Reality Check: What Must Be the Case if Christianity is True?

Below I've put together all thirty theses (so far) that most Christians agree on and why they are all improbable:

1) There must be a God who is a simple being yet made up of three inexplicable persons existing forever outside of time without a beginning, who therefore never learned anything new, never took a risk, never made a decision, never disagreed within the Godhead, and never had a prior moment to freely choose his own nature.

2) There must be a personal non-embodied omnipresent God who created the physical universe ex-nihilo in the first moment of time who will subsequently forever experience a sequence of events in time.

3) There must exist a perfectly good, omnipotent God, who created a perfectly good universe out of a desire/need to glorify himself by rewarding in heaven the few human beings who just got lucky to believe by being born at the right time and place, and who will condemn to hell those who do not believe.

4) That the highest created being, known as Satan or the Devil, led an angelic rebellion against an omnipotent omniscient omnibenelovent omnipresent God, and expected to win--which makes Satan out to be pure evil and dumber than a box of rocks.

5) That there was a first human pair (Adam & Eve) who so grievously sinned against God when tested that all of the rest of us are being punished for it (including animals), even though no one but the first human pair deserved to be punished. If it's argued that all of us deserve to be punished because we all would have sinned, then the test was a sham. For only if some of us would not have sinned can the test be considered a fair one. But if some of us would not have sinned under the same initial conditions then there are people who are being punished for something they never would have done.

6) That although there are many other similar mythological stories told in Ancient Near Eastern Literature that pre-date what we read in the Bible, the stories in the Bible are about real events and real people.

7) That although we see completely different perspectives and evolving theologies in the Bible, including many things that are barbaric and superstitious to the core, it was authored by one divine mind.

8) That when it comes to verifiable matters of historical fact (like the Exodus, the extent of the reign of David, Luke's reported world-wide census, etc) the Biblical stories are disconfirmed by evidence to the contrary as fairy tales, but when it comes to supernatural claims of miracles that cannot be verified like a virgin birth and resurrection from the grave, the Bible reports true historical facts.

9) That although a great number of miracles were claimed to have happened in the different superstitious cultures of the ancient world, only the ones in the Bible actually happened as claimed.

10) That an omniscient God could not foresee that his revealed will in the Bible would lead believers to commit such atrocities against others that reasonable people would conclude there is no divine mind behind the Bible. I call this The Problem of Miscommunication.

11) That God created human beings with rational minds that require evidence before they accept something, and yet this same God does not provide enough evidence but asks them to have faith instead.

12) That although people around the world are raised in different cultures to believe in their particular god(s) there is only one God and he will judge all people based upon whether or not they believe Jesus is Lord.

13) That Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecy even though there is not one passage in the Old Testament that is specifically fulfilled in his life, death, and resurrection that can legitimately be understood as a prophecy and singularly points to Jesus as the Messiah using today's historical-grammatical hermeneutical method.

14) That although there were many false virgin birth claims about famous people (like Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Plato) mythical heroes (like Mithra, Hercules) and savior gods (like Krishna, Osiris, Dionysus) in the ancient world, Jesus was really born of a virgin.

15) That while there is no rational explanation for how a person can be 100% man and 100% God, and although ancient pagan superstitious people believed this can take place (Acts 14:11-12; 28:6), Jesus was incarnate God in the flesh.

16) That while the results of science are assured when it comes to chemistry, physics, meteorology, mechanics, forensic science, medical science, rocket science, computer science, and so forth, when it comes to evolutionary science that shows all present life forms have common ancestors, or when science tells us that dead bodies do not arise from the grave because total cell necrosis is irreversible, the results of science are wrong because the Bible says otherwise.

17) That although there is no rational explanation for why Jesus had to die on the cross to atone for our sins, his death atoned for our sins.

18) That although historical reconstructions of the past are are notoriously difficult because they depend on the poor evidence of history, and even though historians must assess that evidence by assuming a natural explanation for it, and even though historical evidence can never establish how to view that evidence, the Christian faith can be established historically anyway. My argument is that when it comes to miraculous claims, yesterday’s evidence no longer can hold water for me, for in order to see it as evidence, I must already believe in the framework that allows me to see it as evidence. In other words, in order to see yesterday’s evidence as evidence for me, I must already believe the Christian framework that allows me to see yesterday’s evidence as evidence for Christianity.

19) That although there is no cogent theodicy that can explain why there is such ubiquitous and massive human and animal suffering if a perfectly good omnipotent God exists, God is perfectly good and omnipotent anyway.

20) That while scientific tests on petitionary prayers have produced at best negligible results and at worst completely falsified them, God answers these kinds of prayers anyway.

21) That even though Christianity shows evidence that it is nothing but a cultural by-product of human invention there is a divine mind behind it anyway.

22) That Jesus is the Son of God even though the textual evidence in the New Testament conclusively shows that the founder of the Jesus cult was a failed apocalyptic prophet who prophesied that the eschaton would take place in his generation, which would involve a total cosmic catastrophe after which God inaugurates a literal kingdom on earth with the "Son of Man" reigning from Jerusalem over the nations.

23) That although there can be no moral justification for the sufferings of animals in this created world, a perfectly good God created this world anyway. We don't even see God's care for the lower animals in his supposed revealed word, which is described in Psalm 119 as his "perfect will." Think otherwise? Then read what I wrote here.

24) That although the only method we have for determining the truth in factual matters is methodological naturalism, which assumes a natural explanation for any phenomena, and although this method is the hallmark of the sciences, the phenomena of the Bible can be exempted from this method as applied through Biblical Criticism, and believed anyway.

25) That although God's supposed revelation in the canonical Bible is indistinguishable from the musings of an ancient, barbaric, superstitious people, the Bible is the word of God. As SilverBullet recently said: “...the lord doesn't work in mysterious ways, but in ways that are indistinguishable from his non-existence. It seems to me that there is nothing in the Christian scriptures, no sentence, paragraph, or idea, that couldn't be anything more than the product of the humans alive at the time that the apparently divinely inspired scriptures and ideas were "revealed". Sure, its possible for a god to reveal himself in an inspired book, and throughout history, in ways that are indistinguishable from the work of human minds and human minds alone. But how probable does that seem to you?”

26) That although it's claimed God got the attention of Abraham, Moses, the Pharaoh, Gideon, Mary, Joseph, and Saul (who became Paul) and that he knows how to get the attention of anyone and everyone, there is no objective evidence he's trying to get the attention of the billions of people who don't believe. In fact, Christians are much more concerned than God is that non-believers are converted. Just compare the lengths to which Christians will go in order to convert non-believers, with a God who has the means to convert everyone and yet does nothing to help them do this. If you say God is helping to convert non-believers then tell us how to objectively know God is actually doing this.

27) Christianity is a faith that must dismiss the tragedy of death. It does not matter who dies, or how many, or what the circumstances are when people die. It could be the death of a mother whose baby depends upon her for milk. It could be a pandemic like cholera that decimated parts of the world in 1918, or the more than 23,000 children who die every single day from starvation. These deaths could be by suffocation, drowning, a drive-by shooting, or being burned to death. It doesn't matter. God is good. Death doesn't matter. People die all of the time. In order to justify God's goodness Christianity minimizes the value of human life. It is a pro-death faith, plain and simple.

28) That God's punishments are good, right, and just, even though it means sinners are thrust into a surprisingly dangerous world, and in death will be blindsided by an eternal punishment in hell, which is "Christianity's most damnable doctrine." In this world how do you think human beings first learned that venomous creatures like certain kinds of spiders, snakes, ants or scorpions could kill us? People/children had to die, lots of them. How do you think human beings first learned that polluted water or lead poisoning could kill us? Again, people/children had to die, lots of them. It was inevitable since God never told us what to avoid in order to stay alive. We had to learn these kinds of things firsthand. The same thing can be said for hell. People do not know their choices will send them to an eternal punishment in hell. For if we knew this, and if it was possible not to sin at all, we wouldn't sin. Do you doubt this? Then consider that if you knew with certainty that by crossing a line drawn in the sand you would get beaten to a pulp by a biker gang, you would not do it!

29) When believers like Christians or Muslims contend their faiths are based on reason, one may simply object that this can’t be so because their god in fact doesn’t allow it. Using reason to arrive at any other belief than the correct one will earn you an eternity in hell. Thus, reason is an evil to be avoided....Blind, unquestioning, and unexamined belief is what the theist’s retributive god truly desires, not a belief grounded in reason. And yet they maintain Christianity is reasonable.

30) The Christian thinks there is an objective absolute morality that stems from their perfectly good God, which is both eternal and unchangeable. But the morality we find in the Bible is something quite different than what they claim. Morality has evolved. What we find in the Bible is not something we would expect from a perfectly good God, but Christians believe there is a perfectly good God anyway. So Christians must choose, either 1) hold to a philosopher's god divorced from the historical realities of the Bible, or 2) continue to worship a moral monster.

[First posted 7/10/10]

53 comments:

Martin said...

Regarding #5, I find the whole premise that "sin" requires a blood sacrifice to be arcane. It might have made sense to Bronze Age people, but would anyone invent a philosophy or religion like that today?

Joe Staub said...

In #30 you claim that there are only two options: Your way, or the straw man you have created. In what I see as the straw man, your assumption is that "mystery" or "tension" cannot exist. Or unrevealed information is not accounted for. Furthermore, your's is a purely materialistic world view based on incomplete information from which, it seems to me, you are making declarative conclusions. How can you claim to know so certainly with what little information we have about the universe?

cl said...

Hi,

I don't have a blogger profile, so I don't know if this comment will make it past the troll police, but I saw a link to this post from Unequally Yoked and thought it would be something like, "What are the ramifications if Christianity is true?" Now, I don't know what to make of it.

Some of these are pretty unconvincing; notably, parts of 1, and all of 6, 9, 11, 16, 18, 19, 24, 25, 27, and 28. If you'd like to discuss in further detail, pick one and I'll explain why I think it's unconvincing.

Michael said...

Nice summary John. In conversations with Christian friends, they always have a convenient rationalization for me (one that sounds preposterous)as to why I have it wrong and how the theology makes sense. I think though when one considers the 30 points you have summarized and the many more you have omitted, there would have to be an immense rationalization to make them all fit. As with what happened with my faith, it all comes crashing down like a house of cards.
Looking back I wonder how in the world I believed any of it.

cl said...

Correction: apparently I do have a Blogger profile! I forgot that blogger connects to gmail.

Nocterro said...

This is perhaps the poorest overview of Christian beliefs I've ever read.

First off, for many of these, it's not clear that most Christians agree(such as 27), and you have not shown why they are in fact improbable(such as 1).

Furthermore, many of these points have the form "although X...Y is the case". Many Christians, and even some atheists, would disagree with many of these "althoughs".

23, for example, says: "That although there can be no moral justification for the sufferings of animals in this created world..." This is just assuming that there actually can be no justification for such. You're simply begging the question.

Another point. 20. It's just false. I don't know any educated Christian who believes God is a "wish-granting machine". Ever heard "Thy will be done"? Prayer in Christianity is for spiritual development and deepening one's relationship with God.

Finally, there seems to be a worrying trend in the atheist community these days to refer to any answer Christians give to so-called "tough questions" as "rationalizations". This seems to be a case of the atheist arbitrarily dismissing the Christian's answer with a wave of his hand. What exactly is a rationalization supposed to be, anyway?

Lvka said...

What Must Be the Case if Atheism is True?


1) Emotions appeared out of the Big Bang, along with reason and self-consciousness.

zenmite said...

Prayer in Christianity is for spiritual development and deepening one's relationship with God.

"Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!"

"Have faith in God,' Jesus answered. 'I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, "Go, throw yourself into the sea," and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."

"And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it" (John 14:13-14).

Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

To the nonchristian, these verses sure sound like they're refering to things other than spiritual development or deepening one's relationship with god.

beowulf2k8 said...

"The Christian thinks there is an objective absolute morality that stems from their perfectly good God, which is both eternal and unchangeable. But the morality we find in the Bible is something quite different than what they claim."

This is the best one. All the rest are rather pointless. This by itself is enough. "Thou shalt not murder." "Go murder all the Canaanites and show them no mercy." That kills it right there.

beowulf2k8 said...

Actually numbers 15 and 17 are good too and numbers 5,6,7.

Hendy said...

@Lvka:

PERHAPS

Excerpt: "In a series of studies scientists have found that monkeys and apes can make judgments about fairness, offer altruistic help and empathise when a fellow animal is ill or in difficulties. They even appear to have consciences and the ability to remember obligations...

The animals were asked to perform a set of simple tasks and then rewarded with food or affection. The rewards were varied, seemingly at random. De Waal found the animals had an acute sense of fairness and objected strongly when others were rewarded more than themselves for the same task, often sulking and refusing to take part any further."


As soon as you insist that god infused reason, morality, and/or consciousness into us you have to explain it for other species who aren't privileged to have eternal souls.

Also, in exercising my reason I have completely lost my faith and can't comprehend how the Christian god is logically coherent, yet it's his intervention in the evolutionary process for me to have such a gift?

So far in my quest for truth, about every time I've exercised my reason it's been reprimanded with a healthy dose of theological speculation, possible worlds, or just simple nonsense. We trust god in things we would never credit a human for.

Case in point: at a Christian couple's group my wife and I are in a friend's wife shared a prayer sense that came from (I believe) Therese of Lisieux. She said that god seems distant and near at various times because he plays 'love games' with us. It's his way of being friendly with his children.

I immediately wondered how that would work if when my men's group split off to talk about life if I explained that I had been playing 'love games' with my wife and that I sometimes express affection and then disappear completely for a couple weeks and then come back to surprise her with a loving visit. We translate god's actions into 'love' and 'revelation' in ways we wouldn't in a million years use to describe human behavior.

But god's different, right?

But I'm just using the reason he gave me in the first place to ponder the only experience I have: experience with other human beings who supposedly bear the image and likeness of the creator. Yet he's exempt from all the typical analysis criteria used to determine what love looks like in human form?

Lvka said...

And just how exactly does your lengthy dissertation disprove my simple observation? :-\

zilch said...

Hi John! Long time no post, but I gotta. Nice work.

Hi Lvka! How's life in Arad? And I suspect you know the answer to your question: emotions evolved, as did life, religion, and hula hoops.

cheers from sunny not-so-far-from-Romania Vienna, zilch

Hendy said...

It doesn't. It supports it as true. Given that this is a 'reality check' series, my response was based on your unstated connotation that 1) is improbable.

Or perhaps you didn't mean that and just wanted to start a series called Lvka's 'quick facts' reference card?

Lynn said...

Hendy,

I like what you said re accepting things in our relationship with god that we would never accept in real relationships. All that elusiveness and undependability would definitely be negatives in a spouse.

To me, it's like being married to someone who's neglectful of you. You are so thrilled with the tiny bits of attention and affection you do receive. You make excuses for the neglect-you aren't WORTH the attention and care.

Russ said...

Lvka,
You said,

What Must Be the Case if Atheism is True?

1) Emotions appeared out of the Big Bang, along with reason and self-consciousness.

What you've said here has its own element of truth to it, but you've repeatedly proven that you understand neither atheism nor science.

Since science is a far more effective means for understanding almost anything when compared to religion, science better supports an atheistic worldview than it does a theistic one. Science is even better for understanding religion than religion is. Sure religions try to lay claim to all the natural world being evidence for gods, but gods are nothing more than extensions and extrapolations of the vast creative capabilities we see in ourselves - making, molding, shaping, designing, creating, building, imagining - applied to fill voids in our knowledge and understanding. Gods, your Christian gods in particular, are of no use when trying to make sense of the natural world, including the human component. That the universe, nature itself, unfolds in ways fully explainable through 100 percent supernatural-free material processes, means that gods perform no function, they do no work at all, in telling us how nature works.

From the bonding of hydrogen and oxygen to make water to other observed natural chemical processes that produce biologically important compounds like amino acids and polypeptides, nucleotides, sugars and other carbohydrates, gods serve no function. That humans are chemical in nature and their lives and continued existence rely on natural chemical processes shows us that gods serve no purpose. That nitrogen-fixing bacteria are more important to human happiness and well-being than are any of today's thousand actively worshiped gods demonstrates that none of those gods is needed, despite the claims of the faithful.

That the assertion of some god's existence depends only on human communities claiming to believe, proves that humans create gods, not the other way around. That humanity has dumped tens of thousands of purportedly powerful gods, including myriad versions of Christians gods, without incident shows us that gods and their powers are the wishful imaginings of faith communities, nothing more.

Russ said...

Lvka,
That a child acquires its religious conceptions from those around him and that that same child would acquire different religious conceptions under different circumstances tells us that religions are purely cultural. Give US Christian dominionists enough power and money and they could coerce their version of Christianity -- not Eastern Orthodox, not Roman Catholicism, not Methodistism or Lutheranism -- onto the world at large, but that would only tell us who materially won the war, not that their Christianity or any other Christianity is true. If Christians adopt an orphaned child from the slums of Calcutta, the ratio of Christians to Hindus tips to the Christian's favor, but it happens through 100 percent supernatural-free means. Gods play no part.

The gods themselves are completely material consequences of human mental physiology. The contradictory claims made for gods the world over means that none of them is real, including the non-existent Christian gods for which so many contradictory claims are made.

Atheism is merely not believing in the silliness of gods, and it fully supportable and justifiable without science. Without using science at all atheism makes perfect sense given that religions all fail to live up to the claims they make.

If gods were real, we would see it.

Emotions, reason and consciousness do arise from all-natural processes so gods are once again unneeded. We see a broad range of emotions in non-human species, and, what's more, the closer a species is to humans genetically the greater is the similarity of their emotional expression to that of humans. Considering reason and consciousness we see that the capacity to harness both is a function of the size of brain, a purely material consideration. Furthermore, if a fully functioning human being has the interconnectedness of their brain neurons disrupted with drugs, injury or disease -- again, purely material means, a corresponding alteration in the functioning of their reason, consciousness and emotions will be observed.

A person's religious beliefs are often altered by changes in the material brain, too. Injury inducing temporal lobe epilepsy frequently makes a person more religious. If one lives long enough with Alzheimer's disease, their religious beliefs fade away along with the rest of brain function. Change the physical brain and way spirits and demons and gods are imagined changes too, 100 percent supernatural-free.

If gods were real, we would see it.

Russ said...

Lvka,
That a child acquires its religious conceptions from those around him and that that same child would acquire different religious conceptions under different circumstances tells us that religions are purely cultural. Give US Christian dominionists enough power and money and they could coerce their version of Christianity -- not Eastern Orthodox, not Roman Catholicism, not Methodistism or Lutheranism -- onto the world at large, but that would only tell us who materially won the war, not that their Christianity or any other Christianity is true. If Christians adopt an orphaned child from the slums of Calcutta, the ratio of Christians to Hindus tips to the Christian's favor, but it happens through 100 percent supernatural-free means. Gods play no part.

The gods themselves are completely material consequences of human mental physiology. The contradictory claims made for gods the world over means that none of them is real, including the non-existent Christian gods for which so many contradictory claims are made.

Atheism is merely not believing in the silliness of gods, and it fully supportable and justifiable without science. Without using science at all atheism makes perfect sense given that religions all fail to live up to the claims they make.

If gods were real, we would see it.

Emotions, reason and consciousness do arise from all-natural processes so gods are once again unneeded. We see a broad range of emotions in non-human species, and, what's more, the closer a species is to humans genetically the greater is the similarity of their emotional expression to that of humans. Considering reason and consciousness we see that the capacity to harness both is a function of the size of brain, a purely material consideration. Furthermore, if a fully functioning human being has the interconnectedness of their brain neurons disrupted with drugs, injury or disease -- again, purely material means, a corresponding alteration in the functioning of their reason, consciousness and emotions will be observed.

A person's religious beliefs are often altered by changes in the material brain, too. Injury inducing temporal lobe epilepsy frequently makes a person more religious. If one lives long enough with Alzheimer's disease, their religious beliefs fade away along with the rest of brain function. Change the physical brain and way spirits and demons and gods are imagined changes too, 100 percent supernatural-free.

If gods were real, we would see it.

mindyourmind said...

Lvka

Your argument is, at best, one for deism. Natural theology's best shot.

How do you bring that thought of yours to "therefore Jesus"?

Nathan said...

Hi CL -

Feel free. Pick one, and tell us why it's unconvincing. Only I will say in advance it's no use claiming that a particular proposition isn't actually Christian belief. These aren't atheist beliefs. I only observe that many persons who self-identify as Christians believe these things, and further believe that a Christian must believe this thing to be a Christian. Whether a person or a belief is actually Christian, I cannot (and do not) say.

Thanks!

Lvka said...

1) There must be a God who [...] never had a prior moment to freely choose his own nature.


Yeah, about that...

FabricOnline said...

We could argue on this til the cows come home of course. I have plenty to say on various numbers.
The thing is that either christianity is right or it isn't. I can't prove God to you without any doubt so in theory he could very well not exist. There is plenty of evidence to point that he does. There is also of course reasons to believe he doesn't.
However, whether you believe he exists or doesn't exist, it doesn't change the fact of him existing or not. Whether you believed it's snowing in Africa or not, would not change the fact if it were or not.
If God doesn't exist and the christians are just deluded then yeah...what are they on?? Random.
If he does exist and all that the bible says is true is true then the ramifications of this will be huge. And if God is actually who he says he is than it has nothing to with if we like the way he does things or not.
If he doesn't exist and christianity is wrong then all people will die and that's that. The christians will have lived a deluded life and that's about it.
If christianity is actually correct..and what the bible actually says is true (just humor me and assume for a moment it is) then...well...I think it will be a moment of "oh shit!" for a lot of people. But IF the bible is correct it will then be too late. You've made your decision. Sounds harsh, but again if we assume the bible to be true then it is simply tough. Too late. And I guess this is why christians can't shut up about it, which I understand is annoying to non-christians. They don't shut up because the ramifications would be so horrific.At the same time I think we've overdone it too. The Western World knows, they just need to make their choice.

Personally, in terms of the afterlife - I would rather be deluded and find that there's nothing, than deluded and find there's something. Let's hope for your sake that I'm the one that's hopelessly deluded. If there's no afterlife I wont know anyway.

Hendy said...

@FabricOnline...

All that when you could have just said Pascal's Wager?

You also forgot the part where (just humor me for a moment) the Koran is true and (no seriously just pretend for a moment) Allah will send all infidels to hell.

What happens when you wager the wager the wrong way?

P.S. You're not really choosing to be deluded any more than I'm choosing to be a disbeliever. At the present my genetic tendencies, experience, and view of the evidence makes me an unbeliever. I don't see how it could be otherwise. Evidence is either convincing to an individual or it's not.

Pascal's Wager is typically employed by those who think to believe like them involves a mere choice (should I wear pants or shorts today?)... to see it more as 'should I like Mounds or Almond Joy' is a bit more accurate. You just like one more than the other and to 'choose' to like the other would be nonsensical.

mindyourmind said...

FabricOnline

Pascal's Wager then? What a sad way to waste a life. Do yourself a favour and read up on how odious and how debunked this piece of apologetic porn has become after it has been analyzed. I think John did a piece or two on it right here on this site, so you have no excuse.

AgnBri said...

The point I was trying to make was that irrelevant of whether I am convinced one way or the other or believe one way or the other...it has no effect on truth. I mean either God exists or he doesn't. There's no middle ground. And both possibilities can't exist at the same time. And one of them is true. And if God exists then I don't think he really would care whether he made sense to our small brains or not.

My point was not "believe, even if you doubt because you're better off". I realise I came across that way and it wasn't actually my intention. My point was not a Pascal's wager. I do not believe because I figure it's better to believe than not. I believe because I am convinced otherwise. But I am not arrogant enough to believe that there isn't a possibility I might be wrong. If you could prove God without a shadow of a doubt then this blog wouldn't exist. I am happy to admit that I am probably about 90% sure, 10% doubt. I would say the rest is faith, yes blind faith maybe even because for that 10% I don't have answers, even for myself. If you call that a Pascal's wager, fine. I call that only being human and being limited in our knowledge.

I will agree that you're right about Pascal's wager and the Koran. It could be a possibility.

And I do think there is a choice. A belief is an acceptance of a choice. Given the evidence you have chosen to believe the evidence that points to there being no God. I have gone the opposite way.

Arrgghhh...too late at night now.

AgnBri said...

Also, Pascal's wager assumes that reason cannot explain God. I think it can, to a point. But it doesn't fully, otherwise again we wouldn't be having this discussion. And yes, the rest is faith.

Gandolf said...

Pascals wager is just a poor excuse to make a way for faithful gamblers to feel better about the outcome of their thoughtless addiction.

If it was poking coins in a one armed bandit ,the addict might say ...Oh well no harm done ,who cares i cant take my money with me when i die anyway.

Sadly this selfish short sighted type ignorance ,doesnt do much to help feed the kids stuck at home wishing their parent were not gambling addicts.

Fabriconline said.."If he doesn't exist and christianity is wrong then all people will die and that's that. The christians will have lived a deluded life and that's about it."

See how easy it is for these faith gamblers to simply turn a blind eye!, to all the trouble hurt and pain caused in this world by the god believers.

Does Fabriconline even stop to considder those that died in Jonestown .Or those children still mutilated or killed accused as being witches in places like Africa.Or considder the lives of many women still suffering subdued lives, under the many degrees of oppression by faith belief http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/iran-might-revise-stoning-sentence-against-woman-convicted-of-adultery-1.301093 .Or wonder about those children refused blood transfusion.Or ask what it might be like to be BORN into some abusive christian cult where your family gets split and devided, and some people suffer so long, they just give up in total despair are choose suicide to try to end the pain .Places where whole lifetimes can seem like one big nightmare with no end.

No it doesnt seem so.

Addicts often dont really stop think about how their actions might happen to be effecting others, do they.No for addicts life is often all about them.

Often these folk honestly mean well,they simply just forget! to even stop and considder how their actions might happen to be effecting those around them.

Fabriconline like many faithful are simply oblivious to the far reaching effect of the continued promotion of faiths.

These people wouldnt stop to considder the very fine line of random luck, that simply rests between the possibility of them having been born into a whole different faith than they happened to be.They never stop to think its only a stroke of random luck! that rests between them being the ONES born children in Africa,being hunted down and killed,having been accused as being witches.Or stoned to death in Iran.

Because when under the spell of a charismatic figure, areas of the brain responsible for scepticism and vigilance become less active.Parts of the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices, which play key roles in vigilance and scepticism when judging the truth and importance of what people say, become deactivated .http://www.newscientist.com/article
/mg20627574.200-brain-shuts-off-in-response-to-healers-prayer.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=life

Gandolf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Russ said...

FabricOnline,
You said,

The thing is that either christianity is right or it isn't.

Actually, things are not as simple as you seem to think. If we assume that we have, through some as yet undisclosed method, determined that all non-Christianities are wrong and further, through that same undisclosed method, determined that one of the Christianities must be "right," we are still faced with the operational impossibility of ferreting out which of the thousands of today's Christianities is that "right" one. From the World Christian Encyclopedia and other sources we know that there are about forty thousand theologically distinct Christianties in the world right now. To make matters worse, those forty thousand only cover the formal ones, the ones that some dutiful theologian has put on paper, so they do not account for the additional tens of thousands less formal Christianities.

As a child one learns the "right" version of Christianity from those around him, but if one starts from the outside with the intention of isolating the objectively "right" Christianity, then he would quickly realize that his goal is unacheivable out of sheer numbers, and there are about three new Christianities added to the pile every day.

Finding the "right" Christianity is also impeded by the contradictory and exclusive claims made among the Christianities. It's not enough to be "Christian," a term that is meaningless really, one must be a specific kind of Christian. If one is not Roman Catholic, one is doomed to hell. Just ask the Pope, after all he really knows these things, right? If one isn't COGIC, one is bound to Hades. Just ask the COGIC clergy who comment here regularly. All Christians are going to hell by the theologies of other Christians.

So, again, things are not as simple as you seem to think. When you say, "The thing is that either christianity is right or it isn't," you show us that you have not given the tens of thousands of Christianities a full consideration.

Hendy said...

@AgnBri... (AgnBri = FabricOnline??)

I would like to hone in on the topic of choice. Conduct a thought experiment with me for a moment:

Can you imagine that it is possible for you to choose right now to be a Muslim? Your answer should be yes. It is possible. Yet imagine yourself actually doing it. What would your choice to believe even mean? Surely you can sense the tension of supposedly having chosen, yet in your present state I'm imagining that you can't even get your head around how you would actually convince yourself of its truth by this choice.

Does that resonate with you at all?

I realize that these things are somewhat elusive with respect to 'proof' and 'verification', yet the evidence is as it is and our mental capacities, genetically propelled tendencies, and experience form how that evidence is received.

We all have what I call a 'threshold of belief' and I heavily urge you consider how much choice is truly involved in that.

My prayer these days is, 'god, give me something I can't deny.' That's all it would take.

Parmenicleitus said...

Russ-

One thing to further point out regarding all monotheistic ideologies (and Christianity *is* an ideology, not a "religion" in my estimation) is the distinguishing foundation upon which they base *themselves*: the false dilemma between true and false "religion."

If such a dilemma is the case for monotheism, and Christians consider themselves monotheistic, then it follows that 1) "Christianity" is really an ambiguous or maybe even a meaningless, umbrella term, 2) not all Christians are Christian, and/or 3) that "Christianity" is really a relativistic belief system. (I've thought 1 and 3 to be pretty much the case for some time, given the almost inherent two-faced-ness, incoherency, inconsistency, and opportunism as Christians show themselves.)

Harry H. McCall, CET said...

Concerning statement 14:

As to the Virgin Birth for a commoner like Mary, I would cite the very ancient, but astute Akkadain proverb: ina la na-kimi-i e-rat-me in la a-ka-li-me ka-ab-rat (They say: ‘Could she be pregnant without sexual intercourse; could she be fat without eating?’) G.W. Lambert, Babylonian Wisdom Literature, Oxford University Press, 1960; p. 241 ii 40-42.

Concerning statement 15:

In the ancient Semitic world, it was believed that only the father (in this case God himslef) was only condisted to be the genetic parent.

If we consider the Akkaidain word rihutu (seed (male semen)) to be a synonym for the Hebrew זרע (also meaning male seed), then one can understand how the Semitic background for Jesus being 100% God could probably have been conceived, but not 100%man which is use for the atonement.

Thus from a Babylonian text we read: a-bi ir-ha-an-ni AMA ul-dan-ni (My father engendered me, (my) mother gave me birth.)

I would consider the Akkadian background of the Hebrew Bible, more in line with the birth narratives in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke than with the concepts of the Classical Greek medical texts of Galen.

However, the final analysis of whether the birth narrative additions are based in the Semitic world or in the Greek world depends on just when these birth additions were added.

Papalinton said...

Hi Russ

Great succinct posts of yours. Do you mind if I borrowed your words to use on various other sites I am working [with appropriate attribution of course]?
Thanks
Papalinton

Lee said...

1) There must be a God who [...] never had a prior moment to freely choose his own nature.

Lvka, you responded thus:

Yeah, about that...

How does the link you supplied answer anything about John's 1st thesis? It's significant to me that there's not a single biblical reference in it.

The author goes to great length to try to explain why the trinity makes sense, but then ends the paper with this:

"The Cappadocians have taught us that the Trinity is not a matter for academic speculation, but for personal relationship. As such, it is truth revealed only by participation in the Father-Son relationship through the Spirit which allows us to cry Abba, Father. The Trinity is, therefore, revealed only in the Church, i.e. the community through which we become sons of the Father of Jesus Christ. Outside this it remains a stumbling block and a scandal."

Are you fucking kidding me?! The whole paper up to that point is nothing but an attempt at academic speculation!!

What he's asserting in that last paragraph is that the "truth" of the trinity can only be revealed to someone after they've already decided that christianity is true. How convenient. Then why didn't he just say that to begin with? Why does he bother to try to explain it, and then say in essence, it will only make sense to you once you've decided that it's true despite the fact that it doesn't make sense to you.

So, how is it to be taken? By reason or by faith? Must faith really precede reason? If so, is that how we should approach all claims to truth? Does the concept of the trinity really, honestly make any more sense after a person accepts it on faith?

DoOrDoNot said...

This list really should make Christians stop and reflect on their beliefs in a more critical way. I'm a Christian myself, but some of these ideas have been causing me to rethink my belief system. #28 is what started it, my visceral reaction against the idea of hell. We are reviewing Tim Keller's book "The Reason for God" at church, and when we came to the chapter on Hell, I had such strong objections that I decided to review the chapter at my blog. The issue I faced in church is that when one starts with the presupposition that God loves us and died for us, everything else has to be understood in light of it. To question the doctrine of hell is to question the love of God, which doesn't go over well in church. I know the doctrine of hell is being dispensed with by some denominations. I'm trying to determine if by throwing out the doctrine of hell I am left with a coherent Christian belief system or if it all crumbles.

Lvka said...

Lee,


John was complaining that God "never had a prior moment to freely choose his own nature". -- In other words, he was implying that God is the subject or slve or prisoner of Necessity (in this case, of His own divine nature): that's what I was responding to; that's what you should search for when reading the article: stuff like this:


With regard to human existence, too, classical Greek philosophy at that time had given priority to nature over particular persons. The views current at the time of the Cappadocian Fathers were either of a Platonic or of an Aristotelian kind. [...] In both cases, man in his diversity and plurality of persons was subject to the necessity — or priority — of his nature. Nature or substance always preceded the person in classical Greek thought.

The Cappadocian Fathers challenged this established view of philosophy through their Trinitarian theology. They claimed that the priority of nature over the person, or of the one over the many, is due to the fact that human existence is a created existence, i.e. it is an existence with a beginning, and should not be made into a metaphysical principle. [...]

To give ontological primacy to the person would mean to undo the fundamental principles with which Greek philosophy had operated since its inception. The particular person never had an ontological role in classical Greek thought. What mattered ultimately was the unity or totality of being of which man was but a portion. [...]

The Trinitarian theology of the Cappadocian Fathers involved a philosophy in which the particular was not secondary to being or nature; it was thus free in an absolute sense. In classical thought, freedom was cherished as a quality of the individual, but not in an ontological sense. [...] Furthermore, the possibility that the person might pose the question of his freedom from his very existence was entirely inconceivable in ancient philosophy. [...]

Cappadocian theology stressed this principle of freedom as a presupposition of being by extending it to cover the being of God Himself. [...] By so doing, they gave to the person ontological priority, and thus freed existence from the logical necessity of substance, of the self-existent. This was a revolutionary step in philosophy, the anthropological consequences of which must not pass unnoticed.

Man, for the Fathers, is the image of God. He is not God by nature, since he is created. [...] Nevertheless, he is called to exist in the way God exists.

It follows from this that although man's nature is ontologically prior to his personhood, as we have already noted, man is called to an effort to free himself from the necessity of his nature and behave in all respects as if the person were free from the laws of nature. In practical terms, this is what the Fathers saw in the ascetic effort which they regarded as essential to all human existence, regardless of whether one was a monk or lived in the world. Without an attempt to free the person from the necessity of nature, one cannot be the image of God, since in God, as we have noted above, the person, and not nature, causes Him to be the way He is.

As it emerges from the way personhood is understood by the Cappadocian Fathers with reference to God, the person is not a secondary but a primary and absolute notion in existence. Nothing is more sacred than the person since it constitutes the way of being of God Himself. The person cannot be sacrificed or subjected to any ideal, to any moral or natural order, or to any expediency or objective, even of the most sacred kind. [...]

The person cannot exist in isolation. God is not alone; He is communion. Love is not a feeling, a sentiment springing from nature like a flower from a tree. Love is a relationship, it is the free coming out of one's self, the breaking of one's will, a free submission to the will of another. [...]

The Cappadocians have taught us that the Trinity is not a matter for academic speculation, but for personal relationship.


etc. etc. etc.

Hendy said...

@Lvka:

Is this the most relevant passage?
"Cappadocian theology stressed this principle of freedom as a presupposition of being by extending it to cover the being of God Himself. [...] By so doing, they gave to the person ontological priority, and thus freed existence from the logical necessity of substance, of the self-existent. This was a revolutionary step in philosophy, the anthropological consequences of which must not pass unnoticed."

Honestly, I feel like I need a translator for all that. Since you suggested it, would you be able to synthesize it into layman's terms for me/us?

In the end, I think the burden of proof is on someone to give an even remotely plausible account of why we should suspect that typical laws of causality or timeline are not applicable to god.

It also seems that in the Kalam Cosmological Argument, it is beneficial to carry the concepts of time-based cause and effect into a realm where such do not apply... yet here we are doing the same with what we know of existence and the implications of god being 'eternal' and are told... "Hey! Don't do that!"

It seems like a double standard to me. If god is not created and is eternal and is changeless... how is #1 invalidated?

Lvka said...

Hendy,

in the words of the article itself:


In human existence, nature precedes the person. When John or George or Basil are born, the one human nature precedes them [...]

Now, if we contrast this with God's existence, we see immediately that this existential and hence logical difficulty is not applicable to God. Since God by definition has not had a beginning, and space and time do not enter His existence, the three persons of the Trinity do not share a pre-existing or logically prior to them divine nature, but coincide with it. [...]

It is impossible, therefore, to say that in God, as it is the case with human beings, nature precedes the person. [...]

Harry H. McCall, CET said...

The Judeo-Christian religious tradition has always depended on other older and established (proven) religious and philosophical traditions to build their mental environments. Then these two (father and son) religions traditions could cherry pick and pervert both ancient Semitic and Greek thought in order to claim total truth for themselves as they then condemned their sources as evil and even demonic.

Facts prove that Christianity was as much a parasite on the Greek and Jewish intellectual traditions as the Hebrew / Jewish world was a product of their ancient Semitic world.

So be it the Jew Philo and the Hellenistic world or main stream Christianity’s Church Fathers and the Greco-Roman intellectual worlds; Christianity is simply a true parasite of history!

Hendy said...

"Since God by definition has not had a beginning, and space and time do not enter His existence, the three persons of the Trinity do not share a pre-existing or logically prior to them divine nature, but coincide with it. [...]"

So, what's wrong with John's statement? Whether one says that god did not have a prior moment to choose his own nature or that god's nature simply 'coincides' with his existence/being/what-have-you... aren't we saying the same thing?

The key, also, is to note the words, "Since God by definition..." This says nothing about what is actually the case but that we have defined a concept such that it fulfills certain conditions we find very convenient on questions still unknown to science.

Lvka said...

Since the meaning behind the two statements, as well as their implications, differ radically, we're obviously NOT saying the same thing, not even by a long-shot.

Harry H. McCall, CET said...

Lvka,

The Church Fathers, especially those in the East (Orthodox Traditions) played nothing less than play a Mental Shell Game where confusion stays one step ahead of mental logic.

Greenville’s own Greek Orthodox priest (known to his parishioners as “Father Tom”) and leader of St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church played this same Mental Shell Game on me when I called him to find out if dragons (as depicted in their Churches’ icons) had really existed and if a man (later sainted) named George really killed this snake headed, bat winged and snaked tailed flying dragon.

He assured me (with the same Church Father’s logic and traditions as you use) that there were / are real dragons and a pious man named George killed one that had terrorized some medieval European town.

When I pressed this priest further, he claimed what George had really killed was Satan. When I asked him if Satan was now dead, he angrily asserted: NO! Then he went back to the real dragon Mental Shell Game.

According to this Orthodox Priest (Father Tom), only the Greek Orthodox are allowed in Heaven (he flat out told this)! So, heresy trumps atheism in your religious tradition.

What a joke you Orthodox people are! You exist via mental confusion call theology.

So what about you, Orthodox Lvka; did St. George kill a real flying dragon? Or is the Greek Orthodox tradition (like its flying dragon story (and Trinity)) just a great pious Orthodox Mental Shell Game?

Russ said...

Papalinton,
You said,

Great succinct posts of yours. Do you mind if I borrowed your words to use on various other sites I am working [with appropriate attribution of course]?
Thanks
Papalinton

By all means, if what I've said will help in some way, please feel free to use it.

Lvka said...

LOL!

Harry, good seeing you again. (I believe we had this conversation before). :-)

Gandolf said...

Harry H. McCall, CET said..."What a joke you Orthodox people are! You exist via mental confusion call theology."

Harry McCall my friend,look there is no need for any mental confusion.

deactivated .http://www.newscientist.com/article
/mg20627574.200-brain-shuts-off-in-response-to-healers-prayer.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=life

Its no Joke.Its serrious stuff.These Orthodox people are no more confused, than people who are asleep at night are confused about matters also.

Harry H. McCall, CET said...

Hey Lvka! Thanks!

Good to see you are still contending for the one and only true Orthodox Faith! (LOL) (Also, good to see you are still avoiding the question again since Holy Icons also depict the dragon as well as Jesus.)

Now let’s look at some practical questions that all the readers here at DC (Christian or not) can understand and relate to:

Why do Greek Orthodox have to spend 3 plus hours standing on their feet (suffering) during their Sunday service breathing the polluted smoke of burning incense and listening to a service mostly in Greek (which many don’t understand) to get to Heaven; while a Baptists can sit comfortably in a soft padded pew listening and singing along to contemporary music enjoying themselves for only 45 minutes to an hour and accomplish exactly the same thing?

So let’s see just what Jesus had to say as to why the Greek Orthodox service is a waste of both time and money:

Hear now the Parable of The Vineyard Workers: (Matt. 19: 1-16)
For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? 7They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.
So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
Lvka, if my observations are incorrect, just why do Orthodox have to work so much harder for their salvation??? Is it because of the ancient traditions? So what did Jesus say: "Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the traditions of men." (Mark 7: 8)
This is one big reason the Greek Orthodox priest (Father Tom) bitterly asked and said: “Are you a Greek Orthodox? I’ll tell you one thing, all you Protestants will stand before Jesus at the Judgment and explain to Him why you weren’t a Greek Orthodox before you are condemned to Hell!”

And what about the Orthodox’s Holy Icons; just what was the religious reform under King Josiah about in 622 BCE (2 Kings 22 -23) and how did it deal with cult images (or ancient Semitic Holy Icons)? Hint, Hint!

Now, thank God for the Cappadocian Fathers! (LOL)

Harry H. McCall, CET said...

Thanks Gandolf! Very good point.

Part 1
Now back to Saint George and more lies supported by the Greek Orthodox Church which, by the way, has ALL the TRUTH. (It as good thing that the Holy Church Fathers who created these lies weren’t like Pinocchio. If they had been cursed with Pinocchio’s punishment for lying, most all the Orthodox Holy Church Fathers could pole-vault with their noses!)

Now the life of St. Geroge as taught by the Orthodox Church:

A. The Emperor ordered this Christian taken to prison and that a boulder be placed on his chest as a form of torture. The next morning Diocletian ordered that the prisoner be brought before him for questioning. George stood steadfast and told Diocletian of his belief in the riches of the Kingdom of Heaven.

B. The Emperor then summoned the executioners to take the Saint and have him bound to the rim of a wheel set with sharp spikes.// When the Saint appeared before Diocletian not only was he unharmed, but an angelic aura had settled about him. Suddenly, two officers of the Roman army, Anatolios and Protoleon, appeared before Diocletian with two thousand soldiers. They admitted their belief in Christ and Diocletian had them all executed.

C. He then ordered his soldiers to dig a pit and fill it with lime. The Saint was then drenched with water and thrown into the pit. The water and lime would slowly destroy the Saint's body. After three days, Diocletian instructed the soldiers to clear the pit. To the surprise of the soldiers and the Emperor, Saint George sat at the bottom of the pit unharmed.

D. The Emperor then ordered that iron sandals be tied to the feet of the Saint and that he be made to run. As he ran, he was beaten. As he ran, he was beaten. One of Diocletian's advisors, Magnentios, ordered George to perform a miracle. They happened to pass by a tomb of a man who had been dead for many years. // Diocletian asked the resurrected man who he was and when he had died. He told Diocletian that he had lived before Christ had come on the Earth, and because he was an idolater, he had burned in the fires of Hell during all those years. Many idolaters were converted to Christianity because of this great miracle.

E. The next day, Diocletian met with his noblemen to determine Saint George's fate. They decided to beat the Saint mercilessly. The Saint nevertheless remained unharmed and retained his angelic appearance.

Harry H. McCall, CET said...

Part 2:

F. Diocletian was convinced that all of George's miracles were done by magic. He, therefore, called upon Athanasius the Magician to break this magic. Athanasius held two vials in his hands. If the Saint drank the first one, he would go insane, if he drank the second one he would die. The Saint took the first vial and prayed. He drank its contents and there was no effect.

G. Once again George appeared before Diocletian who ordered that Saint George accompany him to the temple and sacrifice to the gods. When they arrived at the temple, Saint George made the sign of the cross and the idols were again destroyed. The people and the priests were furious and demanded that Diocletian have the Saint executed. Saint George was taken out of the city and as he turned his head toward the executioner, he was beheaded.

Then we come to the ONLY miracle (lie) St. George is really known for:

In the history of our Church, we find a myth related to a dragon and Saint George. This dragon threatened the idolaters in the area of Atalia. The people were forced to live inside the walls of their city. This prevented them from tending their fields and grazing their sheep. Every year, they would sacrifice a young girl to the dragon. When Saint George arrived in this area, the King's daughter was about to be sacrificed. After subduing the dragon, Saint George placed a rope around its neck. He then gave the rope to the princess so that she could lead the beast back to the city. Thence, he slaughtered the terror and subsequently baptized thousands of the city's inhabitants.

Again, despite all the above miracles (lies) about St. George, the only one he is really known for is now called a “myth”.

Lvka, why is the dragon story now considered myth? Could it be we can prove dragons (as depicted in the Holy Icon) never existed while lies about St. George and the Roman Emperor Diocletian seem more reasonable to the Orthodox faithful?

Harry H. McCall, CET said...

When it comes to honesty, the authors, redactors and editors of the Biblical Canon and the so called faith promoting religious junk bond Church Fathers are noting less the Bernard Madoffs and Lou Pearlmans of the total truth Judeo-Christian religious traditions.

Like the investors in Madoff’s and Pearlmans’s Ponzi Schemes, the sincere religious faithful (and 10 % plus tithe money) investor is banking on the fact the his or her Bible is just what his religious sect said it is: A direct voice of God that one can invest one’s earthly and spiritual future in.

But just like all Ponzi Schemes, modern and critical investigations of the Biblical claims are proving to be the undoing of a Christian investment industry raking in over 5 billion dollars annually while its honest and sincere believing faithful go to bed every night thinking and knowing that what they have come to accept as total and absolute truth just can’t be a well developed tradition with its roots in an ancient fraud.

In this case, critical inquiries into the so-called an all truth religious system (such as found here at DC) are proving to be the undoing of "honest lies" that have promoted and fed on an illusion of hope and peace.

Lvka said...

Well... for starters, we burn our incense vicariously, so that God might not burn *us* instead, in hell, for all eternity. :-) Since Protestants don't use it in their sevices, the all-devouring wrath of God will consume them forever, as the Priest told you. :-)

And besides: the Church Fathers were great wonderworkers, so they had no problem re-adjusting the length and size of their noses whenever they grew out of proportions. :-)

Hendy said...

@Lvka:

Why so many smilies? Harry presented some points for consideration and you seem to have simply responded in a falsely acquiescing manner. It's weird.

Ross said...

Regarding #6, are you referring to the Book of Job here, for example?

Ross said...

I'm still waiting for my reply after two weeks...