It's a good question - one your quote doesn't seem to answer, either.
The attempt takes on an analogy, but I don't see how it works:
quote:For example, imagine that I said that it is obvious, but not forcefully so, that you will need your passport to fly internationally. Now, notice carefully that you have to learn this bit of information. It is certainly not like a forcefully obvious brick wall that you cannot avoid. But it would still perhaps be a case of a failure to grasp the obvious if you arrived at the airport with your bags packed but without your passport. It's this second sense (of non-forceful obviousness or avoidable clarity) that the case for God can be confidently approached.
This is saying that learning about how to see God is like learning that you need a passport.
To this, I say: sure, sounds good. When does the learning about God start?
Learning that you need a passport: -people can tell you -you can look it up and find official documents describing it -you can call up the airports and see what they say -you can attempt to fly without one, and you will not be allowed to do so -you can ask to see a friend's passport and they can show you a real, physical passport -you can apply for one and get an official acceptance or rejection letter -upon acceptance - you get a real, physical passport -upon rejection - there are clear indications on why you are rejected... fix those issues, and you can then get your real, physical passport
Learning about God in order to find God: -people can tell you -you can look it up and find official documents describing it -you can call up the churches and see what they say -you can attempt to find God without learning, and you may or may not find God -you can ask to see a friend's God... but they cannot show you anything real or physical, just more "telling you about it" (step 1.) -you can apply to a church for official learning and get an official acceptance or rejection -upon acceptance - you still don't get anything real or physical, just more "telling you about it" (step 1.) -upon rejection - you may-or-may-not get indications on why you are rejected, if you do, they may not even be fixable issues... you will never, ever see anything real or physical, just more "telling you about it" (step 1.)
See the difference?
That's not "learning about God" - that's having people tell you about God. That's just the first step - and people can tell us about anything. Like flat earths, and tin-foil conspiracies. But real learning... will always include real validation. But there's no real validation with finding God, is there? It's all just "telling you about it" and you either "personally accept it" or not.
That's not learning. That's dogma.
That's why learning about passports to get a passport is nothing like learning about God to find God.
One is real learning... with real validation. The other is just "people telling you about it" - over and over again.