an atheist viewpoint

thoughts from a non-theist

Clearly Seen Invisibility

Romans 1:18–21:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness, because what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened.

Er….what?? Apparently the Christian god has made his existence clear to us, but how?

For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made.”

Right, so these ‘invisible attributes’ are ‘clearly seen’? Surely that would mean they’re no longer invisible? Or is the writer trying to say that they are ‘clearly seen’ by those who already believe in them? Still invisible, but not to those who can imagine them into visibility? Basically ‘You must believe in them because they are there, even though they’re invisible, but you’ll be able to imagine you can see them once you’ve accepted that they are there…..or you’ll make YHWH angry!’

Seriously, Christians, if you read this and don’t think it’s meaningless circular gibberish, lacking any profundity, then you’re a lost cause – logic and you are not friends.

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31 thoughts on “Clearly Seen Invisibility

  1. "Right, so these 'invisible attributes' are 'clearly seen'?"Erm, like the laws of logic? :-)May wanna delete this entire post along with my comment this time 😉

  2. "May wanna delete this entire post along with my comment this time ;-)"No, I'm leaving them all up at the moment, because they show what a smug, self-satisfied, dickweed you are 😉

  3. Oh, and Sye? Will you please show me a verse in the Bible that contains the word 'logic'?Thanks!

  4. so what about the amazonian native, the mongolian shepherd, the Masai warrior or the newborn infant who dont know the bible exists so have never been given the magic jesus goggles to see his invisible visibleness are the just shit out of luck?

  5. Alex wrote: "Right, so these 'invisible attributes' are 'clearly seen'?"Circular Sye responded: “Erm, like the laws of logic? :-)”Sye, can you tell us specifically what “invisible attributes” of the laws of logic are “clearly seen”? Please, try to be specific, and also tell us what those attributes look like since you seem to think they’re “clearly seen”. Then kindly explain how that which is “clearly seen” is also “invisible.” I’ll await your erudite weighing-in on the matter.Circular Sye wrote: “May wanna delete this entire post along with my comment this time ;-)”You mean like Dustin Segers did on his blog? He deleted his post where he tried (and miserably failed) to refute the primacy of existence after he was shown how off base he was. But don’t worry, his dismantled blog post lives again here: Dustin Segers’ Failed Attempt to Refute the Primacy of Existence. By the way, I would like to echo Alex’s request that you show us where “logic” appears in the bible. I’ve checked all mine, and can’t find it. Can you help?Regards,Dawson

  6. "Sye, can you tell us specifically what “invisible attributes” of the laws of logic are “clearly seen”?"You can read right? The text does not say the "invisible attributes of the laws of logic," it is clearly talking about the invisible attributes of God. Logic is an invisible attribute of God."By the way, I would like to echo Alex’s request that you show us where “logic” appears in the bible."The word does not, but the concept does, all throughout Scripture, and if you'd like to do a Bible study on it, we meet Sunday mornings after church and you are more than welcome.Glad that you are here though, perhaps you can clear some things up that Alex cannot answer.1. Is it viciously circular to use your reasoning to justify you reasoning?2. What do you know to be true, and how are you able to know it?Thanks,Sye

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  9. I asked: "Sye, can you tell us specifically what ‘invisible attributes’ of the laws of logic are ‘clearly seen’?"Circular Sye asked: “You can read right?”Actually, I read from the left to right. You can explain yourself clearly, can you not?Sye wrote: “The text does not say the ‘invisible attributes of the laws of logic’, it is clearly talking about the invisible attributes of God. Logic is an invisible attribute of God.”Some questions here:1) Where does the bible cite logic as “an invisible attribute of God”?2) Can you explain how it makes rational sense to say that logic is an attribute of a concrete entity?3) How can something that’s said to be “invisible” also be “clearly seen”? I’m asking 3) here again because you didn’t answer it when I asked it in my previous message, and I’m very curious to make sense of this since apologists are constantly citing Romans 1.I wrote: "By the way, I would like to echo Alex’s request that you show us where ‘logic’ appears in the bible."Sye: “The word does not,”Okay then. I figured correctly: Logic is not in the bible. Thanks!Sye: “but the concept does, all throughout Scripture,”Numerous questions come to mind just contemplating your unargued claim here:Where specifically does the concept appear in the bible? Saying “all throughout” is most unhelpful. When we read in the gospels, for instance, that Jesus was born of a virgin, are we reading about logic here? If so, I guess when we read about Harry Potter flying around on a broomstick, we’re reading about logic there, too.Also, how do you know that a concept appears some place when you admit that the word 'logic' does not? Even more importantly, how do you know when a concept is present when in fact your worldview has no theory of concepts to teach you about the nature of concepts? If you think the concept ‘logic’ is present in the bible some place, what is the biblical definition for this concept? How is it logical, for instance, to kill off all human beings save 8 individuals with a worldwide flood? What exactly was the goal of such an action? How is the notion of a person who is said to be “wholly God, wholly man” at all “logical”? How is the notion of the trinity “logical”? Sye wrote: “and if you'd like to do a Bible study on it, we meet Sunday mornings after church and you are more than welcome.”Thanks for the invite. Unfortunately I’m some 10,000 miles away, give or take. Hopefully the wonderful invention called the internet can help us bridge the gap. Feel free to explain right here if you can. If you can’t, make up some reason why you won’t be explaining.Sye asked: “1. Is it viciously circular to use your reasoning to justify you reasoning?”Apparently it depends. Presuppositionalists tell me that it’s not viciously circular if the reasoning in question “goes beyond a simple circle” (Dustin Segers). If this is true, then each instance of using reasoning to justify one’s reasoning would have to be examined on a case by case basis.Sye asked: “2. What do you know to be true,”What, are you asking for an exhaustive list? Why?Sye asked: “and how are you able to know it?”I know what I know by a means of knowledge – i.e., by means of reason.Here’s an example: I know that you, Sye, are dishonest. How do I know? By means of reason. See? It works – I applied reason, and I acquired and validated knowledge.Meanwhile, contrast this with John Frame who "enlightens" his readers with the howler "We know without knowing how we know." (See here.)I'll go with reason, thanks.Regards,Dawson

  10. Sorry Dawson, the automatic spam filters had grabbed your messages for some reason, no idea why. Blogger really need to fix their software – people marked as spam remain able to post, whilst genuine posts end up filtered – a ridiculous turn of affairs. Feel free to remove any duplicates. Readers, if you're coming to this later and see two deleted posts from Dawson above this one, it is because those posts were the same as the remaining one above.

  11. Hi Alex,Thanks for the note. Yes, Blogger's spam filter has a lot of bugs – it happens on my blog as well.Unfortunately, I know of no way to delete unwanted comments since I used the Name/URL option when commenting. Your blog would not accept my Google account for some reason, so I just used the option that was open to me. Only one of the three comments that I posted need to appear since they will all be identical. But at least this way Sye has a chance to see my response to him.Thanks again!Regards,Dawson

  12. "Sorry Dawson, the automatic spam filters had grabbed your messages for some reason"What, Dawson's comment was marked as spam? Maybe I should have gone with Blogger instead of WordPress 😀

  13. ”Apparently it depends. Presuppositionalists tell me that it’s not viciously circularJust answer the question please.” What, are you asking for an exhaustive list? “Nope, just ONE thing you know for certain and how you are able to know it.”Why”In order to obtain an answer.” I know what I know by a means of knowledge – i.e., by means of reason.”How do you know that your reasoning about anything is valid?”1) Where does the bible cite logic as “an invisible attribute of God”?As I said, our Bible study meets Sunday’s after church and you are more than welcome. If I cite Bible passages to support my view, you will merely interpret them subject to your presuppositions, so rather than erect a straw man, just accept it as my view.”2) Can you explain how it makes rational sense to say that logic is an attribute of a concrete entity?”Not to someone who cannot justify rationality.”3) How can something that’s said to be “invisible” also be “clearly seen”? Metaphorically. Logic is not visible, and yet is clearly seen.”Okay then. I figured correctly: Logic is not in the bible. Thanks!”Hmm, I don’t know why I expect better of you Dawson? Surely you are not saying that because the word ‘logic’ is not in the Bible that it follows that the concept is not in the Bible?”Where specifically does the concept appear in the bible?”Again, I am not about to engage a God-hater in a Bible study. ”Also, how do you know that a concept appears some place when you admit that the word 'logic' does not?”Through reason.”Even more importantly, how do you know when a concept is present “Through reason.”If you think the concept ‘logic’ is present in the bible some place, what is the biblical definition for this concept?”Again, I am not about to engage in a Bible study with a God-hater. You are free to come to ours, but I will not engage you on interpretation of texts that you presuppose are false.” How is it logical, for instance, to kill off all human beings save 8 individuals with a worldwide flood?”Which law of logic did this violate?” What exactly was the goal of such an action?”See Genesis.” How is the notion of a person who is said to be “wholly God, wholly man” at all “logical”? How is the notion of the trinity “logical”?”It is characteristic of the One who is logical, and the only possible justification for logic.”Thanks for the invite. Unfortunately I’m some 10,000 miles away”Give me your approximate location, and I trust that I could hook you up with something local.

  14. "What, Dawson's comment was marked as spam? Maybe I should have gone with Blogger instead of WordPress :-D"I can imagine why you don't want Dawson showing you up, he's far more knowledgeable than I, and torpedoes you at every turn

  15. "Again, I am not about to engage a God-hater in a Bible study."AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!!!FAIL!

  16. Sye, your question asking to justify reasoning is beyond silly.To “justify” something essentially means to “give good reason” for something. You cannot “justify” anything without using reason. Your question is a nonsensical question.What you are really asking is “can you give good reason for reasoning?” and then you go on to claim “vicious circularity” because reasoning is used to give a reason. We can all see how absurd this is.It’s really quite sad how defense the Christian world view comes down to word games.

  17. "Sye, your question asking to justify reasoning is beyond silly."Surely you would not claim that everyone's reasoning is valid? If not, how do you know that yours is?

  18. Sye,It’s not the act of reasoning that needs to be validated but rather the conclusions that come from it. There are many different ways to verify ones conclusions and all of them make use of reasoning. It is not circular to use reasoning to continue to verify or falsify ones conclusions. We can build a house with a hammer and still use that same hammer to fix the house when it breaks.If this is all your world view has to stand on I think you should be concerned because some day the house will come crashing down and you will find yourself without a hammer. I suspect the foundation has already started to crack.

  19. I'm sorry that I'm not engaging you with more than laughter and name calling at the moment Sye, but your bullshit has been done to death as far as I'm concerned. I'm happy to step back and watch you try to dig your way out of your logic bereft hole.

  20. "If this is all your world view has to stand on I think you should be concerned because some day the house will come crashing down and you will find yourself without a hammer. I suspect the foundation has already started to crack. "Sye, I think JC has hit the nail on the head there. Haven't you noticed the increased push back against your stupidity recently? Enough people have now been exposed to your nonsense, AND exposed to WHY it's nonsense. You're literally gaining NO traction anywhere these days (apart from on the blogs of other Presubullshitters) – it's not going to be too long until you're forced to get a new argument. The TAG bandwagon is almost out of fuel.

  21. Here's your problem Sye, whilst you've robotically repeated your argument over and over, your opponents have learned, tried different routes of attack, and have consolidated the many different ways in which the TAG can be shown up.Whether it's Paul Baird showing that any sufficiently powerful being can be slotted in, Rhiggs and I explaining that miracles render intelligibility impossible, Dawson destroying your 'logic' and showing that the Primacy of Existence cuts you off before you've even started, or the literally dozens of others who've shown that your reasoning is utterly circular and beyond flawed, we all now know what the failings of your argument are. It's over, which ever way one looks at the TAG a flaw can be seen.The rest of your circle are going to be ok, as they have other things to fall back on – Eric is going to keep on lying to people about Creationism and taking money from the gullible, Dustin has a church to support him, even David has a full time job! You, on the other hand, have nothing but a rapidly emptying savings account, and one idea. I'd suggest you get back to building cars asap.

  22. I wrote: “Apparently it depends. Presuppositionalists tell me that it’s not viciously circular”Sye responded: “Just answer the question please.”So, you don’t accept the presuppositionalist line now? That’s odd. What gives?I asked: ” What, are you asking for an exhaustive list? “Sye: “Nope, just ONE thing you know for certain and how you are able to know it.”One thing? I know you’re a liar. That’s one thing. How am I able to know it? By means of reason. In the case that Sye was asking that I provide an exhaustive list of what I know, I asked: ”Why”Sye: “In order to obtain an answer.”What specifically is it that you want to know, Sye? If you ask a general question, you’ll get a general response. You might not like it, but you’re always welcome to restate your question to get what you’re really after. What is it about reason that you’re unclear on?I wrote: ” I know what I know by a means of knowledge – i.e., by means of reason.”Sye: “How do you know that your reasoning about anything is valid?”I checked. That’s how. And you know what? Not only did I find that my reasoning is valid, I also found that it is sound. I also checked yours (see here). I couldn’t find anything in your reasoning that was sound.I asked: ”1) Where does the bible cite logic as “an invisible attribute of God”?Sye: “As I said, our Bible study meets Sunday’s…”Just answer the question please. My question had nothing to do with when your bible study meets.Sye: “If I cite Bible passages to support my view, you will merely interpret them subject to your presuppositions”What, afraid to take a chance? Sye, come on!Sye: “just accept it as my view.”I gather that it’s your expressed view, since you’ve expressed it. What I want to know is why anyone should think it’s true.I asked: ”2) Can you explain how it makes rational sense to say that logic is an attribute of a concrete entity?”Sye: “Not to someone who cannot justify rationality.”Then explain it to me. How does it make rational sense to say that logic is an attribute of a concrete entity? Are you going to enlighten, or dodge? Your call.I asked: ”3) How can something that’s said to be “invisible” also be “clearly seen”? Sye: “Metaphorically.”So, not literally, right? Sye: “Logic is not visible, and yet is clearly seen.”Please explain. And try to stay away from murky metaphors. Articulate your position with precision if you can.I wrote: ”Okay then. I figured correctly: Logic is not in the bible. Thanks!”Sye: “Hmm, I don’t know why I expect better of you Dawson?”That’s not your only point of ignorance, Sye.Sye: “Surely you are not saying that because the word ‘logic’ is not in the Bible that it follows that the concept is not in the Bible?”I’m just agreeing with you. You conceded that “logic” is not in the bible. You confirm the results of my own attempts to find this word.I asked: ”Where specifically does the concept appear in the bible?”Sye: “Again, I am not about to engage a God-hater in a Bible study.”Okay, your choice. Let the record show that you’ve been asked to show specifically where the concept of logic appears in the bible as you have claimed that it does, and in response to this you’ve declined to address the question.[Continued…]

  23. "It’s not the act of reasoning that needs to be validated but rather the conclusions that come from it."Just answer the question please. I've had enough dodging from Alex to last a while :-DIs everyone's ability to come to logical conclusions valid? If not, how do you know that yours is?

  24. Sye, where is your Bible study located? I might like to go!JoE

  25. I asked: ”Also, how do you know that a concept appears some place when you admit that the word 'logic' does not?”Sye: “Through reason.”Good. Now, walk us through the steps you took to establish that the concept of logic is present in a text when in fact it is conceded that the word ‘logic’ does not appear (and in fact, the authors of the text provide no explicit indication that they had any scholarly grasp of the topic).I asked: ”Even more importantly, how do you know when a concept is present “Sye: “Through reason.”Great! Please, kindly walk us through the steps. You want us to trust what you say, do you not? So please show us your homework. After all, all that bible study on Sundays must produce something of value to show the world, no? Let’s see it.I asked: ”If you think the concept ‘logic’ is present in the bible some place, what is the biblical definition for this concept?”Sye: “Again, I am not about to engage in a Bible study with a God-hater. You are free to come to ours, but I will not engage you on interpretation of texts that you presuppose are false.”If you can’t explain your position, the blame does not rest with me. It is your position that I am trying to tease out of you, since you assert your conclusions, but guard the premises which supposedly support those conclusions so close to your chest. It makes you appear like you expect people to accept what you say on your mere say so. It also makes you look like you're trying to hide something. Like Dustin Segers.I asked: ” How is it logical, for instance, to kill off all human beings save 8 individuals with a worldwide flood?”Sye: “Which law of logic did this violate?”The burden is to show that the choices and actions depicted of the Christian god in the flood story are logical, since the claim is that they are logical. You act as though they were logical by default, which defies logic (since choice was involved, which means logic is not automatic). So if you can explain how it’s logical, you have this opportunity. If you pass up the opportunity, perhaps it’s because you cannot show that it’s logical. Your call.I asked: ” What exactly was the goal of such an action?”Sye: “See Genesis.”Genesis is 50 chapters. Can you be a little more precise? Or don’t you know?I asked: ”How is the notion of a person who is said to be ‘wholly God, wholly man’ at all ‘logical’? How is the notion of the trinity ‘logical’?”Sye: “It is characteristic of the One who is logical, and the only possible justification for logic.”This simply seems to re-assert the claim that your god is logical without addressing the specifics of my question at all. Did you read it?I wrote: ”Thanks for the invite. Unfortunately I’m some 10,000 miles away”Sye: “Give me your approximate location, and I trust that I could hook you up with something local.”Currently in Cha’am, Thailand. Tomorrow I will be traveling into Burma. How are you going to hook up with me?See you in a couple days. I’ll be back.Regards,Dawson

  26. “Just answer the question please. I've had enough dodging from Alex to last a while :-DIs everyone's ability to come to logical conclusions valid? If not, how do you know that yours is? “I did answer the question; you just don’t like my answer. You are just restating your same question over again with the addition of “conclusions”. Obviously, not every ones conclusions are correct. We can know (or at least have more/less confidence) our conclusions are correct or incorrect through many different methods, one of which we are doing right now (debating/discussing). Others include multi-path reasoning and scientific method.

  27. "I did answer the question; you just don’t like my answer."Sadly a typical Sye tactic – during my last debate with him he kept asking questions over and over that I'd clearly already answered. If he doesn't get the answer he needs for his script then he doesn't hear any answer at all.

  28. Sye, Alex offered to host a podcast of a discussion between the two of us if you are interested. I will answer as many of your questions as I can as long as you are willing to do the same.Thanks

  29. Yeah, I'm more than happy to host a discussion between the two of you. I can do it any time at the moment

  30. It's worth comparing Sye's approach with that of Chris Bolt who is actually trying to deal with the basis of my rebuttal. I appreciate the effort.

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