From: Tyler A. Wunder Kill
To: Paul Dry Msg #523, 19-Jun-93 09:17pm
Subject: Re: GOD
In a msg of , Paul Dry writes to Tyler A. Wunder:
TA>> Atheists (at least this one) aren't afraid to admit that I don't
TA>> know the answers to many questions.
PD> Why do you take Christians to task for being unable to explain the
PD> mysteries of God when it's O.K. to say you don't understand them
PD> either. Sounds like a double standard to me.
Hardly. I was taking one Christian to task for being unable to explain
God, when the very reason he adopted God-belief (as he claims) was because he
couldn't explain some natural phenomena. It is he, not I, that has the
double standard, as it is he who creates a solution, for which he doesn't
understand the origin of, to solve a problem of origins.
You see, it's rather foolish of me to not know the answer to a question,
and then invent an (or adopt a pre-invented) answer for the question which
has the very characteristics of the question which made it problematic in the
first place (e.g. where did it come from?).
Strike one for Paul.
PD> It's safe to say we will never understand the mysteries of God. Our
PD> minds are too limited to understand the nature of our Creator.
This demonstrates the mentality quite nicely: I can't understand where
life came from, but life has no taboo about questioning, and it get's
frustrating if we can't understand it. Hence, an answer is invented that we
fully accept the mysterious nature of. Why not simply accept the answer re:
where life came from, that you don't know? Instead, you back it up to God
and then say you don't know.
PD> tells us this in the Psalms.
So what? Prove Psalms wasn't written by men. Prove Psalms expresses
the thoughts of an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent,
omnivorous being that created us (hint: first, you have to prove the
existence of said being).
As Shakespeare tells us, "This is the excellent foppery of the world..."
PD> If you would try to explain the mechanics of a car to a 2 year old,
PD> I doubt that you would get very far.
PD> The child's mental capacity to
PD> understand the laws of science is just not there.
True. Is there a point to this?
PD> All the child
PD> knows is everyone jumps in the car and it takes off.
The only point I can see from this is that in not knowing, people can
convince a gullible child of all manner of false explanations for how the car
works. Naively, the child will likely accept any sort of answer that he is
given for how the car works.
I really wish I could answer questions about where we came from, but I
can't and because this is so I don't pretend to be able to answer those
PD> God describes faith as the assurance of things hoped for and the
PD> conviction of things not seen (as I'm sure you know).
Well, if you'll remember that men wrote the bible, men who were creating
a religion, of course they would wish for you to have conviction in things
not seen (or provable). After all, if I wanted someone to believe in
something for which no proof existed, the first thing I would do would be to
rationalize the lack of proof. That way, when people say, "Hey, no proof!"
you can smugly nod and say, "That's right! Cause God said there'd be no
proof! See no proof, so He must be real!" The same mentality works against
persecution (e.g. "See! They said we're being persecuted, so we must be right
cause they told us we'd be persecuted!"), but unfortunately, the persecutors
quickly forget the rightousness of the persecuted when they become the
PD> We do not need
PD> to be able to explain the makeup of God to believe in Him.
So far, you can't even prove the veracity of the bible or of the events
described within. You see dozens of religions in the world (there are more,
but it's unlikely you're familiar with them), and have no problem writing
them off as not true in an ultimate sense, yet you accept this one. Why?
What is your reason? Once again, I think I'm going to find that one who
claims there is no proof will nevertheless think he's got some.
PD> We can
PD> simply put trust in seeing how God affects our own lives and the
PD> lives of others .
How so? Do those who trust in God lead better lives than those who
don't? Can you prove this claim? Do you attribute everyday happenings to the
intervention of an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent (etc) being?
For some reason, I suspect that you would thank God if you were in a car
accident but, seemingly against the odds survived said accident.
For similar reasons, I also suspect that if the same accident happened
to someone else and they were killed, you'd find God somewhere in there, too.
It's kind of hard to make testable claims for something when you'll
incorporate any result into the "God-paradigm". Baby survived accident?
Proof of God! Baby didn't survive accident? Proof of God! Therefore, God
PD> God has given us His Word which has stood the test of time.
How so? Prove God has given us his word. Prove it has stood the test
PD> Historians do not dispute the validity of Scripture. We have exact
PD> locations mapped out regarding where the events took place.
ends what you mean by validity. NT scripture can be dated, if that's
what you mean, and none of it is dated prior to 70-80 A.D. (hint: your Christ
supposedly died about 40-50 years before that). In addition, the earliest of
the NT scriptures are written by a character who claimed not to even have met
Christ. The gospels are from the second century, and if by validity you mean
that Matthew wrote Matthew, Mark wrote Mark, Luke wrote Luke, and John wrote
John, I've got news for you on that one too: historians do not dispute the
fact that the gospels were NOT written by their namesakes, and that some of
them were used as sources for the others (e.g. Mark used as source document
for Matthew and Luke). For the real details on scripture, you'd be best to
ask John Mussellwhite or Joshua Lee -- they've actually looked into this
stuff, whereas I suspect you haven't ("historians do not dispute scriptural
validity" sounds very much like an unresearched blanket statement, which I
suspect you are taking from authority [e.g. your preacher] and not personal
As for exact locations mapped out, is that like people who have actual
pieces of the cross Christ was crucified on? In any event, if the writers of
the scriptures knew the geography of the area, it's hard not to get those
details correct. Oh look, the hill is exactly where it's supposed to be!
Therefore, everything in this book is true! By the same logic, a novel which
correctly gave the layout of the city of Toronto would also be infallible, I
PD> Furthermore, in the book of Hebrews, God gives us page after page
PD> of examples of how He affected the lives of Biblical figures
PD> throughout the ages.
So? Paul, you don't think that this can be fictionalized? If I come up
with an account of how Vishnu affected the lives of his prophets, does Vishnu
exist? Exercise a little critical thought here, Paul, instead of sitting
there like a fish waiting to swallow the bait.
PD> If we will look, we will see God active in the
PD> lives of those around us.
Really? I see people's lives going on, and they do not need a god to
explain them. What do you see that makes you think a god is there, that
could not happen if a god was not there? And remember, I'll be asking for
proof or at least a demonstration of reason, so be prepared to back up and
argue anything you say.
PD> Christ was asked for repeated physical signs to prove His diety.
"Deity". Not a jab, just a common courtesy.
PD> response was that generations have already received their signs
PD> through His life and His Words. Christ tells the Apostle Thomas, " You
PD> seen me (risen from the dead) and believed.
I didn't see him rise from the dead. I also didn't see Mohammed rise
from the dead, or Hercules rise from the dead. I have seen none of the
saviours who supposedly beat death, yet you expect me to believe exclusively
that yours did? What about Tammuz, who was a "...prototype of the Classical
Adonis, who was the consort, as well as son by virgin birth, of the
goddess-mother..." (Campbell, Oriental Mythology, pp. 39-40). What about
Osiris? Dionysos? These fellows supposedly rose from the dead, yet I don't
see you following them, or trying to convince me that they actually rose.
I remember very clearly from my Chuch Camp Christianity days being told
repeatedly that Jesus was the only god who ever came back from the dead. In
reality, no "god" has ever come back from the dead, but even the claim that
Jesus is the only god _claimed_ to have ever been resurrected is false. In
short, they were ignorant or they were lying.
In addition, they tried very hard to imply that the scriptural testimony
must have been true as no one disputed it. After all, if it had been false,
the average man in the street would have said, "Hey! That's a lie! That
Hence, by Camp Silver Lake logic, as no eye-witnesses ever appeared to
contradict the biblical claims, it must have been true! What they forgot to
mention was that the NT wasn't compiled until the fourth century A.D., and
that the earliest stuff wasn't written until late 1st/early 2nd century, when
the writers themselves could not have been eyewitnesses, let alone the
"average man on the street".