God is Outside

A comment over at Philly’s blog, You Made Me Say It, got me thinking. Now, thinking is not one of my better attributes (just ask CL and Gideon) but like Lewis Black, I have a hard time swallowing nonsense, because “I have thoughts“, and they get in the way of the usual religious swill swallowing. So there I am, thinking about his post, and some of the comments, and the question arises about god being outside time, space and logic. And it got me thinking more.  What does that mean, god is outside time, space and logic?

Exactly where IS he?

Let’s take the first concept, time. How can anything be outside time? Time is just a way of measuring the passage of, well, time. I know that sounds circular, but I can’t think of a better way to put it. To say god is outside time, is similar to the contention that he’s outside, say, linear measurements. For example, if he’s standing next to you, he’d be, what? Five foot eleven? Six-two? Ten feet tall? Whatever he is, he’s a definite height. His fingers are a definite length, his head a definite circumference, and his penis…well, we won’t go there. Measurements are ways of comparing one physical attribute to another (men do it with their… oh, wait, I already did that joke) so that we can define it spatially relative to another. It’s a great way of understanding concepts like height, weight, distance, etc. by comparing objects and distances to others that are actually known by the observer. It’s how we humans categorize and simplify knowledge.

Similarly, time is a measurement of activity and existence relative to other activities and existences, so we can compare them, and better place them in our storage banks of knowledge. For example, the Super Bowl was six months ago. Six months is the measure of the passage of time between when the Super Bowl was actually played, and this moment. But six months is just a mental construct, a useful tool for us to understand that time frame. It doesn’t exist other than in our brains, and as a measurement, it’s only useful relative to other measurements.

So how can god be outside that? We construct and measure the passage of time, and our measures of time – seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, etc – are based on the physical aspects of our particular solar system. The units of measurement elsewhere in the universe could and would be different.  However time is measured, either god is somewhere in reference to it, or he’s not. Of course, my position is that gods don’t exist, so perhaps theists and atheists are in agreement here. If god is nowhere (in a temporal sense) in relation to everything else, he’s simply nowhere, i.e. he doesn’t exist.

I can’t get my head around the theist concept of someone  or something being outside time. Does god flit around from the past to the future and back to the present?  How does he do that when the past is over and the future hasn’t happened yet? If he can, then in some sense, the past is not really past, because at least he can go there now, in the present. Same with the future. It destroys the definition of those terms to say he’s outside time, because “past”, “present” and “future” are again, mental constructs and concepts of time, something humans created to understand the passage of time.

Am I confusing you? I’m not done yet.

Space.  The final frontier. What is space? Here are two definitions, from among many, that fit the discussion:

  • The infinite extension of the three-dimensional region in which all matter exists.
  • The expanse in which the solar system, stars, and galaxies exist; the universe.

To some extent, and for my purposes, they really define the same thing. The entire area where all matter exists is the same thing as the universe. Essentially, where everything is. Let’s use that as our definition of space.  Now, if god is outside of where everything is, again, to some extent, theists and atheists are in agreement. If he isn’t where everything is, then, for all intents and purposes, he isn’t anywhere, i.e. he doesn’t exist. Space is not, by my definition, like a closed room, with god outside the room, knocking on the door so he can come in.  Space is everything.  If he’s outside of space, then there is an area out there that can be defined, and if it can be defined, it’s part of everything. If it’s part of everything, then god’s not outside, he’s inside. He can’t logically be outside everything and exist at the same time, which takes us to concept number 3.

Logic. This is another one I can’t get my head around, because logic is what my head does. It’s hard to be illogical about logic, but this argument does a good job of it. Logic is the mental process of reasoning, by abstraction and analysis, the form of propositions, such as “does god exist”. It is a rigorous, well defined body of rules and processes we use to test the truth of propositions. It’s how we arrive at conclusions relative to those propositions, and it is a process that we use because it works. It’s part and parcel of the scientific method, which would not be such a good tool for discovering truth unless it embodied logic.

To say that god is outside logic is to say that he is illogical , i.e. not logical. Of course, an atheist’s primary response when confronted with the god question is to show that the concept of god is illogical, so again, it would seem that theists and atheists agree. If god created logic (to the extent that something like a mental process can be “created”) and logic is used to derive truth, why would god be outside that same process, when it comes to proving the truth about the existence of god? Wouldn’t he have created logic so that it clearly and simply leads us to him, rather than away from him?

The entire argument that god is outside of human reality is just another admission, albeit unacknowledged by theists, that god doesn’t really exist, and the only way they can justify the sheer lack of evidence for him is to claim that he is outside of everything we know. It’s something that can’t be tested or proven, but it does allow them to hang on to that gossamer thread of possibility without ever having to let go.

Knock, knock

Who’s there?

God

Yea, right. Quit fuckin’ with me, Rudy.

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55 thoughts on “God is Outside

  1. Time… well a couple of years ago I had surgery for a melanoma under a “local” anesthetic, and about half wat through the proceedure the “local” stopped working at all, and no substitutes could be give. We continued the march without it, and for close to twenty minutes I felt every cut, cautery, and suture. It was interesting, I can tell you. Close to twenty minutes by the clock… I’m assured that the other five years it took were “subjective”.

    It would have been handy to be “outside of time” or move through it like Vonnegut’s entities, but no.

    But, the belief in the “absurd” (as expounded on by one of the “church fathers”) with the absurdity as the driving force is firmly entrenched in christianity and ain’t leaving anytime soon.

    Still, I guess an imaginary being can do anything you want, as long as it does really nothing.

  2. Just thinking out loud here

    I think that when god is described as being ‘outside the demension of space’ ( I’m still working onthe ouside the demension of time thang ) it introduces the concept of anti-space.

    So lets defince space as the ‘dimensional region in which matter exists’

    So outside the demention of space would be anti-‘region in which matter exists’.

    When one says that god is outside the demension of space. god is everywhere where space is not or god is anti-space.

    So, for example, an apple takes up space, an anti-apple is everything in space except the space taken up by the apple. –it is the otter, the glacier, the string bean. An anti earth is all the space that is not taken up by earth — mars, the asteroid belts everything in the milky way ( except earth ). Taking it a step furthing, an anti-universe is everything in space except the space taken up by the universe. The universe is everything … so anti-universe is everything BUT everything .. or nothing.
    So god is outside the space that is everything. God is everything BUT everything … or nothing

  3. • This issue of time and space for God is impossible for me to answer
    • God is ultimately awesome
    Therefore, God must somehow be beyond time and space.

    Problem solved. Praise Jesus!

  4. “God is outside of human reality” – except when it’s convenient for humans to pretend he’s inside of that reality.

    Nope. It still doesn’t make any sense to me.

  5. How does god interact with reality in the form of the creation of it and the performance of all manner of miracles and yet he is not a part of reality? I mean, every action has a reaction, if god can start a hurricane then that means god is physically touching and pushing the air molecules around, but if that is the case then god’s momentum and energy transfer should be measureable with physical instruments and thereby not outside the realm of scientific enquiry. Scientists should be able to figure out the nuts and bolts that make god work.

    On the other hand, perhaps god is a perpetual motion machine. A burning bush that doesn’t consume itself as a fuel source or perhaps hellfire, for instance, should burn for eternity without running out of energy, and that would be excellent to put under the hood of my car 🙂

  6. If I make the statement “X is outside of time, space, and logic”
    Then, doesn’t that just mean “X” doesn’t have a definition?

    If somebody defines “X” then the statement “X is outside of time, space, and logic” no longer is a valid argument, correct?

  7. “Now, thinking is not one of my better attributes…”

    Is that the secret to a successful career in law, John? Not thinking? 😉

    No, like with most of you infidel dogs, I do believe the equipment that God gave you to perceive and understand His ways is functioning just fine, it’s just that there is a pull from the dark side that seems more satisfying to those that value the material and carnal in life more than things eternal, especially when there is immediate gratification – like with kids in a supermarket checkout, confronted by junk food and other useless trinkets lined up strategically at eye (theirs) level. They can’t wait to get home and receive a nutritious meal, so the crap at the checkout is their pottage. (Genesis 25:29-34)

    And, way to go, QF, for giving us another of your scholarly observations about the workings of the eternal One. The old atheist maxim of things only being possible if they can be directly observed and/or understood by them applies most fittingly where you’re concerned. Humans can no more understand the infinite mind and workings of God than a dung beetle understands the markets, yet you’re always ready to fire off your two cents. You give disclaimers for everything else, yet the scriptures you claim to be an authority on, like with many who have never set foot in a church in their lives. The only way one can ever hope to even scratch the surface of understanding even the “foolish things” of God is by His revelation, (1 Corinthians 2:14) yet infidels claim to understand everything there is about Him, even while denying His existence. In other words, kiddies, you’re not qualified to debate a Sunday School waif, nevermind a theologian or minister or layperson.

    The key to understanding God, even believing in His existence, comes with supplication and prayer… and, most importantly where this bunch is concerned, humbling oneself to be taught. I guarantee results, but, it comes at cost. Until you do this, you’re just spinning your wheels. I do realize that some here have invested too much in their infidelity to ever go back, but, there are a few that I sense could be thinking. Maybe it’s time for them to man/woman-up and settle accounts while the Spirit still strives with you. (Genesis 6:3)

    Time’s runnin’ out!

  8. Gideon:
    The key to understanding God, even believing in His existence, comes with supplication and prayer… and, most importantly where this bunch is concerned, humbling oneself to be taught.

    You obviously understand your god. I’d like to understand him/her/it, too. So could you use your own words to explain his/her/its (and your) complete theological system? What exactly does your god require from his human slaves? Please do not just list vague ideas like “supplication and prayer” or “humbling oneself,” but include precise and detailed rules that you can support with evidence — not personal anecdotes or biblical quotes — from history. What specifically could a person expect to be taught by your god that would be of practical use in life to that person, rather than just making him or her more endearing to your god? And what will the lowly human believer get in return from your god? Again, please use specific evidence to demonstrate your profound understanding. (I urge you to avoid referring to post-mortem rewards unless you can fully describe the benefits of a positive afterlife, and demonstrate that there are people who have reaped such unearthly rewards. )

    Thanks.

  9. Humans can no more understand the infinite mind and workings of God than a dung beetle understands the markets….

    The key to understanding God…

    Say it ain’t so! A contradiction from Gideon! So, which is it, Gid, can humans understand God or not?

  10. Understanding God is easy. God is a figment of the imagination of those who believe in God.

    The trick is coming to a correct understanding of God. God, being omniscient, would certainly understand God. And God, being incapable of error, would certainly possess the correct understanding of God. Therefore, a human understanding of God, in order to be correct, would have to be identical to God’s understanding of God. But only God knows God’s understanding of God, so humans would never know if their understanding of God was correct.

      • “Understanding God is easy. God is a figment of the imagination of those who believe in God.”

        Just as it’s easy to understand evolution. Evolution was inspired by a group of intellectually-challenged con men, promoted now by egocentric dupes with deep-seated emotional problems.

        • Science – Whoever gets the food lives another day, without food your body starts to internally digest itself.

          Religion – You can fast for 40 days and 40 nights if you have enough faith.

    • Now let’s think about this for a moment. Allegedly this god created humans with reasoning skills but, as you’ve pointed out, humans aren’t omniscient. This leaves two avenues to humans for potentially believing in and understanding this god, either extraordinary reasoning or abandonment of this allegedly god given ability in favor of having faith that he will reveal himself and his intents.

      I think we can agree that the former drastically reduces the number of humans who could possibly obtain the prize. The latter then seems like the better option, and indeed it’s what most religions promote, right? Alright, so this omniscient being creates lesser beings with the incredible ability of reasoning, an ability which makes them capable of incredible things, yet the only way most, if not all can ever know him, understand him, and understand what it is they need to do to avoid eternal torture after they die is to completely disregard this powerful ability. Let’s not forget that he’s omniscient, so he’d know how ridiculously difficult that would be for humans.

      Conclusion: This god, if he exists, is a supreme prick.

      I think Christians avoid this conclusion by concocting more nonsense like that Hell isn’t torture necessarily but just not as good as Heaven or just saying everyone will get to go to Heaven. Well perhaps their god revealed these things to them. 😉

  11. Well, Large One, it’s like this; originally, humans were created perfect in every way, however, were also given the opportunity to choose their own way… which, of course, is the only way short of creating automatons, which God sought not to do. The ideal was that man ought to serve out of gratitude for his being, and this was the course that the other unfallen beings in the universe took. Adam, however, chose to defy God, not out of animosity like with all of you, but because he thought Eve was going to die for falling for Satan’s trickery and he decided that if she was going to die, he would die with her. Eve was deceived, Adam wasn’t. Point is, Adam chose to disobey not having faith that God would have worked things out so that no one had to die… no mortal, anyway.

    Faith comes into play after intellectual consideration. Infidels believe that they, themselves, are the masters of their own destiny. God gives them the freedom to choose not to follow Him, though the consequences of that are that they will eventually die. God is the sustaining force for all life forms in this universe. Unplugging from Him guarantees death, just like a lamp goes out when the plug is pulled.

    I’ve also told you imbeciles nice folk countless times that there is no eternal torture following death. Death is death… cessation of life. With that, all consciousness ceases. Pagans came up with the eternal hellfire idea and then injected it into the so-called “Christianity” that Catholicism and many fundamentalist Protestant groups push. It’s not biblical, no matter what a couple of allegorical verses scattered here and there might suggest. If the idea was to prevent the existence of an immortal sinner, what good would be served by keeping billions of them alive in some place of torture for eons upon eons? Why bother interceding for mankind at all, just let nature take it’s course and let man create his own hell on Earth, like that which is coming? The only reason that man hasn’t destroyed himself already is that God’s Spirit still strives with man. The One you all hate is the one keeping you alive to exercise your hate!

    The possibility that one day someone might exercise their free choice in the wrong way always existed throughout eternity. It just happened to fall upon us. God foresaw this eventuality and prepared for it. Since the holy law cannot be abrogated, the Lawgiver, Himself, chose to die in our place. He would have done this for Eve, too, if Adam hadn’t taken matters into his own hands. No one would have had to die, like is the norm for all mortals now. God, alone, has the ability to lay down His life, then take it up again. This, of course, lays within the parameters of His triune Being. It was actually the second member of the Godhead, Christ, Who created us, which is why He took it upon Himself to provide His own life in our place. He exercised the faith Adam didn’t in the belief that the Father would resurrect Him, which He did. This is the basis for the Christian faith, that Christ lives and that His intercession clears our record of infidelity, enabling us to go on living. Eventually, all death and misery will be done away with… and, unfortunately, so will all of those that continue to choose the course that Cain took. Sin and sinners have no place in a perfect universe.

    If that sounds tyrannical, think about the way that the world is going. God and every true Christian knows that man, left to his own devices, will eventually annihilate himself. I wasn’t always a Christian, so you can’t tell me that man is capable of saving himself. I know the depravity of the human soul and I also know the power of God, having seen it work in the lives of many people, including myself. If you think I’m hard on you now, you should have seen the ‘old man’ in action! Christians know they’re not perfect, but, they know Who is. He is Whom we all look to for our righteousness and hope for eternal life.

    All of you haven’t enough understanding for a basis for the hatred that you have for God, so why not do the honorable thing and educate yourselves so you can at least make an informed decision for death, instead of riding along on the coattails of other uninformed infidels throughout history?

    • I got as far as the brain-numbingly retarded statement that “originally, humans were created perfect in every way” before I started laughing hysterically at the sheer amounts of stupidity contained in just that small phrase and was no longer able to concentrate. Just thinking about that statement gives me the giggles.

  12. Well, Large One, it’s like this; originally, humans were created perfect in every way, however, were also given the opportunity to choose their own way…

    If they were perfect, they’d always know what was the right choice so it’s not exactly a choice.

    Adam, however, chose to defy God, not out of animosity like with all of you, but because he thought Eve was going to die for falling for Satan’s trickery…

    Then clearly he wasn’t “created perfect in every way” then, or else he wouldn’t have made such a mistake, not to mention that Eve, if perfect, wouldn’t have fallen for a trick.

    Faith comes into play after intellectual consideration.

    In other words when it doesn’t make sense, just tell yourself that it does, somehow.

    I’ve also told you imbeciles nice folk countless times that there is no eternal torture following death.

    It still isn’t Heaven, is it? Remember what I said earlier? “I think Christians avoid this conclusion by concocting more nonsense like that Hell isn’t torture necessarily but just not as good as Heaven.” That’s what you just did, so thanks for supporting my theory.

    Well I could go on but I feel guilty, like pushing a dumb little kid around, so I’ll stop there. Always a treat reading your nonsense, Gids. 🙂

    • If Hell is not torture then how do Christians explain these verses?

      The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:41-42

      If thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. Matthew 18:8-9

      And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. Luke 16:22-24

      • Pretty much the way they get most of their beliefs, they make them up. Some might go the extra mile and find other passages that appear to say something else, and of course THOSE are the ones which must be right, not the ones which say what they don’t want to believe. See how easy it is? Oh, and if their conscience kicks in, they can just tell themselves that the holy spirit must have guided them to the correct passages and/or the correct interpretations, so it’s all good. Praise Jesus!

          • Perfect example. There’s probably one for the belief that everyone, even non-Christians, can go to Heaven since that’s a belief that’s been growing in popularity. Let’s face it, with not much effort you can either find something in that book which will support you directly, or at least give you a foundation to spin an interpretation which will.

  13. I’m dealing with kindergarten-types, here. And you, John, want me to seriously answer questions?

    TOG, nothing you come up with in any way surprises me, your brain was handed to you in a teaspoon and you spilled half of it. However, Fat Boy continues to defy the odds with his infantile literalness. Perfection is exactly what God creates. So, you’re saying that we shouldn’t have free choice, then, to be perfect? Just be automatons without a will of our own, right? Well, not much I can do with that. The fat part I could maybe help you with, but not the stupid part.

    And there wasn’t any “more” nonsense concocted by Christians, Jabba, the nonsense was added by pagans like yourself in trying to erase God from the collective consciousness. A time of trouble is coming upon this old Earth… this 6,000 year-old planet… where all of you infidels will be here, by yourselves, with no Christians to bother you, where you can all get together and sing fireside songs in drunken revelry and continue worshiping the goddess of reason, Mother Nature, or any in the retinue of pagan distractions. We, the redeemed of Christ, will be reigning with the Master when you all turn upon each other in fulfillment of Revelation, chapters 16-18, when God’s Spirit has withdrawn totally from humanity and the full power of satanic fury coupled with unrestrained human passion creates a global bloodbath never before seen anywhere in the universe… because, that’s what an unsanctified will is capable of without the restraining power of God.

    The hell you pagans imagine God inflicts on the unrepentant will pale next to the one you, yourselves, will create for one another, right before you die.

    • You know, Giddy, I’ve said this before, but if you want to simply categorize us as infantile, and ignore the questions, feel free. We will simply interpret that as your usual Christian deflection, and an admission that you cannot answer perfectly reasonable questions about your beliefs. Frankly, I don’t know why Larry even asked, because you failed to answer him the last couple of times.

      So feel free to continue to respond with your sarcastic invective, continue to think that makes you look intelligent when it actually does the opposite, and contine to be the poster child for the worst that Christianity can produce.

      I don’t mind.

      But get too personal with your insults, and I won’t hesitate to censor or ban you.

    • We, the redeemed of Christ, will be reigning with the Master when you all turn upon each other in fulfillment of Revelation,

      Oh, and can I have your Mercury when you get raptured?

      • Sorry, John, I’m not a rapturist. That’s not a biblical truth.

        You see, that’s why you have the animosity that you have, you don’t understand scripture except how it has been portrayed by popular media and ignorant, though well-meaning individuals that fancy themselves Christians.

        You know damned well that in the past I have tried to have civil discussions, then had some of your boorish buddies come and derail the proceedings, usually at some critical time. You’re too cowardly to rebuke them, and when I do, then you come at me! Oh well… I guess we all can’t be men, eh?

        My car? I have two. I still have my old Merc. You wouldn’t want it, believe me. And if that was a veiled threat to reveal my email address, I never use it, anymore, and I change IP’s like you do your dirty shorts. Go ahead and do what you want, then you’ll show that you can’t be trusted with keeping anyone’s anonymity. I wouldn’t want you for an attorney, that’s for sure!

        Oh… and you shouldn’t be posting PDF files about yourself and family and business online, either.

        Are we straight on all of this, John?

        😉

        • I understand scripture well enough to know that it holds no more standing than any other work of literature – good or bad. That’s it. It’s a book. If you choose to invest more meaning than was ever intended in it by the original authors, well…let me introduce you to a bunch of people that really love the Harry Potter series. You’ll have a lot in common. They just believe in wizards; you, gods.

          As for civil discussion, I’ll admit that you have tried, but you don’t stick to it. You take all criticism too personally, then you go on the offensive, as if our criticism of your beliefs is somehow a personal insult. Then I think you can’t control yourself, with the snarky, insulting, scatological comments.

          I figured you owned a Merc sometime in your life from your email address. I doubt I’m revealing anything everyone doesn’t already know.

          As for PDF files, not sure what you’re referring to.

        • “Sorry, John, I’m not a rapturist. That’s not a biblical truth.”

          Says… you? A few hundred thousand (probably actually a few million) christians disagree.

          Who’s right? You? Because you say so?

  14. John, I’m the most easy-going guy you’ll ever meet. If we met in the real world, you’d never believe I’m the one you think you have pegged. Your analogy of the Bible being just another story book is totally wrong. Comparing it with that silly Harry Potter series is an outright insult. Harry Potter will never have to endure the centuries of persecution that the Holy Bible has had to endure at the hands of insane, vindictive infidels and fanatics trying to censor or destroy it. I doubt that any Harry Potter aficionado will ever give his/her life for it, like thousands of Christians have given theirs for their beliefs. The comparison is beyond ridiculous, John!

    Getting back to civil discussion, Larry has asked me those same questions over and over after I’ve answered them, and he does it in a mocking tone. I don’t feel any compulsion to entertain fools, John, any more than you would. I doubt that there are many, here, that go onto Christian blogs and voice their beliefs like I do, here. I have the stones to take criticism, and I know how to give what I get, too. If people want to be serious, I can be serious. I can do the other thing, too. I prefer the former.

    Anyway, I do not force myself or my beliefs on anyone, and if you really want me gone, just say so. I hope you wouldn’t do it out of peer pressure, though… that would really disappoint me!

    Your call.

  15. Gideon:
    Larry has asked me those same questions over and over after I’ve answered them, and he does it in a mocking tone.

    Nope, you’ve never answered those questions. You have yet to explain, in your own words, your complete theology and provide evidence — aside from the bible — for its truth. As far as my mocking tone, yup you’re right. Since you’ve failed time and time again — and again — and still again — to respond to my simple questions, I’ve begun to think that you’re nothing but a blowhard who doesn’t even know what he believes.

    But I’d be happy to have you prove me wrong. I’ll repeat my questions here, so you don’t have to waste your precious time hunting for them:
    You obviously understand your god. I’d like to understand him/her/it, too. So could you use your own words to explain his/her/its (and your) complete theological system? What exactly does your god require from his human slaves? Please do not just list vague ideas like “supplication and prayer” or “humbling oneself,” but include precise and detailed rules that you can support with evidence — not personal anecdotes or biblical quotes — from history. What specifically could a person expect to be taught by your god that would be of practical use in life to that person, rather than just making him or her more endearing to your god? And what will the lowly human believer get in return from your god? Again, please use specific evidence to demonstrate your profound understanding.

  16. Larry… and this is the last time I’m dealing with you…

    The first time you asked those questions was after I had written a rather lengthy comment dealing with those very issues to another person, some weeks back, and I pointed out to you that you needed to merely re-read that previous comment. Instead, you threw the same interrogation back at me, in fact, almost word for word as with this last one. You’ve admitted that you did it in a mocking way… so, why in the hell should I entertain you? In fact, I’m not going to. How’s that grab you? I’ll bet you’re used to getting your way, but you’re not getting it now. Piss you off? I hope so!

    So, have a nice life!

  17. Gideon:
    You’re lying about having answered my questions. Nice ploy.

    In case you’d like to address them, though, here they are again:
    You obviously understand your god. I’d like to understand him/her/it, too. So could you use your own words to explain his/her/its (and your) complete theological system? What exactly does your god require from his human slaves? Please do not just list vague ideas like “supplication and prayer” or “humbling oneself,” but include precise and detailed rules that you can support with evidence — not personal anecdotes or biblical quotes — from history. What specifically could a person expect to be taught by your god that would be of practical use in life to that person, rather than just making him or her more endearing to your god? And what will the lowly human believer get in return from your god? Again, please use specific evidence to demonstrate your profound understanding.

  18. Larry:
    If you would simply read the babble from cover to cover and spent years contemplating it and reading commentaries compiled over the last 1500 years, you would understand. Also do that for each and every religion. Only then will you have the authority to criticize religion in general. Of course, you will be at the disadvantage of not having Cheezwiz in your heart, which leaves the theist with a win-the-argument-free card: “If you allowed the Lord into your heart, his presence would grant you ultimate understanding to the extent that lowly man can understand.” followed shortly by, “So there.”

  19. Hmmm… something about Gideon seems different. I’m not yet convinced it’s the same person.

    Frankly, I don’t know why Larry even asked, because you failed to answer him the last couple of times. [SI]

    Perhaps Larry asked to continue the illusion of separation between himself and Gideon? You know, kind of like how he’d flame Trinity. Though, if Larry is Gideon, he sure has a newfound interest in maintaining the illusion.

    I understand scripture well enough to know that it holds no more standing than any other work of literature – good or bad. That’s it. It’s a book. If you choose to invest more meaning than was ever intended in it by the original authors, well…let me introduce you to a bunch of people that really love the Harry Potter series. [SI]

    You know, SI, I was originally going to compliment you for this post, and I still will. It wasn’t your typical “theism in reverse while I root for team scarlet A” type of post, and you actually displayed a process of self-questioning that I found interesting, or at least genuine and not contrived for the atheist party lines. Honestly.

    However, when you go and compare the Bible to the Harry Potter series, you suggest your scholarship to be amateur. Do you really think the Bible and the Harry Potter books are categorically equivalent? If so, that’s quite an impoverished view of history and literature, IMO.

    • It depends on the category in question, doesn’t it? In the category of fictional series based on magic, they’re equivalent. As literature, the Christian bible is venerated due to its impact over nearly 2,000 years so it’s hardly fair to compare then in that category, but of course you know that because that’s what you’re doing isn’t it? You asserted that they can’t be categorically equivalent and then try to establish what the category should be that we compare them in. As always, your machinations are transparent.

      Also, SI didn’t compare the two works as you assert. He compared the devotees of each. That’s completely different. Here, let’s revisit his comment…

      If you choose to invest more meaning than was ever intended in it by the original authors, well…let me introduce you to a bunch of people that really love the Harry Potter series. You’ll have a lot in common. They just believe in wizards; you, gods.

      Clearly he’s making a comparison between the fans, not the books. So is your reading comprehension that bad, or did you deliberately try to twist things in order to set your machinations in motion? That’s always the question we the readers wrestle with, do we put cl in the jackass or douche category? After all, they’re not categorically equivalent.

      • Not much I can add to Philly, other than:
        1. The Harry Potter books are far more imaginative, internally consistent and cohesive, and therefore enjoyable to read, than the Bible. The Bible bores the hell out of me.
        2. Cl almost always changes what we say to suit whatever argument he wants to knock us over the head with, but, what else is new?
        3. Thanks for the compliment, Cl. I think.

        • Dammit, SI, you stole what I was gonna say.

          Harry Potter is more creative, has better continuity than, and is just more INTERESTING than the Bible.

  20. …SI didn’t compare the two works as you assert. He compared the devotees of each. That’s completely different. Here, let’s revisit his comment…

    You only cited part of SI’s comment jackass! So, yeah, let’s revisit SI’s comment, in its entirety as he originally wrote it, and let’s not be little quote-miners that only grab what we need to make our false point:

    I understand scripture well enough to know that it holds no more standing than any other work of literature – good or bad. That’s it. It’s a book. If you choose to invest more meaning than was ever intended in it by the original authors, well…let me introduce you to a bunch of people that really love the Harry Potter series. You’ll have a lot in common. They just believe in wizards; you, gods.

    The first sentence is a comparison of the Bible to any other work of literature. That is a comparison of works, followed by a comparison of devotees, so stop using a quote-mine to justify a false dichotomy: SI actually compared both.

    Moving along, I see that you’ve attempted to insult my reading comprehension when the error was actually yours. Cute, though predictable. It’s also ironic, given that you either couldn’t or didn’t read the first sentence of SI’s comment. So, is your reading comprehension that bad, or did you deliberately try to twist things in order to set your machinations in motion?

    That’s always the question I wrestle with, do I put PhillyChief in the “just another frustrated alpha male who likes to puff his chest” or the “sly and conniving class clown who gets away with atrocities in logic and rationalism” category? After all, they’re not categorically equivalent.

    SI,

    The Harry Potter books are far more imaginative, internally consistent and cohesive, and therefore enjoyable to read, than the Bible. The Bible bores the hell out of me.

    To be dead honest, parts of the Bible bore me, too. Remember though, our opinions don’t count for squat in rational arguments.

    Cl almost always changes what we say to suit whatever argument he wants to knock us over the head with, but, what else is new?

    How can you say that when Philly just chopped the first sentence off your comment and tried to pass it off as only a comparison of devotees? Honestly, SI. Do you really not see that?

    In fact, nevermind. I’d rather you not answer that, because it would entail criticizing PhillyChief and I know you have a real aversion to that [I’m not trying to snark there, either, just stating that I don’t want to go up against a very real bias (against me / for PhillyChief)].

    Thanks for the compliment, Cl. I think.

    You’re welcome. It was genuine. This post stood out from your others, at least, IMO. Like I said, it was a privilege to be made privy to your inner dialog. It made me feel I could relate to you a little bit more. It made me feel that you’re actually thinking about these things from a variety of angles. Cheers to that, if nothing else.

    • The first sentence is a comparison of the Bible to any other work of literature.

      Right, so then I could say SI compared the Christian bible to The Shining? That’s lame even by your usual standards. Look, you jumped to a conclusion because you were just looking to take a shot at SI. Be a man and admit it and move on. You just embarrass yourself further with responses like this.

    • The first sentence is a comparison of the Bible to any other work of literature.

      But not necessarily Harry Potter. I did not compare the Bible to Harry Potter, however, I have no problem doing so. What I was doing was minimizing the stature of the Bible as the “Word of God” down to what it actually is – just another book. Sheets of paper between two covers. Shit, a better comparison might be “Pat The Bunny“. Comparing it to Harry Potter makes J.K.Rowling look like Shakespeare.

  21. Right, so then I could say SI compared the Christian bible to The Shining?

    SI wrote the statement, not me. In terms of persuasiveness for a supernatural being, SI compared the Bible to Harry Potter [Gods and wizards, respectively].

    Look, you jumped to a conclusion because you were just looking to take a shot at SI.

    Please. I didn’t jump to any conclusion. First, I complimented SI on what I thought was one of his better posts, then I included [what was IMO] a valid criticism. If you had half the reading comprehension you claim I lack, you might of noticed that I asked SI before jumping to any conclusions. If you had half the integrity you claim I lack, you’d say something like, “you’re right cl, I did clip the part of SI’s comment you were talking about.” Press on in vainglory if you wish, but I think we all get the point about your penis size. We know you’re big Philly! You can stop puffing your chest!

    Be a man and admit it and move on.

    Right, coming from the “man” who hasn’t the faintest idea what the word especially means, the “man” who just pulled a quote mine to prove his point, the “man” that never admits to error whatsoever even when a decent guy like John Evo kindly explains otherwise. Get over yourself, ToughiePants, I know your type all too well. Like I said, you have little respect for actual logic, you just like to puff your chest, run the class-clown gambit and project yourself as the guy who’s always right. I’ve been watching you here ever since I lost interest in commenting regularly last year, and nothing’s changed.

    SI,

    What I was doing was minimizing the stature of the Bible as the “Word of God” down to what it actually is – just another book. Sheets of paper between two covers.

    I got that. I’ve known that’s your opinion for, oh, a few years now, and honestly, I don’t hold it against you. I’m beyond content to leave it at that for us here.

    • Cl:
      Like I said, you have little respect for actual logic …

      So let me get this straight, and please correct me if I’m wrong.

      Your way of providing an example of “actual logic” is to call someone “ToughiePants”? Wow. Frankly, I don’t think that would work even in a schoolyard.

    • First it was SI said something specific, then it was what SI said allegedly allowed you to insert what you wanted, and finally it’s SI’s fault for being vague in the first place. OutSTANDING! I take it back, cl. You’re in midseason douche form.

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