Randomness from Yahoo! Answers, part 1

I haven’t blogged in a while.  A long while.

I don’t want people to think that I shut the blog down.  Nope.  I just had a baby, and have been working long hours on top of trying to have a family life.  So my blogging life has been put on hold for the last month or so.

So today, with my free time and in honor of a person who has e-mailed me several times about Yahoo! Answers, I have decided to take on the top three results for the search phrase “Does God exist?”

First question, “How, or in what way does God exist?” asked by a user named Bolo Joe two years ago:

I think the question should no longer be “Does God exist?”, but instead “How, or in what way does God exist?” In my opinion, the discrepancy surrounding God has more to do with concepts and interpretations than the actual existence of God.

This is interesting, and I think worthy of a quick comment.  It has been a tactic of atheists that have engaged me in dialogue to shift the goal posts in this fashion.

When I have them at a stalemate — they can no longer contend based on my sound objections that God’s existence is impossible — they shift the question from absolute existence to one of semantics.

This essentially means they lose the debate.  Their original contention is that God does not exist, but once they stop contending that and start asking why to suppose my particular God over all of the others from mythology then they have conceded there is a God and are now just asking which.

So far, I agree with Mr. Joe.  The question of which God is the key, for the actual existence of God is, in my mind, a foregone conclusion in favor of yes.

For example: Referring to God as “He” is a big problem. He is gender specific and references half of a whole, with the complement of course being “She”. Male and female should be viewed as positive and negative expressions of the living being as positive and negative charges are expressions of electricity.

This is where the semantics are coming into play.

“God” can refer to one of two things:

  1. The shared ontology of the three persons of the Holy Trinity
  2. The First Person, the Creator of Genesis and the Father of Christ in the Gospels

In using God to refer to (1), I would agree that “he” or “she” are meaningless concepts.  However, in English, there is no gender-neutral pronoun that can refer to a living person.  “It” is insulting, especially to God.

The essence shared by the persons of the Trinity is neither male nor female, but somehow both.  This is suggested in Genesis when both genders are required, but for different roles in the marriage.  The male-female marriage is therefore the divine institution given to us by God, and all others (polygamy, polyamory, homosexual) are perversions of it.

I doubt this seeker would realize he just stumbled into that position or endorse such a conclusion; the New Age-y people are typically liberal and thus in favor of gay marriage.

The male pronoun is used as convenience.  Up until the flood of political correctness that has gripped America, “he” was always used as a generic pronoun when the sex was unknown, meaningless, or unable to be determined.  It is only in the last 20 years or so that that has become a slight to women.

In using God in (2), the male pronoun is the preferred method of address, and not just because the Bible says so.  But because of the way the Bible says:

  1. Jesus repeatedly calls the First Person of the Trinity “Father”
  2. Paul repeatedly uses marriage as a metaphor for salvation, and the church repeatedly takes the role of the woman (the “Bride of Christ”)
  3. Church leaders and elders are supposed to be male (the husband of one wife)
  4. After the Fall, the man was supposed to take the lead and the woman follow, subjecting her desires to the man

Given all of that, it is clear God sees himself in the male role of a complementarian view of gender relations.  He is neither male nor female, for both are made in the image of God.  But his role is male and therefore the mode of address should remain male.

I say this to illustrate that God can be neither a “He” nor “She” as these two individually are incomplete. That’s the beauty of a healthy relationship between a man and a woman, in which case God is revealed. From this idea comes the concept of Twin Flame soul mates.

Again, as I stated above, this is the strongest argument for heterosexual marriage being the divine institution and homosexual marriage being nothing more than a perversion of it.

All of the physical world, as we know it, is divided into these complementary halves: Up down, back front, light dark, good bad, etc… It is through experiencing these extremes that we find the balance to perceive the whole, or the essential design and this essential design is what I believe to be the expression of G.O.D. (The Grand Organizing Design). Comments…???

Well, I don’t see God as merely a Grand Organizing Design, but a person.  I’m not sure how to complete any sort of analysis of this meandering question, so let’s just move forward with the next one tomorrow…

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About Cory Tucholski

I'm a born-again Christian who prays that this blog will be used solely for furthering God's plan of salvation and for His glory. See my "About Us" page for further information about me and about my wife.

Posted on May 28, 2012, in Apologetics, God, Marriage and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. OP quoted: “I think the question should no longer be “Does God exist?”, but instead “How, or in what way does God exist?” In my opinion, the discrepancy surrounding God has more to do with concepts and interpretations than the actual existence of God.”

    I think this is a more incisive question. Because then we can uncontroversially and clearly see that the Christian deity Yahweh exists in certain ways, but not others. (1) The Christian deity Yahweh exists as a character in a story, like Anastasia Steele. (2) The Christian deity Yahweh exists as an idea in the brains of humans, like a dragon. (3) The Christian deity Yahweh does not exist as a physical thing comprised of atoms.

    So we should focus on where the actual disagreement lies.

    • (1) I used to write fan fiction all the time. Why did my book deal never materialize?

      (2) I could be on board with this in two points. (a) I like dragons. (b) Certain philosophical schools of thought permit abstractions to exist in reality. The quantity represented by the Arabic numeral “1,” for example, exists in point of fact. Laws exist that govern reality, however those laws are not existing in a way that you can touch — only in a way that you can perceive.

      (3) I completely agree.

      (1) and (2), however, poison the well.

      • “(1) and (2), however, poison the well.”

        how? that doesn’t make sense.

        http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/poisoning-the-well.html

      • You’re discrediting the IDEA of God by comparing him first to a fictional character, then to a mythological beast.

        I’m not using the term in its strictest definition (of discrediting the person making the argument — me), but in a more general sense.

        So it might be wrong to use that phrase, but the phrase itself captures the general sense of what I was going for.

        Perhaps a better way to put that is the Bad Company Fallacy ( http://www.fallacyfiles.org/guiltbya.html); saying God exists in the same sense a fictional character like Superman or a mythological beast like a griffin exists would follow that sort of format (linking an idea to an unfavorable example).

        Oh, and by the way, seizing on my imprecise terminology instead of addressing other, more germane points would be an example of a red herring.

  2. OP said: “Again, as I stated above, this is the strongest argument for heterosexual marriage being the divine institution and homosexual marriage being nothing more than a perversion of it.”

    Cory Tucholski, are you concerned that this is a sectarian argument, where as federal laws should be based on secular arguments/reasons, because they apply to all residents?

    • NO, now let me explain why.

      Laws apply to ALL residents, right?

      Well, I’m a resident. Doesn’t MY opinion count? Shouldn’t MY views and opinions be considered, and should I not participate in government and vote on these issues, too? And, too, I should have the right to lobby for MY views and air MY opinions and influence people to vote like me — same as the secular right has those same rights????

      Of course! And the will of the people shall prevail.

      No, wait — the will of the people will get struck down in federal court when your side loses another ballot and gay marriage will be permitted AGAINST the will of the people, like always.

      Sorry for the sarcasm. But it makes my point better than I could if I were being completely serious.

      • I agree that all residents can (and should!) be involved in civic life.

        I should clarify; what I mean is that: are you concerned that a Yahweh-based argument has 0% chance of persuading non-christians? (and a 0% chance of persuading christians that have a personal policy of civic/church separation) ?

      • Nope. I’ll tell you what DOES concern me…

        Few church-goers could articulate an argument contrary to gay marriage. Fewer still could respond to an argument from your side with anything more than, “But the Bible says NO!”

        And that is the price we pay for watered-down, theologically unsound, seeker-friendly preaching that caters to the self-centered American culture.

        We WILL lose this debate, and have only ourselves to blame. That concerns me more than the fact my argument has no weight with secularists and 60% of Christians.

  3. “I’m not using the term in its strictest definition (of discrediting the person making the argument — me), but in a more general sense.”

    ah, ok.

    thanks for clarifying

    • You’re welcome, but you’re right to point out my shortcoming. I should have been more precise with my language. After all, if we’re not communicating properly, then what’s the point of talking at all? :)

  4. Cory Tucholski said: “Few church-goers could articulate an argument contrary to gay marriage. Fewer still could respond to an argument from your side with anything more than, “But the Bible says NO!”

    And that is the price we pay for watered-down, theologically unsound, seeker-friendly preaching that caters to the self-centered American culture.”

    That problem exists in every group. A tiny minority of democrats/republicans could articulate an argument for/against (e.g.) single-payer healthcare. A tiny minority of sports fans could articulate an argument for/against their teams player-hiring policies.

    I don’t think that problem will ever be solved. People associate themselves with groups without thinking too hard about it.

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