otseng wrote: ↑Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:02 am
I believe everything I've presented so far is based on objective evidence and rational argumentation.
otseng wrote: ↑Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:34 am
My position on this is direct communication between God and man is possible. I'm not so sure it's "optimal", because we have instances of people directly hearing from God and didn't result in any change in belief.
Optimal doesn’t have to mean perfect though – those unchanging people might just be never
going to change.
And accepting the testimony of a single person who has claimed to have heard from God is definitely not optimal.
Agreed. Which is why I’ve consistently raised the point that direct communication with multiple people would be clearer, more authoritative and immediately verifiable.
otseng wrote:Never claimed there was only a single example. As I mentioned, the book contains multiple examples, not just one. I guess I could go through the book and present more from it if necessary.
This was in relation to Chinese characters and the Flood. No need to provide more examples if that one was already the most compelling one to you.
otseng wrote:How are they not examples of God directly speaking to disparate cultures? Now, you might not accept these claims, but it is an example of the Chinese and Muslim cultures knowing about God independently from the Bible.
People reporting dreams of Jesus, but claiming to have never heard of him before? Here’s a quick test: complete the following sentence – “Accepting the testimony of a single person who has claimed to have heard from God is definitely not <________>.
otseng wrote:To be clear, I'm not arguing the books selected to be in the Bible are authoritative because they were selected to be in the Bible. All I'm saying is there was popular opinion at work in what books was selected as top tier.
Popular opinion, and very likely political expediency. And I’ll note that opinion is still divided today.
otseng wrote:The ancient Chinese and modern Muslims are just two examples I've brought up. And I'm sure if I bring up more it'll just be chalked up to coincidences.
If I were uncharitable, I’d think you were doing something akin to ‘poisoning the well’ with that remark. Do you have an example of God directly communicating with more than a single person?
otseng wrote:But if God does exist, how can we know any of his qualities? I think there are two ways. One is for God to directly communicate with humans (God speaking audibly) and another is to reveal himself to humans (God incarnating himself to man). And these have been recorded for us in the Bible. In the Old Testament, it's primarily a record of the former. In the New Testament (the gospels in particular), it's a record of the latter of Jesus's life and teachings.
Of the two ways you mention, neither has been observed except indirectly through copies and translations of ancient writings. Is this optimal
otseng wrote: ↑Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:09 am
The Bible is a book about God written by regular people. And it is subject to the same limitations, flaws, imperfections like all other books.
do you now consider a general science textbook of, say, the 1920’s?
otseng wrote: ↑Wed Oct 13, 2021 8:17 am
Yes, there are unresolved issues with a global flood. But, I still maintain it is the best explanation so far that we got to explain many geological features (and that includes secular theories).
Taken with your quote directly above this one, I really do struggle with the concept that someone would trust a book written by ‘regular people’ thousands of years ago to be the best modern explanation for any geological feature.
Tell you what – as a very simple exercise, please rank the following three sources in decreasing value for likeliness
in being ‘trustworthy and accurate’ for providing an explanation of geologic strata, and provide reasons for your ranking:
1) An 1833 copy of Principles of Geology by Charles Lyell
2) The Bible (KJV)
3) Quantitative Plate Tectonics
: Physics of the Earth - Plate Kinematics – Geodynamics 2015 Edition
otseng wrote:But, as for the flood actually occurring or not, I do consider that as an impediment for the acceptance of the Bible as authoritative for myself.
So if the evidence points you to a global flood as wholly unlikely, you’d consider the Bible to be untrustworthy?
otseng wrote: ↑Wed Oct 13, 2021 9:03 am
Suppose we did throw out the Bible, how would you know what God is like? Is he omnipotent or not? Is he omniscient or not? We could rely on the testimony of people who hear directly from God who post on this forum, but would that be an acceptable source?
Well, yes - for those fortunate individuals, but no for the rest of us.
Unless God spoke to multiple people at once, of course. Presumably he could even send an angel to appear in front of the White House during a large public event witnessed by tens of thousands of people directly, plus all the world’s media.
If you happen to have a copy of So Long and Thanks For All the Fish
handy, turn to Chapter 36, which starts:
Douglas Adams wrote:The flying saucer in which Ford Prefect had stowed away had stunned the world. Finally there was no doubt, no possibility of mistake, no hallucinations, no mysterious CIA agents found floating in reservoirs. This time it was real, it was definite. It was quite definitively definite.
We wouldn’t have to rely on a single person’s testimony if an angelic messenger appeared like that, would we?