Hi all,

I wanted to start a discussion to listen to adherents and hear what they have to tell us based on some questions I'd like to pose to them. In other words, I want to sincerely play the role of a seeker and ask them how I would know that their god is The One, True God. The purpose is not to deconvert or convert, I just want to walk through a seeker conversation where I'm allowed to ask questions of adherents and see what they have to say ... to listen. I am willing to expand on what I mean by "The One, True God" if a reader asks for that, to the extent that I think the definition is sufficient for the discussion.

This is the adherent's golden opportunity to proselytize; to convert me.

In order to do this effectively I need to ask the adherent for their imprimatur on a rule by which I can do this without bogging it down so that I can never get my questions asked. So, here it is. I'll ask a question as a hypothetical. It may be that there are more assumptions to the hypothetical that one could add, but I'll ask for the sake of discussion that we allow only the assumptions of the hypothetical I offer. This way, I can at least get through a few questions. If someone thinks the assumptions are insufficient just state that with your answer and we'll accept that as your answer informed by the assumptions of the question.

So, here's my question. I'll ask it and see if I can get a useful answer, recalling that I am a lifelong atheist who has never believed and who is sincerely trying to sort out all the gods out there and figure out which one to follow:

How do I know that your god is The One, True God?

Tags: Evangelical, Socrates, adherents, atheism, atheists, conversion, debate, deconversion

Views: 1739

Replies to This Discussion

Hey,

I could say this yet another way:

What I'm trying to get at is what is the more likely source of the belief that Helios is The One, True God?

Of two choices given, which would you pick first:

Confirmation Bias or

the fact that Helios is The One, True God (his chariot did fly across the sky)

Provided the odds of the two choices given are not 0% the question is not malformed in any way.

- kk

Kir - yes, I see what you mean.  We're ambiguous, I feel.  What does it actually mean to say The One True God?  The one who pulls the sun across the sky?  Or the one who created the universe?  It would always have to be the latter.  Did the Greeks think that Helios was The One, True God?  Or just the boss of the gods?  Is that the same thing?  I don't believe so. 

Hey,

If you think it's ambiguous I can clear it up for you quickly. Your objection seems to be that Helios could be a lesser god and that there could exist some greater god that is the Creator, correct?

- kk

Hey,

Kir - yes.  The One True God would have to be the Creator.

Is that your reply to my question? I'm assuming it is. Then it is in fact your objection that is ambiguating the situation. If Helios were a lesser god whose chariot did in fact fly across the sky that means that The One, True God, being the Creator, must have, by definition, created him. If that is the case, Helios is an agent of the One True God and you're just adding one layer of indirection. And I've already stated that I'm okay with multiple gods being lumped together with The One, True God. This doesn't change the logic at all and there is nothing ambiguous about it.

- kk

 

Then doesn't that mean that any god is The One, True God?  Defeating the point of your question? 

Hey,

Quote:

"Then doesn't that mean that any god is The One, True God?  Defeating the point of your question?"

Of course not. We don't know how many of these gods are lumped together. You can have a Creator who chooses to create 1 or 100 other gods. That doesn't help us at all.

There can still be imposters, and that is what matters.

You're over-analyzing the question, imo.

- kk

Kir - yes.  The One True God would have to be the Creator. 

Actually - wait.  I'm contradicting my true beliefs and what I said earlier.  The One True God is the Source of All Goodness, and this is different from the Creator.  In conventional theology, I'm talking about God's love or Jesus' message. 

Hah, lol, no, can't change your answer

You're just dancing and don't realize it. This is nothing more than the polytheistic condition I mentioned earlier; having several gods in a group, some greater, some lesser, doesn't change anything.

- kk

Hey,

The One True God is the Source of All Goodness

btw, how do I know that? You're ascribing qualities to The One, True God that we haven't even talked about yet.

- kk

Hey,

Now, the same could be said for Agenticity:

What I'm trying to get at is what is the more likely source of the belief that Utnapishtim is The One, True God?

Of two choices given, which would you pick first:

Agenticity or

the fact that Utnapishtim is The One, True God (he really did cause that flood)

Provided the odds of the two choices given are not 0% the question is not malformed in any way.

- kk

Question 3: 

If

"The gods even were afraid of the storm;

they retreated and took refuge in the heaven of Anu.

There the gods crouched down like dogs, on the inclosure of heaven they sat cowering."

- then they cannot be the One True God.  

Again, I think we're confused over whether Agenticity means seeing God's purpose where there is none, or God's purpose really existing.  (Now I can't stop thinking of purple and porpoises.  See what you've done.)  

I feel you may be guilty of a fallacy, which lurks within this ambiguity.  Just because people sometimes see God's purpose where there is none - doesn't mean that it's never there. 

It's also true that we tend to attribute conscious design onto real-live people, in a paranoid way, when they are innocent.  Like you said, this is nearly always cleared up when we actually communicate with them. 

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