Effin’ Ineffable

It’s amazing how quickly, when challenged, Christians will retreat behind their platitudinous disclaimers. “God moves in mysterious ways” they’ll say. Or perhaps “we can never know the mind of God”. Or, of course, that old favourite, that it’s “ineffable”. Anything that doesn’t make sense is ineffable, which means that it does make sense, but only in the mind of God, so shut up and do as I tell you, you blasphemously questioning sinner.

Yeah, I don’t think so.

Just to get things clear, ineffable actually has two meanings: the first means a thing that is incapable of being expressed in words (e.g. an accurate description of Nyarlothotep). The second means not to be spoken of because of its sacredness.

The argument that we can never know the mind of God is actually disproved in the very first book of the Bible. Seriously. Allow me to quote from Genesis 3:22

And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever

Notice how God outright states that the only thing man lacks to become God’s equal is immortality. Since the fruit that Adam and Eve ate granted “the knowledge of good and evil” (G 2:17), which is obviously a purely mental gift, the logical implication is that Adam, Eve, and all their multitudinous descendants are the mental equals of God. We have God’s own word on the subject to prove it.

So, assuming that God was not lying, it follows that, if our minds are the equal of his, we can know his mind after all. It might not be easy, but if we can know any mind from Dahmer to Ghandi, from St Francis to Gilles de Rais, we can surely know God’s

Whither ineffability? It seems to me that not a few Christians are attempting to hide the second definition within the first, but as we’ve just seen, the first one does not apply to the mind of God. We have the same knowledge of good and evil that he does. Which rather exposes all uses of the second definition as the special pleading that they are.

Tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Effin’ Ineffable

  1. Alex H. says:

    Has it ever occurred to you that Christians frequently can’t be bothered with whatever argument you’re bringing?

    Granted, many will fall back to platitudes because they don’t know the answer and it’s easy. On the other hand there is deafening silence to a wide variety of Christianities detractors because Christian academics simply can’t be bothered or won’t dignify the opposition with a response.

    It could be that there are so many attacks used, and so frequently, in an attempt to discredit Christianity that most Christians with sub genius IQs and non-idetic memories simply can’t keep up. On the other hand if you go somewhere like the Hall of Questions or the Christian Think Tank you’ll find responses to almost any attack on Christianity.

    It’s amazing how quickly athiests and other detractors, having seen their arguments completely demolished, continue on using that same argument but I guess that’s where a man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still and faith and will are inextricably entwined.

    • Loki says:

      To be honest, no, it hasn’t. This is most likely because the overwhelming majority of Christians I’ve argued with have been the ones who buttonhole strangers in the street to tell them about God, faith, etc. Not exactly shrinking violets, I’m sure you’ll agree.

      Besides which, my argument here does not discredit Christianity in toto – it merely mocks a literal interpretation of the Bible.

  2. Alex H. says:

    Yeah, there’s a proliferation of books with titles like “How to read the Bible for all it’s worth” or similar, virtually every bible printed today has an introduction to each book explaining it’s author, purpose, content… even if they don’t there’s Bible Handbooks which do the same but in greater detail, yet people, pro and anti, persist in literal interpretations and interpretations completely devoid of context.

    I think the group that grinds my gears most are the people, and Muslims in particular, who can’t seem to get their heads around the fact that while there are similarities between Judaism and Christianity, they have virtually nothing in common with Islam.

    Why can’t people spend 30 seconds researching their bullshit objections/arguments/apologies before gobbing off about them???

Leave a Reply