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« Why Bell's Book Matters - and What's Wrong with It | Main | Arguing Backwards »

March 15, 2011


LOL :)


Here is a digest.

LoveHimselfRescuedMe clarified for me that: rather than believing that Christianity is superior to atheism because it explains the existence of real oughts (i.e. the kind of oughts explained by Christianity), LoveHimselfRescuedMe believes theism is superior to atheism because it explains the existence of real oughts (i.e. the kind of oughts explained by theism).

So it's the 'grounding problem' again. To which I say: The Earth moves. What needs explaining is not Why does the Earth stay still? but Why does it seem to us that the Earth stays still?


Thank you. I do appreciate the time you spent responding to me (even as grieve for the time spent reading your response). Try to look for ways to be briefer. Please. Start with the places where you repeat yourself - as if sermonizing.

We don't speak of 'oughts' for no good reason at all. And we can't arbitrarily claim any thing at all about 'oughts'.

But we do ascribe characteristics to 'oughts' that are open to doubt. In fact, we ascribe to 'oughts' that we have no good reason to believe in.

Take a look at this article. The only reason to believe 'oughts' require an Author is a parable about newspapers.

Why do you think Oughts have the the kind of real about them that requires an Author of Oughts?

Maybe you want to look up 'recant' and 'recount'?


Hey RonH,
I read a good and useful description of what love is (and by inferrence ought) by an atheist at or google "Spiritual Fire" An atheist's view of love ....

which is a good approach too (for the atheist). It hinges on the fact that Subjective realities are STILL realities; which is true. My anger, or want, or love, etc, are actual, felt realities, after all. That's valid, and tough to counter.

I think a lot of this has to do with how much is "enough" for the Theist or the Atheist. For some, the Subjective reality, which is still a reality after all, is enough.....for me I find myself with a a "notion" that it is something other than "my notion" which grounds it, else I feel I am arguing in a circle.... and of course even that circle-notion of mine is still a "notion". And I guess I can add to this that for the Theist, or for some of us anyway, there is so, so much more to this. Our own personal encounter with that Other-And-Outer Whose hand presses in, breaking, loving, restoring our (my) own inner, and outer, disasters....but that's a whole other discussion and is not about the Grounding question.....lots of pieces to the puzzle though and I think there is no such thing as an Atheist or a Theist who is wholly One-Dimensional. There is the Grounding issue....and there are many other lived-experiences and intellectual explorations which weigh in for all of us I think. We can only live out our own experience at the end of the day.

Love the link you gave to Greg's article....don't agree with all of Greg's stuff but that was certainly enjoyable ~~~


You have your notion and your encounter and I have no problem with them. It doesn't sound like you expect me to have your notion or treat your encounter as my own.

So would you teach your children that I, for instance, am 'without excuse' (Rom 1:20)?


I think your question is one of accountability, and maybe on hell, and maybe on what is the real criteria for Man to live by. Forgive the length here....but I'll touch on all three: To answer your immediate question about Romans: No. And that is because that reading of Roman’s would imply that Theism is the issue, and it is not. The issue is, according to Jesus, the business of loving. There is a statement that God, or Ultimate Reality, or Aristotle’s Uncaused Cause, “Is Love” (not Has love). Only in Christ do we find such a statement about what “The Real” ultimately is. All other “versions out there” end up with a maximum of God, or The-Sheer “Has Love”. Love is that Eternally Sacrificed Self, which is You and not I, Thine and not Mine, Other and not Self. Roman’s must be taken in that context, and Jesus tells us in no uncertain terms that one’s level of Light, or Understanding, or Sight, makes all the difference in how we are ultimately examined. To whom little is given, little is required, and the extreme of Christ himself declaring of those who hate/kill him: Forgive “for-they-know-not”. We don’t kill our 4 year olds for failing a Calculus exam. 4 year olds can’t pass them: they lack the capacity.

And here is a question for you: CS Lewis tells us he was an atheist because God at best was either a Spirit wholly indifferent to Good and Evil, or else an Evil spirit ((the world has pain and He hasn’t stopped it….yet…so either he does not exist, or he is Indifferent to good and evil, or he is evil himself…..)). Thus that which fails to “differentiate, or evaluate, or judge” is charged with a crime, and the Crime is being “Indifferent”. Gravity, or DNA “neither knows nor cares…they just are…and we dance to their music”. A real God, if He is of any worth, ought, we think, (you?) ultimately “differentiate” between good and evil and not be “innately indifferent” (this is a problem for the atheists I feel). We charge rapists with crimes……and on an on….we may perhaps redeem the rapist….if he’ll let us….and on and on along that line…. But that’s not the question. Rather, if rape is a real evil (atheism tells us that is a purely subjective notion, and not an objective truth) then you and I “ought to differentiate” it from good.

The Christian world, or the “Ultimate Reality Is Love” world (rather than Has Love) has a few takes on this when it comes to Man: there is no hell --- there is a hell for some and it is not forever --- or there is a hell and it is forever. Malebranche and I discussed this on another topic on this blog, and he/she feels there is no hell whatsoever, whereas it seems to me that there is Love, and there is Self, and if Ultimate Reality “Is Love” then that which is Self and not Other, is by default Outside of Love. If Man is barred from Hell (some argue this) then certainly Lucifer is not, and this was a part of my post to that (Daron offered that there is a hell for some of Mankind, Malebranche said no Men go there). But this sheds some light here, and it all has to do with Love:

Love is an odd state; it is that acquiescence of the Self for Other, or Gethsemane's Thine and not Mine. It opens its arms wide, and it dies. Self Giving. And I suppose the inverse is Lucifer's I will be as God. I. I. As is seen in Eden's promise to Adam: you will be as God. As is seen at the tower of Babel: we will be as God. I-first. As opposed to Love's Other-first. It seems there is "that which is" the inverse of love, which is a kind of self focused lens, which is by default "outside of love". From all accounts, Lucifer had the full light of a fully informed consent ((I feel most men do not have enough full light to have full guilt….hence Jesus’ statement on the Cross of ‘forgive for they don’t know’)) and still his (Lucifer’s) Will chose the Self over "Other" ......I suppose it is therefore possible that such events occur. For angels I don't see a Cross, as I do for Adam. But I consider Lucifer to be a Will, a Self, a Person, at least of sorts, and we are told "hell was made for angels and not for men" …..

And this brings in an odd notion of importance to my struggle with hell: that on some level it seems some Selfs will not wholly give-away-the-self, will not open their arms wide, and die for Other. And the reason I struggle with the notion of hell is that I feel the following TWO statements cannot BOTH be true: First, God is love. Second, Created beings choose to be outside of love, and go un-redeemed. In Lucifer we find a Person, of sorts at least, but still a created Being with Will, and Personhood, and Voice, who seeks the Self, and so by default lands outside of Love, which is Ultimate Reality (God), and is left there without redemption. Even if I accept this (which I do), I still feel that this is not a species to whom God has said "I love you" (as is the species of Adam), nonetheless, it proves me wrong in that the two statements "God is Love" and "created Beings with Will and Personhood and Voice can choose the outside, and go un-redeemed" can, it seems from all accounts, BOTH be true. From here multiple issues can be added, and argued, such as Extinction in Hell vs. Alive Forever in Hell, or Angel’s Will vs. Man/Adam’s Will, and all the rest, but these do not in the end detract from what is very clear in the example of an Actual Reality, namely, God is Love, and, simultaneously, a species with Will and Personhood and Voice, standing in the full light of day (in heaven) and thus possessing fully informed consent, can choose to exit Love (exit God) and go into the Alone of the Pure-Self, and go un-redeemed, with no mention whatsoever in scripture of that Will's redemption (speaking of Lucifer/Satan/Angels). And while I take comfort in arguing about Adam vs. Angel and Extinction vs. Live Forever and all the rest, it seems, at the end of the day, that my CORE issue with Hell (at least for me), namely, a God who is Love can allow this, is in fact a reality. There is no Cross for Angels, that odd species with Will and Voice and Personhood who, standing in the full light of heaven's Day, who possess thereby fully informed consent, yet chose Self over Other, the inverse of Love.

Once this CORE issue (for me anyway) is subjected to this notion, I find myself moving into "Well yes, but Adam is a different case" and "Well yes, but even so, they are to become extinct, and not live forever". But none of these get me out of the core reason I struggle so hard against "hell", namely, I feel, God cannot be love and yet allow a Will, a Personhood, a Person with Voice, go ultimately un-redeemed. But it appears that such can be the case. I comfort myself by telling myself, "Very well, but they stood in heaven, in the full light of day, with fully informed consent, and there is no man alive who ever had such clear and informed choice, and so all men are on some level excused". But even that STILL does not get us out of this fact, that the following two statements CAN, and seems are, BOTH true: first, God, Aristotle’s Uncaused Cause, is Love, and second, created Beings with Will, and Personhood, and Voice who choose Self over Love, Mine over Thine, I over You, and cry I, I, and only I, go, ultimately, un-redeemed in that which is by default Outside of Love, that fierce imprisonment within the Self.

All the issues I raise such as Man not having fully informed consent, and Man has a Cross, and Angels may go to hell, but they become extinct (all of which have some sort of extrapolation beyond the concrete) STILL do not get me out of the real issue (God is love, created beings with will go to hell) which is the concrete scripture support of the reality of what happens to those particular angels, those created beings with Will and Personhood and Voice, who, in the full light of day, choose Self over Love. They go un-redeemed. I hate that. It gives Daron a foot into the door I want to slam shut. But I can't wholly shut it. And thus I stand in the border-land between Daron and Malebranche. I find truth and sincerity in both......It appears there is a appears created beings with Will and Personhood and Voice end up there, and yet "God is Love" remains wholly true. And this state of "Non-love" is called “hell” by CS Lewis in this next quote, which I think is helpful here, as it describes what Jesus tells us, namely The-Real is comprised of Self-Giving, that which we find in the eternally sacrificed self, and that which is the inverse of this Pattern, is….well…’s the quote:

"And as the Word-Made-Flesh glorifies the Father, so also the Father glorifies the Son. From the highest to the lowest, self exists to be abdicated and, by that abdication, becomes the more truly self, to be thereupon yet the more abdicated, and so forever. This is not a heavenly law which we can esccape by remaining earthly, nor an earthly law which we can escape by being saved. What is outside the system of self-giving is not earth, nor nature, nor "ordinary life," but simply and solely Hell. Yet even Hell derives from this law such reality as it has. That fierce imprisonment in the self is but the obverse of the self-giving which is absolute reality; the negative shape which the outer darkness takes by surrounding and defining the shape of the real, or which the real imposes on the darkness by having a shape and positive nature of its own....hell was not made for men. It is in no sense "parallel" to heaven: it is "the darkness outside," the outer rim where being fades away into non-entity.”

But all of this is a moot point if Ultimate Reality does not ultimately “differentiate between” and is thus wholly “Indifferent to” Good and Evil.

Conversely, if Ultimate Reality is Love (not Has love), if the Ultimate Ethic is Love, and if Real Self’s with Real Will and Real Personhood and Real Voice actually exist, then the Pattern of the eternally sacrificed, acquiesced self is The Real, and that which is outside of this is so by being innately Self and not Other. Jesus tells us “All things and all the Prophets all come down to this: Love Love Himself and Love One Another”. Everything that is outside this eternal pattern of Self Giving is that fierce imprisonment within the Isolated-Self. It is the Alone.

But again: all of this is a moot point, if Ultimate Reality does not ultimately “differentiate between” and is thus wholly “Indifferent to” Good and Evil.

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