Author Topic: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.  (Read 41741 times)

MrDelane

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 402
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #200 on: May 26, 2017, 05:00:25 PM »
I think the problem that the OP and others who struggle with faith is that they desire definitive evidence that supports or doesn't support the existence of god/jesus/miracles/etc.  Evidence for and against may be found or interpreted in both directions, but the problem is that you can never have objective certainty about such matters because they are, by definition, not falsifiable.  So you can never know the correct answer in any absolute way.

While I agree with much of your post - I would disagree a tad with the above (bolded for emphasis), at least within the context of (for lack of a better term) an Abrahamic God.

Many of the people in the bible did not have to believe on faith - they had evidence, they had first hand knowledge and they had direct communication with God.  Those in the gospels witnessed miracles, allegedly.  Not nearly as much faith at play there.

If the God of the bible exists, I think it is fair to believe that it has the power to make itself known, without doubt, to anyone and everyone. 

The existence of God is not an unfalsifiable position, unless you believe that God does not interact with the world.

Kris

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2351
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #201 on: May 26, 2017, 05:11:21 PM »
Good enough. Thanks for clarifying.

I do have one more question. And I promise I will not argue, or even respond, really, because I'm just curious. And you can also feel free not to respond. It is related in my mind to this topic, but it may not be to yours.

How do you feel about Donald Trump?

:) :) :) :)

I had things in the last post about him and I took them out, so this may me laugh heartily.

And no, feel free to respond.

The short answer that I was going to put in and then took out was in the paragraph about fruit of the Spirit was "and our president Donald Trump is a perfect example of someone who clearly shows no fruit and in my judgment is as far from a Christian as you can get".

More detail.  I get he says he is.  He sucks at it, and he gives people who look at him a legitimate reason to say "If that's what a Christian does, then #%@#%^@#$ them!"  Yes, the man drives me to cursing!  I can literally not think of even a single small thing that I could point to and say "he models Christianity well here" and that's really sad because I'm really really trying.  After all the guy is our president and I love my country and want it to succeed, but not, sorry I can't, not one single thing.  He is a secular Christian thinking it means (do this in Alec Baldwin's voice) "I'm a good person, that's what it means to be Christian.  I'm good, so good!  I'm good at talking about myself, I'm good at saying things that fake news does not understand, I'm good at using my thumbs to play that Twitter game and spell works and stuff."  Oh, I could go on forever.  So bad.

I appreciate that. Because honestly, someone who professes to hold living a Christ-like life as a priority, who then can excuse Donald Trump's blatant disregard for everything Christians profess to hold dear, is someone whose moral code I just cannot take seriously.

You and I have opposing views in a number of ways. But I consider myself to be a person of integrity, and know you also consider yourself to be a person of integrity. So I will "part ways" with this discussion at least believing that whatever our differences, you and I both strive to live in accordance with our moral code.
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

wenchsenior

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1057
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #202 on: May 26, 2017, 05:31:19 PM »
I think the problem that the OP and others who struggle with faith is that they desire definitive evidence that supports or doesn't support the existence of god/jesus/miracles/etc.  Evidence for and against may be found or interpreted in both directions, but the problem is that you can never have objective certainty about such matters because they are, by definition, not falsifiable.  So you can never know the correct answer in any absolute way.

While I agree with much of your post - I would disagree a tad with the above (bolded for emphasis), at least within the context of (for lack of a better term) an Abrahamic God.

Many of the people in the bible did not have to believe on faith - they had evidence, they had first hand knowledge and they had direct communication with God.  Those in the gospels witnessed miracles, allegedly.  Not nearly as much faith at play there.

If the God of the bible exists, I think it is fair to believe that it has the power to make itself known, without doubt, to anyone and everyone. 

The existence of God is not an unfalsifiable position, unless you believe that God does not interact with the world.

At this point, God's existence appears unfalsifiable in the scientific meaning of the word, as is Christ's divinity, as are all supernatural things unless we have established rules about how those supernatural things behave and interact with our physical world. By definition, god and miracles would exist outside those established rules.  If you have a test that would definitively disprove god's existence, I'd be very interested to hear it.

I take your point about miracles that were hypothetically witnessed having more evidence in their favor, and therefore requiring less faith. 

MrDelane

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 402
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #203 on: May 26, 2017, 05:35:15 PM »
If you have a test that would definitively disprove god's existence, I'd be very interested to hear it.

I do not have one - but my point was that IF there is an all powerful God, surely it would be able to make itself known if it so chose.


ETA:

Sorry, I read your quote originally as saying 'prove' not 'disprove.'
Doh.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 05:36:58 PM by MrDelane »

tyort1

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1438
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Denver, Colorado
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #204 on: May 26, 2017, 05:37:51 PM »
But of course, people rebel at the idea.  "I'm a Christian and he's a Hindi, we can't BOTH be right!"  Yes, you can.  But their minds are too small to even consider that idea.  So you end up in the weeds, focused on irrelevant crap like Biblical accuracy.  Blah.

No, they cannot both be right.  If one is 100% correct, then the other is not 100% correct.  I acknowledge that the great faiths have many core universal truths/values in common, but their stories do conflict in ways big and small. 

If someone says 2+2=4, do you tell them their mind is too small to consider the idea that it could also equal 5 and 6?

Yours is the approach I refuse to take.  I am interested in living according to what is true - I'll never know definitively who or what is responsible for the creation of the universe, but I'd like to either embrace a theory (even if it is a very broad one, like deism) or check it off the list of potential theories (like I am close to doing with Christianity).  Biblical accuracy is quite important for this.

Math is demonstratively true.  Religious belief is not. 

Besides, would a benevolent god really condemn you to hell if you couldn't figure out that 2+2=4?  No?  If not, then why would he give a shit about the specifics of your religious beliefs, either?

Which is why I believe that everyone gets into heaven, regardless of belief.  Regardless of the life you lead.  Regardless of your choices or your moral character.  Good, bad, indifferent, it simply doesn't matter.  Yes, even that asshole that cut you off on the free way, or those jerks that use power to hurt people.  All of them get in.  Along with you and me. 

God is not a just god, he's a loving god.
Frugalite in training.

tyort1

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1438
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Denver, Colorado
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #205 on: May 26, 2017, 05:39:34 PM »
I think the problem that the OP and others who struggle with faith is that they desire definitive evidence that supports or doesn't support the existence of god/jesus/miracles/etc.  Evidence for and against may be found or interpreted in both directions, but the problem is that you can never have objective certainty about such matters because they are, by definition, not falsifiable.  So you can never know the correct answer in any absolute way.

While I agree with much of your post - I would disagree a tad with the above (bolded for emphasis), at least within the context of (for lack of a better term) an Abrahamic God.

Many of the people in the bible did not have to believe on faith - they had evidence, they had first hand knowledge and they had direct communication with God.  Those in the gospels witnessed miracles, allegedly.  Not nearly as much faith at play there.

If the God of the bible exists, I think it is fair to believe that it has the power to make itself known, without doubt, to anyone and everyone. 

The existence of God is not an unfalsifiable position, unless you believe that God does not interact with the world.

Only if you take the bible as accurate.  If you don't, then it's just another collection of myths, like the Romans, Greeks and Egyptians.  All of them had their miracles, too.  Are their gods also real?  I mean, after all, it was written down by people of the time, so it must be true!
Frugalite in training.

MrDelane

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 402
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #206 on: May 26, 2017, 05:46:30 PM »
Only if you take the bible as accurate.  If you don't, then it's just another collection of myths, like the Romans, Greeks and Egyptians.  All of them had their miracles, too.  Are their gods also real?  I mean, after all, it was written down by people of the time, so it must be true!

Of course, that's why I said "at least within the context of (for lack of a better term) an Abrahamic God."
I simply meant that hypothetically IF the Abrahamic God was real... etc.

Sorry if I wasn't clear.
 

tyort1

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1438
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Denver, Colorado
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #207 on: May 26, 2017, 05:58:45 PM »
Only if you take the bible as accurate.  If you don't, then it's just another collection of myths, like the Romans, Greeks and Egyptians.  All of them had their miracles, too.  Are their gods also real?  I mean, after all, it was written down by people of the time, so it must be true!

Of course, that's why I said "at least within the context of (for lack of a better term) an Abrahamic God."
I simply meant that hypothetically IF the Abrahamic God was real... etc.

Sorry if I wasn't clear.

Ah, OK.  Yes, sorry.  I missed that. 

I do find it interesting in the bible that god isn't the only one with power.  Like Aaron's staff becomes a snake, but then so do the Pharaoh's sorcerers staves also become snakes!  Wait, WTF?  So did god make all the staves into snakes?  Or was it the egyptian gods?  I thought there was only one god!  So what the hell is going on there? 

Of course if you understand the times, it was a primitive culture that believed in all kinds of magic and divine interventions.  It's just amazing that we get to see that the other cultures (like Egypt) also had power, but that the Jewish God's power was greater, as symbolized by their snakes getting eaten by Aaron's snake.  Man, that is a hard sentence to type without descending into some bad sexual puns.
Frugalite in training.

marty998

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4526
  • Location: Sydney, Oz
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #208 on: May 26, 2017, 06:01:49 PM »
God is not a just god, she's a loving god.

FTFY. Just to stir the pot a little :)

There's a few things that irritate me (a barely practicing catholic). Why can't women be priests? Why can priests get married? Why the obsession with all sexual matters? etc etc.


wenchsenior

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1057
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #209 on: May 26, 2017, 06:19:02 PM »
If you have a test that would definitively disprove god's existence, I'd be very interested to hear it.

I do not have one - but my point was that IF there is an all powerful God, surely it would be able to make itself known if it so chose.

No doubt, and if he/she/it simultaneously showed itself in the exact same way to every living person on the planet, that would be strong evidence for existence of SOMETHING heretofore unseen and unmeasured.  We could then call it 'god' if we wanted to and if it fit our cultural conception of the god figure.  For many people, this could functionally serve as proof of the divine. The world would then no doubth have a crunchy argument over questions such as 'what makes a god' vs 'what makes something godlike but explainable by physical phenomena that we don't yet understand'?

From a scientific perspective though, it would NOT follow that this power/entity was necessarily supernatural or divine.  Scientists would set about attempting to falsify all natural alternative explanations for such an event occurring. If in the unlikely event they could do that, then they would accept god's existence as 'provisionally true' but never confirmed as absolutely objectively true because there is always the possibility of a natural alternative explanation that scientists could not yet know about, or could not yet measure or test.

« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 06:20:57 PM by wenchsenior »

MrDelane

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 402
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #210 on: May 26, 2017, 06:24:47 PM »
If you have a test that would definitively disprove god's existence, I'd be very interested to hear it.

I do not have one - but my point was that IF there is an all powerful God, surely it would be able to make itself known if it so chose.

No doubt, and if he/she/it simultaneously showed itself in the exact same way to every living person on the planet, that would be strong evidence for existence of SOMETHING heretofore unseen and unmeasured.  We could then call it 'god' if we wanted to and if it fit our cultural conception of the god figure.  For many people, this could functionally serve as proof of the divine. The world would then no doubth have a crunchy argument over questions such as 'what makes a god' vs 'what makes something godlike but explainable by physical phenomena that we don't yet understand'?

From a scientific perspective though, it would NOT follow that this power/entity was necessarily supernatural or divine.  Scientists would set about attempting to falsify all natural alternative explanations for such an event occurring. If in the unlikely event they could do that, then they would accept god's existence as 'provisionally true' but never confirmed as absolutely objectively true because there is always the possibility of a natural alternative explanation that scientists could not yet know about, or could not yet measure or test.

I would agree with that.... if we weren't talking about an ALL POWERFUL God.
If God, as described in the Bible, were real then it could most definitely give us proof positive of it's existence.
It could easily leave every human being on earth without a shred of doubt if it wanted to.

I'm not saying we should expect it, just saying that (by definition) it would be possible.

ETA:
By the way, I fully agree with your point about the limits of science and the idea of detecting anything 'supernatural.'
To be honest, I'm not even sure what the term 'supernatural' means. Personally I think it's a bit meaningless.
But regardless, an all powerful God would not be bound by any of these limitations.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 06:26:24 PM by MrDelane »

wenchsenior

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1057
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #211 on: May 26, 2017, 06:43:49 PM »
If you have a test that would definitively disprove god's existence, I'd be very interested to hear it.

I do not have one - but my point was that IF there is an all powerful God, surely it would be able to make itself known if it so chose.

No doubt, and if he/she/it simultaneously showed itself in the exact same way to every living person on the planet, that would be strong evidence for existence of SOMETHING heretofore unseen and unmeasured.  We could then call it 'god' if we wanted to and if it fit our cultural conception of the god figure.  For many people, this could functionally serve as proof of the divine. The world would then no doubth have a crunchy argument over questions such as 'what makes a god' vs 'what makes something godlike but explainable by physical phenomena that we don't yet understand'?

From a scientific perspective though, it would NOT follow that this power/entity was necessarily supernatural or divine.  Scientists would set about attempting to falsify all natural alternative explanations for such an event occurring. If in the unlikely event they could do that, then they would accept god's existence as 'provisionally true' but never confirmed as absolutely objectively true because there is always the possibility of a natural alternative explanation that scientists could not yet know about, or could not yet measure or test.

I would agree with that.... if we weren't talking about an ALL POWERFUL God.
If God, as described in the Bible, were real then it could most definitely give us proof positive of it's existence.
It could easily leave every human being on earth without a shred of doubt if it wanted to.

I'm not saying we should expect it, just saying that (by definition) it would be possible.

ETA:
By the way, I fully agree with your point about the limits of science and the idea of detecting anything 'supernatural.'
To be honest, I'm not even sure what the term 'supernatural' means. Personally I think it's a bit meaningless.
But regardless, an all powerful God would not be bound by any of these limitations.

I guess.  On the other hand, what do accept as without a shred of doubt?  How could we be sure, in that instance, that a powerful alien being (not god as we understand it) hadn't just hypnotized us all with advanced technology to be absolutely certain that what we were perceiving was god.

I'm mostly joking, but this is the problem with trying to measure and describe a something outside our normal measurable reality.  What the hell does reality even mean when referring to things like god? If god didn't actually objectively exist, but most people believed that god did exist and lived accordingly, does that in fact confer some measure of reality on god?  Ugh. LOL.

MrDelane

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 402
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #212 on: May 26, 2017, 06:53:05 PM »
I guess.  On the other hand, what do accept as without a shred of doubt?  How could we be sure, in that instance, that a powerful alien being (not god as we understand it) hadn't just hypnotized us all with advanced technology to be absolutely certain that what we were perceiving was god.

Reminds me of the quote I'm sure you're familiar with... but I'll quote it anyhow for anyone who isn't:

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
-Arthur C. Clarke

Quote
If god didn't actually objectively exist, but most people believed that god did exist and lived accordingly, does that in fact confer some measure of reality on god?  Ugh. LOL.

No, it wouldn't.
:)

MrDelane

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 402
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #213 on: May 26, 2017, 10:21:57 PM »
3. Claims skeptics used for years of non-existence of key officials in Luke's gospels shown possible and likely by new archaeological discoveries.
Quirinius is one that was pointed out as being incorrectly placed on a timeline proving Luke was unfamiliar with chronology of leaders.  Kind of like someone two decades from now writing a book and saying Obama was president after Trump.  19th century archeological records revealed a proconsul by that name, and a coin and a statues base in Pisdian Antioch have now also verified someone by that name was in a leadership position Luke describes during that time period.

I am still working my way through your original post, but I figured I may as well respond to things as I get through them.
In case you missed it, I had some thoughts about Thallus here.

In regards to the Quirinius issue:

From what I have been able to find, the 'coin' you're referring to was allegedly discovered by Jerry Vardaman.  It has never been verified by anyone else nor has he even offered photographs of it (he has, however, published drawings of the coin in question).  According to Vardaman, the coins of this era are covered with 'microletters' which cannot be seen by the naked eye.  It is one of these such inscriptions which he claims reads 'Quirinius.'  As far as I have been able to find so far this theory is not taken seriously by anyone and no one has claimed to have seen or been witness to any such coins or 'microletter' inscriptions.

The statue base inscription that you mention does not actually mention Quirinius by name, instead it states that the bearer held positions in Syria twice.  The idea that this was referring to Quirinius seems to have been an assumption made by a handful of Christian scholars (I'm still digging into this one).  So whether or not this was Quirinius is not nearly as cut and dry as it sounded, especially when you consider that the coin which was being used to corroborate the idea that he ruled twice is not reliable (and most likely does not exist at all).

Regardless - none of this means Luke's account is historically inaccurate, it simply means it is not corroborated by a coin or a statue inscription.
And, I would add, even if it WERE corroborated that still does not get us any closer to a proof for the divinity of Jesus.


ETA:
I discovered this morning that I made a mistake about the statue inscription - my reading was in reference to an inscription found in Tivoli, east of Rome in the 1700s (that had no name or office and was being assumed by some to be about Quirinius).  You referenced an inscription at Pisidian Antioch.  Looking into that, from what I have read it seems that two stones were discovered in the early 1900s in two different villages outside of Pisidian Antioch (assumed to have been originally the bases of a statue that they make reference to).  The inscription on one of them reads (among other things):  "PREFECT OF PUBLIUS SULPICIUS QUIRINIUS THE DUUMVIR."  Without even going into the dating of the stones, the most important thing here seems to be that there is no connection between being a Duumvir and being Governor.  On top of which, the city in question is not even inside the province he supposedly ruled twice (Syria).  So, it seems that these stones only work to show that Quirinius was at one point Duumvir of a city far outside of Syria before being Governor.  The dates are not clear, but if they were actually dated for the period of Luke's census then it would show that Quirinius would not have been in the position to call a census.  I'm not claiming that, I am only saying that dating those stones to that period is tricky from a Christian perspective - because they do not conclusively show Quirinius as Governor, and in fact seem to give evidence for him in a different office far outside of the province he allegedly governed twice.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2017, 11:06:00 AM by MrDelane »

calimom

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 352
  • Location: Northern California
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #214 on: May 26, 2017, 10:31:12 PM »
I logged on to this very interesting thread to see if Caracarn was still exhaustively, exhaustively defending Christianity and his current interpretation of the Bible. Still so. And very clear how is many progeny have rejected his proselytizing and props to them for that. However! I was cheered to read Caracarn thinks Trump does not represent good Christian values. It is so refreshing - I'm not Christian; most people in my life don't buy into the ideology - and I wonder how people make peace with religion and the Republican doctrine. It seems so at odds with what a non believer knows about Christianity: healing the sick, feeding the poor, and all of that.

You go, Caracarn! With your bad old pious self.

ditheca

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 138
  • Location: ST GEORGE, UT
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #215 on: May 27, 2017, 02:27:26 AM »
I don't think they'll have the answers to the concerns I have with the faith... In religion, contradictions have a different name - paradoxes.  Mysteries of the faith.  God's ways are mysterious. True, these things very well might just be beyond me and my limited human mind, but I can't help but notice these are very useful ways to make sense of a story that just doesn't make sense. 

Anyone gone through a similar time in their life?

Even though you've found the faith of your parents unconvincing doesn't mean that all religions are wrong.  Take a little time off, but keep your mind open!  If God is really up there (and I believe He is), you'll see him reaching out to you eventually.

Father Dougal

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 33
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #216 on: May 28, 2017, 02:45:31 AM »
So, to recap:

Non-Christians (ie those who do not believe Jesus was the son of God and repent their sins) will, after death, burn in Hellfire for all eternity.  (Non-Christian babies, all Muslims and Buddhists too.)  There will be a short break on Judgement Day (cf Revelations) before torture will resume.

The Bible contains no errors.  Some is meant to be taken literally, and some is not.  Some parts which used to be literally true (eg Noah’s Ark) are now figurative.  Your local church will be able to help you distinguish which is which.  In the past, this balance has changed, but no further changes are expected.  Burning witches is no longer encouraged (although they should of course be punished for their sorcerors' ways).

Past church practices such as the torture of those claiming the Earth moves round the Sun, or the protection of child rapists from prosecution, were regrettable episodes and you should not let these relative trivialities deter you from your continued support and contributions.

The key thing is you must believe in Jesus and accept Him as your saviour.  Bad news for Hindus, but there you go.  On the other hand, good news for homophobic fundamentalist Christian preachers.  So look on the bright side.  Gandhi out;  Jerry Falwell in.

I am a non-Christian, so this is somewhat alarming.  If I go with one of the other major franchises (Islam or Hinduism, say) there is a very large potential downside.  But eternity in paradise with Jerry Falwell seems like a contradiction in terms.  What about Tyort1anism?  Does it have a book?

caracarn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 564
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #217 on: May 28, 2017, 09:53:18 PM »
MrDelane, been doing weekend stuff, but figured I'd check in.

You had asked to give you some specific items that solidify my faith.  Yes, you are right, everything was in support of Biblical points and nothing to show proof of divinity.  As others have answered, I'm not sure how you do that.  I do agree, that God could make Himself know if He wanted to, but there are several Biblical references that indicate that will not happen until Revelation.  The Age of the Prophets and miracles is past, and obviously even with that man does not believe.

In response to some others, God is just AND loving.  Man in their self serving ways want it easy to justify their behavior, but God does not go with that.  God could not go with that because it would be contrary to His nature. The question as some commentators but it is not"Why does go let good things happen to bad people? or bad things happen to good?" but "Why does God let any man live at all?"  After all we are all completely deserving of destruction.  This points to His extreme patience and mercy.  He warned man for 120 years while Noah built the ark before he wiped out all but eight.  He warned Israel for 800 years before he made them captive in Egypt.  For those "christians" who feel they are doing everything they need, we have Romans 2:1-16 to explain the paradox of living a good Christian life and still falling short because you are doing the same things you condemn other for but do yourself. 

caracarn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 564
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #218 on: May 28, 2017, 09:56:17 PM »
So, to recap:

Non-Christians (ie those who do not believe Jesus was the son of God and repent their sins) will, after death, burn in Hellfire for all eternity.  (Non-Christian babies, all Muslims and Buddhists too.)  There will be a short break on Judgement Day (cf Revelations) before torture will resume.

The Bible contains no errors.  Some is meant to be taken literally, and some is not.  Some parts which used to be literally true (eg Noah’s Ark) are now figurative.  Your local church will be able to help you distinguish which is which.  In the past, this balance has changed, but no further changes are expected.  Burning witches is no longer encouraged (although they should of course be punished for their sorcerors' ways).

Past church practices such as the torture of those claiming the Earth moves round the Sun, or the protection of child rapists from prosecution, were regrettable episodes and you should not let these relative trivialities deter you from your continued support and contributions.

The key thing is you must believe in Jesus and accept Him as your saviour.  Bad news for Hindus, but there you go.  On the other hand, good news for homophobic fundamentalist Christian preachers.  So look on the bright side.  Gandhi out;  Jerry Falwell in.

I am a non-Christian, so this is somewhat alarming.  If I go with one of the other major franchises (Islam or Hinduism, say) there is a very large potential downside.  But eternity in paradise with Jerry Falwell seems like a contradiction in terms.  What about Tyort1anism?  Does it have a book?

I do not think Jerry Falwell is "in", but I'll find out later.  Gandhi may have accepted Jesus on his death bed.  Again, I'll find out later.  Your condemnation seems to focus on choices the church made, which again gets convoluted with God (burning witches, heliocentrists and the Crusades had nothing to do with Biblical statements just the twisting of things by some disturbed men). 

MrDelane

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 402
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #219 on: May 28, 2017, 10:27:31 PM »
MrDelane, been doing weekend stuff, but figured I'd check in.

You had asked to give you some specific items that solidify my faith.  Yes, you are right, everything was in support of Biblical points and nothing to show proof of divinity.  As others have answered, I'm not sure how you do that.

Fair enough - I'm not sure how you would prove divinity either.
When you get some time I'm curious to hear your thoughts about what I posted in response to your Thallus and Quirinius points (especially the 'microlettering' claims from Vardaman, which is what I found most surprising).

I'm still working my way through your original post - been tied up with weekend stuff as well.
Hope yours has been enjoyable!



MrDelane

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 402
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #220 on: May 28, 2017, 10:33:49 PM »
Your condemnation seems to focus on choices the church made, which again gets convoluted with God (burning witches, heliocentrists and the Crusades had nothing to do with Biblical statements just the twisting of things by some disturbed men).

To be fair, Exodus 22:18 does tell us "You shall not allow a sorceress to live."
So, I'm not sure I would say that burning witches had nothing to do with Biblical statements.


ETA:
Apparently this was important enough to cover more than once.
Leviticus 20:27 reads, "Now a man or a woman who is a medium or a spiritist shall surely be put to death"
« Last Edit: May 28, 2017, 10:45:42 PM by MrDelane »

Father Dougal

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 33
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #221 on: May 29, 2017, 03:17:45 AM »
So, to recap:

Non-Christians (ie those who do not believe Jesus was the son of God and repent their sins) will, after death, burn in Hellfire for all eternity.  (Non-Christian babies, all Muslims and Buddhists too.)  There will be a short break on Judgement Day (cf Revelations) before torture will resume.

The Bible contains no errors.  Some is meant to be taken literally, and some is not.  Some parts which used to be literally true (eg Noah’s Ark) are now figurative.  Your local church will be able to help you distinguish which is which.  In the past, this balance has changed, but no further changes are expected.  Burning witches is no longer encouraged (although they should of course be punished for their sorcerors' ways).

Past church practices such as the torture of those claiming the Earth moves round the Sun, or the protection of child rapists from prosecution, were regrettable episodes and you should not let these relative trivialities deter you from your continued support and contributions.

The key thing is you must believe in Jesus and accept Him as your saviour.  Bad news for Hindus, but there you go.  On the other hand, good news for homophobic fundamentalist Christian preachers.  So look on the bright side.  Gandhi out;  Jerry Falwell in.

I am a non-Christian, so this is somewhat alarming.  If I go with one of the other major franchises (Islam or Hinduism, say) there is a very large potential downside.  But eternity in paradise with Jerry Falwell seems like a contradiction in terms.  What about Tyort1anism?  Does it have a book?

I do not think Jerry Falwell is "in", but I'll find out later.  Gandhi may have accepted Jesus on his death bed.  Again, I'll find out later.  Your condemnation seems to focus on choices the church made, which again gets convoluted with God (burning witches, heliocentrists and the Crusades had nothing to do with Biblical statements just the twisting of things by some disturbed men).

Hi Caracarn,

It's interesting that I quote conventional Christian beliefs and you see it as "condemnation".  But the basic point of the eternal Hellfire punishment (for people who do not believe in Jesus) is a belief you share, right?  Fingers crossed for Gandhi.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2017, 03:56:21 AM by Father Dougal »

caracarn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 564
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #222 on: May 29, 2017, 05:11:58 AM »
Your condemnation seems to focus on choices the church made, which again gets convoluted with God (burning witches, heliocentrists and the Crusades had nothing to do with Biblical statements just the twisting of things by some disturbed men).

To be fair, Exodus 22:18 does tell us "You shall not allow a sorceress to live."
So, I'm not sure I would say that burning witches had nothing to do with Biblical statements.


ETA:
Apparently this was important enough to cover more than once.
Leviticus 20:27 reads, "Now a man or a woman who is a medium or a spiritist shall surely be put to death"

OK, and what I have been taught as "proper" Biblical teaching supported by many versus in the NT, is that once Jesus came we are under grace, not under the Law.  Citing OT Laws that are no longer applicable after Messiah's coming is not proper exegesis of the Bible, and mentioned about that topic by the Quereshi paragraphs I quoted.  The is the difference between the old and the new covenant.  Once Jesus came, many things were different. He indicated what is still relevant like the 10 commandments, but also that much under Mosaic Law (which is what is covered in the two books and others you quote) is not.  The way to understand this, and I get one can argue from an angle of a cruel joke, is that the Law is not given to save but to show the futility of man in living up to God's standards.  It is impossible to follow the Law in it's entirety and since to God all sin is the same.

IMPORTANT TO ALL OTHER POSTS.  PLEASE FOCUS ON THIS PARAGRAPH AS A REFERENCE GOING FORWARD.  First, I will try to respond as I can, when I can. I've got about an hour this morning before I need to head to the farmer's market to get fresh corn for our Memorial Day BBQ and then may not be able to keep going, so I may abruptly end a post just trying to get in what I can.  Second, I am fine explaining what I understand of a given piece of explanation/evidence, but if you are looking for everything to piece together in a complete and "beyond a reasonable doubt" whole, then we are never going to do that.  Just as you indicated that divinity cannot rationally be proved at this time if ever, a lot of what is known is a piece of a puzzle, not able to stand on it's own for the giant case being built.  I would certainly go after each piece I share and find your own view, but understand this is always a case on circumstantial evidence and not physical evidence.  With that, if you do not adhere to the "rules" for circumstantial evidence then you will always have much larger problem with what is presented.  But if you do, and understand at it's core that abductive reasoning is the process you follow and arrive at the most reasonable inference.  The case as built goes in pieces, so the first piece that the gospels are reliable and trustworthy is part of whether later items like what Thallus has are even worth consideration, because continuing to debate the reliability after one set of circumstantial evidence shows that it is, is to not follow the rules of circumstantial and cold case process which will always leave you with a lot more unanswered questions.  Third, I am providing a smattering of items, and even if I cited entire chapters that is still just a piece of what a given author had found and then he chose to include what he did.  This may be the best process we have for this board, but it is going to introduce a lot of time involved in continuing to explain and add detail.  Fourth, I am using as a necessity materials I have in my personal library or may find appropriate passages on the internet that I can reference, but not everything I have read, so this dilutes that pile of evidence as well.  I'm using mainly 2-4 books that I think do a decent job of summing up some key evidence, but it is unlikely that one of them standing alone answers enough of things to get people there.  This is an immense topic, one which a lifetime of study will not open all the details to, so expecting an open and shut case in a matter of weeks or months that may go on here is an unreasonable bar, but I'm happy to stay involved as long as there is interest.  These limitations and boundaries are what constitute my responses here, so I wanted to get those out somewhere and not have to repeat them in every other reply I make.

So returning to the Law above, I'll add some color from John MacArthur's commentary on Romans.

"Strangely, most people do not perceive of God as being totally good.  Instead of recognizing His gracious provision, patience and His mercy, they accuse Him of being insensitive and unloving for letting certain things happen (my insertion: taking Exodus 22:18 and man misconstruing it to now mean they can burn witches).  'How could God allow that little child to die?' they ask or, 'Why does God allow that good person to suffer pain and death and poor health and permit a scoundrel to enjoy health and wealth?'  Some people judge God from an incomplete and human perspective, failing to acknowledge that, if it were not for God's gracious goodness and patience, NO human being would be alive.

Rather than asking why God allows bad things to happen to seemingly good people, we should ask why He allows seemingly good things to happen to obviously bad people.  We could ask why He does not strike down many other people for their sins, including Christians, as He did with Ananias and Sapphira (Acts:5:1-10).  ... The reason is Romans 9:22-23

The German philosopher Heine presumptuously declared, 'God will forgive, after all that's His trade.' Many people share that presumption although they might not state it so bluntly.  They take everything good from God that they can and continue sinning, thinking He is obliged to overlook their sin.

Modern man looks askance at the Old Testament, finding it impossible from his purely human perspective to explain the seemingly brutal and capricious acts on the part of God that are recorded there.  Commenting on the release of the New English Bible some years ago, Lord Platt wrote to the London Times (March 3, 1970): 'Perhaps now that it is written in a language all can understand, the Old Testament will be seen for what it is, and obscene chronicle of man's cruelty to man, or worse perhaps, his cruelty to woman, and of man's selfishness and cupidity, backed up by his appeal to his god; a horror story if ever there was one.   It is to be hoped that it will at last be proscribed as totally inappropriate to the ethical instruction of school-children.'

Superficial study of the Old Testament seems to confirm this sentiment.  Why, many people ask, did God destroy the whole world through the Flood, except for eight people?   Why did God turn Lot's wife into a pillar of salt simply because she turned back to look at Sodom?  Why did He command Abraham to sacrifice his son Issac?  Why did He harden Pharaoh's heart and then punish him for his hardness by slaying all the male children in Egypt?  Why did God in the Mosaic law prescribe the death penalty for some thirty-five different offenses? (My emphasis added) Why did He command His chosen people to completely eradicate the inhabitants of Canaan?  Why did God send two bears to kill forty-two teens for mocking the prophet Elisha?  Why did He instantly slay Uzzah for trying to keep the Ark of the Covenant from falling to the ground while at the same time allowing many grossly immoral and idolatrous Israelites to live?  Why did God send fire to devour Aaron's two sons, Nadab and Abihu, for making an improper sacrifice while allowing many other ungodly priests to live to old age? Why did He not take David's life for committing murder and adultery, both of which were capital offenses under the law?

We wonder about such things only if we compare His justice with His mercy rather than with His law.  The OT must be understood from the perspective of the creation.  Got told Adam Gen 2:16-17.  From the beginning, therefore ALL sin was a capital offense.

Although by justice they deserved to die for eating the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve instead experienced God's mercy. ... In light of that provision is becomes clear that demanding the death penalty for only about thirty-five (my emphasis) transgressions, as in the Mosaic law, was not cruel and unusual punishment but an amazing reduction in the severity of God's judgment.

... Periodically, God did dramatically take someone's ife to remind men of what all sinners deserve.

Every day we live we should thank the Lord for being so patient and merciful with us, overlooking the many sins for which, even as His children, we deserve His just punishment.  The crucial question is not 'Why do certain people suffer or die?', but 'Why does anyone live?'"

caracarn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 564
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #223 on: May 29, 2017, 05:57:23 AM »
MrDelane, been doing weekend stuff, but figured I'd check in.

You had asked to give you some specific items that solidify my faith.  Yes, you are right, everything was in support of Biblical points and nothing to show proof of divinity.  As others have answered, I'm not sure how you do that.

Fair enough - I'm not sure how you would prove divinity either.
When you get some time I'm curious to hear your thoughts about what I posted in response to your Thallus and Quirinius points (especially the 'microlettering' claims from Vardaman, which is what I found most surprising).

I'm still working my way through your original post - been tied up with weekend stuff as well.
Hope yours has been enjoyable!

For Thallus I can provide the citation the author I pulled that from provided and it may or may not help you.  Quoted in Ante-Nicene Christian Library: Translations of the Writing of the Fathers Down to A.D. 325, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, vol 9, Iranaues, Vol. II - Hippolytus, vol II - Fragments of Third Century (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1870), 188

It is also of not that you indicate the skepticism that this was pulled from Africanus' writings.  I do not have detail on how Thallus was dated (author does not provide), and he also talks about the typical archaeological practice that applies in this case of using a later writing that can be proven to be unaltered and unquestioned because of archaeological rigor as beyond reasonable doubt.   The book is an archaeology text, certainly admits flaws in archaeology, which would also apply to your questions about Quirianus and Lysanias, so how they ascertain the credibility of a given document is not gone in to.  There are also nine other evidences Wallace provided that I did not cite in this section.

The other thing I did not offer up was the skeptic side of the argument that is examined in some detail in each chapter, so for this one.  Let me add the relevant pieces from the book regarding Thallus.  "Many critics has rejected some of the external corroboration we've described from ancient non-Christian authors like Thallus and Phlegon.  They've argued that the original texts from these tow ancient authors are unavailable to us.  ... How do we know that these ancient Christian apologists didn't distort or misquote Thallus or Phlegon?  Skeptics argue that we cannot trust the quotes we have today because we don't have access to the copies of Thallus's or Phlegon's complete texts.

BUT----
Both Africanus and Origen cite the work of Thallus and Phlegon from position of skpeticism, not agreement.  Africanus said that Thallus propsed an eclipse to explain the darkness at Jesus's crucifixion, but Africanus clearly did not agree with this conclusion; he said that Thallus made this claim 'without reason.' ...Instead, Africanusand Origen quoted the qork of Thallus and Phlegon even though they didn't always agree with their conclusions.  The best inference from the evidence here is that Africanus and Origen were correctly and honestly citing their sources, especially since we have no other competing ancient citations of Thallus and Phlegon that contradict what Africanus and Origen reported"

Another point of skepticism I did not cover was some gospel terms are still troublesome, and the next one, archaeology cannot confirm every gospel detail.

Returning to the text:
"... Even if we believed that miracles are reasonable, what kind of archaeological evidence could, for example, corroborate Jesus's healing of the blind man?  For these skeptics, archaeology, while interesting, seems to limited to be of much assistance.

BUT---
The archaeological evidences we've discussed in this chapter are only one category of evidence in the
cumulative (my emphasis added) circumstantial case we are presenting for the corroboration of the Gospels.  Like all circumstantial cases, each piece of evidence is incapable of proving the case entirely on its own.  Circumstantial cases are built on the strength of multiple lines of evidence and the fact that all the individual pieces point to the same conclusion.  The archaeological support we have for the gospel accounts (like the archaeological support of any ancient event) is limited and incomplete.  This shouldn't surprise us.  Dr. Edwin Yamauchi, historian and professor emeritus at Miami University, has rightly noted that archaeological evidence is a matter of "fractions".  Only a fraction of the world's archaeological evidence still survives in the ground.  In addition, only a fraction of the possible archaeological sites have been discovered.  Only a fraction of there have been excavated, and those only partially.  To make matters more difficult, only a fraction of those partial excavations have been thoroughly examined and published.  Finally only a fraction of what has been examined and published has anything to do with the claims of the Bible.  (Edwin Yamamuchi, The Stones and Scripture, 1982, 146-62)."

The author goes on in that section to remind us that much of the objections made by skeptics of archaeology trade on the evidence of the gospels being written late, which was covered by the first questions which placed the gospel writing firmly in the time of eyewitness accounts.  This hits your Quiranius arguments even if the coin is wrong or non-existent.  Again quoting the logic: "If Luke's gospel is written as early as the evidence suggests, any claim that Luke errantly cited a particular governorship or errantly described a sequence of readers is unreasonable.  If this were the case, the early readers of Luke's gospel, reading it in the first century with a memory of what truly happened, would have caught Luke's error from the very beginning.  If nothing else, we would expect to see some early scribe try to alter the narrative to correct he mistaken history.  No alteration of this sort ever took place, and the early readers of Luke's gospel did not challenge Luke's account.  The gospel was delivered to them early, while they still knew the correct order or governors and kings."

So I'd suggest that even though you are skeptical about Vardman's coin, this is another line of logic that basically makes that moot.  Think of it in today's terms.  How quickly do newspapers, Snopes, Politifact and other fact checkers point out errors?  Do we reasonably feel this is a process only begun in the modern age?  If not than we do not need archaeology to verify facts.  Once again, I pulled the couple relevant more recent discoveries and Vardman's citing in the book says it is from an unpublished paper, so maybe he felt it was not rock solid enough to publish and you point out some of why, but Wallace would argue you can be skeptical or realize that even without it, other lines of evidence point to the reasonable fact of corroboration. 

As a last note, some more of Wallace.  In include some extra sentences to again point out the accepted hurdle for circumstantial evidence.  "Even when considering the limits of archaeology and the limits of internal (of which I did not include any of Wallace's points as they are the most likely to be pushed upon as biased) literary analysis, the most reasonable inference from the evidence if the Gospels are incredibly reliable, especially considering the nature of the accounts.  Few ancient records have been as critically examined as the New Testament Gospels.  Few other documents from antiquity have been as heavily challenged and scrutinized.  This prolonged scrutiny has given a robust and detailed set of evidences that we can examine with abductive reasoning. 

The explanation is feasible, straightforward and logical.  It is superior to the alternative explanation.  Once again it meets the criteria we established or abductive reasoning; we can have confidence that we've arrived at the most reasonable explanation."

Father Dougal

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 33
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #224 on: May 29, 2017, 06:25:37 AM »
Your condemnation seems to focus on choices the church made, which again gets convoluted with God (burning witches, heliocentrists and the Crusades had nothing to do with Biblical statements just the twisting of things by some disturbed men).

To be fair, Exodus 22:18 does tell us "You shall not allow a sorceress to live."
So, I'm not sure I would say that burning witches had nothing to do with Biblical statements.


ETA:
Apparently this was important enough to cover more than once.
Leviticus 20:27 reads, "Now a man or a woman who is a medium or a spiritist shall surely be put to death"

... I'm happy to stay involved as long as there is interest.  These limitations and boundaries are what constitute my responses here, so I wanted to get those out somewhere and not have to repeat them in every other reply I make.


I'm certainly interested!  Your position is fascinating.  There is a lot of detail in your responses and I’m intrigued about your personal beliefs as a result of all this study.

I think we have established that you believe that non-Christians will be sent to burn in Hell for eternity after death (but I don’t want to put words into your mouth, so please correct me if I am wrong).

Also, the laws of the Old Testament are replaced by the “Grace” of the New Testament.  So, no reasonable Christian would put to death homosexuals or adulterers, for example.  However, it seems that God may decide to kill people (or do nothing to stop them dying or suffering). And the question is not "why does He do that", because all human beings are unworthy and deserve to suffer (tainted by Original Sin, I suppose).  Instead, the fact that any human beings are allowed to live is evidence of His mercy.  Sound about right?

One thing I’m not sure about is whether you would agree with the substance of the old laws which were not confirmed by Jesus in the New Testament.  For example, is homosexuality a sin?  Sex outside marriage?  Are the Laws an idealised set of rules, or were they only applicable at the time they were given to the Jews?

Also, do you believe in the Biblical timeline – meaning the Earth is less than ten thousand years old?  So the theory of evolution must be false in your view?  It seems you believe the Noah’s Ark story to be literally true – was the entire world flooded by God?  Is the Adam and Eve story literal truth in your opinion?  Lot's wife turned to salt?
« Last Edit: May 29, 2017, 06:54:18 AM by Father Dougal »

caracarn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 564
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #225 on: May 29, 2017, 08:46:56 AM »
Your condemnation seems to focus on choices the church made, which again gets convoluted with God (burning witches, heliocentrists and the Crusades had nothing to do with Biblical statements just the twisting of things by some disturbed men).

To be fair, Exodus 22:18 does tell us "You shall not allow a sorceress to live."
So, I'm not sure I would say that burning witches had nothing to do with Biblical statements.


ETA:
Apparently this was important enough to cover more than once.
Leviticus 20:27 reads, "Now a man or a woman who is a medium or a spiritist shall surely be put to death"

... I'm happy to stay involved as long as there is interest.  These limitations and boundaries are what constitute my responses here, so I wanted to get those out somewhere and not have to repeat them in every other reply I make.


I'm certainly interested!  Your position is fascinating.  There is a lot of detail in your responses and I’m intrigued about your personal beliefs as a result of all this study.

I think we have established that you believe that non-Christians will be sent to burn in Hell for eternity after death (but I don’t want to put words into your mouth, so please correct me if I am wrong).

Also, the laws of the Old Testament are replaced by the “Grace” of the New Testament.  So, no reasonable Christian would put to death homosexuals or adulterers, for example.  However, it seems that God may decide to kill people (or do nothing to stop them dying or suffering). And the question is not "why does He do that", because all human beings are unworthy and deserve to suffer (tainted by Original Sin, I suppose).  Instead, the fact that any human beings are allowed to live is evidence of His mercy.  Sound about right?

One thing I’m not sure about is whether you would agree with the substance of the old laws which were not confirmed by Jesus in the New Testament.  For example, is homosexuality a sin?  Sex outside marriage?  Are the Laws an idealised set of rules, or were they only applicable at the time they were given to the Jews?

Also, do you believe in the Biblical timeline – meaning the Earth is less than ten thousand years old?  So the theory of evolution must be false in your view?  It seems you believe the Noah’s Ark story to be literally true – was the entire world flooded by God?  Is the Adam and Eve story literal truth in your opinion?  Lot's wife turned to salt?
As always a few questions, lead to a lot.

Some of what you discuss I am still searching on, really meaning I am open to new findings, but have seen and can make peace with the explanations that  cover them, but which I do have a difficult time reconciling, which are the aging of the Earth.  I'll go through what you have in sequence, but as an overall answer, yes, I focus on that the Scripture says and how it all reconciles to itself with grace being what it taught as what we live under now versus law.

So, I walked through the believers, versus non-believers in an earlier post where Kris asked that I believe with regards to her hypothetical of two twins born and leading what she termed good lives.  I'll not cover that again as it is there for reference if you want more, but non-believers are in the lake of fire for eternity.  What we commonly refer to as heaven and hell are pit stops to the final destination of all. 

Your next section is accurate to what I believe and understand.  To clarify a bit, the core Christian believe if sola fide, or "faith alone".  The whole argument hinges on is as Christians we need more than Jesus' substitutional death on the cross to save, then Him doing that was pointless and makes no sense.  If baptism or other works are needed, then grace is not sufficient and the whole house of cards comes crashing down.  This is the core.  Without it everything is a hollow shell and easily false. 

Now your next section has a bit of a tie to the last one in as you speak of homosexuality as sin or not.  While, yes, no one has the right to kill anyone for homosexuality under grace, it is still a sin.  There are three sections of the New Testament used to explain this, one of which is 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God." (NASB)  Now to add color to this I have a daughter who came out as homosexual about four years ago, and as of last year has decided she is actually transgender and is going through the process of converting to the male gender.  She has started hormone therapy but as of now does not have the funds to proceed with surgery, though I believe that is her goal.  Understandably, she does not share a whole lot of her detail as she knows I am not a source of "tolerance" in the latest incarnation that psychologists have indicated is part of the "millennial" culture, where tolerance no longer means what it did for decades, where we let people live as they choose, do not denigrate them, to now it not only means that plus you also need to be totally 100% supportive and encouraging or you are not tolerant.  In my beliefs I am to love anyone, including my daughter, but I am not required to love her behavior.  In speaking with various Christian leaders from multiple churches across the country about this, this has been my understanding.  I do not condemn her for her homosexuality.  I love her as I always have.  I do pray that God's will be done and she is welcome in our home at any time.  Her mom is not a believer either, and she is also struggling mightily with this turn of events and has explained to our daughter the difficulties with jobs etc. that she will likely face.  She has initially wanted to be a public school teacher, but has since changed from this when her school counselors and others pointed out the extremely unlikely possibility of being hired as a transgender teacher in a public school role.  Keep in mind all these barriers are not Christian, but societal.  Yet one can argue they have overtones from teaching in various belief systems.  So I believe my daughter is sinning, I pray for her repentance, but I do not see any Biblical evidence for the old "pray the gay away" stance some churches did and still take and my church does not preach that either.  As with all sin, the judge is God, not man.  My simple statement to my daughter is "I love you and will always love you, but because of my beliefs I'm not going to march in the gay pride parade with you.  I do not agree with your choices, but they are your choices to make."  She has fought with me a couple times to renounce my faith as she feels it is a slap in her face.  I have calmly explained that to me that is no different than asking her to renounce homosexuality.  It is who she believes she is just as much as faith in God is who I believe I am.  Sex outside of marriage is also a sin in the Bible.  The Laws were not an idealized set of rules.  They were the rules Gd expected His people to live by at that time, but that time is now gone according to Christians based on the teachings of the New Testament.  This discussion has led me to create an open questions to my Jewish friends, who obviously only believe in the Old Testament books that are part of Judaism why they no longer offer wave offerings, burnt offerings etc. because for them they still live under the Law.  I'll be curious to hear the answer. 

So the last piece, I believe the whole world was flooded by God as He said, that He turned Lot's wife to salt and Adam and Eve and all that surrounds it.  By faith, I understand that a young earth is then the theory, but this is one I do struggle with but realize that struggle is also based on things I accept on faith, that our dating process is accurate etc. There are a set of books, The New Answers books, with three volumes, that attempt to explain all these from a Christian perspective without tossing science out the window, but offering examples that revolve around not simply going by the assumption that what we see today was how it always was.  This also means that evolution as we understand it was not responsible for the variety of life we see.  There are mutations, but the evolution principle is theory still because there has not been solid scientific proof that these mutations make the leaps needed for evolution.  The young earth belief is one I have to take on faith but is one of the areas I struggle most with.  On this I have to concede, I have no arguments that I would feel could guide anyone there, as I do not find them able to be taken on more than faith either.  There are theories that seem to have some proof in the lab that carbon could have deteriorated much faster for example than it does now and therefore it provides a way to explain how Earth is not 4 billions years old but 10,000 or so given those changes.  Could God have done that?   An all powerful God can do anything, but I see the way this creates an inconsistency that I am not able to talk away.  But science is not foolproof either, so this is one that just needs more evidence, but I am open to a young earth.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2017, 08:50:40 AM by caracarn »

caracarn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 564
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #226 on: May 29, 2017, 09:00:00 AM »
So, to recap:

Non-Christians (ie those who do not believe Jesus was the son of God and repent their sins) will, after death, burn in Hellfire for all eternity.  (Non-Christian babies, all Muslims and Buddhists too.)  There will be a short break on Judgement Day (cf Revelations) before torture will resume.

The Bible contains no errors.  Some is meant to be taken literally, and some is not.  Some parts which used to be literally true (eg Noah’s Ark) are now figurative.  Your local church will be able to help you distinguish which is which.  In the past, this balance has changed, but no further changes are expected.  Burning witches is no longer encouraged (although they should of course be punished for their sorcerors' ways).

Past church practices such as the torture of those claiming the Earth moves round the Sun, or the protection of child rapists from prosecution, were regrettable episodes and you should not let these relative trivialities deter you from your continued support and contributions.

The key thing is you must believe in Jesus and accept Him as your saviour.  Bad news for Hindus, but there you go.  On the other hand, good news for homophobic fundamentalist Christian preachers.  So look on the bright side.  Gandhi out;  Jerry Falwell in.

I am a non-Christian, so this is somewhat alarming.  If I go with one of the other major franchises (Islam or Hinduism, say) there is a very large potential downside.  But eternity in paradise with Jerry Falwell seems like a contradiction in terms.  What about Tyort1anism?  Does it have a book?

I do not think Jerry Falwell is "in", but I'll find out later.  Gandhi may have accepted Jesus on his death bed.  Again, I'll find out later.  Your condemnation seems to focus on choices the church made, which again gets convoluted with God (burning witches, heliocentrists and the Crusades had nothing to do with Biblical statements just the twisting of things by some disturbed men).

Hi Caracarn,

It's interesting that I quote conventional Christian beliefs and you see it as "condemnation".  But the basic point of the eternal Hellfire punishment (for people who do not believe in Jesus) is a belief you share, right?  Fingers crossed for Gandhi.
Sorry, digging backwards from the bottom so I am responding out of sequence.

I understand it will be viewed a point of semantics by many, but for me there is a vast chasm between Christian stances that can be supported by Scripture and everything else that are beliefs some Christians hold, but which I, and other like me who hold to Scriptural guidance as the ways God instructed us by saying the Bible is sufficient to guide us through all questions. 

With that stance, the burning of witches was at best an misunderstanding of those Christians that the Law still was in effect.   Almost everything was a power play using Christianity as a backdrop, but using it totally improperly.  I completely get why religion is a tough pill to swallow for many because religious systems and beliefs have been so corrupted by man's influence that they are misapplied constantly.  The Crusades were a misapplication of the Bible to help the Pope gain more power.  Burning heretics was the same thing.  The punishment in the lake of fire is clearly Biblically based.  Everything else you cited as not, hence by pointing that that using them as condemnation does not apply.  Can you you use them to condemn entire segments of Christianity that did, and perhaps still do, believe in that?  Yes.  But they do not point to the Christian teachings as delivered by God as guiding them.  Hope that makes sense.  I get it's not the most straightforward thing to wrap your brain around.

caracarn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 564
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #227 on: May 29, 2017, 09:23:07 AM »
I logged on to this very interesting thread to see if Caracarn was still exhaustively, exhaustively defending Christianity and his current interpretation of the Bible. Still so. And very clear how is many progeny have rejected his proselytizing and props to them for that. However! I was cheered to read Caracarn thinks Trump does not represent good Christian values. It is so refreshing - I'm not Christian; most people in my life don't buy into the ideology - and I wonder how people make peace with religion and the Republican doctrine. It seems so at odds with what a non believer knows about Christianity: healing the sick, feeding the poor, and all of that.

You go, Caracarn! With your bad old pious self.
I think the challenge for most non-believers is that they hear the Cliff Notes version of the Bible, which is also what 98% of believers get, because they honestly take no time to truly study and learn what is there (and what is not).  It has only become worse in this time period when attention spans demand that we can get an answer in seconds, rather than people being comfortable in a lifetime of study. 

As an addendum to our many progeny, yes, they vacillate back and forth.  Currently several of them are leaning back towards studying the Bible because they do not see any good answers in the secular culture either.   Nothing we did specifically either than keeping their eyes open to the possibility that the more reasonable explanation for the confusion they see in the world might really be explained by living God's way.  They ask questions, we answer and give them pointers on where to look for our perspective.  The easy path that you give the props for, is to jump on the "nothing matters because it's all random" view surrounding them by the worldly messages.  Not sure how they get props for following the path of least resistance when that take zero effort. 

Your political argument needs more detail to respond intelligently.  Personally I am probably just as frustrated, if not more so, by the fact that 80%+ or whatever the polls showed of Christians simply voted for Trump because of the concern about justices and the effect it would have on abortion ruling (perhaps) and because people believe that he attends church and that indicates anything about him other than he knows how to find the building and go in and out at the right times.  I am completely against legislating morality and I think that is a big part of the division.  As a Christian, I understand abortion is the taking of a life.  But as a Christian I am to act in my own life according to what I believe and not use the state to impose my beliefs on others.  Nothing in Scripture prohibits birth control, though certain groups read things into Genesis 38 and some other passages that are not there.  Therefore voting for a president because of what they will possibly do for Roe V Wade is the completely wrong way to decide.  We cannot effectively legislate against sin, i.e morals.  Prohibition was another massive failure in that regard.  Sure drunkenness is a sin.  Society should punish behavior that results in harm to others from that and does with the intoxication laws, but mandating that people cannot become drunk is something each person needs to decide for themselves.  Not sure if that's what you meant by reconciling the Republican doctrine and Christianity. 


caracarn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 564
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #228 on: May 29, 2017, 09:43:22 AM »
Caracarn -

I have started delving into the list you wrote out for me (and will continue to) but something struck me as I went through it for the first time.  While I appreciate the effort that it took, I can't help but notice that nearly everything in that post aims to prove the historical accuracy of the Bible.  Now, while that is not unimportant, it doesn't really do much to get you to evidence of a God or the divinity of Jesus.  It may very well help you prove the historicity of Jesus, but it does not prove divinity any more than the evidence of New York City being a real place proves the existence of Spiderman (no offense, I am simply searching for an example of a supernatural thing existing in a real place).


OK, so this is a different focus.  As we talked in a few later posts, proving divinity is a tough nut, an not one either of can find a path to.  The best sources I have come across are the best selling "Case for...." series by Lee Strobel.  Honestly if you want to save some time, the movie that just came out does an terrific job of giving you a two hour summary of "Case for Christ" which hits a lot of things that you may find interesting.  I do not own that book so cannot cite examples from it.  I do have "Case for a Creator" on my shelf so I can share a bit from that.  I'm assuming you are aware of Lee's story, but if not the key summary is he was a devoted atheist and then his wife was drawn to faith, and in an effort to preserve his marriage and his world he set out with all the tenacity of one of the best investigate reporters of the time to prove to his wife how this was all lies.  He was as hostile a party as you could get to Christianity.  Yet, when he did his years of work he ended up somewhere else.  He has spent years sharing what he has found.  Lee starts with evolution and the impact this has on leading most people to doubt and where you find a lot of atheists stories beginning, "I have been an atheist since studying evolution in the ninth grade". 

I do think it would be hard to beat the speed of giving you start on this of guiding you to the movie, but it will save both of us a lot of time.  I can only begin to scratch the surface of the many evidences Lee surfaced and the investigative process in two hours, and you could read it an research only that shallow pool in that same time.  Conversely, if you find the things presented in the movie compelling enough to warrant further discussion at least we are back on the same footing we were with the original question you asked of specific items that than starting with the big "why should I believe there is a God?"  At this point I'm going to go enjoy Memorial Day.

ETA:  I actually grew up in the same suburb of Chicago with Lee Strobel and therefore read a lot of his stuff.  My brother actually went to school with his daughter and had a front row seat to the real live conversion of the Strobel family.  His material is at the heart of what answers your original question about what solidified my belief.  As a logical rational investigation and with of hundreds of sources to dig in to, I could recommend a better treatment of  the questions you have.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2017, 09:53:15 AM by caracarn »

tyort1

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1438
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Denver, Colorado
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #229 on: May 29, 2017, 12:14:49 PM »
Quote
Every day we live we should thank the Lord for being so patient and merciful with us, overlooking the many sins for which, even as His children, we deserve His just punishment.  The crucial question is not 'Why do certain people suffer or die?', but 'Why does anyone live?'"

Sorry, just popping in here to say that this idea is very, very, very messed up.  That is all.

« Last Edit: May 29, 2017, 07:07:44 PM by tyort1 »
Frugalite in training.

MrDelane

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 402
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #230 on: May 29, 2017, 04:17:56 PM »
I'm assuming you are aware of Lee's story, but if not the key summary is he was a devoted atheist and then his wife was drawn to faith, and in an effort to preserve his marriage and his world he set out with all the tenacity of one of the best investigate reporters of the time to prove to his wife how this was all lies. 

...

His material is at the heart of what answers your original question about what solidified my belief.  As a logical rational investigation and with of hundreds of sources to dig in to, I could recommend a better treatment of  the questions you have.

I am familiar with Strobel, and to be perfectly honest I am not impressed.  He claims to be interested in the truth, going wherever the evidence leads him - but I find that to be disingenuous when you look at his work.  His interviews in 'The Case for Christ' look like an exercise in confirmation bias to me.  He claims to want to dig into the historical evidence for Jesus, yet pretty much everyone he interviews are evangelical scholars.  Why not go find experts in archaeology, antiquities, historians, etc? On top of that, even some of the scholars he's interviewed (such as Craig Blomberg) have complained that he has oversimplified and edited his interviews to a point that he felt was inaccurate (and keep in mind these are not skeptics, these are believers).  So, given that Strobel does not seem genuine in his search for truth, I cannot take his work or conclusions too seriously.  Perhaps he has changed his approach since then, and if so I will revisit his writing.

On another note - I have spent the last couple of days reading about the authorship of the gospels (in response to your original post to me), and have plenty to say on it... but I'm worried we're starting to get outside of the scope of this thread, and I'm not certain how much anyone else is interested in this aside from the two of us. 

I will say, quickly, that the claim that the gospels were written by eyewitnesses seems unlikely at best.  Even just scratching the surface there are a ton of red flags to that idea.  They were written anonymously and not attributed to Mathew, Mark, Luke and John until late in the second century.  Yes, they were referred to and cited, but never by those names (and often by other names). Even once they were given titles, the titles they have don't reflect that they were written by the alleged author.  It is 'the Gospel according to Mark," not the "Gospel of Mark".

On top of that, if Mathew was an eyewitness to Jesus why on earth would he copy close to 80% of the verses from Mark (who was NOT an eyewitness, but allegedly got his story from the eyewitness Peter - something never said in the gospel but alleged by apologists).  That seems completely irrational - I am an eyewitness to an event but instead of writing my own account (which I plan to do anonymously and without any injection of my own specific thoughts, for some reason) I decide instead to copy the vast majority of another account (nearly 300 verses from what I have seen) that was not even written by an eye witness, but someone who allegedly heard the story from an eyewitness?

Luke also copies a fair amount from Mark, which is odd given that Luke mentions Mark in the book of Acts but never bothers to connect him to the gospel in any way (even though he clearly had a copy of Mark's Gospel).  If it had widely been known as the Gospel according to Mark at the time that Luke wrote his Gospel you would expect Luke to make reference to it.

To be honest, I'm trying very very hard not to be a victim of the same confirmation bias of which I accused Strobel.  I have spent a lot of time in the past couple of days reading J. Warner Wallace's site, among others.  I have tried to find counter arguments for every argument that challenges the varacity and authorship of the gospels - but so far I remain incredibly unconvinced.

The more I read that more it becomes clear that the gospels were never intended to be historical documents, they are written as novels - not to be verified and proven true, but to tell a story that people can learn from.

Boy this turned into something much longer than I intended... and there is plenty more that I could write (I've been taking notes as I read), but again... I think we're hitting the upper limit of what this thread can handle. 

Personally I find this whole topic fascinating, but I have a feeling you an I may be the only ones in that club.  Seeing as I don't want to bore everyone here I would be happy to continue this offline if you prefer.

(unless of course I'm wrong and everyone reading along at home is actually enjoying this dive into the weeds... but I doubt it.)

Father Dougal

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 33
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #231 on: May 30, 2017, 12:36:39 AM »
Quote
Every day we live we should thank the Lord for being so patient and merciful with us, overlooking the many sins for which, even as His children, we deserve His just punishment.  The crucial question is not 'Why do certain people suffer or die?', but 'Why does anyone live?'"

Sorry, just popping in here to say that this idea is very, very, very messed up.  That is all.

That's why I am grateful for Caracarn's engagement here.  There are a lot of yah-boo-sucks arguments around the place on religion.  You know, the sort of "My God is bigger than your God" type of thing.  So getting someone to state clearly what their beliefs are really helps in mutual understanding.  Caracarn seems clearly to be a good person, and his faith is so strong that it has even caused tensions in his family.  So the source of his conviction is what I find most fascinating and what I would most like to understand.

For example, Caracarn believes the following:

- Non-believers in Jesus will be punished in the afterlife by eternal torture in fire.  This includes babies who die before having the capability to believe in anything.  Gandhi is burning right now (there was no deathbed conversion to Jesus - his assassination was too quick for a start)
- Homosexuality is wrong
- Sex outside of marriage is wrong
- The Earth is less than ten thousand years old
- God flooded the world, drowning all land-based animals, and saved two of each land-based animal on a boat.
- The first humans were Adam and Eve and they lived in paradise. Eve prompted Adam to eat a fruit God had told them not to eat.  Thereafter, God punished mankind, including making childbirth painful for women.  Also, all humans are tainted by this "Original Sin", so no one is innocent (see babies, above).
- God has the capacity to do anything.  This is course, includes easing suffering.  He chooses not to do this. But he is kind and merciful because he allows some people to live and not suffer, even though everyone deserves punishment.
- Any evidence against anything in the Bible does not count, because God can do anything.

Actually, not all Christians believe everything above, but they probably all believe the last couple.

Now, the next question which I think follows logically is:  why would anyone believe this?  It is a serious question.  Some people claim to have first hand experience of God (visits from Angels, the Virgin Mary, etc), but this gives them a huge advantage over the rest of us.

At least, until they have experienced Tyort1anism!  You gotta sort out a book, though.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2017, 12:40:26 AM by Father Dougal »

caracarn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 564
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #232 on: May 30, 2017, 05:28:29 AM »
Quote
Every day we live we should thank the Lord for being so patient and merciful with us, overlooking the many sins for which, even as His children, we deserve His just punishment.  The crucial question is not 'Why do certain people suffer or die?', but 'Why does anyone live?'"

Sorry, just popping in here to say that this idea is very, very, very messed up.  That is all.
You may view it as messed up, but that does not determine if it is accurate or not.  This however is at the core of people wanting to make God what works for them versus understanding who God says He is.  I get it makes people uncomfortable but this is the interpretation I've seen of this section of Romans by multiple commentators.  This is also why I find a lot of the skeptics arguements laughable, because if you really look at the whole Bible, it is not party all the time, what a wonderful thing it is.  If someone wanted to fabricate something to get people to join a group and believe in, do you really think what they would come up would the this?!   A lot of the "evidence" for the Bible is that if this is all made up then the people who did it had the worst sense of what the audience wants to hear of any writers in history.  A short summary of the Bible could be "I made you, you all suck and disappoint me, but I love you anyway, now deal with it." 

I mean Tyortism has all the makings of the feel good, "Nothing bad happens no matter what we do so let's go crazy" and yet the line of followers does not seem to be approaching McDonald's "billions and billions served" yet.  Maybe it just needs a couple thousand years.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2017, 05:39:24 AM by caracarn »

caracarn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 564
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #233 on: May 30, 2017, 05:32:41 AM »
I'm assuming you are aware of Lee's story, but if not the key summary is he was a devoted atheist and then his wife was drawn to faith, and in an effort to preserve his marriage and his world he set out with all the tenacity of one of the best investigate reporters of the time to prove to his wife how this was all lies. 

...

His material is at the heart of what answers your original question about what solidified my belief.  As a logical rational investigation and with of hundreds of sources to dig in to, I could recommend a better treatment of  the questions you have.

I am familiar with Strobel, and to be perfectly honest I am not impressed.  He claims to be interested in the truth, going wherever the evidence leads him - but I find that to be disingenuous when you look at his work.  His interviews in 'The Case for Christ' look like an exercise in confirmation bias to me.  He claims to want to dig into the historical evidence for Jesus, yet pretty much everyone he interviews are evangelical scholars.  Why not go find experts in archaeology, antiquities, historians, etc? On top of that, even some of the scholars he's interviewed (such as Craig Blomberg) have complained that he has oversimplified and edited his interviews to a point that he felt was inaccurate (and keep in mind these are not skeptics, these are believers).  So, given that Strobel does not seem genuine in his search for truth, I cannot take his work or conclusions too seriously.  Perhaps he has changed his approach since then, and if so I will revisit his writing.

On another note - I have spent the last couple of days reading about the authorship of the gospels (in response to your original post to me), and have plenty to say on it... but I'm worried we're starting to get outside of the scope of this thread, and I'm not certain how much anyone else is interested in this aside from the two of us. 

I will say, quickly, that the claim that the gospels were written by eyewitnesses seems unlikely at best.  Even just scratching the surface there are a ton of red flags to that idea.  They were written anonymously and not attributed to Mathew, Mark, Luke and John until late in the second century.  Yes, they were referred to and cited, but never by those names (and often by other names). Even once they were given titles, the titles they have don't reflect that they were written by the alleged author.  It is 'the Gospel according to Mark," not the "Gospel of Mark".

On top of that, if Mathew was an eyewitness to Jesus why on earth would he copy close to 80% of the verses from Mark (who was NOT an eyewitness, but allegedly got his story from the eyewitness Peter - something never said in the gospel but alleged by apologists).  That seems completely irrational - I am an eyewitness to an event but instead of writing my own account (which I plan to do anonymously and without any injection of my own specific thoughts, for some reason) I decide instead to copy the vast majority of another account (nearly 300 verses from what I have seen) that was not even written by an eye witness, but someone who allegedly heard the story from an eyewitness?

Luke also copies a fair amount from Mark, which is odd given that Luke mentions Mark in the book of Acts but never bothers to connect him to the gospel in any way (even though he clearly had a copy of Mark's Gospel).  If it had widely been known as the Gospel according to Mark at the time that Luke wrote his Gospel you would expect Luke to make reference to it.

To be honest, I'm trying very very hard not to be a victim of the same confirmation bias of which I accused Strobel.  I have spent a lot of time in the past couple of days reading J. Warner Wallace's site, among others.  I have tried to find counter arguments for every argument that challenges the varacity and authorship of the gospels - but so far I remain incredibly unconvinced.

The more I read that more it becomes clear that the gospels were never intended to be historical documents, they are written as novels - not to be verified and proven true, but to tell a story that people can learn from.

Boy this turned into something much longer than I intended... and there is plenty more that I could write (I've been taking notes as I read), but again... I think we're hitting the upper limit of what this thread can handle. 

Personally I find this whole topic fascinating, but I have a feeling you an I may be the only ones in that club.  Seeing as I don't want to bore everyone here I would be happy to continue this offline if you prefer.

(unless of course I'm wrong and everyone reading along at home is actually enjoying this dive into the weeds... but I doubt it.)
Yes we can move it to PM, that's always fine if you want.  I'll send you a note there with some follow up.

Father Dougal

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 33
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #234 on: May 30, 2017, 07:56:11 AM »

 If someone wanted to fabricate something to get people to join a group and believe in, do you really think what they would come up would the this?!   


Well of course!

The tales of a vengeful and omnipotent God create something to be feared.  He knows your every move and thought.  He can do anything.  He is fine with torturing or killing you (for eternity, no parole) if you displease him – or even if you don’t believe in Him having never even heard of Him.  That’s the threat, and it has worked well for centuries for the major religions.

I’m beginning to think you must be kidding.

caracarn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 564
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #235 on: May 30, 2017, 08:14:27 AM »

 If someone wanted to fabricate something to get people to join a group and believe in, do you really think what they would come up would the this?!   


Well of course!

The tales of a vengeful and omnipotent God create something to be feared.  He knows your every move and thought.  He can do anything.  He is fine with torturing or killing you (for eternity, no parole) if you displease him – or even if you don’t believe in Him having never even heard of Him.  That’s the threat, and it has worked well for centuries for the major religions.

I’m beginning to think you must be kidding.
No, just viewing it differently, through Man's lens.

Everything said you said would have fear and trepidation.... except God is not taking people out publicly and has not since OT times, so the threat is not real to people.  If it was, everyone would believe.  Instead, it creates the reaction tyort has which is to say the idea is messed up, because he has no fear whatsoever of the consequences.

So let's work that angle again to perhaps understand my point of the illogic of crafting a tale this way.  I am WILLFULLY writing a fable about what you said.  Yet, I do not believe  have any reason to believe that this god exists, so my whole plot centers on this vengeful god, who then will not take any action on people because he either does not exist or is merciful as I've written.  And I want people to follow my fable as a thought driver, but what drives them to do it?  OR, I could write a fable that has all kinds of things I could promise such as 77 virgins for me if I die a martyr for example which no one could every prove or disprove because it happens when we are dead, but I could do away with all the yucky stuff that scares people and instead create my make believe my religion is all love, puppy dogs and chocolate for all and always has been so no one would have a reason to be scared.  i.e. why craft a tale to drive people away from the truth, versus one that is easily embraced by all?  This is the whole point of why the prosperity gospel model is so popular.  It strips away all the fear and vengeance and paints God as out to bless you and take care of you and make sure you are a rip roaring success with no consequences whatsoever.  Man has already rewritten the tale to what I suggested it would have been in the first place.  They've created the land of make believe and mega churches in Texas and other places are filled to TV screens are on watching this circus barkers go at it.

Father Dougal

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 33
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #236 on: May 30, 2017, 08:42:27 AM »
Man has already rewritten the tale to what I suggested it would have been in the first place.  They've created the land of make believe and mega churches in Texas and other places are filled to TV screens are on watching this circus barkers go at it.

Well, they haven't, have they?  The threat of Hellfire is still alive and well in the churches you mention, and the Bible is the same - still choc-a-block full of vengeful Holy Spirits.  Still got to believe Jesus, or it's barbeque time.

J Boogie

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 408
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #237 on: May 30, 2017, 09:08:15 AM »
But of course, people rebel at the idea.  "I'm a Christian and he's a Hindi, we can't BOTH be right!"  Yes, you can.  But their minds are too small to even consider that idea.  So you end up in the weeds, focused on irrelevant crap like Biblical accuracy.  Blah.

No, they cannot both be right.  If one is 100% correct, then the other is not 100% correct.  I acknowledge that the great faiths have many core universal truths/values in common, but their stories do conflict in ways big and small. 

If someone says 2+2=4, do you tell them their mind is too small to consider the idea that it could also equal 5 and 6?

Yours is the approach I refuse to take.  I am interested in living according to what is true - I'll never know definitively who or what is responsible for the creation of the universe, but I'd like to either embrace a theory (even if it is a very broad one, like deism) or check it off the list of potential theories (like I am close to doing with Christianity).  Biblical accuracy is quite important for this.

Math is demonstratively true.  Religious belief is not. 

Besides, would a benevolent god really condemn you to hell if you couldn't figure out that 2+2=4?  No?  If not, then why would he give a shit about the specifics of your religious beliefs, either?

Which is why I believe that everyone gets into heaven, regardless of belief.  Regardless of the life you lead.  Regardless of your choices or your moral character.  Good, bad, indifferent, it simply doesn't matter.  Yes, even that asshole that cut you off on the free way, or those jerks that use power to hurt people.  All of them get in.  Along with you and me. 

God is not a just god, he's a loving god.

Truth does not depend upon our ability to verify it.  Mathematical principles are demonstrably true, and one theory of the origin of the universe is true - though not demonstrably.

I want to believe what is most likely to be true, not whatever theory makes me feel the best.  Regarding God punishing those who don't have the specifics right, I agree and I'm not trying to figure this out to avoid punishment.  However I do believe there might be justice for those who don't question/condemn harmful religious practices among their peers that violate their consciences (Think Inquisition or FGM).

Regarding your idea of heaven, I think it makes more sense to call it the afterlife.  Heaven is defined as being a place where good people go; if your theory is that everyone goes there, it doesn't make much sense to call it heaven.  After all, what is yin without yang?

Do you believe this afterlife will be better than the present in any way? Worse in any way?




 

J Boogie

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 408
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #238 on: May 30, 2017, 09:12:18 AM »

(unless of course I'm wrong and everyone reading along at home is actually enjoying this dive into the weeds... but I doubt it.)
Yes we can move it to PM, that's always fine if you want.  I'll send you a note there with some follow up.

Actually Mr Delane as the OP I welcome your line of questioning.  Without any rigorous analysis we might end up converting to tyortianism ;)

MrDelane

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 402
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #239 on: May 30, 2017, 09:23:11 AM »

(unless of course I'm wrong and everyone reading along at home is actually enjoying this dive into the weeds... but I doubt it.)
Yes we can move it to PM, that's always fine if you want.  I'll send you a note there with some follow up.

Actually Mr Delane as the OP I welcome your line of questioning.  Without any rigorous analysis we might end up converting to tyortianism ;)

Fair enough - my biggest concern was having derailed your thread and taking focus away from what you wanted to discuss.
But if you're still interested then I suppose we should keep it in the public eye.

Caracarn sent me a lengthy response via PM, but I'll leave it up to him to post his response in this thread.
Since he sent it to me directly I'm not sure if there is anything he wants to add or edit for public view.

I started working on my reply, but it's going to take a little while (unfortunately I'm haven't hit FIRE yet).

(there is a damnation joke in there somewhere, but that would probably be in bad taste)

caracarn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 564
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #240 on: May 30, 2017, 10:04:40 AM »
I think the points being specific to what you had discovered in your research on the custody chain and then the  rest of my point being rehashing the abductive reasoning approach to what really is the most reasonable explanation given what we can determine and that was already covered here in a different form, not sure that adding more length to this helps.  I would agree that the interest level was not one I saw on the the thread other than from a very small subset so it seems to make sense to continue off line.  If anyone raises anything new on the thread we can address it than as relevant.

MrDelane

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 402
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #241 on: May 30, 2017, 11:37:38 AM »
I think the points being specific to what you had discovered in your research on the custody chain and then the  rest of my point being rehashing the abductive reasoning approach to what really is the most reasonable explanation given what we can determine and that was already covered here in a different form, not sure that adding more length to this helps.  I would agree that the interest level was not one I saw on the the thread other than from a very small subset so it seems to make sense to continue off line.  If anyone raises anything new on the thread we can address it than as relevant.

Given that J Boogie wants to keep the discussion going (and this is his thread), I figured that was enough to keep it going.  If you would rather not, Caracarn, then I suppose I will send my reply to you directly.

Would you mind if I shared our correspondence with J Boogie directly?
At least that way he can continue to follow along since it seemed to interest him.

tyort1

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1438
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Denver, Colorado
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #242 on: May 30, 2017, 11:42:27 AM »
You may view it as messed up, but that does not determine if it is accurate or not.  This however is at the core of people wanting to make God what works for them versus understanding who God says He is.  I get it makes people uncomfortable but this is the interpretation I've seen of this section of Romans by multiple commentators.  This is also why I find a lot of the skeptics arguements laughable, because if you really look at the whole Bible, it is not party all the time, what a wonderful thing it is.  If someone wanted to fabricate something to get people to join a group and believe in, do you really think what they would come up would the this?!   A lot of the "evidence" for the Bible is that if this is all made up then the people who did it had the worst sense of what the audience wants to hear of any writers in history.  A short summary of the Bible could be "I made you, you all suck and disappoint me, but I love you anyway, now deal with it." 

I mean Tyortism has all the makings of the feel good, "Nothing bad happens no matter what we do so let's go crazy" and yet the line of followers does not seem to be approaching McDonald's "billions and billions served" yet.  Maybe it just needs a couple thousand years.

No, what I am saying is that this view of god is not compatible with the view that the Christian god is loving.  This view is basically:

1. God creates imperfect humans
2. Imperfect humans deserve to be punished by god
3.  God sometimes lets us live
4. God is so loving!

It's all crap.  That's no different than the thought process of a domestic abuser:

1. You are bad and you provoke me
2. You deserve to be hit
3. Sometimes I don't hit you
4. I am so loving!

If you create a situation of abuse and then tell the abused person how loved they are because they occasionally don't get beat, even though they deserve it.  Well, that's not a loving spouse.  And also, not a loving god. 

And, if the victim ever pipes up and says "Hey, I didn't do anything to deserve this", just double down and blame the victim all the more.  Tell them they can't help it because it's just how they are.  And there you have Original Sin and all the BS that follows from that. 

I'm not challenging you on the idea that this how god is portrayed in the Bible.  I'm challenging you on the fact that such a being cannot be called a loving god.  An abusive jerk, yes.  Loving?  No.

Lucky for me, I don't believe all that.  And I'd like to point out that tyortism has increased its membership by 300% since the start of this thread :D  And you misapprehend the idea.  Tyortism does NOT say that nothing bad happens.  Bad things happen all the time.  But it does say that it has no effect on gods love and thus we all get in to heaven. 

You're follow up question might be "well, then why would anyone have any incentive to be good?"  My answer would be that people are basically good, some more than others.  And we have a conscience regardless of religious beliefs.

Truth does not depend upon our ability to verify it.  Mathematical principles are demonstrably true, and one theory of the origin of the universe is true - though not demonstrably.

I want to believe what is most likely to be true, not whatever theory makes me feel the best.  Regarding God punishing those who don't have the specifics right, I agree and I'm not trying to figure this out to avoid punishment.  However I do believe there might be justice for those who don't question/condemn harmful religious practices among their peers that violate their consciences (Think Inquisition or FGM).

Regarding your idea of heaven, I think it makes more sense to call it the afterlife.  Heaven is defined as being a place where good people go; if your theory is that everyone goes there, it doesn't make much sense to call it heaven.  After all, what is yin without yang?

Do you believe this afterlife will be better than the present in any way? Worse in any way?

"Truth does not depend upon our ability to verify it".  I agree.  And I'd take it further.  God's love does not depend upon our ability to earn it. 

By 'earn' I don't just mean our actions.  I also mean our religious views.  I just don't think god cares.  His love is too great. 

I mean, it's kind of arrogant to think that you, a puny human, can do somethings so bad that it'll cancel god's love for you.  Do you really think his love is that small?  Or that conditional?  That he's like "well you better get this belief stuff right, or else!!".   C'mon, that's silly. 

I think the question you're not asking, but should, is "Then what's the point?"  Indeed, I do have an answer for that, but I'd be interested to get your take on it.  So here it is - If we all get in to heaven no matter what, what indeed is the point?  Why have an earthly/natural realm at all?
« Last Edit: May 30, 2017, 11:45:36 AM by tyort1 »
Frugalite in training.

J Boogie

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 408
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #243 on: May 30, 2017, 12:06:08 PM »
Quote from: tyort1 link=topic=73995.msg1570474#msg1570474 date=1496166147

[quote author=J Boogie link=topic=73995.msg1570245#msg1570245 date=1496156895
Truth does not depend upon our ability to verify it.  Mathematical principles are demonstrably true, and one theory of the origin of the universe is true - though not demonstrably.

I want to believe what is most likely to be true, not whatever theory makes me feel the best.  Regarding God punishing those who don't have the specifics right, I agree and I'm not trying to figure this out to avoid punishment.  However I do believe there might be justice for those who don't question/condemn harmful religious practices among their peers that violate their consciences (Think Inquisition or FGM).

Regarding your idea of heaven, I think it makes more sense to call it the afterlife.  Heaven is defined as being a place where good people go; if your theory is that everyone goes there, it doesn't make much sense to call it heaven.  After all, what is yin without yang?

Do you believe this afterlife will be better than the present in any way? Worse in any way?

"Truth does not depend upon our ability to verify it".  I agree.  And I'd take it further.  God's love does not depend upon our ability to earn it. 

By 'earn' I don't just mean our actions.  I also mean our religious views.  I just don't think god cares.  His love is too great. 

I mean, it's kind of arrogant to think that you, a puny human, can do somethings so bad that it'll cancel god's love for you.  Do you really think his love is that small?  Or that conditional?  That he's like "well you better get this belief stuff right, or else!!".   C'mon, that's silly. 

I think the question you're not asking, but should, is "Then what's the point?"  Indeed, I do have an answer for that, but I'd be interested to get your take on it.  So here it is - If we all get in to heaven no matter what, what indeed is the point?  Why have an earthly/natural realm at all?
[/quote]

I might be moving away from Christianity, but there are a few of its principles that I still find compelling.

The biggest one missing from your perspective would be free will.  Your perspective seems to be that God is the one that chooses our afterlife outcome. I believe you might find the Ba'hai faith (or however you spell it) gels with your philosophy.  Rainn Wilson (Dwight from the Office) is an adherent, if that's any incentive.  Anyways, they basically teach that all major religions contain prophets and truth.  Their teachings on heaven and hell focus on self-decided closeness vs distance from God rather than the usual metaphoric imagery we're used to.

I think those who do evil knowingly distance themselves from goodness.  They are not so much being sent to hell as they are voluntarily away from the goodness of God.


tyort1

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1438
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Denver, Colorado
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #244 on: May 30, 2017, 12:19:29 PM »
I might be moving away from Christianity, but there are a few of its principles that I still find compelling.

The biggest one missing from your perspective would be free will.  Your perspective seems to be that God is the one that chooses our afterlife outcome. I believe you might find the Ba'hai faith (or however you spell it) gels with your philosophy.  Rainn Wilson (Dwight from the Office) is an adherent, if that's any incentive.  Anyways, they basically teach that all major religions contain prophets and truth.  Their teachings on heaven and hell focus on self-decided closeness vs distance from God rather than the usual metaphoric imagery we're used to.

I think those who do evil knowingly distance themselves from goodness.  They are not so much being sent to hell as they are voluntarily away from the goodness of God.

Well sure, and that's fine.  Everyone is on their own path.  You have questions that you need/want answers to.  I'm merely suggesting that the answers might not actually exist in Christianity.  Or any other religion.  Because every religion is conditional.  "Do this and you will be closer to god".  "Believe this and you will be closer to god".  That's the trap.

I mean, god isn't our boss that we need to impress in order to get that heavenly promotion we so desire (and that WE deserve and everyone else got it wrong because they were lazy & didn't do the work!).  Haha. 

My view is also this - it's only after giving up the idea of one-true-path to god that you can actually let go of your dislike for non-Christian believers.  Because if you think there's only one true path, then you and Hindus (and Jews and Muslims) are in COMPETITION.  You can't all be right, right?  So therefore, I had better be damn sure that I am right.  And thus you will always be at odds with people of other faiths.  If you are right, then they HAVE to be wrong.  And man, that is so screwed up to have that type of view, where are forced to secretly hope that other people will be condemned to hell because they just didn't get this stuff right.
Frugalite in training.

MrDelane

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 402
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #245 on: May 30, 2017, 01:27:09 PM »
MrDelane, been doing weekend stuff, but figured I'd check in.

You had asked to give you some specific items that solidify my faith.  Yes, you are right, everything was in support of Biblical points and nothing to show proof of divinity.  As others have answered, I'm not sure how you do that.

Fair enough - I'm not sure how you would prove divinity either.
When you get some time I'm curious to hear your thoughts about what I posted in response to your Thallus and Quirinius points (especially the 'microlettering' claims from Vardaman, which is what I found most surprising).

I'm still working my way through your original post - been tied up with weekend stuff as well.
Hope yours has been enjoyable!

For Thallus I can provide the citation the author I pulled that from provided and it may or may not help you.  Quoted in Ante-Nicene Christian Library: Translations of the Writing of the Fathers Down to A.D. 325, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, vol 9, Iranaues, Vol. II - Hippolytus, vol II - Fragments of Third Century (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1870), 188

It is also of not that you indicate the skepticism that this was pulled from Africanus' writings.  I do not have detail on how Thallus was dated (author does not provide), and he also talks about the typical archaeological practice that applies in this case of using a later writing that can be proven to be unaltered and unquestioned because of archaeological rigor as beyond reasonable doubt.   The book is an archaeology text, certainly admits flaws in archaeology, which would also apply to your questions about Quirianus and Lysanias, so how they ascertain the credibility of a given document is not gone in to.  There are also nine other evidences Wallace provided that I did not cite in this section.

The other thing I did not offer up was the skeptic side of the argument that is examined in some detail in each chapter, so for this one.  Let me add the relevant pieces from the book regarding Thallus.  "Many critics has rejected some of the external corroboration we've described from ancient non-Christian authors like Thallus and Phlegon.  They've argued that the original texts from these tow ancient authors are unavailable to us.  ... How do we know that these ancient Christian apologists didn't distort or misquote Thallus or Phlegon?  Skeptics argue that we cannot trust the quotes we have today because we don't have access to the copies of Thallus's or Phlegon's complete texts.

BUT----
Both Africanus and Origen cite the work of Thallus and Phlegon from position of skpeticism, not agreement.  Africanus said that Thallus propsed an eclipse to explain the darkness at Jesus's crucifixion, but Africanus clearly did not agree with this conclusion; he said that Thallus made this claim 'without reason.' ...Instead, Africanusand Origen quoted the qork of Thallus and Phlegon even though they didn't always agree with their conclusions.  The best inference from the evidence here is that Africanus and Origen were correctly and honestly citing their sources, especially since we have no other competing ancient citations of Thallus and Phlegon that contradict what Africanus and Origen reported"

Another point of skepticism I did not cover was some gospel terms are still troublesome, and the next one, archaeology cannot confirm every gospel detail.

Returning to the text:
"... Even if we believed that miracles are reasonable, what kind of archaeological evidence could, for example, corroborate Jesus's healing of the blind man?  For these skeptics, archaeology, while interesting, seems to limited to be of much assistance.

BUT---
The archaeological evidences we've discussed in this chapter are only one category of evidence in the
cumulative (my emphasis added) circumstantial case we are presenting for the corroboration of the Gospels.  Like all circumstantial cases, each piece of evidence is incapable of proving the case entirely on its own.  Circumstantial cases are built on the strength of multiple lines of evidence and the fact that all the individual pieces point to the same conclusion.  The archaeological support we have for the gospel accounts (like the archaeological support of any ancient event) is limited and incomplete.  This shouldn't surprise us.  Dr. Edwin Yamauchi, historian and professor emeritus at Miami University, has rightly noted that archaeological evidence is a matter of "fractions".  Only a fraction of the world's archaeological evidence still survives in the ground.  In addition, only a fraction of the possible archaeological sites have been discovered.  Only a fraction of there have been excavated, and those only partially.  To make matters more difficult, only a fraction of those partial excavations have been thoroughly examined and published.  Finally only a fraction of what has been examined and published has anything to do with the claims of the Bible.  (Edwin Yamamuchi, The Stones and Scripture, 1982, 146-62)."

The author goes on in that section to remind us that much of the objections made by skeptics of archaeology trade on the evidence of the gospels being written late, which was covered by the first questions which placed the gospel writing firmly in the time of eyewitness accounts.  This hits your Quiranius arguments even if the coin is wrong or non-existent.  Again quoting the logic: "If Luke's gospel is written as early as the evidence suggests, any claim that Luke errantly cited a particular governorship or errantly described a sequence of readers is unreasonable.  If this were the case, the early readers of Luke's gospel, reading it in the first century with a memory of what truly happened, would have caught Luke's error from the very beginning.  If nothing else, we would expect to see some early scribe try to alter the narrative to correct he mistaken history.  No alteration of this sort ever took place, and the early readers of Luke's gospel did not challenge Luke's account.  The gospel was delivered to them early, while they still knew the correct order or governors and kings."

So I'd suggest that even though you are skeptical about Vardman's coin, this is another line of logic that basically makes that moot.  Think of it in today's terms.  How quickly do newspapers, Snopes, Politifact and other fact checkers point out errors?  Do we reasonably feel this is a process only begun in the modern age?  If not than we do not need archaeology to verify facts.  Once again, I pulled the couple relevant more recent discoveries and Vardman's citing in the book says it is from an unpublished paper, so maybe he felt it was not rock solid enough to publish and you point out some of why, but Wallace would argue you can be skeptical or realize that even without it, other lines of evidence point to the reasonable fact of corroboration. 

As a last note, some more of Wallace.  In include some extra sentences to again point out the accepted hurdle for circumstantial evidence.  "Even when considering the limits of archaeology and the limits of internal (of which I did not include any of Wallace's points as they are the most likely to be pushed upon as biased) literary analysis, the most reasonable inference from the evidence if the Gospels are incredibly reliable, especially considering the nature of the accounts.  Few ancient records have been as critically examined as the New Testament Gospels.  Few other documents from antiquity have been as heavily challenged and scrutinized.  This prolonged scrutiny has given a robust and detailed set of evidences that we can examine with abductive reasoning. 

The explanation is feasible, straightforward and logical.  It is superior to the alternative explanation.  Once again it meets the criteria we established or abductive reasoning; we can have confidence that we've arrived at the most reasonable explanation."

Caracarn - I apologize.
Somehow this entire post slipped past me and it seems I never replied to it.
It feels as if we've moved on to larger issues of authorship - but I will gladly reply if you're still interested.

At a minimum I want to clear up one thing in regards to Thallus.  My main point was not that it wasn't trustworthy because he was being quoted by Africanus, it was that Thallus never said anything about Jesus or the crucifixion.  The quote from Thallus that we have is in reference to an ecclipse, that is all.  Africanus is the one who makes the connection to the crucixion, not Thallus.  We have no way of knowing if the ecclipse Thallus was referencing was in fact the 'darkness' which fell during the crucifixion as it seems to be a connection that Africanus made without support.  Perhaps he was right and that is what Thallus was referring to, but he has left us no way to know.

caracarn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 564
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #246 on: May 30, 2017, 02:14:24 PM »

Caracarn - I apologize.
Somehow this entire post slipped past me and it seems I never replied to it.
It feels as if we've moved on to larger issues of authorship - but I will gladly reply if you're still interested.

At a minimum I want to clear up one thing in regards to Thallus.  My main point was not that it wasn't trustworthy because he was being quoted by Africanus, it was that Thallus never said anything about Jesus or the crucifixion.  The quote from Thallus that we have is in reference to an ecclipse, that is all.  Africanus is the one who makes the connection to the crucixion, not Thallus.  We have no way of knowing if the ecclipse Thallus was referencing was in fact the 'darkness' which fell during the crucifixion as it seems to be a connection that Africanus made without support.  Perhaps he was right and that is what Thallus was referring to, but he has left us no way to know.

Here is the ending of a posting by Dr. William Craig from 2010 that also deals with this in some depth.  He comes to a different view than Wallace did, and instead makes a different argument which you might find more satisfying: that even is Thallus was not speaking directly of the crucifixion he was responding the Christian viewpoints which supports the historicity (I've bolded that area in the excerpt, but included more around it to let you read the agrument).

"Now if Thallus wrote much later than the Gospels, none of this would be very exciting. After all, in the apocryphal Gospels, for example, we have elaborations on the Gospel narratives and in early Church Fathers like Justin Martyr we find traces of early anti-Christian polemic. Such reflections on the Gospel accounts, being later and derivative, do not add significantly to the historical credibility of the Gospel narratives.

On the other hand, if Thallus wrote his History prior to the Gospels, then his testimony becomes very interesting, indeed. The dating of his work is uncertain, but most scholars date Thallus’ History to the mid-first century, that is, sometime around AD 50, just 20 years after Jesus’ crucifixion in AD 30. By contrast most scholars date Mark’s Gospel to around AD 66-70.

If this right, then either Thallus provides independent, extra-biblical attestation of the darkness at noon, thereby increasing the probability of its historicity, or else Thallus is responding to the passion story which was being told by Christians at his time, thereby attesting to the earliness of that tradition. In either case, Thallus is doubtless reacting to a Christian interpretation of the event, since he is trying to provide an alternative explanation of the event. One could argue that, given his familiarity with Near Eastern affairs, Thallus would have just denied that the event occurred had he no knowledge of its happening. He thereby confirms the historicity of the darkness at noon. Perhaps, however, simply explaining it away was the easier reply (Thallus elsewhere explains portents naturalistically). In that case, what Thallus delivers is not independent confirmation of the Gospel accounts, but evidence of the primitiveness of the pre-Markan passion tradition, a conclusion of no small significance, since the earlier the tradition, the more historically credible it is.

Of course, if we on other grounds—such as the several lines of evidence suggesting that Acts was written prior to AD 60, and Luke’s Gospel prior to Acts, and Mark’s Gospel prior to Luke—reject the conventional dating of the Gospels, as I’m inclined to do, then we already have the Gospels themselves contemporaneous with Thallus. But on the conventional dating, it is rather stunning that the earlier reference to Jesus’ crucifixion comes not from one of the Christian Evangelists, but from a pagan Roman historian."



a-scho

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 57
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #247 on: May 30, 2017, 02:40:41 PM »
I could never get past........if God made everything, how can Jesus be more made from God than the rest of us? Or if God is omnipotent, why does he need angels to gather intel or send messages? Angels are not God, they are not from  Earth and do not live on Earth. That would make them aliens, right?   And since these creatures live and work directly for God, having access to abilities and knowledge we don't possess, I would consider that to mean he considers them way more important than humans. I'm an atheist, can you tell? :) I figure if my thinking is wrong, it's Gods responsibility to change my mind. He created me to not believe in him....so I'm thinking exactly how I am supposed to think. If he wanted me to think differently than I currently do, it's his job to change me.  If a baker was trying to create a batch of chocolate chip cookies and they came out wrong, the baker would not stare at the cookies, waiting for them to fix themselves. The baker would make the changes to create the cookie he wanted to exist. He's the baker, I'm the cookie. If I came out wrong, it's his fault, not mine. Since I don't see him making any changes, I guess he thinks I'm good as is.......or maybe he does not exist. 

Plus, "losing my religion" has nothing to do with religion. It means losing my temper, going off the handle.

caracarn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 564
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #248 on: May 30, 2017, 02:43:01 PM »
You may view it as messed up, but that does not determine if it is accurate or not.  This however is at the core of people wanting to make God what works for them versus understanding who God says He is.  I get it makes people uncomfortable but this is the interpretation I've seen of this section of Romans by multiple commentators.  This is also why I find a lot of the skeptics arguements laughable, because if you really look at the whole Bible, it is not party all the time, what a wonderful thing it is.  If someone wanted to fabricate something to get people to join a group and believe in, do you really think what they would come up would the this?!   A lot of the "evidence" for the Bible is that if this is all made up then the people who did it had the worst sense of what the audience wants to hear of any writers in history.  A short summary of the Bible could be "I made you, you all suck and disappoint me, but I love you anyway, now deal with it." 

I mean Tyortism has all the makings of the feel good, "Nothing bad happens no matter what we do so let's go crazy" and yet the line of followers does not seem to be approaching McDonald's "billions and billions served" yet.  Maybe it just needs a couple thousand years.

No, what I am saying is that this view of god is not compatible with the view that the Christian god is loving.  This view is basically:

1. God creates imperfect humans
2. Imperfect humans deserve to be punished by god
3.  God sometimes lets us live
4. God is so loving!

It's all crap.  That's no different than the thought process of a domestic abuser:

1. You are bad and you provoke me
2. You deserve to be hit
3. Sometimes I don't hit you
4. I am so loving!

If you create a situation of abuse and then tell the abused person how loved they are because they occasionally don't get beat, even though they deserve it.  Well, that's not a loving spouse.  And also, not a loving god. 

And, if the victim ever pipes up and says "Hey, I didn't do anything to deserve this", just double down and blame the victim all the more.  Tell them they can't help it because it's just how they are.  And there you have Original Sin and all the BS that follows from that. 

I'm not challenging you on the idea that this how god is portrayed in the Bible.  I'm challenging you on the fact that such a being cannot be called a loving god.  An abusive jerk, yes.  Loving?  No.

Lucky for me, I don't believe all that.  And I'd like to point out that tyortism has increased its membership by 300% since the start of this thread :D  And you misapprehend the idea.  Tyortism does NOT say that nothing bad happens.  Bad things happen all the time.  But it does say that it has no effect on gods love and thus we all get in to heaven. 

You're follow up question might be "well, then why would anyone have any incentive to be good?"  My answer would be that people are basically good, some more than others.  And we have a conscience regardless of religious beliefs.

tyort, the whole point of this debate is predicated on understanding that nature of a holy God.  The teaching is that He has unconditional love, but that does not stop him from also being perfectly just.  A holy being can be nothing else.  You choose the analogy of an abuser, but most explanations use the analogy of a parent, only a parent who is more loving and just than any of us could ever be. 

I'd like to think that people are basically good, and I agree with you in that regard.  Where we diverge I believe is you feel that people are able to act against their own self interest and do what is good for the many at the expense of that is good for oneself and do that without fail, while I say they cannot.    I look at a recent event with someone at church,who lost their phone.  When they called it the person that answered said , yes they had found it and they were happy to return it to them... for $1,000.  This person was being "basically good" by returning the phone, but not before they achieved maximum, selfish benefit for themselves.  Our church member agreed to meet this individual in a crappy part of town, but instead of offering him the $1,000 asked the man what was motivating his decisions and proceeded to share the gospel message with him for three hours.  In the end the man gave him his phone back, without the $1,000, and they have been meeting weekly ever since to minister to them and study the Bible.   I'd say there is still a marked difference is the selfish, carnal good built into each of us and that which God calls out of us. 

caracarn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 564
Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #249 on: May 30, 2017, 02:48:44 PM »
I could never get past........if God made everything, how can Jesus be more made from God than the rest of us? Or if God is omnipotent, why does he need angels to gather intel or send messages? Angels are not God, they are not from  Earth and do not live on Earth. That would make them aliens, right?   And since these creatures live and work directly for God, having access to abilities and knowledge we don't possess, I would consider that to mean he considers them way more important than humans. I'm an atheist, can you tell? :) I figure if my thinking is wrong, it's Gods responsibility to change my mind. He created me to not believe in him....so I'm thinking exactly how I am supposed to think. If he wanted me to think differently than I currently do, it's his job to change me.  If a baker was trying to create a batch of chocolate chip cookies and they came out wrong, the baker would not stare at the cookies, waiting for them to fix themselves. The baker would make the changes to create the cookie he wanted to exist. He's the baker, I'm the cookie. If I came out wrong, it's his fault, not mine. Since I don't see him making any changes, I guess he thinks I'm good as is.......or maybe he does not exist. 

Plus, "losing my religion" has nothing to do with religion. It means losing my temper, going off the handle.
Pretty sure you don't care, but for others who might.

God did not make Jesus.  Jesus is God.  So is the Holy Spirit.  They are one being in three persons. 

Angels are not gathering intel, but they do send messages.  Man instantly would die if they saw God.  Moses did not see God, in fact, God covered Moses with his hand as he passed to avoid killing him and then let him see his back, for example.  Therefore if God gave you a message, you would die, so he sent angels to Mary and others.   And God does not consider angels more important than humans, because we are made in his image, but angels are not.

The rest of your point revolves around the fact the he gave you free will.  If he did not you would not be a faithful servant but a slave.  That is not worship, that is compulsion.