The Must-Read Interview With Satan

Credit: Rex Diablo

Me: Do you acknowledge Jesus as being truly God?

Satan: Of course I do, as do the demons, it is only foolish humans that do not.

Me: So why do you think so many people refuse to acknowledge Christ as Lord?

Satan: Because they want to live any way they choose doing what they want when they want to, works for me! It makes my job easier.

Me: Did you really tempt Jesus?

Satan: Of course I did! If Jesus would have accepted my offer of all the kingdoms of the earth being His to rule we would not be having this conversation because I would have won!

Me: How do you figure the earth and its’ kingdoms are yours to give?

Satan: When Adam disobeyed God his dominion over all the earth passed to me. You did notice that Jesus did not say I was wrong when I offered Him MY kingdoms right?

Me: Did Jesus truly die on the cross?

Satan: Yup He sure did, I was there and had a hand in that…one of my finer moments.

Me: But then on the third day Jesus rose from the dead…

Satan: Oh…yes that was a really bad day for me. He was not supposed to come back to life that really upset me. I’m still angry about that day.

Me: Lets talk about the people of this world. Why do you tempt people so much with so many evil things?

Satan: HA…don’t make me laugh! Have you not read James? That miserable cretin got the picture right away.

Me: Explain please…

Satan: People believe (at least those that believe I exist) that temptation originates with me. It does not, it originates with the people I tempt! I only encourage all those foul thoughts that are already there in their minds.

Me: So we are to blame for the temptations that overtake us?

Satan: Precisely…that is why most of the world is mine! I just encourage all those bad thoughts, those actions that people know they really should not do.

Me: What are your thoughts about prayer?

Satan: I HATE prayer! Then people don’t listen to my “suggestions” so easily. So don’t pray people and do not read the Bible.

Me: So you DO believe the word of God is real and powerful.

Satan: Ummm yeah, unfortunately I have to. People have been using that book against me for a long time. The Apostle Paul did lots of damage and he used to be on my side!

Me: So the Pharisees were your children?

Satan: That’s what Jesus said.

Me: So what about those who do not even believe you are real?

Satan: That is one of my finest works! I deceive and lure people to their deaths…permanent separation from God Himself and they do not even believe I exist…I love it!

Me: But the Bible says you are real…

Satan: True it does, but people have to actually read the Bible and then believe what they read. I deceive people into NOT believing what the Bible says. And then they argue over what is real and what is not…I whole-heartedly encourage this!

Me: So do your deceptions also work on Believers?

Satan: Oh my yes! Many believers in God do not want to acknowledge that true evil exists…after all, a loving God would not permit that now would He…

Me: So you are evil then?

Satan: No, no…of course I’m not! I just give people what they want! You only have one life to live after all!

Me: True…but the question is where are we going to live our eternal life?

Satan: With me! It will be one big party with friends!

Me: Oh come now Satan, you know that is not true! According to the word of God, hell is anything but a party, it is a place of eternal suffering.

Satan: People don’t believe that.

Me: But it is true nonetheless. Why don’t you give your life to Christ and have your sins forgiven and be set free?

Satan: NEVER!! This interview is over!

This is of course not real, but the principles of this interview are. Satan is a master of deception even among people who DO believe in Christ. So many do not believe in Satan because they are blinded by the fact that God DOES allow evil. I did not say God causes evil, but it IS allowed…for now. You have only to look around you at the world in general to see that this is true.

So you have two choices: believe that there really is no God because of the rampant evil in this world…or you believe that God is real in which case you MUST believe that God allows evil things in the world. If God be God, and He is all-powerful, then it only stands to reason that evil IS allowed. Evil in this world was and is brought about by the sin of man…so no one should be blaming God for it!

The rightful ruler of this world has allowed it to be ruled by Satan…for a time. If you read your Bible you know this. But that time is fast drawing to a close. We live in the end of the End Times. It will not be long before the return of Jesus Christ to this world once more.

So where do you stand? Have you given your heart and soul to Jesus, or are you still serving Satan? You cannot have it both ways you know. Your Father is God Himself, or your father is Satan…choose this day whom you will serve! Not making a choice IS making a choice. You will NOT have a second chance after death as some teach! If you die today without having accepted Christ, your fate is sealed…hell for all eternity.

There are no scare tactics here as I and many others have been accused of but rather simple facts. You cannot serve two masters, and God will not be mocked! You serve Him, or you serve your father the devil…Satan.

No matter what sins you have committed, you CAN be saved! Do NOT wait until you are “better” to except Jesus. This is another lie fostered by the father of lies Satan! Jesus will accept you as you are; no matter what you have done if you come to Him truly repentant of the things you have done. If you have lived 70 years as a wantonly evil person…God will accept you as His child provided you come to Him and repent of what you have done and ask His forgiveness! Hitler himself had he dropped to his knees and earnestly prayed for forgiveness would now be in heaven…that may offend some of you but it is the truth!

No fancy words are needed, just pray…tell the Lord you are sorry for your sins and ask for forgiveness. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior today! Accept that Jesus death on the cross was enough to pay for your sins. Place your trust in Him, not yourself or your works that are of no value without first trusting in ONLY Jesus to save you. If you hear His voice calling, do not wait another moment! Commit your life to the only One who can save you, Jesus Christ. Repent of your sins, meaning that you change your life and live the way that God wants you to no longer living the sinful life you once did.

Yes it really is that simple. God will give you the strength to change! True change comes from within, the power of Christ within you once you have accepted Him.

Revelation 3:20  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Romans 10:9-10  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Ephesians 2:8-9  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

95 Comments

  1. Clifford Almighty says:

    Goddamn, this is stupid. Jesus fucking christ.

  2. Kevin in Brookings says:

    I had a old (VERY WISE) Pastor in the 90’s who was like a Father to me. He would often proclaim from the pulpit “The worst enemy you got; YOU SHAVE HIM EVERY MORNING”.
    Back in those days most men shaved–LOL

    • Thisoldspouse says:

      Satan does indeed get blamed for far too much, poor guy.

      We have just as formidable an enemy in ourselves.

  3. Stupid Atheist says:

    Me: How come you don’t get credit for being honest to Adam and Eve about Yahweh’s lie that they would die “that day”?

    Satan: Well I mean, face it, He’s got a better P.R. infrastructure than I do. Plus, I think people have a hard time facing up to the truth. Ask ME if you look fat in those jeans, and I’m going to be straight with you: Yeah, you do.

    Me: According to the Bible you killed like, what, ten people? Versus how many for Yahweh?

    Satan: His total? It’ll blow yer socks off. Better sit down: G killed 2,476,663 and BY THE WAY, that “10” I killed includes hits for contracts that HE ordered! Dude has issues, hey. Major issues. He’s like Tony Soprano, only not so lovable.

    Me: His people are trying to give you the credit– or, blame, whatever, for the Trump victory. What do you say to that?

    Satan: Noooooo. I don’t dabble in politics. I’m evil yeah, but I mean, I’ve got scruples. Plus, Yahweh fessed up to running the whole show in Romans 13:1. Your vote doesn’t count, only His does.

    Me: So if you want nothing to do with politics, are you against your statue being put up on courthouse lawns?

    Satan: I think reasonable people can agree that, at the very least, having my effigy out in front of a building filled with lawyers is more than a little redundant…

    • DCM7 says:

      Interesting, but it basically boils down to “I know just enough superficial stuff about the Bible to try to make it sound bad, but I don’t really know or understand anything about it beyond that.”

      Just to address the first major point: “they would die ‘that day'” — This would be an example where you have to remember that the Bible wasn’t written in English to begin with, but in more descriptive languages whose subtleties sometimes get lost in translation. Think something more like “they would start to die that day” or “enter a state that day in which they would someday die.”

      You probably don’t care about this, but it should at least show you why no informed person would be impressed by your attempted points.

      • Stupid Atheist says:

        Strong’s Concordance assures us that the original text for “day” in the scriptures (“Mei” or “yome”) can in fact refer to a 24 hour sunrise-to-sunset day.

        Another (unsatisfying, albeit popular) apologetic is that they’d died a ‘spiritual death’ on ‘that day’. I’d hope we can agree that there’s even disagreement within the dugout of the devout as to the intended, ascribed meaning.

        Leaving us to wonder why the translations into English were done so sloppily.

        Thanks for reading, and taking the time to reply.

        Xapis…

        • DCM7 says:

          I wasn’t commenting on the “day” part, and at any rate a 24-hour day fits just fine with what I was saying.

          Sloppily? Well, some (usually earlier ones) more than others.

          What I note, at any rate, is that so-called “errors” and “inconsistencies” in the Bible don’t tend to even *look* like the kind of mistakes a writer of fiction would actually make. They generally look like what they are: the result of someone *trying* to find something that looks wrong.

          • Stupid Atheist says:

            I don’t know that I’d addressed ‘errors’ and ‘inconsistencies’ so it’s curious that you’d put them in quotes. Perhaps you’ve clicked the wrong “Reply” link?

            Either way, I do appreciate the time and consideration of your reply[s]…

            • DCM7 says:

              No, I hit the right link. I thought “die that day” was being brought up as an “error” or “inconsistency.”

    • Bob Ellis says:

      It’s interesting that some of the same people who consider it incredible that God could be talking about a 24 hour period when he talked of a creation “day” in Genesis…are convinced that God must have meant the same 24 hour period when he talked of when Adam and Eve would die if they rebelled against him. Funny how some folks are selective in taking the Bible literally.

      As with any form of communication, we have to consider the context and background of a statement in order to understand its meaning. In this case, we’re talking about something that was written down over 3,000 years ago in ancient Hebrew. Based on what we know of that language, we know that there were different uses of the word “day”, just as there are today (e.g. “Back in my father’s day, it took three days to walk across the desert during the day.”) While the language and context of the “day” in the creation days is clearly a 24 hour period, the language of “in that day” (which was actually structured quite differently than the modern English) can often refer to an indefinite period of time (e.g. “In my father’s day…”).

      It is also unclear whether the original language meant to convey that they would “die that day” or “begin to die that day”. Consider that when we say someone is “dying,” they could die in the next moment, or in an hour, or even days later. Consider also the scenario where one person does grave bodily harm to another person, but the victim takes days to die; we acknowledge that the perpetrator “killed” the victim, even though they lived on for a substantial time after the harm was inflicted. We do this because we recognize the link between cause and effect, even though cause and effect can be separated by considerable time.

      We also don’t know whether God was talking about a “spiritual death” as a result of rebellion against him. We do know that what transpired in that rebellion did bring about spiritual death; we hear God talk about this spiritual death as a result of sin throughout the rest of the Bible, including and especially in the New Testament thousands of years later.

      Prior to their rebellion against God, Adam and Eve had existed in a state where there was no death, decay or disease, and our spirits were alive in direct communion with God. The consequence of our human parent’s sin was that our physical bodies were no longer sustained in perfection (decay and eventual death became the new natural order), and our spirits were no longer in a state of perfect health in sinless communion with God. So both a physical and spiritual death began the day they rebelled. And as the context of the entirety of the Bible makes clear, while God doesn’t allow unauthorized persons to bring about physical death, God considers spiritual death far more important than physical death (Matthew 10:28).

      And God has already begun the process of bringing that order of death to an end. Since Jesus took the penalty our sin deserves in his death on the cross 2,000 years ago, those who place their faith in him and his substitutionary death are spiritually reborn, with our spirits resurrected and brought to life–the spiritual condition Adam and Eve were in before they rebelled. And eventually, as we are told in Revelation and other areas of the Bible, someday even the physical death will be no more.

      As to the people killed by God and Satan, there are a couple of important things to consider.

      The first and perhaps most important is that pretty much everyone God has killed was in rebellion against him, their Creator. They had violated God’s law, usually over and over and over, making them guilty and on the wrong side of justice. Just as God warned us back in the Garden of Eden, the due penalty of sin is death.

      And the second consideration is closely linked with the first. Who had authority over those people? Their creator, of course. If I create something (a drawing, a table, a computer program, etc.), I have the authority to do with it as I please, don’t I–including the authority to destroy it. If someone else (i.e. someone lacking the authority over that creation) misuses or destroys it, we recognize that is wrong, while the creator/owner of that thing has full authority over it. Since God is the author of all human life, he has full authority over all human life to allow it to continue as long as he sees fit, or to end it whenever he sees fit–especially if that person has violated his law and consequently justly deserves the penalty of death we were warned about.

      Your skit concerning Satan and politics actually bears a lot of similarity to the truth–though not in the way you intended.

      Though God does indeed control the outcome of “the show” and will ensure it comes out in the end the way he wants, he allows a whooooooole lot of free will to be exercised in the meantime. After all, the whole rebellion in the Garden of Eden was an exercise of free will that God did not approve of–even though he knew it would happen before he created the universe. He didn’t want a bunch of programmed machines who would just blindly do whatever he told us to do; he created thinking human beings with a will (in his own image, from the kind of being he is), and gave us the latitude to exercise that free will. We chose to exercise it in rebellion against our creator.

      People exercise that free will–for good or evil–in the political realm every single day. Whether they are government officials making policy, government officials carrying out policy, lobbyists peddling influence and enticement to affect policy, individual citizens seeking to influence policy through polls or social media or communications with government officials, or voters casting their vote in elections–every one of these actions involves an exercise of free will, and in almost every case, the exercise is either in support of good or evil.

      In the overwhelming majority of cases, “politics” is nothing more than the battle between good and evil being played out…and EVERYONE is on one side or the other.

      And here’s how your scenario so resembles reality. You see, Satan and his followers have a laughable tendency to claim that they aren’t political–even as they dive headlong into political activity. Just like Satan’s followers claim “you can’t legislate morality”–even as they attempt to legislate their own anti-God version of morality. In other words, the “Who, me?” feigned innocence and uninvolvement of your skit Satan looks just like that of Satan and his followers in the political arena today. Claiming that attempts to maintain the rule of law and the moral foundation our nation was built on are “politics,” while their political efforts to undermine morality and the rule of law are just about “caring for people.” Sure. Pull my other leg now.

      • Stupid Atheist says:

        “Funny how some folks are selective in taking the Bible literally.”

        Agreed. Perhaps if the devout could unify on the acceptance or rejection of Biblical literalism it would help clear the matter up. Or perhaps the deity in question might be implored to release a less ambiguous revision that doesn’t factionalize believers into thousands of disparate sects over arguments of interpretation.

        = = =

        “It is also unclear …”
        “We also don’t know …”

        You’re preaching to the choir, Brother Bob. But I’m left wondering how any degree of certitude is arrived at following such candid admissions of uncertainty.

        = = =

        “Satan and his followers have a laughable tendency to claim that they aren’t political…”

        Not guilty. A perusal of my Disqus archives will reveal several instances of me admitting to be a Will/Krauthammer/Murray-esque conservative apostate. (Also not a Satanist, FWIW.)

        = = =

        I’ve often speculated that a Damascus Road experience of my own could certainly shake up my inner-infidel.

        Have you given any consideration to what might dissuade you of your faith?

        And thanks again for the time and consideration spent in crafting a thorough and well thought out reply my friend…

        • Bob Ellis says:

          It would be nice if human beings could unify on ANY opinion, not just on the Bible. But when you’re dealing with flawed, finite people who evaluate every proposition based on an infinitely different combination of factors (i.e. influenced by different experiences, different reactions to those experiences, different educations, different exposure to bad ideas, gaps in knowledge, gaps in experience, and most of all a dark and corrupt heart and mind), we’re always going to come up with somewhat different conclusions on just about everything. Perhaps one of the greatest marvels of Christianity is that, while so many of us draw different conclusions about issues of lesser importance, Christians from all over the world throughout the course of many centuries all agree on the most important tenets (i.e. those found in the Apostle’s Creed, for example).

          I’ve given great consideration to what might dissuade me of my faith. In fact, there was a time when I loathed God and looked at any (and almost every) other belief system in an attempt to find meaning–including atheism and hedonism.

          In the end, while there were kernels of truth in almost every belief system, NONE other than Christianity could answer the truly big questions of existence, and most even lacked fundamental coherency and consistency.

          It was only after throwing up my hands at finding no real answers in any other belief system, and deciding “I might as well take a serious look at Christianity” to see if its claims really held up, that things in life started to finally make sense. It took a genuine humility of heart and mind to be able to look at the claims of the Bible, objectively and contextually, before I realized that. And I had a “Damascus Road” type moment myself, something that shook me to the core and allowed me to see myself more nakedly than I had ever dreamed possible.

          I hope someday you find yourself on the road to Damascus, and experience a similar moment. To say it’s life-changing and eye-opening is a vast understatement.

          • Stupid Atheist says:

            “And I had a ‘Damascus Road’ type moment myself…”

            I envy you that.

            Were I to experience the same, I suppose my greatest apprehension might be figuring out how I’d demonstrate to others that it hadn’t been hallucinatory.

            I suppose I’ll cross that ethereal bridge if and when I come to it. 😉

            Your thoughts are appreciated.

            Xapis…

            • Bob Ellis says:

              True. Shortly after Jesus’s crucifixion, some people thought his disciples were drunk (Jesus was accused of being a drunkard, himself). The change is truly profound.

              I wouldn’t worry about that, though. Those who have eyes to see and ears to hear will understand–or at least accept. Those who don’t, won’t, and there isn’t anything you can do about that.

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                Perhaps not, but I do care enough for my fellow man that, if I knew for a fact they WERE in danger of oblivion, hell-fire, et al, I’d like to have a sharper arrow other than “take my word for it” in my quiver…

              • Bob Ellis says:

                Yes, you’ll definitely need more than “take my word for it” in your quiver. Of course, it’s important to realize that there is nothing sharp enough to open a closed mind, so one has to be realistic about whether some people are going to be able to accept what you try to tell them. No amount of fact, logic or reason can reach someone who doesn’t want to understand.

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                What might the most logical and compelling reason be that we can offer to somebody who DOES want to understand…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                Based on my experience, that’s going to vary from individual to individual. As I mentioned in a previous comment, every person is going to have different facts they’ve been exposed to, different experiences that will color their perception of what you’re saying either pro or con (often with emotional connotations that will affect their ability to process and/or accept facts and reason), different things that are important to them, different things they fear, etc. Things that one person will find utterly compelling will fall on deaf ears for another person, and things that one person might consider of trivial importance will be totally captivating for another. It typically takes a lot of listening and learning about the receiver in order to know how to convey things in a way that will make an impact on them. (Something that’s awful hard to do in an online environment, by the way. 🙂

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                So factuality is subjective…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                No. But our ability to perceive and accept facts is highly subjectiv

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                Cool. So what’s the single most compelling non-subjective fact we might offer a neutral party in support of a God proposition…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                Though there are any number of powerful facts that could get the attention of someone with an open mind, I don’t think there’s a singular “magic bullet” that would convince every person exposed to it; maybe not a singular fact that would convince anyone. The issue of Truth (with a capital “T”), and the existence of God is too deep and profound for one single fact to clinch it for a person. In my experience, as well as the experiences of others that I’ve listened to and read about, it’s a cumulative thing where you consider a number of compelling truths (sometimes more for some people, sometimes less for others, and often a very different combination of things they consider important) and at some point, like pieces in a puzzle, they come to “fit together” and paint a compelling picture of truth.

                If I knew someone who was genuinely interested in understanding some of the fundamental issues of life and the answers Christianity has for those questions, I’d just answer those particular questions as clearly and completely as I could, then sit back and give them time to consider and process the information. And if they had more questions or further doubts after that, I’d provide any more answers that I could, based on whatever angle they were coming at the issue.

                I just don’t think there’s a “formula” for helping a person come to belief in the God of the Bible. Everybody comes at it from a different angle with a different mixture of assumptions and ways of processing the information. You just try to meet a person where they’re at and give them whatever information you can.

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                “…there are any number of powerful facts that could get the attention of someone with an open mind…”

                What’s one of the most compelling…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                To me, as a science-minded person, the most compelling evidence of God is information. Information always has an intelligent source. Information NEVER just arises spontaneously without intentional cause or purpose.

                Everything living in the universe is comprised of information. Every aspect and every cell of every organism is created via and and defined by information. Every organism in the universe perpetuates itself through the perpetuation of that original information which was programmed into it. Just like every computer program in existence, from the most simple to the most complex, that information–like all information–had to have an intelligent source.

                The information that without which organisms could not exist is to me the most compelling evidence of God’s existence. Of course, some people don’t appreciate science (or won’t process the implications) and don’t recognize the gravity of this truth. For them, something else (even something I might consider trivial) might be the most compelling thing for them.

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                Information could not simply have existed in some form or another in perpetuity…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                Information, by its very nature, is characterized by coherency. Coherency is also an attribute of intelligence. Information also conveys meaning and purpose. Meaning and purpose are also attributes of intelligence.

                When have we ever observed information that didn’t come from an intelligent source?

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                So if we haven’t observed something, we shouldn’t consider it possible…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                In order for something to be an intellectually or scientifically viable proposition, either it or its effect must be observable. The reason I include “or its effect” is because there are a few things that cannot be observed with the human eye, yet their effects can be observed with the human eye. While the subject itself may be beyond our ability to perceive with our senses, the subject’s effects can be observed with our senses. For example, we can’t observe wind, yet we can observe its effect on other objects. We can’t observe gravity, but we can observe its effect on other objects.

                However, when something cannot be observed, nor can its effects be observed, then it’s pretty safe to say such a proposition is not a scientific idea. For example, unicorns are an idea, but since no one has ever observed one, nor is there even any fossil evidence that one ever existed, while it remains within the realm of the infinitesimally possible (i.e. you can’t reasonably say with absolute certainty that something DOESN’T exist unless you have full knowledge of all space and time, and no human being has such knowledge), unicorns cannot be said to be a scientific proposition.

                Information is something we can observe and test–even when we cannot observe the author of such information. I’m looking at a refund letter right now from the manufacturer of my contact lenses. I’ve never observed the person who authored this letter, yet I can observe the effect of the intelligence which authored this letter. Therefore, I can logically and scientifically conclude that an intelligence somewhere at some time was responsible for authoring this letter. If I looked at the randomly spilled letters from a Scrabble game on the floor, however, if those letters formed no coherent information, I could not logically or scientifically conclude that someone placed those letters on the floor with intent as information.

                In every case ever observed by human beings, information always has an intelligent source.

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                Is everything information, in this context…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                No, everything isn’t information. A rock contains no information. Living organisms, however, are composed of information. Our DNA is a blueprint (information) which determines how each cell in the organism will be formed, what its function will be, how it will interact with other cells, and more. This informational blueprint perpetuates itself throughout the life of every organism, and carries the information for the perpetuation of new individuals of that organism when the organism reproduces–producing a type of plant after the parent type of plant, an animal offspring after the parent type of animal, and a human offspring after the parent human.

                None of this tremendously complex and repetitive activity could take place were it not information–information carrying communication, meaning and purpose.

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                Got it.

                Have there always been organic, information containing organisms…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                I think both major philosophies of today would say there have NOT always been organisms (though I’m pretty sure both major philosophies would say that they’ve contained information as long as they HAVE been in existence).

                The “big question” is when those organisms came into existence. The naturalist would say they came into existence spontaneously several billion years ago (i.e. would say that information generated itself spontaneously–something that has never been observed to happen), while the Christian theist would say they came into existence a few thousand years ago as a creation of God (i.e. that the information which makes up those organisms is the product of intelligence).

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                So information can neither spontaneously begin nor exist in some form forever…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                I don’t see any reason why information couldn’t exist in a particular form indefinitely, but if information requires an intelligent source (and every evidence points to that conclusion), then by definition information cannot arise spontaneously. Information is always the result of an intelligent author.

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                I think I understand. Thanks for your patience.

                Does it follow that, if it turned out that information could come about spontaneously, no intelligent author (ergo, God belief[s]) would be necessary…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                It does follow, were that to turn out to be the case. But thus far, that has never been the case, so there is no scientific support for such a notion. Has there ever been a single sentence, a single program, a single string of code that has arisen spontaneously?

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                I’m not aware of any.

                If we haven’t observed something, does that mean it doesn’t exist…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                If we haven’t observed something, that doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t exist; only that it is outside of our experience.

                But as I said yesterday (http://www.americanclarion.com/2017/01/03/the-must-read-interview-with-satan-47145/#comment-3089603401), in order for something to be considered on a scientific basis, we must be able to observe either that thing, or the effect of that thing. So far, the only kind of information we have ever observed comes from an intelligent source, so we must therefore scientifically conclude that information only comes from an intelligent source.

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                And that intelligent source must itself contain information…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                As the source of the information, yes, the author would inherently hold information.

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                Thus it too “requires an intelligent source (and every evidence points to that conclusion)”…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                Provided that intelligent author conformed to the scientific laws of this universe, yes. However, such an author/creator would almost certainly not be limited by the laws governing its own creation, just as I as a programmer (I have many years experience as a desktop/web/database programmer) am not governed by the laws/rules/parameters I set for the applications I build. As the creator of my applications, their information and parameters come from me, but I am not limited to the same operational parameters I set for my applications.

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                But you certainly came from somewhere, again, requiring an intelligent source of your own…

              • Bob Ellis says:

                I did. And i originated in a universe where everything requires a beginning and a creator. From what we can glean from the Bible about God, he exists in a plane of existence completely different than this one, with a completely different set of parameters than the scientific laws which govern this universe–one where ostensibly God is able to exist timelessly and without a beginning.And don’t ask me to explain a set of universal laws from a plane of existnece totally unlike my own. 🙂

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                “…don’t ask me to explain a set of universal laws from a plane of existnece totally unlike my own…”

                Can I ask how we can assert as true that which is inexplicable…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                Explain love. Explain gravity. These are two things which we cannot see and of which human beings have only the most rudemantay understanding, yet we recognize the reality of their existence through the evidence of their effect.

                We learn and seek to understand what we can, but there comes a point when some things have to be taken on faith.

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                Love is a generic label for a number of different emotional states. I’d be happy to focus on any particular type but, absent specificity, we’d run the danger of conflating “I love that movie” with “I love my wife”. But I can explain how and why I “love” either one.

                We can also map the brain activities, serotonin/endorphin levels associated by expressions of all sorts of emotions, if need be.

                And gravity is explained by mass warping space-time and can be demonstrated by dropping an object again and again. I’m confident plenty of folks would welcome any similarly replicable, falsifiable demonstration of God[s].

                If there is one, I’m eager to discover it. And again, I appreciate your guidance in my search…

              • Bob Ellis says:

                Yes, you can explain a number of reasons why you “love” this or that, but scientifically we cannot observe the “thing” of love, nor can it be analyzed scientifically.

                And yes, there are things we’ve been able to learn about gravity by watching its effect, but we understand very little about exactly why it originates and the mechanics of what it does. There are a bazillion theories about it, but very little that’s actually known.

                We continue to seek to understand love and gravity (and God), but in the end, there’s more that we DON’T know about all three than we DO know. So in our vast ignorance, we end up taking these things on faith. Doesn’t make them any less real; it’s just an acknowledgement that while the evidence of their effect is observable, our understanding is finite.

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                We too often conflate the abstract with the physical,
                resulting in this sort of confusion. As noted, we can observe physical
                manifestations of love (an emotion), gravity (an effect), et al but are still left wanting for the same sorts of demonstrations of god[s].

                I’ve been careful not to consider you pantheist, nor your version of “God” merely a label of abstraction, but I trust you’ll set me straight if I should.

                = = =

                “…there’s more that we DON’T know about all three than we DO know…”

                When the ancient Greeks didn’t understand meteorology, were they justified in presuming that Zeus was hurling thunderbolts…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                The Greeks were seeking to understand their world as best they could, and like everyone (including atheists and evolutionists), their understanding was influenced and colored by their worldview.

                Did the religion of the ancient Greeks accurately explain what we can see of the universe? In some areas, it could be thought to fit. But did it fundamentally explain why the world is the way it is, and did it answer the “big questions” of life, and was it plausible all-around? I think the answer is a solid “No.”

                The Biblical worldview, on the other hand, CAN explain why the universe is as we see it, and it CAN explain the “big questions” that pretty much every human being seeks answers to, and it IS plausible all-around.

                To address your first paragraph or two of your last comment, no, you’re not going to see any bold physical manifestations of God’s supernatural power these days. God has done such things in the past, but for the most part (even in the past), he wants people to place their trust in him on faith alone. After all, Adam and Eve spoke to God face to face in the Garden of Eden, and they STILL rebelled. Just seeing God or a manifestation of God’s power isn’t enough; it seems that only a heart and mind that can place its trust in God without seeing supernatural demonstrations is enough to connect us to God in the way we should be.

                And no, I’m definitely not a pantheist. I believe in the One True God of the Bible.

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                “…he wants people to place their trust in him on faith alone.”

                And that’s what you’ve done…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                Yes, on faith alone, in the sense that I have never observed God nor have I ever observed a supernatural event (well, maybe one, but that’s a long story for another day–and it had little if anything to do with why placed my trust in God).

                I should add and clarify, however, that my faith in God isn’t blind faith. While it is not based on direct observation of God, it is also based largely on reason, on having examined various aspects of the universe around me and found that the truth-claims of the Bible (scientific, historical, as well as moral and philosophical) line up with what I see in the universe.

                Hopefully that attempt at clarification makes sense and doesn’t further muddy the waters. 🙂

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                Clear waters are boring. 😉

                So,
                if it appeared that a Biblical claim did not seem to line up with what we’d
                observed in the universe, should we suspect that the Bible is wrong, or
                should we consider our interpretation OF it to be mistaken…?

              • DCM7 says:

                “if it appeared that a Biblical claim did not seem to line up with what we’d observed in the universe, should we suspect that the Bible is wrong, or should we consider our interpretation OF it to be mistaken…?”

                Well, historically, the very strong tendency has been that people’s interpretations of the Bible (often based solely on weak translation into English) have turned out to be wrong. Either that, or the interpretations of the observations themselves have turned out to be wrong.

              • Bob Ellis says:

                It pretty much comes down to one or the other of those conclusions.

                I’ve looked at a LOT of the truth claims of the Bible, in the realms of science, history, and moral claims, and I haven’t found a single one that’s been directly contradicted. I’ve found one or two where it appears there could be a contradiction, but when the record of veracity is otherwise near 100%, I consider it reasonable to assume that those one or two things that appear incongruous must appear so because of something not yet understood. Because a record of veracity as high as the Bible’s is, is frankly supernatural veracity.

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but it seems like you consider the Bible inerrant and our interpretation OF it to be the thing that is fallible. Is that fair…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                That would be very fair.

                If the Bible is a message to humanity from the person who created the universe and everything in it, then we would expect it to be inerrant. After all, a being intelligent enough and powerful enough to create the universe and everything in it (a) is intelligent enough to tell us everything he wants to without error, and (b) has no need to deceive humanity about those details, even if he might be inclined to do so.

                There are a LOT of scientific, historical and moral/philosophical claims made by the Bible. Not all of those truth claims can be verified by humans today because some happened before any of us were alive to witness them, some have yet to transpire, and still others are beyond our experience.

                Nevertheless, a great many of those truth claims CAN be tested and verified. The Bible made a number of statements about science that have only been confirmed in the last 100-200 years, and the same can be said of many historical claims that have been confirmed archaeologically in modern times. Many of the moral/philosophical claims have been born out experientially across the spectrum of humanity across the earth.

                If a person has made a number of statements to you before, and you have had opportunity to verify that this person has never been wrong or untruthful to you, you can reasonably believe other unverified statements they make or have made to you.

                So it is with the unparalleled record of veracity of the Bible. Put more simply, I can confidently trust in the parts of the Bible I can’t confirm (or that I don’t understand) because of the high degree of reliability on subjects that have been confirmed.

                Given that record of accuracy, if there seems to be some disharmony between the facts and what I think the Bible says, odds are, there is some important fact that is missing, or my interpretation of what the Bible is trying to tell me is flawed. We’ve all made flawed assumptions about what a letter, a memo, an instruction, a manual, or other piece of communication was trying to tell us. Given the depth (in time, space, and complexity) covered by the Bible, coupled with our flawed and finite minds, the opportunity for mistaken assumption is even greater. (But so is the opportunity for greater understanding, when answers are pursued with diligence!)

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                And I think we both recognize that, imperfect beings that we are, different groups of people can read the same Bible and come away with divergent opinions (e.g. Baptists / Anabaptists, Catholics / Protestants, etc.) as to the interpretation of the scriptures themselves…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                It is true that there is room in some complex issues for good people to see some things differently.

                However, the overwhelming majority of subjects in the Bible–especially the major ones–are very plain and can only be taken one way by the sincere student. What we see vastly too much of is people not liking what the Bible says about this or that (because it shoots a hole in their justification for what they want), so they think up “creative” ways to try to get the Bible to excuse the wrong that they want to embrace. Rather like the rapist who protests, “But she really wanted it.”

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                If two people interpret something in the Bible differently, what mechanism can we employ to decisively determine which of them is correct…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                That’s easy…and difficult.

                Recalling that there are two basic kinds of issues in the Bible (ones where what is stated is vague enough and not enlightened by other statements in the Bible that there is legitimate room for different interpretations, and others that are clearly stated and usually backed up by other statements in the Bible), different interpretations would be handled basically the same way with both.

                First, you look at what the statement says in the most plain and obvious reading. Then take syntax and context (i.e. the sentences before and after, and perhaps even many paragraphs before and after) into consideration. Going back to the meanings of the original language can also be helpful; a word we translate one way today could have had varied meanings in the original language, and sentence structure or emphasis may affect meaning. Historical context also may be called for (i.e. how would the people of the era in which the statement was written have viewed that statement, and what historical or cultural factors were present at that time). Also look for what else the Bible may have said about this particular subject; frequently, one passage in one place will shed light on a passage in a different place.

                It may even be helpful, too, to look for inherent biases in those making the interpretation. For example, the Bible is clear beyond any doubt whatsoever that homosexual behavior violates God’s design for human sexuality, and that God strongly condemns that behavior. Yet despite repeated statements in both Old and New Testaments to this effect, some people (who fervently want to engage in this practice, or excuse this practice) attempt to come up with elaborate ways to “excuse” something the Bible makes abundantly clear is inexcusable. If an “interpretation” is shaky to begin with, you can usually find out why when examining the motivations of the one who has come up with the shaky interpretation. Doesn’t necessarily mean they’re wrong, but when all things are taken into consideration, it usually makes things pretty clear.

                Most of the major doctrines of the Bible are pretty clear, just on their face. In other words, the language plainly only has one legitimate meaning when read by the average person, and is usually backed up with other statements in the Bible which further reinforce the obvious meaning. There are some doctrines of lesser importance which can be complicated and which leave room for legitimate disagreement, but none of them change the “big picture” truths of the Bible (i.e. who God is, why humanity is in the condition it is in, and the fix for that condition).

                I hope this helps.

                By the way, I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate the thoughtful way you’ve approached disagreement and questioning here over the past few days. Having discussed a variety of Biblical and scientific issues with atheists and evolutionists over the years, your approach is (very sadly) extremely rare. Most quickly become belligerent, often extremely snarky and nasty, and refuse to even consider reasonably presented facts and arguments. Thanks again!

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                Last things first: I likewise appreciate your time, patience, and consideration. People who simply want to scream their opinions past one another should, I think, confine themselves to the arena of politics. 😉

                If two Biblical scholars took all the above into consideration (syntax, context, historical perspective) and still arrived at the sort of vehement disagreement that alienates factions of Christianity from one another (again, Protestant/Catholic and Anabaptist/Baptist being just two examples), is one of them ignoring the obvious meaning…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                If the subject was one of those that is pretty clear, then probably so.

                If it’s one of the subjects that are more vague (i.e. the subject is complicated, and the Bible doesn’t go into much detail), then it could just come down to two good people who are doing their best to understand something complex, with little information to go on, and who bring different experiences and assumptions to the table that weight their analysis and bring them to different conclusions.

                For example, many good people disagree on whether a person can lose their salvation, or whether a person always remains “saved” once they have placed their faith in Christ, even if they allow sin to regain more dominance in their life later. I have an opinion about this subject, but I know the argument for the other side pretty well, and understand why they believe what they believe, even though I disagree with the final analysis.

                And in the end, that topic doesn’t change the major tenets and truths of the Bible (i.e. the nature of God, the nature of humanity, and how rebellious humans can be reconciled to their Creator).

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                “…in the end, that topic doesn’t change the major tenets and truths of the Bible…”

                Agreed. And absent any demonstrable methodology for settling the scriptural contentions we both recognize, and given that I think we both agree we can’t “put God in a test tube” and measure out 100CCs of Him, it seems unfair to demand any objective measurements or quantification of Biblical truths then, yes…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                It would only be unfair to demand any objective measurement of Biblical truth, if it were unfair to demand any objective measurement of the veracity of any claim.

                In other words, the Bible should be held to no lesser or greater degree of accountability than any other claim in similar circumstances.

                For example, an American law that was vaguely written might leave room for different interpretation (especially in this day and age where government attempts to regulate just about EVERYTHING), while a well-written law (especially one that is simple and clear) would naturally be expected to receive an objective reading by any reasonable person. For example, we don’t allow murderers to get away with murder because they might claim “Well, I interpreted that law against murder differently,” or allow violent people to get away with assault because they might claim, “Well, I interpreted that law against assault differently.”

                As with any example of communication, if the communication is clear and most reasonable people can easily glean the obvious meaning, reasonable people don’t allow unreasonable people to show contempt for the plain meaning on the faux basis of a “different interpretation.”

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                Awesome.

                Given that:

                – it’s fair to demand the same objective measurement of biblical truth that we’d demand for the veracity of ANY claim; but
                – we’re not going to see any bold physical manifestations of the biblical assertions God’s supernatural power these days; then

                …what specific objective measurement of biblical truth can we offer (to those who demand it) for the veracity of any biblical assertion of God’s supernatural power…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                You certainly know how to ask an incisive question. 🙂

                I don’t know that there’s a directly objective measure for the veracity of Biblical truth-claims concerning God’s supernatural power. How do you measure something that has happened very seldom in our lifetime, at least in an arena public enough to lend itself to reliable mass-observation.

                But as I mentioned in an earlier comment, we can make logical inferences that point to God’s supernatural power by measuring some of the truth claims of the Bible against what we know of the universe around us. As previously examined, the presence of DNA information in every living organism points to an intelligent source for that information–which lines up with the Biblical truth claim that God created all life on earth. The fact that we know from science that life does not spontaneously spring into existence from lifeless materials also lines up with the Biblical claim that God is responsible for the creation of all life on earth. Also, the fact that we know from science that matter does not come into existence from nothing lines up with the Biblical claim that God created the universe and everything in it.

                We can also logically infer that, if the Bible has proven reliable on a great many things that we can verify (e.g. scientific claims, historical claims, etc.), and has done so on a consistent or even extraordinary level (as the Bible indeed has), then it is likely also reliable concerning truth claims that we lack the ability to verify objectively.

                As a former cop, I’ve been led to the truth many times by drawing logical inferences, even when I had almost no evidence at the beginning to point to a suspect and the truth of a matter. The absence of objective facts makes it much harder to determine the truth about something, but with careful thought and reason using the information that IS available, it doesn’t have to be a show-stopper.

                Likewise, the evidence available from the Bible and from the universe around us can eventually reach a level of what is sometimes known as “preponderance of evidence” and even proof “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Any time you’re asked to believe something you didn’t personally experience or witness, an element of faith is required. Most of us decide whether to believe such things based on weighing the reliability and track record of our sources, as well as what the available evidence seems to indicate, and then make that “leap of faith” over whether to believe it or not.

                It’s really little different with the Bible. Of course, the stakes of believing something in error when it concerns your eternal destiny make it a much heavier decision…but missing the boat on such an important truth is at least as risky as believing the wrong thing. The good news is that a reasonable person who is humble of heart enough to set aside preconceived agendas (as best as any human can) CAN reach a reasonable conclusion about the Bible’s reliability…and as I and billions of other Christians illustrate, fully trust in it.</em.

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                You’re as generous with your compliments as with your time, Brother Bob. 😉 You provide thoughtful replies as well.

                “I don’t know that there’s a directly objective measure for the veracity of Biblical truth-claims concerning God’s supernatural power. ” … “But as I mentioned in an earlier comment, we can make logical inferences that point to God’s supernatural power by measuring some of the truth claims of the Bible against what we know of the universe around us.”

                So if the Bible has NON-supernatural statements of fact, we should accept the supernatural statements as being factual as well, even without a directly objective measure for their veracity…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                Not merely because the Bible has non-supernatural statements of fact, but rather because it has a large number of scientific and historical statements of fact that have been verified as true. In fact, there hasn’t been a single statement made by the Bible that has been proven to be in error. Not even modern science textbooks can make that claim. That sort of unparalleled record of veracity should, in the rational mind, buy a whole lot of credit toward the believability of even the supernatural claims.

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                So if a book has a large number of scientific and historical statements of fact that have been verified as true, we should accept the entirety of the work as true until something in it is proven to be false…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                If you knew someone who had told you many things that had always, consistently and without fail proven to be true, and then they told you something that sounded incredible and you weren’t able to confirm it independently, wouldn’t you tend to believe this reliable friend until proven otherwise?

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                That depends entirely on the claim.

                If my wife told me it was raining outside, I’d tend to believe her. It has rained before, I’ve seen rain, etc.

                But if she told me she’d developed a personal relationship with the ghost of Elvis through a revelationary experience of some sort, she’d likely have to suffer through the sorts of questions you’ve so graciously entertained.

                I’d WANT to believe her, but that has no bearing on the actual truth of the claim.

                Shouldn’t we judge each claim on its own individual merits…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                That’s a good point about your wife’s hypothetical Elvis experience.

                However, when we consider certain scientific facts (e.g. matter doesn’t come from nothing, life doesn’t spontaneously occur from lifeless materials, etc.), the possibility of their being an intelligent designer and creator of the universe goes up considerably. And when you consider that the book this creator is alleged to have written contains a brief but very fitting description of how we came to see the world in the way it is, and the verifiable claims within that book have been confirmed in science and archaeology, the likelihood that those other unverified claims suddenly become quite credible to the reasonable mind. No, the skeptical mind will always have a hard time with those unverified and unverifiable claims, but the reasonable has to admit at least a compelling connection.

                Elvis, well, we just don’t have much of a trail of scientific rationale to go on, there. 🙂

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                “…the possibility of their being an intelligent designer and creator of the universe goes up considerably…”

                How do we assess the possibility of something that we’ve both already agreed cannot be quantified? If we don’t know the value of ‘X’, it doesn’t seem possible to assert that ‘X’ is greater than (or less than) any other value.

                = = =

                “…life doesn’t spontaneously occur from lifeless materials…”

                How do we prove that assertion and avoid the Black Swan fallacy? While we might concur that we haven’t witnessed abiogenesis, we have also agreed that the mere fact something wasn’t witnessed doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.

                = = =

                “Elvis, well, we just don’t have much of a trail of scientific rationale to go on, there.”

                We have MANY people walking among us who insist upon having encountered Elvis post-mortem. I’m not certain I understand why we’d dismiss their direct testimony and accept any second or third-hand account of Saul’s… 😉

              • Bob Ellis says:

                There’s a danger of myopia when it comes to positing that because a certain thing has never been observed, it doesn’t exist/never happens. Unfortunately it seems there’s a double-standard there for atheists/evolutionists. They will typically say on one hand that because God has never been observed, he doesn’t exit. Yet on the other hand, they’ll say that just because we’ve never seen matter come into existence from nothing or life spring from lifelessness, that isn’t to say it CAN’T happen.

                If a person is going to argue from a purely scientific perspective, then to be consistent, the argument has to apply universally. Therefore, if you’re going to say that because God has never been observed means God doesn’t exist, then you also have to argue that because matter from nothing and life from lifelessness has never been observed, they don’t happen either. That follows a certain logic that is consistent.

                Of course, while both can be said to have a high credibility threshold just based on experiential evidence, which seems more likely from a common sense “smell test” perspective: (1) that events in a materialistic universe will spontaneously behave in ways that violate every observation we’ve ever made about scientific law, or (b) that an intelligence and power beyond our experience and ability to fully comprehend might have created the universe and may occasionally intervene in that universe in a way that supersedes the natural laws which govern that universe?

                If we’re going to engage in conjecture an an exercise of faith in the first place (which we ALL do, even atheists), it would seem more objective and rational to employ logic and reason, and pursue the highest degree of possibility and consistency.

                For example, in a materialistic/naturalistic universe (i.e. one ruled by the laws of nature we can observe), those scientific laws have never demonstrated that matter can come from nothing or that life can come from lifeless material. Therefore, the universe we see today could not have come into existence according to those laws of nature, and therefore the assumption of a materialistic/naturalistic universe is illogical.

                In a creationist universe scenario,. however (i.e. one created by a supernatural being who exists outside the universe we know and who is not subject to the laws governing this universe), a fundamental assumption in the framework is supernatural causation, as well as the occasional interjection of supernatural activity. Since the universe was designed by a logical and consistent being (which is how the Bible describes God to us), we would expect the universe to obey certain scientific laws consistently (and it does), and since that creator is not restricted by the same laws he set in place to govern his creation, he is able to super-sede the natural laws of the universe at will. According to the testimony of the Bible, this has been seen on a number of occasions in the past, as well (and probably still happens on a limited–i.e. not very public–basis even today).

                To summarize, in the materialistic/naturalistic universe framework, we need supernatural (i.e. things that don’t conform to scientific laws) causes to make our non-supernatural (the definition of materialistic/naturalistic) universe possible at certain key points. This means the materialistic/naturalistic framework is logically inconsistent, and something that is self-contradictory or logically inconsistent can’t be true.

                The creationist framework, on the other hand, has the elements it needs within its framework to be possible; further, the statements of the Bible comport with what we see in science and vice versa. This means the creationist framework for the universe is logically consistent, meaning it is a great deal more likely to be true than a framework that contradicts itself.

                Neither framework can prove its assertions, so faith is required to believe in either one of them. The question then comes down to which one is the most logical and consistent…and doesn’t contradict itself?

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                “They will typically say on one hand that because God has never been observed, he doesn’t exit.”

                You might take that up with them. That isn’t my position.

                = = =

                “…if you’re going to say that because God has never been observed means God doesn’t exist…”

                I’m not going to say that, either. I’m not making the assertion that god[s] do not exist. I’m asking about the rationale from those who claim they do.

                = = =

                “…we need supernatural … causes to make our non-supernatural … universe possible…”

                Why…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                Yes, I realize you haven’t made that assertion. I was just describing the typical atheist/evolutionist assertion.

                Why does the materialist/naturalist need supernatural causation to make their non-supernatural universe possible? For the reasons I’ve mentioned, i.e. matter from nothing (something the BIblical framework says God did when he created the universe, but that the laws of science tell us doesn’t happen), life from lifeless material (something the Biblical framework says God did, but the laws of science tell us doesn’t happen). By all observed science, the materialistic/naturalistic universe can’t have come about through materialistic/naturalistic means, yet the typical atheist/evolutionist refuses to acknowledge even the possibility of supernatural causation. That’s where the contradiction comes in, making the materialistic/naturalistic framework illogical.

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                I think I’m seeing two things in the previous paragraph: that matter cannot come from nothing, and that matter DID come from nothing.

                Is the takeaway that the universe cannot create something from nothing, but God can…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                That’s pretty much the size of it. According to all scientific law that humanity has ever observed, matter cannot come into existence from nothing. Yet the universe (full of matter) DID (obviously) come into existence somehow. If scientific law says it is impossible for matter to come into existence from nothing, and all matter that we know IS in existence, then that points to some force outside the laws of nature. The Bible has an explanation for that force: God. It says God created the universe out of nothing.

                Therefore, the materialist can’t explain the existence of the universe (at least not consistently with the framework of his own assertions), but the creationist can. A theory which contradicts itself cannot be true.

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                So if we DID observe something come into existence from nothing, would that mean there was no God…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                No, it would only mean that it would now be scientifically possible for the universe to have come into existence without God.

                Of course, if we did see something come into existence from nothing, it could be that it was God who did it, as a fresh manifestation of his supernatural power. 🙂

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                So whether or not something can come from nothing is irrelevant to whether or not a God exists…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                While that is technically true, I don’t know if that’s the best way to put it, since to say something is “irrelevant” often implies no bearing or relationship.

                There could still be a God even if matter could come into existence from nothing. However, God would be the obvious choice for matter to come into existence from nothing, primarily due to the fact that everything we know of science indicates that according to the laws of nature, matter doesn’t spontaneously come into existence from nothing. Therefore, for it to happen, the cause is virtually certain to be God.

                We’re starting to split hairs on extreme possibilities–extreme possibilities that are outside both the parameters of a creationist framework and a materialist framework. Don’t let extreme what-ifs confuse the issue.

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                We’ve established that whether or not something came from nothing, either way, God could still exist, yes…?

              • Bob Ellis says:

                Yes, it is theoretically possible. However, since it has never been observed to happen, if it did, it’s likely such an event would be a manifestation of God’s super-natural power, not a spontaneous natural event. For example, when Jesus Christ fed at least 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish, and ended up with 12 baskets of leftovers after everyone was fed.

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                Cool. So if whether or not something came from nothing is not pertinent to whether a God exists, I’m happy to move on.

                I can accept that the feeding of the multitude story[s] as described may well constitute a supernatural event. And I think we’ve agreed that supernatural events no longer happen, and are thus not replicable nor falsifiable, ergo, verifiable and demonstrable. So I’m not certain we can make any headway there.

                But if I’m mistaken, and there IS a way to demonstrate the truth of the Bethsaida story, I am (as always) anxious to explore it…

              • Bob Ellis says:

                I didn’t say that supernatural events no longer happen, only that there haven’t been any really big ones–especially the kind witnessed by hundreds or thousands of people at one time–in a long time. Many would point to George Washington’s escape from New York in 1776 as a supernatural event; indeed, the circumstances are so extraordinary that they seem highly unlikely to be coincidence. There are stories from individuals around the world regularly of events that defy conventional explanation. And I myself (back when I was busy hating God and living a life most unpleasing to him) experienced a miracle: a friend fell through the ice on an ice fishing trip, and I I tried to get out to him to save him, but as I slid out toward him on my belly, the ice cracked underneath me and I felt the water splash up on my chest, yet I didn’t fall through, and was able to lay on that same spot for probably another 5 minutes or so as I tried in vain to reach him with various objects. I can’t swim, by the way, so I would have had not only the freezing temperatures against me, but my inability to swim. Yet somehow, even after the ice cracked and splashed water up onto me, I didn’t fall into the lake.

                Anyway, when it comes to supernatural events, unless you are a witness to them, it’s pretty easy for someone to write them off. I believe they happen, and in a world where materialists/naturalists claim there can be no supernatural events (their claim, not mine), a supernatural happening can only be a manifestation of God’s supernatural power. In the real world, it’s as simple as that

                Ultimately, believing in ANYTHING comes down to faith. Being a materialist/evolutionist requires more faith than being a creationist/Christian. In the Christian worldview, the framework is consistent with itself. In the materialist framework, it is self-contradictory because it requires events which, according to its own framework, cannot happen.

                Everyone has to make up their own mind. I’m grateful you’ve entertained my comments, and grateful for the nearly unparalleled respect and thoughtfulness you’ve displayed. I hope you have a great weekend!

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                “Everyone has to make up their own mind.”

                I’ll defer to my favorite St. Thomas Aquinas quote: “What is, is.” I’m not sure that what I believe has any impact upon whether or not something really is true, but I can sincerely appreciate the desire for that to be the case.

                Have the best of weekends yourself, Brother Bob. May the entire Ellis clan enjoy their time with you as much as I have…

              • DCM7 says:

                “you’re not going to see any bold physical manifestations of God’s supernatural power these days. God has done such things in the past, but for the most part (even in the past), he wants people to place their trust in him on faith alone”

                While faith is always essential — everyone will always have faith in *something*, whether they admit it or not — I would submit that “bold physical manifestations” are virtually unnecessary in today’s world. We have so much opportunity, with today’s knowledge, to see the hand of God in creation and in history. Those who are willing to see will see, and they’ll never have to check their brains in at the door. And if someone is not willing to see, given what they have the opportunity to see, then a “bold physical manifestation” would be wasted on them anyway.

              • Thisoldspouse says:

                Here’s one in a single word:

                Jews.

                Okay, two words.

                Israel.

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                Do the words “Hellenists” and “Athens” likewise support the Zeus proposition…?

              • Thisoldspouse says:

                Do those distinct people groups still exist over several millennia? That’s my point.

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                Yes. Athens is one of the oldest named cities in the world, having been continuously inhabited for at least 5000 years, and there are modern-day Hellenists…

              • Thisoldspouse says:

                I did say “distinct groups.” That means that they would still have to identify the same as they did thousands of years ago.

              • Stupid Atheist says:

                Athenians still call themselves Athenians, and Hellenists still call themselves Hellenists…