Truth: why we need more than just the facts

I was intrigued by what Insanitybytes22 brought up about the difference between facts and truth here in the comments of the last post. She mentioned that the truth is a Person. I’ve talked about this myself in “Jesus Christ IS the Truth.” I would like to explore this further here. First, let’s clarify the difference between facts and truth. 

Facts are technically accurate statements. A fact is like a stray piece of a puzzle. It’s an object, an article, a fragment of information, a bit of trivia. Truth, on the other hand, is all about meaning.

Here’s what Social Psychologist, Dr. Matt Moody, PhD says about the difference between facts and the truth. I’ve highlighted the salient points:

“Facts are technically accurate statements made by the mouth or penned by the hand. Truth is a larger statement, a holistic statement. Truth is not just factually accurate, but also utterly honest Truth is the whole statement of one’s total being: a unified expression of word, deed, motive, and emotion—all of which are true.”

“When a clear distinction is made between facts and truth, we realize that words can be factual yet untrue at the same time; a person’s words may be technically correct but when inward intent is not true . . . then only fact-speaking can occur—as opposed to Truth-telling. The distinguishing element is this: When the motive behind the message is false, then superficially accurate words are false from their foundations—this is the very meaning of empty rhetoric: words expressed without wholeness of heart.”

Here’s a philosophical analogy:

“Facts are notes and lyrics on sheet music. Truth is what the singer gives to the listener when she’s brave enough to open up and sing from her heart.” (Quote found here)

While facts are objective, truth requires the right perspective. Again, the truth gives meaning to the facts.

This is why theologian Walter Wink opened his book, The Bible in Human Transformationwith this provocative line: “Historical biblical criticism is bankrupt.”

He went on further to say:

“Biblical criticism is not bankrupt because it has run out of things to say or new ground to explore. It is bankrupt solely because it is incapable of achieving what most of its practitioners considered its purpose to be: so to interpret the Scriptures that the past becomes alive and illumines our present with new possibilities for personal and social transformation.”

Unlike facts, truth is transformative.  This is why simply analyzing the facts about the Bible does not tell us what the Bible is really about. Understanding requires truth.

Ontologically speaking, the truth is found in a Person—Jesus Christ. “For in him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28; cf. Col.1:16-17)

How does Scripture describe Jesus as the truth (John 14:6)? I believe it does so in two main ways:

  1. Jesus is the truth about God.
  2. Jesus is the truth about us.

1:18 Until this moment God remained invisible to man; now the authentic begotten son, the blueprint of man’s design who represents the innermost being of God, the son who is in the bosom of the father, brings him into full view! He is the official authority qualified to announce God! He is our guide who accurately declares and interprets the invisible God within us. (John 1:18 MIRROR *)

You can read more about what I said about that here.

Jesus said that, through Him, we would find the truth and that this revelation would free us. And this truth is discovered in relationship. I like how the Message Bible puts this process:

“If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you.” (John 8:32 MSG*)

This freedom has more to do with becoming who we really are rather than simply being released from captivity or punishment. As the New King James says, we are made free, which is what happens in the cooperative process with Jesus as we progressively experience more of this new creation reality (2 Cor.3:18; 5:17).

Why do I think this distinction between the facts and truth is important? Because if we only have the facts we still have not arrived at finding meaning and purpose.  And, you, beloved of God, were created for a wonderful purpose.

* Emphasis added.
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About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 38 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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270 Responses to Truth: why we need more than just the facts

  1. tildeb says:

    Surely you can appreciate that there has to be an agreement between facts on the one hand and claims of truth about those facts on the other if truth claims are to have that ‘truth’ element at all.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Yes, I agree with that. And there are many different types of facts. That we exist is a fact. My point is that the truth gives the facts their meaning.

      • tildeb says:

        The order in which meaning is established is very important to understand. Meaning is not an inherent property of things from which we extract this element called ‘meaning’; rather, meaning is the value we import to whatever. This is why something may have great meaning to one person but of none to another. And that’s why mixing up meaning with, or in place of, or exchanged for, facts is a thinking error. And that’s why it’s our job to recognize this boundary and understand the direction of meaning: from us to something. We are the source of meaning versus facts which are independent of us.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I would essentially agree with what you’re saying, but we shouldn’t ignore that there is meaning either. While facts are objective, there is meaning or truth behind those facts. If something exists, like us, it’s reasonable to assume some meaning or purpose for our existence that’s outside of us. We didn’t originate ourselves. This is what philosophers and theologians have been pondering since the beginning.

    • ColorStorm says:

      tildeb-

      In many places, and at many times, I have suggested to you that truth is not a matter of opinion. Truth does not care if you think the bubble of the level is wrong. It is correct. Always.

      If a thousand PhD’s said the level was off, they would either be a thousand misled people, or a thousand liars. Their supposed knowledge of geometry, barometric pressure, hydrology, or anything else, is laughed at by the tiny bubble which reveals absolute truth.

      Such is scripture, which defines the terms of truth, and is the true anvil which has withstood every attack against it. After all, it is the true word of the living God,

      It’s time tested doncha know. If Job’s intellectual friends could not put a dent in the claims of God or scripture, who are you? Absolute TRUTH is something foreign to the atheistic world view. This is a fact. Learn the lesson of the carpenter’s level.

  2. jim- says:

    Unlike facts, truth is transformative Defining your parameters of truth helps one take errant facts and create a monologue that’s suits them. What Christianity has done is start with their own conclusion and backpedal in the philosophy to make it comfortable while ignoring facts. Sure you have the notes on a page analogy, but when the notes are all wrong, the symphony is wandering to their own drip drumming off key incoherence. Nobody can play the tune the same way as the notes dance around the sections like a tuba scene from the music man.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Ha. That’s ironic. I could say exactly that for atheism. There are notes on a page but the atheist has no explanation for them. And the notes aren’t chaotic but have a melody and a rhythm to them. Nonetheless, people like Dawkins say that these notes are blind, unguided accidents that have no meaning or purpose to them. They just are what they are. He says that these notes just POOF!ed on the page. Ontologically, THIS is the very essence of incoherent and chaotic. Why should anyone believe that?

      • jim- says:

        Statements like that, “atheists have no explanation” while you all make stuff up and call it god. No explanation is fine, but you see, your truth is not real. Here we are, and you can only guess how, and certainly have no valid explanation of why? I like Zandes explanation of the synthetic/created world. It matches your synthetic truth. But, if it feels good, hey, here, have a pacifier.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Talk about making stuff up!
          No, Jim, we don’t just make things up. We have logically deductive reasoning behind the explanation of our existence. What’s yours?

        • jim- says:

          Logically deductive reasoning of an illogically deductive premises equals eloquent circuitousity. For 2000 years no signs have followed, no prayers are answered, no consensus, only a wider gap and crazier ontology to explain the lack of evidence.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Your list sounds like a personal problem to me, but they have no relevance to my point.
          What are the illogical premises of the argument for why we continue to exist? Do you even know the argument?

        • jim- says:

          Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
A Being darkly wise, and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the Stoic’s pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest;
In doubt his Mind or Body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reasoning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little, or too much:
Chaos of Thought and Passion, all confused;
          Alexander Pope on Pastor Wild

        • Mel Wild says:

          Nice quote-mining and total avoidance of my question or the point. So you have no logical reason for your existence. Okay. Since you like poetry so much, here’s a much older one for you. Cheers!

          20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
          21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools. (Rom.1:20-22)

        • jim- says:

          I don’t quote often, nor do I mine them as you would hope. I did have to look that up to recall it correctly. I do like your quote though. It is a perfect example of what is clearly seen as your ideas of good, is nothing more than a reaching phrase of distraction as this world nor its elements, lives or conditions are free from the ever prevalent suffering, starvation, anxiety and death of all creatures preyed upon mixed with a wee bit of respite to keep hope alive. Clearly showing the disposition of the creator, “if” there was one.

        • Nan says:

          We have logically deductive reasoning behind the explanation of our existence.

          *smirk*

        • Mel Wild says:

          Your smirk is very telling since you seem to despise logic and reason.

        • Nan says:

          And pot calls the kettle …

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, not at all, Nan. I have given you logical arguments for what I believe. You have given no such thing; you just dismiss them with your relativistic subjectivism.

        • Nan says:

          Wikipedia meaning of “relativistic” — There is no universal, objective truth according to relativism; rather each point of view has its own truth.

          I actually like that! Thanks for the compliment.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Pretty sad. Whatever…
          Too bad you have no logical argument for that statement of faith.

        • Nan says:

          I won’t bother you any more today, Mel … except to say it’s been shown time and again on your blog that “logical arguments” from anyone but you are rejected. So why bother?

          Enjoy the weekend.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Rejected, but not understood, which is the height of ignorance. But have a good weekend.

    • Citizen Tom says:

      @Jim

      When I was growing up, one of the scariest experiences I had was being told I would have to give my life to Jesus. What about me? What about what I want to do with my life? The fear I had of giving up control made agnosticism very appealing.

      I did not get around to reading and studying the Bible until I was in my fifties. I then decided the Bible had to be true. Was there a particular fact that clinched it for me? No. I was not even thrilled. I was just a little relieved I could point to something and call that the Truth.

      The Bible is a big book. God is a much bigger topic. Relative to the Truth, we don’t actually have that many facts we share in agreement. We have many more facts we argue about.

      Consider the dispute over Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Compared to debates about God, this is a simple problem. Yet it is so riven with emotion rational debate is difficult. Hence, with a few exceptions we had a party line vote.

      When I finally accepted the Bible as Truth, was I still horrified by the thought that I would have to give my life to Jesus? No. I had finally begun to accept the fact I am not God. I had started to learn that God loves me. If I want to live — if we want to live — we must return the love of our Creator and trust Him when He molds our character and shapes our lives.

      1 John 4 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20John+4&version=NKJV) speaks of loving, knowing, and seeing God. John puts the emphasis on love. Why? To know the Truth and accept the Truth, we must love the Truth.

      1 John 4:18 New King James Version (NKJV)
      18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

      To know and see our Creator, we must be unafraid to contemplate Him and obey Him. Until we love Him, we will not be made perfect. We will be too afraid.

      When I say this, do you think I am insulting you? Do I sound insulting? Is it insulting to call someone afraid of God? An all-knowing, universe creating, infinite, omnipresent, and omnipotent God? Who wouldn’t be afraid? Someone who knows His love and loves Him. The Apostle John was one such person. That is why so many recommend starting the Bible with the Gospel of John.

      • jim- says:

        Thanks for sharing your story. I have a different take on a lot of what you said. I have not followed the Kavanaugh hearings at all. I refuse to choose sides any longer. Politics and religion both, although the intent may have been honorable, the outcomes of both cause a division I refuse to be a part of. I have found the real me outside of both systems, and my capacity to love with my own thoughts has grown immensely after distancing myself from both. My loss of faith was followed by the abandonment of politics, and I have found that people are pretty cool, no matter what they are told to believe, especially when they stop parroting god, and left or right. It’s interesting as a believer I would have never believed that. It wasn’t planned. It just happened and I found I really like everyone again. Like when I was a kid.

        • Nan says:

          An enviable position, Jim. At least in my opinion.

        • jim- says:

          It is obvious the divisions are designed. If I was to believe anything in the Old Testament it would be the Tower of Babel story. God intervienes because he saw the people were one, and they were about to accomplish the thing they set out to do. They were pulling it off! God (those in power) keep us confounded and out of balance for their own benefit and control. I won’t be a part of it.

        • Citizen Tom says:

          @Jim

          What do politics and religion have in common? Both require difficult decisions. Both require us to live by our beliefs. Making decisions and sticking to them can be quite stressful. People have differing ideas about these things, and we cannot please everyone.

          If you are an atheist, then you have chosen a religious belief. You have taken a side.

          Have you chosen a political side? Well, I guess you are still paying taxes. So you have not chosen anarchy.

          What is politics? Politics is the process we use for making decisions about running our country. If we care about our family, friends, neighbors, and countrymen, then we want the best decisions possible. Because everyone wants things done their way, disagreement is inevitable.

          There is no law that says we have to participate in politics. So long as someone apathetic, I would rather they didn’t even vote.

          What if we do participate? Most of the time politics is messy. The outcome is some kind of compromise and not what we wanted. As citizens, all we can do is our best and take comfort in the fact we have done our best. So long as everyone rights are protected and there is no violence, that is as good as it gets.

        • tildeb says:

          CT states, “If you are an atheist, then you have chosen a religious belief.”

          Once I would have called this kind of gross error a mistake. But after explaining why time and time again, I have been forced to accept that this is an intentional bald-faced lie. CT knows it is a lie but peddles it endlessly. CT thinks it’s okay to lie for Jesus, apparently.

        • Citizen Tom says:

          @tildeb

          Lie for Truth? There some people twisted enough. I suspect most, however, just confuse their dogma with truth.

          Here you are, for example, ferociously defending the “fact” that Atheism is not a religious belief. That is funny!

        • jim- says:

          My son was learning to ride a cutting horse several years back. It’s a little different being able to stay with a horse that basically seems to defy his own anatomy and the rules of kinetic energy. He finally got off and told me it can’t be done. What I was asking him to do was impossible. I got on the horse and turned out a cow, and quite effortlessly proved him wrong. Keep your mind in the middle, feel your way from the whither to the souls of his foot. and be one. You may not like my approach Tom, but I don’t have to pick sides. Sure I have to operate within some boundary of the law. I pay taxes as required and don’t commit crime. Never been arrested or jailed. I did get a ticket back in 1998. You listed god and religion requiring something. They require faith in falsehoods. They promise relief by lying and offer confusion. There is nothing from either side that is true, real, or worthy of my attention to align. Nothing on the news stations can help me decide. It’s all divisive rhetoric designed by natural law to fail. It always has, and always will.

          You say I have made a choice and atheism is my religion. Not true at all there buddy. I just don’t believe in god or any god that ever was in the minds of men. No reason to. From as far as anyone can tell, religion and politics (often intertwined so deeply one cannot tell the one from the other like now) has caused division and forced a way of life on humanity that leads to destruction. I have learned a way of life that provides quite the happy spot and may defy your set beliefs. I live outside of the system that may seem
          Impossible to most, but many years of my life defy every part of your comment. See, I actually lived and excused the precepts of Christianity 50 years—to see its blatant failures was hear breaking. The preachers and the devotees can only survive in the structure by faith. When you apply its precepts you realize the preachers, the pushers, the apologists only know the words. By faith you will live your gospel. By fact you will leave it. I have proven this fact for many years. With respect Tom, My life is proving your statements false.

        • Citizen Tom says:

          @Jim

          When we don’t what to believe, that is agnosticism. An Atheist believes there is no God. Look it up! That is a belief. It concerns religion, and you are advocating it. How do you advocate something you don’t believe?

          It’s all divisive rhetoric designed by natural law to fail. It always has, and always will.

          Natural law? An Atheist proclaiming natural law?☺

          Why are politics and religion intertwined? We base our laws upon moral principles. That’s why the first five books of the Bible contain the Mosaic Code. Even, ironically enough, our belief in freedom of religion is based upon Christian religious beliefs.

          If we want a functional republic, lots of good citizens have to participate. If not enough people care, we will have some sort of tyranny.

          Anyway, I think you have your personal experiences and impressions confused with facts and logical reasoning. It is like your son getting on that horse and in frustration proclaiming it can’t be done. Yet it has been done. So you just show him so he can see for himself (Sounds like great fun, BTW.). Similarly, if Christianity is not working for us, it is probably because we are not trusting in Christ.

          A horse is a >800 lb animal. I don’t know much about riding, but I don’t think it involves getting on the ground with the horse and wrestling it. Similarly, when we follow Christ, we don’t wrestle with sin. Sin is too much for us. So we follow Christ by loving Him and letting Him fill us.

          Christian churches exist to prepare their members to spread the Gospel. They do that by teaching their members what the Bible says and why and how God wants love Him.

          Our churches don’t work too well. It is like your son getting on that horse. Riding a horse is not as easy as it looks. Learning about God, understanding His Bible, and spread His Gospel does not even look easy. So why has God given us the task of spreading His Gospel? Why are you teaching your son? I expect the reason is much the same. Instead of justifying ourselves, God wants to learn how to glorify others, especially our Father.

        • tildeb says:

          It takes the magic of theology to turn non belief into a belief… and then pretend that makes sense because, hey, look it up! It’s like rationalizing a non bicycle into a bicycle, or – logically speaking – turning X into a Not X and claiming them to be equivalent Xs. Remarkable mental and linguistic gymnastics which, when pointed out yet maintained in spite of being wrong, becomes spouting a lie and then doubling down on it because, hey, it’s religious apologetics! Non believers HAVE to be another kind of believer so apologists can maintain the false equivalency without any need to demonstrate equivalent factors! Belief alone suffices!

        • Citizen Tom says:

          @tildeb

          Look up agnosticism. You ain’t one.

        • tildeb says:

          Talking out of both sides of your mouth again, I see. Agnosticism: not knowing. Atheism: not believing. The etymology ain’t hard to understand, CT: it’s right there in both terms, the ‘a’ being the negation of the root term that follows. You use this sense for agnosticism and then turn your face and insist for a completely different sense for atheism. It’s lyin’ fer Jesus. I am an agnostic atheist: I don’t know if your fairy tale is true but there is no reason to believe it might be.

        • John Branyan says:

          “I don’t know if your fairy tale is true but there is no reason to believe it might be.”

          1. I don’t know if it’s true.
          2. There is NO REASON to believe it’s true.

          The etymology ain’t hard to understand. You gotta pick one or the other, Dear Leader.

        • tildeb says:

          Oh right, JB: you don’t inform your ‘knowledge’ about reality with reasons from reality. I do. Get over it already. So, no, it’s my etiology that is in question, which refers to the terms themselves: a-theism (not belief), a-gnosticism (not knowledge); it’s CT’s.

        • John Branyan says:

          You have been asked to explain your statement. Can you do that or not?

        • Citizen Tom says:

          @tildeb

          Agnostic atheist? Does that mean you don’t know if God knows you are an Atheist?

          If I don’t use your your definitions, that makes me a liar? Well, I guess name calling is one way to “win” a debate, but it is not a good one.

          Frankly, I am tired of people changing the meaning of words. You can’t have it both ways. You want the supposed cachet of calling yourself an Atheist, but you realize that disbelief in God is logically unsustainable? Sorry. Changing the meaning of the word just confuses the matter. It does not fix anything.

        • tildeb says:

          CT, you indignantly say, “Frankly, I am tired of people changing the meaning of words. You can’t have it both ways.”

          That is laugh out loud funny BECAUSE it describes exactly what you’re doing with the two terms atheist and agnostic; you are accepting agnostic means ‘not knowing’ but flip atheism’s ‘not believing’ to be believing something is not the case. To be consistent, you should flip agnosticism to mean knowledge you don’t know! So I can see why you’re tired of it: you do it all the time, in spite of repeated corrections!

          My point here is that you’ll never stop doing what you’re tired of doing because in your religious apologetics you NEED to redefine atheists into believers of a different kind. You have no NEED to do the same to agnostics. But the ‘special’ definition you use for atheists alone is as unrelated to reality as it is YOUR rejection of a coherent and consistent etymology.

          That’s why I claim you’re just making shit up – that’s what you ‘special’ definition is – and then demonstrate no concern for the truth, the etymology you follow elsewhere when it doesn’t cause your religious apologetics any conflict but suspend intentionally to present atheism as something it is not. That intentional deceit you’re pulling time and time again really does relate to the point of this post that tries unsuccessfully to create wiggle room for a ‘truth’ about reality that does not comport to the facts from reality that are supposed to inform it. It’s a deceitful word game you’re playing. I’m just calling you on it. And your deceit is even more obvious where you refuse to accept the fact that anyone can both not know yet not believe. Even Richard Dawkins is admittedly an agnostic atheist, as is Sam Harris, and you don’t get much more in your face atheist than these two Horsemen. It’s you, CT, who has the problem here, who is changing the definition of words, who is doing so intentionally motivated to be deceitful by your religious allegiance and rewarded by the religious for doing it. Hence the additional charge of lyin’ fer Jesus.

        • Citizen Tom says:

          @tildeb

          “Agnostic Atheist”. That’s so funny!
          Here is the etymology of Atheism.
          https://www.etymonline.com/word/atheism#etymonline_v_26666

          Look up agnostic. Here is how that starts.

          1870, “one who professes that the existence of a First Cause and the essential nature of things are not and cannot be known” [Klein]; coined by T.H. Huxley, supposedly in September 1869, from Greek agnostos “unknown, unknowable,” from a- “not” (see a- (3)) + gnostos “(to be) known,” from PIE root *gno- “to know.

          So are you trying to say it cannot be known whether you are an Atheist?

        • tildeb says:

          That reference definition is quite stupid and/or religiously biased because in reality and quite simply there is no doctrine. There is NO belief. Whoever wrote that definition claims there is a doctrine and it is a belief. So the right question to ask is for the proponent – like you – to produce evidence of that doctrine, evidence that a belief is being used, because I and every atheist I know of knows nothing about any such doctrine and share no common belief about it. This is imaginary. Atheism by etymology is a term to describe someone who is NOT a theist. By etymology, I am not referencing what someone – someone who wishes to paint on to the term to create a belief where none exists – interprets the term to mean with this added baggage. Look at the term itself – a meaning the opposite, the negation, of the following term… in this case theist. That’s EXACTLY how you interpret agnostic but make a special case to paint atheists as they are not. The negation of what a theist is is what the term references. Yet the writer of this definition and you import a POSITIVE in place of the negation but then flip the reference to make your deception seem to work… a tactic you do not do with agnosticism. That’s what demonstrates the dishonesty. Beyond a reference to not believing in theism, atheism has no content at all. No doctrine. No rituals. No tradition. No scripture. No leader. No fundamental principles. No nothing. It is a term of absence and it used this way by atheists who use the term as an identifier regarding their status of belief in gods or a god. It is not a positive claim of a belief. That is a colossally stupid and deeply dishonest application of meaning.

        • John Branyan says:

          Tildeb believes that he has no beliefs.
          Why can’t you get this through your thick head, Tom?

        • Citizen Tom says:

          @John

          I am quite stubborn.😜

        • tildeb says:

          Stubborn? If that is what you cal being factually wrong but sticking to it anyway, then I agree. But I call it lying.

        • Citizen Tom says:

          @tildeb

          I suppose you are trying to hurt my feelings. However, given your capacity for discerning fact and truth, I would be feel left out if you weren’t calling me names too.

          If you were wise, you would realize I have not made fun of you. I have just let you spout abuse and pointed out why you don’t make sense.

          If you post, and you don’t make sense, you are responsible. You can blame someone else, but that won’t sense of the nonsense. It will just add to the nonsense.

        • Citizen Tom says:

          @John and Mel

          Appreciate the humor and moral support.

        • John Branyan says:

          I don’t know if what you said is true but there is no reason to believe it might be.

        • Mel Wild says:

          JB, apparently, anyone who disagrees with the avatar named Tildeb is a liar.

        • John Branyan says:

          I don’t know his intended meaning of the word “liar” so I will remain agnostic about the truthfulness of his statement.

        • tildeb says:

          This too is a lie. I call falsehoods and intentional deceptions “lies.” You should, too… if you have any respect for what’s true. And those who continue to use this deceitful contra-factual method, “liars.” You should, too… if you have any respect for what’s true. That so many of your brethren in your religious apologetics rely on this method of try to sell falsehoods is a clue about selling the ‘truthfulness’ of the apologetic mission and has nothing to do with me and everything to do with what you get when you try to con others into believing that they can respect truth about reality while dismissing facts from reality that do not comport. Lyin’ fer Jesus is still lying and it’s a vice in spite of you trying to pretend it’s a virtue. Those who double down on using deception and lies to maintain a religious precept have no respect for truth.

        • John Branyan says:

          “so many of your brethren in your religious apologetics rely on this method of try to sell falsehoods”
          Examples please. Who are these people and what are the falsehoods they’re selling?

          (I’m predicting you’ll not answer this question.)

        • jim- says:

          Your overreaching assuming I believe something. Atheism may have varied official definitions, all which can be manipulated to serve your semantical purpose. Let me be clear. I don’t believe in god the way I don’t believe in gremlins or Bigfoot. I was actually born an atheist and was heavily indoctrinated as a child. As an adult I noticed that nothing we see, objectively view in reality to the best of our abilities matches what we hear in scripture or from the pulpits. I actually was quite devout and immersed in apologetics, and gave “god” the benefit of the doubt at every turn. Catch phrases like god is good and god is merciful really doesn’t match anything we see—ever. My disbelief in your claims is not a belief, but no god has done anything that can’t be duplicated in any neurostudy. Your kind accusation is interesting. If I say I believe in space aliens and give you my philosophized dissertation and you decide you don’t believe me, I could say you are an a-alienoso and say you now have a belief system. I think you can see the ridiculousness of that.

        • Citizen Tom says:

          @Jim

          I don’t play word games. I am 66. I just use an old dictionary, and I cannot figure out why an agnostic would want to call himself an Atheist.

          Other than being wrong, what did I accuse you of?

        • jim- says:

          My apologies if I read you wrong. Trying to define atheism as a religion is just a little annoying. It’s only religious people that do that. Every one wants to define me. I see no great incomprehensible entity tinkering in the human genome while he has 75billion light years of space and a trillion galaxies to deal with while he checks in with his footstool once every thousand years to see if someone is masturbating. It’s quite the illusory truth to be honest. Why would he do that?

        • Citizen Tom says:

          @Jim

          Every one wants to define me.

          Really?

          Think about the God you just described. What are His limits? What Christians believe — what the Bible says — is that He cares deeply about us. You think that absurd?

          I think it is far more logical than believing in nothing, that everything is meaningless. Does all we care about just come and go never to be seen again? That could be true, but could Creation just be an accident? No, and the Bible says God cares about us, and there is good reason to believe the Bible.

        • jim- says:

          To add just a note. I do not align myself politically or religiously with any mainstream dogmas. I have never read an atheist book, I do not do YouTube, my thoughts and observations are mine. Mel accused me one time of being a Dawkins/Ehrman disciple. I’ve never read them. Wouldn’t know them if I saw them. It interests me though, that through my own observations living in the jungle in Panama, that I alone came up with many of the same conclusions. So I guess in the mouth of two or three shall every word be established.

        • Citizen Tom says:

          @Jim

          The Greek philosophers tackled most of the philosophical issues we are still studying in our day. When Christianity caught on, the early Christians adapted the thoughts of the Greek philosophers. That is one reason why we still have many of the works of those pagan gentlemen.

          What you appear to be doing is trying to justify yourself. That can get a bit strange. It is actually not rational. Think about the fact you don’t want to be alligned with anyone else. Is not reading a book on Atheism — especially for an Atheist — something to brag about?

          Yet if we are here today and gone tomorrow, why waste the time? Even here?The discussion is entertaining? Perhaps, but I think there is more to it. The Bible says each of us knows there is more to this life, that we each sense the eternal.

          If you have been visiting Mel’s blog for long, then you have read his posts on the logical proofs for the existence of God. If not, look them up.

        • jim- says:

          I’ve read Mel’s circuitous ontology. He moves around quite a bit. Im not branding about anything. I just prefer to call my own shots. No one has adequately spoken on my behalf in religion or any other forum. One size plug and play fits all religion is nothing to brag about either Tom. If I were to go along with some type of spirituality at this point, I would say find your own way. Christianity has lost it’s way. The pick and choose doctrines and the mega preacher money game, Christianity is the epitome of the antichrist. Carefully worded with special lighting, phone apps and staged production is where it led to. It had no other choice as it is lacking substance.

        • Citizen Tom says:

          @Jim

          I enjoyed Mel’s posts. Shrug!

          God is God. I am not. Are you?

          That said, Christianity is about forming a personal relationship with God through the person of Jesus Christ. We learn how to do that through the Bible. So a church must be centered on God and His Bible.

          Are all the churches that call themselves Christian centered on God and His Bible? Of course not. If you really want to find a good church, you will. If you don’t care, you won’t.

        • jim- says:

          The Bible is so full of fiction and barbarism I see how that would make a good church. The painful morality of the Bible is surpassed by mere men all the time. The churches make their case, dig in their heels, and eventually change to keep up with secular fairness and equality at every turn. What you’re into is simple delusion.

        • Citizen Tom says:

          @Jim

          That comment and others suggest a closed mind and considerable ignorance. There are plenty of websites with good Bible translations and commentaries. There are many that explain why the Bible can be trusted. When you are ready, please visit some of them.

          I have to go to bed. Good night!

        • jim- says:

          I don’t believe everything is meaningless at all. To the contrary. Gods have come and go and this will be no different. Just because you have existential death anxiety because of your religion and made up a grand story that has evolved into utter nonsensical banter, doesn’t make it true at all.

  3. Thanks Mel, for providing some context for the idea that “facts” and “truth” are not necessarily the same thing. Truth indeed, has to do with meaning, purpose.

    I simply must laugh at this, “But, if it feels good, hey, here, have a pacifier,”

    Right! Because the truth is always so reassuring, so within our comfort zone, it is just like wrapping yourself in a blankie. NOT! While Jesus Himself is indeed good and kind, the little “t” truths are not always so easy to swallow. CS Lewis once said, “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.”

    Yep.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Yup, IB. There’s nothing comfortable about following Jesus! He confronts every notion of our self-indulgence and comfort in the deepest part of who we are.

  4. Ron Barnes says:

    Truth. Jesus lived. Mohammed lived. Buddha lived. All died a human death. Only one was resurrected. Thousands corroborated the fact of the resurrection, documented in the Bible and other un-biblical writings of the times. Truth. The history of the Bible is being verified through archaeological documentation. Truth. We do NOT like to hear what the Bible tells us, so we change what is meant to suit our own needs….not cool….Bible even tells us to not do that. Truth. We are not alone. I will not argue anything I’ve written here. Don’t believe what I’m writing, go look it up in the Bible and other writings that are out there to support the facts. Apparently, some of you can’t handle the truth until it hits you in the face. Wait for it.

  5. john zande says:

    If something exists, like us, it’s reasonable to assume some meaning or purpose for our existence that’s outside of us.

    Reasonable if the thing is contrived, sure, but are you entirely certain this holds true for everything, while remaining true to your underlining belief of a ‘good’ and ‘mindful’ god? If it’s just a vague, selective observation then it really doesn’t represent a ‘truth,’ does it?

    What, for example, is the meaning/purpose of cyanobacteria, a mountain, a beach, or Sickle cell anaemia? What is the meaning/purpose of an asteroid that will impact earth and kill off 90% of all life? Was this slab of debris fashioned deliberately in the early days of our solar system just so it would collide with the as-yet formed earth 5 billion years later? Does this meaning/purpose extend to existent systems, such as evolution? If so, what *is* the meaning/purpose of evolution in purview of a ‘good’ and ‘mindful’ god?

    • Mel Wild says:

      So, what is the truth behind your asking these questions? We only know the “fact” that someone who identifies himself as John Zande writes things on blogs. Where do your motives, desires, and will come from so that you can contemplate these things? Why do you continue to exist as a sentient being who can reason, contemplate, decide to, or not to, go on blogs and argue these kinds of things? And secondary to that, what purpose does it serve?

      • tildeb says:

        I’m surprised you don’t know the one true answer to all these questions. Indisputably, the only correct answer is 42.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Sure, but 42 doesn’t help me much in sorting out my life.

        • tildeb says:

          Well, the objective answer is 42, but you’re right in that your imported and subjective religious meaning doesn’t help me much in sorting out my own life.

        • Mel Wild says:

          But you have to import meaning to anything about your life, not just religious meaning. The number 42 cannot give your life meaning. Of course, if you wish to live your life without meaning and purpose that’s up to you.

      • john zande says:

        Would you care to address the content of the comment?

        • Mel Wild says:

          I addressed it the last time you asked it, Zande. And it’s STILL the wrong kind of question to what I’m talking about. It’s not about what happened five billion years ago, or even one millisecond ago. It has nothing to do with chronology but with ontology. It’s about YOUR being, why YOU continue to exist in the here and now. In other words, what continues to hold your existence together? We certainly don’t hold ourselves together, and you must drill all the way down this motive chain to what holds the universe together. What is the ultimate motive force for everything in the here and now? That’s at the bottom of my comment that you responded to. And if you cannot explain this most fundamental and empirical reality, then the rest is pretty much irrelevant. But once you can explain this, then maybe you’ll be able to address why you’re here. Because there’s a lot of things about you that scream purpose.
          Have a good weekend.

        • john zande says:

          Mel, I was asking about everything, not just you, or me. I asked, are you entirely certain this (purpose/meaning) holds true for everything, while remaining true to your underlining belief of a ‘good’ and ‘mindful’ god who is responsible for everything?

          That was the question.

          You appear simply incapable of addressing specifics, and that reveals just how deeply, deeply flawed the root of your ontological position actually is. It just doesn’t hold when applied honestly to the world that is, has been, and will be. You seem to recognise this, which is precisely why you go to such astonishing lengths to avoid being drawn into discussing specifics. To do so, you know, will expose the deficiencies in your worldview.

          I wrote two books on this very subject, presenting an ontological position diametrically opposed to yours, but a case so strong no one—not a single person, professional or lay—has been able to rebut it. You certainly wouldn’t be able to. Conversely, as demonstrated, I can ruin your shallow ontological position by asking you any simple historical question, such as: Was Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event 66 million years ago Yhwh’s work? (which is to say, does this event fit your ontological position?)

        • Mel Wild says:

          What is your ontological position? I have never heard one from you. And don’t bring time into it, because that is not ontological but chronological.

        • john zande says:

          I’d be happy to give you an abstract (trying to hit the key points as briefly as possible), but you still haven’t addressed the original comment. I’m right, aren’t I. You cannot discuss specifics, so with your fragile “ontology” shielded under your arm you run like hell in the opposite direction when asked to do so. That’s exactly what you do every single time, now just being the latest example.

          I’m curious, doesn’t this inability of yours register at a conscious level as a sure indication that what you believe is just obviously wrong? You and your fellow theologians have struggled for centuries to invent ornate excuses for why things are not as they should be had this world been shaped by a benevolent hand, rather than trying to find a coherent explanation for why things are as they are in the unignorable presence of a Creator.

          Mel, a genuine truth does not tolerate excuses. A truth that requires annotation is not a truth, but a fabrication.

          OK, so you want to hear an ontological explanation for this world that DOES NOT require layers of increasingly sophisticated excuses to buttress it against every flavour of inconsistency? This will offend you immensely, but as Nietzsche rightly said, Why should we expect the truth to be comfortable?

          It can be stated in five words: Curiosity is a stubborn power.

          In the hands of a sufficiently motivated man, mystery can inspire great epics, or birth equally great madness. In the mind of an uncreated aseitic being it, inferably, spawns worlds; entire universes orientated to seeing behind that hill an aseitic being cannot see behind, and exploring the far side of that ocean an uncreated being could never cross.

          An uncreated aseitic being cannot not be.

          Alone and with an eternity bottled in a single timeless moment to contemplate this defect (this incompleteness in what should have been rigorously complete), such an unexpected curiosity could not help but grow into a fat, noisy obsession; a category of madness, but not insanity. Not at first. Not completely. Not something chaotic. Not something uncontrolled. In its infancy, not being able to not be could only be classified as a dangerously alluring seed, the mother of all “Wet Paint” signs, and the irrepressible urge to ‘touch’ the analogous paint is, it appears, the reason for why there is something rather than nothing.

          Unable to die, powerless to be no more, incapable of even experiencing the thrill of the fear of approaching annihilation, is it not inevitable that an uncreated aseitic being—God—would come, eventually, to focus His impossible powers to contrive artificial environments (entire worlds) inside which profoundly ignorant avatars could be cultivated and grown to probe and explore this extraordinary curiosity; evolving surrogates raised like experimental animals through whom He, the Creator, could taste the fear He alone could never savour, feel the suffering He alone could never know, and meet every pedigree of oblivion denied to Him by dying vicariously.

          Is this no more unreasonable than a man walking to the top of a hill, or traversing a mountain range, or crossing an ocean just to see what was on the other side?

          Incapable however of even knowing the depth and scope of fear and terror and annihilation, such environments could never be built complete; not as some pre-packaged pits of despair inside which readymade sentient avatars could be released to suffer the full force of every ill imaginable. Such things would be unknowable, and being unknowable these artificial worlds (these self-complicating petri dishes) could only ever be fashioned in such a way that they could self-experiment and freely evolve from some basal expression fixed between concepts He, the Creator, could never touch, but could impose on an artificial scape: a beginning, a middle, and an end.

          We have awoken, uninvited, inside a complexity machine; a vast entanglement apparatus whose single-minded mindless state of employment is geared entirely towards a greater potency and efficiency in the delivery and experience of suffering, not harmony and peaceful accord. What is this universe, after all, but a working example of what hydrogen can do if given a few critical rules and 13.82 billion years to play with gravity? We are all hydrogen’s diaspora. We are all, quite literally, discrete, momentarily unique, progressively more complicated incidents in that first elements free roaming, snowballing adventure. From helium to humans, battle plans to lazy afternoon sea breezes, a dust mote on a cat’s whisker to the very thought behind these words, everything in this universe of hard stuff and nebulous things is nothing but steadily more sophisticated datum points in a billions years-long migration of the simplest of all matter. Creation is a type of mill, a nursery, a self-enriching engine spilling out from a state of ancestral simplicity to contemporary complexity where the greater talents awarded to each succeeding generation of things have always produced evil (here defined as the ways and means by which suffering can be experienced and delivered) proportionate to the extent of their powers.

          Who is the Creator?

          Some have named a lesser species of this being the Devil, others The Deceiver, Ahriman, Abaddon, Mara, Baphomet, Apollyon, Iblis, Beast, Angra Mainyu, Yama, Moloch, The Father of Lies, The Author of Sin, Druj, Samnu, Mammon, and The Great Spoiler, yet these characters of human literature and tradition do not begin to approach the nature and scope of this entity who may be identified as simply, The Owner of All Infernal Names: a being who does not share His creation with any other comparable spirit, does not seek to be known to or worshipped by that which He has created (or has allowed to be created), and whose greatest proof of existence is that there is no conspicuous proof of His existence—just teleological birthmarks that can be isolated and examined as testimony—for He understands that the trinkets of His greatest amusement, arousal, and fascination must be blind to the nature of the world they inhabit so they may act freely, and suffer genuinely.

        • ColorStorm says:

          Really john? This is a response to mel, or a copy from your best seller?

          Did you ever read the intellectual failures of Job’s brilliant friends? No strangers to mind games, and they were eons ahead of you in their misappropriations of the Creator’s power and glory, as well as their own deficiencies, similar to yours, mine too.

          However, I rather like God’s questions and arguments instead of paltry men’s, so I’ll leave you just one, and remember, there is no new thing under the sun, and btw, Job’s bud’s were the pillars of Harvard so to speak, but before God, they were not even grasshoppers.

          ‘Where were you when the heavens were created?’ Answer if you can, and please do not rely on the borrowed opinions of others, from they who can’t spell kat without their God given brain.

          (for what it’s worth, your linking of God as satanic in nature more or less is pretty pathetic. God gives the good rain from heaven, not the devil)

        • john zande says:

          Was the Great Oxygen Catastrophe 2.5 billion years ago which killed off virtually all life on earth, but created an oxygen-rich atmosphere which enabled multicellular life to take root Yhwh’s work?

        • ColorStorm says:

          Thanks for your answer john, but I’m afraid such numbers are as slippery as an eel.

          You may as well say such things occurred 408 trillion years ago, after all, he with the cleverest imagination wins the day. Ever heard of fool’s gold? That be the guesswork of modern knowitalls.

          As to you reference to a particular name of God, surely you must know God has had many names and in divers places, each with a distinct purpose, each revealing His purposes. I like El Elyon, it sort of rolls of the tongue.

          But is was God period, who, ‘in the beginning.’ There were no catastrophes, unless you admit to a world wide deluge of water. That was terrible indeed. Yet, for 120 years God pleaded. Yep, He is patient, so please do not blame him for the acts of miscreants.

        • john zande says:

          You didn’t answer the question. Care to try again:

          Was the Great Oxygen Catastrophe 2.5 billion years ago which killed off virtually all life on earth, but created an oxygen-rich atmosphere which enabled multicellular life to take root Yhwh’s work?

        • ColorStorm says:

          Surely you have learned your lesson by now john that you cannot win a single argument against the lights and perfections of scripture. Not only you, but no man.

          God’s word has the drop, and final say. After all it’s His creation, not some act of cosmic serendipity subject to the futile interpretations of sinful men.

          Do you somehow think your ideas are novel? Need I remind you of Job’s friends, you know, they with a hundred PhD’s who collectively could not measure the earth or the heavens? It does appear at least they recognized what you fail to do, and that is have a reverent posture before the God of creation. Read the book of Job, and see if I am correct as to your concerns. Plenty of facts and truth per the subject here.

          Pay attention to God’s questions. They are much better than yours.

        • john zande says:

          OK, so, like Mel, you also can’t address the specifics of this world. Quite the robust worldview you have there.

          Please don’t reply. I find you and your evasion tactics terribly boring.

        • ColorStorm says:

          Tks for the tip jz, but it is you who traffics in the twilight zone. And I also find your imaginations of cosmic machinery of pretended guesswork extremely distasteful.

          I point to the facts and truth of scripture. It is the anvil that has collected every atheistic plastic hammer. You point to endless smokescreens. Have a good whatever you do.

        • John Branyan says:

          Yes.
          Yhwh is responsible for the oxygen catastrophe.

        • john zande says:

          OK, so you believe Yhwh is incompetent. Having to kill off virtually all life because you stupidly got the atmosphere wrong does not indicate competence and mindfulness, does it.

        • John Branyan says:

          How do you know it was “wrong”?

        • john zande says:

          You think having to kill of virtually ALL life indicates it was “right”?

          Interesting.

          But then again, you do believe Yhwh changed it’s mind on killing gays and slavery, don’t you.

        • John Branyan says:

          Of course you didn’t answer my question.

        • John Branyan says:

          the question is basically why do you think it’s bad when things die?

        • john zande says:

          No, no, I understood you. Yhwh, according to you, is responsible for the 11 great extinction events, 5 of which wiped-out 80-90% of all life on earth. The Permian–Triassic extinction event, for example, was so terrible it goes by another name: THE GREAT DYING.

        • John Branyan says:

          Yes. That’s right.

        • john zande says:

          Competence, mindfulness, kindness, love, mass murder of innocence.

        • John Branyan says:

          Yes. That is correct too.

        • John Branyan says:

          … and you still haven’t explained why you think that’s bad…

        • John Branyan says:

          Yes.
          I’ve said it before.
          Yes. Yes. Yes.

        • jim- says:

          This is genuinely brilliant! What fact outside of shear ignorant faith could dispute it? If Mel and CS want to make scientific claims they could at least offer a tidbit of explanation.

        • john zande says:

          Explaining the world that is, has been, and will be is somewhat problematic for the traditional theist.

          “Contrivance proves design, and the predominant tendency of the contrivance indicates the disposition of the designer.” (William Paley)

          Know then the disposition, revealed as it must be through design, through the architecture, and one may know the designer.

        • jim- says:

          So, “if” there was a creator/designer, he created a systematic

        • jim- says:

          Hitting send before one is done is annoying. He created a system for this earthly test of pain and suffering for his viewing pleasure. Seems odd that an all powerful, perfect and righteous god could produce such a thing.

        • John Branyan says:

          Your right, Jim.
          There is no God.
          Now, help me understand how to cope with suffering.
          Thanks.

        • jim- says:

          I can’t empower you to take care of yourself. Only you can do that. Christianity is much of the cause of suffering, mental anguish, guilt, mixed with a weekly dose of hand holding that hasn’t t really produced anything but momentary feel-good, only to go home and wonder if you are a true Christian. Are you ripe for deconversion to join the ranks of those that never were true? You’ve already made your decision? Maybe you’re ready for a new career? I hear Dirty Jobs is hiring a clean up crew, that would fit nicely with your apologetics history. Your good at wiping clean and re polishing every little-bitty. To cope with suffering try humanism for a day. Deconversion therapy does wonders to help—You’d have to learn some new words though that have actual meaning.

        • John Branyan says:

          There is no God.
          Help me define suffering. How do you define it?

        • jim- says:

          El sufrimiento se definiría como escuchar tus bromas o responder continuamente a tus preguntas tontas de las que ya sabes la respuesta.

        • jim- says:

          I forgot, worldviews are confined English and the midwestern US

        • Mel Wild says:

          El sufrimiento se definiría como escuchar tus bromas o responder continuamente a tus preguntas tontas de las que ya sabes la respuesta.

          επειδή, αν και γνώριζαν τον Θεό, δεν τον δοξάζουν ως Θεό, ούτε ήταν ευγνώμονες, αλλά έγιναν μάταιες στις σκέψεις τους και οι ανόητες καρδιές τους σκοτεινιάζονταν. Προβαίνοντας να είναι σοφοί, έγιναν ανόητοι

        • jim- says:

          I don’t really claim any wisdom. I thought you’d at least answer with a running joke of some kind. I was right.

        • jim- says:

          As a side note, interesting that you quote in Greek about wisdom and fools from a collapsed society of philosophy and fiction. It all sounded really good, but alas… Things written in Greek carry a lot of clout, but again a colossal failure of religion laced with politics and philosophy that couldn’t stop its own destruction.

        • Mel Wild says:

          We have awoken, uninvited, inside a complexity machine; a vast entanglement apparatus whose single-minded mindless state of employment is geared entirely towards a greater potency and efficiency in the delivery and experience of suffering, not harmony and peaceful accord.

          So, a very long-winded speculation that explains nothing. Got it, Richard Dawkins. You still don’t have a cogent ontology for your “complexity machine.” Why does your machine continue to exist now? I really don’t care about billions of years ago or even the last minute. That’s a pointless conversation. What holds this machine together at this moment? What is the motive force that actuates your machine since your it’s obviously in motion?

        • john zande says:

          You still don’t have a cogent ontology for your “complexity machine.”

          LOL! That is the mother of all Hand Waves!

          I just gave you the full meaning (an abridged version, at the very least), and it continues to exist because it is a created contrivance; an on-going experiment sealed between three things the Creator could never touch, but could impose on an artificial scape: a beginning, a middle, and an end.

          Mel, you cannot even answer WHY your god, Yhwh, created this artificial world.

          Think about that.

          I can not only explain why this world was created, but I can back it up with 13.82 billion years of unambiguous evidence.

          Creation, this artificial construct man has so audaciously named the Universe as if it alone represents the totality of the All, exists as it does to give pleasure to its Creator. Self-evidently, the reach and diversity of evil is growing more complex over time because the reach and diversity of evil is meant to grow more complex over time. Suffering is growing more potent and more expressive over time because suffering is meant to grow more potent and more expressive over time. The influence and competence of tiny anxieties and paralysing fears are growing more persuasive and personalised over time because the influence and competence of tiny anxieties and paralysing fears are meant to grow more persuasive and personalised over time.

          The machine has not malfunctioned.

          The program is running precisely as designed.

          Creation is unfurling exactly as desired by the mistake-free Creator.

          The universe expands, like a balloon inflating, tearing open across physical, behavioural, anatomical, physiological, neurological, biochemical, pharmacological, emotional, cultural, linguistic, symbolic, economic and technological lines, and what suffering already existed is augmented, amplified, fine-tuned and enhanced. The universe expands and evil progresses in-step, always finding new and more innovative ways to dress and express itself. Evil is not a residue. It is not a defect or an unruly blemish in the design. It is not an auxiliary product of, but rather a fixture in that which comes, rising from within, from the source.

          This is the nature of the contrivance inside which sentience has awoken, and here we are reminded of William Paley’s remarkably accurate observation made over two centuries ago:

          “Contrivance proves design, and the predominant tendency of the contrivance [the machine] indicates the disposition of the designer.”

          The predominant tendency of the contrivance does not lie. The pattern to complexity, and complexity to greater evil, is historical. It is quantifiable and it is predictable. It is a hard fact, and as distasteful as the explanation may be, the existence of this world saturated with pain, suffering, anxiety and death is arguably no more mysterious, or no more unreasonable, than a man walking to the top of a hill, or traversing a mountain range, or crossing an ocean just to see what was on the other side.

  6. LOL! Not that Zande even cares about actual science beyond the context of ideology, but the “Great Oxygen Debate” kind of speaks to Mel’s point which was, “Truth: why we need more than just the facts.”

    Here’s a quote from a NASA scientist, “Scientists have long been tantalized by the great mystery of the rise in Earth’s atmospheric oxygen levels between 2,200 and 2,400 million years ago. Many theories have been suggested, but none have become widely accepted. In fact, the geochemical and biological data can be interpreted in many ways. Some scientists are beginning to propose that the quick (in geological terms) transition from an atmosphere with little or no oxygen to an oxygen-rich atmosphere never occurred. “

    • john zande says:

      Um, first up, David Petechuk is not a NASA scientist. He’s just a writer for Encypodedia.com, and the article (which rather strangely mentions Christian Creationists) does not question the event, just the speed of it, and notes two possible triggers, one of which (geologic) has little to no supporting evidence. As the conclusion reads:

      the generally accepted theory is that cyanobacteria, as the only life on Earth for about two billion years, single-handedly saturated the atmosphere with oxygen.

      And this:

      the answer to the “when” question is problematic due to the fact that scientists know only that Earth experienced a dramatic increase in oxygen levels 2.2 to 2.4 billion years ago. Logically speaking, this leaves open the possibility that oxygen may have existed in smaller quantities prior to that time

      Sure, no problem there. The event is noted in the “dramatic increase … 2.2 to 2.4 billion years ago”

      So, most of all life that had existed on earth for up to 2 billion years prior to the event (prokaryotes/anaerobic bacteria) were killed off in a mass extinction event.

      The geophysical and fossil record presents abundant, clear, and convincing evidence that approximately 2.2 to 2.4 billion years ago, there was a dramatic increase in the oxygen content of Earth’s atmosphere. The atmospheric changes correspond to the appearance of complex multicellular life forms in the fossil record.

      Precisely as stated.

      So, what exactly was your point?

      Perhaps you should read a little more before tapping out inane comments, Inanity.

      • ColorStorm says:

        Oh great, you just inadvertently proved every word of scripture is reliable, factual, and true John.

        You are the new and improved resurrected version of that other dude who had not one ounce of common sense, but preaches his absurdities and unprovable ‘bihyuns and bihyuns and bihyuns of years ago….’

        Even Rodney Dangerfield would laff at such lack of respect for true science. Your guesswork cloaked as fact is repetitively like screeching nails on the blackboard.

        True science anyone? Repeatable. Testable. Provable.
        Sure Zander. You can ‘repeat’ and ‘create’ your mindless Xeroxed comments, and still be not one inch closer to the truth.

        But it is my acquired restraint in telling you what I really think of your endgames games, but here’s a clue: rebellion.

        • ColorStorm says:

          Sorry for the error, instead of ‘endgames games,’ should read: ‘endless games.’
          Also, in case you did not know, the ‘bihyuns and bihyuns’ (his words) is a reference to that other pseudo-intellect and junior apostle of atheism, the now dead Carl Sagan. You share much in common with his ASSUMPTIONS and THEORIES, both of which carry not one fact.

          Hope this clears things up for you.

        • Nan says:

          You share much in common with his ASSUMPTIONS and THEORIES — coming from one whose only “proof” lies in a several thousand year old book, from which he continuously and constantly quotes, seriously believing that the words have some sort of special power.

        • ColorStorm says:

          hi nan-
          Try to be honest and fair when making such a claim. If you were cross examined in the court, I would politely ask you to cite ONE reference, just one teeny reference, where I promoted my THEORY of the age of the earth.

          You will look forever. Strike one, so please do not put me in the insane camp as zande who KNOWS etc etc. Go ahead, cite his bihyuns and bihyuns of years of guesswork, but I prefer to say simpy ‘I do not know.’ I was not there. He has a theory. I do not.

          Such information is hidden from sinful men, lest we worship the body of Moses so to speak. Remember? No man knows where he was buried. God is much smarter than you or I. He knows what idols are made from, and jz pretty much specializes in atheistic idolatry, sprinkled with the ‘pretty on the surface’ parroted paint by numbers that most fools agree. Strike two.

          As to the claim that I ASSUME, please, you are comparing my belief that creation was not some accidental act whereby blood, water, bones, and flesh, the mountains, the birds, man, woman, all popped out of the unorchestrated sandstorm like you would wish?

          Common sense laughs at the PhD’s of the colleges and universities containing all the so called knowledge that leaves out God. But yes, the word of God contains enough of what God wants us to know as humans, and truth be told, you could not exhaust its resources in a thousand lifetimes. Example? Sure, tkx for asking.

          It has been discovered a mere few years ago that the oceans of the world contain ‘fountains,’ springing……..oh let’s see now, pretty DEEP below the surface. Do your research to see the depths of the oceans, and the fact that we know .ooooooo5555 % of what is beneath. YET, it was Genesis, not Darwin, which revealed that it was the Creator alone who placed the fountains of the great deep.

          So you see, this is no assumption, but merely stating the uncomfortable facts of God and scripture. But go ahead, put your faith in the so called wisdom of he who knows where Moses is buried…that being the pretended little self made gods with their pretended knowledge.

          So sorry to say, you have also lost this case.

        • Nan says:

          I wasn’t trying to “win” a case. I don’t necessarily agree with JZ … and my “claim” had nothing to do with what he put forth. I simply pointed out to you (as I’ve done several times before) that quoting or referencing scripture to a non-believer is a fruitless endeavor on your part. It’s simply words in a (very old) book. It has no special powers except what you choose to give it.

        • ColorStorm says:

          Ah but nan, you do greatly err. Perhaps you should research just exactly how many were brought from darkness to light by ‘hearing’ and ‘reading’ the word of God.

          I’m sure what was pointed out to you earlier about the ‘fountains of the great deep,’ got somebody’s attention. After all, that truth was written long before Jack Cousteau was in diapers.

          Amazing hey, how a book that old……..that clumsy, that dated………..could reveal that which makes the heads of any so called scientist blush with envy.

          Puts a smile on my face though. If a a person really wanted truth, they would pay attention to such details.

        • Nan says:

          a book that old……..that clumsy, that dated … — 😊 You said it. I didn’t.

        • ColorStorm says:

          Others will appreciate the sarcasm.
          Maybe I need to spell it out for you: the singular Monarch of books, historically accurate, geographically correct, reveals truths men can not originate, and certainly heads and tails above all books, for it points to the owner of the Alphabet.

          Alpha and Omega doncha know. So yeah, real clumsy. Then there is that which has no equal: the grace of God.

          Cya

        • tildeb says:

          Oh sure, reference a scientific finding when it appears to support your biblical claim but disregard when it conflicts with it! CS, don’t you realize how dishonest this makes you look?

          Your ‘fountains of the deep’ are no such thing if you bothered to find out what this discovery actually revealed. It’s from an ionized particle of a kind of ice – iceVII to be exact – in a diamond thought to have created many millions of years earlier at a depth of around 400 kilometers. Now, you dismiss all of this because of your certainty that the Genesis creation myths are historical – contrary facts about the age of the earth, how such minerals are formed, even the methods used to deduce specific information, the vulcanism, the plate tectonics, all of it – yet pull up this tidbit because – miracle of miracles! – something seems to agree with Genesis! Fountains of the Deep! Therefore the Flood!

          Well, get a grip, man. In order for the calculated volume to be released in liquid form would require the complete destruction of the earth itself, starting at the mantle and completely altering the mineral composition of all the rock that constitutes the earth to release the ionized particles to bond with oxygen. These ionized particles could then reform into new ‘water’ only if the earth was devoid of all rock along with a significant portion of the atmosphere. This would have to happen to produce what you presume through your religious belief is ‘evidence’ for a global flood that left us zero evidence of it’s ‘historical’ event.

          In either case, you trying to use this ‘fountain of the deep’ argument means you are denying reality on the one hand while simply making stuff up only by your projected assumptions on the other. That is absolutely incoherent and irrational, CS. You can’t have it both ways.

        • John Branyan says:

          “In order for the calculated volume to be released in liquid form would require the complete destruction of the earth itself, starting at the mantle and completely altering the mineral composition of all the rock that constitutes the earth to release the ionized particles to bond with oxygen.”

          Yowza!
          I guess that settles it.

          Why do you think flood stories are so numerous across various cultures throughout history?

        • john zande says:

          Oh, I don’t know, maybe, just maybe it’s because all early civilisations planted themselves near fresh water resources, like inside river basins… that flood.

        • John Branyan says:

          Yes. That must be it.
          Early civilizations made up stories about a great flood because there were water resources nearby. Stupid primitives.
          I’m ashamed to call them my ancestors.

        • john zande says:

          River valleys flood. Odd, huh?

        • John Branyan says:

          Yes. They do.
          But I don’t think that’s what Tildeb was talking about.

        • John Branyan says:

          Did you want to explain why killing almost all life on Earth 2.5 billion years ago is “wrong” or should we just leave it for the next time you float your “Great Oxygen Catastrophe” question?

        • john zande says:

          If you’re fine with Yhwh getting the atmosphere wrong and deciding to kill off virtually all life, then great. And good too about the 11 other major extinction events. Cracking job.

          I’m not the one positing a good, mindful, competent god who has the best interests of his creation at heart, and is the reason/purpose behind everything.

          Or did I miss something.

        • John Branyan says:

          I don’t think the atmosphere was “wrong”. If your “catastrophe” happened, it was part of the creation process. Like killing yeast is part of making bread. You are certainly welcome to argue with God about his methods.

          Since you’re not positing God as the reason/purpose behind everything…what would you posit as the reason/purpose behind everything?

        • john zande says:

          Like I said, if you think deliberately, consciously killing off virtually all life, over 11 times, by horrendous and appalling methods (suffocation, burning, starvation, freezing, ect.) reflects a competent and benevolent creator who cares for everything, then good for you.

          Carry on.

        • John Branyan says:

          Run, run as fast as you can!
          All it takes is a question to blast you out of the conversation.
          Carry on!

        • john zande says:

          I did posit one… Perhaps you should read it.

        • John Branyan says:

          You didn’t “posit” what gives reason/meaning to everything since it’s not God.

          Flee! Flee for your life!

        • john zande says:

          Um, yes, I did. Try reading.

        • John Branyan says:

          Um…no you didn’t.
          Just run away. Stop pretending to be smart.

        • john zande says:

          Don’t want to go there, huh? Understandable. Just pretend there’s nothing.

        • John Branyan says:

          LOL!
          Right back at ya.

          Be sure to let me know if you decide to offer a thought.

        • john zande says:

          Be sure to let me know when you want to address what’s already been presented…

        • John Branyan says:

          Ah. I see where you said you made an error regarding the oxygen catastrophe. That’s okay, it happens sometimes.

          I was glad to see you admitted there is no reason/purpose behind everything on the basis of atheism. It’s good to be consistent. Well done!

        • john zande says:

          If you’d actually read and understood then you’d know the event itself, like all extinction events, was essentially meaningless. The Owner of All Infernal Names does not instruct anything to do anything. He doesn’t need to. Sealed between the three things He could never experience but could impose on an artificial scape (a BEGINNING, a MIDDLE, and an END), Creation was always going to tumble forward through time into ever-greater states of complexity. The emergency of existence ensures that. Things want to persist, and by persisting they willingly enter this contract. There is, you see, something far, far, far more ancient than homeostasis (the tendency to equilibrium through physiological processes) driving this world from within. Death.

          With regulated existence came non-existence: obliteration. On was coupled to Off, the line between the two drawn and fixed, and as sweet sentience only recognised itself in the former, the latter, Off, was dressed in all that which sentience despised. The spotlight of existence (the familiar, the self) was to be cherished while the darkness of non-existence (the unknown, non-self) detested.

          Death, noted Thomas Nagel, is the greatest of all curses and nothing can make it palatable. It is the first repulsive force, the first line of code, the first fear, and although physiologically incapable of suffering in a manner recognisable to human minds, it is argued that with a non-zero Phi (Φ), atoms, such as hydrogen, subjectively experience this most ancient of all anxieties: the emergency to persist and to push back against those things which would, if given the chance, annihilate it.

          And we see EXACTLY this inside the core of every star where hydrogen (compressed and its electrons accelerated) struggles to hold onto its peculiar understanding of dear life. In this war which rages between gravity and electron degeneracy pressure, the simplest of all emergent phenomena, the hydrogen atom, cannot however win. As temperatures and pressures inside the star’s core pass a precise and unchanging threshold the cloud of virtual particles holding in-place quark-antiquark pairs (travelling at near-light speed inside a gluon-generated electrical storm swirling inside a nuclei) begin to splinter and decay, and while briefly disguised as something new, hydrogen-2 (deuterium) and hydrogen-3 (tritium) fuse into a helium-4 atom, and what had been, ceases to be.

          And with that, death entered Creation.

          A ferociously strange, alien species of death, no doubt, but death nonetheless, expressed as a cessation of existence; an end of being. It is a true death by every definition of the word, and regardless of how savagely peculiar a thing’s understanding of it might be, regardless of how fantastic it might appear to what the casual observer may call the familiar, extinction was something to rage against, to push back against, to resist, and since death (the first true death) entered Creation, all those things that could rage against it have raged against it.

          Contrary then to what Hume thought, the horror of annihilation is an original passion. It is a fixture in every material thing; a template that has been replicated and passed on through increasing orders of complexity. It is everywhere, and since the commencement of the age of stars nothing with even a whit of organisation (integrated information) has gone quietly into the night, silently rolling over into the abyss of conscious liquidation.

          That is the motive force driving this defiled experiment. That is Creation’s impulse, its outward disposition and core personality. It answers to but one basal command, knows but one timeless commission: to persist and grow more complex over time, and as it tumbles forward, gathering content, so too does the amount and variety of evil present in the world.

          It raises the question: Is then Creator evil? No, not necessarily. Not in the only reality that matters: that of the Creator’s opinion of Himself, of His interests and His pallet. It may appear as such to us, inside looking out, but an opinion, after all, is all that stands between pragmatism and hostility. A sentiment is all that differentiates entertainment from cruelty. An impression is the only thing that separates the stimulating from the terrifying. And a judgment, ultimately, is the only thing that disentangles the appalling from the delicious… And who is man to even question the diet of another, let alone the tastes and interests of the Creator?

          If it could contemplate such things, would not cyanobacteria consider man’s consumption of oxygen thoroughly disgusting? How else, after all, would one organism consider the dietary practices of another organism who feasts on the first organism’s waste, its faeces?

          Does this unsavoury fact alter man’s appreciation of, or need for, oxygen? No, the thought is ludicrous, and if in the future man reaches out into the stars and sets himself to create another earth-like environment by terraforming some lifeless rocky exoplanet he will as a matter of simple necessity erect that dream upon first creating an oxygen-rich atmosphere in which colonists could thrive. Long however before the surveyors and architects and botanists and engineers and hairdressers even arrive, exobiologists will seed the planet with bacteria, never once considering the fact that they are filling this new world with delicious excrement

          The same practical, pragmatic orientation to this world of His design may be said of the Creator. Like man terraforming with intent, The Owner of All Infernal Names has, demonstrably, fashioned this world with a similar business-like eye to efficiency and purpose: to produce delicious excrement.

        • John Branyan says:

          I understood you the first time.
          You stated there is no meaning/purpose behind anything.

        • john zande says:

          Of course there is… To produce delicious excrement

          You really should read what’s put before you.

        • John Branyan says:

          Your purpose is to produce excrement.
          That explains everything, Zande! I finally understand your commentary.

        • john zande says:

          Creation’s purpose, yes.

          Prove it wrong.

        • John Branyan says:

          LOL! I can’t prove it wrong. It’s a rock solid piece of science and logic. I will remember it forever!

        • john zande says:

          Again, prove it wrong.

          The challenge is before you…

        • John Branyan says:

          LOL!
          Again, I can’t prove it wrong. It is solid. You’re absolutely on the money. Your purpose is to produce excrement.

          You are fulfilling your purpose every time you comment.

        • john zande says:

          Creation’s purpose, yes.

          Prove it wrong.

        • John Branyan says:

          LOLOLOLOL!
          I’m sorry you can’t comprehend my previous responses. Keep up the good work.

          You’re fulfilling your purpose.

        • john zande says:

          … you have 13.82 billion years from which to draw your argument.

          Good luck. I look forward to reading your detailed rebuttal…

        • John Branyan says:

          I, John Branyan, agree 100% with John Zande’s statement that his purpose is to produce excrement. I offer no rebuttal.

          Zande fulfills his stated purpose consistently.

        • john zande says:

          No? No rebuttal? Can’t quite manage one? Can’t muster anything?

          That’s a shame. Seems you’re in the same boat as Mel on this one.

          I guess my excuse-free ontological explanation for this world is correct.

        • John Branyan says:

          Yep! You nailed it!
          You’re producing excrement at a staggering rate!

        • john zande says:

          Still no rebuttal?

        • ColorStorm says:

          I hope you have no contact with children lol

          Ha, whose quote is that I wonder. It’s hard to imagine how you go through life john with such dismal baggage oozing from your brain. Pitiful really. Seems like a reasonable assessment based on your own words.

        • ColorStorm says:

          Too hilarious. There is more science in scripture if you would pay attention and actually read.

          Still, God gave us brains, unless yours is filled with accidental space dust. And all science is compatible with scripture as it should be.

          But I suppose your brain is larger than Job’s, Isaiah’s, Ezekiel, and especially Paul the apostle, who had a mind the likes of which this world will never see again. you see, a theological scientist is the very best a man can be.

          Naturally.

          But go ahead, and rely on the lifeless words of Sagan; I’ll take scripture which affirms what you already know.

      • It’s not inane at all, Zande. It gets to the very heart of the problem. You are attempting to use science in a manner in which it was never intended to be used, as a religion, ideology, and faith. You are wrong because you attempt to try to make science itself do what is completely contrary to it’s purpose.

        If you actually respected science just a tiny bit, you would be open minded and following the Great Oxygen Debate currently being discussed and researched by actual scientists.

        • john zande says:

          Are you suggesting the Great Oxygen Event did not take place?

          The fact that it DID happen 2.2-2.4 billion years ago is the point of the questionb as posed… which you’d know if you werent so obsessed with your own navel.

        • There are several prominent scientists suggesting that it did not take place. Whether it took place or not is only a hypothesis, a potential theory. The Great Oxygen Debate is called a “debate” for a reason.

          Zande, you are a really terrible scientist. Like, I often want to suggest you open a window, go take a walk. You need to breath deeply and go have a personal “Great Oxygen Event.”

        • john zande says:

          Saying it didn’t take place?

          LOL!

          Names, please.

          From the very article you miss-attributed to some “NASA scientist”:

          The geophysical and fossil record presents abundant, clear, and convincing evidence that approximately 2.2 to 2.4 billion years ago, there was a dramatic increase in the oxygen content of Earth’s atmosphere. The atmospheric changes correspond to the appearance of complex multicellular life forms in the fossil record.

        • Zande, it really makes no difference to me whether there was an “oxygen catastrophe” or not. That is the nature of science, we just observe. You are the one who seems to be assigning all kind of irrational and faith based assumptions, and assigning meaning, purpose,and conclusions to data you don’t even seem to fully understand.

        • tildeb says:

          No, IB22, he’s simply answering Mel’s question about ontology. You are just waving it away because it doesn’t fit with your own… by fiat.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, IB22, he’s simply answering Mel’s question about ontology. You are just waving it away because it doesn’t fit with your own… by fiat.

          But Zande did not give me an ontological answer at all. He just blathered on from his book describing his dismal worldview of life. The huge elephant is still in the room: We continue to exist, yet you have no cogent answer for it.

        • john zande says:

          LOL! I did, and I even went into more detail with Braynan, describing the motive force driving this defiled experiment.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, you talked about your opinion about the meaning(lessness) of life on earth. What is holding your existence together right now?

        • john zande says:

          I’ll copy and paste it, then:

          If you’d actually read and understood then you’d know the event itself, like all extinction events, was essentially meaningless. The Owner of All Infernal Names does not instruct anything to do anything. He doesn’t need to. Sealed between the three things He could never experience but could impose on an artificial scape (a BEGINNING, a MIDDLE, and an END), Creation was always going to tumble forward through time into ever-greater states of complexity. The emergency of existence ensures that. Things want to persist, and by persisting they willingly enter this contract. There is, you see, something far, far, far more ancient than homeostasis (the tendency to equilibrium through physiological processes) driving this world from within. Death.

          With regulated existence came non-existence: obliteration. On was coupled to Off, the line between the two drawn and fixed, and as sweet sentience only recognised itself in the former, the latter, Off, was dressed in all that which sentience despised. The spotlight of existence (the familiar, the self) was to be cherished while the darkness of non-existence (the unknown, non-self) detested.

          Death, noted Thomas Nagel, is the greatest of all curses and nothing can make it palatable. It is the first repulsive force, the first line of code, the first fear, and although physiologically incapable of suffering in a manner recognisable to human minds, it is argued that with a non-zero Phi (Φ), atoms, such as hydrogen, subjectively experience this most ancient of all anxieties: the emergency to persist and to push back against those things which would, if given the chance, annihilate it.

          And we see EXACTLY this inside the core of every star where hydrogen (compressed and its electrons accelerated) struggles to hold onto its peculiar understanding of dear life. In this war which rages between gravity and electron degeneracy pressure, the simplest of all emergent phenomena, the hydrogen atom, cannot however win. As temperatures and pressures inside the star’s core pass a precise and unchanging threshold the cloud of virtual particles holding in-place quark-antiquark pairs (travelling at near-light speed inside a gluon-generated electrical storm swirling inside a nuclei) begin to splinter and decay, and while briefly disguised as something new, hydrogen-2 (deuterium) and hydrogen-3 (tritium) fuse into a helium-4 atom, and what had been, ceases to be.

          And with that, death entered Creation.

          A ferociously strange, alien species of death, no doubt, but death nonetheless, expressed as a cessation of existence; an end of being. It is a true death by every definition of the word, and regardless of how savagely peculiar a thing’s understanding of it might be, regardless of how fantastic it might appear to what the casual observer may call the familiar, extinction was something to rage against, to push back against, to resist, and since death (the first true death) entered Creation, all those things that could rage against it have raged against it.

          Contrary then to what Hume thought, the horror of annihilation is an original passion. It is a fixture in every material thing; a template that has been replicated and passed on through increasing orders of complexity. It is everywhere, and since the commencement of the age of stars nothing with even a whit of organisation (integrated information) has gone quietly into the night, silently rolling over into the abyss of conscious liquidation.

          That is the motive force driving this defiled experiment. That is Creation’s impulse, its outward disposition and core personality. It answers to but one basal command, knows but one timeless commission: to persist and grow more complex over time, and as it tumbles forward, gathering content, so too does the amount and variety of evil present in the world.

        • Mel Wild says:

          You are really full of yourself, aren’t you. I didn’t need your copy and paste again. More irrelevance. What holds your existence together?

        • john zande says:

          Are you serious? I just told you. Read, Mel. Read.

          This artificial world is sealed between the three things the Creator could never experience but could impose on an artificial scape: a BEGINNING, a MIDDLE, and an END. This creates the emergency of existence, the first repulsive force: DEATH. Extinction was something to rage against, to push back against, to resist, and since death (the first true death) entered Creation, all those things that could rage against it have raged against it. That, Mel, is the motive force.

          The experiment is self-sustaining for just as long as it persists… but it, too, will end. We are inside a timed game. The planet has a fixed life. Indeed, in one fashion of another, this universe itself will end. That too is guaranteed. Perhaps it will be a hot death in some great crush when all matter is recalled, or perhaps it will be a cold death when all the hydrogen that ever existed is eventually spent (as one day it will surely be) and the last stars extinguish for what the human mind perceives as forever. At that time, this once vibrant and vast cosmic sheet will conceivably be tossed aside, flung onto a pile where perhaps millions or even billions of other discarded, empty, now cold and dark universes lie in an appalling Godly midden—a supernal mound of cosmic refuse.

          A timed game being driven internally by the fear of conscious annihilation.

          Can I spell it out any clearer for you?

          So, there is a demonstrable, actual explanation that requires no excuses.

          What have you got?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Are you serious? I just told you. Read, Mel. Read.

          That’s the problem. I did read. There is no logical explanation given here, just a morbid explanation that’s nothing more than a dismal opinion of life. Not to mention, it’s etiological and not ontological. And, besides, your explanation is not what is meant by a motive force.

          What is holding your existence together at this moment? Explain your being.

        • john zande says:

          Motive is motive, Mel. Deal with it. The reason and meaning (for this world which has a beginning, a middle, and an end) has been explained.

          So, I’ve explained it. How about you, now, explaining what is holding your existence together at this moment. Why does this world have a beginning a middle and an end? Why is there death in this Creation. Why does Creation tumble forward into ever greater complexity?

          Tell me… With examples. Demonstrate it, just as I have demonstrated it. What is holding your existence together at this moment

        • Mel Wild says:

          That is not what motive force means, ontologically. It has nothing to do with beginning, middle, and end, which is time related. Time has nothing to do with it. It’s about what is actuating your existence right now. Motive meaning the force behind etiological phenomenon. That force that enables a thing to change from potential to actual. What is the ultimate force that makes something change states. And it ultimately cannot be something that itself changes states, because that thing would also need a motive force to actuate it, which results in infinite regress, making the whole thing collapse into non-existence. So, if you understood the nature of essentially ordered things, you would know that your ontology is incoherent.

        • john zande says:

          Actually Mel, as a closed experiment, it doesn’t require external magic.

          So, in your opinion, What is holding your existence together at this moment?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Actually Mel, as a closed experiment, it doesn’t require external magic.

          LOL! No magic, says the person that proposes panpsychism.

          So, in your opinion, What is holding your existence together at this moment?

          I’ve already explained the logically deductive argument in great detail over several posts which you just dismissed. No magic involved. Philosophically speaking, it’s Subsistent Existence Itself holding all things together. In fact, this ultimate force would be required for our existence.

        • john zande says:

          Subsistent Existence Itself… What does that even mean?

          Really, explain yourself. Don’t just appeal to some ridiculously vague Oogity Boogity, because that is NOT an answer.

          And answer this: Why can’t this FINITE artificial world contain all that it needs to persist for a period of time?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Subsistent Existence Itself… What does that even mean?

          The fact that you ask this question only proves that you dismiss what you don’t understand. It has nothing to do with time or a chronological chain of events. It’s about existence itself.

          Subsistent Existence Itself is a philosophical term derived from logically deductive argument that distinguishes essence from existence in the here and now. This is an essentially ordered series (per se) so it cannot regress infinitely, otherwise nothing in the chain could exist. It from a variation of the argument from motion.

          Very basically putting it, we know from our everyday experience that things can have essence and existence. Essence is what they are, existence is that they are. We also know from our everyday experience that there can be essence but not existence. For example, my essence is human but I don’t necessarily have to exist, so my essence is not the same thing as my existence. And this is true for everything in the natural world. However, in order to not have infinite regress (and non-existence), there must exist something most fundamental whose essence just is its existence, hence the term, Subsistent Existence Itself.

        • john zande says:

          You haven’t explained anything! You’ve just taken the observable universe and made something up that, you say, is required for things to exist. To get there you’ve made up another thing, essence. We’ve been through this before. There is no such thing as essence. It’s 13th Century make believe. And even if it were a factual thing, which it isn’t, existence precedes essence. Self-evidently, we are born into a word with no pre-set template, and we define ourselves by our choices. Evolution has no template, mutations are random (meaning not goal-orientated, not adaptively directed). Fitness and selection is ultimately determined by environment, NOT the genome.

          I have given you an ACTUAL DRIVER that can be DEMONSTRATED without appealing to some invisible goblin who, you say, really, really, really wants to be known. I have explained hiddenness without having to appeal to a library of laboured EXCUSES. I have explained 13.82 billion years of history without having to invent a single theodicy to explain why the world isn’t as you think it should be. I have demonstrated that the world HAS NOT malfunctioned, but is instead behaving precisely as desired by a MISTAKE-FREE Creator. I have explained this FINITE universe.

          You, Mel, have explained NOTHING. You do understand that, don’t you?

          And, precisely as I said, you haven’t even put a scratch on my presented ontology, while yours rests on the failed (factually incorrect) mental meanderings of Medieval Europe.

        • Mel Wild says:

          There is no such thing as essence

          LOL! More ignorant hand-waving. So, you’re not a human being? Of course, everything has essence.

          I have explained hiddenness without having to appeal to a library of laboured EXCUSES. I have explained 13.82 billion years of history…

          How ironic! Yours in nothing but excuses! And history has absolutely nothing to do with it. Sheesh, Zande. Why don’t you get this? You are the one who has explained nothing at all. You have no explanation for why things exist. You are not explaining why there is a cosmos, and all your rabbit trails about oxygen catastrophes, etc. are totally irrelevant to this question. How does oxygen exist at all? None of your explanations even address these things.

          Got to go. Your ontology is STILL incoherent.

        • john zande says:

          No Mel, not of course. You’ve just made this thing up. It doesn’t exist… as demonstrated.

          History has nothing to do with explaining existence? LOL! Goodness, you’ve taken pathetic hand waving to an entirely new level, Mel. You have about as much intellectual credibility as a long eared jerboa.

        • Mel Wild says:

          History has nothing to do with explaining existence?

          No, Zande, history has absolutely nothing to do with the argument. Are you really that dense? I actually think you’re smart enough to figure it out, but apparently you don’t want to. Don’t you realize that you’re not even addressing my argument? You just make fun of what you don’t understand which makes you just sound like a fool. The fact that we’ve been talking about this for so long here and you still don’t get it is sad, to say the least. I would have better luck talking to a tree.

          Technically speaking, you keep bringing up what is called “accidentally ordered” things (sequences of events, big bang, etc.) but I’m talking something very different, essentially ordered things, or that which is holding you together right now. That’s not made up, it’s the most empirically real thing there is because we exist.

          Again, this graphic shows why your ontology is incoherent. You have no foundation for your existence. This is no small thing to be so dismissive about. No matter how you try to dress it up your emperor has no clothes.

        • john zande says:

          history has absolutely nothing to do with the argument

          Really? So if it’s not the history of events, then what, exactly, do you base your deductive reasoning on? If it’s not history, then what exactly is your information set?

          You see, you cannot make your argument without basing it in history. The difference in approaches (in finding meaning) is that I place great value on the actual events as they inform us of the nature of this world. Conversely, you choose to ignore the events because they contradict your underlying worldview and the nature of your creator. Teleology is not your friend, Mel. You know this, which is precisely why you continually avoid addressing this critical question: What IS the predominant tendency of the contrivance?

          This question exposes your intellectual dishonesty.

          It takes you to places you don’t want to go, so you turn your back and PRETEND the question was never put to you.

          If you were actually serious about ontology, then you would face the teleological evidence (13.82 billion years’ worth). But, you’re not honest, you have no intention of ever being honest, which is why you defer to the nonsense of accidently ordered/essentially ordered series.

          Despite asking repeatedly, you’ve never shown me an essentially ordered series. Why? Because you can’t. It’s make-believe. All the argument is is taking what you call “accidently ordered series” (in other words, everyday cause and effect) then saying “this can’t exist without a currently operative agent who exists in Neverland pushing everything,” magically making everything this thing you call an “essentially ordered series” without actually demonstrating ANYTHING.

          And then you roll out the graphic from the anonymous You Tuber. Pretty circles and spheres drawn and labelled, and hey presto, you proclaim it’s real!

          Regretfully for you and your 13th Century thought experiment, the universe DOES NOT behave as they thought it behaved in the 1200’s when Llewellyn was being driven into the Welsh highlands, Edward the 1st was building Caernarfon Castle, and the very best information of the day said demons caused the plague.

          So, rather than going through all this again and again and again, can you please address the question that was specifically put to you, but which you ignored: Why can’t this FINITE artificial world contain all that it needs to persist for a period of time?

          Things you cannot ignore when answering the question: This artificial world is sealed between the three things the Creator could never experience but could impose on an artificial scape: a BEGINNING, a MIDDLE, and an END. That, Mel, is how we KNOW it’s artificial. And you have conceded this, stating “the universe is NOT God.” You’re right. The fact that it’s finite (‘death’ written in as the first line of code, so to speak) proves that. So, what does that mean? It means this is an artificial construct: a sealed off box; a petri dish; a self-entangling complexity machine (as history demonstrates) that WILL END.

          This is the needle in your worldview… But now it’s time to face it.

          I propose we’re:

          1) inside a timed game (uninvited/imposed),
          2) the game/experiment is freely evolving, driven internally by a repulsion to annihilation, creating the emergency of existence that is EVIDENT in the simplest of all things: the hydrogen atom that still to this day experiences the first death,
          3) all the energy the game will ever use was present at the beginning/will be transformed through the middle into ever-greater expressions of complexity/expended at the end. Game over.

          Explain why this cannot be.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Really? So if it’s not the history of events, then what, exactly, do you base your deductive reasoning on

          Again, why don’t you get this. You keep repeating yourself and still not addressing what I’m talking about. And I have several posts on this argument so you are lying when I haven’t addressed this. Then, when you just dismiss what you don’t understand as a 13th Century thought experiment, you just sound foolish and ignorant. And these deductive arguments are all based on everyday empirical things.

          As soon as you start talking about a past moment you are no longer addressing the argument. Let me dumb it down for you. And everything is based on things we know to be true, although this is not exhaustive or even technically accurate. The principle is what is the point here. You type something on the keyboard, which is caused by your fingers, from the “motive forces” of your muscular and nervous system, moved by your brain impulses, which are firing neurons, which are made up of cells in motion, which are made of atoms in motion, DNA in motion, which ultimately are moved by gluons and quarks in motion, but your body is “living” in a whole universe in motion….ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE HAPPENING AT THE SAME TIME so time is irrelevant. And we know that any thing in motion (from potential to actual) MUST have an outside force that is moving it to spin, duplicate, etc. As David Bentley Hart says, “These claims start, rather, from the fairly elementary observation that nothing contingent, composite, finite, temporal, complex, and mutable can account for its own existence, and that even an infinite series of such things can never be the source or ground of its own being, but must depend on some source of actuality beyond itself. Thus, abstracting from the universal conditions of contingency, one very well may (and perhaps must) conclude that all things are sustained in being by an absolute plenitude of actuality, whose very essence is being as such: not a “supreme being,” not another thing within or alongside the universe, but the infinite act of being itself, the one eternal and transcendent source of all existence and knowledge, in which all finite being participates. “

          Conversely, you choose to ignore the events because they contradict your underlying worldview and the nature of your creator…

          I don’t choose to ignore events, they just aren’t relevant to my argument. YOU are the one ignoring my argument and dismissing what you don’t understand.

          I propose we’re:
          1) inside a timed game (uninvited/imposed),
          2) the game/experiment is freely evolving, driven internally by a repulsion to annihilation, creating the emergency of existence that is EVIDENT in the simplest of all things: the hydrogen atom that still to this day experiences the first death,
          3) all the energy the game will ever use was present at the beginning/will be transformed through the middle into ever-greater expressions of complexity/expended at the end. Game over.
          Explain why this cannot be.

          Then you believe in a creator, a game designer? And who or what didn’t invite us, Zande? That implies intelligence and purpose. Because you cannot have a game without some intelligent intent behind it. And you still have not accounted for why any of these things exist at all. But, again, you’re still not addressing the question of the existence of God at all.

        • john zande says:

          I asked, Explain why this cannot be?

          Would you please care to answer the question…

        • Mel Wild says:

          Zande, you obviously didn’t read anything I said. Not only is your question pointless because it’s pure speculation, you are totally avoiding what I said. So, apparently you don’t want to have an honest conversation. Continue on with your mulish obstinance. I’m done wasting my time with you. Good-bye.

        • john zande says:

          So, you cannot say why that cannot be.

          I think that says it all, and as I have explained everything else about this world, with SUPPORTING HISTORICAL EVIDENCE, then I guess my ontology is vastly superior to yours, which rests on a mountain of EXCUSES trying to explain why the world is not as it should be if your ontology was correct.

        • John Branyan says:

          I can go along with premise 1 and 2, Windbag.
          Premise 3 brings up a question which I’ll ask and you will ignore.

          “all the energy the game will ever use was present at the beginning”
          Where did this energy come from?

        • john zande says:

          Provided by The Owner of All Infernal Names.

        • John Branyan says:

          Wow!
          So, you’re not arguing that there is no God. You’re arguing about the nature of God. Is that right?

        • john zande says:

          Of course, I’m presenting an ontological explanation, assuming a Creator.

        • John Branyan says:

          Of course. But it’s not what you actually believe. You’ll never be pinned down on your personal convictions.
          Continue fulfilling your purpose!

        • john zande says:

          If you wish to posit a Creator, an aseitic one, meaning you assume this world is artificial and was created for a purpose, then TOOAIN explains this world PERFECTLY without making a single excuse. Everything is explained. Unpalatable, sure, but that is what history informs us of.

          The fact that neither you nor Mel (nor anyone for that matter, including professional Christian theologians and philosophers) has been able to put a single scratch on the thesis merely demonstrates this fact.

        • john zande says:

          And if you need any further clarification as to just how solid the thesis is, just look at Mel and how he’s struggling. He CANNOT offer a single reason why this cannot be, and he CANNOT address the simple question as to the predominant tendency of the contrivance.

        • john zande says:

          So you agree: TOOAIN is the stronger, excuse-free ontological explanation for the world that is, has been, and will be.

          Good.

        • John Branyan says:

          I agree that you fulfill your purpose.

        • john zande says:

          Creation’s purpose, yes.

          Prove it wrong.

          And FYI: The Owner of All Infernal Names: a being who does not share His creation with any other comparable spirit, does not seek to be known to or worshipped by that which He has created (or has allowed to be created), and whose greatest proof of existence is that there is no conspicuous proof of His existence—just teleological birthmarks that can be isolated and examined as testimony—for He understands that the trinkets of His greatest amusement, arousal, and fascination must be blind to the nature of the world they inhabit so they may act freely, and suffer genuinely.

        • tildeb says:

          Essence is a fully ancient Greek notion of the ‘nature’ of something… like the essence of a rock is heaviness and becomes manifest with motion in its desire to reunite with its origins (which is why a rock ‘drops’ back to the earth, you see: it’s in its nature). Mel is NOT using a ‘philosophical’ argument at all but a purely metaphysical one based on the assumption that ‘essence’ is a Real Thing. It’s not. It’s made up shit. Remember, at the time this notion was widely accepted, wheelbarrows would have been the newest technological marvel. Some of us have advanced past this stage informing our ‘philosophical’ premises in our ontology. Mel’s got a ways to go to catch up.

        • john zande says:

          It’s not. It’s made up shit.

          Well, I did try and tell him that some time ago, with examples as to why it is made up shit, which he never addressed, and as we see, he hasn’t moved-on since.

        • john zande says:

          Mel, tell me: What is your ontological explanation for this world? What is holding your existence together at this moment?

        • john zande says:

          Mel, do you not have an answer?

          What is holding your existence together at this moment?

          I’ve given you my answer; an answer that comports to the actual world and is demonstrable. From disorder, order. Whether by deliberate tuning or an equally deliberate whimsical roll of the dice, at 10-34 seconds after inflation the quark-gluon plasma that was once the entirety of this particular universe (one of perhaps millions, billions, or even trillions of unique, artificial cosmoses) cooled from 100 nonillion Kelvin to 1 billion Kelvin, snap-freezing in-place the fundamental laws of interaction. Conservation and symmetry, continuity and transfer, classical mechanics and motion, gravity, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, photonics, and a myriad of smaller but no less unmoveable pieces of legislation were imposed on Creation, and once spilled, this modest but thoroughly persuasive basket of rules set the stage for affinities that would regulate all things without sentiment or bias; forever concealing the Creator behind a curtain of impenetrable ‘naturalism.’

          And with that, the game—the experiment—began.

          That which did not have a beginning was given a beginning, and once begun, a middle and an end was guaranteed. Death. Observable in the first atomic structure, things struggle to persist, to avoid death, to hold onto their sense of dear life. Creation is a closed system, a box, a timed game, an experimental lab driven internally by a repulsion to extinction that is written into the very fabric of this world. Regulated existence is underwritten by death, but annihilation can be pushed back, delayed, thwarted… for a time… and that emergency is what drives this universe into ever greater expressions of complexity.

          That is historically demonstrable.

          So, there’s the answer. What’s yours?

          What is holding your existence together at this moment?

        • john zande says:

          And Mel, before you pen your typical hand wave, ask yourself: Does the hydrogen atom easily let go of itself? No, far from it. It struggles to maintain itself. It holds itself together at all costs… Until it cannot. And the first death represents the first quantifiable movement towards ever-greater complexity, where complexity—across all systems, animate and inanimate—corresponds PRECISELY to the degree and depth of potential suffering available to those contingent things whose participation in Creation was never solicited.

        • tildeb says:

          “We continue to exist, yet you have no cogent answer for it.”

          Yes I do, and I’ve already told you: 42.

          Now, you can say this doesn’t have any meaning for YOU, but it’s still the absolute indisputable correct answer for it.

        • john zande says:

          You are the one who seems to be assigning all kind of irrational and faith based assumptions, and assigning meaning, purpose,and conclusions to data you don’t even seem to fully understand.

          Am I? Do tell…

        • John Branyan says:

          I asked Zande why he thought it was “bad” for God to kill those innocent critters during the oxygen catastrophe. He hasn’t responded. I can’t imagine why…wait…yes I can! He’s not interested in defending his stupid thesis.

          Can you think of another reason for his sudden silence?

        • HA! Well, if God has the power to annihilate billions of bacteria, than He also has the power to annihilate us! Since that is really scary and means we aren’t in control, that makes God “bad.”

          It’s really kind of tragic, but Zande is unable to even imagine that power and authority can also be good, Holy, kind, have your best interests at heart.

        • John Branyan says:

          He’s also unable to imagine that there must be some kind of power and authority that bestowed consciousness upon him. Jackasses don’t create themselves.

        • John Branyan says:

          If there was an oxygen catastrophe, it was God’s idea. Zande says that this proves that God is incompetent.

          Do you suppose he would call butterflies the product of a great caterpillar catastrophe?

  7. Nan says:

    The following was a comment made by someone on another blog. Seems to fit right in with what has been taking place on this latest post.

    “Despite two thousand years of analysis, writings, arguments, heresies, apologetics, convoluted arguments, etc., christianity still has no real answers.”

    • john zande says:

      Sound conclusion. Lot’s of excuses, though. I phrased it this way, once:

      Imagine, if you will, a bright young chap proposing an intriguing hypothesis for something. It doesn’t really matter what. What’s important is that it was a hypothesis that, at least on paper, sounded quite compelling.

      So, an Abstract was written, and following the Abstract some justifications for the probable truth of the Abstract were published… and with that, efforts to prove this hypothesis began in earnest.

      Now imagine 2,500 years elapsing since the proposal was first suggested, and in those 2,500 years absolutely NOTHING was discovered to even remotely suggest the hypothesis was, in fact, true.

      This is not to say the hypothesis had lain dormant. It hadn’t. Generation after generation of bright people embraced the hypothesis and dedicated their entire lives to proving it true.

      However, despite every effort, after 2,500 years the only progress that could be shown was that from time to time someone had reviewed the Abstract and had changed the odd word or two here and there.

      100 generations of work, millions of man-hours, and the needle was not moved a single millimetre.

      Given this, why after 2,500 years of complete failure should anyone still suspect the hypothesis held merit?

    • Mel Wild says:

      “Despite two thousand years of analysis, writings, arguments, heresies, apologetics, convoluted arguments, etc., christianity still has no real answers.”

      LOL! Another idiotic comment from an anti-theist that means absolutely nothing. But thanks for sharing.

      • “….christianity still has no real answers.”

        But it sure seems rather self evident from the comments in this thread, that without Christianity,one doesn’t even know what the questions ARE!

        • Mel Wild says:

          Exactly, IB. These are some of the dumbest comments ever uttered by people who not only don’t understand what they’re arguing against, but can’t even answer why they exist, yet that doesn’t stop their pretentious blathering on. Quite a waste of time.

        • Nan says:

          Mel, contrary to what you consistently put forth and quite obviously believe, YOU don’t have all the answers about “why we exist” any more than any other person. It’s ALL speculation and opinion. It doesn’t matter if you’ve read over a thousand books (or more) on the subject and/or researched an equal number of philosophical theories and/or experienced wondrous events that put your life on a different path … no one has the undeniable, unequivocal, absolute answer. All you can do is offer) what seems most reasonable to you and be willing to discuss it without rancor (and snide remarks).

          To consistently downplay other people’s opinions (and research) simply because YOU think YOUR research is more authentic and/or reliable and/or proven (?) is a clear demonstration of pride — which your Leader has warned against.

          I don’t say these things to anger you. I actually think you’re a very intelligent individual who has spent several years doing research to justify and validate your perspective on the world. But many others have done the same thing and reached a different conclusion. And when it comes to things of the “spiritual” nature, neither side has all the answers.

        • Mel Wild says:

          To consistently downplay other people’s opinions (and research) simply because YOU think YOUR research is more authentic and/or reliable and/or proven (?) is a clear demonstration of pride — which your Leader has warned against.

          What??? Then why do you consistently do exactly what you accuse me of doing? Quite hypocritical of you, Nan.

          You originally said (and I added highlighting):

          “Despite two thousand years of analysis, writings, arguments, heresies, apologetics, convoluted arguments, etc., christianity still has no real answers.”

          That is not only totally dismissing 2000 years of Christianity (serious downplaying), it’s an imbecilic statement that deserves nothing but derision for its lack of understanding of history or anything remotely cogent. It’s just a stupid and thoughtless dismissal.

          I don’t say these things to anger you.

          Then stop repeating really stupid things. And, excuse me, but this statement had nothing to do with whether one has all the answers or not, which I have never claimed. You were clearly parroting someone who thought that Christianity had NO answers after 2,000 years. You can’t get anymore wacko fundamentalist anti-theist than that. It’s these kind of statements that totally tune out any thinking person to your argument.

        • Nan says:

          Me: … “be willing to discuss it without rancor (and snide remarks)”

          it’s an imbecilic statement
          It’s just a stupid and thoughtless dismissal.
          Then stop repeating really stupid things.
          You can’t get anymore wacko fundamentalist anti-theist than that.

          I rest my case.

        • Mel Wild says:

          LOL! Nan, when you stop repeating something really stupid and thoughtless like your quote about Christianity while pretending you yourself are not making snide remarks, and are not participating in the very same thing you accuse me of, then you’ll get a little more respect.

        • Nan says:

          I give up. You win. You’re so much more refined and polished in your remarks and responses, I can’t compete. I was foolish to think I could make a difference.

          Have a nice evening.

        • John Branyan says:

          Did you see that Zande has outlined his purpose in life? It’s worth reading.
          It’s fun to imagine Nan or Tildeb responding to Zande with the same fervor they respond to you. That will never happen, of course, because the heathen don’t pay attention to each other. They give effusive approval to anything written by any member of the godless club.

          Seriously, read what Zande describe as the purpose of life. It’s hilarious!

        • Mel Wild says:

          You mean, his demiurge TOOAIN? Sounds quite depressing, pagan, and unoriginal. Someone needs to get back on their meds.
          Most of what he says about this is unintelligible so I have no idea, really.
          Tildeb would probably tell him he’s wrong and lying. Nan would tell him no one can really know anything…that is, if they treated Zande’s wacky world the same way they talk to us. Yup, will never happen.

        • john zande says:

          Unintelligible?

          By all means, prove the thesis wrong. Find a flaw in it. Demonstrate that it is incoherent or contradictory in ANY way. If you think it’s wrong for any actual logical or historical reason, then present your argument/s and show me.

          Don’t just hand-wave, Mel. That’s pathetic. Show some intellectual integrity. Knock it down, if you can.

        • john zande says:

          And just to help you along, in case there’s some confusion, I’m accepting there is a Creator. Following the Principle of Sufficient Reason, we can conclude with a level of argued certainty that a Creator must exist.

          By themselves, however, traditional arguments for the existence of a Creator do not offer any description of the being other than presenting formalised reasoning for the prescriptive qualities of non-contingency and maximal power. Existence can be concluded, His preternatural presence established in a logically convincing framework, but simply knowing the qualities of the Creator does not move the curious mind closer towards a name, and without a name—without a sense of INTENT behind that which was created—the identity of the architect remains a mystery.

          I have named the Creator, and proven His disposition through the teleological realities of this world. Creation is a defiled experiment; a laboratory concealed inside a complexity machine; an evolving nursery where profoundly ignorant surrogates are grown to probe and explore those things an uncreated aseitic being, God, could never directly explore or experience; a world where good, despite all persuasive appearances, does not exist.

          Over to you… Prove the thesis wrong.

          Indeed, perhaps you could dedicate a post to it. Move on from your posts presenting arguments for the existence of a Creator and deal with the Creator’s identity.

          After all, isn’t that the most important thing, knowing WHO the Creator is?

        • John Branyan says:

          He says the purpose behind everything is to produce excrement.
          (Then he demands that we “prove it wrong”.)

          The point is, he is fulfilling his given purpose every time he comments.
          I told him, multiple times, I cannot disprove the logic. His response is to repeat himself. Currently he’s stuck in a “prove it wrong” loop, which is an irrational response to, “I agree with you completely”.

          He broke his brain, Mel. You don’t need to argue with him about TOOAIN ever again. It is a perfect explanation for John Zande’s existence. Just congratulate him on fulfilling his purpose!

        • john zande says:

          Run your mouth all you like. Every word you drop that doesn’t directly address the thesis—identifying the Creator, His intent, and the historically verifiable purpose of Creation—is a word simply confirming thesis’s strength.

        • John Branyan says:

          I agree with your thesis completely.
          You have demonstrated your purpose beyond any reasonable doubt.

        • john zande says:

          Creation’s purpose, yes.

          Prove it wrong.

        • john zande says:

          So you agree: The Owner of All Infernal Names is the demonstrable, logically unambiguous reason for this world’s existence.

          Good.

        • John Branyan says:

          I agree that you fulfill your purpose.

        • john zande says:

          So you agree: The Owner of All Infernal Names is the demonstrable, logically unambiguous reason for this world’s existence.

          You accept the ontology as True.

          Good.

        • John Branyan says:

          LOL!

          You’re demonstrating your purpose beyond doubt!

        • john zande says:

          Run your mouth all you like. Every word you drop that doesn’t directly address the thesis—identifying the Creator, His intent, and the historically verifiable purpose of Creation—is a word simply confirming thesis’s strength.

        • john zande says:

          Keep talking.

          All you’re doing is proving you have nothing.

        • john zande says:

          Every. Single. Word. Proves. You. Have. Nothing.

        • ColorStorm says:

          hey jonz of the Andes-

          After watching your train wreck of commentary, and your prolixity of cut and paste, sane minds must conclude that yes, the Creator’s purpose for YOU is to erase the Creator’s existence. Nice work, who needs God when you are greater than Him?

          It is zande who sends forth rain, it is zande who makes bones grow in the womb, it is zande who has usurped all creatorial rights, wherein even the devil is embarrassed at such audacity.

          Your endless words of circular ‘theory’ which are neither testable, provable, nor actual, are an affront to true science which also is embarrassing to true learning.

          So yeah, who needs God, when we have jonz of the andes, with his intellectual mountains of refined waste. lol

          (please do not say I can’t prove you wrong; I swear you are both blind and deaf)

        • John Branyan says:

          CS,

          Zande has said, explicitly, multiple times, that his purpose is to create excrement. There is ample evidence to back up this claim. The logic is sound. You should adjust your theology to accommodate Zande’s thesis because it is TRUE. Christians have nothing to fear from the truth.

          You can’t prove him wrong because he is right!

        • john zande says:

          And still more proof.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Zande has said, explicitly, multiple times, that his purpose is to create excrement. There is ample evidence to back up this claim. The logic is sound.

          At least that makes sense. I’m glad Zande finally found a coherent purpose for his life.

          Ad Vita scriptor ut stercus!

          Who would want to prove it wrong. It’s.rock.solid.logic. Case.closed.

        • john zande says:

          Zande has said, explicitly, multiple times, that his purpose is to create excrement. There is ample evidence to back up this claim. The logic is sound.

          At least that makes sense. I’m glad Zande finally found a coherent purpose for his life.

          Creation’s purpose, yes.

          Can you prove otherwise, in an adult manner, free of all childish personal attacks?

        • john zande says:

          Creation’s purpose, yes.

          Prove it wrong.

    • John Branyan says:

      Here’s a comment I found on another blog that seems to fit right in with what you said, Nan.

      “Despite years of analysis, writings, arguments, heresies, apologetics, convoluted arguments, etc., atheism still has no real answers.”

      • Nan says:

        My point exactly. Neither side has all the answers.

      • john zande says:

        Of course. A-theism is content free.

        If you want to look for answers from folk who’re a-theists, then you could start with Buddhists. They have quite a detailed library of answers for your to puruse.

        Good luck.

      • tildeb says:

        No one claims atheism does have all the answers, you nit. Atheists just don’t believe your religion does. You believe it does. Fine. But without compelling evidence to back your positive claim, you’ve got nothing but your belief, your deceitful methods in its defense, and a puerile response technique for anyone who asks you reasonable questions about the truth merit of your claims and who foolishly desires an honest answer from you. I’m still waiting. That’s why you have demonstrated you are nothing but a toxic presence to any honest dialogue, JB, but a great cheering section for anyone who appreciates your dishonesty and thinks it a virtue.

  8. John Branyan says:

    The sentiment that “nobody has all the answers” is probably true.
    It is also irrelevant.
    You don’t need to have “all the answers” to say the existence of God is reasonable.

  9. Somewhere above Tildeb said, “That so many of your brethren in your religious apologetics rely on this method of try to sell falsehoods is a clue about selling the ‘truthfulness’ of the apologetic mission and has nothing to do with me and everything to do with what you get when you try to con others into believing that they can respect truth about reality while dismissing facts from reality that do not comport.”

    I’m an unapologetic. So like, not apologizing for my faith at all. I’m also not apologizing for my religious brethren because I know how challenging it can be to try to speak the truth to people who insist on just constantly spitting in your face.

    So here’s the deal, every time an atheist drops by a Christian blog to mock, ridicule, and accuse you are simply spitting in someone face. It is boorish and rude behavior. It is not logic, it is not questions, it simply a childish tantrum, an emotional response, an attempt to justify and gloat over what you all know is inherently wrong with your lack of belief. If you had the slightest idea what you really believed in and had any security or faith in those beliefs, you wouldn’t spend do much time trying to puff your own intelligence up….on Christian blogs.

    • john zande says:

      Rubbish. As I previously stated to Mel:

      If you just stick to “Jesus loves you, here’s a bible verse,” you would not get a single blogging atheist paying you a visit. Speaking for myself, I don’t care what you believe. As long as it doesn’t harm children, animals, the planet, or yourself, then believe unicorns live in your shoes for all I care. The moment, however, you start misrepresenting science, misrepresenting history, misrepresenting Humanism/Secularism/Atheism, or present counterproductive social positions (something you don’t do, which is to be applauded), then you are inviting people to correct you.

      I might add apologetic arguments for “God.” If you’re going to play in the marketplace of ideas, then be prepared to defend those ideas.

    • tildeb says:

      Believe it or not, IB22, I don’t bother most of the Christian of Jewish sites I visit except if they try to promote a misrepresentation that affects me, usually involving non belief and/or a misunderstanding or dishonest portrayal of some scientific idea. I do the same on sites that promote identity politics and ‘progressive’ liberalism, arguing that what they’re saying is not the case or contains some large danger to all of us they might be unaware of (common rights, and stuff like that). If Mel were being truthful here, he’d qualify this notion of religious ‘truth’ claims about reality having to FIRST align with facts from reality. He doesn’t.

      If this had been the case, you’d not be hearing a peep from me. Rather than account for this discrepancy between claims of truth about reality and an absence of support from reality, Mel doubled down on having the truth and then started saying things that he knew were not true. So did others, assuming this was the proper way to defend the disconnect and try to make it irrelevant, or belong to others who didn’t understand what amounts to Mel’s deepities.

      Well, the disconnect is still there, still unaddressed, and it still undermines Mel’s thesis about needing more than just the facts. This is not what he’s saying: in effect he’s saying we can reject the all the contrary facts from reality and THEN claim a position of being in possession of truth. This is a lie and he needs to be called on it and easily demonstrable to ourselves. If you or CT or JB called him on it, I wouldn’t. But you guys never do. Ever. And what does that denial tactic say about your collective respect for the truth about reality when all of you are quite willing and able to pretend the contrary facts from reality don’t matter in the slightest? Well, it means you’re exercising evangelical apologetics, commonly referred to as ‘Lyin fer Jesus’.

      • John Branyan says:

        I don’t know if what you said is true but there is no reason to believe it might be.

        • Mel Wild says:

          LOL! The avatar named Tildeb likes to use the line, “Lyin’ for Jesus” a lot. (He also likes to pontificate a lot.) But since he’s never actually explained exactly how we’re lying, we can only assume lying means we don’t agree with his dogmatic view of the world. Apparently, that bothers him so much that he feels obligated to leave his lofty place on high to come down and straighten us poor misinformed Christians out. Yup, he keeps using that word, lying, but I do not think it means what he thinks it means.

  10. Pingback: OF TWISTED WORDS => AGNOSTIC ATHEISM – Citizen Tom

  11. Isabella Ravndal says:

    Hi Mel:-) The difference between facts and truth that you describe are very insightful<3. It shows how isolated facts can be picked and chosen to create a preferred world-view. Whereas the ultimate truth is one word, the Word and he is Jesus Christ. Say that I hurt someone's feelings, but never intended/wanted to do. What is the truth? Is it the offended view, or is it mine? Everybody has their own personal "truth".

  12. Isabella Ravndal says:

    May I friendly and lovingly suggest we all watch this video? ❤

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