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Christian Particularism

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Michael John

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The Key to it All
« on: July 05, 2019, 10:24:37 am »
In my opinion, the key to understanding the tenets of the Christian faith is this:

Jesus suffered for the cause of love and proved sincerely devoted to righteousness.
It seems his whole life was designed for that  purpose. Therefore,...

God raised him from the dead because God rewards faithfulness. Therefore,...

Jesus will come again and rule on earth. He is worthy of it because he proved devoted to righteousness. Therefore,...

All peoples will be judged by how they respond to him.

All the rest of mankind are seen as sinners in comparison with his virtue.

But we can redeem ourselves by believing in him. Yes, it says something about your intentions if you find it in your heart to love and appreciate sincere devotion to doing good. 

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jayceeii

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Re: The Key to it All
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2019, 05:09:06 pm »
You have restated the formula that drives Christianity and has mesmerized billions, in the proverbial nutshell. The trouble with this formula is that it requires an imaginary God to fulfill the obligations. The God that is real doesn't have this kind of power, either to save humans or to put them into a better mode of life. Even could He do so, it might not be in their best interests. Souls are meant to gain wisdom.

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Michael John

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Re: The Key to it All
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2019, 11:07:26 am »
...The God that is real doesn't have this kind of power, either to save humans or to put them into a better mode of life. ...
You seem to be thinking that God only maintains consistency between objective facts in the world, but thoughts and intentions and faith are not "facts in the world" to be taken into account. In that case, I think you are mistaken. Thoughts and intentions and beliefs are the very thing that causes humans to act and do deeds in the world. They have causative power; therefore, they are just as real as a rock which causes another rock to change its course. So the God of creation is taking our intentions and beliefs into account as well.

What you seem to be looking for is the causative mechanism that faith has to change things. How can faith "move mountains" or cause healing or resurrections? So this begs the question, what is faith? Faith is a set of beliefs about reality. And each belief is a proposition that describes a part of the world. And the measure of faith is its internal consistency and its correlation with what's real. And we are always in the process of perfecting our faith, whether we are a priest or a scientist.

So faith is a construct, a mental construct about reality. And as such it has a certain amount of entropy. If you think that your thoughts and beliefs do not have any real, measurable structure, then you are negating the validity of your own ideas. That's a self contradiction. And like entropy in physics, the more varied the places or consequences your faith can take you, the larger the entropy. If your faith implies just about anything, then it's not very helpful in deciding what to do.

So whether priest or scientist we are working to reduce the entropy and uncertainty in our minds, and so we are working to reduce the overall entropy in the world. So if faith alone can change physical reality, then I think there must be a principle of conservation of information at work in the world. There must be a limit on the rate of increase of entropy. This is suggested by the holographic principle, that what happens in a volume of space is limited by what can happen on a surface surrounding it. And I assume there cannot be more entropy on a surface than what's in the volume simply because the surface occupies less space.

So if we are able to reduce the entropy in our beliefs, the rest of the universe will follow suit lest there be too large a change in entropy. We try to reduce the confusion and entropy of our minds; would that not effect our bodies and surroundings as well? If our attempt to reduce uncertainty in our minds had no effect on the world, then it would have no survival value, and we wouldn't bother to understand anything.

Yes, of course these issues need more work. But I offer these ideas as a start.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2019, 11:31:29 am by Michael John »

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jayceeii

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Re: The Key to it All
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2019, 02:28:24 pm »
You seem to be thinking that God only maintains consistency between objective facts in the world, but thoughts and intentions and faith are not "facts in the world" to be taken into account. In that case,
No, I am saying that what the Christians expect are just not things the real God can possibly do. He doesn’t have the power. For instance, you don’t have the power to leap to the top of a tall building. God doesn’t have the power to fulfill the formula Paul made up.

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Michael John

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Re: The Key to it All
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2019, 04:31:27 pm »
No, I am saying that what the Christians expect are just not things the real God can possibly do. He doesn’t have the power. For instance, you don’t have the power to leap to the top of a tall building. God doesn’t have the power to fulfill the formula Paul made up.

God can bring a whole universe into being when before there was none. What are you talking about? Just because we haven't seen the things predicted yet does not mean they are impossible. Consider the things attributed to the power of God, creation, life, faith, hope, healing, resurrection, and a new heaven and earth. These are all lower entropy states. Miracles might be more believable if we can attribute them to some principle of nature that puts a limit on entropy. Now consider how these miracles occur: sinners must humble themselves and repent before they can find a new hope for the future. People must suffer sickness before they are healed. Jesus was crucified before he was raised. Many will die in the judgement at the resurrection of all the saints. And the present heavens and earth must pass away before the new heavens and earth will come. All these suggest that entropy cannot simply destroy everything without limit. It also suggest some standard of consistency being applied to who receives these miracles.


« Last Edit: July 06, 2019, 04:33:25 pm by Michael John »

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jayceeii

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Re: The Key to it All
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2019, 01:24:24 pm »
What are you talking about?
One of us is correct, and one of us is incorrect. Either God can do all the things Paul says will be done, or God cannot do those things. Unfortunately Christianity does some heavy hand waving whereby the adherents feel justified to deny the findings of science in the last few centuries, from a little ancient poetry. There are some Christians who do accept that it has taken five billion years to bring Earth to its present state, starting with single-cell organisms. However these Christians have not noticed this disproves the miracle of the loaves and fishes. If the Lord can create a fish out of thin air, then imbue it with life as in a resurrection event, the entire evolution could have been bypassed. God is proved weak initially when worlds are created, and is only seen to be strong once the bodies have been generated.

You have also without due cause or any profound reflection, repainted another of God's weaknesses as a strength, since the pathogens, viruses and parasites must be understood as God's evident failure on the microscopic level. Only the predators can be understood as a result of God's direct creation, as animals feed on animals. God has also been weak in preventing war among the humans, or in ending poverty. You can argue these are human-generated problems, but I'd point out the Bible gives no explicit instruction as to the cause of these problems, and how humans can overcome or bypass them. God has many great powers, but Christianity has been in dreadful error imagining God can do anything He likes. In particular it is obvious He could not make men in His own image, i.e. able to cooperate well.

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Michael John

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Re: The Key to it All
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2019, 07:17:10 pm »
...Unfortunately Christianity does some heavy hand waving whereby the adherents feel justified to deny the findings of science in the last few centuries, from a little ancient poetry...
Science is not equipped to state any necessary laws or to deny any possibilities. For science is just an attempt to reverse engineer the workings of the universe. Science does not even pretend to have derived or discerned the ultimate laws of nature by which all things must necessarily operate. All science attempts to do is find increasingly more accurate approximations to observations it has so far observed. But it does not answer why the universe operates according to the laws they use. And it does not state that any of the laws are logically necessary.

Science is not derived from logic such that any of it's conclusions is beyond dispute. And since science is not based on any necessary premises, no absolute consequences can be drawn or relied upon.

Do you want to know how bad it is? Some scientists even think it possible that the universe could undergo a new round of inflation like at the big bang, where the false vacuum we have now could fall into a more stable state, creating in effect new particles and new laws of physics that they are not quite sure of. Perhaps this is what happens at the coming of the new heavens and earth.

Scientists say the whole universe came into being through a quantum mechanical fluctuation, that a new universe could come into being from a fluctuation. If you like, I think that's what miracles are, a quantum mechanical fluctuation to preserve the overall certainty and information in the universe. But science is not in the realm of proof; it's in the realm of probabilities of statistical data points.

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jayceeii

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Re: The Key to it All
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2019, 01:13:35 pm »
Science is not derived from logic such that any of it's conclusions is beyond dispute. And since science is not based on any necessary premises, no absolute consequences can be drawn or relied upon.
Certain paths are denied to certain minds. This response is not unexpected. The Christian mind is noted for its deep and entrenched superstition, relying blindly on ancient scripture with no significant mental function to make connections to the realities science is unveiling, for the faith is a matter of pretending, not actual belief in a living Deity. Let me state explicitly what you never got around to in four major hand waving paragraphs. You believe God made the Earth in seven days, taking the poetry from the Bible literally.

Not that you’d care, but the reason I said Christians are making a dreadful error is that a belief God can make worlds at the snap of His fingers might put them at enmity with God, if in fact the science is correct and it’s taken five billion years to bring Earth to its present state. Christians may end up being God’s foremost enemies, because of their decision to treat this planet as “disposable,” thinking they have somewhere else to go. It won’t impress God that you flatter Him by presuming infinite power, as you run afoul of His actual power and what He can really do. You deny science. I do not. Where is God?

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Michael John

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Re: The Key to it All
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2019, 04:06:18 pm »
Let me state explicitly what you never got around to in four major hand waving paragraphs. You believe God made the Earth in seven days, taking the poetry from the Bible literally.

You deny science. I do not. Where is God?

My arguments relied on the validity of the big bang, which is 14 billion years ago. Yet you accuse me of believing in a literal 6 days of creation. That's just disrespectful. You write disparagingly about the "Christian mind". This is just anti-christian bigotry. How would you know what the "Christian mind" is like? It sounds like you've had a bad personal experience with individuals who call themselves Christian.  You need to set that aside and address the issues.

Go back and actually read my responses. You'll see that I do not deny science. In fact I think there are reliable principles that allow for miracles (the conservation of information  -  the assertion that faith and intentions carry physical information). Science at present cannot even define consciousness. So it cannot say where it comes from or where it is going or what physical effects it might have.

So do you think that science tells us that consciousness ends at death? Think again. Either there is life after death or there is not. There is no middle ground. And science cannot tell us about what is not observable. You cannot observe that your consciousness has cease to exist. That is a blatant contradiction of terms. The theory that you cease to exist after death is inherently unobservable. And inherent contradictions are automatically ruled out by logic. The only alternative is that there is life after death. That is the ONLY observable (scientific) alternative.

The only question left is what happens after death. How does your life here have consequences to your existence there? If you live your life here as if there are no consequences to face, then you go there being WRONG! Dead wrong! It will only be seen that your faith is inconsistent with your existence there. And you spend eternity suffering the results of being wrong and inconsistent. And visa versa too.

« Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 04:09:45 pm by Michael John »

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Michael John

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Re: The Key to it All
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2019, 08:31:53 am »
Some may say that you are no more conscious after death than you are before you were born. But that's just asserting the conclusion without proof; it's a faith statement, nothing more. Yes, we can observe facts that happened before we were born, but we cannot observe facts after consciousness ends. So you inherently cannot observe evidence that you've cease to exist.

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jayceeii

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Re: The Key to it All
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2019, 01:40:01 pm »
Let me state explicitly what you never got around to in four major hand waving paragraphs. You believe God made the Earth in seven days, taking the poetry from the Bible literally.

You deny science. I do not. Where is God?

My arguments relied on the validity of the big bang, which is 14 billion years ago. Yet you accuse me of believing in a literal 6 days of creation. That's just disrespectful. You write disparagingly about the "Christian mind". This is just anti-christian bigotry. How would you know what the "Christian mind" is like? It sounds like you've had a bad personal experience with individuals who call themselves Christian.  You need to set that aside and address the issues.

Go back and actually read my responses. You'll see that I do not deny science. In fact I think there are reliable principles that allow for miracles (the conservation of information  -  the assertion that faith and intentions carry physical information). Science at present cannot even define consciousness. So it cannot say where it comes from or where it is going or what physical effects it might have.

So do you think that science tells us that consciousness ends at death? Think again. Either there is life after death or there is not. There is no middle ground. And science cannot tell us about what is not observable. You cannot observe that your consciousness has cease to exist. That is a blatant contradiction of terms. The theory that you cease to exist after death is inherently unobservable. And inherent contradictions are automatically ruled out by logic. The only alternative is that there is life after death. That is the ONLY observable (scientific) alternative.

The only question left is what happens after death. How does your life here have consequences to your existence there? If you live your life here as if there are no consequences to face, then you go there being WRONG! Dead wrong! It will only be seen that your faith is inconsistent with your existence there. And you spend eternity suffering the results of being wrong and inconsistent. And visa versa too.
mj: My arguments relied on the validity of the big bang, which is 14 billion years ago. Yet you accuse me of believing in a literal 6 days of creation. That's just disrespectful.

jc: mj was asked to admit it took God 5 billion years to make this planet, but he diverts the subject since his mind cannot confront this truth and its consequence, that God does not intend to obliterate this planet at Judgment and make a new one with a finger snap, as the Christian community believes. He accuses me of being disrespectful simply for relating facts but is unable to demonstrate a mind rational enough to meld the current science with his Christian beliefs. I haven’t seen a person that I could learn to respect.

mj: You write disparagingly about the "Christian mind". This is just anti-christian bigotry. How would you know what the "Christian mind" is like?

jc: mj is totally unable to leave the Christian superstition that God can make worlds in a finger snap. Bigotry requires a crowd, and I’m the only one on Earth who sees this today. On the contrary, mj and his Christian cronies are in a position to persecute against the lone voice no one wants to hear. The Christians cannot be moved from their superstition.

mj:  It sounds like you've had a bad personal experience with individuals who call themselves Christian.  You need to set that aside and address the issues.

jc: I’m having one right now, confronting a mind that cannot face the truths of science. I have not seen any light in any Christian mind. All are in torrential darkness, following ancient scripture without any facility to appreciate God’s real miracles science is finding.

mj: Go back and actually read my responses. You'll see that I do not deny science.

jc: This appears to be an agreement that science shows God has an immense interest in protecting this planet and preserving it for the future generations. Except mj won’t agree.

mj: In fact I think there are reliable principles that allow for miracles (the conservation of information  -  the assertion that faith and intentions carry physical information).

jc: Here’s more deep superstition, amounting to belief in occult powers given to humans. I deny the miracles of Jesus, in favor of the real miracles of fine planet and superb bodies.

mj: Science at present cannot even define consciousness.

jc: Nor can religion, mj as its spokesperson in particular. Nor has spirit been defined. Nor does anyone care. Nor would anyone listen if an authority appeared who knew about it.

mj: So it cannot say where it comes from or where it is going or what physical effects it might have.

jc: mj doesn’t know any of these things either, nor does he care, nor would he listen. These are plain facts about this individual. The Christian mind is closed to authorities.

mj: So do you think that science tells us that consciousness ends at death? Think again.

jc: He’s completely changed the subject without noticing! The reason is that his mind has no response if I speak of real planet and real God. He’s imagining a foe here, not seeing me. My point, again, is that science tells us it took God five billion years to bring Earth to its current state. The slowness of evolution disproves Jesus’ miracle of loaves and fishes.

mj: Either there is life after death or there is not. There is no middle ground. And science cannot tell us about what is not observable. You cannot observe that your consciousness has cease to exist. That is a blatant contradiction of terms. The theory that you cease to exist after death is inherently unobservable. And inherent contradictions are automatically ruled out by logic. The only alternative is that there is life after death. That is the ONLY observable (scientific) alternative.

jc: This is completely off track, and is a symptom of minds unable to face the realities of soul and planet, where people are merely pretending to be good. mj does not share God’s concern over the well-being of planet Earth and its future citizens. He demands that God honor Christians who treat this planet as disposable, rather than taking them for enemies.

At the same time as it is off track, this argument has no merits. The secular scientists are not saying they know certainly there is no life after death, only that they see no evidence. From my perspective there are deeper woes, since only shallow souls feel no remorse over such statements. Better and more joyful souls feel keenly the threat of eternal death.

mj: The only question left is what happens after death. How does your life here have consequences to your existence there? If you live your life here as if there are no consequences to face, then you go there being WRONG! Dead wrong! It will only be seen that your faith is inconsistent with your existence there. And you spend eternity suffering the results of being wrong and inconsistent. And visa versa too.

jc: mj appears to have identified me as a potential convert, which is a bit hilarious. He carries no one on his argument, since he hasn’t pointed to an inherent contradiction logic could rule out. This is called discrimination, to pierce more and more deeply into questions, but mj’s mind peters out, unable to sort through a stack of vague notions. This isn’t only a game about being right or wrong, which is another deep fault in Christianity. It’s a matter of the quality of personality, social presence, cooperativeness and the like, none of which made it into that religion since it is not a place human minds can function.

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jayceeii

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Re: The Key to it All
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2019, 01:58:23 pm »
Some may say that you are no more conscious after death than you are before you were born. But that's just asserting the conclusion without proof; it's a faith statement, nothing more. Yes, we can observe facts that happened before we were born, but we cannot observe facts after consciousness ends. So you inherently cannot observe evidence that you've cease to exist.
Mj appears to be in a tangle that could be resolved by clear thinking, but words are of little avail against some. In general debate among humans is like bulls crashing heads. Neither gives an inch, both leave feeling victorious, but both reveal their minds to be prejudicial and not logical in nature. Perhaps some are claiming there is no consciousness after death, but in general scientists are saying they don’t know and pointing out the religionists don’t know either. To know what you do not know is part of knowledge too, and here the scientists are more logical than the religionists, though their hearts are cold.