I ever tell you this story? This is Detroit when I was a boy, maybe 5. Sunday, watching golf on TV with my dad, my mom in the kitchen making dinner, my sister tottering around. My dad asked me to go in the bedroom and grab a pillow off the bed so that he’d be more comfortable lying on the floor.
I went into my parent’s bedroom and there at the head of the bed, on either side, stood two large Xs. Best way to describe them. They were hairy, a fine hair, black. Three feet or so tall. They made no sound. The one at my left threw a pillow at me. I was so astonished I ran out with the pillow and gave it to my dad.
Now this happened. That is, I have always remembered it. But the distance between me and five is great. But what happened? One explanation is childhood imagination. That’s comforting, but false. The second explanation, because I lived it, is that it happened.
What were they? I haven’t the slightest idea, now or then. They never came back. But there were other times and other stories, as many of us have.
Christianity insists such episodes are at least possible. Which is to say, the spirit world, the world of the immaterial that can, at times, interact with the material world is real. Angels are real, demons are real. Strange things are real.
These angelic creatures are not abstract objects, set far away in the universe to be dispatched on occasion. They are here, now, everywhere. And active, manifesting themselves in a variety of ways.
The pagans used to know this far better than we do. As I’ve said before, the Egyptian who was sure a chariot was carrying the sun on its daily route across the sky was closer to the truth than we are with our lifeless orbital mechanics. Both make the same prediction, but the Egyptian knew a deeper truth than the scientist is capable of understanding. What is at base is not science, which has no intrinsic base, but Being itself.
Now there are good, theoretical theological and scriptural reasons for making this claim, which I will defer to another time, and which should anyway be obvious to believing Christians (how many times in the Bible did God or an angel talk to us in dreams?). For now, we cast our eyes to the Bronze Age Pervert, who had an essay in American Sun (please read all of it first; and ignore his affection of writing badly to write well).
Passing over the true and often verified Nietzschean lament that Christianity can breed weak men, especially among protesting Christian sects and latterly Jesuits, we come to the well known longing for a restoration of manly men among the dissident right. Some seek this via neopaganism, but, like transgenderism, this often devolves into LARPing. Some try tradcath (as you might have heard it called), yet this is often a strategy not fully implemented.
We look high, or try to, but for most of us, as BAP says, “everything becomes a toothless allegory and symbol.” It’s hard to believe. His approach is different (ellipsis original):
You could call this an innocent apprehension of the hidden demons and gods inside nature and things. Maybe it is the precursor, this feeling, to the artistic revival of paganism, I don’t know. But it is an innate sensation, a natural animism. I tried briefly to discuss it in book. I have had images appear to me in daydreams since I was small boy, that were very vivid and specific. I know others who have had the same. Then also a sensation of spirits inhabiting animals and inanimate objects too, with a reverence for some, and a pity when others are mistreated — Houellebecq mentions his pity for a line of coats. This is not a sensation informed by any rational doxy or theoretical or theological belief. And I’ve always firmly rejected any such interpretations of these events because I found they didn’t fit. So to such sensibility it is very offensive or stupid when people try to actually go to forest and pretend they worship Wotan or Hermes or whoever…nor have I seen those old gods or any other such specifically that I can name. Those gods are dead or asleep. If you want to see what this feeling is like, watch some of David Lynch. I believe that is what this natural, innocent and innate paganism looks like in our time, when presented naively: he simply shows the demons and acknowledges them, doesn’t pretend to know who they are, what they want, or even how to worship or assuage them. And they look terrifying and surreal for us, and not at all like what you’d expect.
I have seen some things like this since I was small boy, and have felt the presence of one in particular. I feel that he will make a great show one day and erupt into the world.
I know what BAP means about this presence.
Now we differ only in our definition of the “gods” are and in how they should be treated. That they are here, here now, we do not differ. If we want a restoration of manly Christianity, we need to grasp and act on the truth that (for lack of a better phrase) the spirit world is real and is more important than the material world. Not in some distant past or in some rare occasion, but everywhere and at all times.
This is not a call to superstition. This is a plea to believe what we believe.
But you don’t honestly want us to believe what we believe, you wish us only to believe what you believe, and therein lies the problem.
Our real world of daily experience lies on the real number line. But the universe works with the entire complex plane, 99.44% of which we cannot experience in any direct fashion.
I arbitrarily label the positive imaginary axis as “Heaven” and the negative axis as “Hell”.
“How we Worship is how we believe” is a phrase i’ve heard used before. ‘Acting on what we believe’ is a more succinct way to put it. Recently the daily readings had this poorly paraphrased quote: “Keep the laws of hospitality, for by it you have unknowingly hosted angels”. And that rocked my world. I can be having coffee with friends, and without knowing, doing, or seeing anything, Angels are *right there with us*. This affirms your point.
As to your call to action: Modernism is plagued by ideology and jealousy. It’s tried to turn what we know as Truth into subject for debate with the former; and tried to make us doubt the consequences of our belief with the latter. By ‘trying to fit in’ it’s made a generation of Christians who quietly believe in God but aren’t sure how to express it for fear of not expressing it right. It takes a kind of boldness or courage, the kind we see demonstrated in Acts of the Apostles, to walk out into the world and proclaim the Gospels in the fullness of it’s Truth. It’s a scary idea to think about–certainly it’s an idea I just wrote and it gives me jitters to think that I could greet everyone I see today with “God bless you” or “Pax vobiscum”. I could append ‘AMDG’ to the end of every email. I could pray for the intercession of my guardian angel. I could do a lot of things, but I don’t. Why?
That’s the big human question, isn’t it? Why does our will not perfectly obey the intellect?
I have personally witnessed a large number of unexplainable phenomena.
Things go missing for months or years, then reappear in an obvious and open spot. I experimentally tested this when younger, and was so taken by the (very positive) results that I haven’t dared such a thing again.
I once had a “Magic 8 Ball” that never lied. It was 100% accurate, over many scores of questions. I slowly grew terrified of the horrible thing, and stopped consulting it. Cassandra was rightly condemned.
I have passed through places at dusk which were not there the following morning, and traveled on foot a long distance in a very short time, somehow ending up on the wrong side of a lake miles away in mere minutes.
“There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
My Brother found a paperback book titled something like doors to perception, yesterday. It’s famous, people will know which one I’m talking about. Not recommending it, haven’t read it, just saying.
Sorry to be vague.
Off topic, for those who hate off topic, It is international Mermaid day today!
I know that will please Briggs very much.
Read this article half way down after making the previous comment. Stopped at the point where Briggs started on about manly men. He insults and dares his readers.
Gives me nightmares:
Two nights ago? I was saving a fully capable, well big enough man, standing in the shallow end, from being held under water in the swimming pool by a bear! He wasn’t even struggling. Not a scary bear, to me, but just everybody else, just a big one. Nobody would get into the water so I did! strangely enough, the bear wasn’t then in the water. He didn’t stop me grabbing the man’s arm. Why me? Nobody in the pool even noticed!
I discovered my friend who I’ve known for years and who is straight, was attending hospital for a sex change! Briggs was there to claim he told me so. (I had failed to prevent it!!! Like he needed my opinion or help!) . I’m going to tell him when I see him.
“If you decide to get a sex change, tell Briggs it isn’t Joy’s idea.”
There you go, omnipotence is catching, Briggs. You are not omnipotent!
Some people have comedy dreams. My Mum is one of them, I’ll spare you!
Some people never dream. They’re lucky, or are they?
I listen to a lot of Fr Ripperger for an ostensible protestant. His descriptions and understanding ring extremely true to me. He’s not wild eyed and comes across as very midwestern deadpan.
Spiritual warfare is 100% real. I’ve known too many sober people who’ve said too many things.
Things go missing for months or years, then reappear in an obvious and open spot.
That explains the Rose Law Firm files!
believe what we believe
“Lief” is an old word for “love.” “Be-” is the Old English intensifier, related to Germanic “ge-“. So “beliefed” is “beloved” is “geliebt.” You believe in something when you love it greatly and rely on it, such as on your beloved one. It did not mean “knowing”, even a second-best kind of knowing.
Robert Heinlein coined the word “Grok” since that knowledge passed from our cultural memory. Grok was intended to mean something along the lines of “to take [knowledge] into onesself such that it changes us”. Knowing God exists is one thing; but “Grokking” or, by your etymology, “Believing” in Him changes us. I like that, thank you.
“Magick is the art of causing changes in consciousness in conformity with the Will” – Aleister Crowley via Dion Fortune
“Larping” – so true
“Things go missing for months or years…”
Boring prophet from Monty Python’s Life of Brian: “There shall, in that time, be rumors of things going astray, erm, and there shall be a great confusion as to where things really are, and nobody will really know where lieth those little things wi– with the sort of raffia work base that has an attachment.”
“Christianity insists such episodes are at least possible. Which is to say, the spirit world, the world of the immaterial that can, at times, interact with the material world is real. Angels are real, demons are real. Strange things are real.”
1. You experienced something which you can’t explain, so your explanation is that it was demons (or hairy angels?). This is an argument from ignorance. I’ve never experienced anything like this, except when I was once under the influence of drugs and thought I’d died, which wasn’t as much fun as it sounds.
2. Why would a loving God put demons in his world?
Ah, Swordfish, you keep confusing yourself. God didn’t put demons into the world. He put perfectly formed good angels in it, and a third of them decided to use their free will to change themselves. The first trans-genders, I suppose you could say.
Anyway, it is the same with us. God puts no evil into the world. We do. And then we blame Him for it. Time to grow up, Swordy. Time to see something beyond yourself.
@Swordfishtrombone, since the middle ages and before Christians have drawn a distinction between madness, hallucination, and the supernatural. Turns out they were smart guys. If you would spend some time with Aquinas, you’d see that they were very smart guys. 90% of the objections you raise haven’t just been answered, they’ve been answered half a millennium or more ago.
No, it’s not the argument from ignorance. The argument from ignorance is that something is true because it has not yet been proven false. He is saying what he saw and directly apprehended and experienced. It does not correspond to anything else in his experience, nor was it accompanied occasioned by obvious biochemical or other impairments. And even at that he says merely that this MIGHT have a supernatural explanation.
You can’t just grab bag logical fallacies and apply them outside of their place. Ultimately there’s no great argument that you yourself aren’t just a brain hallucinating in a vat, only direct perception, naive realism, or what the Romans called mens breaks this loop.
“When you get killed as many times as I do, you get used to it, believe me,”
…and somebody killed a wandering transvestite to impress his godfather! Just this second!
Nobody needs drugs! Or substance abuse!
Jim Morrison named his band after that book
Nobody knew how it got there. My brother took it to read. Looked very old and worn.
Why was he showing me he was going to read it? So what?
THEN! he said something about the adjustment people! Stop IT…
It makes me smile.
So I looked up the chapter and verse about the door.
Michael 2 is right.
@ John Watkins,
“God didn’t put demons into the world. He put perfectly formed good angels in it, and a third of them decided to use their free will to change themselves.”
So either God didn’t know that was going to happen, or he knew but didn’t do anything to stop it, in which case he’s still responsible for it. Also, how could those angels have been perfectly formed if they turned into demons?
“Anyway, it is the same with us. God puts no evil into the world. We do.”
God created us, flaws and all, so he’s responsible for that as well.
“The argument from ignorance is that something is true because it has not yet been proven false.”
No it isn’t. It’s claiming that because we don’t know the explanation for X, it must be [insert favoured explanation].
“So either God didn’t know that was going to happen, or he knew but didn’t do anything to stop it, in which case he’s still responsible for it.”
Oh so all what God has to do is to cause individuals to exist in order to be responsible for the evil they do even if it’s done by their own free will.
So I guess by your own reasoning Swordfish, if a couple with good moral character were to beget a daughter that later became a murderer without any encouragement from her parents then the parents would be responsible for their daughter’s immoral actions simply because they brought her into existence. Yeah I don’t think a court would go by that.
SFTB – like you, none of this stuff happens to me, either. Sometimes things go right that shouldn’t, but that’s about it. But maybe that’s enough for someone like me.
“Oh so all what God has to do is to cause individuals to exist in order to be responsible for the evil they do even if it’s done by their own free will.”
God doesn’t just “cause individuals to exist”; he’s responsible for every aspect of our design, including the fact that we’ve got free will (I don’t accept that we have free will, btw), and every aspect of the world we find ourselves in. He could have given us free will but made us unable to choose evil, as is (presumably) the case in heaven.
“So I guess by your own reasoning Swordfish, if a couple with good moral character were to beget a daughter that later became a murderer without any encouragement from her parents then the parents would be responsible for their daughter’s immoral actions simply because they brought her into existence. Yeah I don’t think a court would go by that.”
Like most analogies, this doesn’t really work. Parents aren’t gods. They don’t design their children, and they don’t know the future. If they could, I don’t think many would choose to give them the desire to commit murder. If they did, they would be responsible.
Well evidently you don’t have a basic understanding of what free will entails from that response Swordfish, because if persons have free will – even a free will that is restricted to only making good choices – then evidently God (or anyone else) can’t be responsible for everything a person does since free will entails that the person alone determines her choices and that there’s at least more than one option to make in a situation. Hence God can’t be “responsible for every aspect of our design” if people are given free choice. Of course, if persons were to only have the option to choose good, then no one would be able to show their real colors relating to morality. So my insight that causing a person’s existence doesn’t necessarily make someone responsible still holds.
Oddly enough you talk about morality and it how it relates to religion all the time, yet you don’t have a basis for morality or moral duties given your premise that individuals don’t have free will. Being told that a person should avoid certain immoral actions while having no freedom of choice is like telling someone they have an obligation to avoid dreaming about lions and tigers. At any rate, I don’t see your other points either like how Briggs has committed a “fallacy of ignorance”.
In the second sentence, bro. Again like a lot of “it’s not logical” atheists I’m just not convinced you have a handle on how logical fallacies actually work. Even if the definition is what you said, the fact that Briggs said MIGHT be an explanation keeps it from being a real fallacy.
Briggs himself has admitted that the word might, may, are free of any predictive value. They are still statements of ignorance. Or of knowledge.
The problem of evil and suffering is only solved intellectually, by the eradication of God, as a concept.
What else is removed when God is removed?
Hope, first, then love.
The Christian message is hope.
The reason is love.
Perhaps being an engineer, a pragmatist, a mathematician, makes people believe they don’t rely upon hope at all.
It never comes up. Such a word is even rightly considered irrelevant and very unhelpful. It isn’t something that is pondered on or analysed, or conjured, it is just there. That is the same in physiotherapy. The difference is that the subject is a person.
Without it, people could and would not choose to work in difficult situations. There would be no caring at all. Life would be cheap. Many people who don’t consider themselves Christian even, when pushed, will say, there’s something else…they sense it. In physiotherapy, in or outpatients, the subject never comes up. It’s always there. Like Dumbo.
What people reject is the abuse in the name of God. Who could fail to see God is superfluous in such an explanation?
To tie the machinery of how the message is spread, or ‘bind it’, to one place, is wrong. Until it is admitted as wrong, the fighting will continue. Weirdly, there are now even Atheists who have become sectarian! That’s some weird conversion therapy. Or is it just Weird Science?
Of course God is responsible for His creation. Hence His characteristics of justice and mercy. An irresponsible God would just walk away unconcerned. The whole Judeo-Christian story demonstrates His responsibility. The curious thing is that He shares the responsibility by giving free will to his creatures. Shared responsibility thus becomes an intimate act of cooperation and unity, echoing the experience of the three persons of the Trinity. The miraculous thing is He doesn’t abandon the whole setup because the creatures make bad choices.
The spirit world is part of reality. It has both the good and the bad guys. It’s important to distinguish between the two. They are creatures of God as we are. The bad ones try to divert your attention away from God and onto themselves. Bad humans do the same thing.
I know I just have a bugbear when someone yells “fallacy my good sir!” and doesn’t know how fallacies work.
When the Feds carpet bombed with incendiary devices Santiam Pass, the newspapers reported the fire but failed to report the CAUSE, which was the carpet bombing.
The Oregonian newspaper did however report that alleged passers-by allegedly “saw angels in the smoke” at sunset from the carpet bombed (with incendiary devices) formerly green old growth spotted owl forest now in flames.
So all angel sightings are not necessarily real angels. They may be hallucinations from basically EVIL dwid psycho people like the commie atheist newspaper reporters at the Oregonian having a fake “spiritual” moment while they slip slide utterly into Hell.
“Well evidently you don’t have a basic understanding of what free will entails from that response […]”
You’ve agreed that God could have made us in such a way that we’d have free will but be unable to choose evil. That completely undermines your argument that God isn’t responsible for evil because of our free will. God is responsible for giving us free will, and responsible for us being in a world where we can choose evil. There doesn’t seem to be anything else to add to this.
How can you have free will and be unable to choose evil? Then, the will would not be free. God took the chance of creating free will beings when He created angels and humans. Both were created perfect by God. Both, all or in part, exercised their free wills and chose evil. God has rewards and punishments as a result. This is how it has worked out. God chooses what he wants.
“In the second sentence, bro. Again like a lot of “it’s not logical” atheists I’m just not convinced you have a handle on how logical fallacies actually work.”
If you look further down the page you link to, under “Arguments from ignorance”, you’ll see examples which are in line with my version, especially the first one. I made a mistake in my previous response to you by claiming that the definition you provided wasn’t the right definition, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t correctly identify the fallacy in this article.
@ Peter Aiello,
“How can you have free will and be unable to choose evil? Then, the will would not be free.”
If you’re choosing between pizzas, you don’t have an evil choice (except Hawaiian, obviously!), yet you still have free will. Free will doesn’t necessitate having the ability to choose evil.
“God took the chance of creating free will beings when He created angels and humans.”
A God that knows everything can’t “take a chance”. He knows the outcome of every free will decision which will ever be made.
“Both were created perfect by God. Both, all or in part, exercised their free wills and chose evil.”
As I asked DG (but didn’t get an answer), how can perfect creations choose evil?
“God has rewards and punishments as a result. This is how it has worked out. God chooses what he wants.”
How can a God have wants?
“Of course God is responsible for His creation.”
Tell that to DG!
“Hence His characteristics of justice and mercy.”
The Christian system of justice is a mess. All evil and suffering is allowed to continue unabated. Punishment is only meted out after death. The punishment for genocide is exactly the same as that for just not believing in God. Believing in God is made easy for some people (the disciples) but near impossible for others (people raised under Islam, or people living in the 100,000 years before Jesus showed up). God values the free will of criminals higher than the free will of their victims. I could go on, but am starting to feel guilty for attacking such an easy target.
“The miraculous thing is He doesn’t abandon the whole setup because the creatures make bad choices.”
Most parents don’t abandon their children, even if they do something really bad, so I’m not clear why it’s miraculous that an omnipotent God behaves as well as an average parent.
I think that the Biblical God operates by a different set of rules than the god of philosophy. They are not the same. I don’t have either one totally figured out. The Biblical God has expressed what He expects of humans in order to impart peace and strength. This is all I need to know about Him. The remainder is speculation.
“You’ve agreed that God could have made us in such a way that we’d have free will but be unable to choose evil. That completely undermines your argument that God isn’t responsible for evil because of our free will. ”
Not quite, I only said that free will (whatever the extent of the options are) enables a person to be in control of the options they can take. But even if we were to grant that scenario as a possibility it doesn’t do anything to undermine the fact that if a person freely chooses to do evil then that person is at fault and not the Deity (or anyone else) that didn’t encourage that person to make the bad choice. After all, a person has an opportunity to choose good as well. The advantage of having the freedom to do good and evil is that it allows persons to really decide for themselves if they want to be virtuous or not. A world where individuals don’t have the opportunity to do evil would be a world of goodness that would be totally unmerited and programmed and not done with freedom. And God gives people free will naturally with the hope that they will choose good.
Anyway we’ve gone a bit of a different route than what this post is about – unexplained phenomena and the spirit world.
“if a person freely chooses to do evil then that person is at fault and not the Deity (or anyone else) that didn’t encourage that person to make the bad choice.”
God has created people with the ability to choose evil, he’s put them in a world where they have the physical capability to do evil, he’s allowed demons in this world to tempt them, and he knows in advance (due to his omniscience) that they will do evil, yet you think he’s not responsible for the evil which occurs?
To your last point, when anything of that ilk has happened? reality itself doesn’t change. How you approach it is what changes.
Hallucination doesn’t fit the picture, it happens around life and death situations. Even when you didn’t know that life or death was ‘happening’.
Once you’re open to it then you do notice more and more.
It also happens when you come up against pure evil. Pure goodness is always there.
Perfect strangers need to look out for each other.
There are sometimes gifts that come from heaven.
The Holy Spirit seems to know how to cause coincidences. When you have meddlers mixing it as well, it’s still easy to know the difference. The Truth is perfectly calm.