Omniscience

I got a great question in the “comments” section. Is it a problem, humanity being free, and God not being all knowing? After all, we do seem to see evidence in numerous place in which God is not all knowing.

In fact, the fundamental premise of christianity is that God does not know whether we will “accept” him or ‘reject” him. But that is where we immediately run into a problem, not only with Paul’s teaching, but with those teachings attributed to Jesus, as in Matthew 13:11. Whatever “it” was that the people of Israel were supposed to know, “it” was not given. Paul says pretty much the same thing in Romans 11:7.

The flaw in christianity that stares us in the face is that if it is necessary to “choose Christ”, there should be something we can choose and know for a fact that we have chosen correctly, yet Jesus(or somebody) gives us the ONE obvious and truthful answer: follow none of them?

Why? Simply because we have no logical reasonable, rational criteria by which we can choose. Any attempt to do so, based on the condition of human ignorance, would only produce increasing chaos and confusion, and we are told that God is not the author of confusion.

If you believe in confusion, therefore, you don;t believe in God. But by the same token(for the atheist’s benefit), if you believe in truth, you cannot believe in confusion, since truth must be consistent with all truth. Therefore, if you believe in “God” and “truth” as a basis of anything worth believing in, you would have to assume that one is basically the same as the other.

EXCEPT for one big problem: Paul says the natural mind is enmity against God and cannot be subject to God’s laws. Jesus himself(allegedly) refers to truth in that same sense when he speaks of the “spirit of truth” in John 14:17: “Even the spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive…”

Truth is not “received”, nor is it a ‘given”. We see this indicated in Matthew 7:14. “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it”.

Notice, it didn’t say “choose it”. It said “find it”.

How would one know when they have found truth? They would know when they realized that other humans can no more tap into the truth in any absolute sense than they, the individual, can.
That is exactly consistent with the quote I gave of Ayn Rand in my other post.

Are we free from God? First, is there even a God? How do we possibly define God? What process of choices can we assume that leads us to God? We simply don’t know. But we CAN test the limits of the knowledge of man! We know now mathematically that it is simply impossible to contain all truth in one single package, and any attempt to organize truth will only lead to an infinity of undecidable propositions!

Look at “christianity” around you today. What do you see? Over 38,000 versions estimated within christianity, and who knows how many religious ideas outside of christianity.

Is the natural mind, therefore, subject to God? Every scrap of physical evidence says no! Romans 8:7, therefore, must have been correct, and if that was correct, then so must Romans 9:16-22 be correct. We simply have no process of choice as to the “one true way” to God!

Like the punchline of the old joke says, you can’t get there from here!

So, in what context are you free? It means you’re free from men(or women) who try to tell you “this way to God!”. As “Ex-Android” pointed out, “belief is not akin to truth”. However, if I get an idea that something is true, then I must believe that if I pursue it, it can be proven one way or another. I may not know it to be true, but I can believe it to be true and seek to prove it or disprove it. Or to put it in more scientific terms, in order to prove something, it must be falsifiable. If it can be proven true, you must also have the ability to prove it false.

Can I prove there is a God? No. Can I prove there is not a God? No. In order to prove either conclusion, I must have some way of showing the possibility of a belief being false, and we simply do not have that kind of knowledge.

Consequently, we must prove what is true in terms of physical evidence. If “God” is shown to be inconsistent with physical evidence, then we must reject “God” to the extent we can show inconsistency. But keep in mind that in absolute terms of “infinity”, there is no way to demonstrate the consistency of our thinking from within that system itself!

What odes it mean? Again, it means we can’t get from “here” to “truth” in any ABSOLUTE SENSE, nor can we get from “here” to “God” as an absolute representation of truth!

Therefore, our freedom, whether atheist or “christian”, must consist of being free from ALL authority structures of men! 1 Cor 7:23: “..be ye not the servants of men”.

1Cor 9:19: “For though I be free from all men…”

2 Peter 2:19: “While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage”.

The RSV says “he is ENSLAVED”. So what did Jesus say? “If any man says to you, Lo, here is Christ, or there, believe it not”(Matthew 24;23).

The atheist and the TRUE christian find unity in that statement. If you would follow truth, you cannot follow men, and that definitely includes religions of men(and they ALL are religions of men or women). If you would be free, you must learn to think for yourselves!

proselytizing? See what Jesus said about the dominant religious leaders of his day: “For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more a child of hell than yourselves(Matt.23:15)”.

As Hebrews 4:12 tells us, the truth is like a two edged sword. It cuts collectivism both ways. The statements in Romans 8:7, 8:29-30, and 9:16-22, cuts collectivism both in terms of christianity AND in terms of the collectivism of atheism. There is no “us” and “them”, because no person can have a monopoly on truth.

“ye shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free”. You can’t have two “truths”. Truth is consistent with all truth.

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"Ex-Android" Speaks!

Here is another response from my email correspondent. I will try to remember to put all his remarks in bold:

Look, Ralph, as long as you insist on playing the game of keeping me on the defensive, then there is no way we can have a civil discussion.

Oh, and of course I’m not to be bothered at all when the first thing I read from you is that I subject you to “preaching” at the rate of two entries a day? Is there a rule for atheists that they are so superior they can just insult anybody and expect that person to say “Oh, I’m sorry! I apologize deeply for even having an opinion, much less actually believing I can prove my statements!”

That is aside from your confused, contradictory thinking, bluster, bravado, and childish language.

See? Not one word examining what I’ve said, just more ad hominem about what I said.

Here is the core of my argument, and no one yet has even thought to even mention it: there is no decision procedure whatever by which any person can get from “here” to “God”.

A simple premise. A simple statement.

I’ll admit that my present technical inability to make my posts isn’t helping to advocate my case.

I agree. It would save me trouble of trying to actually get your discussion involved. But at least I’ve tried.

I suggest with all your learning you might pursue a course of how to communicate.

Probably true. But I generally don’t like intimidation or bluster unless somebody decides he or she wants to insult me right out of the gate. I’m an ex-marine. I once defended myself in a Special Court Martial, which I not only won, but received an apology from the marines and a meritorious promotion out of a court martial. I don’t know many people that have ever done that. Apparently they had no trouble understanding me.

Do all you True Believers take the same course on how to confuse, intimidate, and embarrass your opponent without half trying?

I must have, and I must have made a good grade on it, because I seem to be able to do it to you without trying at all! I do love your scientific evaluation of me as an individual as well, “Al you True believers”. Nothing insulting about that, obviously. What right should I have to ever be offended at your statements?

Maybe it’s a gift from one of your gods. Could be. I have no way of knowing. Do you?

I would also suggest you read a bit on what is atheism. It’s clear you don’t understand it any more now than the rest of the religions I’ve engaged over the years.

Let’s see, I’ve read Christopher Hitchens‘ “God Is Not Great”, and Dawkins‘ “The God Delusion”, both of which I found very good. As I understand it, and correct me if I’m wrong, but atheists say there is no God. Correct? Have you ever heard me stating that there is a God? Have you ever heard me offering any kind of proof that there is a God?

But you see, there is the great flaw in your entire argument. The only way you can possibly begin to beat me is to conclude that I’m a “True Believer” and lump me into a general category that cannot possibly ever go beyond what you amazing atheists know. See? I’ve just lumped you into a group. That’s ad hominem, and it proves nothing one way or another.

To fault the atheist because he is unable to prove there is no god shows your ignorance and confused thinking on the matter.

Are you saying you CAN prove there is no God? Then simply state your case, prove there is no God, and I will still win this argument! Let’s look at the core of my argument from the point of view of William James. James pointed out that if God is all knowing, then we are not free,since God would already know in advance what choices we will make. If we are free, God is not all knowing, and if God is all knowing, we are not free.

You and I can argue until cows start roosting in trees whether there is or is not a God, bit the fact is, neither of us can ever offer conclusive proof. The only thing we can possibly agree on is what we can see as results from actual observation. Here is my observation:

If there is a God, it would be useless to believe in a God who is not all knowing, since a less than omniscient God would simply be greater by comparison, merely a smarter being, though never complete in knowledge.

Paul has argued from his understanding of God that God is indeed all knowing in regard to whom his “children” are, and that he has predestined them from the very beginning. This will logically lead to the result William James pointed out, above. If God is all knowing, then there is not one choice we can make in any sense that will alter our destiny in that regard.

Okay, let’s substitute that with your statement there is no God. We can come up with this conclusion: There is not one choice we can make in any sense that will alter our destiny in that regard….in any possibly measurable context.

To me, those conclusions are exactly the same, except the atheist says there is no measurable way in which any decision we make can alter our destiny in any absolute sense. In fact, if God does exist, and IS all knowing, there is STILL no way to alter our destiny in any measurable way, in any absolute sense. Either way, based on what Paul said in Romans 8:29-30, there is no difference in the outcome, EXCEPT Paul says there is a God, and you say there’s not a god. But the results in either case will be exactly the same.

This means, in the simplest language I’m able to convey, there exists no decision procedure, no algorithm, no human process of thought by which we can in any way, get from “here” to “God”.
Are you saying there is some way we CAN get from here to god? That would seem to contradict your point of view, wouldn’t it?

Paul stated in Romans 8:7 that the natural mind is enmity against God and cannot be subject to God. As I’ve said in several different places, this will have two logical, verifiable results:
1.No one can claim any authority from God, since no human mind can be subject to God
2. Any attempt to do so will result in a splintering and speciation of religions tending toward infinity, AS WEE SEE AROUND US TODAY.

No one yet, least of all you, Mr. Ex-Android, has even begun to touch that statement. You know why? You have no argument against it. It’s true because its observably true, and it conforms to the logic of Romans 8:7, showing the resulting logic of Romans 9:16-22.

What is confusing about that? If you cannot be subject to God, any choice y

ou make regarding the knowledge of God will reflect the confusion apparent in your own thinking. Therefore, you will see over 38,000 versions of “god” as you see today. Since the natural mind cannot be subject to God, there can exist no decision procedure by which you can get to God, which is exactly what Paul said in Romans 9:16-22.

Why is that confusing? Maybe because you’ve been conditioned all your life to believe that IF we believe in God, we MUST follow some decision procedure to please God?

Besides, the matter of proof falls to the believer, and you’ve already clearly stated to your credit that you cannot do that.

Well, finally, you actually point to something I specifically said!

I would suggest you try reading an excellent primer, ‘Atheism: The case Against God’ by George Smith. That was a major aid in helping set me free from the gods. The book has clarity and absence from confusion.

P.S. If you want to quote me in the forum then do it completely and fairly and respond honestly. Sign me ‘Ex-Android’.


In your responses so far, all I’ve seen is ad hominem, writing about what I said, but never in any disciplined, or even scientific way of pointing out any flaw in my logic. I’ve responded as honestly as I know how, and if I left anything out in previous posts, let me know, and I will respond to that as well.

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Government of God?

One of the responses in this blog accused me of trying to have the “government of God”.
I’m not sure what he meant, unless he was referring to HWA’s ideas, which I abandoned way back in 1974.

Do I study government? Yes. Do I study economics? Yes. I also studied the development of law and its philosophy.

In terms of religion, correct me if I’m wrong, but here’s the gist of the story we’re told:

Israel was given God’s law. They had trouble keeping it, and eventually divided into two major kingdoms, Israel and Judah. Israel started making up their own rules, so they disappeared in history. Judah, later known as Jews, got their act together and started really focusing on the law, but in spite of themselves, they couldn’t do it, so God figured something out a little bit better.

It wasn’t possible for the people to obey God of themselves, so Jesus came a long and gave them something called a “Holy Spirit”. Now, if you “accept Christ”, you get that Holy Spirit, and you’re forgiven, and all you have to do is belong to some authorized church that has the Holy Spirit, and you pretty much got it made.

In modern terms, we might say that God transferred his “brand name” from Israel to Christians. Of course the law still counted and everything, but the official version of God’s will was now Christianity, the new “God, Incorporated”. If you believe in the “Holy Spirit”, you have the proper corporate logo.

Of course, HWA came along and helped us see through that, so we formed a new corporate logo that had the Holy Spirit AND “God’s law”. We didn’t just keep the sabbath, we did that other stuff, too. We were the official version with the right logo.

The problem is, there are about 38,000 versions and growing, of others who believe just as sincerely that they have the official logo, and within WCG splinter groups, who knows how many are springing up?

So, this guy Paul comes along, and everybody says Paul is the new organizer of the proper Holy Spirit. We try to reconcile Paul’s stuff with our beliefs in the law, and we think we’ve pretty well got it down. Yep, we’re the ones. We’ve got the story figured.

Back in 1974, I felt that way. But then I went to Ambassador College, and I got involved in their summer project building “Imperial Schools”. It was then I realized that “God’s government” was not a good government for peons like me. In fact, I found myself thinking “If this is God’s government, God can take it and…keep it”.

I returned to my home area in North Carolina, a very troubled young man. I began to slowly realize there is no “God’s government’, and it’s all a scam. No man can form God’s government.

The nation of Israel? yeah, right. Christianity? They’re so busy arguing among themselves about truth, the world could go on forever and there’d still be no solution.

The simple fact is, no human being can form God’s government, or God’s church or whatever you want to call it, first, because there is no evidence that there ever was a God, and even if there is, we’re totally incapable of figuring out what “he” wants us to do.

So why believe in God at all? The simplest reason in the world: Because that’s exactly what Paul told us!

Look at Romans 8:7. The natural mind is enmity against God. It cannot be subject to God’s laws. Okay, if you try to form a government of God based on that recognition, what is the result?

How about this:
1.No one can claim authority in Gods name, because no natural mind can be subject to God’s laws
2. Any attempt to create such an organization will result in a continual splintering of religions and ideas right into infinity, as we see around the world today.

This leaves humans with an illusion. The illusion is this: “Since my simple mind is enmity against God, and since I cannot ‘think straight” in terms of God, then it is necessary for me to become part of something “higher” than myself, like a church of God that has the “Holy Spirit”.

Yeah? Which one? If the natural mind is enmity against God, and there are over 38,000 versions of “God” and growing, which church can you possibly choose, and if you choose, how do you know you’re right?

Answer: You can’t!

There is nothing “higher” which you can join! No “government of God”, no “church of God”, nothing higher than your own individual reasoning mind to give you guidance, and your mind is just as good as anybody else’s mind!

Did Paul say that? Yes he did, and very plainly, not only pointing out that we cannot choose to be “elect”, but that it is simply impossible for us to make that choice(Romans 9:16-22, Eph 2:8-10, and other scriptures).

So, in that regard, did Paul tell us the truth? You’re darn right he did! Prove it wrong!

What did Jesus say in regard to the “end times”? First thing he warned his followers of in Matthew 24 was deception. “many will come in my name, saying, I am Christ(or messiah)”.

If those with the “Holy Spirit” cannot be deceived, why would Jesus warn against deception right at the start? If he warned against deception, that in itself would imply that we DO possess some sort of reasoning power that would show us how NOT to be deceived, wouldn’t it?

All, right, here’s the big question: How can you know you’re not deceived?

The answer is amazingly simple, and it’s the only possible correct answer!

There is no point whatever in followng any of them, and that’s exactly what Jesus said in Matthew 24:23!

“Then if any man(woman, boy or girl) say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not”.

Now, let’s compare that to the statement by Ayn Rand in “The Fountainhead”. In that book Rand was writing against collectivism, against religions, against governments, against all forms of collectivized authority that robbed men of their right to their own mind. In this passage, Rand was writing from the point of view of Ellsworth Toohey, the man who worked to control the minds of others. In this passage, he reveals his strategy for the control of men’s minds:

“Men have a weapon against you. Reason. So you must be very sure to take it away from them. Cut the props from under it. But be careful. Don’t deny outright. Never deny anything outright, you give your hand away. Don’t say reason is evil–though some have gone that far with astonishing success. Just say that reason is limited. That there’s something

above it. What? You don’t have to be too clear about it either. The field’s inexhaustible. ‘Instinct’–‘Feeling’–Revelation’–‘Divine Intuition’–‘Dialectical Materialism’. If you get caught at some crucial point and somebody tells you that your doctrine doesn’t make sense–you’re ready for him. You tell him that there’s something above sense, that here he must not try to think, he must feel. He must believe. Suspend reason, and you play it deuces wild.”

Governments grow more powerful, individual reason dies. Religion grows more powerful, the mind withers. Ayn Rand said we have a weapon against such powers: the individual mind, REASON.

And what did Jesus say? “If any man says to you, Lo, here is Christ, or there, BELIEVE IT NOT”.

What did Paul tell us? Same thing. There exists no decision procedure whatever, either collectively or individually, by which we may reach something “higher” than our own minds in order to rule over others. It is simply impossible(Ephesians 2;8-10).

That is agreement between an atheist and “believers”!

So, mister smarty pants that tells me you can’t reconcile the bible with Ayn Rand, here’s a very mature “nyah,nyah, nyah,nyah,nyah!”

Comments

Another Personal Response

This response from the same person, who still can’t seem to get on the blog, so I’m copying his response together with my own to him.

“Ralph, Since you’ve already planned to ‘blow me out of the water'(which I did, because I can) I really don’t see a mind open for discussion”.

Now there’s an interesting statement. I’m all ready for debate, from any perspective he wants to use, and he accuses me of having a closed mind. Why?

“It is the same unpleasant mind of the True Believer I have engaged in the past”.

True believer in what? Belief in the idea that there is a God? This is a strange position for one to take, since there is no proof in either case, that there is or is not a God. I’m accused of having a closed mind, yet he offers nothing, and CANNOT offer anything at all to demonstrate there is no God. Now, if he wants to demonstrate that there s no God, I will still show him why my conclusions are perfectly in accord with his statements, and why my statements would still be true in either case.

he finds it “unpleasant and irrational” because I stated quite simply that I would blow him out of the water in logical debate. Unpleasant, yes. irrational? Prove it.

“Besides, your very first statement of having belief in becoming God is simply open to challenge”

Of course! That’s why I wrote it! Still no takers!

“The concept, however, is unproven, and cannot be”

Never, at any time have I said it was provable. What I HAVE said, repeatedly, with still nobody even capable of offering token arguments of any logic, is that the statements made by both Paul and Jesus ARE consistent with what we are now seeing as evidence.

Here’s the one I like:

“Belief is not akin to truth”.

Really? No kin at all? I’m wondering what certainty of knowledge demonstrates evidence that there is truly no God? Lack of scientific evidence, yes. But that’s the problem. Scientific evidence is soooo dependent on axiomatic foundations and repeatable experiments for conclusions. It just can’t ever claim completeness.

In fact, the certainty that no God exists is merely a belief. Belief based on evidence? No, a belief based on lack of evidence. The old argument that you can’t prove a negative.

Here is the point: Truth is truth, whether there is a God or no God at all. If a statement is made that conforms to reality, and that statement is made about God, then it is quite logical, and quite rational, to believe in the possibility of God’s existence, so belief IS akin to truth ONLY if the belief is founded in that which can be demonstrated by evidence.

“That concept is what drives your religion and all others”.

My religion? What religion? I’ve stated before everyone, challenged everyone, looked for any response to show me wrong, that there is no decision procedure by which we may get from “here’ to “God”. Pray tell, how do I develop a religion based on that?

“I will simply not argue religion”.

I don’t recall anybody asking you to argue religion, since I don’t believe in it myself. The statement is filled with preconceptions, misconceptions, and assumptions, yet it is I who am accused of having a closed mind. Amazing!

“I was frustrated that I was unable to publicly point out the confusion of your thinking”.

I’m sitting here like an expectant virgin, waiting for that first experience. I seem to be surrounded by pubescent young men who can only brag, but still don’t have the knowledge for doing.

This person also made reference to me calling him a “Randroid” because he followed Ayn Rand, and accused me of ad hominem. Hey, I follow Ayn Rand. I like Ayn Rand. I think she’s brilliant. I merely referred to Randroids. I don’t think I specifically called him a Randroid.

Unfortunately, for anyone who followed her life, her emphasis on the power of reason also established a kind of religion of “Randroidswho followed her around and copied her, even to carrying long cigarette holders and some even speaking with a Russian accent.

THAT is what I’m talking about, the fact that people have the tendency, even the need, to develop religious qualities even when following someone who claims to be an atheist.

All I’m seeing is presumption, a series of “cockroach terrorist” attacks, where somebody emerges from his rock just long enough to make a statement that proves nothing at all, and then retreats under the rock.

I’ve laid my case right out there. All I hear is complaints “about” what i say. There seems to be no capability of response to take me on.

I’m ready to take your best effort. And you folks accuse ME of being closed minded?

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