Christianity and Anti-intellectualism:

Joined
Jul 20, 2019
Messages
793
Likes
581
#21
We have views and we talk about them, I don’t see that as forcing anyone we are just talking to people like everyone else here does.
You like to elevate yourself in your ivory tower pretending to have correct beliefs but are unable to discuss how your beliefs work, why you believe what you believe, where your beliefs come from, what the meanings of your beliefs are, how everyone else is wrong, and so forth.
Surely if you held either true beliefs or beliefs that you felt a sense of genuine truth from, my asking of questions such as the ones I have would not be a threat to you, you would not constantly try to smear me and paint me as your antichrist.
Christianity could very well be true but we're still at the level of trying to work out why a man could be God or what Protestantism actually gets right or wrong about Christianity, we're still at the point where believing in Jesus hasn't been shown to be more rational than believing in a pink unicorn in the garage. Do you still not see the problem?
 





Lisa

Superstar
Joined
Mar 13, 2017
Messages
7,857
Likes
3,851
#22
You like to elevate yourself in your ivory tower pretending to have correct beliefs but are unable to discuss how your beliefs work, why you believe what you believe, where your beliefs come from, what the meanings of your beliefs are, how everyone else is wrong, and so forth.
Surely if you held either true beliefs or beliefs that you felt a sense of genuine truth from, my asking of questions such as the ones I have would not be a threat to you, you would not constantly try to smear me and paint me as your antichrist.
Christianity could very well be true but we're still at the level of trying to work out why a man could be God or what Protestantism actually gets right or wrong about Christianity, we're still at the point where believing in Jesus hasn't been shown to be more rational than believing in a pink unicorn in the garage. Do you still not see the problem?
Yes I already knew the problem, you don’t believe, don’t know how to believe and so you can’t understand how Christianity works. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, not rationalize it to death and you will be saved. You are trying to fit it into a mold you have and you have the wrong mold.
scripture says ...
Proverbs‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭
Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.
You want faith to be like you think it should be when faith is like God says it is.
 





Joined
Jul 20, 2019
Messages
793
Likes
581
#23
Yes I already knew the problem, you don’t believe, don’t know how to believe and so you can’t understand how Christianity works.
So you're telling me that somebody went up to you when you were an Atheist and just said "Hey, you should believe in the religion of Protestant Christianity, it's entirely true and Jesus is your Lord and savior"
And you, just replied "Yes, I accept Jesus as my Lord and savior" and that was it?
 





Lisa

Superstar
Joined
Mar 13, 2017
Messages
7,857
Likes
3,851
#24
So you're telling me that somebody went up to you when you were an Atheist and just said "Hey, you should believe in the religion of Protestant Christianity, it's entirely true and Jesus is your Lord and savior"
And you, just replied "Yes, I accept Jesus as my Lord and savior" and that was it?
I don’t think I was ever an atheist that I can remember actually. When I was a little kid I went to church a few times where I learned about Jesus. I grew up knowing that there was a God called Jesus though I never went to a church after that while I lived in my parents home.

I was going to go to my aunts catholic church when I lived with her and might have become a catholic then because I didn’t know any better. I just wanted to learn more about Jesus. But things happened and I moved back in with my parents, met my husband and started going to a church a co worked invited me to. And I’ve always felt like God had a hand in my not going to that catholic church and steering me to the truth where I learned about God. I read His word straight through a few times, did many studies in different books, was in prayer groups and taught good news clubs and Sunday school. You don’t have to believe me when I say I know what I’m talking about, but I do know what I’m talking about.
 





Joined
Mar 18, 2017
Messages
3,540
Likes
7,139
#25
If mainstream Christianity isn't willing to be truthful about these subjects, I think we'll see a continued decline of the church in the West. REAL faith is not blind.
I think, a decline of all form of spirituality is correlated with an highly materialistic environment were worldly matters tend to be deified. I've heard atheists irl saying my god is my money or my well being. Apostasy in the west has nothing to do with a lack of 'intellectual' Christianity.
“Secularization does not mean a decline in the need for religion, but only a loss of power by traditional denominations. Studies of the geography of religion show that where the churches become weak, cults and occultism explode to fill the spiritual vacuum.”

–William Sims BainBridge “Religions for a Galactic Civilization”

I think you also meant decline in religiosity rather than spirituality since man is a spiritual being. He simply cannot exist without worshipping someone or something.

(far from irreligious) modern man simply changed his old gods and priests for new ones~ Foucault

Which is why there is a...
Rise of religious-nones



Alongside the nature of knowledge itself, the question of "can truth be known?" is another question worth asking.
If truth can be known, then what is that truth? and where/how can it be found? and if truth can't be known, then how can we hold onto worldviews (including politics and morality) and religions with any sense of authority?
The same question that Pilate asked of Christ...what is truth?

Truth can be known because God is Truth. He is the Source/author of truth.
 





Joined
Jul 20, 2019
Messages
793
Likes
581
#26
The same question that Pilate asked of Christ...what is truth?

Truth can be known because God is Truth. He is the Source/author of truth.
Well here is a much better starting point! :D

If Truth exists and if God exists, they have to be categorically, ontologically and semantically the same thing. If they are anything less than this, then it is not Truth or God but something...less.
Truth is not circumstantial, it cannot change but change can exist within it. If Truth changed (as the material universe does), then it would not be truth, because a circumstantial truth (such as the universe suddenly existing and possibly retracting, like in the typical Evolutionist model) cannot be an Absolute Truth. Absolute Truth cannot be a circumstantial truth but a circumstantial truth can be within the limitlessness of an Absolute Truth. (hence the "God is infinite" conception crucial to most mature monotheisms).
 





Joined
Mar 18, 2017
Messages
3,540
Likes
7,139
#27
Well here is a much better starting point! :D

If Truth exists and if God exists, they have to be categorically, ontologically and semantically the same thing. If they are anything less than this, then it is not Truth or God but something...less.
Truth is not circumstantial, it cannot change but change can exist within it. If Truth changed (as the material universe does), then it would not be truth, because a circumstantial truth (such as the universe suddenly existing and possibly retracting, like in the typical Evolutionist model) cannot be an Absolute Truth. Absolute Truth cannot be a circumstantial truth but a circumstantial truth can be within the limitlessness of an Absolute Truth. (hence the "God is infinite" conception crucial to most mature monotheisms).
I agree. God is eternal and changeless. Therefore (absolute/real)truth must be irrefutable. It bears the imprints of the source. The sum of 2+2 will never be 5. While i have a separate thread on truth decay, the massive assault on truth, the realities we see and hear is a direct assault on the nature of God Himself, as the Source of truth.
 





Joined
Jul 20, 2019
Messages
793
Likes
581
#28
I agree. God is eternal and changeless. Therefore (absolute/real)truth must be irrefutable. It bears the imprints of the source. The sum of 2+2 will never be 5. While i have a separate thread on truth decay, the massive assault on truth, the realities we see and hear is a direct assault on the nature of God Himself, as the Source of truth.
It's actually a step further than that but I do agree with you.

What I was hoping for is actually that some Atheist here (well there are barely anyway so I'll just say it) would bring up, "Hey wise-guy, how do you logically determine that Truth is God or that God is Truth? Can we not have God but still have Truth?"
The answer to that would be that we have to further extend our thought here because Truth itself, while important, is not the whole picture. Of course I am speaking from an Islamic perspective and this is written into our theology but any high-thinking philosophies (like that of Hinduism, Jewish philosophy, Christian philosophy) would all agree on this, even with slightly differing manifestations of said Logic.
Truth is one thing but we have not mentioned Reality, Truth and Reality. One things gleamed from one of the names of God in Islam (al-Haqq) is that logically, if Truth and Reality exists, then they can only be the same thing. Truth without Reality is not Truth, Reality without Truth is not Reality. The two words, even though we do apply them in the West to different associations, are in fact the same thing.
Now we run up to the same issue as I mentioned above, so I won't repeat that. The circumstantial cannot be Absolute.

Now if you've kind of followed there, we can assume that Truth and Reality are the same thing and they cannot be anything in the Universe because the Universe is completely circumstantial (what Buddhists term Sunyata - emptiness, and Pratityasamutpada - dependent arising, all things in the universe are cause and effect, therefore have no solid reality), so the Universe itself is not Truth or Reality.
Now when we question the nature of this circumstantial material world, we will find the problem that arises from a supposedly self-generated world (as in, the materialist wordview) in that things are both animate and empty. Things are inherently dualistic, a thing is one thing but not another, and even on the microscopic level we see it reflected in particles and atoms themselves (etc).
Basically to skip forward, for things to have duality requires a Unity for those dualities to exist.
Now if Reality and Truth exist, then they are that Unity. But that Unity cannot be a Nothing, it has to be a something but not a "Thing".
It comes back to the issue in physics (which itself is as ancient as you could ever comprehend) being that for a thing to 'be', it must have an observer. Things are not non-things and are not self-observed outside of that sentient bodies that populate just one planet. For things to be things, on the macrocosmic scale requires an observer. It requires something, of the most unchanging simplicity, something which contains and defines which is contained within itself, on some level.
Now we come down to the creator and creation dichotomy, which I won't draw out, but the universe contains trillions of reiterations of fractals and nature mirrors itself everywhere. The universe and corporeal nature (like plants, trees, leaves, etc) are all parallel to each other geometrically and in many other ways.
[In fact my own avatar on this forum in the present is from the "Mandelbrot Set", in which shows the supreme complexity yet simplicity of nature. That nature and the universe are very geometric and therefore mathematical.
Not to focus too heavily for this post but the Qur'an itself does make a point about the orbiting of planets, the sphere, it makes a point about how God is not found in the supernatural but rather the natural. This is not because there is no supernatural but rather that the natural itself, that Science in it's pure sense, IS the way to proving God, hence why God tells us to study nature in the Qur'an.
It's the idea that we have all that we need already in front of us yet we look for more than is required of us, we have what Buddhism calls a "monkey mind". Once we quiet it down and look around us, intellectually and rationally, we find God overflowing all around us.]
Now nature is precise and is very much a fractal, the Universe is largely unknown to us yet very simple in principle.
Going back to dualities and matter, for identity to occur we need a Unity. Now that Unity can't be a non-thing, nor can it be a physical thing. Without going into the whole ordeal over the 'problem of consciousness', it is quite clear that the identity of disparate-yet-proliferating 'things' requires such an observer. If we bring in the big-bang too, we see that what "all" is contained in requires an absolute intensity, an omnipresent intensity that must be equally present and transcendent. It cannot be separate from anything, nor can it be equal to anything, as everything is reliant on such an intensity.
This intensity we can see as synonymous with Truth, Reality and Unity now. Truth, Reality, Unity, Intensity are all THE Absolute and are infinitely unconditioned, infinitely sustaining all the Universe(s).
Basically, from there we can see that God is not 'this or that', God is the IT which is NOT "this or that'.

Of course, all of this is barely scraping the surface of this topic.
 





Last edited:

Lisa

Superstar
Joined
Mar 13, 2017
Messages
7,857
Likes
3,851
#29
It's actually a step further than that but I do agree with you.

What I was hoping for is actually that some Atheist here (well there are barely anyway so I'll just say it) would bring up, "Hey wise-guy, how do you logically determine that Truth is God or that God is Truth? Can we not have God but still have Truth?"
The answer to that would be that we have to further extend our thought here because Truth itself, while important, is not the whole picture. Of course I am speaking from an Islamic perspective and this is written into our theology but any high-thinking philosophies (like that of Hinduism, Jewish philosophy, Christian philosophy) would all agree on this, even with slightly differing manifestations of said Logic.
Truth is one thing but we have not mentioned Reality, Truth and Reality. One things gleamed from one of the names of God in Islam (al-Haqq) is that logically, if Truth and Reality exists, then they can only be the same thing. Truth without Reality is not Truth, Reality without Truth is not Reality. The two words, even though we do apply them in the West to different associations, are in fact the same thing.
Now we run up to the same issue as I mentioned above, so I won't repeat that. The circumstantial cannot be Absolute.

Now if you've kind of followed there, we can assume that Truth and Reality are the same thing and they cannot be anything in the Universe because the Universe is completely circumstantial (what Buddhists term Sunyata - emptiness, and Pratityasamutpada - dependent arising, all things in the universe are cause and effect, therefore have no solid reality), so the Universe itself is not Truth or Reality.
Now when we question the nature of this circumstantial material world, we will find the problem that arises from a supposedly self-generated world (as in, the materialist wordview) in that things are both animate and empty. Things are inherently dualistic, a thing is one thing but not another, and even on the microscopic level we see it reflected in particles and atoms themselves (etc).
Basically to skip forward, for things to have duality requires a Unity for those dualities to exist.
Now if Reality and Truth exist, then they are that Unity. But that Unity cannot be a Nothing, it has to be a something but not a "Thing".
It comes back to the issue in physics (which itself is as ancient as you could ever comprehend) being that for a thing to 'be', it must have an observer. Things are not non-things and are not self-observed outside of that sentient bodies that populate just one planet. For things to be things, on the macrocosmic scale requires an observer. It requires something, of the most unchanging simplicity, something which contains and defines which is contained within itself, on some level.
Now we come down to the creator and creation dichotomy, which I won't draw out, but the universe contains trillions of reiterations of fractals and nature mirrors itself everywhere. The universe and corporeal nature (like plants, trees, leaves, etc) are all parallel to each other geometrically and in many other ways.
[In fact my own avatar on this forum in the present is from the "Mandelbrot Set", in which shows the supreme complexity yet simplicity of nature. That nature and the universe are very geometric and therefore mathematical.
Not to focus too heavily for this post but the Qur'an itself does make a point about the orbiting of planets, the sphere, it makes a point about how God is not found in the supernatural but rather the natural. This is not because there is no supernatural but rather that the natural itself, that Science in it's pure sense, IS the way to proving God, hence why God tells us to study nature in the Qur'an.
It's the idea that we have all that we need already in front of us yet we look for more than is required of us, we have what Buddhism calls a "monkey mind". Once we quiet it down and look around us, intellectually and rationally, we find God overflowing all around us.]
Now nature is precise and is very much a fractal, the Universe is largely unknown to us yet very simple in principle.
Going back to dualities and matter, for identity to occur we need a Unity. Now that Unity can't be a non-thing, nor can it be a physical thing. Without going into the whole ordeal over the 'problem of consciousness', it is quite clear that the identity of disparate-yet-proliferating 'things' requires such an observer. If we bring in the big-bang too, we see that what "all" is contained in requires an absolute intensity, an omnipresent intensity that must be equally present and transcendent. It cannot be separate from anything, nor can it be equal to anything, as everything is reliant on such an intensity.
This intensity we can see as synonymous with Truth, Reality and Unity now. Truth, Reality, Unity, Intensity are all THE Absolute and are infinitely unconditioned, infinitely sustaining all the Universe(s).
Basically, from there we can see that God is not 'this or that', God is the IT which is NOT "this or that'.

Of course, all of this is barely scraping the surface of this topic.
I wonder @Infinityloop if this verse has anything to do with what you’re talking about?
Jeremiah‬ ‭17:9‬ ‭
The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?​
‭‭
 





Joined
Mar 18, 2017
Messages
3,540
Likes
7,139
#30
On the OP, God has endowed each one of us with intellect therefore it is required of us that the truth be intellectually accepted or believed. We can’t just believe for the sake of believeing, we have to be able to give reasons for why we believe what believe. Paraphrasing a bible verse: being able to give reasons for the hope we profess.

God requires the training of the mental faculties. He designs that His servants shall possess more intelligence and clearer discernment than the worldling, and He is displeased with those who are too careless or too indolent to become efficient, well-informed workers. The Lord bids us love Him with all the heart and with all the soul and with all the strength and with all the mind. This lays upon us the obligation of developing the intellect to its fullest capacity, that with all the mind we may know and love our Creator.

What I was hoping for is actually that some Atheist here (well there are barely anyway so I'll just say it) would bring up, "Hey wise-guy, how do you logically determine that Truth is God or that God is Truth? Can we not have God but still have Truth?"
This came up in another thread but we didn’t take it far. Atheists have their own philosophical problems, directly related to foundation of their faith, that they have to deal with :D :D

A significant philosophical paradox intrinsic to atheism

“It is philosophically impossible to be an atheist, since to be an atheist you must have infinite knowledge in order to know absolutely that there is no God. But to have infinite knowledge, you would have to be God yourself. It’s hard to be God yourself and an atheist at the same time!” ~Ron Carlson and Ed Decker

In order to be philosophically consistent, the atheist must eventually conclude that he/she is a god.

Truth is one thing but we have not mentioned Reality, Truth and Reality. One things gleamed from one of the names of God in Islam (al-Haqq) is that logically, if Truth and Reality exists, then they can only be the same thing. Truth without Reality is not Truth, Reality without Truth is not Reality. The two words, even though we do apply them in the West to different associations, are in fact the same thing.
You bring up a good point, about truth and reality. We have officially entered the Fake World-the era of Inversion arrives, where it is increasingly becoming difficult to tell the difference between what is real and what is fake. If there is this premeditated, direct and massive attack on reality, it then stands to reason that it is also an attack on truth or what is true. I don’t want to imagine the implications of living in a world in which we’ve been deprived of our perceptions of truth. Pronouns, deepfakes, etc are already setting us on the road to that dystopia.

Lies have short legs and the unreal has quick sand for a foundation. TPTB understand this, so its obvious that inorder to deprive man of truth, they have a variety of ways of getting around it (drugged up, re-education camps etc).
 





Joined
Jul 20, 2019
Messages
793
Likes
581
#31
On the OP, God has endowed each one of us with intellect therefore it is required of us that the truth be intellectually accepted or believed. We can’t just believe for the sake of believeing, we have to be able to give reasons for why we believe what believe. Paraphrasing a bible verse: being able to give reasons for the hope we profess.
Yes, precisely and as I've said, without the intellect there is no way to determine if the worldview (speaking of religion in this context) is logical or not. The thing about logic is that it's called "logic" because logic can't be false, that's the point of logic. Through logic we create propositions and follow them through to their conclusions, given the various other elements that make up an arguments that work towards establishing some kind of understanding of a truth.
Religion is a massive topic with a lot of complex subtitles, so starting with the (super)nature of God and the nature of Man(kind) is the first step in the process of attempting logical solutions on the nature of religions.
Aside from that, we have to realize that not all religions make the same truth claims, so we have to treat each religion within the praxis it presents. Humbleness and kindness to each other is always going to be the best thing around things like this.

God requires the training of the mental faculties. He designs that His servants shall possess more intelligence and clearer discernment than the worldling, and He is displeased with those who are too careless or too indolent to become efficient, well-informed workers. The Lord bids us love Him with all the heart and with all the soul and with all the strength and with all the mind. This lays upon us the obligation of developing the intellect to its fullest capacity, that with all the mind we may know and love our Creator.
Yep, this is exactly what I've been saying, so we agree I see :cool:

This came up in another thread but we didn’t take it far. Atheists have their own philosophical problems, directly related to foundation of their faith, that they have to deal with :D:D
Well obviously you can't automatically strawman Atheists (unlike they do to us), some don't know what they even believe or what they thing they are rejecting. Others have more firm and fixed materialist/"naturalist" worldviews which have circular epistemology ("The material world is all there is because the material world is all there is", "There are no metaphysical principles governing the physical because metaphysics isn't physics" etc).

A true agnostic though will listen to anything and everything with sincerity with the possibility of changing their view, even if they don't make sense of things presented or have issues with arguments presented.

I often see Atheists foolishly try to shift the blame by trying to frame Atheism as Agnosticism but Agnosticism has nothing to contradict, whereas Atheism does. A-Theism is a thing for a reason. Western "Atheism" itself especially has a firm socio-ideological-philosophical meaning, the word is not meaningless.

One of the many endless problems with Materialist Atheism is that it's impossible to escape solipsism, it really is.
I say "Materialist Atheism" because "Idealist Atheists" are actually just perturbed Theists who haven't yet gotten over Anthropomorphism.

A significant philosophical paradox intrinsic to atheism

“It is philosophically impossible to be an atheist, since to be an atheist you must have infinite knowledge in order to know absolutely that there is no God. But to have infinite knowledge, you would have to be God yourself. It’s hard to be God yourself and an atheist at the same time!” ~Ron Carlson and Ed Decker

In order to be philosophically consistent, the atheist must eventually conclude that he/she is a god.
Yes, well what is termed "Strong/Hard-Atheism" (which is that "I know for certain that it's not only not likely but impossible") is etymologically invalid, it refutes itself and can only be resolved with Autotheism/Apotheosis - of which itself is ironically just a really egotistical, naive form of Theism and idealism itself. Paradoxes are bound to appear constantly, it's inescapable. These kinds of arguments go back to ancient Greece, Plato vs Aristotle etc.

You bring up a good point, about truth and reality. We have officially entered the Fake World-the era of Inversion arrives, where it is increasingly becoming difficult to tell the difference between what is real and what is fake. If there is this premeditated, direct and massive attack on reality, it then stands to reason that it is also an attack on truth or what is true. I don’t want to imagine the implications of living in a world in which we’ve been deprived of our perceptions of truth. Pronouns, deepfakes, etc are already setting us on the road to that dystopia.

Lies have short legs and the unreal has quick sand for a foundation. TPTB understand this, so its obvious that inorder to deprive man of truth, they have a variety of ways of getting around it (drugged up, re-education camps etc).
You're speaking more on a political, sociological and psychological level there. While you're not wrong, as society itself is very much a simulacrum, it isn't what I was getting at.
God, Truth, Reality, etc are all synonymous and not separate concepts. In a mature Theistic worldview we understand these as ontologically identical. Even though we will find different words like these used to refer to more finite things, we are applying them to the ontological ultimate. Truth, Absolute-Truth is God, Absolute-Reality is God, and so forth. This is what I was expressing in the above quoted post. This is equally Theology as it is Philosophy.
 





Last edited:
Joined
Apr 13, 2017
Messages
953
Likes
919
#32
No, it's about Christians who refuse to engage in rational or logical argument with regards to their truth claims. If Christians refusing to do so 'disproves' Christianity in-and-of-itself in your mind, then so be it but that's not what my intentions ever are.
I'm not a proselytizer nor do I care, fundamentally, what you believe - whether Christian, Atheist, Hindu etc.
Christians who refuse to engage in rational and logical argument do not understand Christianity. The Christian world became a beacon of intellectual progress because God had entered the world in the form of Christ. Christ is the Logos, the order of the universe according to God's Mind. Logos is reason and logic, and much more. It's the ultimate reality shining its light on us.

Christian scripture is God's intellect staring us right in the face.
 





Joined
Jul 20, 2019
Messages
793
Likes
581
#33
Christians who refuse to engage in rational and logical argument do not understand Christianity. The Christian world became a beacon of intellectual progress because God had entered the world in the form of Christ. Christ is the Logos, the order of the universe according to God's Mind. Logos is reason and logic, and much more. It's the ultimate reality shining its light on us.

Christian scripture is God's intellect staring us right in the face.
I'm glad we agree on this. :D
 





Lisa

Superstar
Joined
Mar 13, 2017
Messages
7,857
Likes
3,851
#36
Precisely!
(and to note, that is one of the things that I love about Catholicism over Protestantism. Besides that's a great principle that I myself adhere to, albeit in a different tradition)
Is it any wonder when a muslim leaves islam..he heads straight for catholocism?