Posted: Feb 25, 2018 3:47 pm
by GrahamH
jamest wrote:IF there were a Christ amongst us, it should imo be possible to verify this without the need for 'miracles'. Why? Because (from my perspective anyway) a Christ would be an individual who knew that 'it' was God, thus was not fooled (as we all seemingly are) into believing 'it' was human. The Christ would know without a doubt that being human is merely a dream - indeed, a lucid dream.

This is a problem of how one can test one's own beliefs. If you have an overwhelming conviction that you are a messiah, but you find sign of an ability to perform miracles and no objectively verifiable knowledge of things you would not otherwise know how can you validate your belief?

To take Plantinga's example cited by WLC, if all the objective evidence shows you committed a murder but you have no knowledge of doing it, how can you test the hypothesis that you are indeed innocent?

I don't think the person that believes they are Christ can test that belief to any substantial extent except by objectively verifiable exceptional abilities. If all you have is personal conviction you may very well be wrong.

This seems to me to be a fundamental problem for many religious convictions. Some people claim to have an experience of omniscience, of understanding everything in a moment. I think this has virtually zero truth value. It's just a form of sense experience, a sense of knowing, but what is conspicuously absent is any ability to apply any piece of this supposedly omniscient knowledge. You should know everything that can be known far beyond mortal limits and yet all you can express is trivial deepity.

WLC / Plantinga's argument seems without merit.

What have you got, jamest? What good is it to "know you are God", with whatever degree of certainty, without the ability to verify it? How else could you verify it other than to exercise divine power?

We should not forget that there is no shortage of people who have held a messianic belief and no doubt all of them would disagree with the validity of each other's claims. But by jamest's thesis that "a Christ would be an individual who knew that 'it' was God, thus was not fooled" is of no use whatsoever because it ignores all those that "know they are God" when they are not.