Silly Gary, You Will Never Understand the Bible until you Graduate from Seminary

Saying Gary is better read is nonsense, he is not even well read. His book list is fine for a month’s reading but he lacks the educational background to understand what he’s read. He won’t accept expert opinion unless it agrees with his ideology.

Joe, moderate Christian and owner of Metacrock’s blog

Image result for image of a doctor of divinity

Four years ago when I first left Christianity, I attempted to discuss the apparent discrepancies in the Bible with online Christians and was soundly rebuffed for not having read enough Christian scholarship.  Now that I have read a fairly extensive list of books by Christian scholars, I am told that I need “the educational background” to understand what I read in those scholarly books!  I now need a degree in New Testament studies…or at least a divinity degree from a seminary…to understand the Bible!

Isn’t it amazing that a God who allegedly loves us so much and who says he very much desires that none of us perish in his eternal place of torment (Hell), has made the truth so complicated that one must study his “Word”, his message to mankind, for years before one is capable of understanding it?

The truth is that Christians will never be satisfied with how many books a skeptic has read nor how many advanced degrees in matters related to the Bible a skeptic possesses.  The truth is that Christians will only be satisfied when the skeptic capitulates and accepts their supernatural claims as facts.

This can be seen in the treatment of ex-Christian, New Testament scholar, Bart Ehrman.  When I bring Ehrman’s expertise as a NT scholar into a discussion, Christians will frequently object, saying that Ehrman’s expertise is limited to textual criticism.  Therefore, according to these Christians, Ehrman’s opinions on any topic regarding the Bible and early Christianity that is not specifically related to textual criticism are irrelevant.

Dear Readers, this is nothing other than a tried and true cult tactic:  Destroy the character and reputation of ex-members to deflect attention away from the glaring errors, discrepancies, and evil in the cult’s belief system.

Below is a video in which an ex born-again Jew for Jesus is confronted by a leader of the Jews for Jesus movement and a group of evangelical Christian supporters.  How do the evangelical Christians explain the former Christian’s rejection of Jesus and Christianity?  Answer:  “There was something spiritually defective in him all along!”

Why do they say this?  Answer:  In the mind of an evangelical Christian, it is absolutely impossible for someone to have once been a true, born-again Christian and then reject Jesus and the Faith.  To resolve their cognitive dissonance, evangelical Christians assume that the person was never a true Christian to begin with!  Something was wrong with him (or her).  He didn’t really believe.  He didn’t truly repent   He was hiding a secret sin which he refused to give up.  Christians then feel compelled to attack the character of the ex-Christian to confirm this assummption.  If you watch the video to its end, you will see a young evangelical Christian viciously attack (verbally) the ex-Christian in an effort to discover the hidden “defect” in the ex-Christian’s character that proves he was never a true Christian.

31 thoughts on “Silly Gary, You Will Never Understand the Bible until you Graduate from Seminary

  1. Excellent, Gary! You laid it out precisely and perfectly. I especially liked your second paragraph (starting with “Isn’t it amazing …” And to that I say … truly amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. your whole thing is anger at God because you don’t feel special yes it’s totally reasonable to expect that the person who goes out and get’s the education knows more than the begging tht is not unusual, It’s not unfair.

      you given to be given credit for level of knowledge you don’t possess, that’s unfair

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      1. You do not need an advanced education to know that virgins cannot be impregnated by ghosts and brain-dead corpses do not walk out of their graves to eat broiled fish sandwiches with their former fishing buddies. The onus is on Christians to give overwhelming evidence that these very extra-ordinary claims are true, not on me to get a special education in the study of your cult’s supernatural-riddled book to better understand this hocus pocus.

        Saying that the reason for my rejection of your superstitious claims is in reality “anger against God” is a tried and true cult technique to discredit ex-members of the cult. The goal is to destroy the credibility of the ex-member to shut them up.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I find it fascinating that simply because a person is not a Christian, they are accused of being “angry at God.” In reality, for many (most?) of them, there’s no god to be angry at.

        Gary is quite knowledgeable about the Christian faith and he’s reached this point by many, many hours or reading and studying. From my observations, many who wave off his thoughts, opinions, and comments as though he was a plebe in the military are demonstrating their own lack of knowledge.

        The bible may be the “standard” for Christians, but when one looks at it in-depth, there are a multitude of discrepancies and variances that simply don’t make sense. Yet too many believers put on their rose-colored glasses and refuse to recognize — or acknowledge — them. Gary is simply attempting to shine a better light on “the word.”

        Liked by 1 person

  2. re: “Isn’t it amazing that a God who allegedly loves us so much and who says he very much desires that none of us perish in his eternal place of torment (Hell)….”

    What if your former fundamentalism taught you wrong, and rather than finding the *right* answers, you just decided that since your former fundamentalist teachers were wrong then the whole of Christianity was wrong?

    In other words, is it possible you threw out the baby with the fundamentalist bathwater? I mean, after all, that *is* what you’re opposed to, is it not? “Fundamentalist” Christianity?

    The problem I see you’re having on this board is that there’s not a lot of fundamentalists for you to rail against. But, when non-fundamentalist Christians start saying something that isn’t part of your own “script”, it throws you for a loop. You keep trying very hard to make sure *anybody* that is “Christian” is also “fundamentalist”.

    Like, in the quote I mentioned above: You *presume* the fundamentalist view of God and the fundamentalist reason for “accepting Christ” – to avoid Hell.

    But, what if Hell (Ghenna) is actually only a *temporary* place anyway (as is commonly held in Judaism)? What if an “ultimate destruction” is only for the exceedingly wicked & totally unrepentant (like, maybe, Hitler or Stalin)? Then, your whole premise doesn’t even *apply* to Christians who understand that “avoidance of Hell” is not the “great goal” of Christianity.

    You can’t fathom that, though. Because, just as you were once a Fundamentalist Christian, now you are a Fundamentalist Skeptic.

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    1. Here is something that you and Joe need to realize: A true liberal Christian would not behave like either of you behave. A true liberal Christian DOESN’T CARE what other people believe as long as they are non-violent. Why doesn’t the liberal Christian care? Answer: Because he (or she) believes that everyone will get into heaven. God loves everyone and his love is not based on our beliefs.

      That is not the case with either of you. You both get very worked up when someone expresses views opposing Christianity. To me this indicates that you are either conservative Christians or moderate Christians, both of whom believe that SOMETHING bad will happen to those who reject Jesus as their Savior.

      True (universalist) liberal Christianity is a harmless superstition. Moderate and conservative Christianity, on the other hand, are dangerous belief systems. I believe they are also evil belief systems and that is why I speak out against them.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I hear ag pies! It’s the true Scotsman, he says aye laddie buck no true true scottsman would violate my stereotype! aye Captain I ‘lll give ya warp 2 and a wee bit more,

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  3. Gary –

    re: “True (universalist) liberal Christianity is a harmless superstition. ”

    I couldn’t agree more. I guess I’m not a “true (universalist) Christian”.

    I’m totally OK with you “speaking out” against either moderate or conservative Christianity. I just wish you’d find some better material to work with. But, I understand you’ve been focusing mainly on the conservative side. But, hey, they’re an easy target. Doesn’t take much effort to find the serious flaws in fundamentalism.

    So, tell me… When you were growing up, did you have to read the KJV?

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    1. I attended a KJV-only, independent, fundamentalist, pre-millenial Baptist church until I was 18. I attended a non-denominational, evangelical church (which did not favor any particular Bible translation) until my mid-twenties.

      I actually believe that moderate Christianity is the most dangerous of all forms of Christianity. Why? It still teaches that God will punish non-believers but rejects a literal reading of the Bible. They are impossible to pin down on any subject related to the Bible. They can always come up with a new interpretation of a bible passage to avoid admitting the presence of serious errors in the Bible.

      For instance, scientific evidence proves that a literal interpretation of the Creation Story is untenable. No problem for the moderate Christian, he simply invents an ad hoc explanation which allows Christianity and science to be compatible, such as “a day can mean billions of years to God”. In addition, everything is a matter of specialized interpretation: one must be able to speak Greek and Hebrew and have extensive Bible training before one can “intelligently” discuss the Bible. Any skeptic who does not have that level of knowledge is treated as an ignoramus.

      Moderate Christianity is very much a cult. I’d rather debate a fundamentalist any day. Fundamentalists do not change their beliefs. You know where they stand. They must defend a set position. Moderates change their positions and their interpretation of the Bible as often as they change socks.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. OK, so you DID throw out the baby with the fundamentalist bathwater. I guess I’ve seen that all along, though.

        Atheists and skeptics always love to debate fundamentalists, because they’re such incredibly easy targets.

        I’ll admit, though, you do have a bit more of a job on your hands when you come across a Christian that (for example) fully realizes the first 11 or 12 chapters of Genesis is “theologic myth”. But then, there are Jews that regard it quite the same. Heck, how can somebody call it “historic” when every possible eye-witness to any of the events up to, and including the Flood were all dead by the time of the Flood (except Noah and family, and they could hardly be “objective witnesses”, since they were the principles in the story). So, yeh, somebody that actually engages their brain would indeed pose a problem to you.

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        1. Yes, those pathetic, ignorant (mostly uneducated) fundamentalists. They really are knuckle-dragging morons for believing in a literal six-day creation.

          Ha, ha, ha!

          And yet YOU believe in ghost impregnated virgins who give birth to their own Creator and walking, talking brain-dead corpses!

          Yep, you are one smart guy.

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      2. First of call, it is absurd to assume that you can tell me what a liberal is,I have a Masters degree in studying liberal theology.I have studied with world famous liberal theologians such as Schubert M. Ogden,. You are not willing to learn you are are not willing to admit anyone knows more than you. That;s why you will never learn anything,

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    2. I agree with what Bond just said. you are reading into my words the attitudes you’ve seen among fundies, because you don’t have any idea of what liberal theology is abouit

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      1. You are welcome to self-identify as whatever floats your boat. I consider you a typical moderate Christian: a Christian who holds onto the fundamental teaching of fundamentalism, eternal damnation, but wraps himself in Higher Criticism to avoid having to defend a literal interpretation of what the Bible says on that issue.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. What I believe is that Naturalism is entirely self-refuting, and as such, it leaves only the option of a Supernatural, in addition to Nature.

    Therefore, if there is a Creator God (as I believe there is), then it gets down to this: Virgins giving birth and someone raised from the dead is *chump change* in comparison to the very creation of the unfathomable immensity of the Universe and the laws that govern it. Such things as virgins giving birth may seem incomprehensible to us, but then, so is the creation of the Universe incomprehensible.

    “A story logically begins at the beginning. But this story is about the universe, and unfortunately, there are no data for the very beginning. None. Zero. We don’t know anything about the universe until it reaches the mature age of a billiionth of a trillionth of a second – that is, some very short time after the creation in the Big Bang. When you read or hear something about the birth of the universe, someone is making it up. We are in the realm of Philosophy, and only God knows what happened at the Very Beginning…” Leon Lederman, Nobel Prize winner, Director of Fermilab, “The God Particle”

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    1. ftbond:What I believe is that Naturalism is entirely self-refuting, and as such, it leaves only the option of a Supernatural, in addition to Nature.

      Me: You’ve made statements like this before. Can you tell me why you think this?

      Further, what value do supernatural propositions offer us? As far as I know, you can’t really make testable predictions from them, so from a pragmatic point of view, I see them as useless. Even further, how do you know what the boundaries of nature are?

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      1. Gary:

        re: “You’ve made statements like this before. Can you tell me why you think this?” [regarding my belief that Naturalism is self-refuting]

        For the Naturalist, Nature is all we got, and it is comprised of everything there is. In this sense, Nature is “all there is”. No God, no Supernatural, nothing like a “Universe with a Mind”.

        Thus, for the Naturalist, every thought we have is nothing more than the movements of molecules and / or electrons through the neural circuitry of the brain. We don’t really “think”, per se, we just “think we think”, because, after all, there is no real “self”, no “ground zero that is exclusively ‘us'”, no real “I” in “me”. As such, our thoughts are great for analyzing things like mathematical formulas, things which, in and of themselves, have an objective and verifiable property.

        But, it takes no “reasoning” to see that A = B (if A and B are both apples of the same size, etc). That takes mere observation. However, to see that if A = B and A = C, then to conclude (with no further information available) that B must therefore equal C takes Reason. In other words, making inferences that lead to Truths; this is what I mean by Reason.

        According to Naturalism, Nature itself has neither “truth” nor “reason”. But, one cannot argue that Nature somehow caused Reason to happen (as a type of human thought) if one is going to turn around and use that Reason to pronounce a Truth that there is no Reason in Nature. In this, then, we see that Naturalism is self-refuting.

        But, it goes even further than that. Naturalists will insist that there is no real “self”, no real “I” in “me”, nothing like a “spirit” that determines my own actual existence. If a Naturalist is to be consistent, then they should claim that they are forced to think naturalism is true due to the deterministic laws of nature, and not because of their intellect or reasoning skills. Therefore, a naturalist has no grounds to state naturalism is true.

        I suppose I could go on about this at great length, but, I’m gonna leave it at this Readers Digest version.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. There are plenty of reasonable refutations to Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism. Bob Sidensticker made back in 2011: http://crossexaminedblog.com/2011/12/07/plantingas-nutty-evolutionary-argument-against-naturalism/

          ftbond:According to Naturalism, Nature itself has neither “truth” nor “reason”.

          me: This only shows me that you don’t understand what “truth” and “reason” really are, and that’s causing confusion. Truth is simple a label we put on propositions, and reason is a tool we invented to help us describe reality. You may try reading: http://casualentropy.blogspot.ca/2015/10/what-is-truth.html or alternately watch the video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jLJczkOU44

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          1. Gary –

            I don’t know what Plantigas’ argument is, and am therefore uninterested in refutations of it.

            As to your comment that I don’t understand what “truth” and “reason” are, all you are doing is simply using one of many proposed definitions – and, of course, one that suits your ends. Your preferred definition begins with the assumption that there is no such thing as “Truth” in a metaphysical sense. [ from the article: “To begin, it’s important to understand that any time we talk about a thing like truth, we’re not talking about some intrinsic metaphysical quality of reality itself.” ]

            In other words, it’s not that I don’t know what they are. It’s that I most decidedly disagree with your definitions of what they are.

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          2. ftbond: Gary –

            Me: I’m not Gary. I’m just another skeptic who doesn’t accept your position that the supernatural is necessary.

            ftbond: I don’t know what Plantigas’ argument is, and am therefore uninterested in refutations of it.

            Me: It’s a slight variation of your argument, with very minor differences. You may do well to learn the arguments that other apologists make. You could start here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_argument_against_naturalism

            Frankly, I think the argument that naturalism is self defeating is absurd, and the people who claim it show how little they actually understand about naturalism.

            ftbond: Your preferred definition begins with the assumption that there is no such thing as “Truth” in a metaphysical sense.

            Because there “truth” (truth is not a proper noun, and should not be capitalized) doesn’t seem to be any kind of real entity. It’s a concept, one that we made up, because it’s useful (here’s a hint, I’m a pragmatist.) Truth no more exists than the number “3” exists (but who knows, maybe you’re a Platonist.)

            I can understand why many Christians believe that “truth” is something real (if not tangible). It’s comes down to pretty much the same reason why they believe the supernatural (magic) is real.

            ftbond:In other words, it’s not that I don’t know what they are. It’s that I most decidedly disagree with your definitions of what they are.

            You are, of course, free to disagree with the definitions I use. Question: How would you define what truth is, and how do you measure it? What does it mean to say that ” is true”?

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  5. Gary it is impressive that you got Brown’s book and you are willing to read it.So few atheists I have known bothers to read those kind of books,I am impressed that you woulds that. When I made my statement critical of your reading I was responding to a statement that seemed to assert you know so much, You do know a lot but terms like :a lot: are relative.

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    1. Here’s some advice about your reading list:

      First I thin Helmut Koester’s ancient Christi Gospels is a must read. Secondly the whole list is about either bible study or five proofs, it;s all apologetic and it;s really basally evangelical figures. I dint think if Brown as Evangelical but he was not liberal he was a Catholic. Habermas is really evangelical Probably Bauckham is too,

      You need to read Paul Tillich. Start with The Courage to be then History of Christian Thought,

      Kerkegaard
      Schleiermacher
      Moltmann
      Whitehead
      John Hick
      Matthew Lamb

      Process theology and liberation theology just to get an idea of what liberal theology is about

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Gary…

    What are moderate Christians?

    I think an Islamic polemistic would argue against three points that they tend to believe in,

    1. Trinity

    2. The role of Christ’s death in justification and atonement

    3. Original sin

    I think one needs some philosophical arguments against them, since a “moderate” will not be bound by scripture alone. Moderates tend to defend these positions.

    (I say “Islamic polemistic” since the topics largely reflects points of contention that Islamic theology has with orthodox Christianity. Moreover, for the first two, Scripture itself does not justify it. The first people to be identified as “freethinkers” were thought who dissented from the standard religious doctrines of the trinity and justification)

    I had a discussion about these Pauline passages with a Catholic:

    1 Corinthians 14

    34 Women[f] should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church

    I said that most critical scholarship has came to the conclusion that Paul did not likely write that even though it is in all the known manuscripts. It contradicts 1 Corinthians 11 where it does say that women can pray and prophesize in churches as long as they cover their heads.

    I said that saying that verse wasn’t written by Paul is a nice boon for liberal Christians, since they can say that patriarchy was a later social innovation and that the early Christians were fairly egalitarian. However, regardless of whether Paul wrote it, it still poses a problem for Catholics, since it is there Scripture and they took “Paul’s” remarks as inspired scripture. It also makes more historical sense that there is a discontinuity between Paul’s somewhat benign views on women compared to what is expressed in epistles such as Ephesians and 1 Timothy:

    1 Timothy 2:

    11 A woman[a] should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;[b] she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women[c] will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

    I told him about the verse and he was skeptical about the remark where “Women are saved through childbearing”. I had to ask him to look it up.

    My Catholic friend say something that the Church’s teaching on gender is beautiful, and that it did not specifically teach that salvation for women comes from childbearing. I said that I haven’t heard where that verse is taught soteriologically, but it does have profound effects on the ecclesiology of the Church. Still, it regards woman as inherently inferior to men, and not suited to holding positions of authority. I said that the best explanation why 1 Timothy said that was that Paul did not write it and that it reflected the development of a hierarchical church structure after Paul.

    He simply did not want to engage in the text, and just tended to defer to Church teaching, whatever that was, and said that it is the Church that should interpret the text. In other words, scripture does not determine anything, but it is the Church teaching that’s important.

    There simply was not position for anyone to identify, much less criticize. Of course, a Catholic cannot simply jettison the deuteropauline canon, since it is authentic scripture, but doing so does not really assail the fundamentals of Christianity, since the theology (of basic Christianity) stays largely the same with the authentic Pauline letters and the Gospel.

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    1. I’m sure you know, but there is a very big difference between how Roman Catholics and Protestants view the Bible. Protestants believe that the Holy Spirit will guide the true Christian to properly interpret the meaning of Scripture…and hence the hundreds of Protestant denominations, sects, and cults. Roman Catholics on the other hand have invented a very convenient manner in which to interpret Scripture which allows them to avoid being forced to harmonize passages which on the surface, contradict one another. Their answer: The Church (the Magisterium) has the final say on interpreting the Bible, and the Church says that there are no significant discrepancies in the Bible, therefore, there are no significant discrepancies in the Bible!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Atheist Lehman –

    First, my apologies for referring to you as “Gary”.. I wasn’t paying attention to the “name labels”, I guess… Sorry about that.

    I would not have any expectation that you, as an atheist, would at all agree with an argument that implies a “necessity” of the Supernatural. But, that is only because I don’t think you understand Supernaturalism. (hey, don’t shoot me. I’m just using the same tactic you used when you said “Frankly, I think the argument that naturalism is self defeating is absurd, and the people who claim it show how little they actually understand about naturalism”)
    ———————————–

    ftbond: Your preferred definition begins with the assumption that there is no such thing as “Truth” in a metaphysical sense.

    Because there “truth” (truth is not a proper noun, and should not be capitalized) doesn’t seem to be any kind of real entity. It’s a concept, one that we made up, because it’s useful (here’s a hint, I’m a pragmatist.) Truth no more exists than the number “3” exists (but who knows, maybe you’re a Platonist.)

    My Comment: Here, all you’re doing is repeating the same thing again, redundantly, another time (if I can describe the redundancy of it sufficiently). The article you posted, which I quoted, merely ASSERTS a position that there is no “metaphysical truth”. And, that’s fine. It’s an assertion. And, all you’re doing here is saying precisely the same thing. And, as I pointed out in our earlier exchange, we disagree greatly on what defines “truth”. It’s just that simple. Why beat a dead horse?

    —————————
    I can understand why many Christians believe that “truth” is something real (if not tangible). It’s comes down to pretty much the same reason why they believe the supernatural (magic) is real.

    ftbond:In other words, it’s not that I don’t know what they are. It’s that I most decidedly disagree with your definitions of what they are.

    You are, of course, free to disagree with the definitions I use. Question: How would you define what truth is, and how do you measure it? What does it mean to say that ” is true”?

    My Comment: I’m glad you’re OK with us disagreeing on what truth is.

    Now, regarding truth: You say (above) that “Because there “truth” (truth is not a proper noun, and should not be capitalized) doesn’t seem to be any kind of real entity. It’s a concept, one that we made up”.

    You say that truth doesn’t *seem* to be any kind of real entity. Sounds to me like you’re hedging your bets. Either say it is or isn’t a real thing, otherwise, I got nothing to offer.

    You then seem to state more confidently that “It’s a concept, one that we made up”.

    But, you must mean it *seems* like a concept we made up. But, you can’t be sure. in other words, we don’t know if what you’re saying is actually true.

    Now, I suspect you’d offer some type of reasoning as to how you concluded this rather wishy-washy state of things — things don’t *seem* as they might be, but we seem to have made them up.

    You have used reason to reach some particular idea here (which, I’m not entirely sure what it is, because *you* aren’t entirely sure what it is either).

    But, if your reasoning is nothing more than whatever molecules and electrons are doing in your head, then, what possible reason do I have to believe what you’re saying? (even if you were indeed clear about what you were saying?)

    Maybe I need to know a couple of things from you:

    1. Is truth a real thing or not?
    2. what reasoning did you use to determine #1?

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    1. I noticed that you did not answer my questions: How would you define what truth is, and how do you measure it? What does it mean to say that “[something] is true”? Can you offer me any insight into your position on truth?

      ftbond:I would not have any expectation that you, as an atheist, would at all agree with an argument that implies a “necessity” of the Supernatural. But, that is only because I don’t think you understand Supernaturalism.

      AL: What is the “supernatural”? Can you offer me a definition for what it is that isn’t the typical drivel of “not nature”, or “beyond the natural”? How do we properly make the natural/supernatural distinction? Can you offer me any method at all that allows me to investigate the supernatural?

      Ultimately, my problem comes down to the fact that we have no method to investigate the supernatural. If there is a natural/supernatural distinction, the set of things we can put into the “supernatural” category is exactly nothing. That makes the category rather useless!

      Supernaturalists are simply people who assert that some other realm exists beyond nature, but they can offer nothing to support their assertion, or even define what this realm is. I dropped belief in the supernatural around the age of 13, and I find it very difficult to understand why people believe it.

      ftbond:Why beat a dead horse?

      AL: Because you cannot actually establish the realness of truth beyond a concept. We should be able to agree that truth is at least a useful concept that gives us the ability to express things to one another. What I don’t know is how to establish the actual realness of truth. You’re the one making the bold claim that truth is a real entity, and therefore the burden of proof lies with you to support the claim. How can I know that truth is real, and not simply a useful concept?

      ftbond: You say that truth doesn’t *seem* to be any kind of real entity. Sounds to me like you’re hedging your bets.

      AL: No, I’m not “hedging my bets.” I cannot have 100% confidence in anything, even tautological statements, because I do not have 100% confidence in reason. If I told you that “evolution seems to be true”, would you tell me that I’m hedging my bets, or simply being careful about my statements so as not to exceed the level of confidence that I can grant to my statements? The fact that I do not have 100% confidence in my statements doesn’t mean that I my position is unjustified.

      ftbond: 1. Is truth a real thing or not?
      2. what reasoning did you use to determine #1?

      AL: I’ve already told you what I believe about truth. My justification for this is simply the fact that nobody has ever established truth as anything that is actually real. We know that concepts exist, but not a real entities. Anybody who wants to convince me that truth is some real entity bears the burden of proof.

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      1. I didn’t answer your question simply because I had no idea what you’re talking about. Truth? Real? Tangible? Entity? Wha????

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        1. ftbond, let me try and simplify my questions.

          Is there anything, outside of propositions, that can be true? If so, can you identify something non-propositional that is “true”? If you can’t identify something, why do you believe that truth applies to anything other than propositions?

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          1. Lehman –

            For *us* – in *our* experiencial realm – in the most pragmatic terms – one can say that there is nothing outside of propositions that can be true.

            but, that’s only if *we* are *here* to make the propositions. It’s a very egocentric view of “truth”.

            Take us out of the picture. Is there anything “true”? Is it not true that we are out of the picture? Yet, none of us are even here to make the proposition.

            Let me bring it down to a more practical level:

            Let’s say Bob murdered his wife. You and I (the police) state the proposition “Bob murdered his wife”, and then, went on to collect evidence. Yet, we find none. Bob is never charged, nor tried for murder. The case goes into the cold-case file. It is forgotton. Yet, *Bob* knows he murdered his wife. And his wife is still very much dead. It is quite true that Bob murdered his wife. It is simply not true *to us*. So, our very pragmatic, empirical approach has not at all yielded the truth of the matter. It has only yielded what is true *to us*, the police.

            So, to try to answer your question without getting into a bunch of word-game-isms, I would say that according to a very pragmatic view of reality, there is nothing outside of propositions that can be true, and, according to a much different view of reality – one that does not begin and end with *us* – things can be true, whether we’re there to make the proposition or not.

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