Creationist Wisdom #634: Faith Is a Sixth Sense

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Laconia Daily Sun of Laconia, New Hampshire. It’s titled Faith is the substance of things not seen, a sixth sense. The newspaper doesn’t have a comments feature.

Unless the letter-writer is a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. But this time we’ve got a politician — Ed Balboni, Chairman of the City of Laconia Board of Assessors, whose task is “to ensure all taxable property is assessed fairly, impartially and equitably in relationship to all other property … .” Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

No matter how smart you are, “you don’t know what you don’t know.”

Huh? Your Curmudgeon knows that he doesn’t know about a lot of things — opera, sociology, and many other subjects. But it’s true that we don’t know the full extent of what we don’t know. What of it? The tax assessor tells us:

As I read The Daily Sun, I find many articles converting [sic] Creationism and Evolution and the disagreements cited between them, almost on a daily basis. Creationists say the earth is only 6,000 to 7,000 years old. Evolutionists say it is billions of years old. Which one is correct?

Pay attention, dear reader. Despite some peculiar terminology and a number of typos, this letter has potential. Let’s read on:

The answer comes down to whether or not one believes in God or not. One cannot believe God through only worldly knowledge or science, as God can only be known through faith.

That’s probably true. The tax assessor continues:

What is faith? Faith is the substance of things not seen.

Yes, that’s what we’re told in Hebrews 11:1 (King James version, of course), which says:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Here’s more:

Now to the non-believer this sounds like nonsense, as they know that all understanding and reasoning comes through the five senses as the brain sorts things out. But to people who truly know God, there is another, a sixth sense that is the Spirit.

Wow — the spirit is a sixth sense! That’s amazing! Moving along:

Everybody has a Spirit, bu [sic] those people who do no [sic] have a true relationship with God, their Spirit is devoid of receiving instruction concerning spiritual knowledge.

Is your spiritual receiver functioning, dear reader? Another excerpt:

Where does one get spiritual knowledge and understanding? I comes from the word of God, through his written word, the Bible. So to understand God, one must first read the Bible.

Of course! But there’s more to it than just reading. The tax assessor explains:

Even then, unless God has chosen to reveal to the unregenerate the meanings of his words, the brainy person cannot receive the hidden wisdom.

Ah, that’s the problem. No matter how brainy you may be, if you are unregenerate, you won’t understand. Then, after a bible quote, the letter ends with this:

Do you know hat [sic] you don’t know?

Chairman Balboni has all six senses fully functional, so the good people of Laconia, New Hampshire, can be confident that their taxes are fairly assessed. As for you, dear reader, there is much to think about here. Perhaps you should reconsider your ways.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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14 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #634: Faith Is a Sixth Sense

  1. How does the author distinguish his “sixth sense” from an hallucination or a delusion?

  2. Hopefully Ed’s sixth sense picks up on the broken T key on his keyboard. Maybe if we all pray a little more…

  3. michaelfugate

    Even then, unless God has chosen to reveal to the unregenerate the meanings of his words, the brainy person cannot receive the hidden wisdom.

    If one isn’t brainy, is the hidden wisdom automatically revealed and received?

  4. So being delusional and not too bright are good things! Good to know that I’m not that good

  5. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    It is good to see Ed Balboni Chairman of the City of Laconia Board of Assessors on the right path whom I suspect will soon be a fellow Mormon once he reads the BoM and through his sixth sense experience the burning in the bosom that will once and for all confirm in his heart that Joe Smith was a true prophet of the Lord who brought his words to us through a magic rock and a snappy white top hat.

    (not only does the sixth sense not require the other five it has no use for punctuation either)

  6. With Ed’s combination of typos and mangled syntax, how many people in Laconia NH get tax bills that make any sense to them?

  7. I know that this will make no sense to the rational among us – that is to say, those people who rely on, you know, evidence to determine the truth of a proposition – but Mr Balboni’s statement of the faith is right down the modern Church’s highway. The modern Church, I say. For most of the history of the Church, it was doctrine that God was evident.

    But by the middle of the nineteenth century, if not before, it had became clear even to the various powers governing the Church that there is no testable evidence whatsoever for a God. St Paul’s position at Romans 1:20, that evidence for God could be seen through the “eye of reason”, had therefore to be discreetly dropped. Reason could provide no such evidence, no matter what Paul said.

    So – new rule – God was evident, not by any crude material input, but by an inward, mystical, nebulous feeling of imminence, discerned by some other mysterious means. Those who did not feel or understand this were, alas, lost. It was no use discussing such things with such people. You might as well discuss the colors of the sunset with a person blind from birth. Those of the Faith were therefore not merely more discerning than scoffers; they were selected, privileged and entitled.

    This position is deeply cunning and reveals a deep understanding of the fallacies of the human mind. It is also conceptually indistinguishable from the appeal of every whacko cult, Spanish prisoner scam and conspiracy theory that has ever existed.

    But that’s where Mr Balboni is coming from.

    Of course, it is open to speculation whether Mr Balboni applies this sense of the mysterious unseen to the value of real estate. Why not? He is perfectly happy to apply it to his basic understanding of himself and the Universe at large.

  8. This is even funnier than it seems at first sight. Balboni presents a creacrap version of Plantinga’s philosophy:

  9. @mnbo:
    And I wonder whether when God does – or orders humans to do – things which would be considered wrong when humans did them on their own – kill people, harm them, take things from them, etc. – yet that is not wrong when God does them …
    Does that also extend to leading people to believe things which are not true?
    Does that mean that Omphalism is not incompatible with God? How about not bothering to correct Ancient Near East misconceptions about the world?

  10. Doctor Stochastic

    The Moon and Sixth Sense?

  11. @ Doctor Stochastic 🙂

    But I think Balboni is tied to his faith-thingy here more by a feeling in his gut.

    So maybe: Of Rumen Bondage?

  12. So, knowledge of god comes only from faith, which itself comes from the worldly knowledge of reading a particular interpretation of the bible made by wholly fallible man. Got it.

    On a different note, I’ve vacationed in Laconia, as well as the surrounding Winnipesaukee region, for quite some time. It is one of my favorite places, due to the natural beauty of the area.

  13. How does what Chairman Balboni (I shall resist the temptation to call him “Bonehead” instead–whoops, I couldn’t resist after all) wrote have anything to do with “intelligent design”? It’s a naked appeal to irrationality. You can’t judge anything the Bible says by observation and reasoning, he claims–only through the “sixth sense” of faith.

    One would think ID’ers would flee from such people, since their whole scam, I mean project (no, I mean scam) depends on presenting Biblical creation as supported by evidence and reason. But they don’t, which says all that needs saying about them and their “theory.”

  14. Eric Lipps says:

    You can’t judge anything the Bible says by observation and reasoning, he claims–only through the “sixth sense” of faith.

    I don’t know why we have the first five senses, because all they do is mislead us. The glorious sixth sense should be completely sufficient.