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Posted by J. Warner Wallace on June 10, 2013 at 03:30 AM in :J. Warner Wallace, Philosophy, Theology, Video | Permalink
The atheists have reversed the truth. If there is no afterlife, then there will be no perfect judgment for our actions in this life. All that we have to fear is earthly justice, which can be evaded in a number of ways.
Furthermore, I suspect that the atheists are begging the question. To whom are we held accountable? If there is no God, then we are only accountable to each other. But people are inconstant and easily swayed, as various demagogues can demonstrate. If my only accountability is to other people, then all I have to do is convince those other people that my actions were correct. Poof, no accountability!
Only a transcendent, eternal God can provide any accountability for our actions. Any other standard is simply a matter of public opinion polls.
Rob Shaw-Fuller |
June 10, 2013 at 06:40 AM
Ought has nothing to do with Man; thus nor with how long he lives. Such Self-Focused, egocentric morality is typical of, in fact necessary of atheism. No. Ought stems from the topography of Ultimate Actuality, whatever it may be, and thus of a Necessary Grain which all lesser mutable (even temporal) realities either run WITH, or, run AGAINST. if Ultimate Actuality is LifeLessNess, well then.... and if it is Love, well then.... Thus even if we GRANT the atheist the absence of eternal life, Immutable Love will forever trump all his appeals to mutable what-evers.
June 10, 2013 at 07:25 AM
"I don't want to live in a world where there's no privacy, and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity."
This is a quote from Edward Snowden, the individual who recently leaked data from the U.S. National Security Agency. I think this ties in incidentally with the disucssion, because it exposes the very nature that defines us as sinful human beings: our proclivity to run from God.
The desire for "privacy" is nothing more than a manifestation of putting self above all else. In fact, privacy is impossible, because God, being the all-knowing, omniscient ruler of the universe, knows things about us that we don't even know ourselves. So why would I care what my fellow man thinks about me based on certain facts he might have regarding my life when I consider that my total being is held in total consideration by God?
Hence, Brother Wallace's statement that "Only a transcendent, eternal God can provide any accountability for our actions. Any other standard is simply a matter of public opinion polls."
June 10, 2013 at 10:52 AM
I'm sorry, I meant Brother Rob, not Brother Wallace...rough morning. Praise God!
June 10, 2013 at 10:54 AM
Have to wonder how many atheists say 'No Eternal Life Equal[s] Greater Accountability Now'.
Amazing to see the word privacy in quotes.
Indeed: rough day.
June 10, 2013 at 02:53 PM
If there were no God, then……and we can fill in the blank here for the Atheists have a bad habit of doing this: there would be….. More accountability, more honesty within loving (whatever love void of volition amounts to), more morals, less evil in the world, and so on. Well, that is witty but once we apply the rigors of History, Reason, Logic, and the unavoidable results of a Final and Immutable Grain be it Love or be it Life-Less-Ness we discover such arguments ultimately fail.
We’ve seen in another resent post here that the trinity of [Mindset, Action, Philosophical Necessity] that is Athe-ism has no necessary contradiction to all sorts of violations against personhood (and so on) and that the same trinity which houses “God is Love” (Ultimate Actuality is Love) has all sorts of necessary outcomes where personhood is concerned (and so on). One’s Mindset, Actions, and Philosophical Necessities (that trio) can be all over the map and thus incongruent or incoherent but such is not the sort of sickly logic we are concerned with here. When we find this trio embracing all of its necessarily open and necessarily closed doors where Life-Less-Ness and where Love come streaming in upon Accountability, Ought, Love, motions toward Self, motions toward Other, egocentric morality, Immutable Love, evil, volition (the contradiction that nature is free of nature), innate ill will where evil is concerned, and so on and so on, we find that Immutable Love trumps all of atheism’s regress of appeal after appeal after appeal to all of its mutable whatever-s.
And this is so even when we grant the absence of eternal life, the absence of any belief in (or awareness of) God, and, to the horror of atheism, we find this is so even when we grant its fantasy of Volition whereby it pins its religion on the contradiction that “Nature is free of Nature” for even when atheism is granted such (Volition) we find Man is still in violation of no Necessary Ought anywhere on the map no matter what his appetites demand for what ought can he himself not overrule? The Criminal and the Judge and the Jury are one in the same and provides atheism (even when volition is granted) the necessarily open door that is Self-Acquittal on all counts. The laws of chemistry and physics are nature’s only immutable Laws and are beholden to, enslaved to, necessarily accountable to nothing but themselves. All of Man’s volition (a fantasy and a contradiction, but granted for this discussion) simply serve to allow his hand to intentionally steer his sinking ship into the nihilistic ocean of Life-Less-Ness which drowns every river of cascading photons. His necessarily egocentric morality makes of him the god of his own making and he is thus not only the criminal but also the prosecution and the defense, the judge and the jury. Yes, his hand of intention upon the wheel of his sinking ship, we find that all his sins against his gods of chemistry and physics now find themselves alive and thus his accountability seems now more alive as well but of course there is just no accountability at all for The-Self truly is his temporal and mutable god and he is thus accountable only within the Context of Egocentricity that is The-Self.
All his sins drown in an ocean of egocentricity by default and this only for a brief season at that for soon the Nature that is free of Nature (the contradiction which is the atheist’s only hope of volition) once again becomes enslaved to Nature (she was never really free of herself in the first place) ultimately as the temporal phosphorescence that was Man’s “accountability” or “crimes” against the god that is Life-Less-Ness thus evaporates as that god simply takes back what was hers all along. We find thus in atheism that no matter what we grant it, short of Immutable Love it houses but contradictions, absurdities, and no accountabilities other than the purely egocentric which amounts to The-Self’s Self-Acquittal forever housing necessary validity on all counts and, even worse, we find that all these vectors, yes each and every temporal tangent, are drowning in an ocean of Life-Less-Ness wherein all these vectors necessarily dissolve.
Immutable Love comes in and we find all these tensions never dissolved and yet we find them fully resolved there within His Ocean. Man’s Sins against Man and against Nature and against Immutable Love are found drowning in an unending Ocean. Grace is an Ocean. And we are all sinking. My sins against myself and against other human beings and against nature and against Love Himself abound. I am a sinking ship. I awake to find myself drowning in an everlasting ocean. Grace is an Ocean. And I am sinking. Grace is an Ocean. And we are all sinking.
(…….parts borrowed from “Oh How He Loves Us” by David Crowder)
June 11, 2013 at 05:52 AM
Thanks for the word salad.
As usual, you appear to be under the misapprehension that atheism is claiming something. It isnt and as an atheist I don't. All I'm saying is that because there isn't any evidence for deity(ies), I don't agree with theists about their existence.
Now in practical terms that means that I don't believe Gods exist, but that doesn't impose a burden on me to have to explain any of what you describe. If I understood it that is.
Back to the original post, if people want to believe that there is an afterlife in the absence of any evidence and that makes them better people - great. However, I have never seen any evidence that such a tactic works and one only has to look at the spate of horrific things that members of Churches have done to small children to provide evidence to the contrary. Maybe there is some world wide study and someone can reference it. But still, believing there is an afterlife given the astonishing lack of evidence is ridiculous.
Creationsim is dangerous |
June 11, 2013 at 06:21 AM
We’ve already seen in another resent post here that the trinity of [Mindset, Action, Philosophical Necessity] that is Athe-ism has no necessary contradiction to all sorts of violations against personhood (and so on) and that the same trinity which houses “God is Love” (Ultimate Actuality is Love) has all sorts of necessary outcomes where personhood is concerned (and so on). One’s Mindset, Actions, and Philosophical Necessities (that trio) can be all over the map and thus incongruent or incoherent, as yours seem to be, but such is not the sort of sickly logic we are concerned with here.
June 11, 2013 at 06:45 AM
The Criminal and the Judge and the Jury are one in the same and provide atheism (even when volition is granted) only the necessarily open door that is Self-Acquittal on all counts. The laws of chemistry and physics are nature’s only immutable Laws and these are beholden to, enslaved to, necessarily accountable to nothing but themselves. The Immutable Law of Immutable Love is wholly absent within atheism, and even worse, atheism’s condition is so hopeless that we find this condition to be the case no matter what request we grant it short of God Is Love.
But in Truth the First and the Last, the End of Ad Infinitum is Love Himself and therein the Final Regress finds Love’s topography beneath, above, and within every tangent, temporal or otherwise, every vector, temporal or otherwise, and we need not fear the necessary accountability which such forever births for Insufficiency can do nothing but find herself being forever filled-up by Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self which He forever empties-out for her, and this in His Delight. Insufficiency finds herself sinking in an Ocean forever filled up by Love’s All-Sufficient Grace forever emptied-out and yet to her surprise she finds she is forever filled-up. By her drowning, by her sinking into the Ocean that is Grace His Sufficiency saturates all vectors beneath, above, and within her to the Nth degree and thus becomes her sufficiency.
June 11, 2013 at 06:48 AM
Your (one’s) lack of belief in an afterlife is insignificant. We don't need one for the Logic to hold.
June 11, 2013 at 07:08 AM
That is to say, as discussed above, even if we grant "no afterlife exists" the logic holds where accountability is concerned, and so on.
In fact, it holds even if we grant atheism its its contradiction of "Nature is free of Nature" and thus allow it to claim volition, the logic where accountablility is concerned still holds, and so on.
June 11, 2013 at 07:39 AM
Your posts don't make any sense at all.
What are "Philosophical Necessities" and why are they relevant?
"Immutable Law of Immutable Love" <- what is this?
"even if we grant atheism its its contradiction of "Nature is free of Nature"" <- who has ever claimed this? I'll say it again just in case you missed it - Atheism makes no claims. It just disagrees with you about the existence of deity(ies). I dont ask you to justify your lack of belief in fairies/unicorns/invisible dragoons/teapots in orbit around the moon nor do I think that not believing in that stuff has any ramifications that require answering. So just because your particular brand of mythology has had 2000 years to find a vice like grip on people like you; and just because your brand of mythology claims to provide answers to questions which, frankly speaking, only the utterly credulous can accept - that doesn't mean that I have to buy into any of it. Logically coherent systems can easily exist which bear no relation on reality - Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings. All one has to have is a little faith....
So make a case that your deity exists and that there is an afterlife in plain English is my best advice.
I'm sure you a very nice chap/chapess so please pardon my abruptness, but I do find your style inaccessible.
Creationsim is dangerous |
June 11, 2013 at 09:55 AM
As the OP is about accountability and how eternal life, or the lack of it, and so on, weighs in on it, well then........see my comments.
Philosophical necessities are...well....the word “necessary” as used in logic has a specific implication where any assertion / presupposition (etc) is concerned. I haven't the time.
Nature free of Nature would be un-determined volition, which atheists claim exists all the time. It’s one of the “gaps” they know “must exist” but which they have no evidence for. Yet.
“Logically coherent systems can easily exist which bear no relation on reality”. Yes, but they are not coherent with reality itself. This OP is about how reality (atheism or theism) and accountability weigh in on one another.
“So make a case that your deity exists and that there is an afterlife in plain English is my best advice”. Thank you for your advice, CID. As noted, an afterlife is of no consequence to the fatal outcome of accountability within atheism’s necessary endpoints, as discussed above. By the way, atheists claim all sorts of accountability, it’s just that their logically coherent systems about such are only coherent within their own made up versions and bear no relation to the reality they then propose to yet believe in. That is called “logically incoherent”. And since this OP is about accountability and the presence/absence of an after life, I am happy to stay on topic, despite your arm-pulling, my friend.
June 11, 2013 at 11:07 AM
My phrase in my last post to you of, "....un-determined...." is not to be mistaken for "unsure" or "not settled yet". Rather, to be "determined" is simply what we say when we speak of all events being tied to some prior event. The tide happens because it is "pushed" (and pulled and etc) by the Moon / Gravity, and so on and so on and this is to be differentiated from "undetermined" which would be the tide moving of its own volition with no physical (natural, dark matter or otherwise) causes outside its own will. Of course no physical system we know of behaves like that.....thus the (temporary perhaps) "gap" for atheism. But, as noted, even should they find "it" and fill the gap the issues of accountability remains hollow for the atheist, as discussed earlier.
June 11, 2013 at 11:18 AM
J. Warner Wallace,
I think your point about Grace and Forgiveness is a key point. I took a little naïve license to offer some crude paintings of that key element earlier here. Forgive the makeshift attempt. My insufficiency never ceases to astound me. And the longer I live, the more I find His Grace truly is enough. Love just does beget yet more love, and so on forever it seems…………..
June 11, 2013 at 11:30 AM
"By the way, atheists claim all sorts of accountability"
Who, how and when?
Do cite sources.
Creationism is dangerous |
June 11, 2013 at 12:11 PM
Okay then. Atheists never posit any form of moral accountability at all.
June 11, 2013 at 01:37 PM
Well they might do, but it's got nothing to do with Atheism.
It raises the question - if one is doing something because of a threat or a reward, does that truly make that action a moral one by the actor? Surely truly moral acts come from within without any wish of reward or recognition or punishment?
Creationism is dangerous |
June 11, 2013 at 01:52 PM
We learn, at a very young age, that people do very bad things. We also learn, as a matter of susceptibility to this behavior, that it doesn’t matter what one believes. We are all fully infected.
That said, how do we make sense of this? It’s silly to claim atheists will inherently live better because this life is all there is. Some will always choose to party like it's 1999. The smart atheists I know don’t believe this. It’s self-congratulatory nonsense. Now, if the role was reversed and the Christian claimed that the belief in Heaven automatically makes the Christian act better than the atheist - that too, is silly and wrongheaded.
So now what?
What truly motivates us to do good? Atheists like to say we should do good for goodness sake. That we just want to. So back to where I started: We don’t want to do good all the time. The thing that gets me about many atheist claims on what drives them to do good - is that it’s framed like it’s just so easy. Doing good is a no-brainer. Doing good is like breathing. We do good with our morning coffee. But, it doesn’t prove out. The evidence is all around us.
To respond to this evidence, the Christian speaks of death, of fallenness, of our sinful nature. Yes, this jives. This works.
June 11, 2013 at 02:41 PM
Accountability to whom? That is my first question.
Presumably other human beings. So my next question is what exactly makes me accountable to them?
This to say nothing of implication of moral objectivity in a term like accountability, which needs to be overcome who whoever is claiming this.
Seems as though the statement is sneaking some pretty objective values in there.
Dan Odell |
June 13, 2013 at 07:45 PM
“All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you.
I never had a selfless thought since I was born.
I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through: I want God, you, all friends, merely to serve my turn ----
Peace, re-assurance, pleasure, are the goals I seek, I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin: I talk of love --a scholar's parrot may talk Greek-- But, self-imprisoned, always end where I begin ----
Only that now you have taught me (but how late) my lack. I see the chasm. And everything you are was making my heart into a bridge by which I might get back from exile, and grow man. And now the bridge is breaking ----
For this I bless you as the ruin falls. The pains
You give me are more precious than all other gains.”
June 14, 2013 at 02:55 AM
We do grow, morph, towards love, as do I, as do you, as we must:
“We must not be troubled by unbelievers when they say that this promise of reward makes Christian life a mercenary affair. There are different kinds of rewards. There is the reward which has no natural connection with the things you do to earn it and is quite foreign to the desires that ought to accompany those things. Money is not the natural reward of love; that is why we call a man mercenary if he marries a woman for the sake of her money. But marriage is the proper reward for a real lover, and he is not mercenary for desiring it. ……….. The proper rewards are not simply tacked on to the activity for which they are given, but are the activity itself in consummation." C.S. Lewis
June 14, 2013 at 03:02 AM
"There is a third case, which is more complicated. An enjoyment of Greek poetry is certainly a proper, and not a mercenary, reward for learning Greek; but only those who have reached the stage of enjoying Greek poetry can tell from their own experience that this is so. The schoolboy beginning Greek grammar cannot look forward to his adult enjoyment of Sophocles as a lover looks forward to marriage or a general to victory. He has to begin by working for marks, or to escape punishment, or to please his parents, or, at best, in the hope of a future good which he cannot at present imagine or desire. His position, therefore, bears a certain resemblance to that of the mercenary; the reward he is going to get will, in actual fact, be a natural or proper reward, but he will not know that till he has got it. Of course, he gets it gradually; enjoyment creeps in upon the mere drudgery, and nobody could point to a day or an hour when the one ceased and the other began. But it is just insofar as he approaches the reward that he becomes able to desire it for its own sake; indeed, the power of so desiring it is itself a preliminary reward." CSL
June 14, 2013 at 03:05 AM
"The Christian, in relation to heaven, is in much the same position as this schoolboy. Those who have attained everlasting life in the vision of God doubtless know very well that it is no mere bribe, but the very consummation of their earthly discipleship; but we who have not yet attained it cannot know this in the same way, and cannot even begin to know it at all except by continuing to obey and finding the first reward of our obedience in our increasing power to desire the ultimate reward. Just in proportion as the desire grows, our fear lest it should be a mercenary desire will die away and finally be recognized as an absurdity. But probably this will not, for most of us, happen in a day; poetry replaces grammar, gospel replaces law, longing transforms obedience, as gradually as the tide lifts a grounded ship.” CSL
June 14, 2013 at 03:06 AM
The embrace which love tastes as it is emptied out, poured out, for its beloved is no mercenary affair, CID. If one has tasted of love, you will know that to be thus emptied out of Self, to taste one’s Self thus lost, thus dying utterly for one’s beloved is but that final and true consummation that is love’s fruition. Now, such is Love. It is Death. It is Loss. It is Other and not Self.
When we see God, we see this. When we see Ultimate Actuality, we see Love, arms spread wide, pouring Himself out, and this for His Beloved, and not in mere gesture, but utterly, actually. And this He does for no reward, for what does All-Sufficiency “get” by this Motion of His Eternally Sacrificed Self there for His Beloved, which is you and I and us, but the adoption of the bastard, the self-serving prick that is typing these words? All-Sufficiency pours Himself into In-Sufficiency and redeems for Himself just No-Thing at all for Love does Die, and this Eternally, and shouts forever Other and not Self! You and not I! Thy and not My! Thine and not Mine!. Such are the everlasting motions we find there inside of Love Himself within the triune topography of love’s necessarily triune I-You-We in which Self-Abdication is from Beginning to End, from A to Z, forever found within the Uncreated and thus too within Love’s Created.
When we see the God Who is Love, we see Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self. If we have not seen this, we have not seen God, for God is Love.
June 14, 2013 at 03:10 AM
This is ironic:
you appear to be under the misapprehension that atheism is claiming something. It isnt and as an atheist I don't. All I'm saying is that because there isn't any evidence for deity(ies), I don't agree with theists about their existence.
Now in practical terms that means that I don't believe Gods exist, but that doesn't impose a burden on me to have to explain any of what you describe.
June 25, 2013 at 12:47 PM
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