Further Questions About Substitutionary Atonement

Christians who believe their faith is reasonable should be able to answer my questions here. Those who merely want to quote the Bible can do so all they want, but they are simply not dealing with my questions, which if answered apart from the use of the Bible, would make their belief in substutionary atonement reasonable.

To say that my sins are an infinite wrong because they are committed against an infinite God, and thus demand an infinite punishment, seems mistaken for several reasons.


In the first place, does justice really demand this much punishment? Can it really be true that justice demands I suffer for all eternity in hell for one little white lie? Who creates the demands of justice, anyway? What judge would think this is a fair punishment? What picture of God lays behind this view of justice… a caring father, or an aloof vengeful medieval potentate? Jesus describes God as the former, a caring father. We see this in the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-15), and the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), where no one pays any penalty for their sins--they merely have to ask for forgiveness. Asking forgiveness was all a Pharisee had to do to (Luke 18:13-14). Jesus himself said, “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.” (Matt. 9:13).

Secondly, if God became incarnate to relate to us, then why can’t he also see what sin is from our perspective, as a finite offense from partly good and partly bad human beings? We intend no infinite wrong against God when we sin. God should know this, especially since it is claimed he related to us by being one of us. To claim that we did would make God’s view of justice very misguided and very very inappropriate.

Thirdly, did Jesus really suffer an infinite punishment for our sins? If Jesus was merely being punished for all of the wrongdoing of every person who ever lived on earth based on human standards of punishment and not infinite standards, we’d still have to ask whether he was punished enough. After all, if every person who ever lived deserved to be slapped in the face just one time, then the equivalent of 10 billion slaps would surely amount to more punishment than Jesus physically endured. But if it’s true to say that each and every one of us deserved an infinite punishment for our sins, then how much less is it true to say Jesus suffered infinitely for each and every one of us? More to the point, if any single one of us were given a choice to suffer as Jesus did or be cast in hell for eternity (which would be our infinite punishment), we would all choose to suffer as Jesus did. Jesus didn’t suffer forever, nor did he stay dead.

But it is said that Jesus endured more than just physical pain. He also endured the pain of being separated from God. How can we make sense of this claim? If it’s merely a metaphor for the mental pain of not sensing God’s help when we need it, then we have all felt that pain throughout our lives. Otherwise, it must somehow mean Jesus ceased to be God while on the cross. However, Christians cannot believe that. Because if Jesus in fact ceased to be God, then since Christians believe a Triune God exists, that means God also ceased to exist when Jesus ceased to be God.

In the fourth place, in order for someone to be forgiven
why must there be punishment at all?

Fifthly, even if punishment is needed, which I seriously question, then how does punishing Jesus help God forgive us? This Christian theory says God himself bore our punishment on the cross in Jesus. But why is any additional punishment even demanded? The punishment borne by the one who forgives is merely the pain that was inflicted by the offender. That is, if I humiliate God in front of the universe by being self-seeking in all of my ways, then in order to forgive me God merely has to bear the pain of that humiliation and open his arms toward me. There would be no additional pain to bear beyond the pain of being humiliated. There would be no need for the cross until it can be shown, based on this atonement theory, that there is a relationship between punishment (or justice) and forgiveness.

The divine way to forgive us when we sin against him is to turn around and punish his Son? If you see me along the roadway and beat me to a pulp, the divine way to forgive you is to turn around and beat myself up all over again, or my son? This is because "someone's got to pay," and a loving divine guy like myself just shouldn't beat you up in retaliation? It doesn’t make any rational sense at all. There’s no reason for additional punishment especially to an innocent person like Jesus.

Furthermore, if we die outside of faith in Jesus what kinds of reasons would God have for punishing us when we die? Maybe God punishes us when we die to deter others from doing wrong? But then why is it we don’t see any evidence of this punishment while we’re still alive? Maybe God punishes us in order to teach us to do better, like a father who corrects a child? How can this be, since hell would be final and horrible? Maybe God punishes us because he is angry with us? That doesn’t seem to fit either. If God foreknows everything we do, or, rather, if he knows every background experience and genetic makeup that goes into every decision we make, then we can never surprise him by what we do. I have found that the more I understand someone's background, the easier it is for me to love and have sympathy for that person. By the same reasoning do you think God can ever get angry with us enough to punish us with hell? How can he? What judge would do this? What father would do this? He understands everything about us. But what other motives are there for God to punish us when we die? If there are none, then our only punishment is what we do to ourselves here and now. When we do wrong we hurt ourselves. God doesn't need to punish us. By sinning we punish ourselves.

If, however, being sent to hell is not about punishment for our sins, but rather about God not tolerating sin in his presence, then exactly where does sin reside in us? Can it be located somewhere in our bodies and seen by an X-ray machine, or does it somehow make an actual black mark on our soul? The truth is that sin isn’t an existing thing at all, nor is sin something we have. We cannot hold a cupful of sin in our hands. Sin is an action we do. Once we do it, sin becomes a memory of a hurtful deed done. We don’t carry sin on us; we do sinful things. So there is no sin to bring with us into God’s presence.

There must be a reason why Jesus died on the cross. But what is it? John Hick: “The idea that guilt can be removed from a wrongdoer by someone else being punished instead is morally grotesque.” (p. 119).

22 comments:

Don Jr. said...

John, you raise nice points, points that need to be addressed. But I think each point needs it's own post. It would just be impossible to discuss all the questions you raise in one continuous dialogue. If you want to pick out a particular issue, I think we (meaning, whoever cares to join in) could discuss it productively. But I just don't think tackling all of those issues at once is going to make for a constructive discussion.

centuri0n said...

Mr. Loftus --

You've got your hands full with the guys from Triablogue, but you make an interesting statement here:

"Those who merely want to quote the Bible can do so all they want, but they are simply not dealing with my questions, which if answered apart from the use of the Bible, would make their belief in substutionary atonement reasonable."

I'm curious: if the foundation of Christian belief is not the Bible, what is the foundation of Christian belief? I think it's humanly reasonable to reject the Bible as authoritative, but if you do that, why bother with Christianity at all?

I know, I know -- I asked you two questions and I haven't had the courtesy to answer any of yours yet. But you have left me no basis for answering your questions: the only authority I know that speaks clearly and specifically about your questions is the Bible. If you rule that out as a basis for answering, I admit I have no answers.

centuri0n said...

One other thing: I have started a sort of debate blog at which I am having an exchange with a free grace advicate this week. Next week is open, and if you are interested (you can read the guidelines at the blog), I'd be interested in having a Q & A session with you.

evanmay said...

John:

Your questions continue to betray your inaccurate understanding of the concept of substitutionary atonement.

Can it really be true that justice demands I suffer for all eternity in hell for one little white lie?

Could you show me someone who has ever simply committed "one little white lie"?

… a caring father

You continue to misapply the word "father." God is not the Father of "children of wrath." God becomes our Father only through adoption on the basis of justification through the cross.

Jesus himself said, “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.” (Matt. 9:13).

Gross misapplication of the text. Jesus desired mercy, not self-righteous "sacrifice". Furthermore, Hebrews states that "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins" (Heb 9:22).

Secondly, if God became incarnate to relate to us, then why can’t he also see what sin is from our perspective, as a finite offense from partly good and partly bad human beings?

God became incarnate to "relate to us" (i.e, mediate for us) through the sacrifice on the cross.

We intend no infinite wrong against God when we sin.

Scripture says otherwise. If you are going to use Biblical assumptions (such as the existence of God and his infinite requirements for sin), then you must use all of the Biblical assumptions.

Thirdly, did Jesus really suffer an infinite punishment for our sins? If Jesus was merely being punished for all of the wrongdoing of every person who ever lived on earth based on human standards of punishment and not infinite standards, we’d still have to ask whether he was punished enough. After all, if every person who ever lived deserved to be slapped in the face just one time, then the equivalent of 10 billion slaps would surely amount to more punishment than Jesus physically endured.

Jesus' atonement did not lie specifically in his physical sufferings (apart from his death), so everything above is irrelevant.

But it is said that Jesus endured more than just physical pain. He also endured the pain of being separated from God. How can we make sense of this claim? If it’s merely a metaphor for the mental pain of not sensing God’s help when we need it, then we have all felt that pain throughout our lives.

More inaccurate views of the atonement. Jesus' separation from God was not simply "a metaphor for the mental pain of not sensing God’s help when we need it." God's wrath was poured out on Christ as our propitiation.

In the fourth place, in order for someone to be forgiven
why must there be punishment at all?


You confuse justification with forgiveness.

Fifthly, even if punishment is needed, which I seriously question, then how does punishing Jesus help God forgive us?

It doesn't simply "help God forgive us." It satisfies his wrath against sin. God's wrath is not something that can simply magically disappear.

Furthermore, in order for there to be relation between God and man, the righteousness of Christ must be imputed to man. This all precedes adoption, though you have the false view that the Bibles states that we are all children of God.

Furthermore, if we die outside of faith in Jesus what kinds of reasons would God have for punishing us when we die? Maybe God punishes us when we die to deter others from doing wrong?

Once again, you remove the wrath of God from the equation. Unlike what secularistic pop-culture states, the purpose of punishment in the Biblical sense is not to teach someone a lesson. It is to satisfy the wrath of God. Are you sure you went to seminary?

If, however, being sent to hell is not about punishment for our sins, but rather about God not tolerating sin in his presence, then exactly where does sin reside in us?

The wrath of God is again removed from the equation.

John W. Loftus said...

Don Jr., Manata, Triablogue and VoxPopoloi are beating up on me on for my post about why Jesus was punished. So I just clipped and pasted some of the questions from my book to give 'em a dose of what is forthcoming. I think the felt impact of it all is effective. Deal with what you think is most imprtant and I can make it a separat post, if people want it to be.

Centurion, in my philosophy classes I tell my students that they can believe anything they want to, and their belief can come from anything, even a dream, or the Bible, or the Koran, or from their parents. The source of a belief is not important to me as their philosophy instructor. What I want to know is whether they can defend that particular belief with reason. Otherwise they might as well be taking a theology class.

In this case, let's say you believe in the penal theory. Can you make rational sense of it or not? If you cannot, apart from the Bible, then just admit it, that's all. Just say it does not make any rational sense and go on. I'd be happy with that. But don't try to argue it's rational in my philosophy class by quoting something like in Leviticus where it says, There is no forgiveness except through the shedding of blood." Want I want to know is whether that Biblical statment can be rationally defended.

John W. Loftus said...

evanmay,
Your questions continue to betray your inaccurate understanding of the concept of substitutionary atonement.

Why is it that people continually think I don't understand something about Christianity? I do. I just disagree. I really think that most of those who say this must believe that if I understood it, then I'd believe it. But that's absolute poppycock--again!

Could you show me someone who has ever simply committed "one little white lie"?

No, but is my statement true or not, from your understanding of God's Holiness?

You continue to misapply the word "father."

What did God consider us to be before we sinned, or before Adam and Eve sinned?

We intend no infinite wrong against God when we sin.
Scripture says otherwise. If you are going to use Biblical assumptions (such as the existence of God and his infinite requirements for sin), then you must use all of the Biblical assumptions.


Where exactly does it say this using these exact words? I claim it is theology imposed on the Biblical text, and I claim that there have been at least three major models of atonement in Christian history that were adopted because of the cultural climate. Did you know that the Ransom theory dominated in the church for 900 years primarily because early Christians could relate to it since they were the lower classes of people, even slaves?

Jesus' atonement did not lie specifically in his physical sufferings (apart from his death), so everything above is irrelevant.

Then describe his mental sufferings for me. Are they much different than what we experience on a daily basis concerning God's absence? The only thing different is that Jesus never experienced this before. So? Welcome to our world.

More inaccurate views of the atonement. Jesus' separation from God was not simply "a metaphor for the mental pain of not sensing God’s help when we need it." God's wrath was poured out on Christ as our propitiation.

Hmmmm. So, again, what did that wrath feel like to Jesus? Did Jesus suffer from a separation from God--in what sense, if so?

You confuse justification with forgiveness.

So you say....

It satisfies his wrath against sin. God's wrath is not something that can simply magically disappear.

Why not? That's what I'm asking here. Again, why not? Why is it anything different than when someone wrongs me and I forgive him? My anger subsides. I do not demand punishment. And even though I'm clearly not as righteous as your God claims to be, if I am at least a decent person, then I should also demand some punishment proportional to my decency before I forgive. But that's retaliation no matter how you look at it.

Unlike what secularistic pop-culture states, the purpose of punishment in the Biblical sense is not to teach someone a lesson. It is to satisfy the wrath of God. Are you sure you went to seminary?

And again, why must God's wrath be satisfied? Did you miss this question? When will you graduate from High School?

Paul Manata said...

You were going to answer my questions and arguments, right John?

Paul Manata said...

JL: "What I want to know is whether they can defend that particular belief with reason."

PM: John, are you still fogetting that I've asked you multiple times to define what you mean by "reason?" Also, in the above link, I tried to show how "reason" is a myth, given your worldview.

JL: "But don't try to argue it's rational in my philosophy class by quoting something like in Leviticus where it says, There is no forgiveness except through the shedding of blood." Want I want to know is whether that Biblical statment can be rationally defended."

PM: But John did you forget that you told us this:

"Chance cannot be rationally explained. If this universe took place by chance, then the fact that reason cannot figure it all out is exactly what we would expect. We would not be able to ultimately justify our use of reason,"

So let me get this straight? John Loftus, the philosophy teacher, gets to write a free ticket to Arbitrary Land. He doesn't have to deal with the tough questions. He can say things like this:

"Maybe reason has merely shown itself trustworthy by pragmatic verification based in the anthropic principle evidenced in the universe--it just works."

In other words, his *rational* justification for reason is that "it works." Well John, guess what, you put the noose around your own neck, my friend.

Why do you make the Christian give *rational* justification for everything? How about if my *rational* answer is that the penal substitution system "just works." Or, why can't we just say, "no, it's not a irrational view and you're wrong in what you write. We can't explain it, but oh, well?"

In other words, you're a hypocrite. You write yourself checks that you wont accept from others.

In any case, YOU are the one making the claim and I've seen nowhere where you've shown it to be irrational. I mean, you've announced and stipulated some rules about forgiveness and wrote from the assumption of a humanistic theory of ethics, but none of this has been justified.

In your first question you equate Jesus' sonship and the sonship of the Prodigal (who was already a son) to all men? Also, who cares how the relationship was before man sinned. That's not how it is now.

And, yes it demands that much punishment. Look, here's the ultimate rational justification. If something is *true* then it is rational, correct. God said that these sins deserved this much punishment. God can not lie. Therefore it is true that these sins deserved this much punishment. God knows everything. John Loftus does not. Therefore God is in a much better position to say what "the best" form of punishment than is someone who admits that "we don't know everything and maybe chance made reason."

Secondly, all that is is your pontinfication. God says that you hate Him and that you intend offense. Are you calling God a liar? But He can't lie. So, you're really assuming that the Christian worldview is false in order to prove that it is false. How uninteresting.

The rest is drivel like the above.

John W. Loftus said...

Paul, just like you have been busy, so am I. I'll try to get to your posts, but there's so much there that purposely misunderstands what I said, that I believe it is futile to discuss these things with you.

Loftus:
In this case, let's say you believe in the penal theory. Can you make rational sense of it or not? If you cannot, apart from the Bible, then just admit it, that's all. Just say it does not make any rational sense and go on. I'd be happy with that. Want I want to know is whether that Biblical statement can be rationally defended.

I guess what you wrote is that it cannot be defended rationally. How many other doctrinal beliefs of yours cannot be defended rationally?

The funny thing to me is that you claim to have a firm foundation for reason, logic, morals, and divine truths based in the Bible. And yet you cannot rationally defend the penal theory. Besides, those are very nice claims of yours, but I don't see them substantiated.

It simply does not follow that you can do an "internal critque" of another religious viewpoint (from your perspective), and your whole Calvinistic notion of a sovereign God is simply unbelieveable to me, and hence, implausible to begin with--so why would I believe anything else in the Bible?

I claim that such a book as the Bible is historically conditioned by people living in a superstitious era prior to the advent of modern science, which renders its beliefs implausible. I claim that since there are so many Christian sects that there is no guidance from the Holy Spirit. I claim that rational sense cannot be made of the foundational Christian truth claims. I claim that if you were born into Muslim parents in a overwhelmingly Muslim culture you would now be defending Muslim theology, which says a whole lot about how presuppositions formulate the way we see things, and I claim that this also describes you, being born in an overwhelmingly Christian country, despite your dramatic conversion (I had one too).

Furthermore, there is no parity between our positions on arbitrariness and rationality. You could basically say the same things against any critique I did, whether I critique the problem of evil, a Triune God, an Incarnation, the atonement, the bodily resurrection, the ascension, the final judgment and punishment.

I'm saying these things are all unbelievable to me. Why? They are implausible and inconsistent with what I believe, that's why. You ask me for an ultimate standard for Logic, just like you do with morals, and you think somehow you've won your Christian theistic case. I deny this by virtue of the Euthyphro dilemna. Which you've never sufficiently commented about there.

I claim that your beliefs are all arbitray, based upon when and where you were born, along with an unbelieveble conception of God found in a historically conditioned document that can be interpreted in a myriad of ways. You just think otherwise, and you will never admit it. So you can go your merry way and feel intellectually superior.

The only arbitray belief I have is that this universe is a brute fact. It makes the most sense, even if I cannot logically figure it out, because the alternatives fare no better, especially your Calvinistic theology, which if that were the only alternative, I would be sure such a God doesn't exist.

Your belief in God is arbitrary, along with everything in the Bible that you cannot rationally explain ingularly on its own.

DagoodS said...

paul mantra: God can not lie. How can we possible verify this? We have no outside parameters with which to do so.

We ask God, “Can you lie?” If He is bound by truth, He must answer truthfully, and must answer, “No.” If He is NOT bound by truth, then He can lie, and say, “No.” I ask the same question, “Can you lie?” get the same answer, “No” yet both possibilities remain equally viable.

What outside variables do you use, in which to make this claim?

Paul Manata said...

John,

I gues you didn;t get it. YOU said you didn;t have to rationally justify things but then YOU expect us to. That's hypocritical. get it?

dagoods, no outside test. it's a presupposition of the Christian worldview.

DagoodS said...

Thanks, paul manata, for the answer. Are your presuppositions set in stone? If not set in stone, what methodology do you have in place to determine if a change in presupposition is necessary? And how does one go about determining what is presupposition, and what is derived?

It seems to me, in a simplistic way, one could presuppose their entire worldview in a matter of an afternoon, and then hold to it, come hell or high water. And if a person does that, and it differs from your own, by what set of criteria do we determine whose presupposition is correct, and whose is not? Or are we left to just pick and choose as best we can?

For example, if I presuppose that God can or cannot lie, at His own choosing; what system do we implement to determine whether my presupposition is more/less likely than your presupposition? Or is it a 50/50 proposition?

I know I ask a lot of questions, but before delving in, I like to understand the other person’s position.

centuri0n said...

Mr. Loftus:

You lost me. You want me (or any Christian advocate) to defend a proposition like "there is no atonement for sin apart from the shedding of blood" in a rational way? What exactly do you mean?

See: I think having to defend something in a rational way means there are premises that define the argument -- for example, my coming here to your blog and arguing with you over penal substitution requires the premise that you exist. It would be somewhat dense of me to come here to this blog and start my argument with you that, unless you can prove to me that you exist, I'm not going to have an argument with you. The existence of "you" is a premise of "your blog". Asking for proofs of "you" when I'm here at "your blog" is sophist-icated in the worse sense of the word.

Just to cross all the "T"s here, saying the Bible does not define Christian doctrine is the exact same kind of argument as saying that it is indeterminate that you exist even when we have your blog to show for it.

There are unreasoned premises for any discussion -- some of the massive ones we are using right now are the efficacy of language and the existence of "reason". If you are willing to confess that your complaint against the Bible is unreasaoned, I'll be willing to admit my admiration for the Bible is of the same stuff -- and then use it in order to explain why I believe what I believe.

Does that sound fair to you, or were you now going to explain why it is unreasonable to use an authoritative source for discerning doctrines?

Paul Manata said...

dagoods,

by seeing which ones can account for the preconditions of intelligible experience.

And, yes, as far as presuppositions and holding to them tennaciously, read Quine, Kuhn, Wittgenstein, for some non-Christian defenses (although not totally supported) of what I'm saying.

DagoodS said...

paul manata, I googlewhacked "preconditions of intelligible experience." Enlightening, to say the least. 90% of them were a quote of the same line of a debate.

Perhaps you can explain it to me? What is the difference between an "intelligible experience" and a "non-intelligible experience"?

And what part of the "intelligible experience" is not a precondition? (“precondition of” implies a portion, but not a whole)

Thanks, again.

Paul Manata said...

Sorry, schools out for me. here you go:


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0199261563/qid=1139961410/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-1057686-6889535?s=books&v=glance&n=283155

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0761830324/qid=1139961441/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-1057686-6889535?s=books&v=glance&n=283155

http://www.frame-poythress.org/frame_articles/2005Transcendental.htm

DagoodS said...

Ah, I feared you would tire of my questions, paul manata. As you can see, it can become very, very difficult, when broken down in its simplest fashion, to explain what the heck you are actually saying.

I hoped you could continue and give me some insight on your position. I have found that many who lose long words, and verbal diarrhea (I have been guilty myself) are obfuscating the fact that even they don’t understand what they are talking about.

Rather than explain you find it easier to list articles and recommend books. Why should I read these books? From your response, apparently they will not provide the reader with the ability to explain the hypothesis. I read the article. It did not even remotely answer the very basic questions I framed.

You claim (assuming you hold to TAG) to hold to the most basic principles of logic, science and reason in the universe, and atheists are unable to do so, yet you cannot even define the phrase by which you base your presupposition? It would seem, on the face of it, to be easily explained. You claim there is such a thing as “experience” and “intelligible experience.” What is the difference? You claim that presuppositions must be based upon a “precondition” of these experiences. That would mean they should NOT be based upon whatever is NOT a precondition of these experiences.

What is the harm in my trying to figure this out?

Now, we can BOTH play the article game, and I COULD suggest you review:
http://www.infidelguy.com/ftopicp-151273.html

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/michael_martin/martin-frame/tang.html

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/billings_tag.html

The only difference being, I can explain why I don’t hold to TAG after reading these articles. (Because whatever one uses as a basis for logic, science and reason comes out as (surprise, surprise) existing and the basis for logic, science and reason. Whether that is Allah, Jesus, YHWH, or a quart of ice cream.) I still don’t have a handle on yours.

John W. Loftus said...

Centurion, you've probably already seen this, but go to the link below: "Who has a rational faith?"

Paul Manata said...

dagoods,

Give the argument which proves that I don't know how to explain it because i gave you books.

Is it more likely that I knew that when I did you would have more questions, and more questions, etc.

Anyway, if you've read these things and (so you say) have rejected them, then you understand precondition of intelligibility, right? So you were being disingenuous.

And, I've read those aritciles as well. And don't find an understanding of transcendental arguments *qua* arguments. So, it appears that if you think they are spot on, then you are the one who doesn't understand TAs.

Indeed, even your questions showed you didn't understand the issue. So how can you say you reject TAG when you don;t understand whwat a precondition of intelligibility is? If you do understand then why ask me as if you didn't understand? So, it appears that I was actually insightful rather than ignorant of the issues I've been studying for years.

John W. Loftus said...

Manata to Dagood: And, I've read those aritciles as well. And don't find an understanding of transcendental arguments *qua* arguments.

I have yet to see you say that someone who rejected TAG understood it. This is very interesting to me. Name a few people who have both understood it and rejected it. If you cannot do that, then are you saying all someone has to do is understand it and he will accept it?

And are you consequently trying to reason people into the kingdom by helping people understand it?

But consider this. If all one has to do is to step inside the presuppositions of TAG, then he will believe. And if all one has to do to step inside those presuppositions is to understand TAG in the first place, then where is the internal critique of TAG?

And if you can have circular presuppositions where all one has to do is to understand TAG, then why can other differing views not have circular presuppositions which are impervious from an internal critique?

DagoodS said...

paul manata, I have no idea whether you can explain it with or without the books. Since you haven’t.

No, I know why I rejected TAG, after reading these articles, other articles and debates on the subject. I do not recall the exact phrase, “precondition of intelligible experience” coming it. As I showed you, it wasn’t in these articles (or the ones I listed, either.) Perhaps it IS something I am aware of, by different name.

That is why I am asking. I would whole-heartedly concede that my questions demonstrate I do not understand the issue. There were designed to do so for a particular reason—because I DON’T understand the issue! Hence the questions!!

You made a certain phrase: “precondition of intelligible experience” which I was trying to wrap my hands around before engaging on the subject. If I even was going to.

You accuse me of not understanding the issue, but then refuse to explain your position on the issue.

Am I to safely assume you only desire to discuss with those that know more, not less, than you? Look, if you didn’t want to discuss it, simply say, “I don’t want to talk about it.” This is the wonderful world of the ‘net where we are free to say such things.

Thanks.

Dan said...

to John Loftus

I sympatahisize with your task of imparting logic in response to some of the people commenting on your book and your position on atonement for our sins by sacrificing jesus. Here is what I read:

The sky blue pink square round peg fulfills the square incomplete circle finitely limiting infinity by dividing the unity by the duality of the trinity in the process of incompleting the uncomplete to a fulfillment of the unsuccessful success.

And this coming from someone who was steeped in the christian doctrine both at home, in church and in a christian college. So don't tell me I don't understand the words and their sources...it's just that bluntly they make no sense to a rational mind.

Keep up the good work!