Chance and Providence (reprised)

How do you know that is a condition, did he tell you? How did he tell you? And why have that odd condition in the first place? And where have I done that?

Me not being convinced of his existence until he shows up in person is not me declaring that he doesn’t exist.

You are explicitly demanding that he show up on your doorstep to prove his existence to you. That would be you setting your conditions that you insist he comply with and effectively daring him. It doesn’t work that way.

Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

Yes. That’s what it takes to convince me.

That would be you setting your conditions

For what I find persuasive, yes. Because I know myself and what convinces me. It would be really weird if I were to provide a set of conditions that would fail to convince me, don’t you think? At the very least I think I should be honest about what I would find convincing.

We all have conditions for what it would take to convince us. Either we feel compelled to believe or we don’t. Could you just choose to sincerely believe anything out of the blue? I don’t think so. I certainly can’t.

that you insist he comply with and effectively daring him.

If he wants me to believe he exists, yes. Entirely reasonable I might add. I’m not asking to have the red sea parted before my eyes (I’d find that convincing too, though, and Egyptian soldiers were treated to such a miracle despite their defiance).

It doesn’t work that way.

Of course it works like that. I am the sort of person who will be convinced that a person exist by the person show up and say hello. What I am convinced by is what I am convinced by, that is how it works. If that which it takes to convince me is not provided, then I will not become convinced.

That’s a condition for getting into paradise it seems to me. I have not asked for that. And it seems to call for unquestioning belief. I’m not capable of that. I could say the words, but I’d be lying.

You are ‘the sort of person’ that if you belong to him and are one of his lost sheep (you are definitely lost), he will have to force you to seek him. I would highly recommend your seeking for him before that, because it would not be fun. Or, at that point and as some do, you could follow Job’s wife’s advice and curse God and die.

I don’t feel lost, I’m pretty sure of where I am.

he will have to force you to seek him.

I have no idea what that means or how it constitutes a response to my post. If you mean by that, that him showing up at my door is “forcing me” against my will, that’s just not true. That would be like saying that giving me chocolate and me finding it tasty is to force me to like it. No, I really do like it, I don’t feel “forced to” by having it freely provided to me.

I would highly recommend your seeking for him before that

Dear God, I sincerely seek to know that you exist. I would be convinced if you came knocking on my door, or teleported into my apartment. You’re welcome, except when I’m masturbating, that would weird me out. I’ll have tea and biscuits ready any time.

because it would not be fun.

Okay, well I’d be closer to be convinced of that if I believed he existed. He can drop by if he wants me to believe that. And then tell me about this terrible future that awaits if he wants me to believe that too and know how to avoid it.

I once tried to convince myself I liked a job I really didn’t. The money was good, but it was sooo boring. I also couldn’t get myself to start smoking, despite all my friends doing it at the time. I’d like to say I’m sorry that I can’t do make-believe, but I’m honestly not. This thing with just deciding to believe, I can’t wrap my head around it. Can you really do that? Just decide to believe whatever? And do you then really sincerely believe, or are you faking it?

Could you decide, this very moment, to just not believe in God? Would you be truly persuaded and sincerely believe he didn’t exist?

You can decide that maybe, just maybe, some of the evidence is legitimate and actually points to God and that you would be wiser to not dismiss it out of hand with mockery.

So you mean to say you could sort of just decide to believe that evidence you don’t find persuasive, nevertheless just IS persuasive despite what appears to you to be obvious flaws in it?

That is not what I said. That the universe had a beginning event has been compelling to many, many of whom are no doubt more intelligent than you. Or, you can just pretend that that does not qualify as evidence.

Okay. But I don’t find that compelling. So here your advice to me is that I should just decide to be compelled by it? And you yourself would be able to do that?

Let’s reverse the situation. Could you just decide to NOT find it compelling? Could you just decide that your experiences simply weren’t good enough to convince you, and then truly stop believing?

You are mistaking what I am saying. You can, in humility, decide to consider it as possible evidence, in conjunction with other things, instead of just saying, illegitimately, “No, that is not evidence.”

Possible evidence? I’m not sure what you mean by that. Anything can potentially be evidence for some claim or hypothesis. I already believe that is the case, that is how I understand logic and evidence to work. That it is possible that some object, or observation, entity, or data, can be evidence for some claim or hypothesis. It is POSSIBLE evidence, sure.

But IS it evidence? I don’t find “it’s possible that it’s evidence” a compelling reason to believe. I have to be persuaded that it actually IS evidence, and then I need to find the evidence persuasive.

You understand? If you show me a blurry picture of some disc-shaped object in the sky and claim it’s a extraterrestrial space craft carrying alien visitors from another planet, I’m going to agree that indeed your blurry picture is “possible evidence” for your claim. It might even BE evidence if I find out that the picture has not been doctored or altered in any way, and if I trust you. That’s the first two hurdles out of the way. It is “possible” evidence, and it even IS evidence.

But is it persuasive evidence? Does it suffice to truly convince me that your interpretation of it is correct? Is a blurry picture of a disc-shaped object in the sky a persuasive piece of evidence that the disc shaped object really is a vehicle able to travel interstellar space and is carrying members of an advanced alien civilization? I think we can agree that it isn’t persuasive evidence of that.

And I can’t just decide to be compelled by it against my nature.

You want every single piece of evidence to be totally persuasive in itself. That way you can deny that there is any persuasive evidence, even when in toto it should be and is.

Now THAT’S an example of humility.

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Bill, please cite your source. Then tell us what you think it means and how it supports some argument you may want to make.

And that’s an example of quote mining, because in context with the italicized text comparing what someone who is not a true Christian experiences with one who is, yes, he was clueless.

It’s from the article that I cited to Rum from gpuccio at UCD a few posts above. It shows preservation of AA positions comparing the human proteins to other living organisms. These are proteins that are part of the spliceosome.

That’s not quote mining, because I quoted everything you wrote. Dale, you are the antithesis of humility.

You quoted me out of context. That would be quote mining.

And it is humility with respect to Whom that matters.