybe you're confusing me with Seer. I haven't made any appeals.

Outis
02-28-2014, 01:37 PM
So, no commonality that you're aware of except that commonality.

Is that commonality, or simple utilitarianism?


Maybe you're confusing me with Seer. I haven't made any appeals.

THe quote in question is thus:


Looks like you're pretty sure a concept of cowardice is universal, just not courage, which is a little strange.

And I see that you are, indeed, simply using the word "universal," not appealing to the Platonic concept. My apologies for the confusion.

OingoBoingo
02-28-2014, 02:12 PM
Is that commonality, or simple utilitarianism?

According to your view, to answer that we would need to see how courage/cowardice is being defined. That's why I asked you how you knew you've never seen cowardice praised in any culture. How can you know such a thing if there is such drastic variation in definition between cultures that the meaning of concepts like "courage" or "cowardice" becomes ludicrous to outsiders? Were you limiting your answer to only those cultural definitions you are personally familiar with? Do you believe it plausible that there are cultures that praise cowardice?


And I see that you are, indeed, simply using the word "universal," not appealing to the Platonic concept. My apologies for the confusion.

No problem.

Outis
02-28-2014, 02:27 PM
According to your view, to answer that we would need to see how courage/cowardice is being defined.

If I were making a formal survey, yes, that would be necessary. As I'm simply making a casual statement that I don't know of any such culture, I am simply commenting on the state of my knowledge, not on the state of cultural views of cowardice, however defined.


That's why I asked you how you knew you've never seen cowardice praised in any culture.

I answered based on my knowledge of specific cultures. If you took my answer as exhaustive, that was an error: it was not exhaustive, nor did I phrase it as such.


Do you believe it plausible that there are cultures that praise cowardice?

Plausible? Perhaps. I would have to see the culture in question before answering, or do a comprehensive survey of cultures, to have enough data.

Doug Shaver
03-01-2014, 11:43 PM
What would qualify as "substantial" in a conversion story?
For me, it would be a story by a former skeptic who was both scientifically and philosophically well informed, in which the skeptic related their discovery of a cogent argument for the truth of Christianity.

whag
09-14-2015, 06:32 AM
For me, it would be a story by a former skeptic who was both scientifically and philosophically well informed, in which the skeptic related their discovery of a cogent argument for the truth of Christianity.

I'd like to see a list of such former skeptics. I mean hardcore skeptics, not the flabby Kirk Cameron/Lee Strobel variety who don't realize how softcore they were before conversion.