Leaping Both Young Earth and Old Earth Arguments in a Single Bound: But first, a TWW rant

So as not to draw any more attention to a site which no longer is fertile ground for actually producing any real change in the abuse/authority structure of the Calvinist juggernaut in the church today, I will be speaking in this post of the blog site, TWW.  Which stands for…The West Wing “survivor” blog.

The blogging queens who moderate it are Dolly and Dotty.

Their e-pastor is a “reformed” (i.e. “loving and kind”) Calvinist known as Wayne.

Recently, I was banished to The West Wing’s solitary confinement over in the Perpetual Moderated Comment Corner for Bad Little Boys with Smart Mouths Who Obviously Did Not Spend Enough Time On the Urinal Cake Cleaning Committee Learning Submission to Pastor Wayne.

But, in spit of this, I did not allow myself to concede that I’m dealing now not with those who seek truth but with the Ministry of Defense for Pastoral Authority.  So, like an idiot, I continued to comment anyway.  Like a fool.  Oh yes, all but admitting that I am the very slobbering barbarian who must be compelled by the “altruistic” dictators of sound doctrine like Wayne…much like the fools neo-Calvinist gnostic “authorities” take most laity for, even after my banishment into perpetual moderation bad-little-boy  time-out for daring to question the divine knowledge of the “great one”, Wayne, I attempted to be the humble and prostrate one–showing indeed that I was one of the precious “elect”–before the gnostic divines.

All because I wanted to help other people think about truth.  But I didn’t actually know that I had a fat chance in hell of that happening.

You don’t question the pastors.  No matter how nice the are, in the end, you NEVER question the pastor.  Wayne will not suffer confrontation; how dare I demand he defend his ideas.

Yes…I am bitter.

I’m sorry.  Does that offend someone’s poor little sound doctrinal sensibilities?  Awwww.  Well, truly, how wonderfully convenient for them.  It is convenient to engage in hypocrisy and unwarranted vengeance and then decide that when the inevitable reaction occurs by the other party you can merely appeal to the pretentious platitude “You know, a goooood Christian wouldn’t be bitter.  He would thank God for the privilege of being “corrected” by the perpetually morally superior.  And didn’t even Jesus “turn the other” cheek? Now, now…is that a piece of wood I see sticking out of your eye?”

By the way, which cheek was Jesus turning when He declared the Pharisees a brood of vipers and the Sadducees utterly ignorant of God’s truth?

I’m not saying Christ was a hypocrite.  I’m saying that, as always, context is everything…and is also everything denied by those who run blocker for doctrinal tyranny.  Turning the other cheek is not quite the best option when confronted with rank despotism under the guise of “sound doctrine” and the “enlightened traditions of men”.

That’s the point.

Anyway…in the midst of trying to play nice and wear my dunce cap all neat and straight and tidy in the corner, and with all the humility and navel gazing one would expect from a good little lay person trying to play nice in the neo-Calvinist sandbox (which they fill with broken glass)…yes, it was then I notice that mommy and mommy and daddy have a very convenient way of dealing with little boys that they’d quite rather ship off to a foster home.

You see, getting the left boot of fellowship from a site like West Wing must be done with all due deference to the subliminal.  It can’t be quite that overt, what with the standing on ceremony and waxing eloquent about all the unjust excommunication of people from neo-Calvinist dictatorial collectives for daring to question the “sound doctrine” of the ecclesiastical Marxists.

And…in case you don’t’ remember, this is, in my opinion, precisely what got me put in the corner there.  Yes, under the red herring and hypocritical guise of “tone”–which is just about as broad, vague and nebulous as one can make an excuse for essentially getting rid of someone questioning the “authority” of the Pastor–I was sent away to think about the evil I had done by making some grown-up bloggers cry (who post freely of their own volition, and who are obligated to defend the ideas that they willingly offer) and for being a big meanie to Wayne, who ALSO is frankly on the hook for defending his publicly stated doctrinal beliefs, like Total Depravity, and who apparently is only trying to help people see that the violence which is Calvinism isn’t always so blatantly violent; that there is in fact a nice way of bludgeoning people with sound doctrine.

I guess I got the nice bludgeoning.  That was fun!!

And I submit this is just what happened.  The beginning of the end for me was when I finally decided that Wayne was simply another Calvinist “authority” in Mr. Rodgers clothing.  And I began to demand he answer for his irreconcilable rational larceny.

So what happened?  Simple.  As promised, I was put into “immediate moderation”.  Okay…that’s fine; I can take my Blog Queen spanking like a big boy.  I’m not gonna run from it.  Their blog; their rules.  It’s a free country and I’m all for private property rights.  I made nice with my “tone” and understood I’d have to wait a bit to see my name in “lights” over there.

Cool.

But what they didn’t mention was that my comments would be put in moderation for hours and  hours and hours and hours on end.  Whether on purpose or not I cannot say, but I suspect that Dolly and Dotty are seasoned enough bloggers to recognize the outcome of such a maneuver.  Leaving my comments in moderation for six, seven, eight hours on end, even when I noticed that they were online and blogging and commenting, is certainly long enough for the thread to have moved a million miles from my comment, to where my questions or comments were no longer relevant, and/or were so far away from the actual time I made them that they couldn’t be seen.  This of course had the convenient effect of neutralizing me, without actually having to say:  yes, we BANNED him because we didn’t like what he had to say.

No…they couldn’t quite do that without making the hypocrisy as glaring as the morning sunrise on Mercury.  Plus, that would have required a LOT of cardiovascular stamina for all the backpedaling required to cover up their long history of decrying other blogs for doing that very thing.

The whole point of my little diatribe here is to simply say that once again that wise and rascally metaphysician, John Immel, proves himself right and much more experienced than I.  Whenever someone “warns” you about your “tone”, you must deny it. They are liars.  Tone is nothing.  Words matter.  Anyone blogging comes there of their own free will.  They are on the hook for defending their ideas; and you are NOT on the hook for conceding, through “tone” that they could be right.  That is ridiculous.

For “tone” is the last desperate death cry of a neo-reformed shill who has come face to face with one whom cannot and will not be bludgeoned with ludicrous, false, and destructive pretenses of “sound doctrine” or “orthodoxy”, no matter how great the appeal is to delicate sensibilities.  It is the Calvinist’s version of unleashing of the Kracken of egregious false gnostic and moral superiority upon the barbarian masses in order to maintain control and power over them.  If they can’t get you on the logic, they’ll get you on your “tone”.  And that’s what they got me on.  Sentenced to banishment for “improper tone”.

Now, if that doesn’t sound like good old fashioned Calvinist tyranny and thought-control, I don’t know what does.

My opinion is that someone runs that blog over there at West Wing, and I don’t think its Dolly and Dotty any longer.  Rather, it is merely the same “sound doctrine” which runs unopposed ever more and more in Christendom these days, and pushed by overtly despotic and “altruistic” Calvinists alike. The false humility of appeals like “we just need to love and understand everyone” has lead Dolly and Dotty straight back to the vomit which they, for a while, were so commendably trying to flee.  But approach a Calvinist pastor, nice-guy or not, with “yes, we just need to love one another”, and that stuff is like catnip to these pastors’ remarkable skills of doctrinal manipulation. And wiz-bang-shazamm!!!…the next thing you know you are conceding that “tone” is the real problem in church today.  Ahaaahaaaahaaaa!  LOLOLOLOROTFLMAO!!!!!.  See…we have a NICE Calvinist here with us.  All is well.  And finally it has been revealed: your ATTITUDE is the problem.

Yes…I’ve time-warped back into Sovereign Grace Ministries hell.

Meet the new boss.  Same as the old boss.

Oh, Dolly and Dotty.  It was all for naught.  How quickly we surrender to oppressive ideas when they are presented as angels of light.  How quickly and easily we fall in our hubris: we just need the right men forcing the rest of us in our depravity.

Oh, how quickly we forget that men kill IN THE NAME OF ideas, not in the name of themselves.  It is the doctrine which is the pit.  No matter how nice the guy is who is pushing you into it, if he concedes that the pit is where God says you must go, that is where you will go.

Sigh.

Well, recently at TWW there was a post on Extra Terrestrial life submitted by a guest blogger, who is a self-described “old experimental physicist”, and who uploaded his article and then proceeded to engage the comments section with about as little enthusiasm and time as my children spend eating cold oatmeal.

But hey! One useful thing I learned was that, as an experimental physicist, you can choose not to answer questions you deem “theoretical”.  And since, by definition, any question of physics is “theoretical” because the whole science is pretty much founded on theoretical concepts, it makes not answering really easy when confronted with questions you can’t answer without actually having to admit that you can’t answer them.  And which I submit is exactly the same reason NO physicist has ever entertained my questions.

One such example of one such question being this here, submitted on TWW blog, and, seeing as how it showed up three hours later (which was comparatively short, with respect to the norm) was never answered because no one saw it.  But anyway, this question forms the basis of my next post; a post which will show you how to have fun messing around with both Young and Old Earth apologists by dismantling BOTH arguments as arrogant presumption when aligned with philosophical belief systems such as Christianity.

Here it is:

“If time and space were created at the Big Bang, then it would be impossible to assign a “where” and a “when” to that event, right? Therefore, how do you define its beginning? You can’t really say it happened however many billions of years ago, because, by definition there can be no WHEN (and by extension no WHERE) to its “beginning” since time and space didn’t exist until AFTER the big bang. And so, it is impossible to tell ultimately then how old the universe is…indeed, you cannot even say it had a beginning, because something that is absent a time or place cannot be said to have a beginning.”

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47 thoughts on “Leaping Both Young Earth and Old Earth Arguments in a Single Bound: But first, a TWW rant

  1. “If time and space were created at the Big Bang, then it would be impossible to assign a ‘where’ and a ‘when’ to that event, right? Therefore, how do you define its beginning?”

    It would be the beginning. Rather than speaking of it “having” a beginning, you would speak of it “being” the beginning.

  2. In any case what is the problem with old or young creationism either one? They’re irrelevant. The real issue is the misinterpretation of the so-called “The Fall” story. The Calvinists just use creation as a distraction, a buffer. Everyone who takes Genesis 1 literally doesn’t take the allegory of Adam and the talking snake literally. But they love to convince you that somehow the two must go together.

  3. Hmmmm….

    No…that doesn’t logically follow. How can the Big Bang be THE Beginning when it is impossible to define a where or when to it? Without a “where” or a “when” the whole concept of Beginning simply has no meaning. The beginning must ALWAYS designate a where or when, by definition…and the beginning also cannot be said to be a THING in and of itself. This is impossible. If Beginning is an object, then it can have nothing to do with you or me or a rock or the moon. It is an infinite concept, infinite, and as such, can “start” nothing.

    If it has no time or space, then it can only be of an infinite existential value relative to anything else, which means that it cannot have any “parts”. Which means it cannot be the beginning without also being the end, and the middle…it is simply what it is. And moreover, it cannot be the beginning OF anything, because if it is the INFINITE Beginning, then there can exist nothing to it but itself. It can then have no causal power whatsoever. Nothing can be a direct function of it.

    By your definition, the only thing that can be said of it is that it is The Beginning…which is an absolute statement, and cannot be qualified, quantified, nor added to. If the Big Bang is THE beginning of the universe, then the universe is a direct function of it. This of course is impossible unless you can give the Big Bang a VALUE of some kind…but you can’t because, as I said, it has no where nor when to it. Which means it is mutually exclusive to space and time; the very things it is said to have “started”. For the Big Bang to be the beginning of time, it cannot be INFINITE in regards to time; if it is the beginning of space, then it cannot be INFINITE in regards to space. For space and time cannot be functions of NO space or time. And of course the converse is true…if space and time actually have a beginning, then space and time must be static (e.g. NOT themselves a function of space or time), in which case NO value of an object in space or on the timeline can be given because space and time are themselves INFINITE (again, NOT a function of space or time). In other words, “static time” or “static space” is a contradiction in terms. Irreconcilable. So whether space and time move, or whether they are static, they can only have an infinite value, which means that it is impossible then to quantify any OBJECT according to them…it only will work if they are purely ABSTRACT, which they are.

    But the logic gets your “beginning” argument it at the other end of the spectrum, too. If the Big Bang has a where and a when, then it did not start space or time. Therefore, it cannot by definition be the beginning of anything at all, especially if we concede that objects are functions of space or time.

    This is all to say that “beginning” and “end” and “old” and “young” are, once again, mere human abstract concepts used to define the relative movement of objects. There is no real such thing as old or new, beginning or end, because space and time do not actually exist. Values of them, thus, are merely arbitrary. Humans agree on the concept, but the concept does not poof into existence merely because humans are able to organize their environment abstractly.

  4. The problem, I submit, is that you have two groups of people, “Christians” conceding that a Primary Conscience actually EXISTS in the form of “time”. The more people accept that they are merely extensions of EXTERNAL-to-themselves “natural laws”, or the “sovereignity of God”, or whatever other other mystic flavor of the month is, the more the value of the human being depreciates. The easier it is to slaughter them in the name of what REALLY exists; which is that mysterious force behind the scenes, determining your every move, and which only the few privileged gnostic “divines” are enlightened to.

  5. “No…that doesn’t logically follow. How can the Big Bang be THE Beginning when it is impossible to define a where or when to it? Without a “where” or a “when” the whole concept of Beginning simply has no meaning.”

    Because we aren’t talking about the beginning of the big bang, but of the big bang as the beginning of everything else. If time starts at the big bang, then the big bang is the beginning, despite having no time prior to that to assign a beginning to the big bang.

    At some point it has to be acknowledge there is a paradox, since logically nothing should exist. I mean seriously. There is no logical reason that anything should exist. Yet stuff exists. There’s a paradox that can’t be explained, ever.

    “This is all to say that ‘beginning’ and ‘end’ and ‘old’ and ‘young’ are, once again, mere human abstract concepts used to define the relative movement of objects.”

    They are abstractions, but they are necessary abstractions. This is where you and I differ. I say they are not merely human abstractions — they are God’s abstractions. Because such concepts are necessary to any rational being in order to be rational. To deny these concepts altogether is to descend into madness. If God denied them, we really would have a Calvinistic lunatic god on our hands.

  6. James,

    I’ve said it before and I’ll do it again until everyone agrees with me. I’m not tired. LOL

    Something that is NOT time cannot START time. Time by definition is itself a contradictory concept, which is why it cannot possibly be real which means it cannot possibly have been “started”. To say that time has a “beginning” without actually valuing that beginning in anyway except to say that it IS is madness, not my perspective. IF the beginning of time has no where or when then it is infinite. A thing that is infinite cannot “start” or “create” something that is FINITE. It is not possible. As Argo’s Universal Truth number seven says: Anything that proceeds directly from an absolute IS the absolute. If an infinite beginning “starts” time then time is infinite. And as such, there can be no VALUE of time given to anything.

    If time has a beginning, that is, is NOT itself a function of time, then it is infinite. If time constantly moves and has NO beginning, then time is infinite. In either case, time cannot exist EXCEPT as a mental construct, purely derivative of man’s ability to abstract.

    I will never concede paradox. Never. Paradox is merely the appeal that the root of all existential truth is utterly irrational and contradictory. Paradox simply cannot be TRUTH. Mystery cannot be TRUTH. This is the VERY same thing as conceding that YOU are not YOU; that what is you is mutually exclusive to what MUST be true, which means reasonable and knowable, for you to exist. YOU are merely some extension of whatever unknowable “paradox”/power/consciousness is “out there” somewhere in the ether.

    Plus, there is no need to concede paradox. I am not denying that time is not a useful and efficacious abstraction. It is! But creating a cognitive construct does not give it causal power over reality. Love and art are efficacious abstractions, too…am I now to concede that they too exist as some “thing”, out there, which is the “form” of what I observe to be art and love, or do I acknowledge that art and love, while useful and efficacious for affirming life and human worth, are not real “forms”, but are ways in which I am able to organize my surroundings?

  7. “A thing that is infinite cannot “start” or “create” something that is FINITE.”

    Why not? If you can create maxims out of thin air, why can’t God create the world? (Because in common parlance, God is infinite, the world finite; so your claim sounds like atheism.)

    “If an infinite beginning ‘starts’ time then time is infinite.”

    There is Time and there is time. Both are relative. Time is relative to the speed of the clock ticks in God’s head. time is relative to the creation, and the celestial bodies.

    So Time has no beginning, but time has a beginning. See what I did there?

    Because Time is a necessary concept of rational thought, Time is as infinite as God. But time is as finite as creation. Its the distinction between God’s Time and our time. Although both are really the same time, that is, time is inside Time. The time counted by the celestial bodies is subsumed inside the Time that is counted by the clock ticks of God’s head. (I’m a computer scientist, so I think of time in terms of CPU ticks. That may clarify a lot. God’s head is the universal CPU, the absolute standard of Time. Time is relative to an absolute, the speed of God’s mental CPU ticks.)

    The paradox is nothing can exist without a maker. Yet, we must posit some first thing that did so. Whether like the atheist we posit that the universe just always existed, or whether we posit that God always existed, in either case, we are admitting the paradox that although by the rule that nothing can exist without a maker, nothing should exist, yet stuff does exist so some first thing had to break the rule.

    “But creating a cognitive construct does not give it causal power over reality.” It need not have any “power over reality” if we deny that the future is knowable since it hasn’t happened yet.

  8. “Why not? If you can create maxims out of thin air, why can’t God create the world? (Because in common parlance, God is infinite, the world finite; so your claim sounds like atheism.)”

    What maxims, pray tell, have I created out of thin air? And if they are out of thin air, then how can they possibly exist? A maxim isn’t a THING which is created…you cannot create something out of nothing, by definition. A maxim is a cognitive construct used by my brain to describe what I observe. Nothing more. It is not actual…it is THOUGHT. The only way to describe it as actual is to say it is a series of neurological impulses from my brain. But this makes the maxim ME, for you cannot separate what is my brain from what is ME. So, in claiming that I create “maxims out of thin air” (veiled insult?) you are merely claiming that I have created what has already existed: Me; my brain.

    And when you claim that God is doing the same thing by “creating” out of thin air, you paint yourself into the same contradictory corner they ALL do in the end who support “first cause”…metaphysical destruction. IF God created “out of thin air”, then God merely created what already existed: Himself. Which is an impossible metaphysical contradiction. Because that makes Creation, God, and YOU ultimately a mere extension of Him, and so there is no YOU at all to even be arguing your point.

    Further, you still do not understand where I am coming from; I wonder if you are listening to me at all. I never have claimed that God is infinite and the world finite. How do you arrive at that? My point is and has always been that there is NO such thing as “finite”. For ALL that is is at its root ultimately infinite because ALL interaction between objects is relative. If you put yourSELF in a vacuum, there is NO such thing as anything but YOU…the only way to describe YOU is YOU ARE, period, because ANY other idea is impossible to measure. What is up? You. What is a mile? You. What is time? You. There is NOTHING else there so nothing else can actually exist except that which is purely abstract. This does not change when you introduce “other”. It merely means that now you have two (or more) infinite “selves” relating RELATIVELY. And from that relative relationship, a self aware “self” will create abstractions in order to effectively organize the relationship.

    Abstractions are not “necessary”, they are merely the logical outcome of how a self aware affirms the actual existence of other “selves”. Necessary is purely subjective. The only REAL value is the SELF, because self is infinite at its root. We therefore value SELF above ALL because that is the only value which is reasonable. The affirmation of YOU via the affirmation of OTHER is the only objective value…that is, because SELF, known by OTHER is all that ACTUALLY exists.

  9. ” that is, time is inside Time.”

    James, with respect, that is a contradiction in terms. If time is a function of time, then THAT time must be a function of another time, which is another, and another. Time, if it is actual, is absolute. If it is absolute, it is infinite, and as such, nothing can exist “in it” because time is time is time. There is no room for a relationship with that which is utterly ITSELF. Time cannot have a beginning because time is time, period. There is no way to qualify ANYTHING by that which has an undefined value by definition.

    If everything that exists has a maker, then what made God? If God is the only uncreated thing, then anything which He subsequently creates is merely “Himself”; because He is an absolute HIMSELF. There is nothing besides Him which exists. Since it is impossible for God to make something out of nothing, because in order for nothing to be truly nothing it must remain nothing, then the only thing God can make is a manifestation of Himself. Which means that Creation IS God, and thus is infinite, and thus cannot have its own “time” or “space”. It just IS in the same way God is.

    God MUST have created out of SOMETHING which already existed infinitely along with Him. There must be a definite separation between what is God, and what is NOT God. This is impossible according to your metaphysics. IF God is the “first cause”, then nothing exists that is not ultimately merely Himself.

  10. “if we deny that the future is knowable since it hasn’t happened yet”

    But in this statement you are still conceding that “future” is ACTUAL. The fact that we don’t know it is irrelevant. In fact, if it is REAL, then we are all determined, and as such we can’t know anything at all because there is no US to know…”we” are merely whatever force moves us along the time line.

    If the future is a “given”, because it is actual, then we WILL do SOMETHING in “the future”, and if the future exists, then in that actual future, whatever it is, is ALREADY done. Whether we “know” it or not makes no difference…it already IS, so our choice is purely an illusion. This is why ALL time must be denied. If you claim that there IS a real future, then you MUST concede determinism.

    And once we do this, we might as well just concede the entire theological argument over to the Calvinists. If you want to defeat them in favor of TRUTH, you have got to stop flat out handing them the argument on a silver platter.

  11. Argo, Your experience at TWW is why I no longer believe that sides matter in any discussion or debate whether political or concerning Christianity. Only a quest for rational truth matters.

    I saw this same thing in politics for so many years. The liberals are as bad as the fundy conservatives in censoring and wanting to micromanage our lives but do liberals see this? Nope. Only the right wing is bad. Ceasar is a good master and we only want people to starve. They use the same methods the fundy conservatives do but cannot see it. That is why your “tone” became the problem. You were also “hurt” by SGM so are not rational. Same methods. That is why we have become a non thinking nation. Everything is about this now. We are a nation controlled by false feelings. We are a nation that cares more about being liked than seeking truth.

    If you had been there trashing victims instead of arguing for their value/freedom, that would be one thing. But you weren’t. In fact, old Jimmy got more freedom to comment longer than you did and he insulted victims like crazy. That is what shocked me.

  12. Argo, Are you saying that humans bring meaning to the abstract which is not measurable? And sometimes the meanings are accepted without being thought out? Is that not what “time” is? An Abstract that we have tried to make measurable and from there give it more meaning than it deserves?

  13. “If the future is a ‘given’, because it is actual, then we WILL do SOMETHING in ‘the future’, and if the future exists, then in that actual future, whatever it is, is ALREADY done.”

    I don’t think that all things that are “actual” exist now. This is precisely the problem. By denying time any actuality, you’ve made everything exist now, including the future. If time is no longer involved in separating the present from the future, then the future is actual now. If it is actual now, it can be known. But since there is no time, nothing makes sense anymore anyway. How do you have present or future without time? Everything is all at once. If everything is all at once, nothing ever happens. Without time, there is nothing. Yet we see there is something.

    “IF God created ‘out of thin air’, then God merely created what already existed: Himself.”

    Well, if he didn’t create “out of thin air” he couldn’t create anything because there was nothing existing to create anything out of.

    But the problem with your statement is that you are making God just one property: I’m not sure which property. But if God created a pencil out of thin air, how is that pencil God? It can’t think, but God can. It can’t create out of thin air, but God can. I don’t follow the claim that if God created out of thin air he created another Himself.

  14. True, I have never seen Argo post an insensitive or cruel comment toward victims. Neither does he promote or teach destructive doctrines that harm them even more.

    Feeling really angry and bold, better stop here, LOL…

  15. Oasis,

    Thank you for that. I really appreciate it.

    You are correct…my entire objective is to AFFIRM individual human worth; to proclaim that SELF is the only TRUE objective value. That one cannot love God without first affirming their own inherent goodness and worth before Him…that true love is derivative of wholly accepting one’s moral perfection (made even more visceral through Christ); that people are the sole owners of their minds and bodies and property. This was God’s intention for man in the beginning, and is now utterly fulfilled in Christ.

    I take to task those who place man at the mercy of some “force” OUTSIDE of himself. Those who peddle mystic determinism that makes man the property of whatever “primary conscience” is the flavor of the month: the marxist collective, the “local church body”, God’s “sovereign will”, the “laws of nature and the “language” of the heavens: mathematical proofs and theorems”, the nothings which are valued as somethings: space and time.

    This ruffles some feathers because it wholly challenges those ideas that we hold to be axiomatic: first cause, past/present/future, election/foreknowledge/prediction/predestination…and people simply don’t like their long cherished beliefs assaulted, and yes, I’m not shy about it. Because I have come to understand that at the root of all these ideas is “paradox”…which is nothing more than a rational contradiction in terms, which means that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS TRUTH because all is rooted in two mutually exclusive fundamentals.

    Even with James and me going at it…you’ll notice that he ultimately appeals to “paradox” as the ROOT of his argument. (James,,,if you are reading here, no disrespect by talking about you; feel free to respond to my points).

    And this is the problem. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, we can offer no REAL response to Calvinism and its destructive application because the SEED of out own argument is PARADOX. Well…if you concede that ultimately the HOW of our being is unknowable, then you must concede the WHY of our being is unknowable because there can be no TRUTH without both how and why, because they are direct functions of each other.

    From then on, it is merely–as John Immel often likes to say–a question of “how much”. How much liberty are we willing to trade in order to stand on the side of “sound doctrine”. If we an concede paradox one, then how can we turn around and deny paradox two, or three, or four…and so on? If truth is ultimately rooted in paradox, then it is simply a matter of brute FORCE ultimately. He or she who has the power to compel you towards whichever paradox or paradoxes is/are the “right” one. Paradox then is nothing more than appealing to a particular primary conscience, and once again, man does not really OWN himself. He is merely the extension of the external conscience. And hello tyranny.This is where paradox always takes us.

    There is no real truth because truth can only be a function of REASON; of ideas that are compatible with both God and man’s existential reality and explain both in a way that does not contradict the reality of everything we observe. In order to live, we MUST acknowledge that zero cannot equal SOMETHING. That it is impossible for NOTHING to produce SOMETHING. If the root of all existence is the opposite of this idea, then truly, we have no way to establish any TRUTH because we have conceded that ALL that IS has sprung out of NOTHING. NOTHING forms the root of all existence. If this is true, then EVERYTHING we see is an illusion. There is no way to combat any despotic idea because by definition we have conceded that TRUTH can never be observed; and thus, can never be apprehended.

  16. Hmmm…

    Let me see. I’m trying to figure out how to word this better, because I feel like I’m failing here.

    What I am saying is not that the meaning of time and space are bad, or false…but the PRESUMPTION that that are actual OUTSIDE of the purely theoretical—outside of actual, physical OBJECTS–is a false presumption. And a destructive one, because, as I said to James, as soon as you concede that the future is some THING that exists outside of YOU (as the primary object I am interested in) then you have conceded categorical determinism. Because the future must contain then the actions of the objects which make up the RELEVANT future…that is, your future actions. If the future exists, then those actions ALREADY are, which means that all YOU have to do is go through the determined motions in order to OBSERVE those future actions in the present. Choice is an illusion. We can choose, but ultimately, in the future, which we have conceded is REAL outside of us, whatever “is going to happen” has already happened. It is simply a matter of these “future events” becoming observable in the “present”.

    But if we concede that choice is REAL, that WE make the “future”, then we concede that future is and can only be a cognitive abstraction. The actions of the “future” only become ACTUAL when WE, as the object, engage our will to act. And as such, the “future” then is US. WE are the past, present and future, because none of these actually EXIT until WE, the object, ACT.

    So then, the only actual, physical, and real constant is YOU. EVERYTHING is derivative of YOU, and nothing exists outside of YOU. YOU are always and inexorably WHEN and WHERE you are, literally speaking. And so the future is merely another way we conceptualize our actions, or movement. To say I WILL go to the store does not mean the FUTURE is real. We are merely conceptualizing a particular ACTION, or movement in order to communicate effectively with other people. What you WILL do is purely a theoretical concept. It is only REAL when YOU DO it. And since YOU, the only real object, cannot actually DO anything in the future, the future cannot possibly be actual. The only actual thing is is YOU, and so past, present, future are purely abstract derivatives of YOUR movement. And because of this, YOU are always NOW. You can never be past, present or future. You can, by definition, only be YOU. Period.

  17. James,

    For the first part of your comment, please see my response to Lydia. I answer this precisely.

    For the second part of your comment:

    Yes, I am making God a property. The property of God. And I am drawing a stark and NECESSARY existential/metaphysical/physical boundary between God and NOT God (meaning “Creation”).

    This boundary simply cannot exist in your construct. And here is why…and yes, I understand this is controversial, it DOES fly in the face of first cause. But I am telling you first cause makes EVERYTHING God. It cannot possibly be true because it cannot subvert the utterly impenetrable logic of this statement: Whatever proceeds DIRECTLY from an absolute IS the absolute…there can be NO rational difference.

    If, in the “beginning”, the only thing which exists is God, then creation MUST be made out of God because by definition NOTHING else exists. If nothing (being NOTHING, again, by definition) exists besides God, then there is nothing for God to make creation “out of”, except Himself. Which means Creation IS God. Because, since God is an absolute (He IS what He is…the only objective, non-relative definition of God being: GOD, which is why He refers to Himself simply as I AM), and derivative of Himself MUST only equal: Himself. There is no other way to define it. If it is from God, and God is ALL that exists, then it IS GOD.

    The only way to get around this is to somehow say that from nothing, God made something. Which is an impossible contradiction in terms. For nothing to be truly nothing, it can NEVER produce SOMETHING because that destroys the concept of NOTHING. Now, you might argue that God just “thinks” things into existence. But if ALL is God, what exactly is He thinking about? If all is God, what exactly is he abstracting into a “reality”, into a “maxim”. All means ALL. If ALL is God, then God’s “thoughts” are God; God’s mind is God, God’s creative power is God; God’s speaking is God; His words are God; His ideas are God. There is NOTHING but God, and so again, anything which is “created” must only be God.

    In addition, NOTHING,then is absolute. So, anything created from NOTHING can only be valued at NOTHING, because you cannot give a value of SOMETHING to whatever is produced by the absolute of NOTHING.

    The idea of “first cause”; or the “uncaused cause” is impossible to rationalize unless you concede that there was something God “created out of” which existed along with HIm, infinitely. This is the only RATIONAL conclusion…and even this must be qualified so that the ABILITY of Creation to become itself still resides within itself…other wise, it is, again, nothing more than an extension of God.

  18. Thanks, Lydia,

    That’s a good point about Jimmy. I guess they didn’t consider him a threat.

    I really believe this all started when I went after Wade’s doctrinal fallacies. He didn’t like that, and made it known loud and clear “behind the scenes”, I think. It was after I started attacking Wades false ideas that Dee really started to be very nasty towards me. This is how I see it.

    This is scary because it just shows that “pastoral authority” is still the plumb line for truth. Like I said before, the worst thing that Wartburg Watch did was bring in Wade Burelson to do e-church. Instead of a beacon of truth it has become Wade’s neo-Calvinist propaganda machine in my opinion.

    Very sad.

    One thing I promise, you will NEVER see a pastor front and center on this blog. EVER. Even Paul Dohse has started to refer to himself as a “pastor”, and I must admit I’m disappointed. It is no secret that I think “pastor” is a fake job. It may have been relevant in the NT times, but now, with all the information out there, lay people are every bit as competent to lead and teach. Pastors are utterly superfluous.

    Insisting on the “need” of a “pastor” is nothing more than declaring that somehow some guy has some special line to God, and is in a position to declare “truth” for the rest of us. and even has a secret (or not-so-secret) mandate to FORCE the masses. I hate this idea from the bottom of my soul.

    I love Paul Dohse, but I won’t sit in front of him when he has his “pastor” hat on.

  19. Your argument is hard for me to follow but I think it boils down to:

    “If God creates out of nothing, then whatever he creates is equal to God. But if some thing existed co-eternally with God and God creates things out of that, then what he creates is not equal to God.”

    Your argument seems completely backwards to me.

  20. Or maybe you’re saying we all only exist inside God’s head as thoughts. But in that case I’d say you’re falling prey to the very Platonic doctrine of ideal forms that you are trying to reject.

  21. Personally, I think “pastor” is meant to be somewhat of a temporary function, anyway. If you have the gift of shepherding a new believer– the point is for them to move on to function within their own gifiting. So it would not be the same people all the time.

    Pastor has nothing to do with preaching and if you notice, in the NT, most “preaching” went on outside the body and within the body anyone could have the floor. So the whole thing as we know it is contrived to fit the “specially anointed” caste system.

    I think the whole thing is becoming obsolete in our day and time. These days many pastors get their ideas from other pastors and the internet. We could do that. Internet is changing everything and one thing I think it is going to change eventually is fewer people are going to think it efficient or productive to sit and stare at a stage to be “taught” when they cannot interact with the one teaching.

  22. There is an implication in 1 Cor 14 that asking questions was allowed. “If a woman has a question let her ask her husband at home.” Doesn’t this imply that Paul was allowing men to ask questions of the speaker?

  23. Yep. but men were allowed to ask questions in the synagogue too. Women were not as they were separated. Some scholars think those verses sound so much like what is in the Mishna/Talmud that Paul was repeating a question asked of him (as he does in other places in the same book and some translations use quotes but are not consistent) and answering. His answer is indicative he was poo pooing the question. “What? The word of God came to YOU???? ”

    Reading that as if women could not ask questions is silly as women are “prophesying” in chapter 11 and the early church was made up of many widows and unmarried women. You would need a husband to ask a question?

  24. “If God creates out of nothing…”

    James, I don’t know how to explain this concept to you in a way you will grasp. I’m failing at this. Or you are. One of us is. Words…mean things…and what you JUST WROTE “If God creates out of nothing…” is a complete contradiction in terms. (I’m repeating myself here.)

    No, you don’t understand my position correctly at ALL. What I am saying and have been saying is that, no, God CANNOT create something out of nothing, by DEFINITION. For nothing to be truly nothing, it must be ABSOLUTE nothing. Which means it is impossible to create any THING out of nothing because nothing can only ever beget NOTHING. How can I make this clearer.

    IF all that is in the “beginning” is God, and God must create out of SOMETHING because it is impossible for God to creating from NOTHING, by definition, then the only THING which exists to make anything out of is God (remember, in your construct, all that existed in the beginning was God). And this, if ascribe to “first cause”, you can only concede that ALL which is formed was formed from the only thing which existed: God.

    So, the logic follows as:

    God = The ONLY thing existing in the “beginning”
    SOMETHING = That from which something “else” is created, because NOTHING cannot produce something
    God = The only SOMETHING which exists in the beginning
    So then God MUST = “creation”, because Creation must be derived from something, and the only something in existence is God.

    And what follows then is the Platonist “forms” which I rightly and rationally oppose.

    The ONLY way you can avoid the contradiction which blazes from your premises is to concede that God is NOT the ONLY thing which existed in the beginning. That other objects–particles perhaps–have always existed and from which Creation sprung.

    But STILL, even in this scenario the MOST God can do is perhaps allow for the interaction of these other objects…how they form into what they are still must be WHOLLY a function of themselves in order to absolve God from divine determinism. If God is the SOURCE of not only their interaction but HOW they interact, or is their root ability to BECOME Creation, then we’ve merely arrived at the same conclusion: that Creation is an extension of God, nothing more. What “they” do, or how “they” act is illusory. What they do and how they act returns squarely to God, Himself. HE is their ability to ACT…and in this way, there is no metaphysical distinction between what they are and what God is. God IS the actions of all creation…which, er, makes him culpable for all of man’s moral failings, by the way.

    So IF we want to concede that free will is truly free, then we must concede that man is the SOURCE of his own ability to exist, not God.

    And I’ve already thought through the “wind up toy soldier argument”. This is apples and oranges. You may wind up a doll and send it waddling across the floor, but YOU are not the root ability of the doll to EXIST as a doll. The ability of all the parts of the doll to become a doll is founded in the parts THEMSELVES. The ability of the molecules to interact the way they interact to form parts which can then be made into a doll that you wind up belongs to the MOLECULES, or the atoms, or the particles. Not to you.

    The ability of whatever existed with God to interact and form Creation must be rooted FIRST in their own ability to BE and to ACT. If God is the source of their ability to be and act, then, again, there is no real difference then between them and God.

  25. “one thing I think it is going to change eventually is fewer people are going to think it efficient or productive to sit and stare at a stage to be “taught” when they cannot interact with the one teaching.”

    I heartily agree with this statement.

  26. I think you are taking “out of nothing” too literally, as if nothing was a substance like wood and God chopped of a bit of nothing and made something out of it. “Out of nothing” just means he made something exist without making it out of anything.

  27. James,

    How do you take “out of nothing” too literally?

    No, I’m saying nothing is nothing. Your last sentence is the same logical fallacy just restated.

    What, exactly, did he make exist if he made IT (what is) out of NOTHING (what is NOT).

    How exactly do you define such an object?

    He made a “wiget” you might say.

    What is that? How does that get a value, a meaning, a definition if its source is nothing…that is, ZERO value?

  28. This was my point about the paradox, the only one I will allow. Logically nothing should exist. Because how can anything come into existence from nothing? So there should be nothing. Yet there is something. That’s a paradox and one we’re stuck with. Because God himself violates this rule. How does he exist when there should only be nothing? He just does.

  29. When I say “made from nothing” I don’t mean “made of nothing.” Things made from nothing are made of something. God makes something exist where once there was nothing. Then he makes something of it. Instead of saying making it from nothing, you could say calling things into existence that did not previously exist. Like in a video game where a non-player character suddenly appears in the game. It just appears, it “spawns” but it wasn’t created from things that were already in play.

  30. James, you can try all you like, but there is simply no way around your self-admitted paradox. In the video game, the characters do not stem from nothing…the programming exists to spawn them; the game system, the TV, the electricity…the characters are merely the reorganization of components which already are…and even that is a poor example of God’s creation.

    The point that I’m still trying to convey to you is that NOTHING by definition cannot exist…it can only be a mere cognitive abstraction. NOTHING is not real. Nothing cannot possibly exist because then it is something. To say that God creates something where there was nothing is to say that nothing was THERE. Impossible. No thing can be made from nothing because there is no such ACTUAL thing as nothing. To say a thing is made from nothing is the precise same thing as saying it is made OF nothing. There is no difference. If it is made from God, it is God. If it is made from nothing it is OF nothing because nothing is NOT real. Only SOMETHING actually exists…and in your “first cause” construct, the only something existing is God; which means Creation IS God. There is no difference. God “spoke” into existence…into nothing?

    That makes no sense. If God is ALL there is, what can God speak? Himself. What can He think? Himself. How does He act? Himself. His mind is God, his voice is God, his eyes are God…He is the infinite ALL. He has no parts. He cannot abstract because abstractions are merely cognitive constructs organizing observations of OTHER objects. But if God can only see Himself, because only HE exists, and He is ALL, then He only observes HIMSELF. In which case, what are God’s abstractions? Himself.

    James…you cannot get around this. You can only cry paradox…which is ALWAYS where tyranny starts. Who gets to decide which paradox is TRUTH, James? The Christians? The Muslims. The Marxists? Paul of Tarsus? Argo of Unreforming Theology? Wade Burelson at Wartburg Watch? To which mystery do we compel people by the sword and the guillotine when they demand rational PROOF and there is none to be had because existence is rooted in irreconcilable ideas?

  31. What can God think when he is all that exists? You say he can only think himself. But that implies he lacks imagination. Since its obvious we have imagination, some first person must have had imagination; hence God has imagination and created us to have imagination. I don’t see how you can get around the idea of a first principle. Note, I say first principle not first cause. There must be a fountain head, yet that fountain head does not predetermine the entire lives of the fish that live in the spring.

  32. James,

    What is imagination? How do you have imagination when all that exists is YOU? You are struggling with the concept of ALL. If God is ALL, then his “imagination” is HIMSELF. There is no “thought” because thought IS God because God is ALL there is. So, yes…He lacks imagination because imagination is merely HIMSELF in your construct.

    Abstract concepts like “imagination” cannot possibly exist in your construct. Imagination is yet ANOTHER way man qualifies relative movement between himself and “others”. It is rooted in the relative separation of man, his mind, and his environment. But if man, his mind, and his environment are the same thing..that is, have no relative separation, then you cannot somehow have imagination exist as a SEPARATE thing. It is simply: MAN

    Appealing to abstractions like “imagination” just don’t work in an existential reality which is mutually exclusive to them. God is God. He has no distance, no up, no down, no movement, no here, no there, no past, no future, no thought, no will, no imagination…ALL is God. None of those ideas can possibly exist unless there is ALREADY something God is relating to. Which doesn’t exist in you “first principle” construct.

  33. “What is imagination? How do you have imagination when all that exists is YOU?”

    Well, if God didn’t have imagination when all that existed was Him, then we wouldn’t be here. So the question is purely academic. He obviously did have it.

    No, I’m not saying imagination “exists as a separate thing” — its a property of our nature, thus proper to us not external. And the same goes for God’s imagination — its not a rival deity existing alongside him, its a property of his nature.

  34. No…in your construct, He could NOT have had imagination. All was HIM. There is no room for any other qualification in your premise. You are once again conceding paradox, nothing more.

    Imagination is an abstraction. Property is an abstraction. Nature is an abstraction. These are constructs we use to organize our relative existence with other things that exist WITH us, no before or after us. The only REAL constant is the physical SELF. And so, in the absence of any other with which to relate, none of these abstractions are possible…and even more, are utterly redundant and pointless.

    It is not academic, it is the difference between developing a reasonable metaphysic, and a “shrug”.

  35. I don’t think what you are arguing has anything to do with metaphysics. I think its basically nihilism. “Property is an abstraction.” Yes, but a necessary abstraction. The problem is you won’t recognize the concept of necessary abstractions. Granted, the concept of necessary abstractions is itself a necessary abstraction. But this is what metaphysics is : a bunch of abstractions for the purpose of defining the reality above or beyond the physical which is the underpinning of the physical. Meta = above/beyond. You also won’t acknowledge that anything non-physical exists, which makes your doctrine by definition NOT metaphysics. And yet, its also obviously not physics. So I’m at a loss for a word or an abstraction to describe it.

  36. Finding ultimate TRUTH can only be a function of that which exists. This is not nihilism in the least. My perspective is that truth is real. You are setting up false assumptions and then knocking them down and claiming that by your inability to separate what is physical and what is abstract in your mind you have won the argument. That is not going to work. You have already ADMITTED that the root of what you believe is a paradox.

    I have already won the debate right there by forcing you to concede that you cannot then, by definition know truth. Your definition of metaphysics apparently is to decide which paradox is the “right” one, when no such argument can be made rationally…again, by definition.

    Metaphysics is the search for an explanation of the fundamental nature of being. It is not a search for a “spiritual” answer to existence. Your understanding is false, not mine. My metaphysic is rooted in the premise that all that exists MUST be actual…must be something. Whether we abstract the relative relationship between these things is irrelevant, and by no means proves your point that existence is somehow a strange combination between what is physical (meaning actual) and what is not. By making the strange claim of “necessary abstraction” which you have YET to define, by the way, you are attempting simply to return to your fundamental premise:

    That TRUTH is at its root a paradox.

    You want to argue that something can exist from and of nothing. You cannot win that argument, so you instead tell me that I have my definitions wrong. Not classy James.

    You’ve already conceded paradox. You cannot backpedal now.

  37. “And yet, its also obviously not physics. So I’m at a loss for a word or an abstraction to describe it.”

    My perspectives are more physical than physics, and thus my METAphysics are going to be more rational.

    The reason you cannot understand my perspective is because you are unable to remove your thinking from the Platonist understanding of the world which has tyrannized man for thousands of years…the idea that “reality” is founded upon things which are not “real” (not physical). You are wholly committed to the idea that what cannot be observed (i.e. physical)–that what is wholly exclusive to physical reality is nonetheless real. And even though by definition you have no MEANS of actually arguing rationally this belief, you continue to insist that is nonetheless true, never realizing that TRUTH is the very thing which MUST elude you by your own admission!

    James, we are talking in circles here. My premise is simple: Nothing can come from NOTHING.

    You can tell me I don’t understand definitions, my vocabulary is wrong, that your lack of understanding is proof that my argument is flawed (as opposed to your thinking). But there is absolutely no way to defend your idea in a way that winds up anywhere except the cul de sac of “paradox”. That is fine…but know that at your root you are a mystic, no different than the Calvinists you pretend to oppose. .

    When you can explain how nothing equals something in a way that does not contradict itself, then we can continue this conversation. Otherwise it has run its course.

    Finally, how you can claim that I do not understand the meaning of “metaphysical” when by definition TRUTH must be utterly absent your argument, because it is rooted in NOTHING, is totally laughable. There is no such thing as meaning when paradox is TRUTH.

  38. James,

    I the only objective value is the value of what IS, not what is NOT. Your definition of nihilism is flawed. You want to find meaning in what is NOT. This is impossible.

    Also, there is no such thing as a “necessary abstraction”. Man may abstract, man may not. That is all you can say. What is “necessary” without context? If the context comes first, then what is necessary is purely SUBJECTIVE. In which case, at its root, “necessary’ is purely relative, and thus, is not “necessary” at all.

    God does not abstract, except in response to man. God does not NEED abstraction. Why would God need abstraction to organize his environment when by definition he has NO environment?

    James…your problem is that you have not spent nearly enough time thinking about what I am telling you. That is clear. I cannot have a rational debate with you when you are so convinced in your own truth that you won’t take the time to think about what I say. Your constant false interpretations of my argument is proof that you are not really trying to understand me; simply defend your own assertions.

    Trust me, my arguments are not that easy to dismantle…and I suspect you know it. Now, you need to go and think about why.

    You already lost the debate when you conceded paradox, again. You cannot now backpedal by telling me I’m ignorant of the vocabulary.

  39. James,

    My deepest apologies for calling you a mystic. That was an unwarranted insult, and I regret it. Sometimes the “post comment” button is hit faster than the rational “delete button” in my mind. And then the “you dumbass” blue screen indicating an interpersonal crash flickers in my head and I realize that I, once again, helped no one with my words. Which…is not at all what I’m going for here.

    I know that you are no mystic in your heart. Sorry to have said that.

  40. Lydia,

    Thanks! I’m glad you like the new format. I had to change. If you are anything like me, you do a lot of reading of comments on your phone. There was something REALLY weird about how the comments would show up on my phone. The boxes would just get narrower and narrower until the messages were just a series of single letters going vertically down the page. Totally annoying.

    I think this format works a bit better, but we’ll see.

  41. What I meant by the “nihilism” comment is it sounds like you are saying nothing exists but God, everything is God. If that’s the case, we aren’t real, hence nihilism,

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