Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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Everything posted by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

  1. Jonathan H. B. Lobl

    Lessons In Apologetics, Part 1: Introduction & Agnosticism

    Since God is not knowable to the finite mind -- then God is not knowable. God is also irrelevant and without meaning. For what little it's worth, I was ordained as a minister by the Apathetic Agnostic Church. (02/20/2002). The Church motto is -- "We don't know and we don't care." You don't get to define Agnostics, to Agnostics. It's rude and it's irritating. Drag files here to attach, or choose files... Accepted file types gif, jpeg, jpe, jpg, png ยท Max total size 0.49MB Insert other media
  2. Jonathan H. B. Lobl

    What do you do...?

    I can take on a code of ethics, because I think it will make me a better man. Or I can adopt a meditation practice, because I think it will make me a less angry man. Or more loving. Can I really choose a belief system? I think that's a stretch. If I discover that my beliefs have already changed, I can change my label. This is possible. I don't think it is possible to actually change my beliefs. I might have abundant cause to pretend to change my beliefs. To actually change what I believe -- as a choice -- No. I do have the option of engaging in a program of introspective discovery -- and discern that my beliefs have already shifted. I have done this. Repeatedly. It's why my position keeps shifting. I can't just choose a new belief system.
  3. Jonathan H. B. Lobl

    What do you do...?

    That's an interesting choice of words. Do we decide to change our beliefs? Is that really a decision?
  4. Jonathan H. B. Lobl

    What do you do...?

    I would rather ask, if the path is based on evidence. Caring about what is true, instead of what is popular, is a good component for any path. Asking what will make you -- me -- anyone -- a better person -- is a path. At least, part of a path.
  5. Jonathan H. B. Lobl

    What do you do...?

    Yes. That is where the conflict comes in. The inner path changes. The outer path -- or at least the label for the outer path -- stays the same. Our nearest and dearest know where we were -- but not where we are. This is our life. So much more than our "spiritual" or "religious" path. Real lives change.
  6. Jonathan H. B. Lobl

    What do you do...?

    That's the confusion. We don't switch. We discover that the change has already occurred. Nothing left but to change the label.
  7. Jonathan H. B. Lobl

    What do you do...?

    I've had a lifetime of philosophic drift. Back and forth and round about. It's part of life. Experience accumulates. Perspective shifts. Sometimes it's growth. Sometimes, it's exhaustion.
  8. Jonathan H. B. Lobl

    a common atheist fallacy

    As you wish. It doesn't matter. I don't care. I'm tired of arguing.
  9. Jonathan H. B. Lobl

    God Cannot be a Woman Because...

    Word salad Is not a reason. God -- Goddess -- this is not an argument. In any event, do you really want to insist that God has a body?
  10. Jonathan H. B. Lobl

    a common atheist fallacy

    Yes. Here I am. This is my church. The only place I discuss such matters.
  11. Jonathan H. B. Lobl

    a common atheist fallacy

    I used to. Then I advanced to Apatheism. That's short for -- I don't give a crap and I'm tired of arguing.
  12. Jonathan H. B. Lobl

    a common atheist fallacy

    You're serious. You think that I need to justify my non-belief in the Biblical God. What about all the other gods that I don't believe in? Jack Frost; Old Man Winter; Father Time; Death, Mother Nature; Lady Luck; Old Man Winter; Santa Claus; The Invisible Pink Unicorn; the Flying Spaghetti Monster: etc. ad nauseum. No. there is a difference between poetic imagery and external existence. As metaphor, they all exist. In reality, none of them exist. It's a silly argument and I'm done with it.
  13. Jonathan H. B. Lobl

    My Ban

    Granting an A for good intentions -- I don't think she's reading this thread.
  14. Jonathan H. B. Lobl

    My Ban

    This is a good jumping off point -- so to speak. My ban seems to have been lifted. I don't know why I was banned. I don't know why the ban was lifted. The affront remains. I'm back. Maybe. I'll know in a moment.
  15. Jonathan H. B. Lobl

    My Ban

    Maybe.
  16. It was a mistake. Either that or my Freudian slip is showing.
  17. Jonathan H. B. Lobl

    a common atheist fallacy

    You're right of course. Nobody is required to justify their beliefs. It doesn't stop the Anti-Theists -- or the Pious -- from making unreasonable demands. In my brief time as member of various Facebook Atheist groups -- basic patterns emerged. Various holier than thou types would burst in -- in print -- demanding that the Atheists in the group put up their best defense of Atheism. It happened it lot. Sometimes, the insufferable lout would be Christian -- and sometimes Muslim. It kept happening over and over again -- as though for the first time. It was never a Hindu, making these nasty demands. Never a Polytheist or any type of Pagan or Heathen. Never a Buddhist or Jain. Never a Pantheist. Never a Satanist or Luciferian. Never a follower of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the Invisible Pink Unicorn, or Jedi, or the Dude. Or the Church of Google. Just Christian and Muslim crap for brains. It was a great lesson. Not the lesson that they intended. I do so despise cultural and religious bullies.
  18. Jonathan H. B. Lobl

    a common atheist fallacy

    Yes. My favorite definition of an Atheist, is someone who has one less god than a Monotheist. As Michael Shermer comments -- The Atheist just takes it one god further.
  19. Jonathan H. B. Lobl

    a common atheist fallacy

    We are using basic words in different ways. I'm not the nuance police. I would like to go over a few words, so that you will know what I mean by them. Usage will vary. This is my list. Agnostic: It means I don't know whether of not God exists. It has nothing to do with faith or belief. Agnostic answers a different question. Do you think that God exists? Atheist: It means, I don't believe that God exists. It has nothing to do with knowing. Atheism is about belief. It answers a specific question. Do you believe that God exist? It is simple non-belief. There is nothing to challenge. It's like demanding to know why someone doesn't play golf. Anti-Theist: This is the person who would say -- I have a positive belief, that God does not exist. This is the person who might have something to say, if you want to ask -- "Why do you believe that?" Another distinction worth noting. Because the Anti-Theist is making an affirmative faith statement -- "I believe that God does not exist" -- the Anti-Theist has the same burden of proof as any other true believer. There is also Apatheist: I don't care whether or not God exists. Agnostic Atheist: I don't know and I don't believe. This is the time to bring up the Dawkins scale, created by Richard Dawkins. On a scale of 1 through 7, with 1 being absolute certitude that God exists -- and 7 being absolute certitude that God does not exist -- Dawkins identifies his own position as 6.9. That makes Dawkins an Agnostic Atheist. On this scale, 4.0 gives equal weight to the probability of God's existence and non-existence. There is an element of confusion here. Richard Dawkins clearly is using Agnostic in a different sense of the word. His usage is common. That is part of the confusion. Different people do use these words differently. In addition, English is a living language. In a living language, words shift in meaning over time. It can't be helped. Agnostic Atheist Apatheist: I don't know, I don't believe and I don't care. Other permutations are possible.
  20. Jonathan H. B. Lobl

    a common atheist fallacy

    This thread has drifted without resolution. Does anybody on this board - think that an Atheist needs to justify non-belief? I say -- "No."
  21. That helps a lot. You are asking how we tell God apart from Satan. First off, who and what is Satan? I mean that as a serious question. Satan is a major player in Job. In Job, Satan functions as a District Attorney who is taking orders from the presiding judge. That would be God. Job is a small book. It can be finished in one sitting. Throughout the book, Satan presents himself to God. Satan asks permission to further torment Job. God considers, sets the limits on what Satan is allowed to do -- and sends Satan off to do his thing. This repeats several times. Satan returns to God asking for more latitude in tormenting/testing Job. God considers -- again -- authorizes Satan to more extreme tactics -- again sets the limits for Satan's methods -- and sends him off again to do his thing. At all times, God is in charge. God sets the rules. Satan obeys the rules. You want to tell them apart? They're on the same team. I'm not being snarky or unkind. They're on the same team. Read Job. All of it. It's obvious. This is something that is understood by Job himself. His wife tells him to "curse God and die." Job responds to his wife -- "What -- should we expect good from God and not evil?"
  22. Jonathan H. B. Lobl

    My Ban

    It never occurred to me. Do the passengers on a plane have to tell the pilot what's going on?
  23. Jonathan H. B. Lobl

    My Ban

    I think it's more sad than strange. Auto-piolet will keep things from crashing for a while.
  24. Who are you responding to? I can't find the reference.
  25. We are now engaged in pure speculation. I expect that if things go in that direction -- it will involve all the supper heroes and it will resemble Norse mythology. The Mighty Thor is actually part of it. The comics can be highly complex, involving alternate time lines. The Planet of the Apes will be part of this mythology.. After all, the Statue of Liberty is real. Likewise, the New York City Subway system. And Grand Central Station. With so many real places interwoven into the story line -- many will understand this as real history.