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Re: Anti-Supernaturalism and God's Logic Vs. Man's Logic

Posted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:54 am
by Kurieuo
hughfarey wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:
Hugh wrote:Lots of remarkable things are recorded in the Bible, many of which have profound philosophical significance, and I agree that the resurrection is the most important of them. What I don't agree is that any of them are necessarily beyond rationality.
That would depend on how you define rationality. I think the Christian message aka Christ, may be beyond rationality in the positivism forms many expect such to be found, but it is not beyond wisdom.
If I really knew the difference between rationality and wisdom, I might agree. I'm reluctant to dabble much further into a forum outside my sphere, in case I find myself out on a limb of mere personal opinion rather than attempting to express some accumulated wisdom (oops. That word again...) of many people over many centuries.
Indeed, what is "wisdom" is a big question. I'd only attempt to elucidate rather than spell out exactly what it is.

Wisdom, as I see it, requires making a decision not only based upon evidence that presents itself (i.e., Positivist methods), but also based upon perception, gut intuition, reaction, emotions, our heart. Those who will only commit to a belief or action once positive evidences or rational reason fully presents itself, may perhaps procrastinate on making any decision. In times where action is needed, they might stall and/or end up too late by the time full revelation is had. I don't know about you, but I'm very familiar with such people.

Applying it back to Christ's resurrection. Paul is talking about the Gospel being foolishness to others, that God would incarnate Himself into human form, eat, poop and sleep, before around 30 years later allowing Himself to be crucified on the cross so that we might be redeemed from our sin. Such is foolishness to Muslims, and foolishness to a great many intellectual people today. Yet, the resurrection itself justifies Christ and gives hope that we ourselves will also be raised up and glorified in Christ. Without it, perhaps at best a pseudo (spiritual) resurrection, then Christianity has its guts ripped out of it and might be a nice story to live by, some might be nice to participate spiritually in Church tradition and the like, but it is no better than a fairy tale.

So then, what is the evidence? Certainly, even with the shroud, we have no positive evidence for believing Jesus has raised from the dead. That is, we didn't see, hear or touch Jesus directly ourselves. Any evidence like the shroud is even indirect and circumstantial at best. We also never witnessed any of his healing acts, saw His crucifixion or walking around thereafter, ascension or the like.

Yet, then, something within me rings of truth. There is a coherency to the story of God's redemption for humanity from the beginning in Genesis, to the promised Messiah of Israel in whom God establish an everlasting covenant between Himself and ALL people. And then, the more mysterious signs and symbols provided in Revelation of ends times and God's new kingdom.

If one is seeking for meaning and purpose in the world, wants to know they "why" questions, then I dare say Christianity has a cornerstone on explaining all such questions with a most coherent set of beliefs that explain deeply felt existential questions. It has such high explanatory power whether it comes to why we have moral inclinations, why the universe exists, why we exist, purpose and meaning. As Christians, I believe even that God also establishes in some spiritual way within us a perception of sorts. Our eyes are opened up to see God in the world, although we can't reach out and touch Him or see Him. Unlike others, your eyes are opened to the cosmological argument ringing true and there being so much more than the world we're in, because of the universe which couldn't have really gotten there in all it's glory and the like by itself.

In any case, throw all that together, and then look upon the story of Christ, and I think there is a powerful reason for belief in such. While we may not directly touched upon such via rationality or science, this wisdom isn't necessarily be attained through such any more than one's intuitions such as right and wrong, love, the strong feeling something is going to happen despite not being able to explain rationally why, etc.

Getting back to wisdom, I see it often requires us acting out in the certain manner. Making the best choices based upon what we know and often what we feel to be the case. I'm reminded of Solomon who did not know which woman the baby belonged to, and ordered it cut in half and each portion then given to each woman. Even if the woman who cried out, "no, give the whole baby to the other woman," wasn't the real mother -- she was certainly going to look after the baby as her own. And so then Solomon ordered the baby given to the woman who cried out to spare the child. That, while a simple story, indeed displayed wisdom without any DNA test required.

Making decisions with much uncertainty is a big part of being human, and equally it is amazing how far people get by in life who have appear to have little rationality and intellect, who make decisions by the seat of their pants. We praise such in sports where one team is lead to victory by a snap decisions in the moment, in wars where bravery and survival is demonstrated against all reasonable odd.

Now I suppose, all I'm saying here, is that belief in Jesus' resurrection also doesn't just come about by rationality, reason, science i.e., positivist methods hailed as being the sole masters of any knowledge and as such "wisdom". Indeed, I don't believe Positivism is solely itself sustainable as a rationally valid position. There is more to be had for belief in Christ and the resurrection, our redemption and the like, which are based upon a "wisdom" not had by purely positivist means.

Re: Anti-Supernaturalism and God's Logic Vs. Man's Logic

Posted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:20 am
by Philip
Hugh: It's easy to say that God has done something that we would never have done, but you don't know that at all. A common instance of this is to say that no human would ever have sent his only son to be sacrificed for the failings of his creation, but then, no human has ever been in those circumstances. Would you like to justify this: "many things He has done are clearly not how WE would plan and execute actions", with one single indisputable instance?
The big thing that differentiates what man typically does and how he responds is that we are not God. We don't have his knowledge and wisdom of all things. I am merely responding per the observation that 1) most of the world doesn't accept the teachings of God, of Christ, of Who and What He is, 2) The entire example of Scripture, in fact, the daily news, is that man is in rebellion to God and His ways, and 3) Clearly throughout the Bible, God did things as no educated person, with OUR world's best knowledge, would have done things per the ways that He has. This is unquestionably true.
Hugh: Missed the point again. The word 'supernatural'. Lots of remarkable things are recorded in the Bible, many of which have profound philosophical significance, and I agree that the resurrection is the most important of them. What I don't agree is that any of them are necessarily beyond rationality.
No, Hugh, I'm not saying God acts irrationally, as He obviously acts per Who He is and what His capabilities and knowledge are - He certainly operates rationally in conjunction with His knowledge and character. Again, He certainly has rational thinking. But we are not all-knowing – including of all past, present and future things. So our logic is seriously limited in what we can rationally apply it to, or how – as we don't have the knowledge and wisdom to apply it as He does. So, as we are not God, as we don't have His mind and understandings– which we cannot because we are mortal and because we are sinful, flawed, mistake-prone creatures – then OUR best reasoning applied will not be that of God's – it can't be, never was. This in itself means we, as we are now, do not think or apply the logic we have as God does - because of our immense deficits compared to Him. This also means that we can't merely use our own logic and reasoning to always understand what He's done, how He did it, or why. To GOD, the usual includes actions of His that appear miraculous to US, but to God are completely a normal way in which He often operates. But what is normal for God can be unbelievably miraculous to us. And trying to use our own reasoning and logic to understand the hows and details of such miraculous (to us) actions of God, will often be impossible for us to fathom or quantify.

And what is within the "normal" grasp of God is actually UNLIMITED. This means, for Him, the only limitations are that He will not act outside of His Holy character. And being unlimited in abilities, means WE cannot quantify or categorize ANY one certain way of how or why He might do or has done some previous things - as there is NO normal for a being Who is unlimited in how or why He might decide to do a specific act. So, what does it mean to say God acts logically? According to logic-based upon HUMAN wisdom, experience and knowledge? Or per a being for which His PERFECT logic can be applied in unlimited ways. Truly, we are the equivalent of ants attempting to fathom our Supreme and perfect Creator. Can't be done, not beyond certain simplistic understandings of finite, limited creatures.
Hugh: There are not two different 'Logics'; only one, and piece by scientific and philosophical piece we are groping towards a better understanding of it.
Perhaps, rather than types of logic, it is better to say, man often uses HUMAN reasoning and a rationale that is different from God's. Why? First, we're self-centered and want what we often sinfully want, and not what God wants. And the things our reasoning are based upon are often self-serving and also deficient to critical knowledge that He has, that we presently do not and can't have.
Hugh: If you think a concept like the "wrath of God" is an illogical whimsy, then you are close to agreeing with Richard Dawkins's assessment of him as a vindictive bully.
Totally false! Mine is a Scriptural view. God is far more than just a God of judgment and wrath, as He is also a God of unfathomable love, beauty and faithfulness. He only hates those things that would destroy the things He values, as per His Holy character. Hugh, WHY do you think we need to be saved? Saved from WHAT? You don't believe in Hell? And what does Scripture say Hell is prepared for? And WHY? Scripture shows exactly the opposite of a vindictive God, as He takes no pleasure in their physical or spiritual deaths. Exactly the opposite, as He laments that people will not embrace Him, His love, His offer of eternal peace with Him.
Hugh: He does micromanage every little detail. Not a sparrow falls without his personal intention, attention and action. This is the progress of the universe through time. But it was all predicted (Good word: Latin dico - I speak), and the unusual built, entirely logically, into the usual. All the sporadic sudden interventions which appear to you to contradict the logical progression he maintains are, in my opinion, part of it. What, I wonder, do you think God does when he is not micromanaging every little detail?
Hugh, you also appear to believe in a type of hard determinism that is at odds with the Scriptural teachings that God has given us free will. Do you not believe we have such? Did God tell you what color socks to where this morning? To wear the boxers or briefs? Did he tell you to go commando? Does He determine whether or not you will reject Him – as He says He wants all to come, follow and love Him? Or is it not that God put parameters upon how things can function, what they can do, what decisions can be made – all within those parameters? Does He NEVER intervene within the parameters? The Bible shows, while not constantly, that He has many times - often in spectacular ways. That's not opinion, it's Scripture. Mere opinion is to disagree with it as being true. But one can't deny what the canon of Scripture reveals.

Hugh, I'm simply contrasting that men, applying the best of our reasoning, are viewed as often pursuing utter foolishness to God. We cannot understand what He does. We are flawed and sinful. Which is why our motivations and choices will never be equal to His perfect decisions and actions. There is an enormous difference. So if we are trying to understand Scripture only based upon our limited knowledge and wisdom (which is knowledge applied), then we will miss many truths.

Some related Scriptures:

Isaiah 55: 8-9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Proverbs 14:12: There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

1 Corinthians 20-25: Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.

25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Re: Anti-Supernaturalism and God's Logic Vs. Man's Logic

Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:07 am
by hughfarey
I can see that it is difficult for you to believe that someone can aspire to be a perfectly good Christian, but have ideas that are so very different from your own. I find that practically all the comment above does not make as much sense to me as it obviously does to you. Everything you pronounce as "unquestionably true" is questionable, and I question it.

I don't think the world rejects the teachings of God. 2.2 billion people are professed Christians, and the Abrahamic religions at least have a similar notion of the Old Testament to ours. Although different cultures don't necessarily recognise Christ as God, most people of all faiths, and even atheists, tend to follow most of his instruction anyway.

I don't think man is in rebellion against God either. I think man is 'on God's side', but not always very good at it. Scripture is full of entreaties to "bring us back" and "be merciful". These are not the words of rebels, but of failures. There is a significant difference, as Scripture recognises, particularly in the sacrifice of the cross.

And this: "God did things as no educated person, with OUR world's best knowledge, would have done things per the ways that He has." Can you actually name one?

Much of the rest of your comment expresses forcefully, and at length, how little we know of "God's ways." However, you seem to know enough about them to declare that my understanding of his ways is definitely wrong. You cannot justify this. You must accept that I may be right, since you don't know anything to the contrary. You have noted, I'm sure, that I do not defend my ideas as irrefutably correct, just that I personally, based on my knowledge and understanding of God's creation as well as scripture, feel that God invariably does act within the laws he has promulgated for the universe.

You conclude by confusing free will and foreknowledge, which I'm sure Kurieou will be better able to clarify than I. Suffice it to say that although God does not decide for me whether or not to "go commando", or what colour socks to wear, he's got a pretty good idea what I'll choose. I'm not sure you really thought that bit through, did you?

Re: Anti-Supernaturalism and God's Logic Vs. Man's Logic

Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:18 pm
by Philip
Hugh, when I said God knows ALL things, I would think you would realize what that encompasses: ALL past, present and future things. It means there has never been and will never be a thing God doesn't know every aspect of.

Few thoughts:

Much of what you say contradicts lots of Scripture - meaning, it's your opinions, but the they obviously conflict with Scripture - especially about the miraculous, about man's rebellion, God's punishment.

You failed to answer why God has wrath. Why Hell? Why do we need to be saved? From what?

Just because people call themselves Christians, in no way means that is certain? What do you say makes one a Christian?

Re: Anti-Supernaturalism and God's Logic Vs. Man's Logic

Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:55 pm
by hughfarey
Beyond my theological pay-grade, I'm afraid. What I'm happy with is that all God's behaviour can be understood in the rational terms expressed in his creation. That's my field. Back to the 'God and Science' forum with me...

Re: Anti-Supernaturalism and God's Logic Vs. Man's Logic

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:37 am
by Philip
Hugh - if it's above your "paygrade" to know why you need to be saved - or why you are saved - then how do you even know you are saved? That is the ultimate question all people contemplating God should ask themselves. And the answer will indicate whether one has a Scriptural basis for believing so. All else is but hopeful opinion. If the answer is at odds with the Bible, then a person has no reason to believe they are saved.

Re: Anti-Supernaturalism and God's Logic Vs. Man's Logic

Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:39 pm
by bippy123
I happen to think the bible was wrong on one verse . It says gods ways are not mans ways . I happen to think that mans ways are gods ways . ;)

Re: Anti-Supernaturalism and God's Logic Vs. Man's Logic

Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:39 pm
by bippy123
Philip how dare you even think that gods ways are above mans ways Sheeshhhh