January 19, 2016

A New Hope?

I saw some encouraging words today in one of my long discussions somewhere else:
Salty Biscuit said: "Wow. I have to tell you, when we started this conversation, it felt like talking against a wall. But then somehow, we started understanding each other. This last comment actually moved me. I may not be fully convinced, but I think I will keep talking to religious people I know in person or find on the internet. I will try to understand them better, learn from them and maybe in the end, I will return to this very comment section and I'll be able to tell you I found [God]."

This was what I said to him before:

"...I see, and understand, your struggle. The Bible is very clear why you're struggling. The Bible states you're suppressing the truth in your unrighteousness. It's willful. God also says that you will not get to knowledge without repentance. 2 Corinthians 3:15-16 points that repentance comes before knowledge of truth, not after: 2 Timothy 2:24-26 It also says that God will not refuse anyone seeking Him, but you cannot approach God in arrogance. Psalms 51:17 states how to approach the Creator of our universe. Doubtful folding arms will not get any results. He gave you His absolute promise if you do this, He will open your understanding of Him, even more: John 14:21 spells it out. I get it though, we seem crazy and wishful, but we aren't. I have 6 kids and the greatest wife on the planet. I am also a grandfather. I am not some false preacher here, like a Benny Hinn or Joel Osteen, that attempt to discourage rational people. Keep seeking.

Talking to skeptical people is like talking to a 19 year old kid who just broke up with his first love. He feels there is no way to continue without her, that life has ended, etc. But when you talk to him when he is 24 and ask him to recall those beliefs, he is embarrassed as to the way he was acting in his young 19 year old beliefs, and it seems absurd to him now. I was raised in an atheistic home, and I could NEVER, ever return back to those beliefs. I know now. God manifested Himself in such a large way to me that it would be impossible to turn from it. I feel your struggle, as I was there myself. But, if I were you, I would spend however long it takes begging God to grant you that gift of repentance.

When I was 23, I'm 47 now, I got real serious exploring the truth of the claims of God. God granted me repentance, even though it was undeserved, and it took 10 years to finally get to the point of being a Christian. When I see you in Heaven, I will be so grateful and celebrate with you for all eternity, having good laughs about these times together when we both almost didn't make it. I cannot wait. I will continue to trust that God answered my prayers about you. Please let me know when you find Him, if you're looking that is.

BTW, baby steps first. For now all you seem to have is gripes and complaints that can be accounted for, and justified, within our Christian worldview, but impossible to address within an atheistic worldview. Milk before meat. Terms like bad, evil, and wrong comport with my worldview, because we have that absolute standard of good, but not an atheistic worldview which denies that standard source called God. Hate to break this news to you, but the Bible calls you an antichrist: 1 John 2:22, 1 John 4:3, 1 John 2:18 Fight to shed that label from the Creator of the universe, before it's too late. HERE are all the verses I pointed to in a handy link: bit.ly/Seekplea "

This is all I want, just a glimmer of hope in individuals that are actually seeking. Obviously, pray for Salty Biscuit and thank God for possibly granting repentance.



  1. Hey Dan! Good on you!

    I may have mentioned this a few dozen times before, but you don't need to believe in God or absolute morality to have beliefs about what is good and what is bad. Just because you can't draw a line between a "hill" and a "mountain" doesn't make the terms meaningless- and all you need here are the laws of physics, which don't need to be an omniscient omnipotent Creator. But I'm sure you know this already.

    cheers from snowy (it's about time) Vienna, Scott

    1. Hills are defined, according to geograph, any part of land whose height is less than 600 meters, with rounded tops with no peaks, is referred to as hill.

      If the height is greater than 600 meters, then it is called a mountain.

      Words have meanings. I agree with you, if you're making the point that belief and opinion do not amount to knowledge. Just don't confuse the terms epistemology with ontology here. You may have been given knowledge of "x" (like a conscience), but that doesn't give an account of, or origins of, "x".

      You, the Atheist, may know you have a conscience, but deny and speculate, to the origins.

    2. Greg Bahnsen, Puts It Like This: “Imagine a person who comes in here tonight and argues 'no air exists' but continues to breathe air while he argues. Now intellectually, atheists continue to breathe - they continue to use reason and draw scientific conclusions [which assumes an orderly universe], to make moral judgments [which assumes absolute values] - but the atheistic view of things would in theory make such 'breathing' impossible. They are breathing God's air all the time they are arguing against him.” ~ Greg L. Bahnsen

    3. Hey Dan. Good be with you and yours.

      I must disagree with Bahnsen. I don't need God to reason or to assume an orderly universe: the utility of both is observable. And of course you can make moral judgments without assuming absolute values, just as you can breathe without assuming absolute breathing. And whose air is God breathing?

      cheers from warm Vienna, Scott

    4. >> Good be with you and yours.

      You cannot spell Good without the letters 'God'. You cannot spell funeral without the letters 'real fun'.

      >> I must disagree with Bahnsen. I don't need God to reason or to assume an orderly universe: the utility of both is observable.

      That is not Bahnsen's position. I agree that you don't need God for false reasoning and assumptions. What you do need God for is to account for rational reasoning and knowledge. You're still appealing to fallacious arguments, appeal to ignorance, to account for such things. We're not debating empirical observations, merely your basis for trusting them.

      >> And of course you can make moral judgments without assuming absolute values

      You cannot make said moral judgments without a conscience. Again, Meister states, "By arguing for a belief in or knowledge of morality without providing a justification for morality, atheists confuse moral epistemology (moral knowledge) with moral ontology (foundation existence of morality)." bit.ly/assmorals

      >> just as you can breathe without assuming absolute breathing. 

      You can ONLY breathe with air. This is like saying air is not required to breath.  Or parents are not required to make a baby. It's illogical reasoning. All evidence is evidence for God, even your ability to reason about said evidence, is evidence for God. You'd have to deny your existence to deny God, air, or even your parents. In other words, you know He exists and by crying "where is the evidence" is denying your own existence. Its absurd to reason with someone that is actually denying their own existence, all the while, demanding evidence for God.

      The revelation is not something you can escape. Even if you deny a special revelation, like the Bible, you are still in the world of natural revelation. 

      >> And whose air is God breathing?

      Is this yet another one of your assumptions?

    5. You cannot spell "Daniel" without the letters "and lie". This is not a real argument...

      What Meister calls "moral knowledge" is all there is, as far as I can see: our threefold inheritance of our genes, our societies, and our reason. Morals are only founded in God if God exists, which remains to be shown.

      cheers from sleety Vienna, Scott.

    6. Now, that was funny.

      Because there are absolute standards in morality, God exists as evidenced.

    7. Oh noes, not the "absolute standards" again. Haven't we been through this before, Dan?

      Is "thou shalt not kill" an absolute standard?

    8. "Thou shalt not murder" is certainly an absolute standard.

    9. What's absolute about it? How exactly do you define "murder"? Can you always differentiate between murder and, say, manslaughter or self-defense? I don't see how, and that makes "thou shalt not murder" not absolute.

    10. Each of those terms has their own definition. Murder is defined how is defined. No jumping through hoops needed. Self-defense is defined with "kill" not murder, and defined further in Scripture. "Murder" is absolutely defined by God and man. Killing is determined with evidence of intent. If accidental, Scripture defines what to do, and man defines it through the courts. It's clearly defined though.

    11. So you think it's always black and white? That doesn't seem to me the way things are- there's a continuum between "self defense" and "manslaughter" and "murder". Or do you think you can always know?

      How is the family? Everyone healthy?

      cheers from cool Vienna, Scott

    12. First, family is flawless. Hope the same with you.

      I believe God allowed us to know the difference. We have the gift of conscience. Now, that is not to mean we're not fallible and cross that line. Hating someone without cause is murder. It doesn't end with us, it ends with Jesus Christ taking us Christian's sins upon Himself, so we're made pure and perfect through Him, certainly not us. So, like our conscience, the courts gauge if justified or not. We live with all of our choices, good and bad.

  2. It's kinda interesting how your quote begins with the word "imagine". But then again, it meshes nicely with your beliefs, doesn't it?

    1. What is interesting is that you're not understanding the absurdity of arguing there is no air, while using air. Same arguing there is no God. Your comment just makes your position appear to have zero intellectual merit and unworthy of a rational adult's consideration.

      Confirmation bias is not something to be proud of.

    2. What exactly makes you think I don't understand it?

      I was merely pointing out that this situation is imaginary. Just like your God. Don't you think it's interesting that you have to imagine your God's interactions with the world we live in?

      "I found my lost keys. Must be God!" - this kind of stuff.

      Where are the good old-fashioned miracles? Manna from heaven, bread multiplication, etc? Instead we get, what? Burned toasts. What, are the modern sinners not worthy of more effort? God loves us, but can't be bothered these days to crank the miracle machine up?

    3. Hi Dan. I just need one question answered: would you do anything your god told you yo do?

    4. I'm doing, and failing, now. Romans 6 may be the goal, but Romans 7:17-25 is our reality.

      Now, if you're talking about an Abraham and Isaac moment, it is not comparable these days. We have Christ the sacrificial Son of that shadowy prophecy then. For everything today I can say absolutely yes. Because Jesus Christ is Lord of my reasoning now, He compels me to do His plan. At least, I hope that is the case, but I'm failing I am sure.

      It's like asking, would you do what your wife asks you to do? Would you?

  3. A couple of statements from a post on my by blog entitled "Believe in God's word",
    "How many people have been deceived to think that the word of God (the Holy Bible) is just some ancient script which can't be trusted? Satan instills in people a hunger for signs and scientific evidence for the existence of God for them to be convinced. The Bible teaches that faith is not by sight (refer to 2 Cor. 5:7 and Hebrews 11:1), instead it's from hearing the word of God (refer to Romans 10:17). However, Satan is trying to redefine faith by propagating the false notion that faith has to be based on sight (by what you are able to see). There are so many things invisible to the naked eye of a human because of our limitations to all of our senses. Just because we can't perceive something with our senses, doesn't it mean it doesn't exist. For example, quarks, electrons, atoms, nucleus, DNA, cell organelles, various gases, components of the light spectrum (X-rays, gamma rays, UV rays, infrared light), different radio frequencies, different audio frequencies, electromagnetic waves, etc. can't be perceived with our senses. There are so many living organisms that can't be perceived with our senses like bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, etc. Who can see everything in outer space with their naked eye? They exist regardless of us being able to perceive them. Science and technology enables our naked senses to perceive and understand about all of these things. You need specialized microscopes to visualize things which are too small to see for the naked eye. You need telescopes to see things in outer space. Likewise, in order perceive a spiritual being like God, you need faith. Faith is the special tool you need to perceive God with your spirit. God is an invisible Spirit, hence, there's no technology that can be developed to aid our senses to perceive Him. He is a spiritual being, and hence, we can only perceive Him by our own spirit through faith. God has given us His word (the Bible) in order that we can spiritually hear His voice. When you read the Bible (by sight) or hear someone speaking from the Bible, God's word will be propagated through those bodily senses and be transmitted to your inner bring (your spirit) in order that faith may come to you.
    God enabled the writer of Hebrews to see the truth that we and the rest of God's creation were created from things which are unseen (refer to Hebrews 11:3). Our bodies are composed of quarks, electrons, atoms, nuclei, cell organelles, DNA, etc. None of these things can be visualized by the naked eye. Yet, the writer of Hebrews confidently wrote that verse as he trusted in God's inspiration. He had faith that everything which God inspired and revealed to him was true, even though he wasn't given the full understanding and details as we understand through science today. The writer of Hebrews (just like other people in his time- which was about 2,000 years ago) had no idea regarding the modern scientific terms and explanations to describe the composition of our body, yet even he knew by faith that God had created humans from things which they couldn't visualize and fully understand. Notice how God revealed this truth 2,000 years ago through the Bible and how it's taken the span of another 2,000 years for humans to discover and grasp the scientific evidence we're able to perceive and understand today. God has revealed even a more profound truth in Acts 17:28 and Colossians 1:17 that we are held together, live, move, and exist in Him. When will science be able to grasp and understand that? Will it take another 2,000 years or is that even possible to understand by human wisdom?

  4. (continued- part 2)

    Colossians 1:15 states that Jesus Christ is the visible image of the invisible God (the Trinity). When God the Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, as the visible image (flesh/human form) to the earth 2,000 years ago, many people still doubted Him, despite all the miracles He performed. They kept asking Him for a sign and Christ said that the only sign He would give to such people is the sign of Jonah- i.e. Jesus dying and being buried for 3 days and then resurrecting on the third day (refer to Matthew 12:38-40). Despite even that sign, many people refused to believe in Him back then and even now. Why didn't all of the Jews in Israel as well as the Romans come to their senses after they found the empty tomb which was guarded by Roman soldiers? It just shows that no matter how many miracles and signs you give to such skeptics, nothing will ever satisfy them. Their refusal to believe in God is what keeps them trapped in a state of unbelief of trying to redefine faith by sight (signs/physical evidence) and human wisdom- the trap of the devil (refer to 2 Timothy 2:23-26). No one can perceive God without faith and a clean heart (refer to Hebrews 11:6 and Jeremiah 29:13). Unbelief and sin is what prevents our spirits from perceiving God. People back in Jesus' time were looking for a powerful and political figure who would exercise authority and judgment. Jesus' First Coming wasn't to exercise his political power and world dominion. It was to address the problem with our sinful state and to bring a solution through it to His redemptive work on the Cross of Calvary. The world today continues to look for a charismatic political leader who will bring prosperity and peace to the world. Since Satan has been influencing the world to base their faith on sight and human wisdom, the world will be deceived in the future by a false messiah- the Antichrist (during the Great Tribulation) and the False Prophet."

    "We're all aware of our own inner being (soul, spirit, heart (not the organ), mind). These things are all invisible. If you dissect the human body, can anyone see these things? No. However, they still exist regardless of us not being able to perceive them with our senses.

    1 Cor. 2:11 (NLT):
    "No one can know a person's thoughts except that person's own spirit, and no one can know God's thoughts except God's own Spirit."

    ***We can only perceive God by our spirits through faith.

    John 4:24 (NLT):
    "For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth."

  5. (continued- part 3)

    We project our thoughts into physical manifestations through speaking and writing. If we lost our ability to speak because of some pathology in our body (vocal cord damage, nerve damage, etc.), we wouldn't be able to speak to each other or hear our own voices. Likewise, if we had some neurological problem which disabled us from writing, we wouldn't be able to communicate with others through that manner either. If all of our senses and modes of communication in our body were knocked out, it still wouldn't mean that our inner being is paralyzed nor prove that we have lost the ability to think nor prove the absence of our inner being. For example, a mute person is still aware of their own thoughts and self (their own inner being). Just because a person has lost their ability to communicate with someone through their bodily functions doesn't mean that their spirit/inner being is absent from their body. My point in all of this is- our spirit (inner bring) is separate from our body and its senses (refer to Matthew 10:28). Our spirit only depends on our body to interact with the world around us. If our bodies didn't function properly, we wouldn't be able to sense the world around us and neither communicate with each other. However, our inner being would still be in existence. The Bible teaches that God is an invisible Spirit. Our spirits are also invisible. If you dissect the human body, who can visualize a person's spirit? No one can, because it's invisible. The nature of a spirit is invisibility. The nature of the human body is to be visible. Both have different natures. Just because God is a Spirit who doesn't have a human body, it doesn't mean that He doesn't exist (note: God did send His Son, Jesus Christ, in the human form to display to the world the visible image of Himself. Colossians 1:15 states that Jesus Christ is the visible image of God). It means God can't be perceived with our physical senses. Spirits can only be perceived by each other. This means that we can typically only perceive God by our spirits through faith, not by our bodies. The Bible teaches that God's Spirit testifies with our spirits that we are His children when we place our faith in Him and turn away from our sins (refer to Romans 8:16). This is how God interacts with us- the interaction is between His Spirit and our spirits (not our bodies). God is not limited to anything and I say that because if He chooses to, He can let your body's senses experience/perceive Him. I've been fortunate to have experienced God's Spirit at various times in my body as an electrical/tingling sensation flowing through my body (from my head flowing to the rest of my body). However, like I said before, typically, He doesn't do that. God wants us to base our faith in Him not based on sight/other physical senses, but instead base our faith in Him by His word (having faith that God exists based on God's word-the Holy Bible).

    However, Satan has deceived the world to reason based on sight (signs, physical evidence) and human wisdom (evidence based reasoning).

  6. 1 Cor. 1:18-23 (NLT):
    "The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. 19 As the Scriptures say,

    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise
    and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”

    20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. 21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. 22 It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. 23 So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense."




  7. Hey Dan. Time for a progress report. How's the family?

    1. Went bowling, now everyone is sick. Besides that all good, you enjoying your age birthday "boy"?

  8. Hey, thanks for remembering. Could be better, could be worse. I think that's par for the course.

    I'm still hoping to get together with you and make good my threat to treat you to lunch. I don't know when I'll be in CA again, though.

    If you want to hear something strange, you could check out my SoundCloud channel, where I post some of my weird harp music. Here's a sample:


    cheers from sunny Vienna, all the best to Patty and the kids, Scott

    1. That was neither strange nor weird. I'd use beautiful to describe your music. My daughter made it a mission to play guitar, and when she played me "Wish you were here" well, I knew she was getting serious. Completely self taught too.

      Music fascinates me. How can we have a few notes to work with for a few thousand years, and have new creations every day still? I'm in awe by it. You'd think we would be broken records by now, but something new arrives all the time. Something certainly more than "matter in motion" is going on. Matter in motion might state there's no purpose in music, but we all know better. :)

    2. Hey, Dan, thanks for the compliment. I'm well aware that what I do is, at best, simply tying in to a part of the beautiful order of the Universe, wherever it comes from. Your daughter is tying into the same thing, sounds like.

      Cheers from cool Vienna, Scott

  9. What in the world are you people talking about? Especially those of you saying you are "Christian". I don't care what you say, you aren't Christian. Name me one person who actually follows true Christianity on this earth right now. I bet you can't do it.

    Atheism, along with this war against "Christians", is because Christians have been understanding wrong since the religion of Christianity was formed. Organized religion is the problem.

    To the person posing as "Antisatan", where do you get your information? Debunking Atheists, where do you also get your information? I'm not on either side here, but I understand the problem, and I would like to know more of your perspectives.

    1. Hey Abbie. While it's true that a lot of what atheists talk about is Christianity, that's because of what Christianity (and other religions elsewhere) says and does. But most if not all atheists are such because they simply see no evidence for the existence of God- not because theists misbehave.

      cheers from sunny Vienna, Scott

    2. Abbie,

      >>I don't care what you say, you aren't Christian. Name me one person who actually follows true Christianity on this earth right now. I bet you can't do it.

      Because you say so? Hardly. It's amazing how little people know about the things they war against. A follower of "true Christianity" sins, so there are plenty of us. Christians ate not perfect, but forgiven. We're perfected in Christ for what He did, nothing what we do. Romans 6 may be the goal, but Romans 7:13-25 is our reality. So, I'm sorry if you misunderstood, but we're not better than you, just better off because of Jesus Christ and what He did.

      I want to warn you though, those who stand against, or denies, Christ is a slave to their chosen master. Here is more:

      "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son." ~ 1 John 2:22

      "And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." ~1 John 4:3

      "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time." ~1 John 2:18

      This is where we get our information from. God, and His revelations.

  10. Hey new hope guy. It's nearly summer. How are things with you and yours?

  11. Dan- I know a good knock-knock joke. You have to start.

  12. Orange we already acquainted?

  13. Hey, cheating is okay with No-God. :)

  14. Kinda sleepy here nowadays. All okay?

    1. Sure is. Just following orders ... 2 Timothy 2:14-16 :)

      You well?

    2. Here are points I was driving home a few days ago, care to input? I'm interested.

      Logic represents a transcendent moral imperative for correct thinking.

      “Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight ahead.” ~Proverbs 15:21

      "I. Logic is the study of the methods and principles used in distinguishing correct from incorrect reasoning.
      B. Logic differs from psychology in being a normative or a prescriptive discipline rather than a descriptive discipline.
      1. I.e., it prescribes how one ought to reason; it's not con cerned with how one actually does reason.
      2. Logic is concerned with laying down the rules for correct reasoning.
      3. Consequently, logic seeks to distinguish good arguments from poor ones.(1)"

      RIGHT or WRONG, CORRECT, and OUGHT are all prescriptive terms. Agree? :)

      (1) http://philosophy.lander.edu/logic/nature_log.html

  15. Good stuff, Dan, right on my wavelength. I agree: logic, or correct reasoning, is necessary when making decisions about how things are in the real world.

    1. Thanks, good.

      >>logic, or correct reasoning, is necessary when making decisions about how things are in the real world.

      So, these Laws that are morally necessary, and necessary for morality, existed before the mind of men, and even after?

      Also, You firmly agree that Logic represents a transcendent moral imperative for correct thinking?

      Identy of that Source is my next direction, of course. So, an adequate worldview must explain such a source, otherwise it failes to do its very purpose. Still with me? Where are we here?

    2. I'm not sure where morality enters here, Dan. Logic can help us make correct arguments, but we also need observation, and observation reveals morality to be a very complex issue, not one that can be defined simply on the basis of logic. Or do you think there is always a right and wrong to every decision?

    3. Well, I am sure logic is THE transcendent moral imperative for correct thinking. No one must be logical though. If you want to be logical, you're trying to be moral in correct thinking. No?

      Yes, where unclear at times, there is right and wrong. WWJD is that manifestation. What God does is good, so what Christ does is good, ALWAYS. When emulating Christ, we're acting moral. Morality, like logic, is not foggy and unclear. It's THE lighthouse for mankind. Atheists are denying lighthouses, while using that light to navigate. Atheists are denying letters and words, all the while talking to you. No?

    4. Logic is necessary to morality because logic is necessary to get as close as we can to modelling the world correctly. But logic cannot define morality, any more than logic can define the best way to make an omlette.

      And I'm sure we've had this conversation before. Morality is a continuous scale with more than one parameter, not all of which are clear. Of course many moral decisions happen at the points where nearly everyone will agree: say that saving a drowning child is better than not. But that doesn't mean that morality is black and white, nor does it mean that it's objective (whatever that could mean). Nonetheless, we somehow manage to muddle through, don't we?

      cheers from sunny Vienna, Scott

    5. >>But logic cannot define morality, any more than logic can define the best way to make an omlette.

      There is certainly a logical process to make an omelette. To serve your guests in a moral manner, you MUST follow logic to do so. No? You cannot define morality without logic. Logic directly precedes, and permiates, throughout morality. They're synonymous.

      "A synonym for morals is scruples, although the etymology, interestingly, approaches the issue from the other direction: The Latin precursor, scrupulus, means “anxiety” or “pang of conscience,” but the literal meaning is “small, sharp, stone”; a scruple, in effect, is something that unpleasantly reminds you to be pleasant." ~Ethics vs. Morals, Mark Nichol

      >>Morality is a continuous scale with more than one parameter, not all of which are clear.

      I don't believe your kindness towards me varies. No, you can't have morality without a standard, or law, to compare it against. So, to say it varies, which it doesn't, doesnt work if you're evaluating morality to any degree. The main reason is because you're comparing things against that standard, or law.

      Maybe the confusion lies with the actual variables that affect your alliance to morality, such as someone robbing your wife. Things got murky because you kill him for doing so, but you had an opportunity to just arrest him, and bring him to justice. Finally,  isn't " varied morality " an oxymoron?

  16. Nope.

    Cheers from rainy Vienna, zilch

  17. Okay Dan. Report. Family doing well? Yourself?

  18. Report overdue. All well with you?


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