February 28, 2009

Absolute Authority

Kip the Dip said: You say you're an anarchist, but I believe Paul (the apostle, not Ron) fundamentally disagreed with your political views:
"Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves." - Romans 13:2-3

CodewordConduit said: Should this apply if a woman is married to a wife-beater? A child molester?

From the essay Ethical Choices: A Case For Non-Conflicting Absolutism by Robert V. Rakestraw:

In this regard, it is helpful to recognize two categories or kinds (not "levels") of absolutes with regard to the locus of authority. Some absolutes require obedience directly to God, without human intermediaries, while other absolutes involve obedience to human beings whose authority has been delegated to them by God. Examples of the first category include prohibitions against lying, murder, adultery, and the commands to be patient and kind to others. The second category includes such matters as obedience to parents, governmental officials, and local church leaders.

Moral dilemmas often arise when an absolute from one category appears to clash with an absolute from the other category. When a child is told by her father to lie on the telephone, or, far worse, to submit to his advances, the resulting sense of conflict can be intense. In such cases the human authority must be disobeyed, but this is not an exception or an exemption to an absolute, for the absolute is defined in such a way that obedience is to be rendered only when human commands do not violate clear scriptural prohibitions and instructions.

God's moral absolutes never truly conflict, and that all of them are binding in any given situation, with the power of God present for their fulfillment.

bit.ly/AbAuth

50 comments:

  1. Dan wouldn't it just be easier to say that you are supposed to follow the laws of the land that don't stifle your rights to personally have a non-violent faith system (as per the New Testament)?

    Give to Caeser what is Caeser's etc.

    So if the law of a country banned Christian meetings, you would be biblically justified in having those meeting regardless - they do not break any of God's commands.

    It is perhaps foolish to apply Old Testament absolutes to the New Covenant - as you are now saved through faith. Have you looked into Situation Ethics, Dan?

    They're based on the Golden Rule, and are applied in a utilitarian manner.

    They make more sense to me (I am assuming a Christian perspective here); as once one is saved through faith it would seem that the "deeds" that James alludes to cannot be the fulfillment of the law (Jesus fulfilled the law).

    So what are "good" or "positive" deeds now?

    The situation ethicist considers positive deeds to be those which allow God's love to be demonstrated, applied and felt.

    The family situation that you described for yourself would certainly make sense to a situation ethicist, but not to an OT absolutist.

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  2. "God's moral absolutes never truly conflict, and that all of them are binding in any given situation, with the power of God present for their fulfillment."

    Oh, so we are not to murder, but we should murder witches. If our rulers tell us that killing witches is against the law, but we are sure that a woman is a witch, we must murder her anyways because this is what God wants. Now, we are told not to murder, but also to murder. Are these exceptions? Then how are they absolutes? Also, how do I determine whether a woman is a witch? I am told they weigh the same as a duck....

    When you say church leaders, should I listen to my local Imam as well? A Rabbi? What about two different denominations of Christian religious leaders? When they tell me two conflicting orders about a particular moral issue-both relying on scripture (god's command), who do I listen to? If I choose the advise of the Christian leader who is wrong in his interpretation, will I be punished by God for not doing what He wanted? So very confusing, Dan.

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  3. Dan,

    Doesn't the command to be patient and kind to others conflict with several OT edicts that demand we stone people for picking up sticks on the Sabbath? So confusing.

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  4. Clos,

    We should murder witches? When did Jesus say to do that?

    Now, we are told not to murder, but also to murder.

    Nope, that isn't true unless you subjectively believe capitol punishment is wrong. Then the confusion on your part would be understandable.

    Also, It is absolutely wrong to murder but if someone was to come and attempt to fatally harm my family then I would be justified to fill that person with as much lead as fast as my finger can issue.

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  5. "We should murder witches? When did Jesus say to do that?"

    Well, you claim both that you only worship one God and that one God cannot change his mind. You said so earlier. In the OT, it says thou shalt not suffer a witch to live...you know, all the murdering Christians did a few centuries ago?? Jesus=OT God. Did he change his mind?

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  6. "Also, It is absolutely wrong to murder but if someone was to come and attempt to fatally harm my family then I would be justified to fill that person with as much lead as fast as my finger can issue."

    Intentionally taking a life, whatever word you choose to call it (murder, killing) is either absolutely wrong in all cases, all times, all places...or it isn't. that is what absolutes are. So you would not be justified in taking the life of someone, even if they are taking the lives of your family. Where did Jesus say taking a life is justified when it is done in protection?

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  7. CwC,

    The family situation that you described for yourself would certainly make sense to a situation ethicist, but not to an OT absolutist.

    First, I could care less what people think about my situation. Second, I hate both of those labels are there more? :) That is like saying I can have some chocolate and then offer me chocolate covered roaches or chocolate covered rats.

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  8. Clos,

    In the OT, it says thou shalt not suffer a witch to live...you know, all the murdering Christians did a few centuries ago?? Jesus=OT God. Did he change his mind?

    First, just because people do things in the name of God does not justify it or make it right, like the inquisitions and the crusades from that false religion. Second, no He didn't "change his mind" because if you read the Bible correctly you would understand that we are now in Christ’s New Covenant Church Kingdom>

    Where did Jesus say taking a life is justified when it is done in protection?

    Good question. Along with the link above I will provide Luke 22:36 as a mantra "and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one."

    From the article named The Death Penalty: Godly or Ungodly?: "The Bible does allow for killing in self-defense. In a sense, there are different kinds of self-defense. There is personal self-defense, self-defense of the society (“social self-defense”) and there is national self-defense, which we call “war.” In all of these cases, the taking of another human life is allowed for by God."

    Currently, I do not have all the verse to back this up right now.

    From the same article:

    It may help to think of killing in terms of “just or unjust” and “accidental or on purpose.”

    Murder: unjust and on purpose.
    Manslaughter: unjust but accidental.
    Execution of criminals (social self defense): just and on purpose.
    Killing in war (national self defense): just and on purpose.
    Killing in personal self-defense: just and on purpose.
    Self defense resulting in an accidental death: just but accidental.

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  9. Also, It is absolutely wrong to murder but if someone was to come and attempt to fatally harm my family then I would be justified to fill that person with as much lead as fast as my finger can issue.

    Sorry, where's that in the bible?

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  10. Luke 22:36 asks his pupils to own a sword. Funny. Does not say anything about when and how to use it.

    A very subjective interpretation of this "absolute truth", Dan.

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  11. Geert,

    A very subjective interpretation of this "absolute truth", Dan.

    Yea, maybe so. It does help me sleep at night though, with one eye open of course. :)

    If someone can show me Biblically that God wants me to stand by and let my daughter get harmed then I would like to hear it. If I have to go to hell because I killed someone trying to harm her or any member of my family then so be it.

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  12. Dan,

    What is your philosophy when it comes to ethics then? If you could stick it in a nutshell, so as to speak.

    Why do you cling to the Law in certain circumstances when the debt of the Law has been paid for you?

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  13. CwC,

    What is your philosophy when it comes to ethics then?

    Good question. My main philosophy was hedonism for many years before becoming a Christian. But are you asking me to place secular philosophical reason into theological reflection? That would be difficult to say, I do love the term Non-Conflicting Absolutism if I am to understand it properly and completely. As I am sure you know, it has my personality written all over it.

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  14. If someone can show me Biblically that God wants me to stand by and let my daughter get harmed then I would like to hear it. If I have to go to hell because I killed someone trying to harm her or any member of my family then so be it.

    Congratulations, Dan, you're about a breath away from understanding why Pascal's wager simply does not work. Plain honesty and human righteousness is more important than cold calculation.

    Now, I also hope you see, with that very example, why any kind of absolutism simply does not work.

    Note that all, and I mean _all_ interpretation of the bible is subjective. The book is not written as a code of laws. You'll even break the 10 commandements in some, not even extreme, situations. You'll lie not to hurt people, etc.

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  15. I'll give you credit Dan, your moral worldview makes sense. The theology you're refering to is 'graded absolutism'. Norman Geisler uses this argument in her book Christian Ethics.

    However, I would assume that if their were a universal morality, it would be as complex as any of the sciences. For example: "Don't kill anyone" is considered an absolute. However, in the case of self-defense it is justified. From your perspective, the moral right to life overrides the moral commandment not to kill someone. I would think in reality there wouldn't be any overriding. The absolute would be "Don't kill anyone without good cause" whereas "good cause" would refer to a number of things, such as self-defense. Of course, this is just splitting hairs.

    The main problem with calling biblical ethics absolute is that Scripture has been reinterpreted over the centuries in order to fit the social norm. The Christians of the past burned witches (since the Bible condones burning people), owned slaves, beat their children, and perfered women to stay in the house as opposed to talking about how much they appreciate women bosses. Today's most fundamental Christians in America still cherry-pick from the Bible. Therefore, the Christians' claim to moral superiority over nonbelievers and not being "of the world" is an illusion.

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  16. Sorry, "his". Norman Geisler is a man. I read it as "Norma". XD

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  17. "It may help to think of killing in terms of “just or unjust” and “accidental or on purpose.”

    Murder: unjust and on purpose.
    Manslaughter: unjust but accidental.
    Execution of criminals (social self defense): just and on purpose.
    Killing in war (national self defense): just and on purpose.
    Killing in personal self-defense: just and on purpose.
    Self defense resulting in an accidental death: just but accidental."

    Dan,

    This is situational!!!! You have just demonstrated that absolutes do not exist. Thanks!

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  18. "In the OT, it says thou shalt not suffer a witch to live...you know, all the murdering Christians did a few centuries ago?? Jesus=OT God. Did he change his mind?

    First, just because people do things in the name of God does not justify it or make it right, like the inquisitions and the crusades from that false religion. Second, no He didn't "change his mind" because if you read the Bible correctly you would understand that we are now in Christ’s New Covenant Church Kingdom>"

    Dan,

    The Inquisition was not a perversion of church doctrine...that is what the fucking Bible instructs people to do....now, it was also used to keep women down, something else the Bible-in many passages-says is right. You pretend like your holy book is all peaches and gumdrops. One has to actually look very hard for the moral bits...and these are the only ones you all choose from. Also, how is a new covenant vs. an old covenant different from changing his mind? He basically says, "We are going to do things like this...and then, ok this isn't how we are going to do things anymore". If God is perfect, why wouldn't he just have "the plan"?

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  19. Clostridiophile wrote Dan,

    This is situational!!!! You have just demonstrated that absolutes do not exist. Thanks!


    Although I agree with you, Clos, Dan's morality really is absolute and unchanging: whatever his God says, goes. In other words, it's subject to the whims of a divine deity, but should be referred to as "absolute" by those who (should) worship Him.

    Of course, this is absolutely the worst method of establishing right and wrong for thinking intelligent beings who can barely agree on what that deity wants us to do. But Dan doesn't care about that too much. He'll torture babies or give to the poor - all based on how he interprets the Bible.

    ie. Biblical morality is, by definition, subjective.

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  20. Clos,

    This is situational!!!!

    It was you who thinks killing is absolutely wrong I was pointing out the facts that there is difference between murder and killing. Maybe this will help. Killing in war (national self defense) is absolutely just and absolutely on purpose. Murder is absolutely wrong.

    Also, how is a new covenant vs. an old covenant different from changing his mind?

    One word: fulfillment

    If God is perfect, why wouldn't he just have "the plan"?

    He did. The plan had to play out so everyone understands. You would be a horrible teacher with that mentality. Your sentiments would be "Just give the kids the answers" We must learn for ourselves because we are stubborn that way. Can you relate to that?

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  21. If someone can show me Biblically that God wants me to stand by and let my daughter get harmed then I would like to hear it. If I have to go to hell because I killed someone trying to harm her or any member of my family then so be it.

    It's good that you don't want any harm to come to your family but I accept the Bible challenge. This is the first verse I thought of:
    Luke 14:26 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple"

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  22. "It was you who thinks killing is absolutely wrong I was pointing out the facts that there is difference between murder and killing. Maybe this will help. Killing in war (national self defense) is absolutely just and absolutely on purpose. Murder is absolutely wrong."

    This is just wordplay. I personally do not find taking people's lives wrong in all situations. However, how do you decide when an instance is murder and when one is killing? This seems far from absolute, Dan...seems much more situational. The action-whatever you call it-is still taking someone's life intentionally. In absolute morality, an action is either always right or always wrong irrespective of the situation. For instance, in war, what if your country is Germany and you are a Nazi soldier. According to you, it is justified to support your country even though what they stand for is morally repugnant. I notice that Christians think that morality and ethics are so black and white without actually thinking about what they are saying.

    "Also, how is a new covenant vs. an old covenant different from changing his mind?"

    Why would God need to replace one part of his plan with another? Furthermore, why did God wait so long to "reveal" himself? There were literally thousands of religions before Judaism and Christianity. Was God just biding his time?

    "He did. The plan had to play out so everyone understands. You would be a horrible teacher with that mentality. Your sentiments would be "Just give the kids the answers" We must learn for ourselves because we are stubborn that way. Can you relate to that?"

    No, Dan, I haven't a clue what you are talking about here. This is gibberish.

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  23. ATVLC,

    Nice, this is to mean, as Matthew 10:37 says, that "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me"

    You might be right but I doubt it. We should love God more then even our family, true. The love I have for my family seems as hate compared to the love I have for God. Does that mean my love for God is any less when protecting that family? I don't think so. Nice job though, it gave me some pause for a moment. I should study that subject more to make sure I am right. Thanks for the homework. :)

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  24. Clos,

    For instance, in war, what if your country is Germany and you are a Nazi soldier. According to you, it is justified to support your country even though what they stand for is morally repugnant.

    Funny, that is not what I said a little bit ago.

    I notice that Christians think that morality and ethics are so black and white without actually thinking about what they are saying.

    They are black and white. So are you considered a thief for stealing bread to feed your family? Um...YES!

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  25. Kip,

    "Graded absolutism," Nice.

    Today's most fundamental Christians in America still cherry-pick from the Bible.

    IMHO that is absolutely dangerous.

    Therefore, the Christians' claim to moral superiority over nonbelievers and not being "of the world" is an illusion.

    I agree anyone group claiming superiority over another is just wrong. I lived for sin and was a wicked man. Even these days I don't consider myself to be a "good" Christian. I suck at it. I know I am no better then anyone and in the same breath I know there is no one better then me also. Hear that all you elitist atheists? We are equally wicked and sinners. There is none good but One.

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  26. Dan,

    What specifically is your absolute standard and how did you come to the conclusion that it was your absolute standard?

    Thanks

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  27. Rhiggs,

    What specifically is your absolute standard and how did you come to the conclusion that it was your absolute standard?

    I will ask how it is possible for you to know anything, before I give a answer to that question. You see, if you can’t know anything, then you have no basis for evaluating any answer I give, or whether or not I have even given one, and I would just be wasting my time. Also, what is the justification for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic you wish to use to evaluate my answer?

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  28. Dan said:

    "I will ask how it is possible for you to know anything, before I give a answer to that question. "

    Avoiding the question then...interesting that you answer some questions but not all...if you were consistent you would ask that of everyone for every question they ask of you. But you're not, so you don't.

    I already answered your question on a previous thread, but you ignored it. My position is the second of Stephen Law's accounts for logic, that there is nothing to be accounted for. Please refute it if you can or stop asking the same question over and over...

    Now I'll try again...

    What specifically is your absolute standard and how did you come to the conclusion that it was your absolute standard?

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  29. rhiggs,

    that there is nothing to be accounted for. Please refute it if you can or stop asking the same question over and over...

    Did you really say this almost in the same breath? Anyway, so did you use your logic to come to the conclusion that it is impossible for you to account for logic?

    What specifically is your absolute standard and how did you come to the conclusion that it was your absolute standard?

    God is the necessary precondition to valid reasoning and God has revealed it in such a way that we can be certain of it. I will ask how it is possible for you, within your worldview, to know anything with certainty?

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  30. Dan:

         "God has revealed it in such a way that we can be certain of it."
         If you believed that, you would state the method of revelation. If you do not know the method of revelation, you cannot judge it to be "such a way that we can be certain of it."
         It's sad, really. When you started this blog, you had so much promise. I didn't agree with your positions; but you did show that you were thinking about them. Now, apparently coached by Sye, you just use the presuppositional lie as a trump card.

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  31. Pvblivs,

    While the Bible is my ultimate authority, it is not the only means by which God has revealed Himself to us. It is through God's collective natural and special revelation that I know for certain my senses are reliable and can account for absolute, immaterial, universal laws of logic and reason.

    In contrast, you are stuck in an absurd worldview where you claim to sense the validity of your senses and reason the validity of your reasoning and are certain that we can't know things for certain.

    In addition to this, you deny the existence of absolute laws of logic and reason because you can't account for them, yet you do not live consistently with any of these professed beliefs and dodge the questions that would expose these obvious inconsistencies.

    It is apparent that you are continuing to cling to your worldview in a vain attempt to avoid accountability to the God of the Bible by willfully suppressing the Truth He has revealed to us all. My friend, this is extremely foolish and dangerous. (scmike, who said it better then I could)

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  32. Dan:

         "In contrast, you are stuck in an absurd worldview where you claim to sense the validity of your senses and reason the validity of your reasoning and are certain that we can't know things for certain."
         No, I assume the validity of my senses and reasoning. You assume the validity of yours as well. You just like to pretend that there is an independent verification. But the verification you present is not independent.
         You state that you take the bible as your ultimate authority and I will not dispute that you do so. But how do you know what the bible says. You read it. You use your sight and your reasoning to determine what it says. You must, therefore, assume the validity of these before you invoke the bible.
         "In addition to this, you deny the existence of absolute laws of logic and reason because you can't account for them, yet you do not live consistently with any of these professed beliefs and dodge the questions that would expose these obvious inconsistencies."
         I do not deny the existence of laws of logic. I assert the claim of "absolute" to be meaningless. Neither do I dodge your questions. I have exposed them as the shams that they are. I have stated that I do not "account" for logic. I presume it. Any accounting would have to use logic. Anyone who claims to account for logic is deceiving himself at best. Your question is a sham because it has a faulty premise, that it is possible and desirable to account for logic. It is neither. Logic must be assumed before one can begin.
         In fact, you pose the sham questions as a dodge whenever someone asks or exposes something inconvenient for you. You may as well be shouting "JESUS IS A LIE!!!" You are not exposing inconsistencies in my beliefs. (There might be some; you're just not exposing any.) You are exposing the insincerity of your faith.

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  33. Dan said:

    "Did you really say this almost in the same breath? Anyway, so did you use your logic to come to the conclusion that it is impossible for you to account for logic?"

    Wow, you are really bad at this! I didn't say it was impossible to account for logic Dan, I said logic doesn't need to be accounted for. Its a fairly easy distinction to understand, for most people. Now please refute it. You keep asking for an account as if you can refute all possible answers, but I have never seen you even attempt to do so...


    I asked: "What specifically is your absolute standard and how did you come to the conclusion that it was your absolute standard?"

    Dan answered: "God is the necessary precondition to valid reasoning and God has revealed it in such a way that we can be certain of it."

    Can I assume that God is your absolute standard then? And God has revealed this to you. You see Dan an absolute standard must be 100% absolute in every possible situation and circumstance without needing verification. If it needs verification, then its not absolute, its contingent on the verification. You came to the conclusion that God was your absolute standard following revelation. This means that your decision was contigent on your revelation, so God is not an absolute standard.


    "I will ask how it is possible for you, within your worldview, to know anything with certainty?"

    All I know with absolute certainty is that I exist. It is all you know with absolute cetainty too, whether you admit it or not. I will ask you this, is it possible for someone to be certain of something and yet be wrong?

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  34. Here's a fourth non-Christian account for logic posted by David B. Ellis at Stephen Law's blog:


    Another, more succinct version of my argument for logic in an atheistic universe. One agreeing with the claim that the idea of a "foundation" of logic is based on a misunderstanding of what logic is:

    1. There are necessarily true propositions (logical truths). That is, propositions which cannot, under any circumstances, be false.

    2. If a proposition would not be true if God didn't exist then it is, by definition, not necessarily true.

    3. Therefore, necessarily true propositions do not require that God exist to be true (by the impossibility of the contrary).

    Since Sye is so enamoured of the idea of "impossibility of the contrary" I thought someone should show him what it looks like to use it in an actual argument.

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  35. Dan wrote I will ask how it is possible for you to know anything, before I give a answer to that question.

    Practice makes perfect, ey Dan?

    It's important to note that you also can not account for your ability to reason. Why?

    Before your God communicated to you that He is the source of logic & reason, you must have been able to reason. Without that, you wouldn't be able to understand the meaning of the communication, or be able to tell whether you were being tricked somehow.

    Christian presupposition is dishonest because, ultimately, you're in the same boat that you claim non-believers are.

    It should also be noted that a world view which requires its believers to be dishonest (in order to validate itself) is morally bankrupt. I expect you to ignore that and fire off another "How can you be certain blah blah blah", but really, Dan, everyone here sees exactly what's happening.

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  36. rhiggs,

    This means that your decision was contingent on your revelation, so God is not an absolute standard.

    So it's not an absolute standard if it's not recognized? Can one ignore, or not give credit to, the absolute standard which they rely on daily?

    I just said on another blog that I admit I still am shaky on the ice. That is why, for now, I rely on brilliant minds (good skaters).

    Dr. Greg Bahnsen sure worded it nicely:

    Because of your rejection of God's revealed truth, you have "become vain in your reasonings" (Rom. 1:21). By means of your foolish perspective they end up "opposing yourself" (2 Tim. 2:25). You follow a conception of knowledge which does not deserve the name (1 Tim. 6:20). Your philosophy and presuppositions rob you of knowledge (Col. 2:3, 8), leaving you in ignorance (Eph. 4:17-18; Acts 17:23). I aim here to cast down your reasonings (2 Cor. 10:5) and to challenge you in the spirit of Paul: "Where is the wise? Where is the disputer of this world? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?" (1 Cor. 1:20).

    It's a very new and interesting subject. Thanks for your patience? :)

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  37.      "I just said on another blog that I admit I still am shaky on the ice. That is why, for now, I rely on brilliant minds (good skaters)."
         In other words, you want to challenge other people's beliefs but wish to be excused from having your own challenged. Or, to use your own words you "do not live consistently with any of these professed beliefs and dodge the questions that would expose these obvious inconsistencies."

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  38. Pvblivs,

    In other words, you want to challenge other people's beliefs but wish to be excused from having your own challenged. Or, to use your own words you "do not live consistently with any of these professed beliefs and dodge the questions that would expose these obvious inconsistencies."

    It sure sounds bad when you put it that way. Another way would be that I am new to this apologetic method and my confidence is not at 100% to argue the points with my own words at this very moment. Thanks for your continued patience.

    We can learn together if you like with my new post Worldviews in Conflict

    Can we sit next to each other in class? :7)

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  39.      I hold no objection to the fact that you quote others whom you believe to express a point better than you could. However, you do seem to evade questions with the "I need you to prove your reasoning is valid first" nonsense. In this case, you seemed to be avoiding rhiggs's point. Even the person you quoted gave an impression of not listening to dissent.

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  40. Dan said:

    "So it's not an absolute standard if it's not recognized? Can one ignore, or not give credit to, the absolute standard which they rely on daily?"

    Well think about it. Prior to your revelation, God was not your absolute standard. This only happened following your revelation. So God's position as your absolute standard was contingent on your revelation. Sure this makes God a subjective standard, but not an absolute standard. An absolute must be true in any situation, not just in some situations. The only real absolute anyone can have is 'i exist'.

    Its like the fourth account for logic I posted above (by D Ellis):

    -An absolute truth must be true in all possible situations.

    -If God is necessary for a certain truth to be absolute, then that truth was never absolute to begin with, due to the fact that it would be dependent on God's existence.

    -We can conclude from this that absolute truths are not dependent on God's existence.


    Dan quoted Greg Bahnsen:

    "Because of your rejection of God's revealed truth, you have "become vain in your reasonings" (Rom. 1:21)....."

    Do you see what is necessary for Bahnsen's argument here? First he needs to set up a strawman of an atheist's position. That we knowingly reject God's revealed truth. Thats bull. Bahnsen's (and Sye's) argument falls at the first hurdle. Think about it. If God revealed to me all of these things and I believed them to be true, why would I reject them? Why would I knowingly subject myself to eternal torture in hell? I'm sure some of God's word is good, and I know some of it is bad, but I just don't care, because God is not an authority figure in my life, he is an imaginary being in yours.

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  41. Rhiggs,

    If God revealed to me all of these things and I believed them to be true, why would I reject them?

    Great question. So why would you personally reject truth? You are rejecting God for many reasons listed in the Bible. Wickedness of one's heart is a start to figure it out. Don't you believe that if effort to know God was taken he would indeed reveal Himself to you? (John 14:21) Do you admit that it is possible that an omniscient, omnipotent being could reveal some things to us, such that we can be certain of them?

    Why would I knowingly subject myself to eternal torture in hell?

    Because you understand that unrepentant crimes deserve punishment.

    I'm sure some of God's word is good, and I know some of it is bad,

    God is good (kind) to the saved because they honor God so yes those words are good. God also does get angry at unrepentant wickedness, as we all do if we are honest with ourselves. Those words are very bad to the unsaved, I agree. (Revelation 14:10-11)

    but I just don't care, because God is not an authority figure in my life, he is an imaginary being in yours.

    So if you don't believe something that automatically renders it false? IS this another fine example or a trait of your worldview? Relativism?

    So is your "Absolute Authority" self?

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  42. Dan said:

    Don't you believe that if effort to know God was taken he would indeed reveal Himself to you? (John 14:21) Do you admit that it is possible that an omniscient, omnipotent being could reveal some things to us, such that we can be certain of them?"

    OK I hope he reveals himself to me today. Ask him to please. I have looked for him before and found nothing. I'll let you know tomorrow...

    Is it possible to think you are certain but actually be wrong?


    Because you understand that unrepentant crimes deserve punishment.

    Yes and that is what the justice system is for.

    So if you don't believe something that automatically renders it false?

    Sure Dan, I learnt that from you...


    BTW you still haven't even attempted to refute any atheistic account for logic that has been presented. I will remind you of that the next time you parrot one of those presupp phrases...

    Rhiggs

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  43. Rhiggs,

    OK I hope he reveals himself to me today.

    Then reveal your humble loyalty today first. Why don't you start by honestly repenting of all your wickedness and place your trust in Him for everything. Get back into His word and he will reveal Himself to you as promised. (John 14:21) Be patient, it will happen.

    Is it possible to think you are certain but actually be wrong?

    Sure, for many subjects, except one. I was certain that there was no God for 30 years of my life until I was proven wrong.

    I will remind you of that the next time you parrot one of those presupp phrases...

    Yea, that might be frustrating but I mean well. Just because I don't have all the answers doesn't mean I don't know how to get said answers. I will do my best to refrain until I know what I am talking about though. That shouldn't take long ;p

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  44. Hi Dan, I waited up all night and God didn't reveal himself to me. I am forced to conclude that God is just an imaginary being in your head.

    Tell you what, I believe that if you open your heart the Invisible Pink Hammer will reveal himself to you. You try it tonight and if you get no revelation, we'll see what you conclude...


    I asked: Is it possible to think you are certain but actually be wrong?

    Dan answered: Sure, for many subjects, except one. I was certain that there was no God for 30 years of my life until I was proven wrong.

    OK so the only thing you are certain about is that God exists. That automatically excludes the certainty you have in your revelation and the love for your family then, right?

    So in the 30th year of your life you came to the conclusion that there was a God, hence you first assumed that you could reason in order to come to that conclusion. Your original presupposition was that you can reason. If you cannot reason then you cannot trust your revelation, despite an assurance of certainty. Its as simple as that.

    Also, God is not your absolute standard because his existence was contingent on your revelation. He is now a subjective standard in your life.


    Dan said:

    Yea, that might be frustrating but I mean well. Just because I don't have all the answers doesn't mean I don't know how to get said answers. I will do my best to refrain until I know what I am talking about though. That shouldn't take long ;p

    The problem is Dan that you ask a question like 'how do you account for logic' or 'how do you know for certain', and then when someone answers, you do not respond. Then a few posts later you ask again as if no answer was ever given. Sye was guilty of this too.

    I answered your questions (scroll up) but you didn't even attempt to refute my answer. You just asked if I used logic to come to my conclusion. Yes of course I did. You also used logic to come to your conclusion that God created logic. We're in the same boat.

    Then I look on a more recent article and you're asking the same question to someone else, as if no atheist has ever answered it.

    Then when people point this out to you, you act as though they are just getting frustrated because they have no answer to begin with.

    Its a vicious circle of frustration:


    Dan "Account for logic"

    Me "OK blah blah blah....."

    Dan *silence*

    ......
    ...
    ......

    Dan "Account for logic"

    Me "I already did, I'll repeat it blah blah blah....."

    Dan *silence*

    ......
    ...
    ......

    Dan "Account for logic"

    Me "Look this is getting annoying"

    Dan *smirk* "I can see why, you have no answer"

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  45. Rhiggs,

    Hi Dan, I waited up all night and God didn't reveal himself to me. I am forced to conclude that God is just an imaginary being in your head.

    With folded arms demanding God bow to your demands is no way to persuade Him. Next time try to do things on His terms the results would be miraculous.

    That automatically excludes the certainty you have in your revelation and the love for your family then, right?

    Oops, I might have missed a couple of things. I was on a one tract mind at the time. Of course there are other things I am certain of. Nice dig though.

    Also, God is not your absolute standard because his existence was contingent on your revelation. He is now a subjective standard in your life.

    God and His Word is the absolute standard. God has revealed many things to us (Which, if you haven’t gathered, includes me – and you for that matter) i.e. That He exists, that murder is bad, that love is good, that we were created in His image, that Jesus Christ is His Son, that He controls the universe. etc. etc.

    Then when people point this out to you, you act as though they are just getting frustrated because they have no answer to begin with.

    You still to this day haven't answered Sye's questions:

    "I see that you have posted a number of questions again. As per your suggestion, I will ask how it is possible for you to know anything, before I respond. You see, if you can’t know anything, then you have no basis for evaluating any answer I give, or whether or not I have even given one, and I would just be wasting my time. Also, what is the justification for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic you wish to use to evaluate my answers.

    If you again claim that you can know things by your ‘senses and judgement,’ please tell us how you know them to be valid."

    Please tell me again what is the justification for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic you wish to use and how you know them to be valid?

    You know because I am so slow.

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  46. Dan said:

    "You still to this day haven't answered Sye's questions:

    "I see that you have posted a number of questions again. As per your suggestion, I will ask how it is possible for you to know anything, before I respond. You see, if you can’t know anything, then you have no basis for evaluating any answer I give, or whether or not I have even given one, and I would just be wasting my time. Also, what is the justification for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic you wish to use to evaluate my answers.

    If you again claim that you can know things by your ‘senses and judgement,’ please tell us how you know them to be valid."
    "


    So both you and Sye want me to first explain how I know anything. Your point is that unless I am able to prove that I know something, then you are wasting your time in answering my questions because I would be unable to evaluate your answer. Is this your position?

    Can you not see how ridiculous that position is?

    Firstly, if this is truly what you think, then you should never answer or talk to anyone who is not already in agreement with your worldview, as you cannot be sure if they can know anything either. The very act of discussing something with me or any other non-Christian shows your inconsistency. It is very telling that are happy to discuss things most of the time, but then occassionally you break out the 'how can you know anything' response. Its an obvious attempt to evade answering a difficult question. You are effectively trying to kill the line of enquiry because you can't deal with it.

    Secondly, if you do not think that I can evaluate your answer, then how do you expect me to evaluate your question in the first place? More inconsistency. You are happy to assume that I can understand your 'how can you know anything' question...yet I won't understand your response if I don't provide such proof. Surely the act of even attempting to provide proof would itself be proof that I understood your question, hence I am able to know for certain what you were asking me.




    Dan also said:

    "Please tell me again what is the justification for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic you wish to use and how you know them to be valid?

    You know because I am so slow.
    "

    My answer is that no justification is needed. If you disagree please provide evidence or a rational reason why logic needs to be justified to begin with. The very act of trying to account for logic must necessarily use logic, hence there cannot be an objective answer to the problem. You might not like it, but the laws of logic are axiomatic IMHO, so they are self-evident. To ask a question like 'account for logic....' is to misunderstand what logic is. This is expanded on by Stephen Law here.

    Now its simple what you have to do Dan. You either have to refute this justification or stop asking how an atheist can account for logic. It has been answered. Now lets say that you do manage to refute my answer. This would not automatically prove your position. It would only knock one possible explanation off the list, a list that needs to be completely cleared in order for your position to be declared correct. For example you would also have to refute the account given by David B. Ellis at Stephen Law's blog:

    1. There are necessarily true propositions (logical truths). That is, propositions which cannot, under any circumstances, be false.

    2. If a proposition would not be true if God didn't exist then it is, by definition, not necessarily true.

    3. Therefore, necessarily true propositions do not require that God exist to be true (by the impossibility of the contrary).


    Not to mention Stephen Law's other two accounts and the Invisible Pink Hammer account and the computer programmer account and the FSM account....etc

    As I said before, ideally you need a proof that disproves all other possible accounts. But you do not have such a proof hence, like the rest of us, your position is just your opinion.

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  47. Rhiggs,

    My answer is that no justification is needed.

    Yes, I understand that you accept the Laws of Logic as an axiom, but that tells us nothing about what actually is. You assume the axiom to be true, but since it can be neither demonstrated nor proven to be true, you cannot know it to be true. For that matter, you cannot know the reasoning with which you reason about axioms is itself valid. Surely you would grant that there are invalid axioms, and also that there is invalid reasoning and I do not see how it is possible for you to get from that to certainty about anything. (borrowed from Sye, of course)

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  48. Dan,

    You asked how I account for logic. I answered you but now you are shifting the goalposts and changing the question to 'what is true?'. That is dishonest. At least try to address the claim and try to refute it.

    Sye word's are bullshit. I can simply say the following:

    I understand that you accept the exsistence of God as an axiom, but that tells us nothing about what actually is. You assume the axiom to be true, but since it can be neither demonstrated nor proven to be true, you cannot know it to be true. For that matter, you cannot know the reasoning with which you reason about axioms is itself valid. Surely you would grant that there are invalid axioms, and also that there is invalid reasoning and I do not see how it is possible for you to get from that to certainty about anything.

    You see Dan, you presuppose your ability to reason whether you understand that you do or not. Surely you would grant that there are invalid beliefs although the believer is certain in their beliefs. You have no way of actually proving that you are not one of these people with invalid beliefs.

    Not to mention that you still haven't refuted all other possible accounts for logic, thus discrediting the presupp claim that only Christians can account for logic.

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