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9/20/13 3:15 PM
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Ridgeback
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Officedrone,

Nothing is invented here.  Hart quotes several New Atheists  as well as atheist scientists in his book to demonstrate that they are simply not making arguments against what is meant by the word "God."  On this site and others I see those same arguments repeated as if a whole slew of online atheists are the faithful disciples of the New Atheists.

I have pointed out to the point of nausea that I have no problem with the genuine atheists who understand the complexity of the arguments and simply can't believe in God as that word is poperly defined.  These people tend not to be impressed with people like Richard Dawkins (some of his most vociferous critics are atheists) and the other New Atheists, but rather tap into an older and more thoughtful tradition of atheism.  My constant theme over hundreds of posts has not been to demonize atheists per se, but to get that particular type of atheist that is the kissing cousin of the Christian fundamentalist to step up his game and try hard to understand the real conversations that take place regarding human existence.  And the general response I get to this is the response one would get from fat and lazy people when telling them to eat less and exercise more.  Mostly the responses are either personal insults or some vague declarations that never get into the details or merits of a discussion (we have logic, reason, SCIENCE).  I guess that is a sign I am right and that these people are never going to let go of their certainty in exchange for learning, which is scary and hard work.

9/20/13 3:36 PM
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BriggsSeekins
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Edited: 09/20/13 3:36 PM
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I'm definitely not an atheist, but Jebus people crack me up more than anybody else aside from young Asian ladies trying to drive. The most hilarious line on this entire thread so far is more or less a throw-away: the assertion that there is a "libtard" conspiracy in the public schools to cover up famous cult-leader Jim Jones' atheism.
9/20/13 3:53 PM
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BigEyedFish
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" I have no problem with the genuine atheists who understand the complexity of the arguments and simply can't believe in God as that word is poperly defined."

those people are called agnostics. Nice try though.
9/20/13 3:59 PM
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ceiling_cat
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What did you think of prof's post ridge?  I've asked that questions, though a lot less FRATy, several times and never got a satisfying result, so I'll ask you.

Lets say I grant that God you and Mr. Bentley described must exist because of some sort of prime-mover necessity or whatever else we want to say proves it.  You got me, the universe must have been created by God. So what?  How do I get from that to a God that anyone actually believes in, or would want to believe in?  How does proof of the existence of God prove that faith is rewarded with salvation, or that Jesus died for our sins?  There's nothing logically necessary about those propositions.  Very few people believe in the mystic pervasive logically necessary God of philosophy.  Very many believe in the God of the Bible, or the the Quran.  People claim to know something about the way this God acts, what he wants, etc., How do we get there?

9/20/13 4:07 PM
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Periodik
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Militant Atheism is a new thing, but the idea of not believing in god existed since Man formed their first thought, seeing as the christian God was only created about 3k years ago. Phone Post
9/20/13 4:07 PM
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Kung Fu Joe
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BigEyedFish - " I have no problem with the genuine atheists who understand the complexity of the arguments and simply can't believe in God as that word is poperly defined."

those people are called agnostics. Nice try though.
...no, people who do not believe in the existence of deities are called "atheists."

They may or may not be agnostic, as well, but a declaration of their beliefs has nothing to do with their claims of knowledge. Phone Post
9/20/13 4:09 PM
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vincan469
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Edited: 09/20/13 4:09 PM
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another millenium or three and we can all look back and laugh.
9/20/13 4:11 PM
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charms434
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Jimmy Rustler -

I have yet to run into an atheist who can debate without resorting to immature name calling and insults. Every religion based thread I see its always the atheists who make themselves looks bad.

Do you think Atheism is just a trend that people follow so they can be edgy?


What arrogance that you think other peoples beliefs are just to be 'edgy'.
And a big laugh at your cute pic. More people have died in the name of God than any 20th century communist. Phone Post 3.0
9/20/13 4:14 PM
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charms434
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charms434 -
Jimmy Rustler -

I have yet to run into an atheist who can debate without resorting to immature name calling and insults. Every religion based thread I see its always the atheists who make themselves looks bad.

Do you think Atheism is just a trend that people follow so they can be edgy?


What arrogance that you think other peoples beliefs are just to be 'edgy'.
And a big laugh at your cute pic. More people have died in the name of God than any 20th century communist. Phone Post 3.0
Btw. Tim Mcveigh wanted to build a white 'CHRISTIAN' society. And you also have two teens killed under 15 people. Terrible but still 15.
Just arrogant. Phone Post 3.0
9/20/13 4:16 PM
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charms434
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charms434 -
Jimmy Rustler -

I have yet to run into an atheist who can debate without resorting to immature name calling and insults. Every religion based thread I see its always the atheists who make themselves looks bad.

Do you think Atheism is just a trend that people follow so they can be edgy?


What arrogance that you think other peoples beliefs are just to be 'edgy'.
And a big laugh at your cute pic. More people have died in the name of God than any 20th century communist. Phone Post 3.0
WAIT ... Is that JIM JONES ON THERE?!?!? Not only was he NOT AN ATHEIST. He thought he was a prophet.

Wow buddy. I'm starting to see you can t ponder anything above dying and eating roast beef and mashed potatoes with the 'BIG GUY' Phone Post 3.0
9/20/13 4:17 PM
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Sagiv Lapkin
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Kung Fu Joe - 
BigEyedFish - " I have no problem with the genuine atheists who understand the complexity of the arguments and simply can't believe in God as that word is poperly defined."

those people are called agnostics. Nice try though.
...no, people who do not believe in the existence of deities are called "atheists."

They may or may not be agnostic, as well, but a declaration of their beliefs has nothing to do with their claims of knowledge. Phone Post

It seems like many here are operationg under the mistaken impression that agnosticism and atheism are mutually exclusive.

Every atheist I've ever known has been an agnostic atheist. They can't say with 100% certainty that there is no god. But what they can say is that in our time on this planet they've seen no evidence to suggest that there is, and therefore don't believe that there is.

 

9/20/13 4:20 PM
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charms434
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Fury2Feed -
Invisible Lats Syndrome - 
Fury2Feed - Jim Jones an atheist???
Yes, it was an athiest cult. Your libtard public school wouldn't have mentioned that. Phone Post

Motherfucker talked an awful lot about the bible and Jesus.
When Jones was on his last leg he claimed Atheism only because they were using the word 'cult against him. But he was the pastor of Peoples Temple Christian Church Full Gospel Phone Post 3.0
9/20/13 4:30 PM
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charms434
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QUAAAAIIIIIDDD -
meth wizard -
QUAAAAIIIIIDDD -
Jimmy Rustler -

I have yet to run into an atheist who can debate without resorting to immature name calling and insults. Every religion based thread I see its always the atheists who make themselves looks bad.

Do you think Atheism is just a trend that people follow so they can be edgy?


Atheists shud technically be neutral. In terms of lifestyle there is no set way any one person shud be.

But most atheists tend to act like they follow evil way. As if they are anti god. The devil.

U wont find many atheists that behave properly when it comes to most situations. They tend to wanna disprove god by acting like jerkoffs. As if they are "testing" or being defiant. Its funny.

Jimmy is right. Jimmy is always right. Phone Post
I can see where you're coming from. I cringe when I see athiests being dicks about religion. Most atheists I know don't act like that or don't care enough to comment on the subject, but of course you will always notice the loudest most obnoxious people. Phone Post
If atheists dont believe in god why try and be defiant towards someone you dont believe in? What point are you making by arguing with someone religious other than releasing some pent up anger or rebellion?

Its like a child mad at their parents. Phone Post
Who's arguing with who? A person who believes in god started this thread asking questions of atheists not the other way around.
Thomas Jefferson was a Christian atheist, actually most of the country fathers labeled themselves in a religion solely for political reasons. Jefferson even had a bible made that took out all the miracles. Christian atheists believe.
The assertion of the unreality of God for our age, including the understandings of God which have been a part of traditional Christian theology
The insistence upon coming to grips with contemporary culture as a necessary feature of responsible theological work
Varying degrees and forms of alienation from the church as it is now constituted
Recognition of the centrality of the person of Jesus in theological reflection Phone Post 3.0
9/20/13 4:31 PM
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charms434
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Kung Fu Joe -
BigEyedFish - " I have no problem with the genuine atheists who understand the complexity of the arguments and simply can't believe in God as that word is poperly defined."

those people are called agnostics. Nice try though.
...no, people who do not believe in the existence of deities are called "atheists."

They may or may not be agnostic, as well, but a declaration of their beliefs has nothing to do with their claims of knowledge. Phone Post
Actually thier are a bunch of labels. Agnostic theologian , agnostic atheist. Atheist etc. Phone Post 3.0
9/20/13 4:38 PM
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springfield
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charms434 -
Fury2Feed -
Invisible Lats Syndrome - 
Fury2Feed - Jim Jones an atheist???
Yes, it was an athiest cult. Your libtard public school wouldn't have mentioned that. Phone Post

Motherfucker talked an awful lot about the bible and Jesus.
When Jones was on his last leg he claimed Atheism only because they were using the word 'cult against him. But he was the pastor of Peoples Temple Christian Church Full Gospel Phone Post 3.0
He was marxist and didn't believe in God. He used the creation of the his church as a means to an end which was do the same as his hero Mao did in China. Phone Post
9/20/13 4:49 PM
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BigEyedFish
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charms434 - 
Kung Fu Joe -
BigEyedFish - " I have no problem with the genuine atheists who understand the complexity of the arguments and simply can't believe in God as that word is poperly defined."

those people are called agnostics. Nice try though.
...no, people who do not believe in the existence of deities are called "atheists."

They may or may not be agnostic, as well, but a declaration of their beliefs has nothing to do with their claims of knowledge. Phone Post
Actually thier are a bunch of labels. Agnostic theologian , agnostic atheist. Atheist etc. Phone Post 3.0

and then there are people who have very little interest in splitting hairs over such labels because to them the concept of a man who lives in the sky, who watches you shit and hates Africa is such an antiquated and unrealistic notion, that it does not warrant the energy to differentiate.
9/20/13 4:56 PM
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4pdboxing
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allyourbasebase - Your troll is weak with this one kid. Phone Post 3.0

Like a 2/10 at best.


Step your game up son
9/20/13 5:15 PM
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prof
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Edited: 09/20/13 5:21 PM
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Ridgeback, wrote:

Hart quotes several New Atheists  as well as atheist scientists in his book to demonstrate that they are simply not making arguments against what is meant by the word "God." 


And that is the weasel phrase right there: "what is meant by the word "God."

This is where you and guys like David Bentley Hart take a word that actually means plenty of things, speak of it only in metaphysical generalities shaving away anything inconvenient or actually descriptive of what most Christians associate with "God," and try to portray THAT as "what is meant by God." Let's just ignore how the vast majority of Christians actually mean…the CHRISTIAN God. You guys aren't "Christians" because you believe only the nebulous entity concluded by a metaphysical argument and you know it.

So even aside from the fact you are simply ignoring the attributes most Christians attribute to God, the ones to which the New Athiest speak when comparing other discarded Gods, it's just sneaky and disingenuous to pretend that "what YOU mean by God" is only a Necessary Cause, Prime Mover, Ground Of All Being, or the like.

David Bentley Hart is an Easter Orthodox Theologian. (And you are EO as well, as I understand it).
The very existence of that Church is predicated on the Biblical claims of Christ, that the Biblical claim that Jesus rose from the dead literally happened, that the bible is holy scripture and "that the Holy Scriptures testify to God's manifest actions in history," And you guys believe that God comprises of a trinity, and that Jesus is the second person of that trinity.

NONE of which are drawn from purely metaphysical speculation, but are drawn from purported claims about someone rising from the dead and a book making claims about the character, desires and activities of the God you believe in.

What you love to call out as "naiveté" on the part of New Atheists is simply the perspicacity on their part to notice you guys pulling this trick, noting your double standard - saying the atheist must understand your "God" as only some metaphysical conclusion, while helping yourselves to belief that God is much more than that, derived from evidential revelation. They call you out on this obfuscation. Which I do every time I notice you've made this claim yet again.

Not that it will stop you making the claim again - it pops up no matter how many times it's whacked down again. But, no, it's the new atheists who continue to raise the disingenuous arguments, not their theist critics.

Prof.

9/20/13 5:34 PM
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CaptainWoody
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^

 

9/20/13 6:05 PM
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prof
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Why thankya Cap'n Woody.

Liberal and/or "sophisticated" Christians have been trying to make the same claim described by Ridgeback, ever since Sam Harris' book kicked off New Atheism. It's funny that these guys love to claim that New Atheists only attack fundamentalism as if it represented all of Christianity, yet almost every New Atheist debate has been with the Liberal or sophisticated Christians making this criticism. And one of the most repeated arguments among the New Atheists concerned exactly the type of claims made by people like David Bentley Hart, and how they acted as smoke screens for the issues that arise from the God most Christians actually believe in.

Just about EVERY debate the Christian opponent makes charge that Ridgeback and David Bentley Hart make. In fact, that claim was typically the focus of almost every debate.

Harris, Dawkins, Dennet and Hitchens would knock it down for just the reasons I gave above.

The obfuscation and equivocation between the vague God as the Christian opponents would depict in debate vs the God most Christians (including the opponent) actually believed in got so bad that Hitchens ended up imploring his audience to not fall for these generalities. Hitchens would start his debates flagging this very problem for the audience and ask the audience to demand his Christian opponent ACTUALLY STATE WHAT HE BELIEVED, and what his creed/church claimed about God.

But, it was always like nailing jello to a wall. (Until the Christian goes back to his church, where suddenly he's mouthing all sorts of specific creeds about his God...)

Prof.
9/20/13 6:20 PM
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Ridgeback
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prof - 
Ridgeback, wrote:

Hart quotes several New Atheists  as well as atheist scientists in his book to demonstrate that they are simply not making arguments against what is meant by the word "God." 


And that is the weasel phrase right there: "what is meant by the word "God."

This is where you and guys like David Bentley Hart take a word that actually means plenty of things, speak of it only in metaphysical generalities shaving away anything inconvenient or actually descriptive of what most Christians associate with "God," and try to portray THAT as "what is meant by God." Let's just ignore how the vast majority of Christians actually mean…the CHRISTIAN God. You guys aren't "Christians" because you believe only the nebulous entity concluded by a metaphysical argument and you know it.

So even aside from the fact you are simply ignoring the attributes most Christians attribute to God, the ones to which the New Athiest speak when comparing other discarded Gods, it's just sneaky and disingenuous to pretend that "what YOU mean by God" is only a Necessary Cause, Prime Mover, Ground Of All Being, or the like.

David Bentley Hart is an Easter Orthodox Theologian. (And you are EO as well, as I understand it).
The very existence of that Church is predicated on the Biblical claims of Christ, that the Biblical claim that Jesus rose from the dead literally happened, that the bible is holy scripture and "that the Holy Scriptures testify to God's manifest actions in history," And you guys believe that God comprises of a trinity, and that Jesus is the second person of that trinity.

NONE of which are drawn from purely metaphysical speculation, but are drawn from purported claims about someone rising from the dead and a book making claims about the character, desires and activities of the God you believe in.

What you love to call out as "naiveté" on the part of New Atheists is simply the perspicacity on their part to notice you guys pulling this trick, noting your double standard - saying the atheist must understand your "God" as only some metaphysical conclusion, while helping yourselves to belief that God is much more than that, derived from evidential revelation. They call you out on this obfuscation. Which I do every time I notice you've made this claim yet again.

Not that it will stop you making the claim again - it pops up no matter how many times it's whacked down again. But, no, it's the new atheists who continue to raise the disingenuous arguments, not their theist critics.

Prof.


Wow Prof. there you go again.  BTW, you never did respond to my very long response on another thread.

There is nothing in what I wrote or what Hart writes that is a "weasel" phrase since I already pointed out the qualifier that he argues from a traditional use of the word God that spans those various religions.  You should probably read the book (although you have never read a single book or article I have recommended to you) before deciding that he meant something he didn't.  I already pointed out that he equally criticizes the New Atheists and fundamentalist Christians.  If your point is that uneducated Christians do not have well developed thoughts on the nature of God as explicated by the philosophers and theologians then you can only mean one of two things:

1. Fundamentalists represent Christianity better than the very old traditions that have existed unbroken for 2000 years, which is a horribly flawed historical argument.

2. Atheists should content themselves with low hanging fruit by only targetting what fundamentalists and uneducated believers say about God. 

There was nothing disengenuous about what I wrote since I pointed out already that some Christians have beliefs about God that would probably fit Plato's concept of a demiurge as well, but they are not even remotely representative of a historical commonality among Christians regarding the term because historically both Jews and Christians have held to clear beliefs that exclude the demiurge conception of God from their meaning of the word.

So I have to ask you Prof.  If the majority of Christian thinkers have never conceived of God as a demiurge, then why do your heroes keep making arguments against that conception?  Doesn't it seem to be a red herring or a "besides the point" kind of enterprise?  That is unless, of course, you are simply content to stay with option 2 above, which is to go after the low hanging fruit. 

 

9/20/13 6:28 PM
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Ridgeback
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Cont.

Your ignorance of Eastern Orthodoxy continues to be insulting and disappointing.  You simply will not learn and no matter how much I tell you or recommend to you help in that regard you stubbornly refuse to avail yourself of it.  BUT, you still insist on acting as if you know what you are talking about.  Eastern Orthodoxy doesn't start with biblical claims since the first Christians had no Bibles.  Also, while Hart is EO, he actually writes in academic circles within a very Western tradition, often taking on the writings of post-modern atheists like Derrida and Foucault (two people you have never read but you have wasted time on Dawkins).

Nothing in what I wrote above excludes the specificity of Chrisitian belief about God. The Christian beliefs about God contain the commonalities among those various theistic and panentheistic religions and then become more precise.  It is in no way a contradiction to agree with those other religions that God is the "ground of all being" and the "source of existence itself" and then to further add, through revelation, that his nature is a Triune communion.

At no point on the OG have I ever tried to persuade a single person to adopt Christianity.  Because atheists think that I am always trying to convert them they assume I am always making specifically Christian arguments.  In reality, however, I am just trying to bring fundamentalists like you to the same table of discussion where we can actually talk about things that are talked about across these traditions rather than things that either no one actually believes in or only very ignorant people believe in.  I have read atheists describing evolutionary biology in teleological terms but that doesn't mean I assume all atheists understand evolution in that way.  I try to find the best and brightest and listen to what they have to say rather than assuming that every atheist on the planet is a Dawkinsian Disciple with a horribly pallid understanding of philosophy and theology (let alone science). 

So why don't you actually read the book (for once) Prof and then developed criticisms based on the actual arguments being made rather than things you are basing on other conversations with other people?

9/20/13 6:34 PM
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Ridgeback
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prof - Why thankya Cap'n Woody.

Liberal and/or "sophisticated" Christians have been trying to make the same claim described by Ridgeback, ever since Sam Harris' book kicked off New Atheism. It's funny that these guys love to claim that New Atheists only attack fundamentalism as if it represented all of Christianity, yet almost every New Atheist debate has been with the Liberal or sophisticated Christians making this criticism. And one of the most repeated arguments among the New Atheists concerned exactly the type of claims made by people like David Bentley Hart, and how they acted as smoke screens for the issues that arise from the God most Christians actually believe in.

Just about EVERY debate the Christian opponent makes charge that Ridgeback and David Bentley Hart make. In fact, that claim was typically the focus of almost every debate.

Harris, Dawkins, Dennet and Hitchens would knock it down for just the reasons I gave above.

The obfuscation and equivocation between the vague God as the Christian opponents would depict in debate vs the God most Christians (including the opponent) actually believed in got so bad that Hitchens ended up imploring his audience to not fall for these generalities. Hitchens would start his debates flagging this very problem for the audience and ask the audience to demand his Christian opponent ACTUALLY STATE WHAT HE BELIEVED, and what his creed/church claimed about God.

But, it was always like nailing jello to a wall. (Until the Christian goes back to his church, where suddenly he's mouthing all sorts of specific creeds about his God...)

Prof.

None of those people have ever taken on Hart.  They would be completely out of their league to the degree that they simply wouldn't even understand what he was talking about so they would insist that the fundamentalists that they do understand are the better representatives of historical Chrisitianity despite the fact that they have only existed on the planet for about 150 years.  

If you like Prof, I will walk you through an example of a New Atheist making a bad argument and ask you for verification of every step of the way that in fact this New Atheist did make an argument that does not represent historical or traditional Christianity.  But once I prove you wrong I want you to admit that you were proved wrong.  You want to take on the challenge?  It won't end well for you (now is where you obfuscate and pretend it would be a waste of time or you have already heard it all).

Also, would you like me to quote a passage from Hart that describes what an atheist should know?  I will quote him describing atheist thought and we will see if you can actually interpret it and understand it, thereby proving that you are not a mere fundamentalist that is out of his intellectual league?

9/20/13 6:41 PM
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Ridgeback
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Let us start with a basic question Prof:

Two traditional conceptions of God in the general sense of metaphysical thought are:

1. God is the ground of all being

2. God is the source of existence itself and not merely a part of what exists already

Christian belief:

1. God is a trinity

Please point out how the first two metaphysical conceptions contradict the specifically Christian one.  You do know that most of the great Christian theologians studied pagan philosophy and took what was common from those philosophies and adopted them for Christian thought right?  St. John takes the concept of the Logos to describe Christ.  Where is the contradiction that you keep claiming exists?

9/20/13 6:45 PM
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6ULDV8
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The power of Christ compels you.


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