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Hey OrangeWizard.

#61Proudclad(Topic Creator)Posted 1/15/2013 5:20:12 PM
To be fair, what's wrong with reason and argumentation in itself? If your religion doesnt stand up to reason and argumentation, what's the point of it? If Christianity were true, wouldnt you expect it to stand up to rational scrutiny?

I never said that there's something wrong with reason and argumentation. I just pointed out that there's a need for a real and living God, not just human reasoning and arguing. If Christianity is true, I expect to see demonstrations of God's power when his children pursue him. It's consistent with the Christian theology. As such, if we rely solely on reason and argumentation, are we really driven by something real?

No argument, however convincing, is as satisfying as experiencing God in the modern day. I would venture as far to say what Paul said - that speaking with human eloquence and intelligence is insufficient if there's no love. And we know that mutual love leads to God demonstrating himself in the circumstances in our lives, should we choose to follow him persistently.

Also, why are you so hung up on the concept of the holy spirit? I mean, if he exists and does good works, that's fine and dandy, but without reasoning and argumentation behind it, it's not very provable, as said works can also be the product of someone simply trying to be good and emulate the teachings in the Bible, no supernatural help given. As for whatever nice feelings you get that are attributed to God, they could also be emotions and brain chemistry or other psychological processes. Without reason and argumentation, you're left with ambiguity, and little reason to believe the supernatural is at work.

THis is not the same as arguing the supernatural definitely is not work, since the possibility is still there, it's just unsupported because the burden of proof is not met. Validity, validity, validity. Are you actually measuring what you think you're measuring?


The Holy Spirit is 100% crucial to the New Testament. It's what sets apart the Christian faith from other faiths. Because with the work of the Holy Spirit, there's no longer any question of whether or not it's "blind faith", but rather it's a question of how we as unbelievers can begin to pursue Jesus so that we can see the Holy Spirit's mighty power in the modern day.

Undeniable things. Not just internal "feelings. The appropriate evidence for a God...is godly acts. Like foretelling the future accurately, or healing diseases, or answering other prayers in external ways. Etc.
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#62Proudclad(Topic Creator)Posted 1/15/2013 5:21:36 PM
I would caution that you don't get too caught up in seeking the experience of God over God himself. It's easy to get addicted to positive experiences of joy and happiness and use that as a false litmus test to determine God's presence. I've personally seen far too many Christians get caught up in chasing that next big movement of God, feeding off the spiritual high of it, only to crash when times weren't so positive. Better I think to heed the words of James when he says to count it all joy when you meet trials of various kinds, because testing of your faith is what strengthens it. But in order to strengthen it, it needs to be able to stay focused. All Christians go through spiritual draughts or our own dark nights of the soul, and having a firm reasonable foundation may be the only steady support you find yourself having when your emotions or circumstances change.

This is good advice but keep in mind that God wants to demonstrate his power and he WILL, if people approach the issue correctly.

I'm personally familiar with the theology and argumentation in its favor. I have the foundation already. Now I pursue what God has already promised me. :) A living and powerful God is necessary. I don't want some spiritual high. Just clear demonstrations of God's power, in the way he promised.
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#63Proudclad(Topic Creator)Posted 1/15/2013 5:48:19 PM
By the way OrangeWizard, you maintained your "brain in a jar" position. As in, you believe it's impossible to know anything with certainty and instead we need to rely on likelihood. Is this correct?

If so, doesn't your reasoning extend to the Jehovah Witness position in general? In which case, if they can't know anything with certainty, why are you blaming me for taking your position on the Holy Spirit and thinking it represents the JW position as a whole?

And if your claim regarding certainty DOESN'T apply to the JW position in general, then do you acknowledge that it IS possible to know something with certainty? Because then you'd be contradicting yourself.
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#64JonWood007Posted 1/15/2013 6:04:46 PM

I never said that there's something wrong with reason and argumentation. I just pointed out that there's a need for a real and living God, not just human reasoning and arguing. If Christianity is true, I expect to see demonstrations of God's power when his children pursue him. It's consistent with the Christian theology. As such, if we rely solely on reason and argumentation, are we really driven by something real?


Well, reasoning and argumentation assumes that God does act....I mean....reasoning can't operate in a vacuum. It needs to be based on something, and without actions for God to reveal himself, you're left without anything to base such argumentation on.

No argument, however convincing, is as satisfying as experiencing God in the modern day. I would venture as far to say what Paul said - that speaking with human eloquence and intelligence is insufficient if there's no love. And we know that mutual love leads to God demonstrating himself in the circumstances in our lives, should we choose to follow him persistently.


How do you KNOW you're in fact experiencing God? You know, I used to think i was experiencing God, but a lot of the lessons I got from said experiences were not in sync with reality at all. Now, you can say then it wasn't really from God, which I agree with you, but how do you know you're actually experiencing anything either?

Feelings of love, etc. do not equal a supernatural force that is one of God's 3 forms.

The Holy Spirit is 100% crucial to the New Testament. It's what sets apart the Christian faith from other faiths. Because with the work of the Holy Spirit, there's no longer any question of whether or not it's "blind faith", but rather it's a question of how we as unbelievers can begin to pursue Jesus so that we can see the Holy Spirit's mighty power in the modern day.


And once again, I'm skeptical that what you see as the Holy Spirit is in fact the Holy Spirit and not some sort of mental placebo or something. Remember, I was a Christian, I thought I felt God a lot throughout my life as a Christian, but I no longer thing that said feelings are anything supernatural.

Undeniable things. Not just internal "feelings. The appropriate evidence for a God...is godly acts. Like foretelling the future accurately, or healing diseases, or answering other prayers in external ways. Etc.


You'd be amazed what's actually "undeniable", and what's just coincidence. Never underestimate the power of coincidence. Never.
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#65Proudclad(Topic Creator)Posted 1/15/2013 6:08:47 PM
Well, reasoning and argumentation assumes that God does act....I mean....reasoning can't operate in a vacuum. It needs to be based on something, and without actions for God to reveal himself, you're left without anything to base such argumentation on.

Reasoning and argumentation don't need to assume that God does act. All we need to do is think about what conditions would hold if the God of the Bible does in fact act.

How do you KNOW you're in fact experiencing God? You know, I used to think i was experiencing God, but a lot of the lessons I got from said experiences were not in sync with reality at all. Now, you can say then it wasn't really from God, which I agree with you, but how do you know you're actually experiencing anything either?

Feelings of love, etc. do not equal a supernatural force that is one of God's 3 forms.


I would know that I'm witnessing God if I see what God promised long ago. Because what he promised is something external, that would happen without my involvement or influence, that is ultimately impossible for humans and possible only for the God who foretold it.

And once again, I'm skeptical that what you see as the Holy Spirit is in fact the Holy Spirit and not some sort of mental placebo or something. Remember, I was a Christian, I thought I felt God a lot throughout my life as a Christian, but I no longer thing that said feelings are anything supernatural.

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, it follows that it's a duck. If the Holy Spirit is presence like in the New Testament, then all of the necessary attributes will fall into place and people will know that it's the Holy Spirit. With all due respect, JonWood, your experience as a Christian and your convictions for or against Christianity...are entirely irrelevant right now. Please stick to YOUR OWN standard on anecdotal evidence. You aren't happy with accepting anecdotal evidence, so don't pass off your own anecdote as an argument against God's existence or the Christian theology. Thanks.

You'd be amazed what's actually "undeniable", and what's just coincidence. Never underestimate the power of coincidence. Never.

God foretold many things. Their occurrence, especially when they occur in a naturally impossible fashion, has explicit causation and not some coincidental correlation.
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#66Proudclad(Topic Creator)Posted 1/15/2013 6:09:28 PM
Once again, if you're going to refuse anecdotal evidence in Christianity's favor, don't USE your own anecdotal against for Christianity's demise. That's a double standard. Quite unfair, to be honest.
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#67JonWood007Posted 1/15/2013 6:56:38 PM

Reasoning and argumentation don't need to assume that God does act. All we need to do is think about what conditions would hold if the God of the Bible does in fact act.


But there's the question of validity, or whether that actually measures what we think it measures. How do we know it's actually God? I ask this because Christianity is good at setting up optical illusions to account for every situation. If something good happens, you're being blessed, if not, you're being tested. In reality, there's nothing supernatural going on, it's all a state of mind. How do we know what you consider to be God is anything more than a state of mind or placebo?

I would know that I'm witnessing God if I see what God promised long ago. Because what he promised is something external, that would happen without my involvement or influence, that is ultimately impossible for humans and possible only for the God who foretold it.


Once again, you'd be surprised what IS possible. If something was unmistakable as being God, that's one thing, but what is actually unmistakable...most so called miracles can be coincidence.

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, it follows that it's a duck. If the Holy Spirit is presence like in the New Testament, then all of the necessary attributes will fall into place and people will know that it's the Holy Spirit. With all due respect, JonWood, your experience as a Christian and your convictions for or against Christianity...are entirely irrelevant right now. Please stick to YOUR OWN standard on anecdotal evidence. You aren't happy with accepting anecdotal evidence, so don't pass off your own anecdote as an argument against God's existence or the Christian theology. Thanks.


But the thing about anecdotal evidence....it's all in line with the burden of proof. You can't use it to prove an argument, but you can use it to cast doubt on others' experiences. I'm not saying with certainty that God can't act. You're trying to say he does. There's a difference between demonstrating doubt and demonstrating something as false. You can't totally disprove something like Christianity and so called miracles, but you can cast doubt. My anecdote is an example of DOUBT. It's not a silver bullet disproving Christianity, as yours is not proof FOR it.

And no, just because it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, doesn't mean it's a duck. Unless it's something TRULY extraordinary, it can be coincidence. Again, I'm not saying it definitely ISNT a duck. I'm saying you don't know for sure if it's a duck or not if there's a reasonable alternate explanation...coincidence is a reasonable alternate explanation.

Again, I need to keep emphasizing this because you dont seem to get it, but atheists don't actively try to disprove any possibility of a god, or his actions in the universe. We just have DOUBTS. We're skepticism. And that's all I'm trying to get across in my arguments. You don't KNOW that what you're experiencing is God. I don't KNOW what you're experiencing is NOT God. But I can express doubt that what you think you're experiencing is actually what you think you're experiencing. God MAY be doing all the things you mentioned, buy why should I believe it when it makes more sense to believe in coincidence?

So please refrain from trying to make claims that seem self evident for you, and try to put the burden of proof on the atheists, mmkay? it's an all too common thing I see on this forum. Christians make a claim, and then play logic games about how I can't disprove said claim, when the burden of proof is not on me, it's on you. You can't make a hypothesis and then ask scientists to prove you wrong without demonstrating its validity, for example.
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#68JonWood007Posted 1/15/2013 6:58:07 PM
God foretold many things. Their occurrence, especially when they occur in a naturally impossible fashion, has explicit causation and not some coincidental correlation.


You know of miracles that have explicit causation like this and actually are naturally impossible? Mind sharing?
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#69OrangeWizardPosted 1/15/2013 7:54:44 PM
From: chukie_sue | #056
I thought OW was a JW.


I am.

From: Proudclad | #060
But according to the Bible, a believer will know what the Holy Spirit is like once they have the Holy Spirit.



Where does it say that?

If you're actually pursuing Jesus and fulfilling his teaching, then it's impossible to persist in this without experiencing the Holy Spirit.


Where does it say that?

So are there Jehovah Witnesses who experience the Holy Spirit in the fashion described by the New Testament? As in, they experience the Holy Spirit and acknowledge, as per a fruit of the Holy Spirit, that Jesus is the son of God and a god in himself?


1) That's not a fruit of the holy spirit. I listed the fruitage of the holy spirit. That's not a part of it.

2) Sure, I wouldn't deny that others have had a "God" experience. I haven't, though.
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#70OrangeWizardPosted 1/15/2013 7:56:33 PM
From: Proudclad | #063
By the way OrangeWizard, you maintained your "brain in a jar" position. As in, you believe it's impossible to know anything with certainty and instead we need to rely on likelihood. Is this correct?

If so, doesn't your reasoning extend to the Jehovah Witness position in general? In which case, if they can't know anything with certainty, why are you blaming me for taking your position on the Holy Spirit and thinking it represents the JW position as a whole?


Because that's what you're doing. I don't see the problem.
I'm not about to hesitate calling people out on things they do wrong because "we could all just be brains in jars"
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