Atheism Intelligent Design Naturalism Panpsychism

In time for American Thanksgiving: Stephen Meyer on “the frailty of scientific atheism”

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Steve Meyer, author of The Return of the God Hypothesis, observes in a pdocast with Wesley Smith, “you rarely hear people refer to a ‘consensus’ in science when there actually is one.”

What’s needed, he says, and what is increasingly under siege in our culture, is the idea of “science as an open form of inquiry,” where “science advances as scientists argue about how to interpret the evidence.” Meyer would like to see more scientific debate, across the board, from climate change to Darwinian evolution to “many issues that have arisen in response to the Covid epidemic.” I couldn’t agree more. I want to offer a thought about something that underlies the impulse to clamp down on debate, and it relates to Thanksgiving.

At the end of the podcast they touch on the fragility, the brittleness of the materialist picture of reality. Materialism is as oppressive as it is because it can’t afford one slip-up, not one exception to the iron rule that nothing exists beyond nature. Wesley cites a fascinating interview with two well known “proud atheists,” Harvard cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker and his wife, the philosopher Rebecca Goldstein. She wrote a particularly good book that I read when it came out, Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity. Both are committed to Spinoza-style rationalism. In the interview with Salon, Pinker and Goldstein make clear how fragile their atheism is…

David Klinghoffer, “Thanksgiving and the Frailty of Scientific Atheism” at Evolution News and Science Today

Wesley Smith’s got a point. As a totalistic philosophy, “scientific atheism” (materialism) can be confuted by a single contrary example. Other philosophies are more robust. For example, one shyster evangelist doesn’t prove that all religion is wrong.

Anyway, materialist atheism is — you read it here first — slowly being destroyed by panpsychism. Panpsychism (everything is conscious) makes more sense. Here’s why:

Recall Egnor’s Principle: If your hypothesis is that even electrons are conscious, your hypothesis is likely wrong. But if your hypothesis is that the human mind is an illusion, then… you don’t have a hypothesis. That’s slowly killing “scientific” atheism.

You may also wish to read: A Darwinian biologist resists learning to live with panpsychism. Jerry Coyne makes two things quite clear: He scorns panpsychism and he doesn’t understand why some scientists accept it. The differences between panpsychism and naturalism are subtle but critical. As panpsychism’s popularity grows, insight will be better than rage and ridicule.

178 Replies to “In time for American Thanksgiving: Stephen Meyer on “the frailty of scientific atheism”

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    Wesley Smith’s got a point. As a totalistic philosophy, “scientific atheism” (materialism) can be confuted by a single contrary example

    Materialism/physicalism does not necessarily imply atheism.

    Both atheist and theistic scientists are perfectly able to conduct good research.

    To refute atheism you would need to demonstrate the existence of a god/creator/supreme designer beyond a reasonable doubt. This discussion would not be happening if that had happened.

    Other philosophies are more robust. For example, one shyster evangelist doesn’t prove that all religion is wrong.

    One shyster evangelist, no, but a number of them that are allowed to ply their trade and flourish unchallenged indicates a deep-rooted malaise in the faith.

    Anyway, materialist atheism is — you read it here first — slowly being destroyed by panpsychism. Panpsychism (everything is conscious) makes more sense.

    Panpsychism is speculation. We can’t adequately explain our own consciousness let alone the possibility that the entire universe is some sort of conscious entity. But it’s still fun to play around with such ideas.

    Recall Egnor’s Principle: If your hypothesis is that even electrons are conscious, your hypothesis is likely wrong.

    Maybe, but how would we even test such an idea, let alone know if it’s right or wrong?

    But if your hypothesis is that the human mind is an illusion, then… you don’t have a hypothesis. That’s slowly killing “scientific” atheism.

    You call it a hypothesis but is it even that? How would you test it? It’s not killing science or atheism. My impression was that the “mind is an illusion” thing comes more from philosophy than science and it really has nothing to do with atheism. Christians don’t seem to have a problem with our consciousnesses being just thoughts in the mind of God. So what does that make them?

  2. 2
    Circadian says:

    How is recognition of climate change a result of ‘materialist atheism’? What is it with this site and climate-change denial? How are the two things related?

  3. 3
    News says:

    Circadian at 2: Climate change?

    Oh: “What’s needed, he says, and what is increasingly under siege in our culture, is the idea of “science as an open form of inquiry,” where “science advances as scientists argue about how to interpret the evidence.””

    Meyer would like to see more open discussion of evidence, we expect.

    Too much climate change activism – now that you mention it – sounds like an old-fashioned Temperance Crusade – at best. Once respected geneticist David Suzuki is under fire in Canada for obliquely threatening eco-terrorism… That is not the Road Ahead.

  4. 4
    asauber says:

    “What is it with this site and climate-change denial?”

    Circadian,

    Because the phrase “Climate Change” is a metaphorical umbrella under which a LOT of lying, cheating, and stealing are taking place. And there’s no denying it.

    Andrew

  5. 5
    BobRyan says:

    Open inquiry and debate are sorely lacking in science. Just look how Big Bang is protected. Despite all the evidence amassing against it, Big Bang continues to be forced to fit whatever is learned about the universe even when the evidence suggests something else happened.

    As far as climate change goes, climate is always changing. On a planet billions of years old with several great ice ages, of which we’re still at the tail end of the last one, there have been plenty of times in Earth’s history free of any ice, including the age of the dinosaurs. Kind of hard to see the Earth is warming faster than any time in history when there is still a great deal of ice left from the last ice age.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky claims, “To refute atheism you would need to demonstrate the existence of a god/creator/supreme designer beyond a reasonable doubt. This discussion would not be happening if that had happened.”

    That claim is simply just plain nonsense. Implicit in Seversky’s claim is that if even one dogmatic atheist, such as Seversky, (who has, I might add, shown himself, time and time again, to be impervious to reasoned argument), comes on UD and voices doubt about God’s existence, no matter how good the arguments for God’s existence may be, then God’s existence, according to Seversky’s criteria, has not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Again, that is simply just plain nonsense.

    As Michael Egnor recently noted in response to Matt Dillahunty’s ‘Divine Hiddenness’ argument, the atheist’s argument assumes, “that God’s existence is contingent upon the disbelief of even one recalcitrant atheist. This argument is a precis of atheist arrogance — the atheist argument that God’s existence depends upon atheists’ opinion of Him.”

    The Divine Hiddenness Argument against God’s Existence = Nonsense
    Excerpt: The atheist Divine Hiddenness argument seems to imply that God’s existence is contingent upon the disbelief of even one recalcitrant atheist. This argument is a precis of atheist arrogance — the atheist argument that God’s existence depends upon atheists’ opinion of Him.
    https://mindmatters.ai/2021/10/the-divine-hiddenness-argument-against-gods-existence-nonsense/

    And as Michael Egnor further demonstrated in that article, (via the ten ways that God’s existence can be known), there is more than sufficient reason to convince any reasonable person, ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’, of God’s existence.

    The Divine Hiddenness Argument against God’s Existence = Nonsense
    Excerpt: Is the information that God provides in these (ten) ways sufficient to convince a reasonable person of His existence? Consider the ten ways that simple everyday experience provides inexhaustible evidence for His existence:
    Every change in nature proves His existence. Every cause in nature proves His existence. Everything that exists in nature proves His existence. Every degree of perfection in nature proves His existence. Every manifestation of natural design proves His existence. Every realization of possibility in nature proves His existence. Every manifestation of organization in nature proves His existence. Every abstract concept proves His existence. Every reason for anything in nature proves His existence. And every twinge of human conscience proves His existence.
    Natural science provides massive evidence for His existence as well. The Big Bang — i.e., the creation of the universe from nothing in an immense primordial flash of light — is a remarkable confirmation of the beginning of the book of Genesis. Astrophysicists have discovered dozens of physical forces and properties in the universe that must have very specific values to permit human life — and of course these forces and properties do have exactly the values necessary for our existence (as if Someone rigged physics just for us). The DNA in living things is an actual code — in every meaningful sense like a computer code with letters and words, grammar and phrases, sentences and punctuation. And life forms’ intracellular metabolism is run by an astonishingly intricate and elegant system of biological nanotechnology.
    So my question to Dillahunty and to other atheists who endorse the Divine Hiddenness argument against God’s existence is this: What is it about God’s existence that you still consider hidden?
    (ibid)

    Moreover, in his argument that God’s existence has not been proven ‘beyond a ‘reasonable doubt’, Seversky is, of necessity, presupposing that reason itself can somehow be grounded within his Atheistic worldview. Seversky is also, of necessity, presupposing that, somehow and someway, ‘a place of certainty’ exists within his Atheistic worldview from which he can form a ‘reasonable doubt’ about the existence of other things.

    In short, Seversky, in his argument against God, is presupposing an ability to reason and is also presupposing ‘a place of certainty’ from which he can form ‘reasonable doubts’.

    Yet Seversky’s Atheistic worldview can ground neither ‘reasoning’ nor ‘a place of certainty’.

    First, in regards to reasoning itself. Since reasoning presupposes the existence of logic,

    rea·son·ing
    noun
    the action of thinking about something in a logical, sensible way.

    Since reasoning presupposes the existence of logic, then it is necessary for a person to be able to ground the existence of logic within their worldview in the first place. Yet, Seversky simply cannot ground logic within his worldview of Atheistic Naturalism.

    As Dr. Michael Egnor, (a former atheist turned Christian), explains, “Logic, after all, doesn’t exist “in the space-time continuum” and isn’t described by physics. What is the location of modus ponens? How much does Gödel’s incompleteness theorem weigh? What is the physics of non-contradiction? How many millimeters long is Clark’s argument for naturalism? Ironically the very logic that Clark employs to argue for naturalism is outside of any naturalistic frame.”

    Naturalism and Self-Refutation – Michael Egnor – January 31, 2018
    Excerpt: Furthermore, the very framework of Clark’s argument — logic — is neither material nor natural. Logic, after all, doesn’t exist “in the space-time continuum” and isn’t described by physics. What is the location of modus ponens? How much does Gödel’s incompleteness theorem weigh? What is the physics of non-contradiction? How many millimeters long is Clark’s argument for naturalism? Ironically the very logic that Clark employs to argue for naturalism is outside of any naturalistic frame.
    The strength of Clark’s defense of naturalism is that it is an attempt to present naturalism’s tenets clearly and logically. That is its weakness as well, because it exposes naturalism to scrutiny, and naturalism cannot withstand even minimal scrutiny. Even to define naturalism is to refute it.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/01/naturalism-and-self-refutation/

    And as J. Warner Wallace, (also a former atheist turned Christian), explains, “The Best and Most Reasonable Explanation for the Kind of Mind Necessary for the Existence of the Transcendent, Objective, Conceptual Laws of Logic is God”

    Is God Real? Evidence from the Laws of Logic
    J. Warner Wallace January 9, 2019
    Excerpt: All rational discussions (even those about the existence or non-existence of God) require the prior foundation of logical absolutes. You’d have a hard time making sense of any conversation if the Laws of Logic weren’t available to guide the discussion and provide rational boundaries. Here are three of the most important Laws of Logic you and I use every day:,,,,
    As an atheist, I would have been the first to describe myself as rational. In fact, I saw myself as far more reasonable than many of the Christians I knew. But, I was basing my rationality on my ability to understand and employ the Laws of Logic. How could I account for these transcendent laws without the existence of a transcendent Law Giver?
    (1) The Objective Laws of Logic Exist
    We cannot deny the Laws of Logic exist. In fact, any reasonable or logical argument against the existence of these laws requires their existence in the first place.
    The Objective Laws of Logic Are Conceptual Laws
    These laws are not physical; they are conceptual. They cannot be seen under a microscope or weighed on a scale. They are abstract laws guiding logical, immaterial thought processes.
    The Objective Laws of Logic Are Transcendent
    The laws transcend location, culture and time. If we go forward or backward a million years, the laws of logic would still exist and apply, regardless of culture or geographic location.
    The Objective Laws of Logic Pre-Existed Mankind
    The transcendent and timeless nature of logical laws indicates they precede our existence or ability to recognize them. Even before humans were able to understand the law of non-contradiction, “A” could not have been “Non-A”. The Laws of Logic were discovered by humans, not created by humans.
    (2) All Conceptual Laws Reflect the Mind of a Law Giver
    All laws require law givers, including conceptual laws. We know this from our common experience in the world in which we live. The laws governing our society and culture, for example, are the result and reflection of minds. But more importantly, the conceptual Laws of Logic govern rational thought processes, and for this reason, they require the existence of a mind.
    (3) The Best and Most Reasonable Explanation for the Kind of Mind Necessary for the Existence of the Transcendent, Objective, Conceptual Laws of Logic is God
    The lawgiver capable of producing the immaterial, transcendent laws preceding our existence must also be an immaterial, transcendent and pre-existent mind. This description fits what we commonly think of when we think of a Creator God.
    The Christian Worldview accounts for the existence of the transcendent Laws of Logic. If God exists, He is the absolute, objective, transcendent standard of truth. The Laws of Logic are simply a reflection of the nature of God. God did not create these laws. They are a reflection of His rational thinking, and for this reason, they are as eternal as God Himself. You and I, as humans, have the ability to discover these laws because we have been created in the image of God, but we don’t create or invent the laws.
    https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/is-god-real-evidence-from-the-laws-of-logic/

    It is also interesting to note the fact that Christianity uniquely ‘predicted’ that logic preceded the existence of the universe. Specifically, in the very first verse of John we find that ‘the Word’ in John 1:1 is translated from the Greek word “Logos”. “Logos” happens to be the root word from which we derive our modern word logic.

    John 1:1
    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”

    of note: ‘the Word’ in John1:1 is translated from ‘Logos’ in Greek. Logos also happens to be the root word from which we derive our modern word logic
    http://etymonline.com/?term=logic

    What is the Logos?
    Logos is a Greek word literally translated as “word, speech, or utterance.” However, in Greek philosophy, Logos refers to divine reason or the power that puts sense into the world making order instead of chaos.,,,
    In the Gospel of John, John writes “In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). John appealed to his readers by saying in essence, “You’ve been thinking, talking, and writing about the Word (divine reason) for centuries and now I will tell you who He is.”
    https://www.compellingtruth.org/what-is-the-Logos.html

    Moreover, besides the fact that Seversky’s atheistic worldview cannot even ground the existence of logic in the first place, Seversky’s atheistic worldview, via the denial of free will, also renders any capacity that we might have had to reason in a logically coherent fashion null and void.

    As Martin Cothran explains, “By their own logic, it isn’t logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order.”

    The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It: Sam Harris’s Free Will – Martin Cothran – November 9, 2012
    Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state — including their position on this issue — is the effect of a physical, not logical cause.
    By their own logic, it isn’t logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2012/11/sam_harriss_fre/

    As should be needless to say, the complete failure of Atheists to be able to account for the existence of logic, and for our ability to reason in a logically coherent fashion in the first place, pretty much renders any claim from the atheist that he is being ‘reasonable’ in his ‘reasonable doubts’ about God existence null and void.

    Put simply, the Atheist needs God to even have the capacity to argue against His existence in a logically coherent, and reasonable, fashion in the first place.

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    Now to Seversky’s second unfounded presupposition, i.e. Seversky necessarily presupposes “a place of certainty” from which he can form ‘a reasonable doubt’ about the existence of God, or ‘a reasonable doubt’ about the existence of anything else for that matter.

    Again, that presupposed ‘place of certainty’ simply does not exist in Seversky’s atheistic worldview.

    As Rene Descartes, and many others, have pointed out, our sense of self, i.e. “I am”, i.e. “I exist as a real person”, is the most certain thing that we can possibly know about reality.

    As Rene Descartes put it, “we cannot doubt of our existence while we doubt….”

    Cogito, ergo sum
    Cogito, ergo sum[a] is a Latin philosophical proposition by René Descartes usually translated into English as “I think, therefore I am”.[b] The phrase originally appeared in French as je pense, donc je suis in his Discourse on the Method, so as to reach a wider audience than Latin would have allowed.[1] It appeared in Latin in his later Principles of Philosophy. As Descartes explained, “we cannot doubt of our existence while we doubt….” A fuller version, articulated by Antoine Léonard Thomas, aptly captures Descartes’s intent: dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum (“I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am”).[c][d] The concept is also sometimes known as the cogito.[2]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cogito,_ergo_sum

    In other words, Rene Descartes In his ‘method of doubt’, (and via a thought experiment of a malicious demon who was intent on deceiving him about everything he was perceiving), found that he could doubt the existence of all things save for the fact that he existed in order to do the doubting in the first place.

    In short, the most certain thing we can possibly know about reality is the fact the we exist as real, conscious, persons.

    And from the conclusion that he could only be certain of the fact that he existed in order to do the doubting in the first place, Rene Descartes then went on to use that ‘certain’ conclusion from his ‘method of doubt’ as a starting point to then argue for the existence of God. (i.e. the argument from consciousness.)

    René Descartes (1596—1650)
    Excerpt:
    5. God
    a. The Causal Arguments
    At the beginning of the Third Meditation only “I exist” and “I am a thinking thing” are beyond doubt and are, therefore, absolutely certain. From these intuitively grasped, absolutely certain truths, Descartes now goes on to deduce the existence of something other than himself, namely God.
    https://www.iep.utm.edu/descarte/#SH4a

    And Descartes is hardly alone in his belief that everything we can possibly know, and/or say, about the material world must first start with the fact that we, undeniably, have conscious, immaterial, minds.

    Three giants of quantum mechanics, Planck, Schrodinger and Wigner, also held this view,

    “No, I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
    Max Planck (1858–1947), the main founder of quantum theory, The Observer, London, January 25, 1931

    “Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”
    Schroedinger, Erwin. 1984. “General Scientific and Popular Papers,” in Collected Papers, Vol. 4. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden. p. 334.

    As Wigner succinctly explained, “The principal argument (against atheistic materialism) is that thought processes and consciousness are the primary concepts, that our knowledge of the external world is the content of our consciousness and that the consciousness, therefore, cannot be denied.

    “The principal argument against materialism is not that illustrated in the last two sections: that it is incompatible with quantum theory. The principal argument is that thought processes and consciousness are the primary concepts, that our knowledge of the external world is the content of our consciousness and that the consciousness, therefore, cannot be denied. On the contrary, logically, the external world could be denied—though it is not very practical to do so. In the words of Niels Bohr, “The word consciousness, applied to ourselves as well as to others, is indispensable when dealing with the human situation.” In view of all this, one may well wonder how materialism, the doctrine that “life could be explained by sophisticated combinations of physical and chemical laws,” could so long be accepted by the majority of scientists.”
    – Eugene Wigner, Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, pp 167-177.

    Yet this ‘place of certainty’, i.e. the belief that we exist as real, conscious, persons, is simply denied by atheists. Consciousness itself, and therefore the belief that we exist as real persons, is simply, (or is that simplistically), held to be a ‘neuronal illusion’ within the Atheist’s materialistic framework.

    The Brain: The Mystery of Consciousness – Monday, Jan. 29, 2007
    Part II THE ILLUSION OF CONTROL
    Another startling conclusion from the science of consciousness is that the intuitive feeling we have that there’s an executive “I” that sits in a control room of our brain, scanning the screens of the senses and pushing the buttons of the muscles, is an illusion.
    – Steven Pinker – Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University
    http://www.academia.edu/279485.....sciousness

    “There is no self in, around, or as part of anyone’s body. There can’t be. So there really isn’t any enduring self that ever could wake up morning after morning worrying about why it should bother getting out of bed. The self is just another illusion, like the illusion that thought is about stuff or that we carry around plans and purposes that give meaning to what our body does. Every morning’s introspectively fantasized self is a new one, remarkably similar to the one that consciousness ceased fantasizing when we fell sleep sometime the night before. Whatever purpose yesterday’s self thought it contrived to set the alarm last night, today’s newly fictionalized self is not identical to yesterday’s. It’s on its own, having to deal with the whole problem of why to bother getting out of bed all over again.,,,
    – Alex Rosenberg – Professor of Philosophy Duke University – The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, ch.10

    The claim that our sense of self, that is to say, our conscious experience, is just a neuronal illusion is simply self-refuting nonsense. As David Bentley Hart states in the following article, “Simply enough, you cannot suffer the illusion that you are conscious because illusions are possible only for conscious minds. This is so incandescently obvious that it is almost embarrassing to have to state it.”

    The Illusionist – Daniel Dennett’s latest book marks five decades of majestic failure to explain consciousness. – 2017
    Excerpt: “Simply enough, you cannot suffer the illusion that you are conscious because illusions are possible only for conscious minds. This is so incandescently obvious that it is almost embarrassing to have to state it.”
    – David Bentley Hart
    https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-illusionist

    Moreover, it is not just the preceding (very) powerful ‘logical’ argument that establishes that consciousness must be primary in any coherent definition of reality that we may put forth, but empirical science itself has now also falsified the atheist’s belief that material particles are primary and consciousness is secondary.

    Specifically, advances in quantum mechanics have now falsified ‘realism’, (which is the (atheistic) belief that a material reality exists completely apart from consciousness, or more specifically, completely apart from our conscious observation of it.)

    As the following violation of Leggett’s inequality found, “Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it.”

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: Many realizations of the thought experiment have indeed verified the violation of Bell’s inequality. These have ruled out all hidden-variables theories based on joint assumptions of realism, meaning that reality exists when we are not observing it; and locality, meaning that separated events cannot influence one another instantaneously. But a violation of Bell’s inequality does not tell specifically which assumption – realism, locality or both – is discordant with quantum mechanics.
    Markus Aspelmeyer, Anton Zeilinger and colleagues from the University of Vienna, however, have now shown that realism is more of a problem than locality in the quantum world. They devised an experiment that violates a different inequality proposed by physicist Anthony Leggett in 2003 that relies only on realism, and relaxes the reliance on locality. To do this, rather than taking measurements along just one plane of polarization, the Austrian team took measurements in additional, perpendicular planes to check for elliptical polarization.
    They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

    And as the following Delayed Choice experiment with atoms found, “reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”.

    New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,,
    “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,” he said.
    Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.
    http://themindunleashed.org/20.....at-it.html

    Moreover, it is not just Leggett’s Inequality and Wheeler’s Delayed choice experiments that prove that consciousness must be primary. There are many other intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that also converged to the same conclusion.

    Eight intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness must precede material reality
    1. Double Slit experiment,
    2. Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries,
    3. as well as the recent confirmation of the Wigner’s friend thought experiment,
    4. Wheeler’s Delayed Choice,
    5. Leggett’s Inequalities,
    6. Quantum Zeno effect,
    7. Quantum Information theory and the experimental realization of the Maxwell demon thought experiment,
    8. and last but not least, the recent closing of the Free Will loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company.

    Thus the atheist, as far as empirical science itself is concerned, is now experimentally falsified, via several lines of converging evidence, in his belief that material reality is primary and that consciousness is secondary and/or ‘illusory’.

    Moreover, putting all these lines of evidence from quantum mechanics together, the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality (Jerry Coyne). or is an intrinsic property of material reality, (panpsychism, Philip Goff)
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality (Jerry Coyne). or is an intrinsic property of material reality, (panpsychism, Philip Goff), then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    Thus in conclusion, Seversky, (since he denies the reality of his own immaterial mind), has no place to ground logical reasoning in the first place, nor does he even have ‘a place of certainty’ in which to be able to form a ‘reasonable doubt’ about God’s existence in the first place.

    And on top of all that, empirical science itself gives the Christian Theist more than ‘reasonable doubt’ about the primacy of the material particles that form the basis of Seversky’s worldview, i.e. atheistic materialism.

    Isaiah 1:18
    “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

  8. 8
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Bornagain77
    Thus in conclusion, Seversky…

    …is a troll and you keep him/her alive.

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    “and you keep him/her alive.”

    Well actually no that would be God, through His grace, Who patiently keeps Seversky alive, and can keep him alive forever more.

    Romans 6:23
    For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    “I was in the spiritual dimension. And this spiritual dimension, this spiritual world, that’s the real world. And this spiritual man that I was seeing and perceiving, that was the real me. And I instantly knew it. The colors are brighter. The thoughts are more intense. The feelings have greater depth. They’re more real. In the spirit world instantly I knew that this is the real world.,,, and also instantly, there was no sense of time. See, everything on earth is related to time. You got up this morning, you are going to go to bed tonight. Something is new, it will get old. Something is born, it’s going to die. Everything on the physical plane is relative to time, but everything in the spiritual plane is relative to eternity. Instantly I was in total consciousness and awareness of eternity, and you and I as we live in this earth cannot even comprehend it, because everything that we have here is filled within the veil of the temporal life. In the spirit life that is more real than anything else and it is awesome. Eternity as a concept is awesome. There is no such thing as time. I knew that whatever happened was going to go on and on.’,,,
    34 minute mark, after talking about how incomprehensibly wonderful it was like for him to be in the presence of God, Robinson then remarks, “It is never going to be boring in heaven”
    In The Presence Of Almighty God – The Near Death Experience of Mickey Robinson – video (testimony starts at 27:45 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/voak1RM-pXo?t=1655

  10. 10
    zweston says:

    Sev & CD’s worldview represent the black knight of Monty Python. I’d just like to know if they have ever honestly dealt with the counter evidence to their dogmatic hold on atheism? As BA77 has demonstrated again, the emperor has no clothes. How in the world someone can watch a microscope video of DNA replication and decide that it naturally assembled itself… oh my. I don’t think we need to zoom in on complex ideas and depth of study, but maybe more zoom out and just apply common sense to our observations.

    Female or male first? Circulatory, nervous, or respiratory system first? etc. Human eye…by natural processes? Human thought, music, art…all just natural byproducts? Metamorphosis of a butterfly…

    I would imagine as individuals they are probably really good guys to talk with, and we probably agree with some of the critiques of what has been done in the name of Christ. But, I find them incredibly intellectually dishonest and evasive.

    I know that they must have somewhat of an atheist safeguard so they don’t delve into the possibility that God exists… possible options

    1. The God espoused by the Bible is immoral, so I don’t need to follow him and who would want to? Being away from Him would be better than with him.

    2. If the God of the Bible doesn’t exist, but another one does, they will surely judge me off of my life and behavior, so I’ll be okay.

    –The evasion and objection is philosophical and emotional, not scientific.

    Also: If you can’t answer every question and conundrum or paradox, that doesn’t mean you throw out the baby with the bathwater. Atheists have no problem living in uncertainty about a MYRIAD of things and an acknowledgment of their limit of ability to understand and comprehend, but when you apply that to a faith in Jesus, that just won’t fly for them. Two different standards based on emotional/philosophical presuppositions/biases.

    Jesus’ death and resurrection demand a verdict (nod to Mr. McDowell)… what is your verdict?

  11. 11
    chuckdarwin says:

    Jesus’ death–likely
    Jesus’ resurrection from the dead–don’t think so
    This is a fundamental issue upon which deists, like myself, (and I imagine many atheists) reject Christianity.
    “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” 1 Corinthians 15:14

  12. 12
    Querius says:

    Chuckdarwin @11,

    There are only two options:

    A: Jesus was a lunatic or fraud.
    Lunatics exhibit well-known behaviors that clinical psychologists can easily identify. Frauds accumulate money, fame, and sex partners. Followers abandon lunatics and frauds as their behaviors become increasingly extreme. Lunatics and frauds all die as do the rest us.

    B: Jesus was God wrapped in a human body, with all its limitations and weaknesses.
    In this case, if Jesus was indeed uniquely God wrapped in a human body, his behavior and words would be unique in many respects. God in a human body would not need to make unsupported claims but would do and say things that ONLY God would be able to do such as demonstrating many scientific impossibilities and rising from the dead. Followers and eyewitnesses to such a person would behave in ways that would be expected if Jesus was indeed God wrapped in a human body.

    Jesus did not claim to be a holy man and good teacher. He didn’t give us that option.

    -Q

  13. 13
    Seversky says:

    C: Jesus is a mythical figure like, say, Robin Hood, possibly based distantly on a real person or persons but no more real than that.

    D: Jesus is an entirely fictional character invented as the personification of the faith’s core principles.

  14. 14
    zweston says:

    I always get sev and cd mixed up…. ugh…

    CD… what do you believe about Jesus? Because all of the claims you are making have big problems. Listing off random alternative explanations doesn’t demonstrate anything. What is your stance, and could you present the evidence to hold that up? It seems you are just squishy on everything…except that Christianity is false. Are you willing to risk your eternity on conjecture and un-substantiated ad-hoc explanations that weren’t espoused until centuries after? If your faith is in Bart Ehrman, you might want to re-evaluate critically.

    If someone challenges you on your deism…what reasons would you give that God exists?

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    Chuckdarwin states, “Jesus’ resurrection from the dead–don’t think so”

    Yet the Shroud of Turin, stubbornly, and persistently, thinks otherwise,

    The evidence for the Shroud’s authenticity keeps growing. (Timeline of facts) –
    What Is the Shroud of Turin? Facts & History Everyone Should Know – Myra Adams and Russ Breault – November 08, 2019
    https://www.christianity.com/wiki/jesus-christ/what-is-the-shroud-of-turin.html

    The Shroud of Turin w/ Dr. Wayne Phillips – Sacred Heart Church, Tampa – Sept. 2021
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K91jWtBTOFo

    Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Hologram
    https://youtu.be/F-TL4QOCiis

    To give us a small glimpse of the power that was involved in Christ’s resurrection from the dead, the following article found that, ”it would take 34 Thousand Billion Watts of VUV radiations to make the image on the shroud. This output of electromagnetic energy remains beyond human technology.”

    Astonishing discovery at Christ’s tomb supports Turin Shroud – NOV 26TH 2016
    Excerpt: The first attempts made to reproduce the face on the Shroud by radiation, used a CO2 laser which produced an image on a linen fabric that is similar at a macroscopic level. However, microscopic analysis showed a coloring that is too deep and many charred linen threads, features that are incompatible with the Shroud image. Instead, the results of ENEA “show that a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation can color a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin, including shades of color, the surface color of the fibrils of the outer linen fabric, and the absence of fluorescence”.
    ‘However, Enea scientists warn, “it should be noted that the total power of VUV radiations required to instantly color the surface of linen that corresponds to a human of average height, body surface area equal to = 2000 MW/cm2 17000 cm2 = 34 thousand billion watts makes it impractical today to reproduce the entire Shroud image using a single laser excimer, since this power cannot be produced by any VUV light source built to date (the most powerful available on the market come to several billion watts )”.
    Comment
    The ENEA study of the Holy Shroud of Turin concluded that it would take 34 Thousand Billion Watts of VUV radiations to make the image on the shroud. This output of electromagnetic energy remains beyond human technology.
    http://westvirginianews.blogsp.....in-is.html

    Also of interest is this fascinating tidbit:

    Shroud Of Turin hologram reveals the words ‘The Lamb’ – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Tmka1l8GAQ

    RESEARCH 3 LETTERS ON SOLID OBJECT
    THREE HEBREW LETTERS IN RELIEF ON THE SURFACE OF THE OVAL SOLID OBJECT
    —UNDER THE BEARD IN THE NECK AREA —
    Excerpt: THE THREE HEBREW LETTERS:
    Hebrew is a language that is written and read from the right to the left. So the three letters that are visible are from right to left:
    TS’ADE—ALEPH—NUN (see image 9),,,
    There is however something more with the word TS’ON. Like we mentioned before, in KLEIN’s dictionary it is translated as: “small cattle, sheep and goats”. (This is like saying “soldiers” instead of army and TS’ON is NOT a flock but “sheep and goats”).
    The EXCEPTION for the translation of the word TS’ON, we find in Exodus 12:21.
    When the Israelites are ordered by God to prepare a lamb for sacrifice and after the sacrifice put the blood on the doorposts, the word that is used for lamb is SEH (Exodus 12:3) and that is correct. However, in Exodus 12:21 it says: “Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the (Passover) lamb”. The word that is used in the Bible is TS’ON and this is the ONLY TIME in the whole of the Bible that the word TS’ON is used as lamb and it is specifically translated as such for this occasion. In the Judaic Tradition this sentence in Exodus 12:21 is also understood (translated) as: “MAKE A SIGN WITH THE LAMB”, (By putting the blood of the lamb on the doorpost). The reason for this is that there is a very close relationship in the root and also in the sound, between the word TS’ON and the word TS’IOEN, and this word means “sign”. In the Judaic Tradition when words have the same root and/or sound, they are like “family of each other” and are very closely related in meaning and use.
    So, we find again a direct connection between the word TS’ON, and Jesus Christ, who is the Passover lamb, dying at the moment on Friday afternoon when in the Temple the sacrifice of the lambs took place. “The Lamb of God that takes away the sins of this world”. (See figure 16 and 17, the Passover Lamb).
    https://shroud3d.com/research-on-the-3d-materials/research-3-letters-on-solid-object/

    So basically, we have a clothe with a photographic negative image on it that was made well before photography was even invented. Moreover, the photographic negative image has a 3-Dimensional holographic nature to its image that was somehow encoded within the photographic negative well before holography was even known about. Moreover, even with our present day technology, we still cannot replicated the image in all its detail. My question to atheists is this, if you truly believe some mad genius forger in the middle ages made this image, then please pray tell why did this mad genius save all his genius for this supposed forgery alone and not for, say, inventing photography itself since he surely would have required mastery of photography to pull off the forgery? Not to mention mastery of laser holography. Moreover, why did this hypothetical mad super-genius destroy all of his scientific instruments that he would have had to invent in order to make the image? Leonardo da Vinci would not have been worthy to tie the shoe laces of such a hypothetical mad genius!

    John 20:3-9
    So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky claims that “Jesus is a mythical figure like, say, Robin Hood, possibly based distantly on a real person or persons but no more real than that.”

    Ironically, Seversky’s own worldview of Darwinian materialism claims that Seversky himself is not a real person.

    What Does It Mean to Say That Science & Religion Conflict? – M. Anthony Mills – April 16, 2018
    Excerpt: Barr rightly observes that scientific atheists often unwittingly assume not just metaphysical naturalism but an even more controversial philosophical position: reductive materialism, which says all that exists is or is reducible to the material constituents postulated by our most fundamental physical theories.
    As Barr points out, this implies not only that God does not exist — because God is not material — but that you do not exist. For you are not a material constituent postulated by any of our most fundamental physical theories; at best, you are an aggregate of those constituents, arranged in a particular way. Not just you, but tables, chairs, countries, countrymen, symphonies, jokes, legal contracts, moral judgments, and acts of courage or cowardice — all of these must be fully explicable in terms of those more fundamental, material constituents.
    https://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2018/04/16/what_does_it_mean_to_say_that_science_and_religion_conflict.html

    Go figure? If Seversky, via his Darwinian materialism, can’t even know for certain if he himself is a real person or not I’m sure as heck not going to trust Seversky’s judgment, (if he really exists), on establishing the reality of any other person, especially someone as important as Jesus.

  17. 17
    KRock says:

    @Seversky

    If you think Jesus was a mythical figure, you’re a lunatic! You’d fall into same category as those who believe the holocaust is a myth.

  18. 18
    Seversky says:

    I think the point is we have rather more evidence for the Holocaust than we do for the existence of Jesus Christ, the Son of God manifest on Earth somewhere in the Middle East two thousand years ago.

  19. 19
    Querius says:

    In a court of law, the testimonies of hostile witnesses are particularly effective when their admissions run contrary to their personal motivations and loyalties. While it’s popular in some circles to question the historical existence of Jesus and the events around his life, the following extra-Biblical sources from around that time are hostile to Jesus and Christianity, but still acknowledge Jesus in history.

    Jewish Historian, Josephus Flavius (37 AD – circa 100 AD)
    Possibly the earliest extra-Biblical account mentioning Jesus comes from the Jewish historian Josephus.

    Originally named, Joseph ben Mattathias, Josephus was born in Jerusalem in 37 AD of priestly and royal lineage. After a spiritual search that didn’t include or even acknowledge Christianity, he eventually aligned himself with the sect of the Pharisees. After being appointed commander of the revolutionary forces in Galilee during the First Jewish-Roman War, Josephus was captured by the Romans in 67 AD.

    However, instead of being executed, Josephus was able to convince Vespasian, commander of the Roman legions in Judaea, that he was a prophet and that a prophecy about the future world rulers coming from Judaea meant that Vespasian would become emperor of Rome. When this actually came to pass, Vespasian adopted him as his son. Josephus took the Flavius family name as his own, became a Roman citizen, and was commissioned by Vespasian to be an official historian.

    In his 20-volume work, Antiquities of the Jews, written circa 93-94 AD, Josephus records the fact that James, the brother of Jesus, was martyred. In this work, we read the following:

    But this younger Ananus, who, as we have told you already, took the high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper, and very insolent; he was also of the sect of the Sadducees, who are very rigid in judging offenders, above all the rest of the Jews, as we have already observed; when, therefore, Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had now a proper opportunity. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim [or Sanhedrin] of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done . . .
    – Antiquities of the Jews, Book 20, Chapter 9:1

    The Gospel of Matthew relates that Jesus had brothers named James, Joseph, and Simon, and he had several sisters as well. James was a leader in the Jerusalem church. See Matthew 13:54-57a, Acts 15.

    According to the world’s leading Josephus Flavius scholar, Louis Feldman, the above quote is “almost universally acknowledged,” and beyond dispute. The following information can be derived from this text:
    • There was a man named Jesus who was called Christ.
    • Jesus had a brother named James.
    • James and his companions were accused by the High Priest of a capital violation of Jewish law.
    • James and his companions were executed by stoning, which was the penalty under the Mosaic law for extreme infractions.

    However, under Roman rule Ananus had no right to convene the Sanhedrin, the supreme religious and judicial council of 71 Jewish sages at the time, or have James and others executed. According to Josephus, the Roman Procurator strongly objected to Ananus’ presumptuous action, which resulted in King Agrippa to removing Ananus from office. James was executed around 62 AD.

    The second reference to Jesus is called the Testimonium Flavium. In his autobiography, Josephus recognized three sects of Judaism: Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes, and in the Testimonium Flavium, he called Christians a “tribe” rather than a fourth sect. This establishes that Josephus had an unfavorable view of Christianity.

    However, the passage is controversial due to two likely insertions, called interpolations, by a later copyist. The first interpolation questions whether Jesus could properly even be called a man and the second one states that Jesus was the Messiah. Thus, scholars concluded that the passage was altered.

    Using textual analysis and the compilation of manuscripts, the majority of modern scholars, including Alice Whealey in her work Josephus on Jesus, agree that Josephus had described the historical person of Jesus in the passage but that the original text would likely have read as follows:

    Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man. For he was a doer of startling deeds, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. And he gained a following both among many Jews and many of Greek origin. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.
    – Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 3:3

    According to another leading Jewish scholar, Geza Vermes, the reconstructed version of this passage provides an authentic portrayal of Jesus by Josephus, depicting him as a wise teacher and miracle worker with an enthusiastic group of followers who remained faithful to him even after his crucifixion by Pilate.

    Then in 1971, Shlomo Pines published citations of the Testimonium Flavium from recently discovered 9th or 10th century Arabic and Syriac texts quoting a 4th century Arabic version. The passage in these documents is similar to the reconstructed text.

    Thus, the following information can reasonably be derived from this passage:
    • There was a historical figure named Jesus, who was considered a wise man, a miracle worker, and a teacher to those who wanted to hear truth.
    • Jesus gained a devoted following among both Jews and Greeks.
    • Jesus was crucified under Pilate at the instigation of prominent Jewish leaders.
    • The disciples of Jesus were called “Christians,” from the Greek word for Messiah, and continued to love his teachings even to the time of Josephus, about 65 years later.

    The writings of Josephus are available online at http://josephus.org/joschron.htm.

    Roman Historian, Cornelius Tacitus (circa 56 AD – circa 118 AD)
    In Annuls, Book 15, Tacitus wrote the following about the Great Fire of Rome that burned for a total of nine days, destroying two-thirds of Rome in AD 64:

    . . . But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor, and the propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order.

    Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular.

    The following information can be derived from this passage:
    • A despised group called “Christians” by the population were blamed for the fire.
    • The man called Christus “suffered the extreme penalty,” a reference to crucifixion.
    • The execution was carried out under Pontius Pilatus, as recorded in the New Testament.
    • Tacitus refers to Christianity as “a most mischievous superstition” spreading in Judea and Rome.

    Autoclytus (unknown dates of birth and death)
    About 170 AD, Theophilus, Bishop of Antioch replied in writing to a friend named Autoclytus, who was hostile to Christianity, tried to redefine the derogatory use of “Christian” into a positive term.

    When we had formerly some conversation, my very good friend Autolycus, and when you inquired who was my God, and for a little paid attention to my discourse, I made some explanations to you concerning my religion; and then having bid one another adieu, we went with much mutual friendliness each to his own house, although at first you had borne somewhat hard upon me.
    – To Autolycus, Book 2, Chapter 1

    While, the original conversation with Autoclytus wasn’t recorded, Theophilus’ reply highlights the contempt associated with the term, Christian. But first, some background information.

    “Christian” was a name commonly used by people in reference to the early believers in Jesus, who called themselves disciples and followers of “the Way” as recorded in the New Testament: Acts 9:1-2, 19:9, 19:23, 22:4, 22:14, and 24:22. Naming these believers Christians is also recorded in Acts.

    And he [Barnabas] left for Tarsus to look for Saul [the Apostle Paul]; and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers of people; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
    – Acts 11:25-26 (NASB)

    Note the following:
    • Antioch was the capital of the Roman province of Syria, now located in the region of Antakya, Turkey.
    • The name and title of Jesus of Nazareth in Hebrew is Yeshua Ha’Machiach, which is translated into Jesus the Messiah in English.
    • Messiah in Hebrew means “anointed one,” referring to the historical Israelite practice of a priest anointing a newly installed king with oil for this special role, symbolizing the presence of the Holy Spirit in that person. The Greek equivalent of anointed one is Khristos and in Latin it’s Christus
    .
    And now, here’s what Theophilus wrote in reply.

    And about your laughing at me and calling me “Christian,” you know not what you are saying. First, because that which is anointed is sweet and serviceable, and far from contemptible . . . And what work has either ornament or beauty unless it be anointed and burnished? Then the air and all that is under heaven is in a certain sort anointed by light and spirit; and are you unwilling to be anointed with the oil of God? Wherefore we are called Christians on this account, because we are anointed with the oil of God.
    – Theophilus to Autolycus, Book 1, Chapter 12

    Theophilus returned to the Greek word for ointment, chrisma, meaning anointed with oil in this case and by implication by the Holy Spirit. Theophilus suggested to Autoclytus that the word, Christian, should actually be understood as a desirable and honored description of all genuine Christians.

    The following information can be derived from this passage:
    • “Christian” was originally used as a derogatory term for the followers of Jesus, even as late as 170 AD.
    • Among the Christians of that time, there was an association between anointing oil and the working of the Holy Spirit through the lives of the believers.

    Greek Satirist, Lucian of Samosata (120 AD – circa 180 AD)
    From Lucian’s work, The Death of Peregrinus:

    The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day—the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account . . .
    You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws. All this they take quite on faith, with the result that they despise all worldly goods alike, regarding them merely as common property.

    The following information can be derived from these passages:
    • “Christians” continued worshiping Jesus after his death and were devoted to his teachings.
    • Jesus was considered a sage and died by crucifixion.
    • Christians believe that they’ve received eternal life, and thus have courage over death.
    • Christians believe that they are all spiritual brothers with one another as stated in Galatians 3:24-28, and they selflessly share their worldly possessions as “common property” as recorded in Acts 4:32-35.
    • Christians reject Greek polytheism and instead worship Jesus as God.

    The Jewish Talmud
    The Talmud is a collection of Jewish historical traditions, civil and ceremonial law, and commentaries. There are two similar versions: the Jerusalem Talmud dating from around 375 AD and the Babylonian Talmud dating from around 500 AD.

    We read the following in the Jerusalem Talmud:

    “Forty years before the destruction of the Temple [in 70 AD], the western light went out, the crimson thread remained crimson, and the lot for the Lord always came up in the left hand. They would close the gates of the Temple by night and get up in the morning and find them wide open.”
    – Jacob Neusner, The Yerushalmi, p.156-157

    A similar passage in the Babylonian Talmud states the following:

    “Our rabbis taught: During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple the lot [‘For the Lord’] did not come up in the right hand; nor did the crimson-colored strap become white; nor did the western most light shine; and the doors of the Hekel [Temple] would open by themselves.”
    – Soncino version, Yoma 39b

    The “Lot for the Lord” and the crimson-colored cord were associated with the yearly Jewish temple rituals for the atonement of sins. Both ritual elements behaved in a manner disturbing to the priests.
    In addition, there were miraculous and puzzling signs involving the bronze massive temple doors and the solid gold temple menorah, which was three cubits high. Historically, a priest was assigned to tend the seven lamps on the temple menorah, filling them with oil, preparing the wicks, and lighting them every day. The middle lamp was called the lamp of Elohim (God) and was always supposed to be lit continuously. Disturbingly, this middle lamp kept going out.

    So, what exactly happened 40 years before the destruction of the Temple? Forty years before 70 AD is 30 AD, the likely year of the crucifixion of Jesus.

    Jesus in the Talmud
    The degree of hostility toward Jesus can be appreciated from the following passage, but it also provides additional clues about what Jesus did in his ministry.

    On (Sabbath eve and) the eve of Passover, Jesus the Nazarene was hanged and a herald went forth before him forty days heralding, “Jesus the Nazarene is going forth to be stoned because he practiced sorcery and instigated and seduced Israel to idolatry. Whoever knows anything in defense may come and state it.” But since they did not find anything in his defense, they hanged him on (Sabbath eve and) the eve of Passover.
    – Peter Schäfer, Jesus in the Talmud, Princeton University Press, 2007, pages 64-65

    In addition, scholars have identified the following references in the Talmud that likely refer to Jesus:
    • Jesus as a sorcerer with disciples (b Sanh 43a-b)
    • Healing in Jesus’ name (Hul 2:22f; AZ 2:22/12; y Shab 124:4/13; QohR 1:8; b AZ 27b)
    • Jesus as a Torah teacher (b AZ 17a; Hul 2:24; QohR 1:8)
    • Jesus as a son or disciple that turned out badly (Sanh 103a/b; Ber 17b)
    • Jesus as a frivolous disciple who practiced magic and turned to idolatry (Sanh 107b; Sot 47a)
    • Jesus’ punishment in afterlife (b Git 56b, 57a)
    • Jesus’ execution (b Sanh 43a-b)
    • Jesus as the son of Mary (Shab 104b, Sanh 67a)

    Conclusion
    The written testimonies of hostile witnesses are valuable in that they indirectly confirm some of the basic content of the New Testament including the historical existence, ministry, miracles, trial and crucifixion of Jesus, and the committed faith of the early Christians. Other references in these hostile writings also confirm some of the historical details mentioned in the gospels, helping to place Jesus into a credible historical context.

    -Q

  20. 20
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/15

    Chuckdarwin states, “Jesus’ resurrection from the dead–don’t think so”

    Yet the Shroud of Turin, stubbornly, and persistently, thinks otherwise,

    ENEA suggests a possible mechanism using vacuum ultra-violet radiation for producing some of the effects observed on the fabric of the Shroud. That’s a long, long way from confirming the Resurrection or that the Shroud provides the basis for a Theory of Everything.

    To give us a small glimpse of the power that was involved in Christ’s resurrection from the dead, the following article found that, ”it would take 34 Thousand Billion Watts of VUV radiations to make the image on the shroud. This output of electromagnetic energy remains beyond human technology.

    What reason do you have for thinking that God “beaming up” Jesus from the tomb would involve an extremely brief but powerful flash of VUV radiation?

  21. 21
    William J Murray says:

    Querius said:

    … if Jesus was indeed uniquely God wrapped in a human body, his behavior and words would be unique in many respects. God in a human body would not need to make unsupported claims but would do and say things that ONLY God would be able to do such as demonstrating many scientific impossibilities and rising from the dead. Followers and eyewitnesses to such a person would behave in ways that would be expected if Jesus was indeed God wrapped in a human body.

    1. How do you know that only God would be able do what Jesus did?
    2. Given this is a unique example, how could we possibly understand “what to expect” from followers and eyewitnesses?

  22. 22
    zweston says:

    Nice Post, Q!

    It is exasperating to see the ad-hoc explanations that are likely not even likely espoused by the ones posting it…. they just need an “out” or a plausible scenario to wiggle out of accountability and the implications of a personal God who will execute justice and also save those who belong to his kingdom.

    What parts of Jesus’ tea

    There is no greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

    God is making all things new and restored to what they should have been. We were made to be in awe and to worship, but sin cursed the world through the temptation of the fallen angel satan (which, we also have evidence for in the accounts of demonic possession that are documented) and Jesus came to break the curse on humanity.

    When you look around and say “this isn’t how it should be” you affirm there is a state of perfection, a standard to which you judge things. But should there be a standard if we are pond scum? I’d say not.

    If you have any intellectual dignity, you’d look at the evidence for the resurrection and say “man, it is pretty compelling for 2000 years ago and a supernatural claim, but I can’t buy a resurrection or I honestly don’t really want to.”

    The problem here, as has been the case as long as I have seen, is an emotional one. Our minds and hearts are hostile to God by nature, and we need restored and reconciled. Hence Jesus.

    Then, one day we will be with him, and he with us. It will be a place of fullness of Joy and pleasures forevermore. We will see beauty beyond comparison and will have all things good in their proper order.

    If you want to look at maximal data to support the authenticity of the gospels, I highly suggest the channel “testify” on youtube. Lots of content I didn’t really know about until this past year that is very interesting and compelling and done in a concise and engaging way. Just check it out.

  23. 23
    zweston says:

    Nice Post, Q!

    It is exasperating to see the ad-hoc explanations that are likely not even likely espoused by the ones posting it…. they just need an “out” or a plausible scenario to wiggle out of accountability and the implications of a personal God who will execute justice and also save those who belong to his kingdom.
    There is no greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

    God is making all things new and restored to what they should have been. We were made to be in awe and to worship, but sin cursed the world through the temptation of the fallen angel satan (which, we also have evidence for in the accounts of demonic possession that are documented) and Jesus came to break the curse on humanity.

    No greater love has a man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends

    When you look around and say “this isn’t how it should be” you affirm there is a state of perfection, a standard to which you judge things. But should there be a standard if we are pond scum? I’d say not.

    If you have any intellectual dignity, you’d look at the evidence for the resurrection and say “man, it is pretty compelling for 2000 years ago and a supernatural claim, but I can’t buy a resurrection or I honestly don’t really want to.”

    The problem here, as has been the case as long as I have seen, is an emotional one. Our minds and hearts are hostile to God by nature, and we need restored and reconciled. Hence Jesus.

    Then, one day we will be with him, and he with us. It will be a place of fullness of Joy and pleasures forevermore. We will see beauty beyond comparison and will have all things good in their proper order.

    If you want to look at maximal data to support the authenticity of the gospels, I highly suggest the channel “testify” on youtube. Lots of content I didn’t really know about until this past year that is very interesting and compelling and done in a concise and engaging way. Just check it out.

  24. 24
    ET says:

    There is more evidence for the existence of Jesus then there is for universal common descent via blind and mindless processes. Heck there is more evidence for the Loch Ness monster then there is for UCD via blind and mindless processes.

  25. 25
    ram says:

    BA77: it would take 34 Thousand Billion Watts of VUV radiations to make the image on the shroud.

    You quote some secondary source for this claim. Please provide a link to the primary research by whoever is making this claim. Thank you.

  26. 26
    bornagain77 says:

    Sev asks, “What reason do you have for thinking that God “beaming up” Jesus from the tomb would involve an extremely brief but powerful flash of VUV radiation?”

    Well first off, I presupposed nothing as to what it would actually take for God to raise Jesus from the dead.

    I simply pointed out towards the end of the following video, (where I lay out the case for Christ’s resurrection from the dead providing a very plausible, and in all likelihood, correct solution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’, i.e. the unification of Quantum Mechanics with General Relativity),,,

    Jesus Christ as the correct “Theory of Everything” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpn2Vu8–eE

    ,,, I simply pointed out towards the end of the preceding video, that, quote-unquote, “besides gravity being dealt with on the Shroud of Turin, the Shroud also gives us evidence that Quantum Mechanics itself was dealt with.”,,,

    And that ”it would take 34 Thousand Billion Watts of VUV radiations to make the image on the shroud. This output of electromagnetic energy remains beyond human technology”, certainly gives us evidence that quantum mechanics itself was dealt with.

    To be clear, generating vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) radiation is indeed a quantum affair.

    A spectrally bright wavelength-switchable vacuum ultraviolet source driven by quantum coherence in strong-field-ionized molecules – 2021
    Abstract
    We report generation of spectrally bright vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) and deep UV (DUV) coherent radiations at the wavelengths of 192 nm, 198 nm and 204 nm. These DUV/VUV radiations originate from resonant four-wave mixing assisted by quantum coherence in tunnel-ionized CO molecules.,,
    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1367-2630/abde6e

    As to providing empirical evidence that it is even possible for a human body to generate, and emit ‘quantum light’, the following article states, “there is evidence for non-molecular information transfer due to endogenous coherent light.”, (i.e. biophotons, i.e biological laser light)

    Cellular Communication through Light – 2009
    Excerpt: Information transfer is a life principle. On a cellular level we generally assume that molecules are carriers of information, yet there is evidence for non-molecular information transfer due to endogenous coherent light. This light is ultra-weak, is emitted by many organisms, including humans and is conventionally described as biophoton emission.?
    http://www.plosone.org/article.....ne.0005086

    Biophotons – The Light In Our Cells – Marco Bischof – March 2005?Excerpt page 2: The Coherence of Biophotons: ,,, Biophotons consist of light with a high degree of order, in other words, biological laser light. Such light is very quiet and shows an extremely stable intensity, without the fluctuations normally observed in light. Because of their stable field strength, its waves can superimpose, and by virtue of this, interference effects become possible that do not occur in ordinary light. Because of the high degree of order, the biological laser light is able to generate and keep order and to transmit information in the organism.
    https://cdn.preterhuman.net/texts/body_and_health/Biophotons%20-%20The%20Lights%20in%20Our%20Cells.pdf

    And the following study found that humans emit light that is “well described by the signal in a quantum squeezed state of photons.”

    Photocount distribution of photons emitted from three sites of a human body – 2006
    Abstract
    Spontaneous photon emission from 30 sites on the skin of a live human subject is measured at different times and on different days. Signals from three representative sites of low, intermediate and high intensities are selected for further analysis. Fluctuations in these signals are measured by the probabilities of detecting different numbers of photons in a bin. The probabilities have non-classical features and are well described by the signal in a quantum squeezed state of photons. Measurements with bins of three sizes yield same values of three parameters of the squeezed state. A procedure for making correction due to background noise is developed. The correction changes the parameters of the quantum state. The new state appears more like a coherent state of photons.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16520060?

    You can see pictures of a human emitting biophotons, i.e. biological laser light, here:

    Image – This first image shows one of the test subjects in full light. The middle image shows the body giving off weak emissions of visible (biophotonic) light in totally dark conditions. The rightmost image of the subject, captured in infrared wavelengths, shows the heat emissions
    https://www.livescience.com/7799-strange-humans-glow-visible-light.html

    Moreover, to relate the Shroud of Turin to the fact that humans emit light that is “well described by the signal in a quantum squeezed state of photons”, in the following study it was found that “the optical density distribution, (on the Shroud of Turin),, can not be attributed at the absorbed energy described in the framework of the classical physics model. It is, in fact, necessary to hypothesize a absorption by discrete values of the energy where the ‘quantum’ is equal to the one necessary to yellow one fibril.

    The absorbed energy in the Shroud body image formation appears as contributed by discrete values – Giovanni Fazio, Giuseppe Mandaglio – 2008
    Excerpt: This result means that the optical density distribution,, can not be attributed at the absorbed energy described in the framework of the classical physics model. It is, in fact, necessary to hypothesize a absorption by discrete values of the energy where the ‘quantum’ is equal to the one necessary to yellow one fibril.
    http://cab.unime.it/mus/541/1/c1a0802004.pdf

    So a viable mechanism of biophoton, (i.e. biological laser light), emission from the human body exists that provides a plausible explanation for the ‘quantum’ image we see on the Shroud of Turin,,

    Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Hologram
    https://youtu.be/F-TL4QOCiis

    Matthew 17:1-2?
    After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.

    2 Peter 1:16
    For we did not follow cleverly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.

  27. 27
    KRock says:

    @Seversky #18

    Do you believe the Ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates existed?

    When it comes to the historical Jesus, even the most ardent liberal New Testament scholars believe he was a real person, which would put your comments on par with the lunatic fringe—you know, the same group of people who deny the holocaust actually happened.

  28. 28
    bornagain77 says:

    Ram at 25, I traced the source to the ’34 thousand billion watt’ article to here:

    DI LAZZARO, P. – MURRA, D. – NICHELATTI, E. – SANTONI, A.- BALDACCHINI, G. – Shroud-like Coloration of Linen by Nanosecond Laser Pulses in the Vacuum Ultraviolet, ENEA Report 2012.
    Editor’s Note: A similar paper by the same authors also appeared in the peer reviewed journal Applied Optics, Vol. 51, Issue 36, pp. 8567-8578 (2012), titled Superficial and Shroud-like coloration of linen by short laser pulses in the vacuum ultraviolet. [21 January 2013]
    https://www.shroud.com/library.htm#papers

    Superficial and Shroud-like coloration of linen by short laser pulses in the vacuum ultraviolet -DI LAZZARO, P. – MURRA, D. – NICHELATTI, E. – SANTONI, A.- BALDACCHINI, G.
    Applied Optics, Optical Society of America, vol. 51, pp. 8567-8578 (2012), 2012
    Abstract
    We present a survey on five years of experiments of excimer laser irradiation of linen fabrics, seeking a coloration mechanism able to reproduce the microscopic complexity of the body image embedded onto the Shroud of Turin. We achieved a superficial, Shroud-like coloration in a narrow range of irradiation parameters. We also obtained latent coloration that appears after artificial or natural aging of linen following laser irradiations that, at first, did not generate any visible effect. Most importantly, we have recognized photochemical processes that account for both coloration and latent coloration.
    https://www.academia.edu/3478909/Superficial_and_Shroud-like_coloration_of_linen_by_short_laser_pulses_in_the_vacuum_ultraviolet?auto=download

    And here are the slides to a 2017 powerpoint presentation that was given by Paolo Di Lazzaro where he, (at about the 30th slide of the presentation), discusses the 34 thousand billion watt result,

    Linen Coloration by Pulsed Radiation. A Review.
    Slides of the talk presented at the International Conference on the Shroud of Turin, Pasco (USA) July 2017, Paolo Di Lazzaro
    https://www.academia.edu/38029774/Linen_Coloration_by_Pulsed_Radiation._A_Review

    Specifically, Lazzaro’s 30th slide in his powerpoint presentation states,

    34 thousand billion watt is an impressive number but,,
    * Back to basics: let us consider the fraction A/B.
    If B is very small then A/B results in a very large number.,,,
    * 17 joules energy/0.00000001 seconds results in 1.7 billion watt. It is called “peak power” which different of the commonly used “average power”.
    * The above peak power was delivered to 1 cm^2 flax.
    Being the average man skin surface = 2 m^2 = 20,000 cm^2, we have 34 thousand billion watt necessary to complete the body image on the Shroud.

  29. 29
    jerry says:

    Three things:

    First, It seems that the critics here are mainly focused on Christianity and that this is their main rationale for objecting to ID.

    Second, ID has nothing to do with Christianity. It is supportive of all who believe there is a creator and whatever religion postulates there is a creator of the universe. So it does support Christianity in that sense.

    Finally, Objections to ID and Christianity are on display and they mainly consist of snarky and specious claims. These are people who have access to the best arguments against either produced in the world of thought.

    Or else we would be seeing more coherent arguments. I therefore assume these coherent arguments don’t exist.

    So those who are criticizing are actually extremely supportive of both ID and Christianity.

  30. 30
    JVL says:

    KRock: When it comes to the historical Jesus, even the most ardent liberal New Testament scholars believe he was a real person, which would put your comments on par with the lunatic fringe—you know, the same group of people who deny the holocaust actually happened.

    There is a group of Biblical scholars who cast doubt on the existence of the Biblical Jesus; they are called mythicists.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_myth_theory

    Whether or not they are considered the lunatic fringe is up for debate. But it is a real movement.

  31. 31
    JVL says:

    ET: Heck there is more evidence for the Loch Ness monster then there is for UCD via blind and mindless processes.

    That cannot be true since there is zero evidence for the Lock Ness monster and the only way zero can be ‘more’ than some other value is if the other value is negative.

  32. 32
    JVL says:

    Jerry: Second, ID has nothing to do with Christianity.

    I’m not sure Dr Dembski would agree with you. See:

    https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/bill-dembski-offers-some-thoughts-on-the-current-state-of-christian-apologetics/

  33. 33
    ram says:

    BA77, sorry, just a bunch of B.S.

    Care to make a logical argument here?

    I predict you cannot.

    What I’m asking for is this:

    Make a claim and defend it in your own words. And let’s engage.

    Can you do it?

    –Ram

  34. 34
    bornagain77 says:

    Ram, HUH?,

    You asked for the primary source on the VUV radiation study. I traced it down. You gave no ‘logical’ reason for rejecting it, but just called it “just a bunch of B.S.”

    You then ask me “Care to make a logical argument here?”

    Again, HUH?

    and you then state, “I predict you cannot.
    What I’m asking for is this:
    Make a claim and defend it in your own words. And let’s engage.
    Can you do it?”

    Again, HUH? I ‘logically’ defended the claim myself by tracing the primary source for the VUV study down. Yet, you are the one who gave no logical reason whatsoever for rejecting the VUV radiation study.

    Do you want me to go do the VUV radiation tests myself? And exactly how will me performing the test be better than what the scientists at The Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, (ENEA), found?

    You said you want me to “make a logical argument”, but you yourself have not made a logical reply to the study in the first place.

    Empirical evidence is what it is, and calling it “just a bunch of B.S.” is certainly not giving me a ‘logical’ reason for you not accepting the empirical evidence that I presented to you. In fact the tone of your reply, i.e. “just a bunch of B.S.”, is very much indicative that your reply was driven far more by your prior emotions about the subject than it was by your logical analysis of the subject.

    But anyways, as to giving you my own words,,, well, in this thread at post 15, ‘in my own words’, I asked atheists/non-Christians this following question, “My question to atheists is this, if you truly believe some mad genius forger in the middle ages made this image (of the Shroud), then please pray tell why did this mad genius save all his genius for this supposed forgery alone and not for, say, inventing photography itself since he surely would have required mastery of photography to pull off the forgery? Not to mention mastery of laser holography.”

    Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Hologram
    https://youtu.be/F-TL4QOCiis

    So basically, we have a clothe with a photographic negative image on it that was made well before photography was even invented. Moreover, the photographic negative image has a 3-Dimensional holographic nature to its image that was somehow encoded within the photographic negative well before holography was even known about. Moreover, even with our present day technology, we still cannot replicated the image in all its detail. My question to atheists is this, if you truly believe some mad genius forger in the middle ages made this image, then please pray tell why did this mad genius save all his genius for this supposed forgery alone and not for, say, inventing photography itself since he surely would have required mastery of photography to pull off the forgery? Not to mention mastery of laser holography. Moreover, why did this hypothetical mad super-genius destroy all of his scientific instruments that he would have had to invent in order to make the image? Leonardo da Vinci would not have been worthy to tie the shoe laces of such a hypothetical mad genius!
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/in-time-for-american-thanksgiving-stephen-meyer-on-the-frailty-of-scientific-atheism/#comment-741231

    John 20:3-9
    So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)

  35. 35
    Querius says:

    William J Murray @21,

    1. How do you know that only God would be able do what Jesus did?
    2. Given this is a unique example, how could we possibly understand “what to expect” from followers and eyewitnesses?

    1. Would you say that it’s common for people to rise from the dead? Option B in @12 is correct, then what other actions, behaviors, and teachings would you expect from God wrapped in a human body? There are a number of possibilities that most people can imagine.

    2. Many surprising and unique events in history can give you a clue about people’s reactions. These include seemingly miraculous upsets in sports, a “miracle drug” that cures you of something, an amazing presenter on a subject of interest—articulate, clear, well-informed, and entertaining, or perhaps a miraculous medical event such as this one:
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32234287/

    -Q

  36. 36
    Querius says:

    Zweston @23,
    Thank you, Zweston. Good points all. And thanks also for the reference to the Testify channel on YouTube, of which I’m watching this video:

    God Still Works Miracles Today w/ Dr. Craig Keener
    https://youtu.be/C0B18ofJGaY

    -Q

  37. 37
    jerry says:

    For those interested in the Shroud of Turin, go to http://www.shroud.com.

    Nearly all the research is there

    Di Lazzaro shows up several times.

    The interesting thing about the Shroud is that there is no other artifact in the history of the world with the same properties. Especially since it came on the scene about 800 years ago and there were stories about it way before that.

  38. 38
    Querius says:

    Jerry @29,
    Good points.

    Second, ID has nothing to do with Christianity. It is supportive of all who believe there is a creator and whatever religion postulates there is a creator of the universe. So it does support Christianity in that sense.

    I agree–ID takes no position on the intelligent designer and shouldn’t. However, an ID perspective produces better scientific results in assuming that existing biological structures have a designed purpose worthy of investigation rather than none. For example, “junk DNA” is now considered a misnomer because “non-coding DNA” does have recently discovered functionality.

    Finally, Objections to ID and Christianity are on display and they mainly consist of snarky and specious claims. These are people who have access to the best arguments against either produced in the world of thought.

    Yes, I’ve frequently noticed the same thing.

    -Q

  39. 39
    Querius says:

    JVL @30,

    There is a group of Biblical scholars who cast doubt on the existence of the Biblical Jesus; they are called mythicists.

    I think it’s safe to say that they’re considered to be on the fringe. Even Bart Ehrman, hardly a believer in Jesus as the Messiah, agrees that Jesus really did exist in history. He writes

    “This is not an issue for scholars. There is no scholar in any college or university who teaches classics, ancient history, new testament, early christianity, who doubts that Jesus existed. He is abundantly attested in early sources. Early and independent sources indicate that Jesus certainly existed. Paul is an eyewitness to both Jesus’ disciple Peter and the brother of Jesus. Like, I’m sorry. Atheists have done themselves a disservice by jumping on the bandwagon of mythicism because it makes you look foolish to the outside world.”

    Here’s an article that examines the question and the skeptics:
    https://reasonsforjesus.com/jesus-exist-scholars-agree-certainly-existed/

    -Q

  40. 40
    Querius says:

    As I posted earlier, Jesus also had real historical detractors of which we have real historical writings.
    That even the Talmud asserts that Jesus existed but was “a magician” and “a sorcerer” speaks volumes.

    To arbitrarily exclude the summary that I presented of the historical evidence is no different than editing and rewriting history to suit one’s preferences and ideology. Of course, people are free to do so, but then they’re dropping any pretense of being objective, but simply reveal the fantasy in which they insist on living.

    -Q

  41. 41
  42. 42
    Querius says:

    William J Murray @21,

    Here’s another example of a person’s reaction when they witness (or at least think they’ve witnessed) someone rising from the dead:
    https://youtu.be/C0B18ofJGaY?t=1956

    Thus, when many apostles and disciples saw Jesus after being raised from the dead, it’s no wonder that they responded with great excitement and enthusiasm even when persecuted and martyred.

    -Q

  43. 43
    zweston says:

    Q- make sure you watch all his content on the arguments supporting the validity of the Bible… undesigned coincidences, etc…. his last one “Jesus is ALIVE” is really solid as well. A wealth of content. His website is: isjesusalive.com

  44. 44
    William J Murray says:

    Querius @35 said:

    1. Would you say that it’s common for people to rise from the dead? Option B in @12 is correct, then what other actions, behaviors, and teachings would you expect from God wrapped in a human body? There are a number of possibilities that most people can imagine.

    I have absolutely no idea what “God wrapped in a human body” would do. You’re using circular reasoning here. You’re taking an account of what someone you believe to be “God wrapped in a human body” did, and then saying that this is the kind of thing you’d expect from such a situation.

    2. Many surprising and unique events in history can give you a clue about people’s reactions. These include seemingly miraculous upsets in sports, a “miracle drug” that cures you of something, an amazing presenter on a subject of interest—articulate, clear, well-informed, and entertaining, or perhaps a miraculous medical event such as this one:
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32234287/

    You’re doing the same thing; you’re taking the example of how people behaved in the case you believe to be of God wrapped in a human body and saying that how people were reported to have been behaving is how people would behave if they were experiencing God wrapped in a human body. First, outside of your prior circular reasoning and assuming your own premise, you have no idea how God wrapped in a human body would behave, and therefore you cannot by extension have any idea how people would react to God wrapped in a human body.

    IOW, there is no reason for you to think, except by presupposing the case in question to be that situation, that God wrapped in a human body would behave that way and do those things which would precipitate any behavior of those around such a being.

    For all you know, absent presupposing the case in question as true, what God would do is be completely unnoticeable and not perform any miracles or draw attention to himself, and nobody around him would even notice.

  45. 45
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks Zweston, and especially Querius, for your posts defending the historical reliability of the resurrection. I’ll think I’ll tuck post 19, about hostile witnesses confirming key parts of the resurrection, into my notes for future reference.

    19
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/in-time-for-american-thanksgiving-stephen-meyer-on-the-frailty-of-scientific-atheism/#comment-741252

    Craig Keener’s video is a powerful apologetic too.

    God Still Works Miracles Today w/ Dr. Craig Keener
    https://youtu.be/C0B18ofJGaY

    of note:

    A British agnostic once said “let’s not discuss the other miracles; let’s discuss the resurrection. Because if the resurrection is true, then the other miracles are easily explained; and if the resurrection is not true, the other miracles do not matter.”

    Sir Edward Clark — a prominent lawyer in Great Britain “As a lawyer, I have made a prolonged study of the evidences for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. To me, the evidence is conclusive; and over and over again in the high court, I have secured the verdict on evidence not nearly so compelling. The Gospel evidence for the resurrection I accept unreservedly as the testimony of truthful men to facts that they were able to substantiate.”

    Canon Westcott — for years a brilliant scholar at Cambridge University “Indeed, taking all the evidence together, it is not too much to say that there is no historic incident better or more variously supported than the resurrection of Christ. Nothing but the antecedent assumption that it must be false could have suggested the idea of deficiency in the proof of it.”

    Thomas Arnold — Professor of History at Oxford University; author of a 3-volume history on ancient Rome “I have been used for many years to study the history of other times, and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them; and I know of no fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than that Christ died and rose again from the dead.”
    http://www.awordfromtheword.org/what-if.htm

    “I humbly add I have spent more than 42 years as a defense trial lawyer appearing in many parts of the world and am still in active practice. I have been fortunate to secure a number of successes in jury trials and I say unequivocally the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.”
    Sir Lionel Luckhoo. A British lawyer knighted for his work. He won 245 consecutive murder cases.

    “Let [the Gospel’s] testimony be sifted, as it were given in a court of justice on the side of the adverse party, the witness being subjected to a rigorous cross-examination. The result, it is confidently believed, will be an undoubting conviction of their integrity, ability, and truth.”
    Simon Greenleaf from his book “Testimony of the Evangelicals”. Greenleaf was one of the founders of the Harvard Law School who wrote the book “A Treatise on the Law of Evidence”. He was an atheist until some students challenged him to examine the evidence for the resurrection of Christ.

  46. 46
    KRock says:

    @JVL #30

    Oh, I’m well aware of the group (nobody worth their salt takes them seriously). I’m also aware that there are plenty of people—smart people even—who deny that the holocaust occurred, and their numbers are on the rise.

    If one wants to deny the historical Jesus, then they should do the same for most of the Ancient Greek author as well.

  47. 47
    zweston says:

    At severe risk of sounding condescending, I do believe the boundary is emotional and spiritual, not evidential. Paul tells us the cross is folly to those who don’t believe and that it is spiritually discerned.

    Another evidence is the effectiveness and documented commentary by historical figures of the 1st and second century of the efficacy of Christian exorcism: https://lausanne.org/content/historical-overview-1

    I have to tell you, BA… hearing those quotes and testimonies never gets Old. Love your posts and defense of the Gospel. A good study of C.S. Lewis’ story of conversion should be enough to soften a heart and open a mind toward Christ. Scientism is the modern day cult religion and evolution as its origin myth.

    However, just like in Jesus’ time: Matthew 23:37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”

    What is maybe the most exhausting for me is the claim “there is no evidence” of Jesus raising from the dead. There is so much lack of reason and ability to define common terms. Just like I don’t think the post-modern “your truth” movement is a coincidence… When the truth is plain, the only way to thwart it is to redefine the word and give it no value. To be a skeptic is to box yourself in like David Hume and just pre-suppose there is no miracles, or make your own definition that suits your standard of proof/evidence, but then disregard that standard on almost everything you believe, except that which has an eternal implication.

    It was noted above…when you see the lack of quality of arguments against the faith, it should only give you greater confidence.

    There were plenty of people with motivation to prove that Jesus didn’t resurrect. The problem was that the tomb was empty and hundreds of people were claiming to have seen Jesus simultaneously.

    When we stand before God, we will be without excuse. John 3:36 is just as important as John 3:16.

  48. 48
    William J Murray says:

    Zweston said:

    At severe risk of sounding condescending, I do believe the boundary is emotional and spiritual, not evidential.

    I agree with this, and it’s not condescending because it cuts both ways; those that cross the barrier do so for the same reason as those who do not cross: it’s an emotional and spiritual choice. Either way, you can attempt to justify that choice with logic and evidence, but frankly I don’t see how either side can win that competition.

    Even given that every single miraculous event actually happened as described in the Bible, there is zero logical or evidential connection between those events and “God;” there is only an asserted connection to “God” as being the cause or source of the ability to do those things.

  49. 49
    zweston says:

    WJM, You write off specific fulfilled prophecy as an indicator of a supernatural person verifying their message?

    Isaiah 52-53, Psalm 22, Genesis 3:15, Genesis 22, Jonah and the Whale, Samson did more in his death than in his life, Passover-10th plague and then the sacrifice system, Other passages in Isaiah, Micah, Zechariah, David slays the giant, Isaac’s descendants will reign forever, etc… could go on and on. Thorns were a sign of the curse, and Jesus wore them as a crown. Blessed are we because of the one who wore our shame.

  50. 50
    zweston says:

    Also, if Jesus literally commanded a storm to stop and it obeyed, don’t you think you could logically deduce a supernatural being that has power over nature might lend itself to a God claim? (heavy on the sarcasm)

  51. 51
    William J Murray says:

    Zweston asks:

    WJM, You write off specific fulfilled prophecy as an indicator of a supernatural person verifying their message?

    Also, if Jesus literally commanded a storm to stop and it obeyed, don’t you think you could logically deduce a supernatural being that has power over nature might lend itself to a God claim? (heavy on the sarcasm)

    No, I don’t write that off. “Supernatural person” does not equal, or indicate, “God.” Being able to foretell the future does not logically indicate “God.” Being able to “command nature” does not logially indicate “God.”

    That is all circular reasoning, circling back to the claim that the being that did these things is “God.”

  52. 52
    William J Murray says:

    IOW, “God” is always beyond the reach of evidence or logic to identify as the being that did anything; logically, being the ground itself for existence, the uncaused cause, is all we can say with confidence about God. Beyond that – who knows what all kinds of beings exist, what kind of power they have, supernatural or not? Who knows what they can do or cannot do?

    I certainly don’t know. For all I know, some very powerful entity created this entire universe and runs it the way he wants to, and other similar beings created and run different universes, and all THE “God” does is provide the existential grounds for all of that. How the heck would I know?

  53. 53
    zweston says:

    WJM…. If prophecy is correct from a document, and that document establishes who God is and points to a specific character… then doesn’t that give you a reason to hold to that explanation?

    What is your alternative position and anything that would substantiate that position…

  54. 54
    zweston says:

    WJM, if the God that is described in scripture validates himself via prophecy, dominion over nature, miracles, healings, exorcism… and that same author says repent and follow Jesus… would it make sense to say “well, maybe there are some other ones out there, so no need to heed that warning”?

  55. 55
    Querius says:

    William J Murray @21,

    1. How do you know that only God would be able do what Jesus did?

    Actually, I wrote the reverse, that Jesus would be able to do things that only God could do. They’re not the same thing.

    The answer to the reverse question is that since the avatar of William J Murray is able to do things unique to the person behind the avatar, it’s not illogical to conclude that the only begotten avatar of God could do things that only God can do.

    2. Given this is a unique example, how could we possibly understand “what to expect” from followers and eyewitnesses?

    While I can’t speak for you, most people can easily extrapolate “what to expect” based on similar miraculous or perceived miraculous events. Watch the video segment that I posted in my response @42 (from the video Zweston posted).

    -Q

  56. 56
    Querius says:

    Zweston @43,

    Q- make sure you watch all his content on the arguments supporting the validity of the Bible… undesigned coincidences, etc…. his last one “Jesus is ALIVE” is really solid as well. A wealth of content. His website is: isjesusalive.com

    Thanks! I certainly will.

    -Q

  57. 57
    Querius says:

    Bornagain77 @45,

    Thanks Zweston, and especially Querius, for your posts defending the historical reliability of the resurrection. I’ll think I’ll tuck post 19, about hostile witnesses confirming key parts of the resurrection, into my notes for future reference.

    Glad to share it with you, Bornagain77.

    Isn’t it interesting that Seversky simply vanished after I destroyed his assertion that Jesus was mostly or entirely a myth?

    C: Jesus is a mythical figure like, say, Robin Hood, possibly based distantly on a real person or persons but no more real than that.

    D: Jesus is an entirely fictional character invented as the personification of the faith’s core principles.

    This stupid assertion keeps popping up with boring regularity and is shot down each time.

    I believe the reason for his disappearance is that even if his arguments are destroyed, it won’t change his mind because there’s other, less-scholarly reasons behind his infinite skepticism. So, if we knew what the real reason was and we could address it, I think he would then be open to the love that God has for him and a wonderful life-changing experience!

    -Q

  58. 58
    Querius says:

    William J Murray,

    Ok, let’s pretend that God appeared to you in a burning bush with a voice like thunder and commissioned you as his special messenger. Naturally, you’d doubt your sanity, but just for sake of your previous objections and your admission that you don’t know, let’s assume this experience was genuine and real.

    How would you be able to convince rightly skeptical people that you’re really truly God’s messenger?

    Here’s the rub.

    You’re not allowed to simply terrify people because that would be coercion. You need to convince them of A. God’s existence, B. his love for them, C. his intent to save them from the cancer of evil in this world and upcoming global “surgery,” and D. facilitate their Free Will relationship with God. You can request miraculous powers or scintillating intellect or whatever, but no coercion. You’re given three years and no, you can’t go back in history.

    Ok, so you walk into London. Do you try to make an appointment with Queen Elizabeth? The Archbishop of Canterbury? Graham Norton or Stephen Colbert? Do you announce yourself in Piccadilly Circus? Put up billboards and rent a stadium? How about starting at the Petersham hotel in Richmond Hill? Or maybe more modestly in West London?

    What would be your approach?

    -Q

  59. 59
    chuckdarwin says:

    #19 Queirius
    With all due respect to Seversky, to me, the issue isn’t whether Jesus existed, it is whether he rose from the dead. Per Paul (1 Corinthians 15;14), that is a deal maker or breaker. None of your proffered “witnesses” speak to the resurrection.

  60. 60
    zweston says:

    CD @ 59, I agree you have identified the “crux” of the matter. If those opposition testimonies believed in a resurrection, you’d write them off a biased because they’d be Christians.

    When Paul wrote that, it’s because he put his whole life on that fact…despite having everything he could want as a member of the Pharisees/Sanhedrin. It cost him everything earthly. What is your evidence that he would do such a thing without gaining power, money, or sex?

    CD, if they were witnessing to any other type of event, you’d have no problem accepting it. Your disposition against miracles is showing, which is understandable. Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQmpk7IMO8I

    CD, not related, but I’ll ask again… if someone pressed you on your Deism, how would you defend it?

  61. 61
    William J Murray says:

    Q@58 said:

    Ok, let’s pretend that God appeared to you in a burning bush with a voice like thunder and commissioned you as his special messenger. Naturally, you’d doubt your sanity, but just for sake of your previous objections and your admission that you don’t know, let’s assume this experience was genuine and real.

    How would I know it’s God?

  62. 62
    William J Murray says:

    Querius said:

    The answer to the reverse question is that since the avatar of William J Murray is able to do things unique to the person behind the avatar, it’s not illogical to conclude that the only begotten avatar of God could do things that only God can do.

    The problem is that I don’t know what the set of “things” are that “only God can do.” I have absolutely no way of making that assessment. If an ant could think, it might think that I must be God. If I went back in time with modern weapons, medical supplies and an assortment of technology with the gear necessary to power it, and I told those people I was God because of all the things I could do AND because I knew the future, does that mean I’m God?

    If someone developed super-powers like Superman and claimed to be God, does that make that person God?

    Your evidential argument is circular. “Who else but God could have done that?” Is not a logical argument in light of the evidence we’re accepting arguendo, because the answer is: anyone with the power to do those things could have done it.

    If you’re going to premise one powerful, supernatural being, capable of doing those things, you’ve opened the door to include any number of powerful, supernatural beings. If you get to premise that God can do those things, then I can just as easily premise that a multitude of beings other than God can do those things, and there’s no rational argument that can be made against that.

    So what we are left with is the question: how would I know any being claiming to be God is actually God?

  63. 63
    Joe Schooner says:

    WJM, good points.

  64. 64
    Querius says:

    William J Murray,

    You’re missing the point. We’re ASSUMING that God exists and that he spoke to you in a way that convinced you that God spoke to you. However, the same dynamic would emerge if we ASSUME that God does not exist and that some weird hallucination, space alien, or college prankster had spoken to you. However, you have more tools available in the former case.

    ASSUMING that you’re convinced that God has spoken to you and had given you the mission, how would you go about fulfilling the mission?

    For what it’s worth, there were several instances in the Bible where people did actually question whether God (or an angel of God) was speaking to them, so you’ve already confirmed that case for me.

    Again, your mission is to convince people that God gave you a specific message about his love, and you have a number of natural and supernatural (whatever you can imagine) powers available to you, however coercion is not one of them (threats, bribery, blackmail, beatings, terror, etc.).

    Being convinced, what would you do to fulfil this mission?

    -Q

  65. 65
    bornagain77 says:

    as to, “For what it’s worth, there were several instances in the Bible where people did actually question whether God (or an angel of God) was speaking to them,”

    WJM, (given his mental reality theory (MRT) where his first person experience is paramount, and, IMHO, borders on solipsism), should really be impressed with God’s “I am” answer right after the burning bush when Moses asked God what he should tell the people,

    Exodus 3:13-14
    Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

    Shoot, that “I am” reply from God is right down WJM’s MRT alley as far as I can tell. 🙂

    The Latin cogito, ergo sum,[a] usually translated into English as “I think, therefore I am”,[b] is a philosophical statement that was made by René Descartes.
    – per wikipedia

    John 8:58
    Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

  66. 66
    William J Murray says:

    Querius said:

    You’re missing the point. We’re ASSUMING that God exists and that he spoke to you in a way that convinced you that God spoke to you.

    There is no way any being could talk to me, nothing that any being could do, that would convince it was God, because I have no rational way of reaching that conclusion.

    ASSUMING that you’re convinced that God has spoken to you and had given you the mission, how would you go about fulfilling the mission?

    Here’s the problem with that question: any version of “me” that can be convinced that some being talking to me is God is not me, because nothing could convince of that, because I’m a rational person and there’s no logical way for me to reach the conclusion that that being is, in fact, God.

    So if was ME, and some being did all that to try and convince me it was God, it would fail, and my response would be “Uhm, appreciate the offer, but no thanks. Find someone else.” I can’t tell you what I would do if I was convinced because whatever version of me that could be convinced would be entirely different from me.

    I don’t know why you’re asking me about this. I assume that the people who were convinced that God was talking to them went out and did whatever they would do to tell other people about it if that’s what the believe God told them to do, or what they were supposed to do.

  67. 67
    William J Murray says:

    BA77 said:

    WJM, (given his mental reality theory (MRT) where his first person experience is paramount, and, IMHO, borders on solipsism), should really be impressed with God’s “I am” answer right after the burning bush when Moses asked God what he should tell the people,

    I am impressed by that answer. That doesn’t mean the being that said it is God. I’m impressed by a lot of your answers, BA77. That doesn’t mean I think you’re God. Being impressive, being able to do supernatural things, doesn’t mean that being is God. There’s no way to evidence or reason your way to that conclusion as far as I can tell because it requires circular reasoning – assuming (1) God is capable of doing, and would do those things, and (2) assuming that only God is capable. There’s no reason, as far as I can tell, to assume those things.

  68. 68
    bornagain77 says:

    WJM, “I am impressed by that answer. That doesn’t mean the being that said it is God.”

    WJM, you don’t seem to realize that ‘you’, (via your MRT which, IMHO, borders on solipsism), face the same standard/dilemma in convincing other people that you exist as you have placed on God to prove his existence to you.

    You say, via your MRT, that you unquestionalbly exist and that external physical reality does not actually exist. I say prove it to me. Nothing you could ever possibly say or do could ever convince me that ‘you’ actually exist and that a external physical reality does not actually exist, especially if, like you, I had a prior bias against accepting any of the ‘external’ evidence that you offered to me for your personal existence. I could just as well sit back and play the ‘philosophical zombie’ argument on you all day long if I so chose to do so.

  69. 69
    William J Murray says:

    BA77 said:

    WJM, you don’t seem to realize that ‘you’, (via your MRT which, IMHO, borders on solipsism), face the same standard/dilemma in convincing other people that you exist as you have placed on God to prove his existence to you.

    No, that’s not the issue at hand. I’m convinced God exists; God doesn’t have to prove that to me because it’s a logical necessity.

    Under my MRT, I’m convinced that other people exist, because – under my MRT – it’s logically inescapable that other people exist. Which means, BTW, that “my” MRT does not “border on solipsism” because solipsism is logically incompatible with the premises of my MRT.

    You say, via your MRT, that you unquestionalbly exist and that external physical reality does not actually exist.

    “I exist” is unquestionable under any rationally coherent ontology. My MRT does not assert that “an external physical reality does not exist.”

    I say prove it to me. Nothing you could ever possibly say or do could ever convince me that ‘you’ actually exist and that a external physical reality does not actually exist, especially if, like you, I had a prior bias against accepting any of the ‘external’ evidence that you offered to me for your personal existence. I could just as well sit back and play the ‘philosophical zombie’ argument on you all day long if I so chose to do so.

    Why on Earth would I try to prove it to you? What do I care if you believe I exist or not? What do I care if you believe MRT or not?

  70. 70
    William J Murray says:

    BA77,

    Your argument seems to me to be that if God can’t prove to me that he is God, then if follows that, even if you and I met in person, you could not prove to me that you are BA77. Sure you could; you could tell me your name and address in a private message, then I could travel to your place of residence, knock on your door, you come out and introduce yourself, and I ask you for a form of photo ID. Sure, if it was an elaborate scam, I could erroneously think I had met BA77 from these forums, but I think after talking with you a while I could ascertain with a high degree of confidence whether or not the person I met was BA77 from this forum.

    But, if some being talks to me from a burning bush and does supernatural things, what frame of reference do I have for ascertaining, with a high degree of confidence, that the being I’m talking to is God? I have no frame of reference; I have no means of validating the identity of that being.

  71. 71
    bornagain77 says:

    WJM, “My MRT does not assert that “an external physical reality does not (actually) exist.””

    REALLY?

    Mental Reality Theory Vs External Reality Theory: Checkmate – August 4, 2020 – William J Murray
    Excerpt: 12. Thus, belief in an extra-mental reality is necessarily irrational because (1) it cannot be directly experienced, (2) no evidence can be gathered that can distinguish it from mental reality, and (3) no rational argument can be levied in support of it that does not innately rely upon that supposed “external world” being entirely consonant with, indeed subordinate to, the entirely mental nature of logical principles and processes.
    Belief in any kind of extra-mental world is unsupportable, unwarranted, unnecessary, without even the potential for evidence, and thus entirely irrational. In effect, the “external, physical world” perspective can only ever be an irrational belief in an imaginary world – or perhaps more appropriately, a delusion.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/mental-reality-theory-vs-external-reality-theory-checkmate/

  72. 72
    William J Murray says:

    wBA77:
    Notice that nowhere in what you quoted do I assert that under MRT, an external physical reality doesn’t exist.

  73. 73
    bornagain77 says:

    ,,, “nowhere in what you quoted do I assert that under MRT, an external physical reality doesn’t (actually) exist.”

    And yet per WJM, “the “external, physical world” perspective can only ever be an irrational belief in an imaginary world – or perhaps more appropriately, a delusion.”

    Oh well, I guess, since only WJM’s personal perspective really matters in his MRT, ‘delusion’ must mean something other than what ‘external, physical’ dictionaries define it as meaning.

    delusion:
    1. a belief that is not true : a false idea

  74. 74
    Querius says:

    William J Murray,

    There is no way any being could talk to me, nothing that any being could do, that would convince it was God, because I have no rational way of reaching that conclusion.

    Yep. And this clearly demonstrates your a priori mental processing that excludes anything that challenges your thinking!

    But you’re actually right on this point: The fact that you cannot reach certain conclusions by your logic is actually supported in mathematics and logic.

    In 1931, mathematician, logician, and philosopher Kurt Gödel published his two incompleteness theorems that demonstrate not all truth can be derived from any single axiomatic system. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy . . .

    Gödel’s two incompleteness theorems are among the most important results in modern logic, and have deep implications for various issues. They concern the limits of provability in formal axiomatic theories. The first incompleteness theorem states that in any consistent formal system F within which a certain amount of arithmetic can be carried out, there are statements of the language of F which can neither be proved nor disproved in F. According to the second incompleteness theorem, such a formal system cannot prove that the system itself is consistent (assuming it is indeed consistent). These results have had a great impact on the philosophy of mathematics and logic.

    Here’s a quote about Gödel’s incompleteness theorems from John von Neumann, mathematician, physicist, computer scientist, engineer and polymath.

    “Kurt Gödel’s achievement in modern logic is singular and monumental—indeed it is more than a monument, it is a landmark which will remain visible far in space and time. . . The subject of logic has certainly completely changed its nature and possibilities with Gödel’s achievement.”

    This astonishing discovery in mathematics and logic destroys your position.

    -Q

  75. 75
    bornagain77 says:

    Q: of further note from John von Neumann :

    The Gödelian Challenge – 2007
    Excerpt: “Kurt Gödel’s achievement in modern logic is singular and monumental—indeed it is more than a monument, it is a landmark which will remain visible far in space and time.”
    —John von Neumann
    Upon presenting Kurt Gödel (1906-1978) with the Albert Einstein Award in 1951, John von Neumann remarked, “Gödel was the first man to demonstrate that certain mathematical theorems can neither be proved nor disproved with the accepted, rigorous method of mathematics … Gödel actually proved this theorem, not with respect to mathematics only, but for all systems which permit a formalization, that is a rigorous and exhaustive description, in terms of modern logic: For no such system can its freedom from inner contradictions be demonstrated with the means of the system itself.”
    https://www.ias.edu/ideas/2007/godelian-challenge

  76. 76
    William J Murray says:

    Querius said:

    Yep. And this clearly demonstrates your a priori mental processing that excludes anything that challenges your thinking!

    I also have a priori mental processing that excludes being talked into 1+1=3, A = not-A, and the idea that square circles exist. When you come up with a logical way for me being able to identify a being as God (other than as ground of existence,) let me know.

  77. 77
    William J Murray says:

    BA77:

    The statement you quote is about belief in a world external of (universal) mind. I demonstrated how such a belief is irrational because one cannot gather evidence for such a world even in principle. That is not the same thing as claiming that “there is no world external of mind.” The same inescapable inability to gather evidence for such a world also means you cannot prove it doesn’t exist. Why would I assert that something (other than an instantiation of a logical contradiction) does not exist?

    Just because a belief is irrational, such as: “the burning bush speaking to me is God because it says so,” doesn’t mean the irrational belief isn’t true. It may be that the being speaking as a burning bush is God, but there is no rational reason to believe it to true.

  78. 78
    Querius says:

    Bornagain77 @75,

    Gödel actually proved this theorem, not with respect to mathematics only, but for all systems which permit a formalization, that is a rigorous and exhaustive description, in terms of modern logic: For no such system can its freedom from inner contradictions be demonstrated with the means of the system itself.

    Thanks for the additional quote from John von Neumann that demonstrates all logical systems (such as Seversky’s) have inner contradictions!

    1 + 1 = 3 can indeed be true in the world of chemical reactions. A single trans-dimensional object can indeed be be both a square and a circle. Certainly, if the manifestation of a 3D cylinder passing through a 2D plane can be a circle or a square (or other 2D geometric shapes), then our viewing a 4D tesseract passing through our 3D space can appear to us as changing its 3D shape (if its orientation is pointy side first) and a fixed radius 4D sphere passing through our 3D space would appear as a sphere that grows larger and then smaller as it passes through.

    All these prove that we should be extremely open and humble when considering God, and that we cannot reach God neither with a physical Tower of Babel nor any system of logic. God’s existence and presence can only be revealed to us either directly or by his creation.

    -Q

  79. 79
    bornagain77 says:

    WJM, “The statement you quote is about belief in a world external of (universal) mind.”

    Yet, you made no such ‘qualification’ to the ‘universal’ Mind of God in your original statement.

    Were you being purposely ambiguous in your original statement, or has your theory now ‘evolved’ since you first wrote those words last year? i.e. “the “external, physical world” perspective can only ever be an irrational belief in an imaginary world – or perhaps more appropriately, a delusion.”

    Moreover, I have my own ‘personal experience’ of debating you on the subject,,,

    WJM: “You cannot even imagine a world that exists outside of mind. No one can. It’s literally impossible.”

    BA77: “Actually it is quite easy to imagine a world that exists outside of my mind.”
    “The assumption that reality depends on my, or any other human mind, (i.e. solipsism), is simply absurd.”
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/the-problem-with-most-theological-doctrines-and-the-theological-argument-for-mental-reality/#comment-714762

    BA77: Huh??? What in the world are you going on about??? Imagining a reality that exists outside my mind is certainly not a logical contradiction as you are trying to imply. Whereas claiming that reality is dependent on my, or any other, human mind clearly entails a large measure of solipsism.

    If you are merely claiming that reality would not exist for us personally if we were not first conscious of it, that is another claim entirely than what you are currently trying to claim. i.e. “You cannot even imagine a world that exists outside of mind. No one can. It’s literally impossible.”
    That I can imagine a world that exists outside of my mind is easy to demonstrate.
    As the joke that I referenced from Planting makes clear, ““We take good care of the professor because when he goes we all go”, the professor’s mind is gone and yet the reality that the professor existed in still persists.
    Thus, clearly, I can easily imagine a reality that is not dependent on my, or on any other, human mind for its existence.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/the-problem-with-most-theological-doctrines-and-the-theological-argument-for-mental-reality/#comment-714775

    BA77: if you are going to try to argue against my points at least state my points correctly. I did not say that the “Professor “still exists” in an external world” as you are trying to claim but I instead stated that “the professor’s mind is gone and yet the reality that the professor existed in still persists.”

    And then I further clarified, “Thus, clearly, I can easily imagine a reality that is not dependent on my, or on any other, human mind for its existence.”

    And as I also further clarified, repeatedly now, that arguing that the ‘external’ reality we are perceiving is dependent on the Mind of God is an entirely different question than what you are currently trying to argue. i.e. “You cannot even imagine a world that exists outside of mind. No one can. It’s literally impossible.”

    I was clear to state that I can easily Imagine a world that is not dependent on MY, OR ANY OTHER HUMAN, MIND, for its existence.

    Now, of course, I hold that the external reality we are perceiving is ultimately dependent on the Mind of God for its existence.
    I even pointed out that George Berkley elucidated this line of logic, long before quantum mechanics came along, with ‘Idealism”.

    etc.. etc.. etc..
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/the-problem-with-most-theological-doctrines-and-the-theological-argument-for-mental-reality/#comment-714823

  80. 80
    Seversky says:

    Querius/57

    Isn’t it interesting that Seversky simply vanished after I destroyed his assertion that Jesus was mostly or entirely a myth?

    C: Jesus is a mythical figure like, say, Robin Hood, possibly based distantly on a real person or persons but no more real than that.

    D: Jesus is an entirely fictional character invented as the personification of the faith’s core principles.

    This stupid assertion keeps popping up with boring regularity and is shot down each time.

    I’m still around but I seem to have missed the bit where you “destroyed” or “shot down” my stupid assertions.

  81. 81
    Querius says:

    Seversky,

    You can find my synopsis of the overwhelming manuscript evidence for the existence of Jesus from the writing of ancient skeptics in my post @19. The historical Jesus is no longer challenged by qualified scholars, but I’m not suggesting that they necessarily believe that he was the prophesied Messiah or that he rose from the dead, just that he was NOT mythical or fictional.

    While I have no illusion that you will allow any evidence no matter how compelling to shake you from your belief that Jesus was mythical or fictional, I do find it necessary to contradict your outdated and unsupported assertions to that effect.

    There’s a lot of other evidence available regarding Jesus, but I chose to limit the evidence I presented to what ancient skeptics wrote about Jesus.

    -Q

  82. 82
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, in spite of all contrary evidence presented to him by Querius, stubbornly clings to his delusion that Jesus did not even exist, i.e. was a ‘mythical figure’.

    Yet even Richard Dawkins himself, (whom Seversky has held in high esteem), when confronted by John Lennox on his claim that Jesus did not even exist, was at least honest enough to backtrack and state, “I take that back. Jesus existed.”

    Richard Dawkins admits Jesus existed – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ant5HS01tBQ

    Bart Ehrman himself, another hero for atheists/agnostics, stated that, “These views, (that Jesus did not exist), are so extreme and so unconvincing to 99.99 percent of the real experts that anyone holding them is as likely to get a teaching job in an established department of religion as a six-day creationist is likely to land on in a bona fide department of biology. Whether we like it or not, Jesus certainly existed.”

    Did Jesus Exist? All Scholars Agree He “Certainly” Existed – Oct 2016
    Excerpt: “This is not an issue for scholars. There is no scholar in any college or university who teaches classics, ancient history, new testament, early christianity, who doubts that Jesus existed. He is abundantly attested in early sources. Early and independent sources indicate that Jesus certainly existed. Paul is an eyewitness to both Jesus’ disciple Peter and the brother of Jesus. Like, I’m sorry. Atheists have done themselves a disservice by jumping on the bandwagon of mythicism because it makes you look foolish to the outside world.”
    – Bart Ehrman
    In an article he wrote for Huffington Post, Ehrman said:
    “There are a couple of exceptions: of the hundreds — thousands? — of mythicists, two (to my knowledge) actually have Ph.D. credentials in relevant fields of study. But even taking these into account, there is not a single mythicist who teaches New Testament or Early Christianity or even Classics at any accredited institution of higher learning in the Western world.
    And it is no wonder why. These views are so extreme and so unconvincing to 99.99 percent of the real experts that anyone holding them is as likely to get a teaching job in an established department of religion as a six-day creationist is likely to land on in a bona fide department of biology. Whether we like it or not, Jesus certainly existed.”
    https://reasonsforjesus.com/jesus-exist-scholars-agree-certainly-existed/

    In the following video, Bart Ehrman tells an atheist, during a live broadcast, that ‘no serious Bible historian doubts that Jesus existed’:??

    Bart Ehrman – Jesus Existed – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?N.....UQMJR2BP1w

    Thus Seversky is apparently, in his personal hostility against Christianity, willing to believe something that ”no serious Bible historian doubts’. i.e. the fact that Jesus existed.

    It is very interesting to note that this microcosm of Seversky’s very unreasonable bias against the very existence ofJesus encapsulates, in miniature, Seversky’s very unreasonable bias against Intelligent Design in general.

    In other words, no matter how much one may walk through the, IMHO, ironclad logic, and evidence, for Intelligent Design, Seversky will still, against all reason, deny that the evidence for Intelligent Design even exists.

    Of related note to the very unreasonable bias that Seversky and other dogmatic atheists have, studies have now established that the design inference is ‘knee jerk’ inference that is built into everyone, (including atheists), and that atheists have to mentally work suppressing their “knee jerk” design inference!

    Is Atheism a Delusion?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ii-bsrHB0o

    Richard Dawkins take heed: Even atheists instinctively believe in a creator says study – Mary Papenfuss – June 12, 2015
    Excerpt: Three studies at Boston University found that even among atheists, the “knee jerk” reaction to natural phenomenon is the belief that they’re purposefully designed by some intelligence, according to a report on the research in Cognition entitled the “Divided Mind of a disbeliever.”
    The findings “suggest that there is a deeply rooted natural tendency to view nature as designed,” writes a research team led by Elisa Järnefelt of Newman University. They also provide evidence that, in the researchers’ words, “religious non-belief is cognitively effortful.”
    Researchers attempted to plug into the automatic or “default” human brain by showing subjects images of natural landscapes and things made by human beings, then requiring lightning-fast responses to the question on whether “any being purposefully made the thing in the picture,” notes Pacific-Standard.
    “Religious participants’ baseline tendency to endorse nature as purposefully created was higher” than that of atheists, the study found. But non-religious participants “increasingly defaulted to understanding natural phenomena as purposefully made” when “they did not have time to censor their thinking,” wrote the researchers.
    The results suggest that “the tendency to construe both living and non-living nature as intentionally made derives from automatic cognitive processes, not just practised explicit beliefs,” the report concluded.
    The results were similar even among subjects from Finland, where atheism is not a controversial issue as it can be in the US.
    “Design-based intuitions run deep,” the researchers conclude, “persisting even in those with no explicit religious commitment and, indeed, even among those with an active aversion to them.”
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/richa.....dy-1505712

    Design Thinking Is Hardwired in the Human Brain. How Come? – October 17, 2012
    Excerpt: “Even Professional Scientists Are Compelled to See Purpose in Nature, Psychologists Find.” The article describes a test by Boston University’s psychology department, in which researchers found that “despite years of scientific training, even professional chemists, geologists, and physicists from major universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Yale cannot escape a deep-seated belief that natural phenomena exist for a purpose” ,,,
    Most interesting, though, are the questions begged by this research. One is whether it is even possible to purge teleology from explanation.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65381.html

    In other words, it is not that Atheists do not see purpose and/or Intelligent Design in nature and biology, it is that Atheists, for whatever severely misguided personal reason, live in denial of the purpose and/or Intelligent Design that they themselves are seeing in nature.

    Perhaps the two most famous quotes of leading atheists suppressing their ‘knee jerk’ design inference are the following two quotes:

    “Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning.”
    – Richard Dawkins – “The Blind Watchmaker” – 1986 – page 21

    “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved. It might be thought, therefore, that evolutionary arguments would play a large part in guiding biological research, but this is far from the case”
    – Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit – 1988

    Personally, I certainly would not like to be in the shoes of atheists, (who are apparently willingly ‘suppressing the truth’), when they die.

    Verse:

    Romans 1:18-20
    The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

  83. 83
    William J Murray says:

    BA77 said:

    Yet, you made no such ‘qualification’ to the ‘universal’ Mind of God in your original statement.

    Were you being purposely ambiguous in your original statement, or has your theory now ‘evolved’ since you first wrote those words last year?

    I was not ambiguous, I stated it directly and you quoted it.

    Belief in any kind of extra-mental world is unsupportable, unwarranted, unnecessary, without even the potential for evidence, and thus entirely irrational. In effect, the “external, physical world” perspective can only ever be an irrational belief in an imaginary world – or perhaps more appropriately, a delusion.

    I was unambiguously, directly talking about belief and world-view perspective.

    WJM: “You cannot even imagine a world that exists outside of mind. No one can. It’s literally impossible.”

    BA77: “Actually it is quite easy to imagine a world that exists outside of my mind.”
    “The assumption that reality depends on my, or any other human mind, (i.e. solipsism), is simply absurd.” I was clear to state that I can easily Imagine a world that is not dependent on MY, OR ANY OTHER HUMAN, MIND, for its existence.

    Where are you imagining that world, BA77? Where would you be experiencing that imagined world, BA77? You might as well be claiming that you can draw a square circle. It can’t be done. You can say the words “I can draw a square circle.” You can say the words, “I can imagine a world that exists independent of mind.” But, neither can actually be accomplished.

  84. 84
    William J Murray says:

    Seversky,

    Maybe I missed it. Did you claim that Jesus never existed? If so, why? What difference does it make if Jesus existed or not?

    I don’t see how it makes any difference if Jesus existed, or even if everything written about what Jesus did actually occurred; there’s no way to logically, evidentially connect Jesus to God other than circular reasoning. It doesn’t seem to me to be a hill worth defending.

  85. 85
    William J Murray says:

    Querius said:

    1 + 1 = 3 can indeed be true in the world of chemical reactions. A single trans-dimensional object can indeed be be both a square and a circle. Certainly, if the manifestation of a 3D cylinder passing through a 2D plane can be a circle or a square (or other 2D geometric shapes), then our viewing a 4D tesseract passing through our 3D space can appear to us as changing its 3D shape (if its orientation is pointy side first) and a fixed radius 4D sphere passing through our 3D space would appear as a sphere that grows larger and then smaller as it passes through.

    Wrong. You might as well be saying that you can add one drop of water to another drop of water and still have only one drop of water, or add one set of blocks to another set of blocks and still only have one set of blocks. 1+1=2 must be applied to the same relevant commodity the same way. You’re switching perspectives, thus identifying two different relevant commodities – different perspectives. In the drop of water scenario, the relevant commodity is volume. In your scenario, the relevant commodity is the perspective of the circle on the plane at a point in time, OR the 3D cylinder. You don’t get to switch perspectives and claim you are addressing the same relevant commodity.

    A square or a circle is identified as a two dimensional object. The two-dimensional object one experiences at a point in time cannot be both a square and a circle. It can be a combination of a square and a circle, like a circle drawn inside a square, but again, that’s a different relevant commodity: it’s a combination of the two things. The square is not a circle, and the circle is not a square.

  86. 86
    bornagain77 says:

    WJM doubles down on his bluff.

    BA77: “Actually it is quite easy to imagine a world that exists outside of my mind.”
    “The assumption that reality depends on my, or any other human mind, (i.e. solipsism), is simply absurd.” I was clear to state that I can easily Imagine a world that is not dependent on MY, OR ANY OTHER HUMAN, MIND, for its existence.

    WJM: Where are you imagining that world, BA77? Where would you be experiencing that imagined world, BA77?

    Once again, I call his bluff.

    WJM is (blatantly) confusing the fact that I can only imagine, via my mind, a world without me existing in it with the fact that the ‘external, physical,’ world is NOT dependent on my mind, nor on any other human mind, for its existence.

    BA77″ That I can imagine a world that exists outside of my mind is easy to demonstrate.
    As the solipsism joke that I referenced from Planting makes clear, ““We take good care of the Professor because when he goes we all go”, i.e. the Professor’s mind is gone and yet the reality that the professor existed in still persists despite the fact that Professor’s mind is gone.
    Thus, clearly, I can easily imagine a reality that is not dependent on my, or on any other, human mind for its existence.

    WJM, for someone who prides himself on his logical acumen, you seem to be having a very difficult time grasping this extremely simple point I am making. The ‘external, physical’,’ world is NOT dependent on MY MIND, NOR ANY OTHER HUMAN MIND, for its existence. It is dependent on the (infinite) Mind of God for its continued existence. (whether I exist in this world or not!)

    Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory – 29 October 2012
    Excerpt: “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,”
    http://www.quantumlah.org/high.....uences.php

    Verse:

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

    And here is the full context of the preceding verse that links the ‘fullness of God’ to Jesus:

    Verse:

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    Supplemental note to WJM saying “there’s no way to logically, evidentially connect Jesus to God”

    I beg to differ,

    Jesus Christ as the correct “Theory of Everything” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpn2Vu8–eE

  87. 87
    William J Murray says:

    BA77 said:

    The ‘external, physical’,’ world is NOT dependent on MY MIND, NOR ANY OTHER HUMAN MIND, for its existence.

    I’ve repeatedly stated in my discussions about this that I’m talking about “external of universal mind.” This is why I don’t say “your” mind or “my” mind. I’ve flatly stated that of course an infinite number of things exist outside of MY mind – meaning, the local arrangement of my psychological perspective and what I personally observe and experience.

    For example, here: https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/a-universal-mind-is-a-reasonable-idea-says-bernardo-kastrup/

    As I have argued, when faced with certain existential and scientific facts, “universal mind” is the only reasonable idea. Everything else is speculation based on an assumption that can never be evidenced even in principle.

    BA77 said:

    I beg to differ,

    “How could any being other than God possibly do this, or leave this evidence” is not a logical, evidential connection to God. The only rational answer would be: any being with the power to do that, or any being whose resurrection would leave that evidence, whether it had anything to do with God or not.

  88. 88
    bornagain77 says:

    WJM, “I’ve flatly stated that of course an infinite number of things exist outside of MY mind”

    So now you believe that an external, physical, world exists outside your, or my, mind?

    But,, but,,, you chastised me precisely for believing a external, physical, world can exist outside of my mind?

    BA77: “Actually it is quite easy to imagine a world that exists outside of my mind.”
    “The assumption that reality depends on my, or any other human mind, (i.e. solipsism), is simply absurd.” I was clear to state that I can easily Imagine a world that is not dependent on MY, OR ANY OTHER HUMAN, MIND, for its existence.

    WJM: Where are you imagining that world, BA77? Where would you be experiencing that imagined world, BA77?

    Oh well, whatever WJM, you seem very ambiguous and confused about exactly what your theory actually entails and what it does not entail.

    Moreover, your allusion to the ‘foggy’ concept of a ‘universal mind’, (which sounds suspiciously ‘New Age” to me), instead of you appealing to the (infinite) Mind of God, certainly does not help clarify, and solidify, your Mental Theory on a more solid ‘scientific’ foundation in my book..

    The Universal Mind and You
    JULIA ROMAN | AUG 18, 2019
    https://bahaiteachings.org/the-universal-mind-and-you/

    As to you not accepting Jesus resurrection from the dead as proof that Jesus was God incarnate, well I guess you will figure that out when you bow your knees to Jesus and confess that He is Lord.

    Philippians 2:10-11
    that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

  89. 89
    Querius says:

    William J Murray @85,

    Thanks for making my point about the relevance of context, definitions, and perspectives.

    2 apples plus 1 orange equals 3 items, so yes, you can add dissimilar items. But in context of chemistry, 2 molecules of hydrogen plus 1 molecule of oxygen reacts to form 2 molecules of water, not 3 molecules. Your example of droplets is also appropriate. Also, notice that the speed of light from the headlights in a fast moving automobile is additive, thus c + v(auto) = c.

    My point was that our perspectives regarding the Creator of space-time, mass-energy, gravity, quantum mechanics, consciousness, information, and everything else, not going to have our limited perspectives and intelligence. As I said before . . .

    All these prove that we should be extremely open and humble when considering God, and that we cannot reach God neither with a physical Tower of Babel nor any system of logic. God’s existence and presence can only be revealed to us either directly or by his creation.

    -Q

  90. 90
    William J Murray says:

    BA77 said:

    So now you believe that an external, physical, world exists outside your, or my, mind?

    I explained this in my post here: https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/outlining-a-functional-mental-reality-theory/

    Innumerable individuals can have included in their individual data sets large blocks of arranged information which they are, essentially, sharing. The algorithmic expression of such data blocks, even with innumerable individual variances of data not contained in the shared data block, could result in what we observe as a shared, external, physical world. In fact, it may be that the “external physical world” is a data block that acts as filtering information that other individual information is processed through – at least to a large degree.

    This clearly demonstrates that yes, I’ve always said there is lots of information outside of my particular mind, and that an enormous amount of information, the block of data that informs our apparent experience of an external physical world, is being shared by multiple people. I’ve also stated that there is an infinite amount of data that represents entirely different worlds. So while there is an infinite amount of information that is not currently within my personal, local mind, it still resides in universal mind, and there are ways for me to direct my psychology to find and process that information – which I’ve had some success doing.

    BA77 said:

    But,, but,,, you chastised me precisely for believing a external, physical, world can exist outside of my mind?

    I corrected your misinterpretations of several things I’ve said.

  91. 91
    William J Murray says:

    Querius said:

    My point was that our perspectives regarding the Creator of space-time, mass-energy, gravity, quantum mechanics, consciousness, information, and everything else, not going to have our limited perspectives and intelligence. As I said before . . .

    Whatever God is or is capable of, it cannot be the deliberate creator of space-time. That’s a logical impossibility, as far as I can tell. Also, God cannot be the creator of consciousness or information.

    To be clear, God may be the ground wherein such things can be said to exist, but God cannot perform a logically impossible task. Not even God can draw a square circle.

  92. 92
    bornagain77 says:

    WJM holds that “there’s no way to logically, evidentially connect Jesus to God”

    In rebuttal I said “I beg to differ” and referenced this video:

    Jesus Christ as the correct “Theory of Everything” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpn2Vu8–eE

    In response WJM again doubted that “ONLY” God would have the “infinite” power necessary to resurrect Jesus from the dead and stated “any being with the power to do that, or any being whose resurrection would leave that evidence, whether it had anything to do with God or not.”

    Obviously, implicit in WJM’s remark is the assumption that it did not take the infinite power of God to resurrect Jesus from the dead, but some powerful, but finite, being “with the power to do that” could also possibly have resurrected himself, or someone else, from the dead.

    WJM is wrong in his assumption that it did not take the infinite Mind of God to resurrect Jesus from the dead but that a finite, but powerful, being could possibly resurrect himself, or someone else, from the dead.

    As I explained in the video that I referenced, “Jesus Christ as the correct “Theory of Everything””, the main problem in mathematically unifying General Relativity with Quantum Mechanics into a single mathematical “theory of everything” is that there is a ‘infinite mathematical divide’ that forever separates the two theories from ever being unified into a single mathematical framework.

    Professor Jeremy Bernstein states the “infinite mathematical divide” situation as such, “there remains an irremediable difficulty. Every order reveals new types of infinities, and no finite number of renormalizations renders all the terms in the series finite.
    The theory is not renormalizable.”

    Quantum Leaps – Jeremy Bernstein – October 19, 2018
    Excerpt: Divergent series notwithstanding, quantum electrodynamics yielded results of remarkable accuracy. Consider the magnetic moment of the electron. This calculation, which has been calculated up to the fifth order in ?, agrees with experiment to ten parts in a billion. If one continued the calculation to higher and higher orders, at some point the series would begin to break down. There is no sign of that as yet. Why not carry out a similar program for gravitation? One can readily write down the Feynman graphs that represent the terms in the expansion. Yet there remains an irremediable difficulty. Every order reveals new types of infinities, and no finite number of renormalizations renders all the terms in the series finite.
    The theory is not renormalizable.
    https://inference-review.com/article/quantum-leaps
    Jeremy Bernstein is professor emeritus of physics at the Stevens Institute of Technology.

    And as theoretical physicist Sera Cremonini stated, “You would need to add infinitely many counterterms in a never-ending process. Renormalization would fail.,,,”

    Why Gravity Is Not Like the Other Forces
    We asked four physicists why gravity stands out among the forces of nature. We got four different answers.
    Excerpt: the quantum version of Einstein’s general relativity is “nonrenormalizable.”,,,
    In quantum theories, infinite terms appear when you try to calculate how very energetic particles scatter off each other and interact. In theories that are renormalizable — which include the theories describing all the forces of nature other than gravity — we can remove these infinities in a rigorous way by appropriately adding other quantities that effectively cancel them, so-called counterterms. This renormalization process leads to physically sensible answers that agree with experiments to a very high degree of accuracy.
    The problem with a quantum version of general relativity is that the calculations that would describe interactions of very energetic gravitons — the quantized units of gravity — would have infinitely many infinite terms. You would need to add infinitely many counterterms in a never-ending process. Renormalization would fail.,,,
    Sera Cremonini – theoretical physicist – Lehigh University
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/why-gravity-is-not-like-the-other-forces-20200615/

    And as Michio Kaku himself noted in the following video, “In fact, you get an infinite sequence of infinities, (which is) infinitely worse than the divergences of Einstein’s original theory (i.e. General Relativity).”

    “Here is the problem (with black holes), right there, when ‘r’ (radius) is equal to zero, The point at which physics itself breaks down. So 1 over ‘r’ equals 1 over 0 equals infinity. To a mathematician infinity is simply a number without limit. To a physicist it is a monstrosity. It means first of all that gravity is infinite at the center of a black hole. That time stops. And what does that mean? Space makes no sense. It means the collapse of everything we know about the physical universe. In the real world there is no such thing as infinity. Therefore there is a fundamental flaw in the formulation of Einstein’s theory.”
    (And as Michio Kaku then notes when you try to combine General Relativity with Quantum Mechanics), “And when you do this integral, you get something which makes no sense whatsoever. An infinity. Total nonsense. In fact, you get an infinite sequence of infinities, (which is) infinitely worse than the divergences of Einstein’s original theory (i.e. General Relativity).”
    Quantum Mechanics & Relativity – Michio Kaku – The Collapse Of Physics As We Know It ? – video
    Science vs God Its The Collapse Of Physics As We Know it – video
    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2jbd7x

    In short, it would take the ‘actual infinity’ of God, as opposed to the ‘potential infinity’ of a finite, yet powerful, being to bridge the infinite mathematical divide that exists between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics,

    Potential Infinity vs. Actual Infinity – June 7, 2012 by Ryan
    Excerpt: In a potential infinity, one can keep adding or subdividing without end, but one never actually reaches infinity. In a sense, a potential infinity is an endless process that at any point along the way is finite. By contrast, in an actual infinity, the infinite is viewed as a completed totality.
    http://www.numbersleuth.org/tr.....-infinity/

    At this point someone may very well ask, “What does bridging the infinite mathematical divide between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics” have to do with proving that infinite God resurrected Jesus from the dead?”

    Glad you asked,

    Dr. William Dembski in this following comment, although he was not directly addressing the ‘infinite mathematical divide’ that exists between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, offers this insight into what the ‘unification’ of infinite God with finite man might look like mathematically:

    Specifically he states, “The Cross is a path of humility in which the infinite God becomes finite and then contracts to zero, only to resurrect and thereby unite a finite humanity within a newfound infinity.”

    The End Of Christianity – Finding a Good God in an Evil World – Pg.31
    William Dembski PhDs. Mathematics and Theology
    Excerpt: “In mathematics there are two ways to go to infinity. One is to grow large without measure. The other is to form a fraction in which the denominator goes to zero. The Cross is a path of humility in which the infinite God becomes finite and then contracts to zero, only to resurrect and thereby unite a finite humanity within a newfound infinity.”
    http://www.designinference.com.....of_xty.pdf

    And I hold ‘growing large without measure’ to be a ‘lesser quality’ infinity, i.e. to be merely a ‘potential infinity’, than the ‘actual infinity’ that is arrived at when the denominator goes to zero in a fraction.

    The main reason for why I hold growing large without measure to be a ‘lesser quality infinity’, i.e. to be merely a ‘potential infinity’, than the ‘actual infinity’ that is arrived at when the denominator goes to zero in a fraction is because something that begins to grow large without measure must necessarily have some sort of beginning in time and must also necessarily have some sort of preexistent infinite space to grow into. Whereas, on the other hand, to form a fraction in which the denominator goes to zero is to force a finite object into a type of infinity that can have no discernible beginning in time nor discernible place in space. Which is to say, to form a fraction in which the denominator goes to zero is to force a finite object into a ‘actual infinity’ as opposed to the finite object merely being a ‘potential infinity’ that begins to grow large without measure.

    But do we have any empirical evidence that Jesus Christ bridged the infinite mathematical divide that exists between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics with the ‘actual infinity’ of his resurrection from the dead?

    Yes we do!

    When scrutinizing some of the many fascinating details of the Shroud of Turin, (which is, by far, the MOST scientifically scrutinized ancient relic of man),

    Scientific Papers & Articles (on the Shroud of Turin)
    https://www.shroud.com/library.htm#papers

  93. 93
    bornagain77 says:

    When scrutinizing some of the many fascinating details of the Shroud of Turin, we find that both General Relativity, i.e. gravity, and Quantum Mechanics were both dealt with in Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

    As can be seen in the following ‘backside’ image, and holographic image videos, from the Shroud of Turin, there is no flattening on the backside of the body as would be expected if the image on the Shroud had formed if a dead body had merely been laying flat on the Shroud as the image was being formed.

    Shroud image – backside
    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/jPxzJOtRHgLSddLOYbOQ_kpvXUV6aOt0mG-8DZeeEXj7uFSr63hqsGbgknwNBEFFFtrayZsYH8ONdXznreuD1TnOxYOeM72QFFuydody6Bpb1FJ2yNoMLabv_Kub7LA

    Shroud Hologram – backside image
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYBcIX1YLCg

    Shroud Hologram – double backside image
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3W0l_sdhZs

    For anyone who doubts that the holographic images of the Shroud of Turin are authentic, (or for anyone who just wants to do further research), here is the main website describing how the holographic images were derived:

    Shroud 3D – Petrus Soons
    https://shroud3d.com

    3D MOVIES OF THE HEAD AND BODY
    THREE DIMENSIONAL MOVIES OF THE HEAD AND THE FRONT AND THE BACK OF THE BODY
    https://shroud3d.com/conversion-of-2d-to-3d/3d-movies-of-the-head-and-body/

    Moreover, in the following video Isabel Piczek, who made a sculpture from the Shroud of Turin states that, “The muscles of the body are absolutely not crushed against the stone of the tomb. They are perfect. It means the body is hovering between the two sides of the shroud. What does that mean? It means there is absolutely no gravity.”

    “When you look at the image of the shroud, the two bodies next to each other, you feel that it is a flat image. But if you create, for instance, a three dimensional object, as I did, the real body, then you realize that there is a strange dividing element. An interface from which the image is projected up and the image is projected down. The muscles of the body are absolutely not crushed against the stone of the tomb. They are perfect. It means the body is hovering between the two sides of the shroud. What does that mean? It means there is absolutely no gravity. Other strange you discover is that the image is absolutely undistorted. Now if you imagine the clothe was wrinkled, tied, wrapped around the body, and all of the sudden you see a perfect image, which is impossible unless the shroud was made absolutely taut, rigidly taut.”
    Isabel Piczek – 2:20 mark
    Turin shroud – (Particle Physicist explains event horizon) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIpdIz5Rp3I

    As well, Kevin Moran, an optical engineer who has studied the Shroud of Turin, describes the Shroud Image in this way, “The unique front-and-back only image can be best described as gravitationally collimated. The radiation that made the image acted perfectly parallel to gravity. There is no side image. The radiation is parallel to gravity,,,”

    Optically Terminated Image Pixels Observed on Frei 1978 Samples – Kevin E. Moran – 1999
    Discussion
    Pia’s negative photograph, from 1898, showed what looked to be a body that was glowing, but slightly submerged in a bath of cloudy water. This condition is more properly described as an image that is visible, at a distance, but by locally attenuated radiation. The unique front-and-back only image can be best described as gravitationally collimated. The radiation that made the image acted perfectly parallel to gravity. There is no side image. The radiation is parallel to gravity and, if moving at light speed, only lasted about 100 picoseconds. It is particulate in nature, colliding only with some of the fibers. It is not a continuum or spherical-front radiation that made the image, as visible or UV light. It is not the X-ray radiation that obeys the one over R squared law that we are so accustomed to in medicine. It is more unique,,,
    Theoretical model
    It is suggested that the image was formed when a high-energy particle struck the fiber and released radiation within the fiber at a speed greater that the local speed of light. Since the fiber acts as a light pipe, this energy moved out through the fiber until it encountered an optical discontinuity, then it slowed to the local speed of light and dispersed.
    Discussion
    The fact that the pixels don’t fluoresce suggests that the conversion to their now brittle dehydrated state occurred instantly and completely so no partial products remain to be activated by the ultraviolet light. This suggests a quantum event where a finite amount of energy transferred abruptly. The fact that there are images front and back suggests the radiating particles were released along the gravity vector. The radiation pressure may also help explain why the blood was “lifted cleanly” from the body as it transformed to a resurrected state.”
    https://www.shroud.com/pdfs/moran.pdf

  94. 94
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, besides gravity being dealt with on the Shroud of Turin, the Shroud of Turin also gives us evidence that Quantum Mechanics itself was also dealt with.

    In the following paper, it was found that it was not possible to describe the image formation on the Shroud in classical terms but they found it necessary to describe the formation of the image on the Shroud in discrete quantum terms.

    The absorbed energy in the Shroud body image formation appears as contributed by discrete (quantum) values – Giovanni Fazio, Giuseppe Mandaglio – 2008
    Excerpt: This result means that the optical density distribution,, can not be attributed at the absorbed energy described in the framework of the classical physics model. It is, in fact, necessary to hypothesize a absorption by discrete values of the energy where the ‘quantum’ is equal to the one necessary to yellow one fibril.
    http://cab.unime.it/mus/541/1/c1a0802004.pdf

    Moreover, the following rather astonishing study on the Shroud, found that it would take 34 Trillion Watts of what is termed VUV (directional) radiation to form the image on the shroud.

    Astonishing discovery at Christ’s tomb supports Turin Shroud – NOV 26TH 2016
    Excerpt: The first attempts made to reproduce the face on the Shroud by radiation, used a CO2 laser which produced an image on a linen fabric that is similar at a macroscopic level. However, microscopic analysis showed a coloring that is too deep and many charred linen threads, features that are incompatible with the Shroud image. Instead, the results of ENEA “show that a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation can color a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin, including shades of color, the surface color of the fibrils of the outer linen fabric, and the absence of fluorescence”.
    ‘However, Enea scientists warn, “it should be noted that the total power of VUV radiations required to instantly color the surface of linen that corresponds to a human of average height, body surface area equal to = 2000 MW/cm2 17000 cm2 = 34 thousand billion watts makes it impractical today to reproduce the entire Shroud image using a single laser excimer, since this power cannot be produced by any VUV light source built to date (the most powerful available on the market come only to several billion watts)”.
    Comment
    The ENEA study of the Holy Shroud of Turin concluded that it would take 34 Thousand Billion (trillion) Watts of VUV radiation to make the image on the shroud. This output of electromagnetic energy remains beyond human technology.
    http://www.predatormastersforu.....er=3014106

    An atheist recently complained to me that the preceding article is a secondary source, and indeed it is, so I traced the primary source for the article down to here,

    DI LAZZARO, P. – MURRA, D. – NICHELATTI, E. – SANTONI, A.- BALDACCHINI, G. – Shroud-like Coloration of Linen by Nanosecond Laser Pulses in the Vacuum Ultraviolet, ENEA Report 2012.
    Editor’s Note: A similar paper by the same authors also appeared in the peer reviewed journal Applied Optics, Vol. 51, Issue 36, pp. 8567-8578 (2012), titled Superficial and Shroud-like coloration of linen by short laser pulses in the vacuum ultraviolet. [21 January 2013]
    https://www.shroud.com/library.htm#papers

    Superficial and Shroud-like coloration of linen by short laser pulses in the vacuum ultraviolet -DI LAZZARO, P. – MURRA, D. – NICHELATTI, E. – SANTONI, A.- BALDACCHINI, G.
    Applied Optics, Optical Society of America, vol. 51, pp. 8567-8578 (2012), 2012
    Abstract
    We present a survey on five years of experiments of excimer laser irradiation of linen fabrics, seeking a coloration mechanism able to reproduce the microscopic complexity of the body image embedded onto the Shroud of Turin. We achieved a superficial, Shroud-like coloration in a narrow range of irradiation parameters. We also obtained latent coloration that appears after artificial or natural aging of linen following laser irradiations that, at first, did not generate any visible effect. Most importantly, we have recognized photochemical processes that account for both coloration and latent coloration.
    https://www.academia.edu/3478909/Superficial_and_Shroud-like_coloration_of_linen_by_short_laser_pulses_in_the_vacuum_ultraviolet?auto=download

    And here are the slides to a 2017 powerpoint presentation that was given by Paolo Di Lazzaro where he, (at about the 30th slide of the presentation), discusses the 34 thousand billion watt result,

    Linen Coloration by Pulsed Radiation. A Review.
    Slides of the talk presented at the International Conference on the Shroud of Turin, Pasco (USA) July 2017, Paolo Di Lazzaro
    https://www.academia.edu/38029774/Linen_Coloration_by_Pulsed_Radiation._A_Review

    Specifically, Lazzaro’s (approx.) 30th slide in his powerpoint presentation states,

    34 thousand billion watt is an impressive number but,,
    * Back to basics: let us consider the fraction A/B.
    If B is very small then A/B results in a very large number.,,,
    * 17 joules energy/0.00000001 seconds results in 1.7 billion watt. It is called “peak power” which different of the commonly used “average power”.
    * The above peak power was delivered to 1 cm^2 flax.
    Being the average man skin surface = 2 m^2 = 20,000 cm^2, we have 34 thousand billion watt necessary to complete the body image on the Shroud.

  95. 95
    bornagain77 says:

    That it is possible for the human body to emit such biophotonic ‘quantum light’ is revealed by the following papers and photograph:

    Cellular Communication through Light – 2009
    Excerpt: Information transfer is a life principle. On a cellular level we generally assume that molecules are carriers of information, yet there is evidence for non-molecular information transfer due to endogenous coherent light. This light is ultra-weak, is emitted by many organisms, including humans and is conventionally described as biophoton emission.
    http://www.plosone.org/article.....ne.0005086

    Biophotons – The Light In Our Cells – Marco Bischof – March 2005?Excerpt page 2: The Coherence of Biophotons: ,,, Biophotons consist of light with a high degree of order, in other words, biological laser light. Such light is very quiet and shows an extremely stable intensity, without the fluctuations normally observed in light. Because of their stable field strength, its waves can superimpose, and by virtue of this, interference effects become possible that do not occur in ordinary light. Because of the high degree of order, the biological laser light is able to generate and keep order and to transmit information in the organism.
    https://cdn.preterhuman.net/texts/body_and_health/Biophotons%20-%20The%20Lights%20in%20Our%20Cells.pdf

    Photocount distribution of photons emitted from three sites of a human body – 2006
    Excerpt: Signals from three representative sites of low, intermediate and high intensities are selected for further analysis. Fluctuations in these signals are measured by the probabilities of detecting different numbers of photons in a bin. The probabilities have non-classical features and are well described by the signal in a quantum squeezed state of photons. Measurements with bins of three sizes yield same values of three parameters of the squeezed state.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16520060

    Humans Glow in Visible Light – July 2009
    Excerpt: Past research has shown that the body emits visible light, 1,000 times less intense than the levels to which our naked eyes are sensitive. In fact, virtually all living creatures emit very weak light,
    https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna32090918

    Thus in conclusion, (and contrary to ‘whatever’ WJM may believe in his, ahem, ‘theory’), when we rightly allow the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics, (as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned, Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and Max Planck, to name a few of the Christian founders,,,, and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands with the closing of the free will loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company), then rightly allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead bridges the infinite mathematical divide that exists between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics and provides us with an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”

    As the following verse states, “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

  96. 96
    William J Murray says:

    BA77 said:

    In response WJM again doubted that “ONLY” God would have the “infinite” power necessary to resurrect Jesus from the dead and stated “any being with the power to do that, or any being whose resurrection would leave that evidence, whether it had anything to do with God or not.”

    Obviously, implicit in WJM’s remark is the assumption that it did not take the infinite power of God to resurrect Jesus from the dead, but some powerful, but finite, being “with the power to do that” could also possibly have resurrected himself, or someone else, from the dead.

    WJM is wrong in his assumption that it did not take the infinite Mind of God to resurrect Jesus from the dead but that a finite, but powerful, being could possibly resurrect himself, or someone else, from the dead.

    First, I want to say you’re right, and I’m wrong. I also want to apologize for making a very sloppy argument and using very sloppy words and concepts in my side of the argument.

    It absolutely took the power of God to produce the effects you describe.

    But then, it takes the power of God for anything at all to exist or occur. The question I think is the root of this debate is whether or not the resurrection of Jesus is an indication that God is the same as the God you are saying this evidence supports – specifically, the Christian God.

    As you should know, I hold the existence of God as ground of all existence, being, consciousness, mind and all experience as a logical necessity. So we are not disagreeing on whether or not God exists, but only on whether or not the Christian God correctly characterizes God beyond what we agree on. When I said, “..whether or not that has anything to do with God,” it was fully MY BAD that I said that in such a poor way. I am entirely at fault for the mess I made of this argument.

    Your argument seems to be that the incredible miracle of the resurrection and the evidence it left behind is evidence for the Christian God; IOW, that it is evidence not only of the qualities and nature of ground-of-existence God that we agree on, but it specifically supports the further characterizations of God found in Christianity.

    Furthermore, while the resurrection and the evidence it left behind is at least apparently unique, the uniqueness of that event makes the proper rational assessment of it more difficult. While unique, is the resurrection and the evidence it left behind more miraculous a situation than, say, everyone’s capacity to carry on rational thought in their minds, move about during the day, and have any experience at all? We all exist as an in a miracle, the “miracle-ness” belied by its ubiquitous nature. My sitting on the porch, enjoying the morning sunshine sipping my delicious coffee is no less a profound miracle than the resurrection of Jesus and the evidence it left behind. The only reason one is considered a miracle and the other not is its apparent uniqueness.

    For me, the heart of the debate here is whether or not the resurrection and the evidence directly, logically supports the further, specific characterizations of God as asserted by Christianity. That is the specific “God-characterizations” I was talking about (very poorly) in my exchanges.

    What further characterizations am I talking about? There are several; one is the division of the afterlife into two dichotomous arenas, heaven and hell. The whole sin and forgiveness structure. That God deliberately created space-time or really deliberately created anything. There are probably other characteristics if I thought about it more.

    I don’t see how the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection logically and evidentially support those (and perhaps other) specific characteristics of the Christian God and how Christianity describes the specific existential arrangements God created – not without circular reasoning that leads back to assertions made in the Bible.

  97. 97
    bornagain77 says:

    I’ll let my response stand as stated, and see no need at this time to add, or clarify, anything about the ‘logical necessity’ of the infinite Mind of God raising Jesus from the dead.

    Although, I will add this following tidbit that was revealed via holographic imaging of the Shroud of Turin:

    Turin Shroud Hologram Reveals The Words “The Lamb”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Tmka1l8GAQ

    RESEARCH 3 LETTERS ON SOLID OBJECT
    THREE HEBREW LETTERS IN RELIEF ON THE SURFACE OF THE OVAL SOLID OBJECT
    —UNDER THE BEARD IN THE NECK AREA —
    Excerpt: THE THREE HEBREW LETTERS:
    Hebrew is a language that is written and read from the right to the left. So the three letters that are visible are from right to left:
    TS’ADE—ALEPH—NUN (see image 9),,,
    There is however something more with the word TS’ON. Like we mentioned before, in KLEIN’s dictionary it is translated as: “small cattle, sheep and goats”. (This is like saying “soldiers” instead of army and TS’ON is NOT a flock but “sheep and goats”).
    The EXCEPTION for the translation of the word TS’ON, we find in Exodus 12:21.
    When the Israelites are ordered by God to prepare a lamb for sacrifice and after the sacrifice put the blood on the doorposts, the word that is used for lamb is SEH (Exodus 12:3) and that is correct. However, in Exodus 12:21 it says: “Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the (Passover) lamb”. The word that is used in the Bible is TS’ON and this is the ONLY TIME in the whole of the Bible that the word TS’ON is used as lamb and it is specifically translated as such for this occasion. In the Judaic Tradition this sentence in Exodus 12:21 is also understood (translated) as: “MAKE A SIGN WITH THE LAMB”, (By putting the blood of the lamb on the doorpost). The reason for this is that there is a very close relationship in the root and also in the sound, between the word TS’ON and the word TS’IOEN, and this word means “sign”. In the Judaic Tradition when words have the same root and/or sound, they are like “family of each other” and are very closely related in meaning and use.
    So, we find again a direct connection between the word TS’ON, and Jesus Christ, who is the Passover lamb, dying at the moment on Friday afternoon when in the Temple the sacrifice of the lambs took place. “The Lamb of God that takes away the sins of this world”. (See figure 16 and 17, the Passover Lamb).
    https://shroud3d.com/research-on-the-3d-materials/research-3-letters-on-solid-object/

    Verse:

    John 1:29-30
    The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
    This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.

  98. 98
    Querius says:

    William J Murray @91 wrote:

    Whatever God is or is capable of, it cannot be the deliberate creator of space-time. That’s a logical impossibility, as far as I can tell. Also, God cannot be the creator of consciousness or information.

    Do you see anything in what you wrote that not a completely groundless assertion? As such, it’s completely worthless.

    To be clear, God may be the ground wherein such things can be said to exist, but God cannot perform a logically impossible task. Not even God can draw a square circle.

    That’s funny because I can:

    1. Draw a circle.

    2. Divide the circle into four equal arc segments. The geometric shape is still a circle.

    3. Increase the radius of each arc to double its original radius and notice that the geometric shape is still a circle. Then continue increasing the radius of each arc equally using the same function on each arc.

    4. Continue increasing the radius until the radius of each arc is infinite. Mathematicians do this all the time with the lim of functions. Notice that an arc of infinite radius has a geometric shape identical with a line. The four lines thus have a geometric shape identical with a square but remain a circle by definition.

    So there’s your stupid square circle. Maybe God will someday show you how this works.

    -Q

  99. 99
    Querius says:

    William J Murray @84,

    Maybe I missed it. Did you claim that Jesus never existed? If so, why? What difference does it make if Jesus existed or not?

    Not surprisingly, Seversky has once again vanished after I destroyed his argument @19. No qualified scholar currently defends the position that Jesus was a myth or a fictional character, so you’re right that Seversky apparently died on that hill by himself.

    -Q

  100. 100
    William J Murray says:

    Querius:

    Do you see anything in what you wrote that not a completely groundless assertion? As such, it’s completely worthless.

    You cannot make a deliberate choice to create time unless time already exists, otherwise, nothing can precede that choice in order for it to be a deliberate choice. IOW, there logically had to be a “before” and “after” the choice the made, which means time already necessarily existed.

    Also, where was “God” before He created space?

    What does it mean for the “ground of existence” to make a deliberate choice? A deliberate choice requires being self aware. To be self-aware, one must have some way of identify self. That can only be done in comparison to not-self. If there is no “not-self” to identify self in relationship to, self-awareness is not logically possible. “A” doesn’t mean anything whatsoever unless there is a “not-A” to compare it against. Universal, absolute ubiquity does not allow for self-awareness, and so no deliberate choice can be made.

  101. 101
    William J Murray says:

    Querius,

    So we can keep fidelity to the perspective commodity in question, let me rephrase then:

    Even God cannot draw a 2″ by 2″ square circle with a pencil when viewed as a 2D perspective on a flat sheet of paper by regular human beings.

  102. 102
    Querius says:

    William J Murray @101,

    Thank you for conceding the point (and moving the goalposts). Yes, I can actually think of a way to do this because you didn’t specify the shape of the pencil and the curvature of the space-time containing the flat sheet of paper.

    Of course, if I did, you would simply move the goalposts again. My point still stands:

    All these prove that we should be extremely open and humble when considering God, and that we cannot reach God neither with a physical Tower of Babel nor any system of logic. God’s existence and presence can only be revealed to us either directly or by his creation.

    -Q

  103. 103
    Querius says:

    William J Murray @100 wrote:

    You cannot make a deliberate choice to create time unless time already exists, otherwise, nothing can precede that choice in order for it to be a deliberate choice. IOW, there logically had to be a “before” and “after” the choice the made, which means time already necessarily existed.

    Also, where was “God” before He created space?

    There was no “before” in OUR space-time, which is believed to have came into existence 13.7 billion years ago.

    It should be obvious that before God created space-time as we experience it, He was not operating in it. God told Moses that His name is “I AM.” Other places in the Bible indicate that God exists eternally in our past, our present, and our future. God describes himself in many other places in the scriptures, but it reports that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and God’s ways are not our ways. It warns us that they are vastly higher than ours. You shouldn’t find this as a surprise.

    Currently, we don’t really understand time, but we do recognize the possibility of asynchronous events, multidimensional time*, and state machines. I don’t want to project any these onto God because most certainly my speculation will be wrong as is yours.

    -Q

    * For example, the time remaining in download can increase as well as decrease depending on your download speed. Time remaining is not necessarily linked to our clock time, which can also vary with our velocity or the presence of a gravitational field.

  104. 104
    William J Murray says:

    Querius said:

    Thank you for conceding the point (and moving the goalposts). Yes, I can actually think of a way to do this because you didn’t specify the shape of the pencil and the curvature of the space-time containing the flat sheet of paper.

    Of course, if I did, you would simply move the goalposts again.

    I’m not the one moving the goal post, Querius. You are. You know exactly what I mean when I say it, and then you try and figure out some way around what I’m saying by throwing in different elements and perspectives. You do realize you’re doing the exact same thing others do here that you complain so much about, don’t you?

    God cannot create an A that is both A and not-A at the same time, in the same relevant way.

    Also, you and I both know I did not concede any point. Why do you say things like that when you know they aren’t true?

  105. 105
    William J Murray says:

    Querius @103:

    Nothing you say in this comment answers the logical objections I raised to the Christian God.

  106. 106
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, as a first rough remark, have you ever considered that our spacetime domain is a subsidiary, created world within a wider reality with a necessary being as root of reality? KF

  107. 107
    Querius says:

    William J Murray @104,

    As every reader can see, you’re the one that specified a “square circle,” and I found a way (actually two ways) that demonstrated my point about how profoundly crucial our perspectives are in discussing anything about God.

    After being humiliated with my solution, you then added several MORE constraints such as “a pencil” and “a flat piece of paper” to avoid my solution. This is called moving the goalposts.

    All I did was find a solution that met your original constraints. As I’m writing this response, yet another solution occurs to me (making two more solutions) that I won’t share since you’ll simply respond with adding more constraints.

    My point still stands . . .

    All these prove that we should be extremely open and humble when considering God, and that we cannot reach God neither with a physical Tower of Babel nor any system of logic. God’s existence and presence can only be revealed to us either directly or by his creation.

    -Q

  108. 108
    zweston says:

    Figure out which proverb to follow…. Proverbs 26:4 or Proverbs 26:5

    WJM, to deny what is right in front of you is foolish. I get that you have constructed some sort of plausible way for you to deny things (at least in your mind) but man… you should just surrender to Christ. It’s a great thing.

  109. 109
    Querius says:

    William J Murray @105,

    Nothing you say in this comment answers the logical objections I raised to the Christian God.

    LOL. You’re saying that my reply didn’t destroy your argument simply by asserting that it didn’t. This reminds me of the undefeatable black knight:
    https://youtu.be/ZmInkxbvlCs?t=78

    -Q

  110. 110
    Querius says:

    Zweston @108,

    So very true! Also, take a look at Jeremiah 2:13, which I think is also very appropriate!

    Habitual skepticism questions everything but itself.

    What William J Murray, or anyone else with a rigid belief system–either scientific, religious, or political–that’s not truly based on logic, experience, or revelation should ask themselves is, “Why really do I believe as I do?”

    They should examine themselves deeply and truthfully in all frankness. I know I have.

    -Q

  111. 111
    Seversky says:

    William J Murray/84

    Maybe I missed it. Did you claim that Jesus never existed? If so, why? What difference does it make if Jesus existed or not?

    No, I don’t claim that Jesus never existed. My position is that the existing documentary evidence is far from proving his existence beyond a reasonable doubt. I have no problem with the possibility that there was an itinerant preacher of that name roaming around first-century Palestine with a small band of followers. Claiming he was the incarnation of the Christian God is little different from claiming he was a Force-wielding Jedi Knight who was visiting Earth long ago from a galaxy far, far away.

    I don’t see how it makes any difference if Jesus existed, or even if everything written about what Jesus did actually occurred; there’s no way to logically, evidentially connect Jesus to God other than circular reasoning. It doesn’t seem to me to be a hill worth defending

    It doesn’t make any difference to me but it clearly makes a great deal of difference to some here. I think the hill is worth defending if for no other reason than to remind them that there are questions that need to be answered which they are afraid to ask.

  112. 112
    Origenes says:

    WJM @ 100

    What does it mean for the “ground of existence” to make a deliberate choice? A deliberate choice requires being self aware. To be self-aware, one must have some way of identify self. That can only be done in comparison to not-self.

    There is another option apart from a not-self. Suppose that a person is one thing, one self, with aspects such as the “I” and thoughts and feelings.
    Now identification can go thus:
    I am not a thought. I am a thinker but not a thought. I am a feeler, but not a feeling. Yet thoughts and feelings are aspects of the larger me (the self).

  113. 113
    Seversky says:

    Querius/99

    Not surprisingly, Seversky has once again vanished after I destroyed his argument @19. No qualified scholar currently defends the position that Jesus was a myth or a fictional character, so you’re right that Seversky apparently died on that hill by himself

    I’m sorry to disappoint you but I’m still here.

    I had hoped you had evidence for Jesus’s existence other than the usual suspects.

    Jesus mythicism may be a minority position but it does exist as a position held by credible scholars and is worth defending to prevent the believers from becoming too smug and complacent.

  114. 114
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, the selective hyperskepticism required to dismiss so impactful and well documented a personage as Jesus of Nazareth removes you to the fringe of scholarship. Do you exert similar doubts as to the reality of the classical past in general, if so why; if not, why not? KF

  115. 115
    kairosfocus says:

    Querius, on square circles you have tried shifting context from what is implied, a planar figure or its 3-d extension which at one and the same time has core properties of squarishness and circularity for one and the same entity under the same circumstances. Such do not exist. The underlying point is, distinct identity of a possible entity requires coherence of core characteristics and circumstances. KF

  116. 116
    William J Murray says:

    Origenes @112:

    There is another option apart from a not-self. Suppose that a person is one thing, one self, with aspects such as the “I” and thoughts and feelings.
    Now identification can go thus:
    I am not a thought. I am a thinker but not a thought. I am a feeler, but not a feeling. Yet thoughts and feelings are aspects of the larger me (the self).

    Sense of self, thoughts and feelings are not the ground for sense of self, thoughts and feelings, which you explicitly referred to as “the larger me.” IOW, “the larger me” is not consciously aware and cannot make such identifications and distinctions as itself. It is only a step removed from that being that anything can become consciously aware.

    Here’s the kicker: it is not one particular self that arises, so to speak, from the ground of being; all possible “selfs” must also exist, because we’re talking about the ground of being as infinite potential information. The ground of being is also the ground for any space-time experience, but is not itself space-time. It cannot “produce” sentient beings in any order; all possible beings, all possible information, all potentials simply, simultaneously exist as the co-existent consequence of the existence of the ground of being.

    So, does the Christian God, as a very powerful being, exist? I’d say that’s close to a certainty. Is it the only such God? I’d say that’s just as certainly not the case. Does the Christian heaven and hell exist? Certainly – as would every other possible afterlife scenario and situation. They all must exist because nothing can change the infinite potential the ground of existence innately provides.

  117. 117
    William J Murray says:

    Seversky @111 – fair enough.

  118. 118
    ET says:

    Julius Caesar never existed. Well, my position is that the existing documentary evidence is far from proving his existence beyond a reasonable doubt. I have no problem with a lone Roman thinking he can actually be a lone ruler and then making it happen, albeit briefly.

  119. 119
    ET says:

    seversky:

    I have no problem with the possibility that there was an itinerant preacher of that name roaming around first-century Palestine with a small band of followers.

    And yet the ONLY reason it is called the first century is because of His existence. Weird, eh?

  120. 120
    Origenes says:

    @WJM
    Self-identification does neither explain nor impact conscious self-awareness (the “I”). I experience conscious self-awareness irrespective of what I consider myself to be or not to be. One can be a convinced solipsist and it won’t diminish or impact in any other way the experience of conscious self-awareness (the “I”).
    Conscious self-awareness, that is the experience of the “I”, comes from the “I” perceiving itself.

  121. 121
    Querius says:

    Seversky @113,

    I’m sorry to disappoint you but I’m still here.

    On the contrary, I’m absolutely delighted that you’ve returned for another thrashing—not for my ego’s sake (who cares), but for the sake of your own eternal soul!

    I had hoped you had evidence for Jesus’s existence other than the usual suspects.

    I’d actually spent several hours assembling the witnesses to Jesus from online manuscripts capturing the words and thoughts of people hostile to Jesus from that time period. You, on the other hand, simply dismissed this evidence as “the usual suspects,” providing zero justification, zero scholarly references, and zero manuscripts to the contrary.

    No, I wasn’t surprised or disappointed at your reaction, but I was delighted that Bornagain77 and others appreciated my work, which they’re free to use in any manner, saving them the time and energy in the future, as they have likewise done for me on other occasions!

    So, when you asked me to draw a 2” x 2” circle with a pencil on a flat sheet of paper, several additional delightful possibilities presented themselves.

    The first circle was drawn on a square piece of paper and the second on an equilateral triangular piece of paper, both being 2” x 2”.

    First, I considered the circle drawn on the square piece of paper, the “square circle.” I noticed that the pencil left a thin layer of graphite on the paper of non-zero thickness.

    I can weigh the paper on a microgram scale before and after applying the graphite to get an approximation of the weight of the graphite and, using my B&L binocular dissection microscope to measure the average width of the graphite deposited, I can calculate the 3D thickness of the graphite circle.

    Because I used a very precise mechanical pencil held vertically to the paper, the cross section of the soft graphite turned out to be square! Thus, the shape and volume of the circle that I drew is defined by its radius, its lineweight, and its thickness. The cross section of the toroidal shape you asked me to draw is square—a square circle!

    Next, I drew the second circle on the 2” x 2” triangular piece of paper holding my mechanical pencil at an angle and continuously rotating it as a drew the circle, which maintained more pressure at the acute angle of my mechanical pencil with the paper. Thus, the cross section of the toroidal shape on the triangular piece of paper was a right triangle—a triangular circle!

    Yes, I have even more solutions to square circles not necessarily involving paper and pencil.

    If I as a mere mortal can come up with these “square circles,” how much more so can the Creator with an infinite IQ produce?

    My point still stands . . .

    All these prove that we should be extremely open and humble when considering God, and that we cannot reach God neither with a physical Tower of Babel nor any system of logic. God’s existence and presence can only be revealed to us either directly or by his creation.

    -Q

  122. 122
    ram says:

    BA77: God would have the “infinite” power necessary to resurrect Jesus from the dead

    Why would that require “infinite power”? Or any power at all. Just rearrange the proteins in the body (etc) and reconnect the consciousness to the brain. How does this require infinite power? Even within the system, when sperm meets egg, a process begins that leads to a human body, without anything like infinite power. Something on the order of a couple hundred watts is necessary. But if God controls the system, God could just do it without any energy at all required from within the system. Just poof the structures into the desired form.

    –Ram

  123. 123
    Querius says:

    William J Murray @116,

    So, does the Christian God, as a very powerful being, exist? I’d say that’s close to a certainty. Is it the only such God? I’d say that’s just as certainly not the case.

    So, what does “the Christian God” (what’s that?) reveal about His existence? The Hebrew prophets, through whom God chose to reveal himself, had them write the following (my emphasis added):

    Deuteronomy 32:17 They sacrificed to demons that were no gods, to gods they had never known, to new gods that had come recently, whom your fathers had never dreaded.

    Deuteronomy 32:39 “See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand.”

    Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.

    Isaiah 45:18 For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): “I am the Lord, and there is no other.

    Isaiah 45:21 Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the Lord? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me.

    Isaiah 46:9 “Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me”

    As to the “existence” of other gods, this is simply human speculation or, to be generous, the product of collections of admired attributes as in the case of Athena or Ares.

    In addition, people who practice occult arts might also encounter hateful lying spirits, demons who pose as gods or goddesses, as did Lucifer who wanted to be like God and receive the worship of people deceived by him (I recently had a couple of conversations with one of these unhappy and deceived individuals who says she met and worships Lucifer).

    Jesus warned us about false teachers and told us to look at the fruit in their lives, good or evil, to determine their true identity.

    Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

    Don’t be deceived.

    -Q

  124. 124
    Origenes says:

    “I am the Lord, and there is no other.”

    Assuming that this is true, it is a very unfortunate state of affairs for God. The loneliness must be close to unbearable.

  125. 125
    bornagain77 says:

    Ram, I know you will probably call it “just a bunch of B.S.”, (like you did the 34 thousand billion watt finding for the Shroud of Turin), but anyways, defeating death that is inherent in this universe, (i.e. specifically defeating the entropy associated with the space-time of general relativity)’, is a bit trickier than just, as you put it, “rearrange the proteins in the body (etc) and reconnect the consciousness to the brain”.

    “Einstein’s equation predicts that, as the astronaut reaches the singularity (of the black-hole), the tidal forces grow infinitely strong, and their chaotic oscillations become infinitely rapid. The astronaut dies and the atoms which his body is made become infinitely and chaotically distorted and mixed-and then, at the moment when everything becomes infinite (the tidal strengths, the oscillation frequencies, the distortions, and the mixing), spacetime ceases to exist.”
    – Kip S. Thorne – “Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy” pg. 476

    Further notes: ,,,, there is a profound ‘entropic divide’ between special relativity and general relativity.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/surprise-surprise-the-aging-process-is-irreversible/#comment-733455

    Quote and Verses:

    “We have the sober scientific certainty that the heavens and earth shall ‘wax old as doth a garment’…
    Dark indeed would be the prospects of the human race if unilluminated by that light which reveals ‘new heavens and a new earth.’”
    Sir William Thomson, Lord Kelvin (1824 – 1907) – pioneer in many different fields, particularly electromagnetism and thermodynamics.

    Psalm 102:25-27
    Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will have no end.

    Romans 8:18-21
    I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

  126. 126
    Querius says:

    Origenes @124,

    Assuming that this is true, it is a very unfortunate state of affairs for God. The loneliness must be close to unbearable.

    Assuming that God is just like us humans, he would also get super hungry and thirsty without anything to eat or drink, and he created light so he could see in the darkness.

    In other words, I think it’s reasonable to assume your characterization of God is way too small.

    -Q

  127. 127
    Origenes says:

    Querius @126

    Please do better, you are being very childish. Motte-and-bailey fallacy.

  128. 128
    Querius says:

    Origenes @127,

    Historically, it’s called the reductio ad absurdum argument and was well known by the “very childish” Greek philosophers.

    -Q

  129. 129
    Origenes says:

    Querius,

    For you information, nowhere did I say that God has a physical body and gets “super hungry and thirsty without anything to eat or drink.” You baselessly pretend that I did. Motte-and-bailey fallacy.

  130. 130
    ram says:

    BA77 @125

    Presumedly God is not bound by any such limitation. He can rearrange matter at will without using energy within spacetime. Your citations regarding energy within spacetime are irrelevant.

  131. 131
    bornagain77 says:

    Well Ram, I can see what you are hung up now, I’m sorry for my poor word choice. I did not mean ‘infinite power’ as in ‘infinite energy’ as you are thinking, but instead I meant, and I thought I was clear about it, that it would take the ‘infinite knowledge’ of God to bridge the ‘infinite mathematical divide’ between general relativity and quantum mechanics. ,,, and that a finite, but powerful, being would not have the infinite knowledge necessary to bridge the ‘actual infinity’ that mathematically exists between the two theories.

    If fact, as to how much actual power and/or energy it took, it could have been zero power/energy as far as I know, although the 34 thousand billion watt result on the Shroud of Turin, (which you termed ‘just a bunch of B.S.”), suggests that a finite, but non-negligible, amount of power/energy was involved in Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

  132. 132
    Querius says:

    Origenes @129,

    For you information, nowhere did I say that God has a physical body and gets “super hungry and thirsty without anything to eat or drink.” You baselessly pretend that I did. Motte-and-bailey fallacy.

    That’s right. You didn’t, and as I said in @128:

    Historically, it’s called the reductio ad absurdum argument and was well known by the “very childish” Greek philosophers.

    If you’re not familiar with this type of argument, look it up online for other examples. God being lonely, or for that matter hungry, thirsty, or having trouble “seeing” in the dark are all anthropomorphisms.

    anthropomorphism
    1. Attribution of human motivation, characteristics, or behavior to inanimate objects, animals, or natural phenomena.
    2. The ascription of human attributes to supernatural or divine beings; in theology, the conception or representation of God with human qualities and affections, or in a human shape.
    3. The conception of animals, plants, or nature in general, by analogy with man: commonly implying an unscientific use of such analogy.

    – The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

    -Q

  133. 133
    Origenes says:

    Querius,
    It is my impression that under Christianity God is seen as a person. I see God as a person. You seem to have a problem with that and feel the need to resort to ridicule and sarcasm. Good luck with that. I couldn’t care less.

  134. 134
    bornagain77 says:

    Ram, but while we are on the subject of power/energy, and in regards to General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, the following might interest you.

    it is not only that Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity have this unbridgeable infinite mathematical divide between them, it is also that, theoretically speaking, Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity contradict each other to the point of literally blowing the entire universe apart. As Gregory Chaitin states, “There are serious problems with the traditional view that the world is a space-time continuum. Quantum field theory and general relativity contradict each other. The notion of space-time breaks down at very small distances, because extremely massive quantum fluctuations (virtual particle/antiparticle pairs) should provoke black holes and space-time should be torn apart, which doesn’t actually happen.”

    “There are serious problems with the traditional view that the world is a space-time continuum. Quantum field theory and general relativity contradict each other. The notion of space-time breaks down at very small distances, because extremely massive quantum fluctuations (virtual particle/antiparticle pairs) should provoke black holes and space-time should be torn apart, which doesn’t actually happen.”
    – Gregory J. Chaitin , Francisco A. Doria, and Newton C. a. Da Costa – Goedel’s Way: Exploits into an Undecidable World

    Here are a few more references that drive this point about ‘tearing the universe apart’ further home,

    “In order for quantum mechanics and relativity theory to be internally self-consistent [Seeking consistency between quantum mechanics and relativity theory is the major task theoretical physicists have been grappling with since quantum mechanics emerged], the physical vacuum has to contain 10^94 grams equivalent of energy per cubic centimeter. What that means is, if you take just a single hydrogen atom, which is one proton and one electron and all the rest of the atom is ‘empty space,’ if you take just that volume of empty space, … you find that you end up with a trillion times as much vacuum energy as all the electromagnetic energy in all the planets, all the stars, and all the cosmic dust in a sphere of radius 15 billion light-years.”
    To summarize, the subtle energy in the vacuum space of a single hydrogen atom is as great as all the electromagnetic energy found in everything within 15 billion light-years of our space-time cosmos.” ,,,
    Dr. William Tiller – Human Intention

    Cosmic coincidence spotted – Philip Ball – 2008
    Excerpt: One interpretation of dark energy is that it results from the energy of empty space, called vacuum energy. The laws of quantum physics imply that empty space is not empty at all, but filled with particles popping in and out of existence. This particle ‘fizz’ should push objects apart, just as dark energy seems to require. But the theoretical value of this energy is immense — so huge that it should blow atoms apart, rather than just causing the Universe to accelerate.
    Physicists think that some unknown force nearly perfectly cancels out the vacuum energy, leaving only the amount seen as dark energy to push things apart. This cancellation is imperfect to an absurdly fine margin: the unknown ‘energy’ differs from the vacuum energy by just one part in 10^122. It seems incredible that any physical mechanism could be so finely poised as to reduce the vacuum energy to within a whisker of zero, but it seems to be so.
    http://www.nature.com/news/200.....8.610.html

    The 2 most dangerous numbers in the universe are threatening the end of physics – Jessica Orwig – Jan. 14, 2016
    Excerpt: Dangerous No. 2: The strength of dark energy
    ,,, you should be able to sum up all the energy of empty space to get a value representing the strength of dark energy. And although theoretical physicists have done so, there’s one gigantic problem with their answer:
    “Dark energy should be 10^120 times stronger than the value we observe from astronomy,” Cliff said. “This is a number so mind-boggling huge that it’s impossible to get your head around … this number is bigger than any number in astronomy — it’s a thousand-trillion-trillion-trillion times bigger than the number of atoms in the universe. That’s a pretty bad prediction.”
    On the bright side, we’re lucky that dark energy is smaller than theorists predict. If it followed our theoretical models, then the repulsive force of dark energy would be so huge that it would literally rip our universe apart. The fundamental forces that bind atoms together would be powerless against it and nothing could ever form — galaxies, stars, planets, and life as we know it would not exist.
    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/.....57366.html

    And yet, despite the fact that both theories contradict each other to the point of literally blowing the universe apart, the fact remains that universe is not blowing itself apart and therefore, from a common sense point of view, something, or Someone, must be holding the universe together.

    For the Christian this theoretical finding from our very best theories in science, (i.e. that something, or Someone, very powerful must be ‘outside the universe’ that is holding this universe together), should not be all that surprising to find out. Christianity predicted that Christ is before all things, and in him all things hold together,,,

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

  135. 135
    zweston says:

    If you guys haven’t checked out “apologetics squared” on youtube, I think you’d find it fascinating and stimulating… WJM… God isn’t lonely, because he’s three in one… He is all sufficient. In fact, without multiple persons existing as God before, you can’t really have love or humor…so the argument goes here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRj56bbIUvU

  136. 136
    Querius says:

    Origenes @133,

    Origenes: It is my impression that under Christianity God is seen as a person. I see God as a person. You seem to have a problem with that and feel the need to resort to ridicule and sarcasm. Good luck with that. I couldn’t care less.

    No, what I refuted by the reductio ad absurdum argument was your ascribing the human emotion of loneliness to God as you wrote in @124:

    Origenes: Assuming that this is true, it is a very unfortunate state of affairs for God. The loneliness must be close to unbearable.

    There was no ridicule or sarcasm in my statements, rather I identified my objection as anthropomorphism. The second definition was quoted of the term is

    2. The ascription of human attributes to supernatural or divine beings; in theology, the conception or representation of God with human qualities and affections, or in a human shape.

    -Q

  137. 137
    Querius says:

    Zweston @35,

    Thanks and yes, I watched the video you recommended. It reminds me of 1 John 1:3,4

    We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.

    Concerning the perspective of God in the video, you might also consider the words of the Shema, the most important prayer in Judaism. The very last word is interesting and if you look it up in Hebrew, the word is a plural unity, echad, rather than the singular, yachid.

    Finally, let me say that I’m very cautious in drawing conclusions about the nature of God that’s not explicitly revealed in the Bible. It’s just too easy to get off track due to our limited intelligence and perspectives as I’ve tried to explain in previous posts.

    -Q

  138. 138
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks Zweston, and to add a few notes,

    In this following video, entitled “The Ontological Argument for the Triune God”, refines the Ontological argument for a maximally great Being into a proof that, because of the characteristic of ‘maximally great love’, God must exist in more than one person:??

    The Ontological Argument for the Triune God – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQRtUfS17PE

    i.e. without this distinction we are stuck with the logical contradiction of maximally great love being grounded in ones own self which is the antithesis of maximally great love. i.e. selfishness as opposed to selflessness

    And this argument is indeed a powerful argument for the Triune God of Christianity. In the following video, a former Muslim confesses that this form of the ontological argument for the Triune God, i.e. maximally great love, is a devastating argument against the Muslim, (and Judaism), conception of a unitarian God:

    Abdu Murray AMP 2016 (16: 00 minute mark – former Muslim admitting that God must exist in more than one person because of the characteristic of maximally great love, i.e. the ontological argument for the Trinity)
    https://youtu.be/GGLM3CC5-EY?list=PLUwTeBAi_JFFxNDq-sp0_Soxlxnlv9YRG&t=948

    Further notes:

    The Trinity Explained – video playlist (InspiringPhilosophy)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gCv-FAjgps&list=PL1mr9ZTZb3TWpnOJV09MuEAwbbQNCS6Qf

    Nabeel Qureshi explaining the Trinity – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0JpwOSKRC0

    Further note:

    Genesis 1:26
    Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

    What does it mean when God said, “Let Us make man in Our image” (Genesis 1:26)?,,,
    The conviction of the early church fathers was that Elohim’s statement, “Let Us make man in Our image,” communicates a complex and unified expression of the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity holds that God is One in three Persons: God the Father; God the Son, Jesus Christ our Savior; and God the Holy Spirit. Here in Genesis 1:26, the “Us” and “Our” indicate God the Father speaking in the fullness of His divine creative power to the Son and the Holy Spirit. A similar conversation among the Godhead is seen in Genesis 3:22: “And the LORD God said, ‘The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil.’”
    Only humans are uniquely created in the image and likeness of God, distinguishing them from all other earthly beings. We were made like Him so that we could be in relationship with Him—the one and only triune God.
    https://biblehub.com/genesis/1-26.htm

  139. 139
    bornagain77 says:

    Of further note to Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity contradicting each other to the point of literally blowing the entire universe apart.

    At the 6:09 minute mark of the following video, Hugh Ross comments on the ‘disturbing implications’ that “dark energy” has given atheistic astrophysicists

    Astrophysicist Hugh Ross – Incredible Astronomical Discoveries & Dark Energy – 2018 video
    https://youtu.be/c9J9r7mdB6Q?t=367

    And here is the ‘Disturbing Implications’ paper from the atheistic astrophysicists, that Dr. Ross referenced in the preceding video, that was withdrawn because of mounting evidence for a Cosmological Constant (Dark Energy), that speaks of the ‘disturbing implications’ of the finely tuned expanding universe (1 in 10^120 cosmological constant). The implications were ‘disturbing/ for them precisely because, quote-unquote, it “would have required a miracle”.

    Disturbing Implications of a Cosmological Constant – Dyson, Kleban, Susskind (each are self proclaimed atheists) – 2002
    Excerpt: “Arranging the universe as we think it is arranged would have required a miracle.,,,”?“The question then is whether the origin of the universe can be a naturally occurring fluctuation, or must it be due to an external agent which starts the system out in a specific low entropy state?”
    page 19: “A unknown agent [external to time and space] intervened [in cosmic history] for reasons of its own.,,,”
    Page 21 “The only reasonable conclusion is that we don’t live in a universe with a true cosmological constant”.
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/hep-th/0208013.pdf

    And here are the evidences which made Dyson, Kleban and Susskind ultimately pull their ‘disturbing implications’ paper from consideration,

    Accumulating Evidence for Dark Energy and Supernatural Design – 2011
    Excerpt: I (Hugh Ross) often refer to nine different lines of observational evidence that establish dark energy’s reality and dominance in my talks. These nine are:
    1.radial velocities of type Ia supernovae;
    2.WMAP of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR);
    3.ground-based measures of the CMBR;
    4.Sloan Digital Sky Survey of galaxies and galaxy clusters;
    5.Two-Degree Field Survey of galaxies;
    6.gravitational lens measurements of distant galaxies and quasars;
    7.distributions of radio galaxies;
    8.galaxy velocity distributions; and
    9.x-ray emissions from galaxy clusters.

    In the last several years, astronomers have added seven additional lines of observational evidence confirming the reality of the finely tuned cosmological constant, bringing the total to sixteen. These seven are:

    10.Lyman-alpha forest measurements;
    11.polarization measures of the cosmic microwave background radiation;
    12.stellar ages;
    13.cosmic inhomogeneities;
    14.gamma-ray bursts;
    15.evolution of galaxy clustering; and
    16.galaxy cluster angular size measurements.
    https://reasons.org/explore/publications/tnrtb/read/tnrtb/2011/12/05/accumulating-evidence-for-dark-energy-and-supernatural-design

    Dr. Hugh Ross also listed several Bible verses that ‘predicted’ God ’’Stretching out the Heavens’,

    Bible References to God Stretching Out the Heavens
    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.g.....retch.html

    The following verse, since it makes an indirect reference to Jesus walking on water, is my favorite out of that group of verses:

    Job 9:8?
    He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea.

  140. 140
    Origenes says:

    Zwetson @
    God is depicted in the bible as having human emotions, such as joy, love, anger, grief and a remarkable sensitivity about the (mis)use of his name. Yet when I suggest that, since (by his own testimony) there is but one like him, he must be experiencing loneliness, I am told that God is above such petty human emotions, because he is in fact 3 persons(?). Why is that?

  141. 141
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Once God is good and wise and loving, God is personal as such are attributes of persons. It is not “Christianity’s god” or the like phrases of distanciation and hinted at dismissal, it is God. The God seen at basic level in ethical theism. Thereafter there are debates as to who best understands God, to which the best answer is, he who rose from death with 500 witnesses, showing nonpareil power as sign of truth. KF

  142. 142
    William J Murray says:

    Querius said:

    So, what does “the Christian God” (what’s that?) reveal about His existence? The Hebrew prophets, through whom God chose to reveal himself, had them write the following (my emphasis added):

    Those are assertions. If I meet a talking, flying tiger and the tiger (or its followers) make assertions that it is God, there’s no rational reason for me to accept those assertions just because a talking, flying tiger is a miracle.

    As to the “existence” of other gods, this is simply human speculation or, to be generous, the product of collections of admired attributes as in the case of Athena or Ares.

    We have the testimony and information from several sources, including NDEs, that other such entities exist, so no, it’s not just speculation.

    In addition, people who practice occult arts might also encounter hateful lying spirits, demons who pose as gods or goddesses, as did Lucifer who wanted to be like God and receive the worship of people deceived by him (I recently had a couple of conversations with one of these unhappy and deceived individuals who says she met and worships Lucifer).

    Dismissing all evidence to the contrary as being the product of deception is circular and/or convenient reasoning.

  143. 143
    William J Murray says:

    Zweston said:

    In fact, without multiple persons existing as God before, you can’t really have love or humor…so the argument goes here:

    This is exactly the same basic argument I made God as ground of being cannot have self-awareness, personality, deliberacy, etc. It’s logically unavailable to such a being. Any sentient individual personality requires some way of existing as something other than the “ground of being.” It must be a local psychology that exists within the ground of being but is not, psychologically speaking, the ground of being.

    But the thing is, the ground of being has no sense of time, order and space. There are ramifications to that; it cannot “create” anything because it is the ground by which any local psychological individual can experience “creating.”

    The inescapable consequence of there being a ground of existence as all potential is that every possible being, whether you call any of them “God” or not, necessarily exist. There’s no way for them not to exist. Every possible life and afterlife and experience necessarily exists. No “God” can choose just one to exist because no being can wipe potential out of existence. It can’t be done.

  144. 144
    bornagain77 says:

    ^^^^
    Aquinas just rolled over in his grave.

    NEUROSURGEON’S TEN PROOFS FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD. – Sept. 2021
    Excerpt: (Michael Egnor):The Third Way is the argument that in order for anything to exist contingently — that is, it might not exist, but it does exist — there must be one thing that necessarily exists. For example, I might not exist. I might die, or I might never have been born. Everything can’t be contingent, everything can’t depend on everything else, because then you get circular reasoning. So there must be a necessary existence for anything contingent to exist. [00:11:00]
    https://mindmatters.ai/2021/09/2-a-neurosurgeons-ten-proofs-for-the-existence-of-god/

    Thomas Joseph White #7: The Third Way (I, 2, 3) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZlofN2195s

  145. 145
    William J Murray says:

    BA77 said:

    Aquinas just rolled over in his grave.

    The thing that necessarily exists, as I’ve said repeatedly, is the ground of existence itself.

  146. 146
    bornagain77 says:

    You might want to double check your logic here:

    “every possible being, whether you call any of them “God” or not, necessarily exist.”

    i.e. Aquinas just rolled over in his grave.

    NEUROSURGEON’S TEN PROOFS FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD. – Sept. 2021
    Excerpt: (Michael Egnor):The Third Way is the argument that in order for anything to exist contingently — that is, it might not exist, but it does exist — there must be one thing that necessarily exists. For example, I might not exist. I might die, or I might never have been born. Everything can’t be contingent, everything can’t depend on everything else, because then you get circular reasoning. So there must be a necessary existence for anything contingent to exist. [00:11:00]
    https://mindmatters.ai/2021/09/2-a-neurosurgeons-ten-proofs-for-the-existence-of-god/

    Thomas Joseph White #7: The Third Way (I, 2, 3) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZlofN2195s

  147. 147
    ram says:

    BA77: If fact, as to how much actual power and/or energy it took, it could have been zero power/energy as far as I know

    Fair enough

    although the 34 thousand billion watt result on the Shroud of Turin, (which you termed ‘just a bunch of B.S.”), suggests that a finite, but non-negligible, amount of power/energy was involved in Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

    “Just a bunch of B.S.” was cranky and unhelpful. I apologize.

    From their slides:

    17 joules energy/0.00000001 seconds results in 1.7 billion watt. It is called “peak power” which is different of the commonly used “average power”.

    Multiply 1.7 billion by 20,000 and you get “34 thousand billion watt.”

    This is wildly misleading.

    A joule is is a measurement of power, equivalent to one ampere of electric current passing through one ohm of resistence for one second. They claim that they applied 17 joules to a square centimeter of cloth in 0.00000001 seconds. But watts by definition is a measurement of joules per second, and always per second. To get a clearer idea what this really means, 17 joules spread out over a second, which is how power is typically measured, is a mere 17 watts.

    According to them the Shroud image would have required 20,000 * 17 joules, or the equivalent of 300,000 watts of power. Not small. But not earth shattering. It’s like running a hair dryer for 8 days or so. What may be impressive is that it was compressed into 0.00000001 seconds, if indeed it was. But nobody knows how the power was applied to the Shroud.

    At any rate, “34 thousand billion watts” were not involved. Why did they say this? Because if the power was 17 joules every 0.00000001 seconds for a full second, then yes, that would be 1.7 billion watts. But that’s not what they did. The “watts” metric is unnecessary and misleading.

    –Ram

  148. 148
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks Ram for adding more detail on the actual ‘power/energy’ involved..

    For me personally, the most important thing to realize is that the image formation on the Shroud was a quantum affair, not a classical affair. That is what, (to borrow Einstein’s word for quantum mechanics), makes it so ‘spooky’.

  149. 149
    William J Murray says:

    BA77 said:

    “every possible being, whether you call any of them “God” or not, necessarily exist.”

    Why snip something out of context? Here’s the full sentence:

    The inescapable consequence of there being a ground of existence as all potential is that every possible being, whether you call any of them “God” or not, necessarily exist.

    They exist necessarily contingent upon there being a ground of existence as all potential. It’s tne necessary logical consequence of that necessary being. There’s a difference between a necessary being as ground for existence, and the necessary consequence of beings that ground of existence implies.

  150. 150
    ram says:

    BA77: In this following video, entitled “The Ontological Argument for the Triune God”

    I imagine that video may be impressive with people who are already impressed with Aquinas’s construction of God. (I am not.) Are you personally willing to defend this video, in this thread?

    –Ram

  151. 151
    bornagain77 says:

    WJM, the full context does not extract you from your contradiction in logic.

  152. 152
    ram says:

    BA77: that universe is not blowing itself apart and therefore, from a common sense point of view, something, or Someone, must be holding the universe together.

    General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are superb theories (to quote Sir Roger Penrose), which have extremely good precision and predictive power. But they are still theories subject to change, so it doesn’t suprise me that the universe is still holding together despite the incompatibilies of two human-made theories. 😀

    For the Christian this theoretical finding from our very best theories in science, (i.e. that something, or Someone, very powerful must be ‘outside the universe’ that is holding this universe together),

    I agree that something “outside the universe” exists. In fact, I am very much persuaded by the “virtual reality” view of the universe we find ourselves in.

    “Christianity predicted that Christ is before all things, and in him all things hold together”

    Hinduism says that about Vishnu/Krishna too. And long before. Maybe Paul stole the idea from the Hindus. Or from Philo who got it from the Greeks (demiurge) and/or from the Hindus through Philo. [Shrug] Not sure what your point is. That something is holding the universe together? Agreed. A lot of people have had a lot of ideas about that over that last 2500 years. How are you going to prove that is Jesus Christ?

    At an rate, I don’t know who or what is “holding the universe together” except that it is apparently not me. 🙂

    –Ram

  153. 153
    William J Murray says:

    If one is going to claim that God selected a particular set of potentials from all possible potentials to actualize, then we know that “all possible potentials” exist as such and informed God’s decision. It would also inform every decision God made going forward. We know those potentials still exist as potentials. It’s nonsensical to say that the potentials made the decision on which God personality to actualize. The Christian God as a personality is obviously just one God out of many other potential Gods. The potentials didn’t choose a particular God with a particular personality.

    This is why the ground for all possible things – otherwise known as the ground of existence – cannot be the same thing as a particular God with a particular personality. The Christian God and the ground of existence are necessarily two different things.

  154. 154
    bornagain77 says:

    Ram, not to go into detail in defending “The Ontological Argument for the Triune God”, but exactly how is one suppose to ground the property of ‘maximally great love’ in a unitarian God?

    As I pointed out, and as seems obvious, without this ‘trinitarian’ distinction for God, of God ‘necessarily’ existing in more than one person, then we are stuck with the logical contradiction of maximally great love being grounded in ones own self which is the antithesis of maximally great love. i.e. selfishness as opposed to selflessness.

    Abdu Murray AMP 2016 (16: 00 minute mark – former Muslim admitting that God must exist in more than one person because of the characteristic of maximally great love, i.e. the ontological argument for the Trinity)
    https://youtu.be/GGLM3CC5-EY?list=PLUwTeBAi_JFFxNDq-sp0_Soxlxnlv9YRG&t=948

  155. 155
    William J Murray says:

    Ba77 said;

    WJM, the full context does not extract you from your contradiction in logic.

    That’s because I wasn’t in a contradiction of logic in the first place 🙂 There is a difference between a causeless-cause necessary being, and the beings that necessarily exist contingent upon that premise. Which I clearly stated to start with.

  156. 156
    ram says:

    Querius: Lucifer who wanted to be like God

    Lucifer, aka The Son of the Dawn, aka Heylel, aka Venus.

    The Hebrew name Heylel is well known by scholars to be a Ugaritic god whom Isaiah was using as a metaphorical taunt against the very human king of Babylon as it says right there in the text:

    “take up this taunt against the king of Babylon “

    And notice the very humans properties:

    “All the kings of the nations lie in glory, each in his own tomb; “but you are cast out, away from your sepulchre, like a loathed untimely birth”

    Satan needed a sepulchre?

    “you will not be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land”

    Satan denied a proper burial?

    “May the descendants of evildoers nevermore be named!”

    His descendants are cursed.

    “I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far north;”

    That’s a reference to Mount Sapon, the home of the gods in Canannite religion.

    Etc. Etc.

    Do you guys ever read things in context? 😀

    –Ram

  157. 157
    bornagain77 says:

    WJM, to be polite, I don’t find your argument for ‘potential’ existing apart from God to be the least bit persuasive.

    And if it is all the same with you, I have much better things to do today than to debate you for hours on the many fallacies that keep popping up in your, ahem, ‘theory’

  158. 158
    bornagain77 says:

    Ram, “I agree that something “outside the universe” exists. In fact, I am very much persuaded by the “virtual reality” view of the universe we find ourselves in.”

    🙂

    Well Okie Dokie then, I guess that pretty much wraps it up for me.

    Have a good day.

  159. 159
    William J Murray says:

    BA77 said:

    WJM, to be polite, I don’t find your argument for ‘potential’ existing apart from God to be the least bit persuasive.

    Fortunately, I’m not trying to persuade you or anyone else.

    So, how does anything potential become actual, if the ground of existence, as all potential, cannot logically make such a decision – or any decision at all?

    The answer to this lies in MRT, where potentials are experienced in mind as what we call realities. Potential = actual in MRT. The ground doesn’t make decisions. All possible beings as individual personalities exist having all possible experiences available in potential. The Christian God is real, the Christian experience is real, just as all other God and non-theistic experiential realities that exist in potential are real.

  160. 160
    ram says:

    Querius: I’m very cautious in drawing conclusions about the nature of God that’s not explicitly revealed in the Bible.

    Well, if I were you, (and I’m not), I would be cautious about drawing conclusions about the nature of God that’s not explicitly revealed in the Hebrew Bible. After all, it came first.

    Which reminds me of an old joke among Jews: why did God create Mormons? So that Christians would understand what Jews feel like. 😀

  161. 161
    ram says:

    BA77,

    I definitely acknowledge that the Shroud is a fascinating and impressive object. I am not yet convinced, but maybe it is exactly what some claim it is. I have nothing against that proposition whatsoever and would happily accept a verdict of “geniune.”

    –Ram

  162. 162
    bornagain77 says:

    Ram, glad to hear that you have an open mind on the Shroud.

  163. 163
    ram says:

    Zweston: without multiple persons existing as God before, you can’t really have love or humor

    God need not have human-like attributes. Only the ability to create human-like attributes.

    To take your statement to the absurd, you can’t really have hate, anger, resentment without multiple persons in God. So do the “persons” within God ever argue? Are they romantic with each others? Etc.

    Take the word, “love.” It’s imprecise in English and most European languages, but Koine Greek, for example, fleshes out four ideas that typically get rendered as “love” in English. Which of these would you imagine exist among the “multiple persons” within a transcendent God? …

    Agape

    An English term for this is “charity.” The best way to render this in modern English is to “take care of” someone or something. It could be another human or an animal. “Take care of your neighbor as you take care of yourself.” If your donkey falls in a ditch, you go rescue it. That’s agape. No feelings or emotions are necessarily implied.

    Storge

    This term refers to a familial bond and loyalty. Closely related to philos. A mother’s instinct for her baby, parents for their children, and siblings for each other fall into this category. It implies an opposition to any parties that may pose as a threat to the unity of the persons of the family.

    Philos

    Brotherly love. Closely related to storge. The feeling between friends and companions who share personal affection for each other typically over shared interests and the process of time.

    Eros

    Romance and sex.

    Which of these do you believe apply to the timeless transcendent persons of God?

    As for humor, humor is borne of irony and contradiction perceived by human brains. How would timeless transcendent persons have the kind of dynamic where irony and contradiction could arise?

    Again, I say: God need not have human-like attributes. Only the ability to create human-like attributes.

    –Ram

  164. 164
    ram says:

    BA77: Well Okie Dokie then, I guess that pretty much wraps it up for me.

    Why? If the universe is not fundamental, then it is necessarily virtual in some sense. Do I think the universe is being generated on some super computer by “aliens”? No. That’s the “simulation hypothesis” and I am not persuaded to accept it.

    Whatever is making this universe occur, is unimaginable. When I say the universe is virtual, I mean it has no reality in and of itself. Never has and never will. Objects within it are informational objects that are being algorithmically processed. By way of analogy, consider a lake. Consider the waves on a lake. The waves on the water are virtual objects. It is an assymetical relation and dependency. The water exists without the waves, but the waves actively depend on the water for their existence. The waves are never independent of the water. You could say the waves are the water in motion, water in a particular state. Some might employ the term “epiphenomenon.”

    I have no problem calling whatever the “water” is, “God”, the Root, the Ground of All Being. Etc.

    Moreover, I agree with WJM’s views that whatever the Root is, it has all potenia within it’s ontology and that differentiated entities are “navigating” around the “highways and byways” of that potenia.

    Hope that helps.

    –Ram

  165. 165
    ram says:

    BA77: how is one suppose to ground the property of ‘maximally great love’ in a unitarian God?

    I don’t know what “maximally great love” is, Aquinas’s philosophy notwithstanding. What I do accept is that all properties and potenia exist within the Root ontology. Affection and hate. Pleasure and pain. Joy and sorrow. If your philosophy is going to assert that multiple persons are required in God to be consistent with the idea that affection exists between humans, you’re going to have to accept that hate exists among the persons of God too. You can’t have one side of the spectrum without the other. (Hate/rage is a active emotion, not merely the absense of affection, it’s opposite. Same with pleasure/pain, joy/dread.)

    Speaking from a human view, did God create the conscious experience of hate, dread, and pain? If you say no, then you agree with my view. If you say yes, then to be consistent you are warranted to accept that multiple persons are not required in God to create affection, joy and pleasure. If God knows how to create the “bad” emotions in humans without God transcendentally experiencing them before creation, then he surely is able to create the “good” emotions too. Multiple persons in God are not required to have a consistent view of this.

    (See my post above on “love.”)

    –Ram

  166. 166
    ram says:

    WJM @153

    Nicely put

    –Ram

  167. 167
    Origenes says:

    If God is the ground of all existence, he is one and indivisible, since the ground of all existence is necessarily one indivisible thing..

    Given that, how do we explain God’s creation as something existing outside of God? How do we get from one indivisible God, to something external to that God? God is indivisible, so it is logically impossible for him to seperate an aspect of himself and use that for ‘creation’.

    Alternatively, is creation “in” God? Can it be the case that we are all in God, that is, that we are all aspects of God? Is the entire universe, us, the devil, hell & Auschwitz all “in God”? That seems unacceptable.

  168. 168
    ram says:

    Origenes: is creation “in” God? Can it be the case that we are all in God, that is, that we are all aspects of God?

    If you are a Christian, there is this:

    he is not far from each one of us: for in him we live and move and exist; (Acts 17:27,28)

    Is the entire universe, us, the devil, hell & Auschwitz all “in God”? That seems unacceptable.

    Why? Are you coming at it on the basis of an emotion? It certainly isn’t a logical contradiction.

    The more fundamental question is: can God create something that is not actively “connected” to God? If not, then you are a monist. (That’s me.) If so, then you are implying that “reality” is no longer “one”, and that God somehow bifurcated making two independent realities, one of God and another detached reality that God is not longer “connected to.” But if not actively connected to God, how can God interact with the created disconnected reality? Any action between the two realities implies some kind of “shared space” of a more fundemental reality, making reality still, in fact, One.

    Somehow, I don’t think this is the right trail to hop down.

    Such a construct answers no questions, and is not a required entailment of a consistent philosophy of God. At the end of the day, there is only One Reality no matter how you slice it, and the creation cannot be independent from the ontology of the creator. I think of the the Root Reality, “God”, as a hyperpersonal Tao, wherein lies all properties and potenia. That pretty much goes as far as one can go with human reason without uttering jibberish and falling victim to the kintergarten theology of anthropomorphism and its offshoots, such as the trinity doctrine.

    Your thoughts?

    –Ram

  169. 169
    zweston says:

    Ram, Regarding the “God of the Hebrew Bible” maybe you should hear Jordan Peterson out on the idea that the Old Testament God isn’t merciful? If you aren’t aware, Peterson isn’t a believer. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRfPlVnFUFM

  170. 170
    zweston says:

    RAm @ 163… I follow what you are saying and don’t have much of a response to it. However, I do think that we are made in the image of God and therefore do reflect and espouse some of his abilities/characteristics. Good counter.

  171. 171
    ram says:

    Zweston: Regarding the “God of the Hebrew Bible” maybe you should hear Jordan Peterson out on the idea that the Old Testament God isn’t merciful?

    I’ve listened to his several of talks on the Hebrew God.

    If you aren’t aware, Peterson isn’t a believer.

    His beliefs seems to me have been evolving over time. Recently he has been labeling himself a mythicist. Biblical stories not literal but having “truths” that are useful to humans. From what I can tell he does lean toward the belief in some kind of higher power. His mythicism views overlap mine, but are not identical. I respect his views. I have a lot of respect for J.P. in general and believe he’s doing very positive work in the world and would enjoy talking with him over a pint.

    –Ram

  172. 172
    Seversky says:

    Zweston/170

    However, I do think that we are made in the image of God and therefore do reflect and espouse some of his abilities/characteristics.

    Okay, but does “image” refer to the physical, psychological, moral or all of the above?

  173. 173
    Querius says:

    William J Murray @142,

    Just to respond to your post . .

    Those are assertions. If I meet a talking, flying tiger and the tiger (or its followers) make assertions that it is God, there’s no rational reason for me to accept those assertions just because a talking, flying tiger is a miracle.

    Yes, they were indeed assertions. They’re based on an understanding that God is not at all like a “flying tiger,” but created all that exists in our universe. As such, it seems that He could not have existed within the space-time of the as-yet-to-be created universe. From science, we can appreciate how incredibly complex, spectacular, and poorly understood this creation is. It’s miraculous that anything should come into existence out of non-existence, perhaps 13.7 billion years ago. Our own experience tells us that snow doesn’t shovel itself, a leaky sink doesn’t evolve into a better one, an iPhone doesn’t assemble itself, an automobile in your driveway doesn’t repair itself, and it’s ridiculous that the universe would create itself, producing functional complexity from random noise no matter how many billions of years have passed.

    The Creator of all this would have a purpose in mind for this creation, but it’s certainly not obvious what that purpose is. While many human religions, philosophers, hucksters, and thinly disguised business ventures claim to know this purpose, the truth somehow has to be revealed beyond just logic, persuasion, and nature. And this truth should be accessible to all, regardless of their intelligence, wealth, social class, skin color, language, gender, education, and so on.

    But to stand out from the crowd of pretenders, there needs to be something convincing for those willing to be convinced. The words that come to my mind include wisdom, miracles, fulfilled prophecies, radically changed lives, reliable writings, evidences, and so on.

    Naturally all pretenders will want to fake these as well. And where do all the fakes come from and the incredible evil that we recognize as different from good?

    We have the testimony and information from several sources, including NDEs, that other such entities exist, so no, it’s not just speculation.

    Dismissing all evidence to the contrary as being the product of deception is circular and/or convenient reasoning.

    That not all sources can be trusted is increasingly obvious from the news. How do you decide what you believe and what you can trust? Everything you see and hear can’t all be true, and there’s a deafening cacophony of messages in society with all kinds of claims clamoring incessantly for your time, your money, your attention, your votes, and your admiration.

    In the presence of so many people completely consumed with intense desire for infinite wealth, absolute power, monomaniacal fame, unlimited sexual activity, unceasing pleasure at the expense of everyone else, and the unleashing of unquenchable hatreds, jealousies, fury, lies and deception, violence for its own sake, and so on, it becomes a serious challenge to find anything good while drowning in all the evil.

    Again, the words that come to my mind include wisdom, miracles, fulfilled prophecies, radically changed lives, reliable writings, evidences, and so on. But I’d also add that the results in a person’s life is the ultimate reveal.

    -Q

  174. 174
    Querius says:

    William J Murray @ 153,

    The potentials didn’t choose a particular God with a particular personality.

    Interestingly, potentials cannot exist outside of time and have no volition. And non-existence has exactly zero potential. Thus, when God created space-time (upon which potentials depend) and everything that exists within space-time, of necessity God did not create everything that could possibly exist . . . otherwise both creation and non-existence would cease.

    But frankly, I don’t think this perspective if helpful. There are potentially an infinite number of William J Murrays and a potential that William J Murray doesn’t exist. We’re left with everything and nothing.

    -Q

  175. 175
    Origenes says:

    WJM: There is no way any being could talk to me, nothing that any being could do, that would convince it was God, because I have no rational way of reaching that conclusion.

    Someone may very well convince me that he is a god. But indeed how can anyone possibly know that he is the one god – the only one? The bible tells us that there is only one god., but what if the number offered would have been 7?
    And even if we, for thomistic ontological reasons, are convinced that only one God can possibly be the First Cause, do we also have a reason to rule out the coming into existence of other powerful god-like beings?

  176. 176
    Querius says:

    Ram @156,

    Yes, in Isaiah 14, the arrogance and fall of the king of Babylon is being compared to that of Lucifer (hê·lêl in Hebrew), which is a title rather than a name to be forgotten. But as you noted, the contempt is clearly being leveled against the king of Babylon, who despite his aspirations is still no more than a human.

    Yes, we should always be sure to read scriptures in context both in the passage itself and in the culture.

    -Q

  177. 177
    Querius says:

    Ram @160,

    Well, if I were you, (and I’m not), I would be cautious about drawing conclusions about the nature of God that’s not explicitly revealed in the Hebrew Bible. After all, it came first.

    Yes, I am. And in addition to the Hebrew text, I also study the pre-Masoretic Greek Septuagint, have needed to reference the Dead Sea Scrolls on occasion, and on a couple of occasions, the Syriac Peshitta.

    I’m not close to fluent in any of these languages, which slows me down significantly. For additional English-language translations, I reference the New American Standard Bible, the English Standard Version, the New International Version, and sometimes other translations to get a better idea of the scope of the various translators.

    The Easy-to-Read Version is surprisingly better than one would imagine and Rabbi Stern’s Complete Jewish Bible is both charming and illuminating. For a large variety of translations in different languages, I’d recommend https://www.biblegateway.com/

    Which reminds me of an old joke among Jews: why did God create Mormons? So that Christians would understand what Jews feel like.

    Yes, I love it! And so Christians can potentially understand Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan (i.e. Mormon).

    -Q

  178. 178
    Querius says:

    Ram @ 163, 164, and 168,

    Nicely stated. I have a few quibbles, but I appreciate the time and thought you put into these posts.

    -Q

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