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  1. #81
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    And you're entitled to your opinion
    It's an "opinion" that is held by any rational person. The primary source for people believing something is true is because they directly experienced it first hand. When a scientist reads data that convinces him that something is true, it is first-hand experience of reading the data that convinces him.

    Do you ACTUALLY take the position that first hand experience is not a valid basis for belief? If not, then it's not my opinion but an accepted premise.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Fortunately, there are those who actually care whether their beliefs are true, so I'm just going to leave it at that and move on from this pointlessness.
    And yet you argue for positions that you cannot empirically prove are true.

    But whatever, use whatever excuse you want to dodge my arguments. They stand until you do muster a relevant rebuttal to them.
    Last edited by mican333; January 17th, 2019 at 07:37 PM.

  2. #82
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Do you ACTUALLY take the position that first hand experience is not a valid basis for belief?
    For non-mundane or every-day experiences, or experiences which there are reasons to doubt due to how fallible we know our minds are, yes, first-hand experience alone is not a valid basis for belief. Especially when we know that other fallible humans also regularly claim first-hand experiences which directly contradict each other, and that the first hand experiences align with the religion the people having the experience happen to have been brought up in or been exposed to the most in their life, as well as align with whatever moral principles the people happen to already hold. This is why, nowadays, we rarely encounter people who actually claim to have the kind of experience that your position hinges on, and most theists instead talk about having some nebulous experiences which they try to label as deeply moving, transformative, life-changing, or some other spiritual navel-gazing nonsense. But I'm sorry, basing one's entire world-view on a wholly arbitrary, fallible and therefore questionable, conveniently nebulous, and in most cases liberally embellished & extrapolated experience is simply not rational. The person having the experience may wish to call it rational, but it's not, and them thinking it is doesn't make it so.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    And yet you argue for positions that you cannot empirically prove are true.
    I've provided support for the OP, and you can either address that or not. Jumping into the middle of an largely off-topic exchange I'm having with someone else just so that you can inject your pointless and tired old direct experience of God argument will be ignored and/or flagged as spam.
    Last edited by futureboy; January 18th, 2019 at 06:21 AM.

  3. #83
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    For non-mundane or every-day experiences, or experiences which there are reasons to doubt due to how fallible we know our minds are, yes, first-hand experience alone is not a valid basis for belief.
    First hand experience is ALWAYS a valid basis for belief. But I do agree that there can be mitigating circumstances that can one good reason to doubt something that they experience first hand but regardless, first-hand experience is always a valid basis.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Especially when we know that other fallible humans also regularly claim first-hand experiences which directly contradict each other, and that the first hand experiences align with the religion the people having the experience happen to have been brought up in or been exposed to the most in their life, as well as align with whatever moral principles the people happen to already hold.
    That gives you reason to doubt their claims. But regardless, if God actually talks to someone, they have a rational reason to believe that they talked to God. And the fact that in that hypothetical situation, their experience would be based on something that actually happened, their belief would be correct which would indeed make it a justifiable belief.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    This is why, nowadays, we rarely encounter people who actually claim to have the kind of experience that your position hinges on, and most theists instead talk about having some nebulous experiences which they try to label as deeply moving, transformative, life-changing, or some other spiritual navel-gazing nonsense.
    Actually, that is the kind of experience I'm referring to. I'm just using "talking to God" as an example but people can have other kinds of spiritual experiences which let them know that "spirit" exists. I know people who claim that they were visited by a recently deceased relative, which is not "talking to God" but does, if genuine, point to their being a soul and therefore the notion that the theistic position is generally correct and can cause a non-theist to become a theist. I likewise know someone who was an agnostic who became a theist due to experiencing something spiritual.

    You can mock it if you want but appeal to ridicule is not a valid method of showing that such things are not genuine nor that people can't rationally believe in such things.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    But I'm sorry, basing one's entire world-view on a wholly arbitrary, fallible and therefore questionable, conveniently nebulous, and in most cases liberally embellished & extrapolated experience is simply not rational. The person having the experience may wish to call it rational, but it's not, and them thinking it is doesn't make it so.
    But then I am talking about coming to spiritual belief from first-hand experience and not on "a wholly arbitrary, fallible...(etc)"


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    I've provided support for the OP, and you can either address that or not. Jumping into the middle of an largely off-topic exchange I'm having with someone else just so that you can inject your pointless and tire old direct experience of God argument will be ignored and/or flagged as spam.
    Like I said, you may use whatever excuse you want to ignore my arguments.

    But you DID say that theists claim to detect the undetectable and you have not supported that God/spirit is undetectable since I've shown that people might be able to detect it via first-hand experiences. If you want to drop your argument that people are claiming to detect that which is undetectable, then we are done here. If you want to stop responding to my arguments and let them stand, that's fine too. But I'm really not interested in hearing why you won't try to defend your statement when it's being directly and relevantly challenged.

  4. #84
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    First hand experience is ALWAYS a valid basis for belief
    Again, you're entitled to your opinion. I've explained the reasoning why first hand experience alone of non-mundane and/or supernatural occurrences is not a valid basis of for the belief that what was experienced actually happened. But, since this is unrelated to the OP, I guess we'll just have to leave it as a difference of opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    if God actually talks to someone, they have a rational reason to believe that they talked to God
    And again, "God actually talks to someone" and "someone has an experience which they perceive and interpret as God talking to them" are two very different things.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    And the fact that in that hypothetical situation, their experience would be based on something that actually happened, their belief would be correct which would indeed make it a justifiable belief.
    LOL, and we're back to this:
    Your post, like so many of your arguments regarding theism, relies on one specific type of theist being immeasurably lucky in being correct about the conclusions they reached using the same irrational methods that all other theists used to reach their unluckily wrong conclusions. It's an entirely vapid and pointless exercise. Just happening to be lucky once the results are in doesn't justify one's belief before they are in. Methods which are, demonstrably, not reliable pathways to truth do not provide rational justification for a belief. That is, of course, assuming you actually care about believing in as many true things and as few false things as possible.

    Again, this is wholly unrelated to the OP.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Like I said, you may use whatever excuse you want to ignore my arguments.
    Pointing out that your arguments are off-topic entirely justifies their being ignored and/or flagged as spam.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I've shown that people might be able to detect it via first-hand experiences.
    "Might be able to detect it" is not the same as "it is detectable". I don't know whether it's actually possible that it would ever be detectable, and I don't know how you'd support that. So again, the statement that "it is undetectable" is true, since we are unable to detect it. Experiences can be detected as experiences. Whether what was experienced can be detected is another matter, which, again, is unrelated to the OP.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    If you want to drop your argument that people are claiming to detect that which is undetectable
    Again, "it is undetectable" is a true statement - we are unable to detect it. So they are claiming to detect what we are unable to detect. Whether it we "might be able to detect it" at some point is completely irrelevant and not related to the OP. Nitpicking about the language will be flagged as spam.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    we are done here
    Yes, we are done here, please and thank you. If you want to respond to the OP, then feel free to do so, otherwise, I'll consider this off-topic matter closed. Feel free to start your own thread about your position and I might consider responding, but further unrelated posts by you in response to this will be flagged as spam.

  5. #85
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Again, you're entitled to your opinion. I've explained the reasoning why first hand experience alone of non-mundane and/or supernatural occurrences is not a valid basis of for the belief that what was experienced actually happened. But again, this is unrelated to the OP, so we'll leave it at a difference of opinion.
    Again, I didn't say that first-hand experience is always accurate or that there is no reason to doubt. I said it is always a valid basis for belief. There can be valid reasons to not believe what one has directly experienced but that doesn't change the fact that it is a valid basis for belief.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    And again, "if God actually talks to someone" and "someone having an experience that God talks to them" are two very different things.
    Never said otherwise. And you did not rebut my statement so I take it that you do not challenge what I said that IF God actually talks to someone, they have a rational reason to believe that God talked to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    LOL, and we're back to this:
    Your post, like so many of your arguments regarding theism, relies on one specific type of theist being immeasurably lucky in being correct about the conclusions they reached using the same irrational methods that all other theists used to reach their unluckily wrong conclusions. It's an entirely vapid and pointless exercise. Just happening to be lucky once the results are in doesn't justify one's belief before they are in. Methods which are, demonstrably, not reliable pathways to truth do not provide rational justification for a belief. That is, of course, assuming you actually care about believing in as many true things and as few false things as possible.

    Again, this is wholly unrelated to the OP.
    It's not wholly lucky to believe that something happened because it actually happened. Being lucky is just saying that something happened even though one has no reason to conclude that it did and then just happening to be right.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Pointing out that your arguments are off-topic entirely justifies their being ignored and/or flagged as spam.
    If me addressing your argument that God is undetectable is spam, then your statement that God is undetectable is also spam and should be dropped. And again, I don't care for your excuses for not addressing my argument. If you don't want to counter my arguments that you have not shown that God undetectable then we can just let is stand that that particular position of yours is not supported. You don't need to explain why you are no longer bothering to defend that position. Either defend that argument when I challenged it or let is stand as unsupported. You don't need to explain why you don't choose to defend it anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    "Might be able to detect it" is not the same as "it is detectable". So again, the statement that "it is undetectable" is true, since we are unable to detect it.
    No, "undetectable" means NO ONE can detect it. So if we (you and I) can't detect it but someone else can, then it's not undetectable.

    So I guess I'll offer a challenge. SUPPORT OR RETRACT that no one can detect God.
    Last edited by mican333; January 18th, 2019 at 08:54 AM.

  6. #86
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Never said otherwise. And you did not rebut my statement so I take it that you do not challenge what I said that IF God actually talks to someone, they have a rational reason to believe that God talked to them.
    If a God existed that decided to talk to an individual, that individual may have a rational reason to believe (though since few humans have forwarded this has happened to them, and many that do profess it has happened to them suffer other mental illness, one might be cautious). However, the instance of people claiming God has talked to them seems quite a limited number.

    Most theists I have ever heard of don't declare that they spoke to God directly. At best they usually infer God's existence, not direct contact.

    I am not saying you are wrong, just suggesting if something very rarely (or perhaps never) happens/ed it needs to be carefully qualified when we are dealing with a possible super natural experience that can not be experienced by all when God wants all to be saved.
    Under most other circumstances I would agree with you, it's just when we add the all powerful deity that the argument breaks down.

  7. #87
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    If a God existed that decided to talk to an individual, that individual may have a rational reason to believe (though since few humans have forwarded this has happened to them, and many that do profess it has happened to them suffer other mental illness, one might be cautious). However, the instance of people claiming God has talked to them seems quite a limited number.

    Most theists I have ever heard of don't declare that they spoke to God directly. At best they usually infer God's existence, not direct contact.
    That doesn't really rebut my argument. I was challenging the statement that God is undetectable and therefore if even one person has talked to God, then God cannot be considered undetectable.
    And since we don't know if anyone has talked to God or not, then we likewise don't know if God is undetectable.

    I'm aware that you are not actually challenging this particular argument of mine but I do want to make it clear that it's not a rebuttal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    I am not saying you are wrong, just suggesting if something very rarely (or perhaps never) happens/ed it needs to be carefully qualified when we are dealing with a possible super natural experience that can not be experienced by all when God wants all to be saved.
    But I don't think the God, by definition, is a being that wants us to believe in him. That's not to say that god doesn't want us to believe in him but I don't consider allowing people to no believe in God demonstrates that God doesn't exist.

    And I was using "talk to God" as an example for a hypothetical. People can come into contact with God in much subtler ways than an actual conversation that that would likewise qualify as contacting God. And while I doubt either of us has taken a poll on the matter, I would not be surprised that if theists were polled, there would be a significant number of them that felt that they experienced God's influence in their life which, if the experience is genuine, would qualify as "detecting God".

    And I've known people who have claimed to have experienced visitation from recently deceased friends and family members. And while that does not technically qualify as contacting God, it wold give one reason to think that there is an afterlife and that can reasonably lead to theistic belief. I mean once on thinks they have confirmed that the soul exists, it's not unreasonable to think that that is evidence that God exists.

  8. #88
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    There are no methods or tools which have been confirmed to be able to observe and experience anything regarding "the Spirit".
    Where have you supported that man (a physical phenomenon) cannot experience and observe the Spirit through direct personal experience?

    Just because the Spirit is undetected through personal experience by some people, simply implies God has yet to be noticed/discovered/experienced by that person. Discovery (detection/observance) is a process which the traveler can pursue.

    If the tools and methods are not a reliable pathway to truth,
    Physical tools are limited to methods dealing with the finite. Useful as they are in our world, they have their limits. That doesn't mean those limits define truth.

    Nope, still no. What about all those who had a transformative experience of, say, reading Mein Kampf, for example? It surely transformed their entire state of mind, knowing, blah, blah, specious blah. Again, this does not serve as rational justification for belief in claims which entirely lack valid support of any kind.
    When a person is fundamentally changed through such an experience., they are changed. The experience often changes the human brain also. Everything else is just details.

    This is the issue of god playing favourites. If I have two kids, and I want both of them to know me, and one has actually met me but I don't interact with the other one
    Are you implying that God has not interacted with his creation, all souls, at some point in the evolutionary cycle? If so, can you support that or what dogma are you using to assume this?

    Futureboy, do you mind if I ask you, would you like God to interact with you?
    Last edited by eye4magic; January 19th, 2019 at 02:28 PM.
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  9. #89
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Futureboy, do you mind if I ask you, would you like God to interact with you?
    If God exists I would love to interact

  10. #90
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    If God exists I would love to interact

    OK.

    Since the OP mentions Christianity, here is one effective practice (method) to begin the journey that can enable a person to experience Divine interaction.

    “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)”
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  11. #91
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    OK.

    Since the OP mentions Christianity, here is one effective practice (method) to begin the journey that can enable a person to experience Divine interaction.

    “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)”
    your attachment is worded a bit different:
    "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

    How does not being:
    "conformed to this world" prove the "will of God" in a way I can understand?
    Or
    "that by testing" to discern the "will of god".

    How does thinking ultimately humans are not "of earth" get us to Christianity specifically.
    What "testing" is available to me to discern this?

  12. #92
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    How does not being:
    "conformed to this world" prove the "will of God" in a way I can understand?
    1. This world is temporal, the Spirit is eternal.

    2. When we accept the temporal world and all within it as the only reality,we become vulnerable to personal psychological, mental and emotional baggage. Why? Because fundamentally, we are a spiritual being having a human experience.

    3. That baggage, when we completely conform to its ways, dims our awareness of our Source.

    4. We have the power and gift of reason, thus we can choose to renew our mind and expand our awareness of our source.


    How does thinking ultimately humans are not "of earth" get us to Christianity specifically.
    Not sure what this means.

    What "testing" is available to me to discern this?
    I think this is a very personal individual process, but once we make the choice to renew our minds, clear out the clutter, different circumstances and opportunities start passing our way.
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  13. #93
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    1. This world is temporal, the Spirit is eternal.
    Why do you believe in "spirit"? Was there anything more involved than just thinking it was possible?
    Also,
    This sounds like an infinity which like any infinity seems impossible?

    ---------- Post added at 05:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:57 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    2. When we accept the temporal world and all within it as the only reality,we become vulnerable to personal psychological, mental and emotional baggage. Why? Because fundamentally, we are a spiritual being having a human experience.
    You have a point here. Belief can certainly limit ones possibilities.

    ---------- Post added at 06:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:59 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    4. We have the power and gift of reason, thus we can choose to renew our mind and expand our awareness of our source.
    How do I "reason a way to renew my mind"?
    I don't understand where/how one would go from here to what you are describing?

    ---------- Post added at 06:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:18 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Not sure what this means.
    If a God created humanity how do we know it is the Christian idea of God?

    ---------- Post added at 06:20 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:19 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    I think this is a very personal individual process, but once we make the choice to renew our minds, clear out the clutter, different circumstances and opportunities start passing our way.
    Indeed, but how does one actually "clear out the clutter"? What action are you suggesting?

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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Why do you believe in "spirit"? Was there anything more involved than just thinking it was possible?
    Personal experience from a very young age and throughout my life.


    This sounds like an infinity which like any infinity seems impossible?
    Our human sense of impossible is often based on a limited frame of reference.

    How do I "reason a way to renew my mind"?
    Perhaps start by addressing a key question…. do you sincerely want to?

    I don't understand where/how one would go from here to what you are describing?
    If you’re interested in interacting with God, a good place to start might to read the writings of those who have written books about their journey and experience. Though each person has a different journey, there are some common threads that flow through each process.

    If a God created humanity how do we know it is the Christian idea of God?
    The great world religions all have esoteric aspects and they share some universal principles – one of which is Spirit/Creator. Most people, however, relate and interact with the external part of a religion, which can serve a useful purpose. But this is where there are differences, which is understandable depending on the culture. But underneath the exoteric religion there is the esoteric aspect. Why Christianity? Because I gravitate naturally to its core principle: God is Spirit (John 4:24) and Christ is approable.

    Indeed, but how does one actually "clear out the clutter"? What action are you suggesting?
    I would suggest start by taking inventory of your daily thoughts, environment, habits, even what you eat and see what clutter and unnecessary baggage you can get rid of. Then consider inviting God into your life and ask him to guide you in your effort to clear out your mind clutter and life clutter. If you are sincere and stay focused in your effort, the Holy Spirit will guide you and different opportunities to help you will come your way.
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    If you’re interested in interacting with God, a good place to start might to read the writings of those who have written books about their journey and experience. Though each person has a different journey, there are some common threads that flow through each process.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
    I can appreciate that if you have actually interacted with God, for having these beliefs. I have, so far, not experienced anything that I would hold to that. What I have experienced so far seems quite the opposite (allowing for bias/perspective/etc on my part, I like talking with other people that do believe).

    I have personally known several people that definitely lived life without believing in God, that totally changed their life after seeking/believing in God. The question remains, did anything change but their belief? IOW, did they really find "truth" or was just believing they had, enough to change their lives?

    It appears to me that if you go looking for God, you will find Him. If you are looking for truth, not as much.

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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    It appears to me that if you go looking for God, you will find Him.
    Not necessarily. I think it often depends on how willing a person is able to suspend expectations and preconceived ideas and rigid beliefs.

    Then again, sometimes God goes after a non-believer because he needs that soul for a certain task. Those are fun yet dramatic events. So the Spirit may knock him/her off their horse, do some shock and awe and blind them for a couple of days. When they recover, the non-believer isn’t the same person any longer, but God has a recovered apostle. The Road To Damascus circumstance has happened more than once.

    If you are looking for truth, not as much.
    I don’t think truth is the problem. It’s our discernment that is wishy washy because we’re subject to limited awareness and information.
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Then again, sometimes God goes after a non-believer because he needs that soul for a certain task. Those are fun yet dramatic events. So the Spirit may knock him/her off their horse, do some shock and awe and blind them for a couple of days. When they recover, the non-believer isn’t the same person any longer, but God has a recovered apostle. The Road To Damascus circumstance has happened more than once.
    How does this square with Christian teachings of free will ??

    ---------- Post added at 04:20 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:14 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    I don’t think truth is the problem. It’s our discernment that is wishy washy because we’re subject to limited awareness and information.
    Perhaps. That is why I seek out those that do believe, because I know I have personal bias/expectations/perspective that could affect my ability to "see" truth (however, that should pose no real problem for God to overcome/work with/make it obvious for me to figure out).
    That we have "limited awareness and information" would be at God's will, should He actually exist...

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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    How does this square with Christian teachings of free will ??
    Dramatic spiritual conversions don't remove the equation of free will. The changed person can still choose to respond with something like: “Thank you for the unexpected interaction God, it was all very illuminating and interesting. But now that I’ve had this awakening experience of your presence, I like this new me and this new awareness so I think I will go about my way and carve out my new life. I'd like to hold off on signing up for apostleship at this time, but thank you again.”


    That we have "limited awareness and information" would be at God's will, should He actually exist...
    Back to the beginning ... We have limited awareness because “we are (choose to be) conformed to this world” – a finite world,” which is very enticing.
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Dramatic spiritual conversions don't remove the equation of free will. The changed person can still choose to respond with something like: “Thank you for the unexpected interaction God,...
    Yet the person has "been changed" not of their own free will?

    ---------- Post added at 10:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:48 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Back to the beginning ... We have limited awareness because “we are (choose to be) conformed to this world” – a finite world,” which is very enticing.

    1. Our awareness is tied to our ability to sense and understand, which would both be granted by God at whatever level He see fit. That we may have limited information is again, at God's will.
    2. Why is/would being "conformed of this world" be more enticing than the possibilities you speak of?[COLOR="Silver"]
    Last edited by Belthazor; February 3rd, 2019 at 07:05 AM.

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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Yet the person has "been changed" not of their own free will?
    We have boundaries to the free will equation. We can’t control many events and things that happen to us. But we can choose to manage how we respond to them.

    Our awareness is tied to our ability to sense and understand, which would both be granted by God at whatever level He see fit. That we may have limited information is again, at God's will.
    It sounds like you think God has some type of high tech cosmic App that controls our state of ignorance and/or awareness.

    Why do you believe or think this?

    2. Why is/would being "conformed of this world" be more enticing than the possibilities you speak of?
    Because it’s easy, comfortable and makes us less accountable for our actions, thoughts and behavior.
    "The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.” --"The Mental Universe” | Nature
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