Chistianity/God are tangible

At that time Jesus,full of joy through the Holy Spirit,said,"I praise you,Father,Lord of heaven and earth,because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned,and revealed them to little children.Yes,Father,for this was your good pleasure."-Luke(10:21)

I cannot prove to anybody that God exists.I cannot prove to anybody that what I experienced (being born of the Spirit)actually happened.Why are you guys arguing?To those who have not recieved the Holy Spirit,the belief of Jesus Christ as the Son of God is ridiculous.Something only a bunch of sheep who are afraid to face reality would claim.And of course,how can you truly believe in something when there is no proof of it?Through the Holy Spirit you know.This is not something you can prove to anybody who has not been born of it themself.So yes,to the unbeliever (or those who have not recieved the Spirit),Jesus is a myth,a fantasy,and can't truly be believed in let alone known.The Holy Spirit is not of this world.How do you explain something not of this world?

"For the message of the cross is folishness to those who are perishing,but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.For it is written:

"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;the intelligence of the intelegent I will frustrate."

Where is the wise man?Where is the scholar?Where is the philosopher of this age?Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him,God was pleased with the foolihness that was preached to save those who believe.Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom,but we preach Christ crucified:a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,but to those whom God has called,both Jews and Greeks,Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom,and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength."-1 Corinthians(1:18-25)



Fadiga,

Thank-you for your honest post!

This is what I was asking before Tom came in (like a peacock displaying his feathers,)in an adolescent attempt to show off. I just wanted to know if you could prove your claims, you admit you cannot.

I would also like to ask, what is the holy spirit? what does it consist of? is it a gas, an aura? How do you KNOW that you are filled with this 'spirit'? Couldn,t this 'feeling' be something else? I am just curious.

the holy spirit is one of the personalities in the holy trinity that consists of father, son, holy spirit. After Christ left he said he would send the holy spirit to guide us in all truth. The holy spirit is given to those who have come to faith in christ and now live in him. It is the spirit of guidance, truth, discernment, a sort of compass to God will for the believer. It is not a gas, or an aura. It is a real personality, that is joined with your, possessed you in a way if you will, only for the positive. Those who are of the spirit, they know they have it. Evidences of the spirit can be read about throughout the acts of the apostles and the epistles they wrote, if you are intrested.

How do I know I have the spirit? Because I have changed. I do not want to do the things I used to do anymore. I have been convicted in my own heart as a sinner, which is usually the first sign the holy spirit is acting on someone, and it was in my case, before I knew that was how things were supposed to be.
Once being convicted of your sin and called on by the spirit, you are then called to repent before God, and when you come to faith in christ, the spirit is given to you. It manifests itself in various gifts.

The gifts include:
words of wisdom,words of knowledge, faith, healing,
miracle-working, prophecy, distinguishing of spirits,
tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecy as from a prophet (oracle-giver), service (From strength given by God), equipping, building up, maturation,
teaching, exhortation, giving, leadership, the showing of mercy.

These are things the believer usually did not have before and when the spirit enters them they are given these gifts. So while one may be a school teacher, you may be a no good sunday school teacher, and instead have the gift of showing mercy, and perhaps you visit the elderly at your church and care for them or something because of it.

"1. I would really appreciate it if you would please stop your straw-man tactics... Thanks."


My attack was against you stating that "existence exists" was your Epistemological axiom. Are you now saying that it is not your axiom? Yes I did think that you were espousing Ayn Rand's philosophy, my bad, sorry, but truth be told my attack was directed squarely at your having claimed that "existence exist" was your Epistemological axiom so unless you wish to detract that position I was and am in no way attacking a straw-man of any kind.


"This seems simple to me, prove wrong, existence exists! Or better yet disprove Existence IS....try to explain anything without assuming the axiom of existence. Your actions are assuming, implicitly, that existence does indeed exist, but the content of what you are saying is that your actions are meaningless and devoid of knowledge??? You can stop your little word games."


Just because I cannot refute that "cats are cats" means that your axiom has value? Listen carefully; I say that my axiom is "true is true". If you cannot deny that then I am right and you are wrong! How's that? No! That is not the way it works! Axioms are *adopted*, necessarily, as a starting point for the production of knowledge. Saying "real is real" is not a start it is an end. A tautology is uninformative enough in-and-of itself, how can you go from a simple re-utterance to more knowledge?


"The axiom of existence is not defended by word games or by the fact that it is a tautology."


No, axioms are *assumed* ipso facto because they are the start! Ff something comes prior to the start in order to prove the start then that would be the start! You are saying "existence exists" is demonstrable and defendable. How? By the senses? Well then if by the senses existence is known then your start is not "existence exists" it is "all genuine information about the universe must be derived from sense perception" from which you conclude that existence exists!


So you see this is not word games; this is an attempt at setting grounds for knowledge. You are assuming that your senses are the criterion of knowledge in saying that "existence exists" for you are saying that things are. How do you know that you are not the sum total of all that there is? How can you escape Solipsism*? You do not see that you are smuggling in Empiricism for your defense of knowing that "existence exists"? You are saying that it can be demonstrated. Put here is the rub; if it is a genuine Epistemological axiom it by definition cannot be proven for if it could be some thing else would of necessity come before and if something comes before than that is the Epistemological axiom!


-more-

"So pointing out that words are limited when discussing things that are beneath words is not all that significant to me. Pointing to the limits of words to point to things that cannot be pointed to, is not actually taking down the axiom of existence to me. All this does is point out flaws in our language, and our symbols. You can't do away with the points of Wittgenstein and Heidegger by turning their books into toilet paper. The axiom stands, and flaws in the limits of language do not undo it."


You are clearly not understanding the whole point of an Epistemological axiom. It is a start that allows one to obtain knowledge. If your start is not comprehensible in your own language how can it produce understanding? The limit you are running into is your axiom not language. You start with an uninformative axiom and attempt to move forward to more information and are stymied not by an inability to express information but produce information from an uninformative axiom. If you cannot express what you know that I suggest you do not know it, not that knowing is inexpressible. For if knowledge is inexpressible than we ought to just stop here and now!


"It seems quite obvious that you are confused as to what an axiom is. What an axiom is not some 'a priori' truth, but an assumption that is so common-sense so as to require as little 'leap of faith' as possible. One cannot 'choose' [to adopt] 'Salamanders can channel god directly' as their axiom because it requires too much faith on the part of the accepter (whereas 'there is regularity in nature' is easier to accept and assent to).


Thus, 'the bible is the word of god' isn't so much an axiom as - we are back to square one - it is simply a blind-faith adherence. The key word there is not 'faith', but 'blind'. Accepting, say, the tenet of empiricism – 'Knowledge, to be knowledge, should stay close to the senses,' - has some rationale behind it. 'The bible is the word of god' has none!"


Bis repetita non placent! Again it is you that is at odds with the very point in adopting an Epistemological axiom. One CANNOT prove their Epistemological axiom. If one could then the means by which they came by that proof would be knowledge. If knowledge was produced than that means would be the Epistemological axiom. The only reason one should not adopt 'Salamanders can channel god directly' is because in starting with that as an axiom would produce no useful knowledge. Axioms, since improvable, are not judged for there coherence to reality (for if they could be shown to adhere to reality the means by which that feat was accomplished would then be the axiom) they are adopted because they produce a self referentially sound and complete system of thought for all of the branches of a world view; epistemology (knowledge), metaphysics (reality), ethics (conduct), politics (government) and so on. That is how an axiom is judged.


If your axiom truly is (and I have good reason to doubt that it is your axiom, or that it will remain so much longer, for I predict a jump to Empiricism is eminent) "existence exists" then I charge you to build via deduction your world view using nothing but that axiom. What grounds for ethics can be produced from your start?


"I highly doubt that you know a damned thing [...]"


This statement, in light of your demonstration of a complete lack of philosophic acumen, is quite ironic.


"In a nutshell, you are saying, 'If something is written or said and you believe it, that is enough to make it 'truth', and anything you say that doesn't contradict it therefore becomes 'truth' and everything outside it is a 'lie'.'"


And you are saying (whether you understand it or not) that "If something is sense perceived and you believe it, that is enough to make it 'truth', and anything you say that doesn't contradict it therefore becomes 'truth' and everything outside it is a 'lie'."


-more-

"What utter gibberish!"


Indeed!


Now there is something that I wish to assert: I, in these posts, am in no way saying that "Nothing is provable so I do not have to give an account for why I believe as I do!" No on the contrary I have been showing why it is that I reject YOUR position as insufficient! I have been showing you why YOUR position is unworthy of holding and by doing so demonstrating the superiority of my adopted position. I do this not as a peacock but as an answer to the charge of irrationality that is oft leveled at Christianity on this forum.


You say things like "Yours in Reason" as if it takes an utter disregard for reason to hold our position but it is utterly rational to hold yours. That is not the case and this is a fleshing-out of that truth. If you guys do not want this stop making those kind of ill-informed, and pejorative statements.


-Tom Bombadil



(www.wikipedia.com "Solipsism is the metaphysical belief that only oneself exists, and that 'existence' just means being a part of one's own mental states - all objects, people, etc, that one experiences, are merely parts of one's own mind. One is like a god, creating the reality in which one exists. Solipsism is logically coherent, but not falsifiable, so it cannot be established or disproved by current modes of the scientific method.")

Tang is indeed a space drink! On this we agree! Yes tang is a space drink that tastes just like pee!

But let it not confuse, no instead let it show; that the pee tast of tang is what makes it spacey though!

For why else would we buy a drink much like pee! If not because it is so spacey, you see?

And so now I drink to our conformity found, on the spacey, pee tatsty, tang that we down.


-Tom Bombadil

Tom, how do you know what exactly pee tastes like? Were you stranded on a boat in which you were so desperate for hydration you drank your own urine? Just curious.

By the way, I also think TANG is nasty, I however, cannot verify the taste of urine, but I imagine its completely different than TANG, although probably even more gross.

Josh

*caught, yellow handed*

Doh!

Actually I do not know if it tastes of pee because I will not drink that nastiness. I would never drink TANG, silly.

-Tom Bombadil

TOM..TOm.Tom tom.....,

How can one deny existence? One must exist to do so. Can one exist and not exist at the same time? How would you propose to prove that contradictions can exist? Through argument? If so, you refute yourself. Any actual attempt to prove your points would lead to self refutation.


I think the problem here is, as I have already said, word games. You can lambaste the phrase "existence exists" all you want, but you must presuppose existence in all you do. Trying to go to particulars just ignores that there is a groundness to any particular. How can any one thing exist independently?


Every human being that (I) have ever encountered feels very comfortable that something exists, this leads to the axioms of identity and non contradiction. I see no reason to doubt that these are axioms.



(SIGH)....ok... lets look at what you have done to objectivity:


You have cannabilized the axioms.


One very important thing about the objective philosophy, that people neglect to include, is the other 2 axioms. All 3 axioms together are the bedrock of what objectivism is about. [Anything] Having existence must have identity to be an existent. Having consciousness to observe the identity of existence MUST BE, otherwise you wouldn't be observing the identity of that which exists. Note the hierarchy of these axioms, this is VERY important!


You are cannibalizing objectivism and taking 'existence exists' as the only axiom that there is when speaking about objectivity, thus implicity using the other 2 axioms when you are trying to refute the first. You simply can't do that, it makes no sense.


With the content of what you are saying: "existence exists is not worthy of being an axiom" while with the implicit action using the Identity(that which exists) and the existence of your own consciousness(thought itself has identity and therefore exists) to come to this conclusion.


Now let's look at your axiom:


'the Bible is the Word of God'


You said that "existence exists" is about the same thing as saying:
(using your words)


"true is true"
"cats are cats"
"uninformative is uninformative"


"A Tautology is a statement which is true by its own definition, and is therefore fundamentally uninformative. "


This is absolutely laughable given that your axiom does the exact same thing that you are accusing objectivity of doing.


'the Bible is the Word of God'


Lets cannibilize it, shall we.


"The bible is the word of god because the bible says it's the word of god "


Do you see any difference in the above statement and "cats are cats"?



I really do find your arguements very funny in the sense that trying to deny axioms ,leads to you implicitly using the very axioms you are trying to deny.


Ask any theist with extensive debating experience, they will tell you that your entire argument is self refuting.


yours in Reason,


Brad

Brad,

Welcome to the funhouse of debating Christian Presuppositionalism. As you've seen it's not so much an epistemology as a set of debate-tactics; a shell game that scuttles off with portions of objective philosophy to claim they are only valid under their Christian epistemology.
The Christian Presuppositionalist wishes to ignore the fact that he relies on the same foundational axioms we do, before he ever gets to his supposedly foundational Christian presupposition.
But he wishes to nonetheless smuggle his presupposition to the head of the line.

Uh-uh. Na gonna work (as you keep pointing out Brad).

Tom: Would you kindly make explicit your epistemology, and lay out your axioms and presuppositions in a line so we can examine them?
Let's see where indeed your presupposition "The Bible is the Word of God" truly fits.

:-)


Thanks,

Prof

machine30,

I don't really know how to explain the Holy Spirit.It's not a gas or anything physical....you couldn't bottle it.I realize that this is not what you mean though.

Oh,just read JoshuaB's post.I will defer to his post instead of repeating him.

How did/do I know that it was the Holy Spirit and not something else?Well,I didn't really know what was going on at first.After I had gone and told my family (firstly my sister and brother in law who live with me),they let me know what was going on.I did not just suddenly think that God existed,suddenly I knew (as it was revealed to me)that this Jesus guy is for real.I absolutely admit that there is no way to prove what was happening then or that it happened now.Like JoshuaB said,I just knew.When reading the Bible (especially the Book of Acts),it's pretty much to the letter what I went through.In Hebrews when it talks of tasting the fruit,I quoted some of these things while I was full of the Spirit.It was unbelievable to actually read the Bible and be able to relate to what it was saying.

I hate to bring up the movie "Contact" again (I'm really not a fan),but the whole part in which Jodie Foster is explaining what happened to her in which she admits that she cannot prove anything that she went through,but also that she cannot deny it (nice run on)is very similar.I can't give proof and I don't think that proof of Christianity in terms of something tangible or palpable are possible in this lifetime for those who do not believe.The whole reason I started this thread was to tell anybody who wanted to listen that if you do give yourself up to the Lord Jesus Christ,you will know.The Holy Spirit is palpable to those who recieve it.To somebody who does not or has not,it is ridiculous.Even Paul in 1 Corinthians writes that the cross is ridiculous to those who are perishing,but to us it is the power of God.

I did not know if Jesus was the Son of God until it was revealed to me by the Holy Spirit.Up until then I was an agnostic and then one who thought that it very well may be true,but did not know so basically still an agnostic.Then I knew.I have no proof.

"How can one deny existence?"

Who is denying existence! I am certainly not denying existence! I am denying your ability to produce a complete, coherent, self-referentially sound worldview from the statement that "existence exists"!

I want you to justify Knowledge using only your axiomatic starting point of "existence exists"! How do you come to know what you know? Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that deals with the nature, origin and scope of knowledge. Knowledge is distinguished from belief by its justification, and epistemology is concerned with how can beliefs be properly justified. I want you to demonstrate how you go from your axiomatic starting point of "existence exists" to a justification of knowledge! And then from that point I want you to develop a complete, coherent, self-referentially sound worldview.

Show me a Philosophy of Metaphysics: What sorts of things exist? What is the nature of those things? Do some things exist independently of our perception? What is the nature of space and time? What is the nature of thought and thinking? What is it to be a person? What is it to be conscious?

Or better yet demonstrate how it is that you go from "existence exists" to a Philosophy of Ethics: Is there a difference between morally right and wrong actions (or values, or institutions)? If so, what is that difference? Which actions are right, and which wrong? Are values absolute, or relative? In general or particular terms, how should one live?

"I think the problem here is, as I have already said, word games. You can lambaste the phrase 'existence exists' all you want, but you must presuppose existence in all you do"

Well you can assert the usefulness of your axiomatic starting point all you want but as I have demonstrated it is a. not a starting point at all and b. not at all useful for you cannot produce a complete, coherent, self-referentially sound worldview from it. Until you show me those two things then I have every REASON to dismiss the very foundation of your worldview as so much nonsense.

"One very important thing about the objective philosophy, that people neglect to include, is the other 2 axioms. All 3 axioms together are the bedrock of what objectivism is about."

No. I am not separating them you are. I asked you what your starting point was and you said "existence exists". I tried to tell you that that is not a start by trying to show you how it was that you where implicitly accepting other axioms as true to even hold your axiom but you ignored my warnings.

So are you now saying that you have three axiomatic starting points? Existence exists, Identity exists, and Consciousness exists?

-more-

"With the content of what you are saying: 'existence exists is not worthy of being an axiom' while with the implicit action using the Identity (that which exists) and the existence of your own consciousness (thought itself has identity and therefore exists) to come to this conclusion."

Huh? Do you even understand what that sentence means? I *think* you are trying to say that in the very act of saying 'existence exists is not worthy of being an axiom' I have proved that existence exists.

Well if that is what you where trying to say then consider this:

Even if existence exists (something I have not refuted) and further, even if my having said "it makes a useless starting point for a worldview" is proof that existence does in fact exist, that STILL does not mean that it is a good and useful starting point for the building of a worldview!

Allow me to demonstrate: If one denies the law of contradiction than one has, in the very act of denying, asserted the law of contradiction. For saying that the contrary position is false and asserting that the asserted position is true is proof of the necessity of the law. But to now say that "For any proposition P, it is not both the case that P and not-P" should be the axiomatic starting point of a worldview, no matter how irrefutable that statement is, is to invite no end of ridicule!

"Cats are cats" is irrefutable but how does that then qualify it as an axiomatic starting point? Irrefutability might be a desirable criterion in selecting an axiomatic starting point but it is not THE criterion! The criterion is that once accepted it produces abundant knowledge; knowledge so abundant that the end result is a complete worldview that encompasses the whole world of men and things. This is the criterion you have yet to meet.

Yours with better Reason,

Tom Bombadil

"The Christian Presuppositionalist wishes to ignore the fact that he relies on the same foundational axioms we do, before he ever gets to his supposedly foundational Christian presupposition."

Please, demonstrate this.

"Tom: Would you kindly make explicit your epistemology, and lay out your axioms and presuppositions in a line so we can examine them? Let's see where indeed your presupposition 'The Bible is the Word of God' truly fits."

Certainly: "The Bible is the Word of God"

-Tom Bombadil

Tom:

Stating: "The Bible is the Word of God" does nothing to explain your epistemology. It may fit somewhere within your epistemological system, but you have not made clear where it fits in your epistemic priority.
(Do you actually feel that presupposition is axiomatic or as good ol' Plantinga put it, "properly basic")?

Please provide an outline of your epistemology. I suggest that you have a few foundational statements that must precede your statement "The Bible Is The Word Of God."

Prof.

"'The Bible is the Word of God' does nothing to explain your epistemology."

Christianity holds that knowledge is revealed by God. Christianity is propositional truth revealed by God, propositions that have been written in the 66 books of the Bible. Divine revelation is the starting point of Christianity, its axiom. The axiom, the first principle, of Christianity is this: "The Bible is the Word of God."

Did you really need me to spell that out for you?

"I suggest that you have a few foundational statements that must precede your statement 'The Bible Is The Word Of God.'"

Bis repetita non placent!

If I did then *they* would be the start. I do not and so this is the start. An axiom, by definition, is a beginning. Nothing comes before it; it is a first principle. All men and all philosophies have axioms; they all must start their thinking somewhere. It is impossible to prove everything.

Christianity begins with the 66 books of the Bible, for knowledge is a gift from God.

How is it that you have missed me saying this over, and over, and over?

And just to head off where you will go next: The authority of the holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed and obeyed, depends not upon the testimony of any man or church or on any reliance on sense perception, but wholly upon God and His having Revealed it (that is what Fadige has been saying).

Truth is a gift that God by His grace reveals to men; it is not something that men discover on their own power. Man can justify no knowledge apart from the revelation of God.

Now, that does not mean that we can know only the actual statements in the Bible. We can know their logical implications as well.

The Westminster Confession of Faith, written in the seventeenth century, says well what we mean:

"The authority of the holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed and obeyed, depends not upon the testimony of any man or church, but wholly upon God (who is Truth itself), the author thereof; and therefore it is to be received, because it is the word of God.

The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man's salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit or traditions of men."

Notice the words of the Confession: "The whole counsel of God" is either expressly set down in Scripture or may be deduced from it. Everything we need for faith and life is found in the propositions of the Bible, either explicitly or implicitly. Only logical deduction from the propositions of Scripture is needed to have a complete worldview.


-Tom Bombadil

Me: "I suggest that you have a few foundational statements that must precede your statement 'The Bible Is The Word Of God.'"

Tom: "If I did then they would be the start. I do not and so this is the start."

But surely Tom, "The Bible is the word of God" can not be the starting point of your reasoning. Rather, it's a conclusion of a line of reasoning. The question is: how did you conclude this? What was your epistemological starting point from which to reason your way to that conclusion?

--"The axiom, the first principle, of Christianity is this: "The Bible is the Word of God. (Etc...)"--

Yes..so what? I was asking you for your theory of epistemology, not your description of Christianity.

You've provided a few assertions about Christian beliefs, but I see no epistemology outlined for me to examine. Please consider my question of how you came to conclude "The bible is the word of God."

Thanks,

Prof.


--"Prof doesn't exist either :)"--

Shhhh, I got 'em all fooled.

- ? -

Yes, Bludhall existence doesn't exist; that's right your not here I am not here, these words that you are reading are not here and your statment is not here. Ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

And as that is the case then I do not have to address your statment now do I?

-Tom Bombadil