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brent arnesen

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Who is an expert on God?
« on: August 19, 2010, 11:12:05 am »
Two questions:

1. Who is the leading expert on God living today?
2. Who is the leading expert on Atlantis today?

As an atheist, I wonder because, typically, you have experts who are considered the leading expert in their field, and while they can be fallible, are usually the primary source for any question you might have.

My suspicion is that many people will mention experts on Theology and the Bible, but no expert on God - since God doesn't exist.  The best the Xian can offer is a person well versed in their particular denomination, sect or religion - which doesn't require their religion to be true.  After all, there are experts on Scientology and Mormonism.

Likewise, you might be able to find an expert on the mythology of Atlantis, but not Atlantis itself.

So, who today is an expert on God?

God is not maximally powerful if he lacks the ability to provide the proper evidence of His existence to me.  If I, a mere mortal, can overcome His desire to know me, then He is not God. God the Father? He's not apparent to me!

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Saibomb

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Who is an expert on God?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2010, 01:12:53 pm »
WLC

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Randy Everist

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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2010, 05:49:52 pm »

This isn't supposed to be an argument, is it? If not, that is cool.

"Every great man was thought to be insane before he changed the world. Some never changed the world. They were just insane."

Check out my blog, "Possible Worlds," at http://www.randyeverist.com

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brent arnesen

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Who is an expert on God?
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2010, 07:43:10 pm »
saibomb wrote: WLC
So, we can verify his expertise against competing claims?

We can trust that he knows more about God than another person?  We can assume his claims about God are superior to all others?

What experience does WLC have with God?  How can we verify it?

What makes a person a qualified expert on God?  Is there a licensing exams? A series of tests?  Peer reviewed studies that are reproducible?

Or is it just a personal revelation and conducting debates?
God is not maximally powerful if he lacks the ability to provide the proper evidence of His existence to me.  If I, a mere mortal, can overcome His desire to know me, then He is not God. God the Father? He's not apparent to me!

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brent arnesen

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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2010, 07:44:05 pm »
RandyE wrote:

This isn't supposed to be an argument, is it? If not, that is cool.


It's a question.  A seeking for answers.  A query.  Notice the question marks?

Questioning is allowed, right?  ;-)
God is not maximally powerful if he lacks the ability to provide the proper evidence of His existence to me.  If I, a mere mortal, can overcome His desire to know me, then He is not God. God the Father? He's not apparent to me!

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Randy Everist

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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2010, 08:35:07 pm »
ooberman wrote:
Quote from: RandyE

This isn't supposed to be an argument, is it? If not, that is cool.


It's a question.  A seeking for answers.  A query.  Notice the question marks?

Questioning is allowed, right?  ;-)

Yes. Even pointless ones!

"Every great man was thought to be insane before he changed the world. Some never changed the world. They were just insane."

Check out my blog, "Possible Worlds," at http://www.randyeverist.com

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brent arnesen

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« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2010, 11:01:31 pm »
RandyE wrote:
Quote from: ooberman
Quote from: RandyE

This isn't supposed to be an argument, is it? If not, that is cool.


It's a question.  A seeking for answers.  A query.  Notice the question marks?

Questioning is allowed, right?  ;-)

Yes. Even pointless ones!


My question has a point.  I am wondering how you distinguish an expert on God from a non-expert.  Is that really such a controversial question?

For example, I am not an expert, and I would like to know what an expert says about God.  Is it so pointless to you that I would seek out a person that most theists consider an expert?

So, who is an expert on God and why?  It's a very simple question.

For example, Garry Kasparov is an expert on chess.  Steven Hawking is an expert on Cosmology.

Is it really that hard to name a few people who are experts on God?  How about Deepak Chopra?  Fred Phelps?  WLC?  The Pope?  Bin Laden?  The Ayatollah?  Anthony Flew?  Daniel Dennett?  


Bonus question, can an atheist be an expert on God?  Why or why not?


(BTW, please offer a reason for you answer.  I am noticing theists tend to simply assert answers as if they, themselves are experts.)
God is not maximally powerful if he lacks the ability to provide the proper evidence of His existence to me.  If I, a mere mortal, can overcome His desire to know me, then He is not God. God the Father? He's not apparent to me!

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brent arnesen

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« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2010, 03:40:59 pm »
So am I to understand there are no experts on God?

I wonder, then, how do we determine if a person  knows anything about God?  How can we judge the knowledge of one  theologian against another?  Which theologian has superior knowledge  than his or her peers?  What are some basic questions any expert  theologian should be able to answer about God?  What do secular  universities look for when hiring a theologian to teach theology?  (assuming religious universities choose people to teach their religious brand of God).

What does a believer say when asked how he knows about God?  Whatever he wants?  After all, there don't seem to be any experts to contradict him.
 
These are questions that interest me.


God is not maximally powerful if he lacks the ability to provide the proper evidence of His existence to me.  If I, a mere mortal, can overcome His desire to know me, then He is not God. God the Father? He's not apparent to me!

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brent arnesen

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« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2010, 04:12:06 pm »
Does anyone become an expert by reading (or pondering) a single book (or its derivatives) -- a book that cannot be shown to be truthful or accurate?

One cannot become an expert on dog training by reading / pondering a book -- nor a brain surgeon, nor an airline pilot, nor an architect. So how could anyone become an "expert" regarding as complex a matter as "god" by doing no more than that (and thinking or emoting about it, or discussing the matter with others who are doing the same things)?

Right.  I would never call a guy who has studied the philosophy of chess an expert chess player, though, they might be an expert on the philosophy of chess.

An expert in architecture is one who has studied all aspects of architecture, or, has studied a narrow discipline within architecture (say, Deconstructivism), and is an expert in that area.

Included in that description of expert is an actual interaction with the subject.

My question is to highlight the fact that there are no experts on God.  Just as there are no experts on Atlantis, Bigfoot, Pixies, Unicorns, Elves, etc.

That studying God is to study a mythology: a fabrication of Man's imagination.  And is a branch of philosophy, and perhaps the Arts.

What is sad is that people who declare themselves experts on God in the form of priests and ministers, et al, are simply frauds.  Yes, frauds.  Liars and cheats.

How could they be anything else?  In reality, they know nothing more about God than an expert on Bigfoot.  Their value - I don't disagree they offer some service that is valuable - is in the area of counSELLING.  They are glorified advisors who gain their legimacy through the dogmatic assertion of their organization that an unimpeachable source (God) has validated their authority.  The marketing of the church includes convincing the consumers that their personal development program is not only all the rage, but one that extends into the afterlife. (The afterlife being one of the marketing claims that the government allows them to make, despite the obvious lack of proof.)

If theists balk at this description of their favored Brand, they can apply it to any other cult or religion they feel is inferior and fraudulent.  Scientology, Mormonism, New Age Spiritualism, Chiropracty, or whatever 'religion' a person may cling to, etc. can be seen to incorporate the same snake oil:  making it seem that only through this Brand, can you achieve unadulterated fulfillment in life, and that experts actually exist.

These experts (and this is how you distinguish the woo from the real) are always people who seem to have an uncanny ability to see into the arcane; the occult; the deeply mysterious and hidden wonders that your average person simply can't learn.  The average person must seek out this mystic and empty their mind to accept the "truth" of this so-called expert in order to unlock the mystery of life, the universe and everything.


However, I will be proven wrong about "experts" on God if they can actually show they know more about God than the frauds.

So far, though, in the last, say, 150,000 years, this hasn't been done.
God is not maximally powerful if he lacks the ability to provide the proper evidence of His existence to me.  If I, a mere mortal, can overcome His desire to know me, then He is not God. God the Father? He's not apparent to me!

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Robert Harris

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Who is an expert on God?
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2010, 08:47:16 pm »
There are no experts on God. Humans, even post-resurrection, will probably still not be "experts" on God. That is speculation though.

It is not that He does not exist as you assume why no one can be an expert on Him. At best we can only be experts on what He has revealed about Himself to us.

Your question is a bad question. A better question would be "Who is an expert on the Holy Bible?" That would be a better question because it is what we can know and it is what God gave us to know about Him.

Hm, I suppose another way you could re-phrase your question would be "Who is an expert on what God has revealed about Himself?" But that is largely the same as the first question I re-phrased.

Who needs cable when you can watch Dr. Craig all day long on YouTube?
-ebeatworld

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brent arnesen

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« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2010, 07:24:01 pm »
saibomb wrote: WLC


I didn't realize he knew so much about Atlantis!
God is not maximally powerful if he lacks the ability to provide the proper evidence of His existence to me.  If I, a mere mortal, can overcome His desire to know me, then He is not God. God the Father? He's not apparent to me!

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Cletus Nze

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Who is an expert on God?
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2011, 10:28:41 am »
ooberman wrote: Two questions:

1. Who is the leading expert on God living today?
2. Who is the leading expert on Atlantis today?

As an atheist, I wonder because, typically, you have experts who are considered the leading expert in their field, and while they can be fallible, are usually the primary source for any question you might have.

My suspicion is that many people will mention experts on Theology and the Bible, but no expert on God - since God doesn't exist.  The best the Xian can offer is a person well versed in their particular denomination, sect or religion - which doesn't require their religion to be true.  After all, there are experts on Scientology and Mormonism.

Likewise, you might be able to find an expert on the mythology of Atlantis, but not Atlantis itself.

So, who today is an expert on God?



Why do you perpetually want SOMEONE ELSE to tell you what to think and believe?

The question you ask is a ridiculous one! If you're interested in finding out the truth about ANYTHING, the correct approach is to go an investigate YOURSELF! Seeking the opinions of others on the issue just shows intellectual timidity and immaturity - also cowardice - which leaves you unable to trust your own abilities with regard to determining what is correct. I notice this is a malady from which ALL atheists suffer!

Whether others regard someone as expert on something or not is QUITE IRRELEVANT with regard to determining if he ACTUALLY is! The opinions of others - ANY OTHERS - are no reliable guide to truth! ONLY FACTS and LOGIC are! Even when others tell you the unvarnished truth, you CANNOT know it to be so unless you discover this FOR YOURSELF - BY YOURSELF - PERSONALLY! And so, those confident that what they say to you is the truth and who have your genuine interests at heart, will ALWAYS be anxious that you do not simply take their word for it - but discover this to be the case through your INDEDPENDENT efforts! This ALONE can bring you to CONVICTION that what you have is the truth!

Those who want you to just trust them and not investigate matters for yourself are INVARIABLY con-artists! They seek to deceive you!

What opinions others have offered on who is the leading expert on God are UTTERLY IRRELEVANT! If you wish to find this Expert, you have to seek him out YOURSELF!

By the way, how do you know that Atlantis can neveer be found? Is this just based on your atheistic BLIND FAITH - or do you have ANY facts and logic to back up this ludicrous claim?


Pursue Truth - with rigour and vigour!

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Cletus Nze

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Who is an expert on God?
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2011, 10:33:41 am »
ooberman wrote:
Quote from: saibomb
WLC
So, we can verify his expertise against competing claims?

We can trust that he knows more about God than another person?  We can assume his claims about God are superior to all others?

What experience does WLC have with God?  How can we verify it?

What makes a person a qualified expert on God?  Is there a licensing exams? A series of tests?  Peer reviewed studies that are reproducible?

Or is it just a personal revelation and conducting debates?


This is just DRIVEL masquerading as logical argumentation! Do you even have ANY IDEA what YOU MEAN by the Word "God"? Or are you just gibbering like some ape about a topic about which you're UTTERLY IGNORANT?

How about YOU present what YOU think is the proper yardstick for measuring how much one knows about God? If you can't do that, what makes you think you're able to understanding ANYTHING about this topic? Where would you start? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaahah!
Pursue Truth - with rigour and vigour!

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jayceeii

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Re: Who is an expert on God?
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2020, 11:51:56 am »
saibomb wrote WLC

So, we can verify his expertise against competing claims?
We can trust that he knows more about God than another person?  We can assume his claims about God are superior to all others?
What experience does WLC have with God?  How can we verify it?
What makes a person a qualified expert on God?  Is there a licensing exams? A series of tests?  Peer reviewed studies that are reproducible?
Or is it just a personal revelation and conducting debates?
jc: The question, “Who is an expert on God?” is a great one that should be asked more often. The answer is that today there are no openly teaching experts on God, nor have there been throughout history. Preachers educate themselves at seminaries about what the prophets gave to them, but this amounts to mere book-learning from a material context. They’ve learned what was said, but what was said was not true guidance, instead trickery.

ba: So, we can verify his expertise against competing claims?

jc: In general it takes a knower or cognoscente, to recognize another knower or cognoscente. However it is also possible through intricate argumentation to demonstration when someone clearly does not know, but is merely making up ideas as he finds these bring listeners to him. The preachers have a ready-made plot to draw listeners.

WLC can be verified to be a hidden knower, though at present not knowing that he knows, himself. This can be done once the true story is known, whereupon it is possible to see WLC also knows this story, but is generating his teaching by a sophisticated process of diversion and “dumbing down,” intended for a cantankerous human audience.

ba: We can trust that he knows more about God than another person?

jc: The qualifications of a knower can be verified, but not to the satisfaction of doubters. The reason is that it takes actual spiritual experience, before the higher principles are known to be real. Before then as the mind attempts to turn to metaphysics it goes wild, accepting any theory and doubting any truth. One cannot think beyond one’s experience.

At the same time, Craig is not yet in a position to provide true guidance. To present a convincing story he’s needed to believe it himself. He’d have to awaken to his real activity, though this would mean abandoning whatever mission he’d been on before. And once he awakened, he’d find big barriers to presenting the full truth to a human audience.

ba: We can assume his claims about God are superior to all others?

jc: Craig knows what he says is true, though his arguments are not fully logical. He’s pushing Christianity as far as it can be pushed, but it can’t be pushed farther since it’s a lie. Craig knows God exists, he knows the angels and Heaven exist, but he’s using a higher form of knowledge to carve a story from the truth that will appeal to humanity.

One place this is seen is his leap to the idea it was a Person that made the cosmos. Actually he knows in a different way that this is so, though his Kalam argument fails. When you find someone knowing certainly God exists, and moreover demonstrating knowledge of divine properties, this is one of the proofs you’re dealing with authority.

ba: What experience does WLC have with God?

jc: Jesus said no one goes to the Invisible God except through Him, so if WLC has experience of God it would have to be meeting the Lord. However once established in self-awareness, he should be able to see God’s powers as the Holy Spirit acting upon the human race. Knowing the limits of man one sees God must be there if these are exceeded.

ba: How can we verify it?

jc: This can only be verified by the wise. Though the Christians trumpet proudly that the Holy Spirit enters their minds, in general humans are too insensitive to feel that this is occurring. It can be quite stunning once this is observed, since the entrance of the Holy Spirit into a human mind is vivifying and powerful, though not effective at stopping sin.

ba: What makes a person a qualified expert on God?

jc: Once the soul is seen and known, the Lord can be recognized as not possessing a created soul. The more the Lord is seen and studied, the more God’s properties are deduced. The degree of expertise depends on the soul’s age and power. More ancient souls are better experts, but discovering the nature of God is not their sole occupation.

ba: Is there a licensing exams?

jc: These qualifications cannot be bound by standards humans could comprehend. Indeed, the trouble of the priesthood is denying the living prophets while studying scripture that gets more and more dead with each passing century. WLC could be a frustrated prophet, having had much more to give, but finding his audience limits him.

ba: A series of tests? 

jc: There are many tests by which the wise are known, and humans fail every one. Even to mention these tests risks persecution, but in general there is a far greater social awareness and power, as well as what Jesus said of those who see God, a pure heart. Humans were not challenged by religion, although these tests reveal their limitations.

ba: Peer reviewed studies that are reproducible?

jc: Merton is another cognoscente, and chances are WLC already recognizes him as such. Aquinas was a knower, but not Augustine. The sages are able to recognize one another. If two are found interacting, they can be seen to support one another’s missions in secret ways. A study of this discourse is revealing, as each is found “fragmenting” the full truth.

ba: Or is it just a personal revelation and conducting debates?

jc: WLC has succeeded in impressing a certain fraction of the Christian crowd, but they would abandon him did he claim the status of a prophet and really try to push things forward. Talking about his stature I’m expecting to be ignored, and I’m not trying to interfere with Craig’s mission, only wondering if he could have a larger role in history.

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jayceeii

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Re: Who is an expert on God?
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2020, 07:38:02 am »
Does anyone become an expert by reading (or pondering) a single book (or its derivatives) -- a book that cannot be shown to be truthful or accurate?
One cannot become an expert on dog training by reading / pondering a book -- nor a brain surgeon, nor an airline pilot, nor an architect. So how could anyone become an "expert" regarding as complex a matter as "god" by doing no more than that (and thinking or emoting about it, or discussing the matter with others who are doing the same things)?

Right.  I would never call a guy who has studied the philosophy of chess an expert chess player, though, they might be an expert on the philosophy of chess.
An expert in architecture is one who has studied all aspects of architecture, or, has studied a narrow discipline within architecture (say, Deconstructivism), and is an expert in that area.
Included in that description of expert is an actual interaction with the subject.
My question is to highlight the fact that there are no experts on God.  Just as there are no experts on Atlantis, Bigfoot, Pixies, Unicorns, Elves, etc.
That studying God is to study a mythology: a fabrication of Man's imagination.  And is a branch of philosophy, and perhaps the Arts.
What is sad is that people who declare themselves experts on God in the form of priests and ministers, et al, are simply frauds.  Yes, frauds.  Liars and cheats.
How could they be anything else?  In reality, they know nothing more about God than an expert on Bigfoot.  Their value - I don't disagree they offer some service that is valuable - is in the area of counSELLING.  They are glorified advisors who gain their legimacy through the dogmatic assertion of their organization that an unimpeachable source (God) has validated their authority.  The marketing of the church includes convincing the consumers that their personal development program is not only all the rage, but one that extends into the afterlife. (The afterlife being one of the marketing claims that the government allows them to make, despite the obvious lack of proof.)
If theists balk at this description of their favored Brand, they can apply it to any other cult or religion they feel is inferior and fraudulent.  Scientology, Mormonism, New Age Spiritualism, Chiropracty, or whatever 'religion' a person may cling to, etc. can be seen to incorporate the same snake oil:  making it seem that only through this Brand, can you achieve unadulterated fulfillment in life, and that experts actually exist.
These experts (and this is how you distinguish the woo from the real) are always people who seem to have an uncanny ability to see into the arcane; the occult; the deeply mysterious and hidden wonders that your average person simply can't learn.  The average person must seek out this mystic and empty their mind to accept the "truth" of this so-called expert in order to unlock the mystery of life, the universe and everything.

However, I will be proven wrong about "experts" on God if they can actually show they know more about God than the frauds.
So far, though, in the last, say, 150,000 years, this hasn't been done.
ba: Does anyone become an expert by reading (or pondering) a single book (or its derivatives) -- a book that cannot be shown to be truthful or accurate?

jc: Verily, every religious tome is in this category, failing to be truthful or accurate, yet the preachers and commentators still move in, falsely believing themselves empowered. The reason this can happen is that none has experience of spirit, therefore none is capable of authentic metaphysical ideation. Ten thousand theories appear, where is not one fact.

ba: One cannot become an expert on dog training by reading / pondering a book -- nor a brain surgeon, nor an airline pilot, nor an architect. So how could anyone become an "expert" regarding as complex a matter as "god" by doing no more than that (and thinking or emoting about it, or discussing the matter with others who are doing the same things)?

jc: In these worldly occupations one becomes an expert by reading many books (taking many classes), so the analogy is faulty, making a presumption one could become an expert on God if there were only more books or classes. Becoming an expert on the physical is not analogous to becoming an expert on the metaphysical. The souls only become experts on the metaphysical one way, which is gaining self-experience as spirit.

The comment is correct to assail the preachers for reading just this one inaccurate book, then thinking and emoting about it, as well as discussing it with others at seminaries. But it is incorrect to posit that a similar education system could be put into place, like those whereby one enters varied worldly professions. The complaint is righteous, but the basis of the complaint is false, comparing two things in the world, not looking above the world.

ba: Right.  I would never call a guy who has studied the philosophy of chess an expert chess player, though, they might be an expert on the philosophy of chess.

jc: The mind is still struggling with worldly analogies, here apparently contradicting itself by admitting the philosophy or theology of God might be learned through books. One could say this analogy is not analogous to the others, and is introduced sloppily. The argument was not about becoming divine, but about becoming an expert on God. It’s true only those who become divine can be experts on God, but this is beyond the stated case. He seems to be trying to let the analogies speak for themselves, but fails to show mastery.

ba: An expert in architecture is one who has studied all aspects of architecture, or, has studied a narrow discipline within architecture (say, Deconstructivism), and is an expert in that area.

jc: Yes, to become a worldly expert one studies many books, and/or takes many classes. The fields are complex, and this complexity must be approached over an extended period.

ba: Included in that description of expert is an actual interaction with the subject.

jc: No. Some fields require practice, like surgery or dog training, but not architecture. The architect learns and tells his story through paper, that construction workers carry out. Interaction with the subject is required in some fields, not all, and much can be known about God without interacting with the Lord. Upon investigating the soul, one learns about the Maker’s goodness and wisdom. Without the Lord, though, personality is lost.

ba: My question is to highlight the fact that there are no experts on God.

jc: He here admits his argumentation to be circular, that he is already presuming the conclusion. There are experts on God, but none that have openly taught before now.

ba: Just as there are no experts on Atlantis, Bigfoot, Pixies, Unicorns, Elves, etc.

jc: He is again letting his analogies speak for him, failing to show appropriate discrimination. His argument has become that God is a fantasy, but he is unaware his focus has changed. If God is a fantasy there can be no experts on God, and we learn he was not honestly asking if there are experts on God. His mind is closed on the subject. If his mind were more powerful he’d see immediately there is a large raft of consequences to come if God is a fantasy, including his eternal death, not just that there are no experts.

ba: That studying God is to study a mythology: a fabrication of Man's imagination.  And is a branch of philosophy, and perhaps the Arts.

jc: Well, this is a harsh stance, he’s dismissing philosophy and art as fantasy too. He’s also saying that no matter how hard he tried, his own philosophy, his own ideas about who he is and why he is here, must be limited to fantasy. This is solipsism, the idea there is no external reality that can be contacted. I’d have called this a form of mindlessness, and you can see how unfriendly and even hostile this is. Yet he is not looking for friends.

ba: What is sad is that people who declare themselves experts on God in the form of priests and ministers, et al, are simply frauds.  Yes, frauds.  Liars and cheats.

jc: These remarks are true, and this is why I thought the post to be interesting. What’s sadder still is that the priests and ministers do not know themselves to be liars and cheats. To themselves they feel knowledgeable and righteous, and this is the ego’s self-deception, a double wall against the prophets or true authorities who should be leading. They not only do not know, they do not know they do not know, the double bind of spiritual ignorance. Thinking they know, their ideas become obstacles to real knowledge.

ba: How could they be anything else? 

jc: This is hand-waving. He’s merely stating an opinion or private dislike of his. He also won’t accept an answer to this question, thinking the idea of a true authority to be absurd. It can be answered. There is a “how,” though in general the preachers are false teachers, the blind leading the other blind into a pit. The “how” this can occur, isn’t in religion yet.

ba: In reality, they know nothing more about God than an expert on Bigfoot.

jc: Again, his argument has become the trivial one that he believes God to be fantasy therefore there can be no experts, as he fails to notice the raft of other consequences including the certainty of his annihilation at death. He’s unable to think of annihilation, an irrational entity failing to long for eternal continuance, not enjoying his life deeply.

ba: Their value - I don't disagree they offer some service that is valuable - is in the area of counSELLING.  They are glorified advisors who gain their legitimacy through the dogmatic assertion of their organization that an unimpeachable source (God) has validated their authority.  The marketing of the church includes convincing the consumers that their personal development program is not only all the rage, but one that extends into the afterlife. (The afterlife being one of the marketing claims that the government allows them to make, despite the obvious lack of proof.)

jc: These are all true remarks, and it’s about all the religions, not only Christianity. Yet the whole story is not told thereby. We haven’t seen what the governments of the world would have looked like, had religion not been introduced. The preachers have their uses. They enter the ministry from selfish motives, often to draw attention to themselves and to feel in power over others, but their effect is generally one of stabilizing the larger society.

ba: If theists balk at this description of their favored Brand, they can apply it to any other cult or religion they feel is inferior and fraudulent.  Scientology, Mormonism, New Age Spiritualism, Chiropracty, or whatever 'religion' a person may cling to, etc. can be seen to incorporate the same snake oil:  making it seem that only through this Brand, can you achieve unadulterated fulfillment in life, and that experts actually exist.

jc: Again, these are all true remarks. Though the preachers are not experts, though they’ve only studied an inaccurate book and hobnobbed with others who studied it, there is still a possibility of experts who have not yet shown themselves openly. A fatal flaw of Christianity is denying the possibility of further prophets, which renders the priesthood detached from reality and the religion essentially dead. Ba faults the preachers correctly for a faulty book, then he faults them incorrectly for a fantasy God. A mind audacious enough to throw down the whole priesthood ought to suspect something greater is afoot.

ba: These experts (and this is how you distinguish the woo from the real) are always people who seem to have an uncanny ability to see into the arcane; the occult; the deeply mysterious and hidden wonders that your average person simply can't learn.  The average person must seek out this mystic and empty their mind to accept the "truth" of this so-called expert in order to unlock the mystery of life, the universe and everything.

jc: These statements are the case about the gurus, but not the preachers, who generally claim to be fallible men, though like all men failing to see the exact nature of their fallibility. Christianity accepts that anyone can become a preacher through the seminary. Yet all these humans are united in a rebellion against the Living God. The theists approach a faulty idea of the Deity, in essence erecting mental idols to themselves. Gurus say they’ve reached union with God within, while demonstrating the usual greedy traits.

ba: However, I will be proven wrong about "experts" on God if they can actually show they know more about God than the frauds.

jc: He here drops his interim argument that God is a fantasy, generating an intriguing statement. There are some, WLC included, already showing authentic knowledge of God. In general the separation has to be between selfish and selfless individuals, who have traits usually the reverse. Someone with self-awareness as spirit and knowledge of God will be capable of a radically different lifestyle, one that has never even been envisioned.

ba: So far, though, in the last, say, 150,000 years, this hasn't been done.

jc: I usually say “ all history,” and so far ba is not doing anything to change this situation.