I'm not picking on Corky personally, but on the assumptions and arguments which he makes, based on general assumptions rather than proofs.
For example, can we prove, by any physical method known, that there exists a decision procedure such that we can get from "here" to "God" in a proven fashion?
No, there is not, and since there is not, any attempt to try and organize according to "God's will" results in confusion and enslavement to religious ideas. This is fully consistent with Romans 8:7.
I've stated it enough, and with no challengers.
I've also put it in other language. If we could create a decision procedure to get to God, that decision procedure would be subject to language, meaning it is also subject to algorithms and programming. Corky has presented the general "christian" argument that Paul says we can make a decision to "please God" by our efforts at being "born again".
In fact, Paul didn't say that. If he had, then there would be no confusion within Christianity, since all definitions could be reduced to finite, logical, rational processes, thus eliminating any confusion whatever regarding God. This is plainly shown false by Romans 8:7.
Marvin Minsky and Seymour Papert presented a paper on the relationship between the mind and the complexities of the brain, and concluded that the brain itself contained so many levels, and capacity for 'framing" reality that the mind could not represent the workings of the brain due to its complexity, at that time, anyway.
That is also called the Church-Turing thesis, which states that the brain is nothing more than a computer subject to physical laws, and which may ultimately be mapped, but since the mapping process is subject to Godel's theorem, it will never contain a consistent complete framework of the brain's complexity.
That is, we can't know our own mind, because we can't understand how it works. or even more simply, the "software" of our mind cannot reach into the "hardware" of our brain and alter its programming.
The reason why that is so is because the "software" of the mind operates BECAUSE the "hardware" of the brain works as it does. The 'software' performs because the 'hardware' drives it.
Paul makes some interesting statements paralleling this point in Romans 7:14, RSV:
"We know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin.
"I DO NOT UNDERSTAND MY OWN ACTIONS".
So, we have Paul here saying that the functions of his own physical brain could not be understood by the examination of his mind. Not so different from the conclusions of Minsky and Papert.
Verse 21: "So I find it to be law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.
"I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members".
Paul quite simply said he couldn't keep the law. he said he had a carnal mind, "sold under sin".
Corky implied that Paul taught we could make choices to keep the law, while Paul admitted that he, Paul, could not obey it. He couldn't obey it because the mind is incapable of reaching into the brain and altering its main drives. The "law" of the brain works at odds with the 'law' of the mind, and as Paul plainly admitted he couldn't understand his actions.
Is this a reason that men should be held in condemnation to "sin"? Of course not. If the mind cannot freely choose to perfectly keep the law in a moral fashion, then one could simply be "dead to the law", free from the penalty.
As I wrote earlier, it is impossible for the mind to define truth. We simply can't do it. Even assuming, therefore, that we COULD control our brains and never break any laws, we could not ever know in advance if the decisions we make will avoid "evil" results(Church's theorem).
Paul clearly admitted this, simply by examining his brain by using his conscious mind, and realizing that there was another level over which he simply had no control because he could not understand it.
So, first of all, we can;t ever define truth in one package of decisions(Godel's theorem), and second, we can't know the overall results of the decisions we actually DO make(Church's theorem).
Douglas Hofstadter, in the book Godel, Escher, Bach, describes it this way:"...it is perfectly obvious that a computer can be instructed to print out a sequence of illogical statements--or for variety's sake, a batch of statements having random truth values. Yet in following such instructions, a computer would not be making any mistakes! On the contrary, it would only be a mistake if the computer printed out something other than the statements it had been instructed to print.. This illustrates how faultless functioning on one level may underlie symbol manipulation on a higher level--and the goals of the higher level may be completely unrelated to the propagation of truth."
This, said Hofstadter, may be compared to "an incorrect belief held in the software of the mind, supported by the faultlessly functioning brain".
The brain, by physical, "carnal" standards, functions "faultlessly", yet will produce flawed concepts of truth, resulting in infinite interpretations of truth. And the mind simply cannot access that function to re-program the brain to drive toward truth, because the mind itself cannot define truth!
"There is no reason to believe that a computer's faultlessly functioning hardware could not support high level symbolic behavior which would represent such complex states as confusion, forgetting, or appreciation of beauty. It would require that there exist massive sub-systems interacting with each other according to a complex 'logic'. The overt behavior could appear either rational or irrational; but underneath it would be the performance of reliable, logical hardware".
So, as Paul simply stated, "I do not understand my actions".
Corky attempt to have his cake and eat it too. He proclaims that Paul is flawed because Christianity is confused. How? because Paul allegedly stated that we must somehow choose by "freewill" to somehow overcome the complexity of our mind and organize systems according to "God's truth". Corky is using the flawed premise of Christianity to demonstrate that the premise of Paul is also flawed, while Paul has directly contradicted the premise of Christianity., and so did Jesus in John 6:44 and Matthew 24:23.
"No man can come to me unless the Father draw him..." Quite simply, and consistent with the developments of metamathematics, there exists no decision procedure by which we may get from "here" to "God".
Christianity, therefore, represents confusion precisely because it teaches that we CAN make such decisions. In actual fact, we cannot.