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How did you arrive at Christianity?

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics' started by skalle, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid I fought 7 impossible demons before ... breakfast! Supporter

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    I wonder what happens when I achieve Level 31? :eek:
     
  2. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    You lose your mind or become a mystic.

    Or both. Probably both.
     
  3. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid I fought 7 impossible demons before ... breakfast! Supporter

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    Oh. I was hoping that it would be the same kind of thing like it is in D&D, so I could whoop the entire Cthulian Pantheon. I guess not. :unbelievable:
     
  4. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    Nah, Call of Cthulhu rules, so the only thing that's guaranteed is the descent into madness. :)
     
  5. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I know that I am, but my observation is that anthropomorphizing nature is a theory that has forced itself onto me, due to simply way too many hints & clues in its favor, it just goes way beyond coincidence IMO.

    A lot of times this is where I end up with people where it reveals that we simply have very different lenses on, I reach points with some things where I lose the ability to not see the forest anymore, no matter how good the tree arguments might sound. Human's special place in nature is definitely one of those instances for me. I have many times talked about the human species to atheists and they will say "There is nothing unique about humans at all!!" When they say that I just know that we might as well be speaking different languages.

    Yes and I'm not doing it as a cop out, but like I said I lose the ability to not see the forest anymore after coincidences pile up beyond a certain level. Which also can be worded that I lose the ability to look past the 1st and 2nd level thinking anymore.

    Another example of this would be my position that there is something extraordinary going on in history in regards to Jews & Israel, which strangely alignes with the Bible storyine theory...That God has a chosen people who will never get stomped out, but the people reject their Messiah and they will be a persecuted people, God will not forget them in the end, etc. Just a couple examples, it's very peculiar to have your nation conquered and to keep your identity instead of assimilating and interbreeding with the conquering peoples to the point of being a forgotten people.

    You don't run into Akkadians or Canaanites at the supermarket. Now I get it that counter 'Tree' arguments can come back at me, "Well the Jews had a history of survival outside the homeland in synagogues..." I can talk about the peculiar coincidences of the WW2 attempts at Jewish genocide, or the later reestablishment of the nation of Israel. And again I get it, the tree counter arguments will come in "Well you see in WW1 the Germans were humiliated while the Jews prospered..." "Well the reasons for the reestablishment of Israel is that we now had the UN, and due to the atrocities..." Etc, etc. We get stuck with different Forest vs Trees lenses lol.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
  6. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ahh yes, I am no stranger to being bothered by people being born into other religions and other things you've touched on. And I really like the philosophy talk in here about what 'Belief' might technically be! It's part of the reason I asked @Silmarien for reading recommendations, I never went deep into that line of thinking, like could there be sliding scales of 'Belief in Jesus' based on the circumstances that a person was given?? Very interesting 'Christian' philosophy!
     
  7. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member

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    No, even your link states that the qual participle DOES mean a continuous stretching/expanding. But there is nothing in the verses that mentions it being fastened to the outer limits of the earth.


    Some of these references are just metaphors not meant to be taken literally but some aspects are such as the stretching and the folding of the universe which has been confirmed by science to be similar to behave like a surface. Also, the analogy of a tent also confirms what science has determined that the universe does not really have a center, just like a tent.



    Many scholars believe the only additions by Christians are the words that deify Him. His other more subdued comments fit perfectly what a ordinary nonbelieving jew would have said about Him. Also Josephus mentions Jesus' brother James, thereby indirectly confirming he knew about Jesus. But actually my reference to Josephus had more to do with him being considered a generally reliable historian and also an eyewitness account of the Jewish War against Rome.

    Biblical stories especially NT stories are very different from mythological stories, they are much more subdued, and the miracles happen for specific reasons not just randomly, and other textual differences. But also a priori assumptions about miracle stories being false is a very close minded view of historical research. Since you have not disproven the supernatural, you have to assume that the supernatural is at least possible especially given the strong evidence for the existence of the Christian God.

    See above how a priori assumptions about historical events is bad historical research.

    See above about a priori assumptions especially when there is strong evidence for the supernatural and God as I have demonstrated. Another piece of evidence for the supernatural is Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem.

    No, He was accused of starting a revolution against Rome. But in the case of Joseph Smith we have actual hard evidence of him committing fraud and cons. No such things exists for Jesus.

    Manuscript Found by Solomon Spaulding. Also, there is a great deal of plagiarism from the KJV of the Bible.
     
  8. possibletarian

    possibletarian Active Member

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    No, it says it is stretched every day, which we know is utter nonsense, you added the word expanding, read it again.

    Psalm 104 parallels the order of creation in Genesis one. The first verse and the first part of the second verse describe day one. Verses 2b-4 describes day two, and verses 5-9 describes day three. Psalm 104:2b says, "he stretches out the heavens like a tent." Herder comments, "They represent God as daily spreading it (heaven) out, and fastening it at the extremity of the horizon to the pillars of heaven, the mountains" (Perowne 1976, 235). Verse three says, "and he lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters." The Hebrew word for "upper chambers" is hylu which means "roof-chamber" (BDB 1980, 751). It is used in I Kings 17:19 and 23. In Nehemiah 3:31-32 it is used for a roof-chamber with walls over a gateway. It is also used in Solomon’s temple according to 2 Chron 3:9. In Psalm 104:13 it explains that the upper chambers contains water which God rains down upon the earth. The beams of the upper chambers are probably laid on the waters that are above the firmament to contain the waters for whenever God wants to let it rain; however, it could mean that the support beams of the firmament are founded upon the waters on earth. In Amos 9:6 the firmament is founded upon the earth.

    IBSS - The Bible - Genesis 1:5-8 DAY 1: Heavens Stretched Out

    It's all what people thought the universe was like, you are simply reading what you want into it. To equate the idea that people though god stretched the sky daily over the earth like a tent with expansion of the whole universe and equate folding space with tent material is intellectually dishonest.

    And to say the bible says the universe does not have a centre because a tent does not have a centre is laughable. The earth centric viewpoint of the bible is undisputed in any honest circles.

    Of course he knew about Jesus, but how does that make it true, no one is disputing a man called Jesus lived, just that the supernatural claims need more evidence. Josephus mentions Jesus as the 'So called Christ', And the fact it was altered by Christians and they felt the need to do it should mean great deal of caution.

    Although Josephus' reference to the martyrdom of James is universally accepted by critical scholars, there has been more controversy over the fuller reference to Jesus. The TF contains some obvious Christian glosses that no Jew would have written; such as "he was the Christ" and "he appeared to them alive again the third day."
    Did Josephus Refer to Jesus


    They didn't happen randomly in other religions either.

    All religions have certain textual differences, being different does not make one more likely than another.

    Why, if something in a story is fantastic and seemingly impossible, should we not treat is with a great deal of scepticism ?
    What about all the other religions the places mentioned in many religions are real places and events but have supernatural events I treat them with the same disbelief. The same as you do.

    To say that just because a person lived then all claims must be true is just plain silly, some of the kings of England were bestowed with supernatural powers, Pharaohs were attributed with god like powers, should we believe those fairy stories too ?

    If there were any evidence for the supernatural, I surely would. Can you show me any ?

    If someone were to approach you with a claim of a giant invisible strawberry jelly baby that made and ran the universe, and upon seeing your disbelief said.. ''Ahh i see you cannot disprove my god evidence is all around you he made the universe and everything in it.'' Would you then consider this a possibility ?

    Oh I think it's very valid to question fantastic unprovable claims of the type that religions constantly claim.

    How is it evidence ? You have demonstrated nothing. There is plenty of reason to say we don't know everything, or even nearly everything but to add a mythical supernatural (and therefore unprovable) god concept of any kind is just plain wishful thinking.

    And you would have thought that would be enough to have his followers leave and yet.. Bottom line is people believe what they want to believe, just as you do. It's proof that with your religion and many others that people believe against the odds.

    And regards Jesus yes we have, further than that he was accused of having demonic healing power by the religious rulers of the day. The disciples were accused of having stolen Jesus body, Judas was a thief. His followers today and throughout history are constantly accused of murder, theft, child abuse, slavery.. i could go on

    Waits for the 'not real Christians' get out of jail free card.

    The point is thought it is closer in history, it has witnesses that we know actually lived.. and yet you reject it out of hand just like i do. Just because people are shown to have lived round real places and events, certainly does not mean that any supernatural claims are true.. it's nonsense.

    After all the whole Genesis story seems to be from many sources, should we dismiss that too ?

    Genesis of Genesis: Where did the biblical story of Creation come from?
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
  9. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid I fought 7 impossible demons before ... breakfast! Supporter

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    I think we do have to see that there are sliding scales of not only belief in Jesus, and of faith itself, but different configurations of belief structures within each person's head. And these belief structures are also open to further modification by the Lord Himself. This is why we find Jesus telling His disciples,

    "For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him." Matthew 13:12

    "For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away." Matthew 25:29
    I find it kind of interesting that in the book of Matthew, this form of statement is made twice ... the first time it is said by Jesus as an epistemological indicator, and the second time--I think--it is given as a metaphysical statement. :cool:

    Peace,
    2PhiloVoid
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
  10. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Good point, even raised in identical societies your mind can process data completely different then the person next door, so you're telling me that I understand that, and you understand that, but God doesn't? God who has deeper intelligence than any of us, just has a one size fits all cookie cutter version of 'Belief'? That doesn't add up.

    I know people who think that ALL history is bogus. A famous Henry Ford line "History is bunk." That is hyper historical skepticism. People who live by the cliche 'History is written by the winners.' People who mistakenly think that early Christians were the winners.

    SO...historical skeptics, people who have no historical curiosity and mix up their facts, people raised into other religions whose hearts are in the right place (Jesus had some complimentary things to say about the hearts of some gentiles BEFORE they were exposed to the gospel message...well how about a similar person who moved to China a year before Jesus' ministry?)...all these people are out of luck as far as eternal life goes?? For all these reasons I definitely think 'Belief' is not a black & white definition.

    But on the flip side this is why I'm not a fan of a certain popular reasoning for rejecting Jesus. A lot of times Person A rejects Jesus because of complaints about Person B's situation. Meanwhile Person B is yelling "Give me a break with Christianity, how does Christianity account for Person C?" Meanwhile Person C is rejecting Jesus because Person D's situation is absurd...and so on. So if God truly understands the hearts & minds of each individual, and adjusts accordingly, this pass the buck reasoning for rejection isn't the best approach, but I see it way too much!
     
  11. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid I fought 7 impossible demons before ... breakfast! Supporter

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    Yep, that is a lot of what happens. But, I think we need to realize too that because of the various conceptual schemes that are lodged in each individual person's head, they "pass the buck" for different conceptual reasons. Fortunately for each of us, God can give us what we need. The catch is, we have to want it for Him to do it. So, for those who truly wish and pray for God to enlighten them further and help them to understand and to have faith, God with oblige them. But for those who start with the premise that God won't do it, can't do it, or doesn't exist so as to be availed upon for doing it, those person will receive basically nothing.

    And the upshot to this last part is something terrible to contemplate: that if God senses that we begrudge Him or disdain the idea of His person for long enough and intensely enough, not only will He not give us wisdom,..........He might very well take away whatever remaining shreds of understanding we did have that might have given us some glimpse into His presence. I'm guessing this has something to do with what Paul stated in Romans about "God handing them over to a debased mind...." Not a pretty picture. Kind of scary, really, at least to me.

    [You had some great comments, by the way, Dirk!] :cool:

    Peace,
    2PhiloVoid
     
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  12. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge

    Winston Churchill
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
  13. possibletarian

    possibletarian Active Member

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    And hopefully confuse ourselves so much that time out with tea and strawberry cream scones are the only answer.
     
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  14. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid I fought 7 impossible demons before ... breakfast! Supporter

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    ...that actually sounds good. Hey mate, time for tea ... !!! :cool:
     
  15. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    Greetings from a Venetian convent. I'm getting a crash course in conversational Italian by the presiding nun. ^_^ I'm also not sure if there's any church in this country that doesn't have every square inch of surface area covered by art. It is pretty intense.

    It's rainy and cold and I actually have a curfew, so I've got a moment right now. If the WiFi is working.

    @Dirk1540, I actually do have a counterargument to the Jews as a chosen people, though it isn't the one you mentioned. I would instead point to Zoroastrianism and Mandaeism (a form of Gnosticism), both of which still exist despite persecution. The Jews are more public, but it isn't uncommon to find surviving pockets of ancient religions. It's certainly interesting that Judaism happens to be one of them, but given the way it's entwined with the world's dominant religions, I'm not sure that's surprising.

    @possibletarian, I'm worried about your comment about the giant invisible strawberry jelly baby. None of those things are properties that could be extrapolated out from the universe as experienced to whatever ultimate reality might lay behind it. If you dig into Catholic Scholastics (as well as the theology of the other great religions), you'll find that none of it is arbitrary. It may or may not be compelling--I for one do not believe in natural law--but people weren't just picking words out of a hat to ascribe to God. The Unmoved Mover, right or wrong, was a logical conclusion, not a piece of sophistry.

    I would also hesitate to call theism out as being unprovable, unless you are specifically referring to its value as a scientific theory. Naturalism as a metaphysical assumption is equally unverifiable, since you cannot use the scientific method to demonstrate that there is nothing outside of the reach of scientific inquiry. Science is a powerful tool, but there is that old saying about hammers and nails. It's not just theists who are already committed to a certain answer before even looking at the evidence--you get a lot of wildness in anything related to questions about mind and brain because of this.
     
  16. possibletarian

    possibletarian Active Member

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    Of course not, and don't be overly worried I was eating jelly babies at the time. It was a tongue in cheek example of the ease at which people can pluck a particular unfalsifiable god out of a hat. A supernatural first causer of course does not have to bear any reality we constrain it to, or be verifiable by the nature of it's creation unless we are also making up a god/creation rule.

    Also if we are suggesting that nothing existed before, then out of nothing anything can come what would there be to constrain it ?

    Isn't it simply more honest to say we simply don't know what if anything existed before the big-bang or what could possibly cause it, all we can say with reasonable confidence is that the universe as we know it didn't exist before the big-bang.

    I have delved from time to time, as it happens the catholic philosophers and theologians are amongst my favourites, however I try and resist the temptation to attribute a truth scale to anything beyond what can be practically proven.

    I'm not so much against the idea of a mover as it were, but against adding very human traits, attributes and motivations to that mover.

    Well you say you are a theist, so I can take that as a given. When I say unprovable I'm generally talking scientific theory, and against personal testimony such as Dirk's and a few others I have no real argument, at least one in my heart I care to pursue.

    Of course it is, a powerful tool that is but it one that serves us very well in everyday life and what it predicts can normally be verified in some way. If there is something you cannot prove isn't it simpler to say 'I don't know' instead of making something up?

    Sledgehammer and walnut I take it, What would you consider evidence ?

    I think it's perfectly valid to say there is much we don't know about how the mind works, but I think much less valid to say the mind or consciousness is not dependant on the brain or the way that particular brain is wired (at any given time).
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
  17. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member

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    Because God wants you to have the greatest faith possible so that you get the greatest reward possible in the next life. Faith often grows strongest and fastest when we experience difficulty and suffering.

    I have presented several evidences and you have not refuted any of them.

    Besides all the evidence that the Christian God exists, there is strong historical evidence for His resurrection which means if He can resurrect Himself then He certainly can do all the other miracles claimed by His eyewitness followers. But in this particular statement I was not arguing for the miracles only that Christ did not want His followers to believe Him without evidence, that is why He did the miracles.

    I never claimed I could prove God with certainty, but there is enough evidence to demonstrate that He probably does exist as shown by much of my evidence which you have not refuted.

    Then you are willfully not reading all of my posts, I can't help it if you metaphorically stick your fingers in your ears ago "nanny nanny poo poo, I can't hear you!".

    Huh? what afterthought? These principles were in the scriptures 1000 to 3500 years before they were confirmed by science. The original writers knew nothing of these basic characteristics of living things and the universe and yet they turned out to be right and didn't even know it.

    I cant help it if you don't understand a basic characteristic of the universe and living things and even non living things that was discovered over 500 years ago.
     
  18. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Lol time out!! You just went from total immersion French, to learning Italian haha?? You are so smart! Are you trying to learn all the romance languages? Awhile ago I went to check if you had an intro post and I think I saw a post from you in Spanish. That's awesome, I always wanted to learn a different language. A curfew?? Oh hell no!!! Lol.

    Are you saying this because of something specific about them, or are you just pointing out that they too are an ancient religion that survives?

    Is it uncommon for a lineage to survive thousands of years after national destruction, or are you just talking about the survival of religious sects? I actually wish my knowledge was better here, I know that Israel is an interesting case because of the duality of 'Being Jewish.' That can be a religious claim, or an ethnic claim. I'm friends with a few Jews who are strictly adherents to the religion of the NFL lol. As well as there being certain medical conditions that ethnic Jews are more prone to, etc. Is that the case also with Zoroastrianism and Mandaeism?

    I wasn't trying to lift out the point that it's so impressive that the Jews are an ancient religion that has survived as much as I was trying to point out that building up the context of that survival makes it impressive. The context is juxtaposing the 'Biblical Chosen People' theory with the literal history of those people. The God of Abraham was always saying 'I will not forsake my people.' This God constantly allowed their defeat in battle when they were not obedient, cursed the people when disobedient, and rewarded them with victory and blessed them when obedient. And this 'Tall Tale' God said that his own people will reject his Messiah, and that the gentiles will except Him, that His message will go out to the ends of the Earth, and although his own people will reject him (which always resulted in bad results for them in the Bible), in the end he will not forsake them.

    Under these (and more) contexts, when we look at the REAL history of these people, it's awfully fishy how it plays out in similar fashion. Ok, just for starters, these people just happen to be one of these lineages/religions that survived after national destruction. 10 of the 12 original tribes were forgotten to history after Assyria conquered the north alone (just as an example of how conquests usually play out in a people being lost to history). The south was more so captured in waves, but the decisive event was the destruction of the Temple in 586 BC by Babylon. No problem, Jewish lineage/religion survived, the Temple and nation are reinstated. In 70 AD Rome destroys the Temple again, the major Diaspora begins. Some remained. In 132 a revolt against Rome led to the Romans decimating the Jewish community, and renaming Jerusalem and Judea to obliterate Jewish identification with the land of Israel. The Jews experienced one of the longest and most scattered diasporas in history, along with a steep demographic decline. As a result of endless massacres, epidemics, conversions, etc, they were down to approximately 1.2 million in 650 AD. So in this context, their survival is at the very least impressive.

    Today, they are the only nation that inhabits the same land, bears the same name, speaks the same language, and worships the same God that it did 3,000 years ago. Again, I'm not claiming that extraordinary historical 'Luck' translates into a religion being true, I'm just saying that the predictions of their fate from there ancient God, and how there literal history played out, and how it now sits, is at the very least interesting.

    I think that you missed something major here! It's on the tip of your nose lol. Here it is...the Jews ARE the world's dominant religions!!!

    If this 'Myth' happened to be true about 'A Chosen People of God' whose story was prophesied to start with Abraham, and eventually go out unto all the world...would you or would you not expect it to constantly be in the world news by the 21st century? Would a humble secluded ancient Zoroastrian religion fit the bill? Or would you expect it to be everywhere by now? If the Jews or Israel are not in the news, this Jewish spin off called Catholicism is...an organized religion based on this claimed Messiah out of the same religion of Abraham. If Catholocism isn't in the news Christianity is. If Christianity isn't in the news Islam is. Islam claims Jesus as one of the prophets, Islam too is going back to Ishmael, the son of Abraham, same religious core. All of these spin offs are precisely like your signature "There is nothing new under the sun." In Jesus' time we had the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Essenes, Herodians, false prophets (Islam), etc. Each of these spin offs in Jesus' time has something of equal comparison to what we find today, all anchored into the God of Abraham, yet have been corrupted in various ways. Jesus would definitely be whipping out his 'Whitewashed tombs' and 'Brood of viper' rebukes on these groups today, just like in his time.

    Anti-Semitism is a fascinating parallel between the message of this ancient God of Israel and the literal history of Israel. God's chosen people having a major target on their backs (demonic) BECAUSE they are God's chosen people! That old religious story line matches up nicely with the bizarre extreme reality of Anti-Semitism.

    I find it fascinating that Jesus the Messiah arrived during the Roman Pax Romana. The perfect time in history. Many nations of the world were now under one umbrella, there was a common language, a common currency, travel was at it's easiest in the ancient world, Rome was in it's heyday of peace. Now, here's where the chicken vs the egg argument can come in lol. You can argue with me that it was BECAUSE of the Pax Romana that Christianity found itself in the perfect place in history to have it's message go out unto the ends of the world (at that time), and I can argue that NO, it was God placing Jesus His Messiah in the perfect position in history! Isn't it fascinating how one person can never pin the other person down? There's always that intellectual free will in either direction!

    On a personal note, this observation about literal Jewish history really helped a facet of my Jesus studies. I find it fascinating that there is this peculiar silver lining that comes out of the Jewish rejection, and flat out hatred of Jesus (as claimed Messiah). I already mentioned Dr Michael Brown to you as the person who convinced me that there was merit in the arguments that Jesus was prophesied about in the Old Testament. I find it fascinating that the Jew's intense hatred for Jesus absolutely guarantees us that the OT is safe from Jesus interpolation into the OT. Who in there right mind would ever think that orthodox Jews would allow Christians to paint Jesus into their holy books? The notion is absurd. This was very important to me in my study of prophecy. The OT is very old and I have a critical historical side (not as bad as you), I do doubt it at times, I might have thrown the towel in on prophecy study if it was not for this interesting observation. It's as if the Jewish hatred for Jesus created this huge protective brick wall between the OT and NT. So that even if you have major historical doubts about the OT, you can still have trust in the purity of lifting out Jesus prophecies from the OT if you find them to be impressive. Just another interesting observation that I see (that helped out my skeptical side). I know that you are a postmodern and would really struggle with the OT in a historical sense!

    Thanks to this silver lining of this Jewish hatred for Jesus, you are literally limited to only accusations of the NT writers taking the OT out of context, or misquoting it. But nobody argues in the other direction. And this is WAY more favorable to us historically because the NT is much easier to get a historical grip on than the OT (if you are critical/postmodern, I know a lot of Christians aren't). Having said that, @Uber Genius can defend the accusations against NT writers 'Painting Jesus Into the OT' better than me! I've already quoted him recently, I'll requote him...

    EDIT...by the way I'm not trying to knock the OT as much as i'm just trying to play Devil's advocate on it and meet a postmodern halfway.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  19. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    Well, I am a classical theist, so I would say that there are some constraints on what God can and cannot be, though they mostly revolve around the fact that God cannot be a creature in the same way that we are, or his existence would also need to be grounded in something external, and he would therefore not be God.

    I do not think we are actually suggesting that nothing existed before, though. For me, the question is manifold: are scientific laws observations about the way the universe works or explanations thereof? In either case, their explanatory power is a bit lacking, as they beg the question of why reality is predictable at all. I am also a convinced anti-materialist, so must ask what the nature of reality is that consciousness could ever arise in it at all? Toss in my postmodernism and the idea that reality is subjective rather than objective, and you're left with the question of ultimately subjective to what?

    I do not expect that part to make sense to anyone else, though. I had to fight my way out of agnosticism and took a couple of strange detours. ^_^ But I see too many reasons to think that the cause of the universe is mental, if in some ineffable way, to throw up my hands and say I have no idea whatsoever. I get accused of being theologically slippery, since I do not like making stronger claims than "ineffable something," but it is what it is.

    Which traits in specific? There are orthodox approaches to Christianity that avoid most of them. The only additional trait I'm willing to attribute is Goodness, since I do not think it psychologically healthy to deny that human concepts of good and evil are intrinsically valueless, and if something like the Christian God exists, denying yourself as made in the image of God does seem like it could have some ugly consequences above and beyond that. That is basically a Pascalian Wager, but I think a very powerful version.

    I don't know, but all things considered, certain possibilities look more likely than others. I think that naturalism as presently understood cannot properly account for reason and thus shoots itself in the foot, and it also has an amusing tendency to refuse to even address any of the interesting questions about existence, so I see no reason to play by its rules and stay on the fence in the absence of incontrovertible proof. Taking that approach is picking a side while pretending you haven't.

    Scientistic evidence? If the science does not seem to fit the current popular metaphysical framework without some serious twisting, I take that as evidence that the framework is false. I have many more problems with materialism than naturalism, but I am admittedly not fully convinced that matter exists at all! I am an energyist, I suppose. ^_^ But if science does not make sense except in something of a teleological scheme (in the Aristotelian sense that effects are built into the nature of reality--evolution may or may not be guided, but it certainly is not random), I would count that as evidence for teleology and question whether that is more compatible with atheistic or theistic intuitions. I do not think that is technically scientific evidence, though, since it's in the realm of philosophy of science.

    I do not know of anyone who denies that consciousness is influenced by phyical processes, though I will point out that meditative techniques and their influence on the brain indicate that the relationship is not one-sided. The sounds coming out of radio are dependent upon the wiring and settings of the radio, but we know how radios work and understand that the radio is not singlehandedly producing music. We do not understand how consciousness works, and as we can only really study the material aspect of it (i.e., the brain), we have dogmatically decided that this is all that is really going on. I frankly find this a much more problematic position than some of the alternatives, since it involves either handwaving away the question of how physical processes alone could ever give rise to mental processes or denying that the mind exists at all, and the motives for doing so are clearly based on preexisting commitments to materialism. Nothing that's going on here is scientific.
     
  20. possibletarian

    possibletarian Active Member

    262
    +105
    United Kingdom
    Agnostic
    Single
    UK-Liberal-Democrats
    So greater faith = points ?
    We could have even greater faith if he showed one tiny bit of evidence he actually existed.

    All you seem to have done is provided evidence that man created your god.
    Where ?

    Where ? Of course people believed he was resurrected (they still do) but that does not make that belief true, any more than it makes other ridiculous supernatural claims true.

    Hang on you are not arguing for miracles, yet Christ did not want his followers to believe him without evidence and that's why he did miracles, then why not now ?

    You cannot refute zero evidence, the so called evidence you presented was no more than an 'isn't this amazing, so seeing as you cannot explain explain it then my god must have done it' it's just a god of the gaps argument. It really does not need refuting.

    Now now, no need for a tantrum, I am reading every word you say, but as yet you have simply not provided any evidence, other than a rather optimistic god did it argument, which by the way is not evidence.

    Again you keep repeating this but no one in any honest scientific circles thinks the bible represents in any way the modern understanding of the universe. Just because they wrote beautiful things about the world around, and who wouldn't it's been the powerhouse of poetry in every nation and religion, that does not mean they understood it on more than an observational level.

    Which ones, through science you mean ?
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
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