Argument for Polytheism over Monotheism via Polycentric Manifolds' being Fundamental

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For the sake of discussion, we are assuming some form of theism is true.

We can determine which of two things is more fundamental by seeing if one can be derived from the other without the reverse being true.
P1) X can be derived from Y.
P2) Y cannot be derived from X.
C) Y seems more fundamental than X.

When we look at monocentric and polycentric manifolds, we can see that polycentric manifolds are fundamental.
We can see this by thinking about a tree of life pattern of circles over an infinite plane. Not only does every circle have its own center, but every center is also the center of the entire pattern. This is similar to how every center of the observable universe (regardless of where the observation takes place) is also able to be considered the center of the universe, or how the universe expands from every single point equally.
This pattern is polycentric in nature, but yet each circle of the pattern can act as the basis of a monocentric system.
As such, if you have a polycentric manifold, you can derive a monocentric manifold from it.

However, the reverse is not true. No matter the nature of a monocentric manifold, you cannot derive a polycentric manifold from it.

So, replacing X and Y, we get:
P1) Monocentric Manifolds can be derived from Polycentric Manifolds.
P2) Polycentric Manifolds cannot be derived from Monocentric Manifolds.
C) Polycentric Manifolds seem more fundamental than Monocentric Manifolds.

Now, since we also know that Polycentric Manifolds actually exist, we can then take this a step further:
P3) Polycentric Manifolds exist.
C2) Polycentric Manifolds are fundamental.
C3) Monocentric Manifolds are not fundamental.

This is because if Polycentric Manifolds are something we could conceive are possibly more fundamental but do not actually exist, then it would be hard to say they actually are more fundamental.
Now, to relate this to theism, monotheism is a type of Monocentric Manifold, polytheism is a type of Polycentric Manifold. Thus, we can also add this to the argument,
P4) Monotheism is Monocentric and polytheism is Polycentric.
C4) Therefore, polytheism is true (derived from C2, C3, and P4).

Altogether, we have:
A) Some form of theism is true.
P1) Monocentric Manifolds can be derived from Polycentric Manifolds.
P2) Polycentric Manifolds cannot be derived from Monocentric Manifolds.
C) Polycentric Manifolds seems more fundamental than Monocentric Manifolds.
P3) Polycentric Manifolds exist.
C2) Polycentric Manifolds are fundamental.
C3) Monocentric Manifolds are not fundamental.
P4) Monotheism is Monocentric and polytheism is Polycentric.
C4) Therefore, polytheism is true.

Credit:
Argument is ultimately derived from Edward Butler's argument on the topic, with some help from Willdam to formulate the argument.
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Altogether, we have:
A) Some form of theism is true.
P1) Monocentric Manifolds can be derived from Polycentric Manifolds.
P2) Polycentric Manifolds cannot be derived from Monocentric Manifolds.
C) Polycentric Manifolds seems more fundamental than Monocentric Manifolds.
P3) Polycentric Manifolds exist.
C2) Polycentric Manifolds are fundamental.
C3) Monocentric Manifolds are not fundamental.
P4) Monotheism is Monocentric and polytheism is Polycentric.
C4) Therefore, polytheism is true.
So Christianity is false because it is monotheism.

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So Christianity is false because it is monotheism.
I mean, among other religions, yes.
If the religious perspective is that there is a singular foundation to all things, then it is a monocentric religious view, and thus false.
Of course, there could be a singular principle(s), like Plato's One (which you should not mistake as being a God, like some try to), that are Foundational, but that is because they are moreso a principle(s) that the Polycentric Manifold necessarily adheres to rather than being an actual foundation itself (if that makes sense).
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Altogether, we have:
A) Some form of theism is true.
P1) Monocentric Manifolds can be derived from Polycentric Manifolds.
P2) Polycentric Manifolds cannot be derived from Monocentric Manifolds.
C) Polycentric Manifolds seems more fundamental than Monocentric Manifolds.
P3) Polycentric Manifolds exist.
C2) Polycentric Manifolds are fundamental.
C3) Monocentric Manifolds are not fundamental.
P4) Monotheism is Monocentric and polytheism is Polycentric.
C4) Therefore, polytheism is true.
Not at particularly potent argument; it attempts--and not even that--to relate spatial reasoning to theistic philosophy. Besides, I don't place much weight on arguments which bear the term, "seem."


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The "seem" gets dropped once you establish Polycentric Manifolds exist in reality. What is ontologically prior/fundamental must be something that exists, and so if something (Y) seems like it can be derived from X but X does not exist, then it does nothing to indicate how fundamental said thing (Y) is.

The entire argument can be formulated without using the word 'seems' and it would work just as well, it just would cause extra explanations in order to be well understood by the layman.

Furthermore, Monocentric Manifolds and Polycentric Manifolds do not exist purely as spatial things, they can exist within organization structures (as an example). It is just easier for people to understand concepts when it is related to them in a more common manner, which tends to be spatial or temporal. That does not mean said concepts are limited to the spatial or temporal, just that it is easier to understand them in said terms.
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The "seem" gets dropped once you establish Polycentric Manifolds exist in reality. What is ontologically prior/fundamental must be something that exists, and so if something (Y) seems like it can be derived from X but X does not exist, then it does nothing to indicate how fundamental said thing (Y) is.
To expand on this point, 'God', as classically understood, seems fundamental to the universe.
The universe can be derived from God, but God cannot be derived from the universe.

However, this does not make God actually fundamental to the universe, as one would first need to show God exists. If God does not exist, then God cannot be actually fundamental (as there is no God).

Thus the breakdown. First, you show the relation between two things to see which seems more fundamental than the other, then you show existence to show it is, in fact, fundamental.

So, P1, P2, & C1 merely shows that "if Polycentric Manifolds exist, they are fundamental".
It is due to P3 that we can actually show C2 & C3 as true.

This means that a way to attack the argument, without the frustration that would come with trying to show that Monocentric Manifolds could be fundamental, is to try and argue that Polycentric Manifolds do not actually exist. Of course, it seems plainly obvious that they do, but it would be either show that or somehow show a way for Polycentric Manifolds to be able to be derived from Monocentric ones (or show that some third thing is, in fact, Fundamental to both).
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To expand on this point, 'God', as classically understood, seems fundamental to the universe.
The universe can be derived from God, but God cannot be derived from the universe.

However, this does not make God actually fundamental to the universe, as one would first need to show God exists. If God does not exist, then God cannot be actually fundamental (as there is no God).

Thus the breakdown. First, you show the relation between two things to see which seems more fundamental than the other, then you show existence to show it is, in fact, fundamental.

So, P1, P2, & C1 merely shows that "if Polycentric Manifolds exist, they are fundamental".
It is due to P3 that we can actually show C2 & C3 as true.

This means that a way to attack the argument, without the frustration that would come with trying to show that Monocentric Manifolds could be fundamental, is to try and argue that Polycentric Manifolds do not actually exist. Of course, it seems plainly obvious that they do, but it would be either show that or somehow show a way for Polycentric Manifolds to be able to be derived from Monocentric ones (or show that some third thing is, in fact, Fundamental to both).
The best approximation of this reasoning to monotheism and polytheism would incorporate an infinite regression argument which encapsulates neither.

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The best approximation of this reasoning to monotheism and polytheism would incorporate an infinite regression argument which encapsulates neither.
How so? Can you outline where the infinite regress comes into play when applying the logic to theism?
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So Christianity is false because it is monotheism.
I mean, among other religions, yes.
If the religious perspective is that there is a singular foundation to all things, then it is a monocentric religious view, and thus false.
Of course, there could be a singular principle(s), like Plato's One (which you should not mistake as being a God, like some try to), that are Foundational, but that is because they are moreso a principle(s) that the Polycentric Manifold necessarily adheres to rather than being an actual foundation itself (if that makes sense).
Is that why Christians introduced the concept of the Trinity so that it would please both sides. Where 3 Gods are rolled into one.

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The "seem" gets dropped once you establish Polycentric Manifolds exist in reality. What is ontologically prior/fundamental must be something that exists, and so if something (Y) seems like it can be derived from X but X does not exist, then it does nothing to indicate how fundamental said thing (Y) is.
Polycentric Manifolds exist as mathematical objects, your analysis is really about the definition of mathematical terms.  Athias is right, you are trying to make geometry an analog for Theism, which of course transcends the spatial and temporal.

Furthermore, Monocentric Manifolds and Polycentric Manifolds do not exist purely as spatial things, they can exist within organization structures (as an example).
No they can't, organizational structures can be Monocentric or Polycentric, but they aren't manifolds, and furthermore, your argument is not valid when applied to organizational structure.

It is just easier for people to understand concepts when it is related to them in a more common manner, which tends to be spatial or temporal. That does not mean said concepts are limited to the spatial or temporal, just that it is easier to understand them in said terms.
It's is certainly easier to understand concepts spatially or temporally, but spatial and temporal concepts cannot be understood to apply to Theology.

For one thing, your argument presupposes an excluded middle, and Theologically speaking, there is no excluded middle.  I believe this applies to most faiths, a common example is Christianity of course, the concept of the Trinity manifests as both Monotheistic and Polytheistic, Hinduism's thousand Gods are all manifestations of the singular transcendent reality of Brahman.  






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The "seem" gets dropped once you establish Polycentric Manifolds exist in reality. What is ontologically prior/fundamental must be something that exists, and so if something (Y) seems like it can be derived from X but X does not exist, then it does nothing to indicate how fundamental said thing (Y) is.
Polycentric Manifolds exist as mathematical objects, your analysis is really about the definition of mathematical terms.  Athias is right, you are trying to make geometry an analog for Theism, which of course transcends the spatial and temporal.

Furthermore, Monocentric Manifolds and Polycentric Manifolds do not exist purely as spatial things, they can exist within organization structures (as an example). 
No they can't, organizational structures can be Monocentric or Polycentric, but they aren't manifolds, and furthermore, your argument is not valid when applied to organizational structure.

It is just easier for people to understand concepts when it is related to them in a more common manner, which tends to be spatial or temporal. That does not mean said concepts are limited to the spatial or temporal, just that it is easier to understand them in said terms.
It's is certainly easier to understand concepts spatially or temporally, but spatial and temporal concepts cannot be understood to apply to Theology.

For one thing, your argument presupposes an excluded middle, and Theologically speaking, there is no excluded middle.  I believe this applies to most faiths, a common example is Christianity of course, the concept of the Trinity manifests as both Monotheistic and Polytheistic, Hinduism's thousand Gods are all manifestations of the singular transcendent reality of Brahman. 
Humans can do with all the help they can get.

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No they can't, organizational structures can be Monocentric or Polycentric, but they aren't manifolds, and furthermore, your argument is not valid when applied to organizational structure.
True, I accidentally included the word Manifold in a place it did not belong there, I will concede that. I should have said they have similarities to polycentric and monocentric structures in other fields. However, I do think that it ultimately still works when it comes to organizational structures.

You can derive a monocentric organizational structure from a polycentric one (in the same way you can with manifolds), but not the reverse.

It's is certainly easier to understand concepts spatially or temporally, but spatial and temporal concepts cannot be understood to apply to Theology.
Concepts that are contingent upon the spatial or temporal cannot be applied to God(s), sure. But you can look at spatial and temporal things to understand concepts that go beyond the spatial and temporal. Furthermore, you earlier said "Polycentric Manifolds exist as mathematical objects". We could take a Platonic view of mathematics, which we can use the Indispensability Argument for, would mean that even if polycentrism is only foundational in mathematics (like with manifolds) that it is not inherently spatial or temporal, as the Forms are not spatial or temporal.

 a common example is Christianity of course, the concept of the Trinity manifests as both Monotheistic and Polytheistic, Hinduism's thousand Gods are all manifestations of the singular transcendent reality of Brahman.  
Which still have a monocentric foundation to them, not a polycentric one. They assume a polycentric foundation can be applied to a monocentric one (ex. Trinity onto a single God, as otherwise you get the heresy of tritheism), thus still have a "monocentric foundation".

Could you also expand on what, precisely, you mean when you say "Theologically speaking, there is no excluded middle"?
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Could you also expand on what, precisely, you mean when you say "Theologically speaking, there is no excluded middle"

There cannot be a theological exclusion of the middle. The Trinity is God the Father,  Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit.
To exclude the middle would mean excluding Jesus from the Trinity. Where would Christianity be without Jesus?
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Could you also expand on what, precisely, you mean when you say "Theologically speaking, there is no excluded middle"?
Let me start by saying my comment about the excluded middle is not limited to Theism. Your post is basically about ontology, and the law of the excluded middle is a classical law of thought, and as such, it is epistemological in nature. Even in the realm of propositional logic and mathematics, the law of the excluded middle is rejected by the schools of intuitionism, dialetheism, and fuzzy logic. Gödel challenged the validity of the excluded middle because it failed with “impredicative definitions”.
 
Putting aside the subject of Spiritual Reality for a moment, a century of Quantum Physics has brought the very nature of reasoning, deductive logic, and rational thinking into question; it was shown that the presumption that deductive logic, reasoning, and rational thinking directly correspond to the truth about physical reality does not hold in all instances. A century of Quantum physics has furthered a trend that began with the discovery, or invention, depending upon your point of view, of non-Euclidean Geometries. In effect, it brought into question the 2500 year unexamined assumption that deductive reasoning corresponded to Truth, and it challenged the fundamental notion of the laws of non-contradiction and the associated excluded middle.  Particle and wave are mutually exclusive characteristics, and yet, our best science tells us that they are complementary aspects of one and the same physical reality.
 
Regarding Spiritual reality then, you can’t reduce Theism to a sort of argumentative and speculative science in which the classical laws of thought apply.  The Theist does not believe in inferred Gods whose existence depends on the strength and validity of the arguments that philosophers devise for proving or disproving their likely existence. Theism does not move in the arena of metaphysical probabilities.  It moves in the arena of inwardness, of self-knowledge.  Theism expresses a dimension of being which can only be apprehended by a specific form of human sensibility which transcends the four dimensional frame of reference of the classical laws of propositional logic.
 
Theism and hence Theistic knowledge is based on the idea that there is a way of knowing which transcends specific perceptual frames of reference. What Theism does is attempt to express a fundamental human experience that is spiritual, it is typically described as a "transcendent" experience because it lies prior to and beneath language and concepts. Consequently, all statements about Gods are symbolic. They transcend their literal meaning while pointing to the power and meaning that is discerned and mediated through the symbol. The basis of faith is not inferential reason, it is personal encounter, our ideas of God will, thus, always be provisional and inadequate, they are an attempt to express an experiential reality that lies beneath or prior to language and logical thought.
 
In the mystical core of all faiths, transcendent Gods are always represented as something that cannot be fully comprehended from a human frame of reference. The devotional experience within Theistic and non-theistic Religions, all have their source in this individual spiritual experience that is common to all people and cannot be expressed directly. Hence, each religion must use the terms of its own cultural and social programming and each therefore emphasizes different aspects of this common spiritual experience that cannot adequately be described with words and symbols.  As such, the excluded middle of classical logic simply does not apply.

Now, back to the concept of complementarity in Quantum Physics, I would contend that as it relates to Spiritual Reality, that Monotheism and Polytheism are complementary rather than at odds with each other or even compartmentalized as separate disciplines, so there is no excluded middle. I would further contend that Monotheism and Polytheism are referential to each other, which would mean that by definition they are one and the same. They are two complimentary aspects of the same transcendent reality so to speak. Then it is the mutuality of Monotheism and Polytheism that leads to truth. Perhaps that elusive "truth" that we are all looking for, is found in the dance of Monotheism and Polytheism, an interplay wherein the full truth is revealed.

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I would further contend that Monotheism and Polytheism are referential to each other, which would mean that by definition they are one and the same. 
How can Monotheism and Polytheism by definition be one and the same when they are totally opposites of each other?

Monotheism definition, the doctrine or belief that there is only one God.

Polytheism definition, the doctrine of or belief in more than one god or in many gods. 

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I would further contend that Monotheism and Polytheism are referential to each other, which would mean that by definition they are one and the same. 
How can Monotheism and Polytheism by definition be one and the same when they are totally opposites of each other?

Monotheism definition, the doctrine or belief that there is only one God.

Polytheism definition, the doctrine of or belief in more than one god or in many gods. 
By recognizing that they are “polar opposites”, which is to say much more than they are opposed or separated, it is to say that they constitute a whole.  They are not mutually exclusive at all, in fact they are mutually sustaining, reciprocal in their true nature. Our mind thinks of them as basically separate from each other but in reality they constitute a whole in the same way that the earth’s poles are the ends of a single entity. There is a reciprocal, transactional relationship being described. Polar opposites don’t even exist without each other, they are contingent upon each other, you just can’t have the one without the other.  Polar opposites are like the two sides of a coin, or the two ends of a stick; they reference two opposing aspects of one and the same thing.

The Christian Bible says “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28, Colossians 3:11).  The Jews were Monotheists and the Greeks were Polytheists, and yet, they were one according to the Christian Bible.

It also says that “the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal” (1 Corinthians 12:7).  All people are different, there is diversity of dispositions and cultures, and as the Spirit must speak to the needs of all, it necessarily must spread out in almost endless diversity, and yet, it is one and the same Spirit manifesting in all faiths.  It strikes me as unpardonably arrogant to make limiting claims about who the Holy Spirit can move in, or how it can manifest in others. and I see nothing in the Bible to indicate that God is in any way denominationally limited. 
 
When Jesus was asked what was the most important commandment of all, he summarized all of His teachings into “Love God intensely, and love your neighbor as you love yourself” (Mark 12:28-31), and I contend that the only way we can do that is by recognizing our neighbor’s faith is to them, what our faith is to us.
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The Christian Bible says “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28, Colossians 3:11).  The Jews were Monotheists and the Greeks were Polytheists, and yet, they were one according to the Christian Bible.

What does it mean that we are all one in Christ (Galatians 3:28)?
all one in Christ

Humanly speaking, Christians are a diverse lot. We come from every nation, tribe, and people group (Revelation 7:9). We speak different languages, possess a variety of skin tones, and reflect unique cultures and social classes. But for all who are members of Christ’s family, race, rank, and gender lose their significance: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28, ESV).

Every person comes to Jesus Christ the same way—by grace through faith and repentance from sin (Acts 16:30–31; Ephesians 2:8; 2 Peter 3:9; Mark 1:15). “Jew nor Greek” speaks of race, nationality, and ethnicity. “Slave nor free” refers to our rank, social class, or profession. And “male and female” indicates our gender. These distinctions lose their importance in the heavenly Father’s eyes. We are all one in Christ His Son.

The apostle Paul explained, “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:12–13, NLT). Our spiritual connection unites us into one faith and one family: “For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all” (Ephesians 4:4–6, NLT).

We are all one in Christ has wide-ranging implications. First, it calls for unity and harmony among brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. We are to walk in a manner worthy of our calling, like Jesus, showing humility, gentleness, patience, “bearing with one another in love,” and making “every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1–3).

We can embrace our differences, even celebrate them, as long as “above all” we clothe ourselves “with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:14, NLT; see also Ephesians 5:2). The unity of believers is emphasized in Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer as the Lord prays that “all be one, just as you and I are one . . . so that the world will believe you sent me. . . . May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me” (John 17:21–23). Relational unity in the church is the best witness to the reality of Jesus Christ and God to the world.

The unity Christ prayed for is not an organizational unity or a denominational unity but a spiritual unity based on faith in Christ and the glory of God within. “Christian harmony is not based on the externals of the flesh but the internals and eternals of the Spirit in the inner person. We must look beyond the elements of our first birth—race, color, abilities, etc.—and build our fellowship on the essentials of our new birth” (Warren Wiersbe, Be Transformed, Victor Books, 1989, p. 80).

Discrimination, prejudice, and racism have existed in every generation, but there is no room for such bias in God’s family. As Paul so eloquently stated, “For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us” (Ephesians 2:14, NLT). God made human beings—the entire human race—in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26–27). If we hate someone because of the color of his skin, are we not hating a part of God’s image?

Paul also said, “In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us” (Colossians 3:11, NLT). How can we hate or discriminate against someone if Christ our Savior lives in him? Every form of condescension, partiality, and intolerance based on race, rank, and gender must be repented of and nailed to the cross because we are all one in Jesus Christ.

Christians should be united in passion, plan, and purpose, just as the Father and Son are united in the same. Christians are all treasure-bearing earthen vessels (2 Corinthians 4:7). Christians are all redeemed by the same blood; we are all going to the same heaven; we have a shared aspiration, a shared enemy, and a shared hope and joy.

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The best approximation of this reasoning to monotheism and polytheism would incorporate an infinite regression argument which encapsulates neither.
How so? Can you outline where the infinite regress comes into play when applying the logic to theism?


P1) A Single God can be derived from Multiple Gods
P2) Multiple Gods cannot be derived from a Single God.
C) Multiple Gods seem more fundamental than a Single God.

P3) Multiple Gods exist.
C2) Multiple Gods are fundamental.
C3) A Single God is not fundamental.

P4) Monotheism denotes the belief in a single God and polytheism denotes the belief in multiple gods.
C4) Therefore, polytheism is true (derived from C2, C3, and P4).

The infinite regression comes from your example in that every manifold has an infinite number of infinitesimal centers, never really reaching zero (it can't because something has to be there.) This wouldn't accurately describe polytheism given that even polytheism has a set number of creator gods and progenitors. The infinite regress doesn't speak to "multiple" as much as it speaks to "undefined." That reflects neither monotheism nor polytheism.
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Perfectly legitimate source.
Perfectly legitimate source when they are clearly identified as the source.
So you are confirming my source was legitimate now that you identified it.

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Copyright Policy: Articles may be freely printed and distributed, emailed, or shared online provided they are not sold for profit and Got Questions Ministries is clearly identified as the author. 
Perfectly legitimate source.
Perfectly legitimate source when they are clearly identified as the source.
So you are confirming my source was legitimate now that you identified it.
It's legitimately a source, but one that has a copyright policy that says you must attribute when you reproduce it.

I use links in posts from time to time, but in putting the link in I'm lso letting you know the source.  Maybe it would be best if you put the link in the post,  and if you do cut and paste, then let us know where it came from per the source's copyright policy. 




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It's legitimately a source, but one that has a copyright policy that says you must attribute when you reproduce it.

I use links in posts from time to time, but in putting the link in I'm lso letting you know the source.  Maybe it would be best if you put the link in the post,  and if you do cut and paste, then let us know where it came from per the source's copyright policy. 
Putting the link would make little difference because the site does not reveal authors names.

Why doesn’t GotQuestions.org give the names of the authors of its articles?
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Copyright Policy: Articles may be freely printed and distributed, emailed, or shared online provided they are not sold for profit and Got Questions Ministries is clearly identified as the author. 

Putting the link would make little difference because the site does not reveal authors names.

Why doesn’t GotQuestions.org give the names of the authors of its articles?
Their Copyright Poliy is explicit, either provide the link or clearly identify Got Questions Ministries as the author.

Why are you arguing it, do you want us to think it's your work?