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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    He'd probably respond with Proverbs 24:7 "Wisdom is too high for a fool to understand."
    Yes but too bad that God knowingly created him as a fool so the fool is justified in being so.

  2. #42
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    I fully expect you to be struck by lightning soon sassafrassquatch.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    I fully expect you to be struck by lightning soon sassafrassquatch.
    What perfection, really, how your posts pretty much embody what I view to be the AWESOMENESS of the Catholic faith!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Wow. That's a stretch.

    Paul wasn't necessarily trying to offer a proof of whether there's eternal damnation, he was just setting up a comparison/contrast pair here (rom 6:23) of how sin results in death versus Jesus embodying life. You can't abscond with it to say specifically what sort of death is being discussed.

    This is why I generally hate discussing Bible passages. They're taken out of context to prop up concepts that the writer probably wasn't even considering at the time.
    I hate it when people take texts out of context too. (Although for me it's because I always look the texts up anyway to see if I can trust them.) However in this case she has a point.

    If you look at the context two deaths are being referenced in this chapter: Christ's literal death and the believer's metaphoric death. (The metaphor being a changed life on earth, rather than something in the afterlife.) However in the case of Christ's literal death the passage has meaning relevant to our conversation. Christ paid our penalty for us. What is the penalty he paid? Death. Therefore death is the penalty for sin. If eternal suffering is the penalty for sin, then Christ would need to suffer forever to be a suitable substitute. However the penalty that Christ actually paid is death. This is the penalty we should assume is due everyone, because Christ is a suitable substitute.

    So the one specific verse is summing up an idea that is prevalent throughout scripture: the contrast between life and death. (Note that the words "Heaven" and "Hell" are never used in contrast like this.) For the believer while they deserve a life of "dead" works, God has graciously given them a life of sanctifying works and this leads to "life". However this metaphor is compared to the literal death and resurrection of Christ. And Christ had to die, because the penalty for sin is death.
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  5. #45
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    Some of what's below may seem a bit harsh, but you asked, so I figure you wanted honest answers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon Candle View Post
    Im just struggling with the idea that this infinite God, would let an arbitrary barrier of this split second of peoples lifetimes (in a cosmic sense) be the last bell? Like why can't he continue to fight for your soul in the afterlife? why does he give up in the afterlife?
    God doesn't give up. Jennifer gave a good description. God lets people go to 'hell' because they'd rather be there than spend an eternity with him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon Candle View Post
    I thought God was great because he was unquantiable, or infinite. We loosely define his infiniteness as love. well how does he suddenly stop loving us when we die just because we did what he programmed us to do?!

    im tired of semantics games played by apologetics: [...poor to middlin' apologetic...]

    am i going insane!??? how is this the most loving God? Am i the only one who reads this apologetics person as playing semanitcs and side stepping the obvious moral questions?

    Might does not make right. The very fact that I can imagine a more loving God myself, makes we wonder how this is the most loving god possible?
    What is love? What is God? The meaning you attach to these words isn't the meaning given them in classical theism. It's obvious you don't understand what the apologist above was saying, but, before you dismiss him as merely playing semantic games, at least try to understand what he is saying and why. This way, if you decide to reject what he is saying, you can really reject what he's saying and not a straw-man.

    What are the obvious moral questions? Can you give rational justification for why the moral questions you grapple with are obvious? Can you show that all other competing moral systems are inconsistent or subordinate to the questions you regard as obvious? If you can't, then in what sense are your moral questions obvious?

    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon Candle View Post
    I just feel like im loosing my mind. punishment should either A) teach a lesson. or B) protect people from dangerous parties. How is this all fitting into God pre ordaining who will be saved from the very start? why would he give up on that 1% chance of his children if he has all of eternity to try and visit them in hell.
    Is God not free to create vessels of dishonor and wrath in order to reveal his justice? Would you rather God not be just, or would you rather be ignorant of God's justice?

    You wrote that the absence of God would be a form of torture, but God is omnipresent--you can't get away from him. However, you can choose not to seek to understand. The natural consequence of not seeking is not finding. And this is the justice of God: he allows those who choose not to seek understanding to remain ignorant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon Candle View Post
    why is it so much nobler to believe in the resurection 2000 years later without any appeal to the 5 senses? In fact God should know exactly what it would take for each person to be saved based on their skepticism that he created them with!? Why couldnt a person who came to believe by witnessing God/jesus in person during the afterlife come to "believe"?
    The existence of God is clear from the things that have been made so that men are without excuse. One needn't see God in order to know God exists. Indeed, God is a spirit whom none have seen nor can see. The only way to remain ignorant of the existence of God is to deny that which is clear, and thereby deny the possibility of understanding. Once one has denied the possibility of understanding, there is nothing that can be said to convince him that understanding is possible; e.g., if someone thought it was possible that A=~A, then it would be impossible to convince him that necessarily A=A; it would literally take a miracle for him to change is philosophical position.

    ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon Candle View Post
    i dont get this. I figure that logically, me hating God isn't an option! If he is so great and benevolent and powerful, what possiblie being could be dumb enough or hatefull enough to reject him? It seems more about him being able to prove to us he exists in the firstplace, never mind if we reject him or not. Its like his big goal is to prove his existence without ever providing proof!!!! ahhh im going insane!


    if he exists and these are his laws then clearly he IS the benevolent one! I engage in testing the logical benevolence possibilities to test among the different religions in diff points in my life. honestly its only ever been christian variations, but thats not the point. the point is that the religion should stand on its own! if it has to quote its own book with, "if you dont like it, tough". then im not sure why i should believe the religion valid. I cant cite a made up paper i wrote to convince the science community of anything of importance..can i?

    1. you cant believe in something to be true just because it "feels right":

    "it just feels so right! we have to have a savior!?" "life would be pointless without a God, it just wouldnt FEEL right"

    the feels right method of guide fails. If it were right, then that girl i had a crush on in 8th grade would be with me simply because...drum roll.... "it just FEELS so right! {nothing physical implied!}"

    2. so if we can't get there on feelings... well then were do we go? to reason...

    problem is exactly what you just said: we often just create logical arguments for what we already hold to be true to us.... so this often breaks down into:

    "well theres both a descent proof AND refutation... FOR BOTH SIDES!"

    3. So then from reason/philosophy we go to naturalism and the 5 senses... but then we are left with:
    "is this really all there is?" if all there is is finite quantifiable stuff, then how does the concept of "love" and other unquantifiables exist in the universe? if love is just a chemical reaction...well how do i feel about the ramifications of this????

    I guess i could reconcile atheism if i was certain of it (ok obviously not 100%). I guess atheism isn't THAT repulsive if i knew it was the truth. the butterfly effect would give me comfort: a butterfly flapping its wing can affect the path of a hurricane many years after the butterfly is dead many miles away.

    I just can't commit to this one out of the fear of being wrong.

    4. so then we go to just wild imagination...where literally the craziest shit of molding together string theory and God, aliens and god, chia pets and God, or any other crazy molten theory of religion that has no previous basis besides you thought it up and it seems to work???


    So what am i left with??? Im coming to the sad realization that we basically know nothing...somehow a bunch of dead philosopher guys would disagree with me.... but im not sure if IIIII can ever know anything

    in which case this horrible reality unfolds:

    what if i am not sure enough to ever truly believe in Chirst, but too fearful of the consequences to be an atheist. so then i possibly get no everlasting life AND i didnt get to go wild in an atheist life.... ....having a world view like this would seemingly torture me....
    ^I love this post.

    You're right.

    If it is clear that God exists, then it is absurd not to love God.

    One cannot appeal to scripture without first showing the necessity of scripture; scripture, as special, redemptive revelation, assumes transgression, and so the law that is transgressed must be knowable apart from scripture.

    Neither are feelings or intuition a source of truth; they are a source of data.

    And reason can be a source of skepticism when it is used only constructively--i.e., when it's used to merely build upon uncritically held assumptions.

    And empiricism always leads to skepticism, which is exactly where you currently are in your philosophical journey--toying with the absurd and flirting with nihilism. The denial of the possibility of understanding.

    Is knowledge possible, and what is the nature of authority?

  6. #46
    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    What is love? What is God? The meaning you attach to these words isn't the meaning given them in classical theism. It's obvious you don't understand what the apologist above was saying, but, before you dismiss him as merely playing semantic games, at least try to understand what he is saying and why. This way, if you decide to reject what he is saying, you can really reject what he's saying and not a straw-man.

    What are the obvious moral questions? Can you give rational justification for why the moral questions you grapple with are obvious? Can you show that all other competing moral systems are inconsistent or subordinate to the questions you regard as obvious? If you can't, then in what sense are your moral questions obvious?
    classical theists claim to have quantified God as being omnipotent, omni benevolent and omniscient. I am simply claiming that at least to myself, God is unquantifiable. Maybe he revealed himself to the originals in a quantifiable way as already stated. However, to someone that he is un revealed, i can't really think of a better description other than he is unquantifiable. That is the most basic difference between God and this world as far as we can gather. humans are finite, quantifiable in existence; God is not finite and is unquantifiable. Do you not agree that that sums up the communication problems beautifully?

    Is God not free to create vessels of dishonor and wrath in order to reveal his justice? Would you rather God not be just, or would you rather be ignorant of God's justice?
    Im willing to admit i dont quite understand. are you saying, "and why cant God use beings destined to be unjust as proof of his justice?" i guess you avoid the cruelty because he wont torture, only destroy the unjust.... i guess if you accept that dichotomies can only be understood when compared with their binary, then yes maybe God HAS to create evil in order to create good. i dont doubt that this may be logical. im just not sure if i can grasp the values behind it...i am yet a mere mortal.


    You wrote that the absence of God would be a form of torture, but God is omnipresent--you can't get away from him. However, you can choose not to seek to understand. The natural consequence of not seeking is not finding. And this is the justice of God: he allows those who choose not to seek understanding to remain ignorant.
    so i guess your arguing that there is no torture in hell, because you simply couldnt live apart from God. hell therefore must be your complete death...lack of existence. we wouldnt perceive it. this makes much more sense than there being a hell.




    The existence of God is clear from the things that have been made so that men are without excuse. One needn't see God in order to know God exists. Indeed, God is a spirit whom none have seen nor can see. The only way to remain ignorant of the existence of God is to deny that which is clear, and thereby deny the possibility of understanding. Once one has denied the possibility of understanding, there is nothing that can be said to convince him that understanding is possible; e.g., if someone thought it was possible that A=~A, then it would be impossible to convince him that necessarily A=A; it would literally take a miracle for him to change is philosophical position.
    so men are without excuse? the God of the Gaps seems like a weak argument. The world around us awe inspiring, but we have abstractions and explanations that dont NECESSITATE a PERSONAL God. One of the best cosmological arguments ive read was that the universe IS math. The symbols we use for math is our best ability of describing what actually is: i giant math structure. we can explain what happened in less than a second after the big band up to the creation of the earth....a small gap...then we have from cells all the way to us. sure there ARE gaps...but there have always been gaps and the gaps keep getting smaller.

    Even if God is evident in the creation around us, i dont see evidence of a PERSONABLE God, who has a personality and like can actually 'talk to me' if he wants to....



    ^I love this post.

    You're right.

    If it is clear that God exists, then it is absurd not to love God.

    One cannot appeal to scripture without first showing the necessity of scripture; scripture, as special, redemptive revelation, assumes transgression, and so the law that is transgressed must be knowable apart from scripture.

    Neither are feelings or intuition a source of truth; they are a source of data.

    And reason can be a source of skepticism when it is used only constructively--i.e., when it's used to merely build upon uncritically held assumptions.

    And empiricism always leads to skepticism, which is exactly where you currently are in your philosophical journey--toying with the absurd and flirting with nihilism. The denial of the possibility of understanding.

    Is knowledge possible, and what is the nature of authority?
    wait so, what is your opinion of my "flirtation with nihilism"? atheism does not inherently mean nihilist...although i guess secular humanism to some just means avoidance of eventual nihilism...

    am i going insane?

    knowing anything about God seems to be impossible. Feelings can't get us there, logic can't either. Imagination cant get us there, and 5 sense naturalism cant either.

    seriously, how can we ever really get anywhere without making an irrational jump? believers keep telling me that "well obviously you eventually have to make a jump of faith..."

    but if its just a "feeling"...a "faith"....then how can i know its the right one!?

  7. #47
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon Candle View Post
    am i going insane?

    knowing anything about God seems to be impossible. Feelings can't get us there, logic can't either. Imagination cant get us there, and 5 sense naturalism cant either.

    seriously, how can we ever really get anywhere without making an irrational jump? believers keep telling me that "well obviously you eventually have to make a jump of faith..."

    but if its just a "feeling"...a "faith"....then how can i know its the right one!?
    It's true that you can't get anywhere without first making an irrational jump. Not only is this true with God, but it is true in any type of understanding. All assumptions are fundamentally irrational, but we have to make assumptions in order to reach conclusions. The freedom in making an assumption is that if you find the path you are on unfruitful, then you can always go back and make a different assumption and try a new path.
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  8. #48
    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    It's true that you can't get anywhere without first making an irrational jump. Not only is this true with God, but it is true in any type of understanding. All assumptions are fundamentally irrational, but we have to make assumptions in order to reach conclusions. The freedom in making an assumption is that if you find the path you are on unfruitful, then you can always go back and make a different assumption and try a new path.
    i just read "Reason" s thread on Criticalism. It wages that the problem with justificationism is well... hold on (the bolds are mine):

    Criticalism is the presupposition that all knowledge is conjectural, and that no belief can be certified, verified, validated, confirmed or in other way be justified.
    ......

    For the criticalist, the standard justificationist method of criticism, where any claim to knowledge can be criticised by asking for its justification, loses all force. If there are no justified beliefs, then we cannot choose between competing conjectures for being justified or unjustified. Further, this can be generalised to all expressions of doubt, possible falsity, or insufficient proof, since every conjecture is doubtful, possibly false and insufficiently proven. In other words, to effectively criticise a conjecture, it is necessary to actually form an argument or perform a test, not merely express uncertainty.
    so relating with your above response...

    and with this gem from Jennifer on making jumps in reasoning (the bolds are mine):

    You have to take calculated risks, just as you might when you try to cross a stream balanced on random rocks scattered throughout the water. Think about it. The further the distance you have to jump, the more risk and the less likely it is for you to take that route. But each person has a different margin of risk they are able to accept. So you can't predetermine the "risk limit" up front. Some people will take bigger leaps... and might even succeed, depending on their individual characteristics and fortune... but the odds were definitely lower and those rocks were riskier.

    You'll see the same behavior in thinking/belief as well. Some people need the rocks to be close together and are more concerned about avoiding error; others are willing to try to leap far distances because they like what's on the other side more than they fear the risks. and then you even get some people who don't see the danger and make jumps that might dump them in the water but still have thought them (illogically) to be easy jumps.
    ....and combine this with BlueWing's conjectures (the bolds are min):

    There could be a reasonable jump and an unreasonable. An example of a reasonable jump is 'I establish the premise that I have a hand in front of me because I see it'. [I] Cannot completely deduce this, as this is merely a piece of factual information in front of me. Common-sense aside, we can conjure plenty of good reasons to believe in this.

    ...

    Logic is the study of objective patterns of reasoning. There simply will never be a time when we know for something to be true, yet cannot make a good argument for it. Such an attitude is incompatible with the sciences or philosophy.

    Bridging the gap with 'faith' means simply believing in something because we want to believe in it, not because there is any good reason to do so.

    This is the essence of the very essence of Fideism. Mere self-deception.

    There have been philosophers who have achieved similar results as the fideists, namely attunement with ideas that gave a 'spiritual' meaning to their lives with no tomfoolery. Spinoza is the case in point.
    My best attempt at synthesizing these is as follows:

    1. We cannot avoid making "irrational jumps". Nothing is 100% self evident. Even the idea that your hand is well... *there*.

    2. So, to ever "get anwhere", we are going to have to START somewhere, even if the premise isn't 100% "justified". Some jumps or premises are going to farther than others. The idea that "this is in fact my hand in front of me", can be understood as less of a jump in reasoning than say "these Bose headphones are in fact worth $300,000".

    3. The veracity of these "facts" lies in arguments. Some arguments are simply going to be perceived as better than others.

    I cant 100% justify this is my hand, but I have no history of hallucinations, am legally sane, and I am right now perceiving my hand with all 5 senses (faculties that are quite close with my brain). I can see, taste, touch, smell and hear (the sounds i can make with them) my hands. Neither this nor $300,000 valued Bose headphones are 100% justified. But we can compare their veracity based on arguments. The arguments I just presented for my hands are "better" and more testable than the arguments for $300,000 Bose headphones: maybe these headphones were originally of someone famous, my friend can show me a letter from this person, a picture of him/the celebrity and the headphones. Finally we can test the $300,000 claim by testing the claim in the real world: we can try to sell them.

    4. Beyond the veracity of my hands and $300,000 headphones, we can now move onto more substantial arguments. Even though one "can" ask for the justification of the existence of these two items, we move on with the understanding that there are "good enough" arguments for there existence.

    5. Now we can include these two items in our premise for bigger arguments. Now we can judge the bigger arguments not based on the "justification" for the premises, but on the utility of the bigger arguments.

    a) the utility: how useful is the knowledge this argument presents? Does it allow us to make consistent and logical explanations for different "stuff" that the argument tries to explain?

    ex: Evolution allows scientists a framework that explains the different depth/locations of specific fossils while being logical and consistent with geological theories (which hopefully have their own "good arguments").

    The reason why scientists joke about a "pre-cambrian rabbit", is because it would it be a piece of empirical evidence that would be difficult to fit into the theory of evolution. It wouldn't allow "evolution" to make consistent and logical explanations for ALL stuff (if we ever found a "pre-cambrian rabbit").

    b) Some theories provide a great deal of utility, for example String Theory. String theory would provide a great deal of utility in explaining the universe consistently and logically. However, it doesn't necessarily make it "the truth". Whats missing for String Theory, is what evolution has. A "degree of" testability and empirical evidence to organize and/or "test".

    c) Both evolution and String theory are far from being 100% "truth". Both provide a great deal of utility. Here's the kicker: both have premises that don't
    "need" nor can be justified. Both have great utility. Why is one more widely believed than the other? One is more testable and has more data to 'prove itself' with.

    6. So to review. Premises need to have reasonable arguments, but need not be justified. The argument is judged not by its premises (assuming they are reasonable), but by the utility and testability of the bigger argument.




    ...............finally.....how can we apply all of this...........






    7. So when judging something like the Bible:

    a) how reasonable are its premises?
    I. Is the bible accurate in a historical sense? Can we find other evidence that the people/events described actually existed?
    II. Is it logical? Are there contradictions to its claims? Does the bible give contradictory commands? Does the bible describe actions that violate the personalities attributed to an infinitely loving/just creator?
    III. If the Bible claims to be the word of God, how can we be certain that we still have the uncorrupted word? If the Bible is the literal word of God, how can we explain the obvious difference in personality depending on the human author? Does it matter that the personality of author effects "infallable" words of God?
    IV. Does a 2000 year old book, sound like something reasonable to attribute to an all supreme God's great plan? If the plan claims to be "the only way of salvation for mankind", is a 2000 year old book a reasonable attempt at communication for an all supreme God?
    V. Does it matter that Might Makes Right when concerning the Bible? Is it ok that actual mechanisms of atonement (legalistic vs substitution, annihilation vs eternal hell etc...) aren't described? Is it reasonable to accept a book simply on a "you need to do this...dont ask how it works" basis?

    b) how much utility does it provide in explaining our world?
    I. Are there descriptions of nature, meant to be literal, that violate our own views of nature? Do these views provide any greater utility in describing data not discussed by the bible?
    II. How much utility do the morals espoused in the Bible provide? If it they are not of great utility, then we have to ask how good of arguments they are. Does a moral system that asks us to ritually sacrifice animals, stone children and kill foreigners provide much utility?

    c) how testable is it? If we were to gain new data, how would this theory handle or not handle it?
    I. If we get to a certian level of understanding with regards to evolution or the nature of the universe (regarding physics/time etc), what would that do for the Bible? could the bible handle these? Would the bible still provide utility if it couldnt handle the new data? If a person were to say reasonably be convinced of the existence of Ghosts (by experience) how would the Bible handle this new data?
    II. Can we find any empirical evidence for the claims of the bible not relating to historical data (already covered)? What empirical evidence do we have for a personal God? Has God ever made audible voice conversation with you? Have you ever witnessed an obvious miracle? Can we discern between coincidence (say you got a great Job after praying about it) and coincidence (lots of people have prayed about something and not gotten it)?


    Wow. I'm sure my little expose could use some tweaks. At the very least I feel like I am finally getting somewhere! Half the battle in seeking truth is asking the right questions. I think I may be finally on to asking the right questions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    If you look at the context two deaths are being referenced in this chapter: Christ's literal death and the believer's metaphoric death. (The metaphor being a changed life on earth, rather than something in the afterlife.) However in the case of Christ's literal death the passage has meaning relevant to our conversation. Christ paid our penalty for us. What is the penalty he paid? Death. Therefore death is the penalty for sin. If eternal suffering is the penalty for sin, then Christ would need to suffer forever to be a suitable substitute. However the penalty that Christ actually paid is death. This is the penalty we should assume is due everyone, because Christ is a suitable substitute.
    I think this is part of my issue with discussions of particular passages.

    There are various levels of nuance with which a text can be read. What was the level of detail within the author's mind when he wrote this? We don't know the answer to that.

    I remember when I was younger in the faith and ended up tearing apart verses as a Bible study leader and even analyzing the use of the word "the" rather than the word "a" in a particular verse and trying to read meaning into that... as if the writer had some special meaning for doing that. Later I realized that was a dreadful mistake. I was hinging more importance than warranted on a particular word choice or perceived "logical balance" in a particular passage.

    But that balance, that particular need for that level of detail, was a requirement I (the reader) was foisting on the text. It was not necessarily inherent in the writer's mind at the time... even if such a reading might seem more pleasing to ME.

    So you seem to fail to recognize how your perceived interpretation is really just a product of your own particular requirements for the text and not necessarily inherent to the text in question.

    This reality of communication is what creates a lot of ambiguity at times over what the author intended in a passage, and why we have to be careful about noting our own assumptions when we view a passage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    Is God not free to create vessels of dishonor and wrath in order to reveal his justice? Would you rather God not be just, or would you rather be ignorant of God's justice?
    True. God could do whatever he wanted. And if all structure / justice is descended from him (as the "source" of all), then it's probably a matter of us not being aligned with him, since he would be our source as well, rather than him not being "just."

    You wrote that the absence of God would be a form of torture, but God is omnipresent--you can't get away from him.


    Very nice.

    Except for those in hell.

    Which leads to this question: Is God present even in hell? (Sorry. Just came to mind. ) if so, then the people in hell simply have chosen not to perceive him even if he is there... which means they have placed themselves in hell. And even hell is illusory in terms of reality, although very real to those suffering the self-imposed illusion.

    And this is the justice of God: he allows those who choose not to seek understanding to remain ignorant.
    I like that.


    The existence of God is clear from the things that have been made so that men are without excuse. One needn't see God in order to know God exists. Indeed, God is a spirit whom none have seen nor can see. The only way to remain ignorant of the existence of God is to deny that which is clear, and thereby deny the possibility of understanding. Once one has denied the possibility of understanding, there is nothing that can be said to convince him that understanding is possible; e.g., if someone thought it was possible that A=~A, then it would be impossible to convince him that necessarily A=A; it would literally take a miracle for him to change is philosophical position.
    It always left me wondering how people truly change, if they believe one thing. Can they ever truly believe anything else, without some sort of divine intervention to break the mindset?

    We like to consider ourselves autonomous and able to choose freely between alternatives, but so often it seems that we are fated to believe one thing because of our natures and personalities and history and culture... unless something inexplicable changes us. Odd.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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