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8/12/2006                                                                                       View Comments

"The Naked Truth"



This hour-long+ video explores the origin of many of today's religions. Producers/speakers are Derek Partridge, Jordan Maxwell and Bill Jenkins. Although it was obviously made on a shoestring budget, it does contain some interesting information.

It's also available from Amazon.Com: Click here.

70 comments:

Chris said...

I'm not sure about some of the "facts" they mention about Buddha. I think they pulled some of this stuff out of their asses.

Chris said...
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Chris said...

Wow, I just got to the part about astrology. Quite interesting! But I'm not a fan of misquoting the bible to make a point. He says "the holy spirit will not be given in this age or the age to come," whereas you can see on the screen it says, "whoever blasphemes against the holy spirit will not be forgiven either in this age or the age to come." Of course the point he was making was about the ages and not the holy spirit, but he should be more careful. He definitely comes off as a wacko conspiracy theorist.

boomSLANG said...

Quote: "Of course the point he was making was about the ages and not the holy spirit, but he should be more careful. He definitely comes off as a wacko conspiracy theorist."

So, you're taking one out of a couple of dozen provided quotes---actual biblical scripture that clearly shows that the redactors of the bible are talking about "ages", not the "end of time"---and saying that because he misquoted the one, that this makes the guy a "wacko" conspirator? Feel free to clearify.

Chris said...

I'm sorry. I meant that he throws a lot of ideas around, backing very little of it up. He talks about some guy named Nemo then corrects himself and says Nebo, claiming that this guy came down from a mountain with tablets of stone and gets pissed off and throws them on the ground. Well, from what I've found online, Nebo (or Nabu) was a Babylonian god of wisdom, and Mount Nebo was the mountain where Moses viewed Caanan before they entered the promised land.

He just seems to be really sloppy with his "data" and, while he has some interesting ideas that I'd definitely like to look into - particularly regarding astrology - I have a problem with anyone making a documentary without solid research and facts.

He also says that the bible is "nothing more than astrology." While, yes, there is plenty of astrology in the book, there's a lot more to it than that. I get the feeling that the guy simply has a theory in his mind and he'll back it up with any questionable fact he can find; christians will simply blow him off as a coockoo conspiracy theorist, even if his main idea is true!

boomSLANG said...

Quote: "christians will simply blow him off as a coockoo conspiracy theorist, even if his main idea is true!"

Lol! Of COURSE they'll blow it off....just like they blow off ANYTHING that contradicts the bible. Interesting how you said they'll dismiss even if the "main idea is true". Hmmm....got evolution? lol. What I find really amusing is that they'll even "blow off" other sects of Christianity that conflict with their *own* interpretation of scripture. Just that, alone, is proof-positive that we're not talking any kind of objective "truth", yet, they ALL claim to have it.

Also a note-worthy observation---notice that those cookoo conspirators don't have conditions attached to what they're telling you. No.....you're free to believe the information; you're equally free to dismiss it. Likewise, you're free to research the information; you're free to "blow it off". I find it ironic, however, that astrology, knowledge, and an over-all questioning of biblegod is frowned upon in the realm of Christianity.
Hmmmm, and you wanna talk about a conspiracy?

sailerfraud said...

Great video. I linked to your site.

http://sailerfraud.blogspot.com/2006/08/religious-studies-zodiac-influence.html

Lorena said...

Excellent compilation of information.
Not perfect, perhaps, but the authors aren't claiming that it is the inerrant, inspired word of God.

The good thing about productions like this one is that they encourage others to create materials of the same sort. As other versions come up, the "perfection" level of the material will increasingly improve.

Anonymous said...

Hello, my name's Dave.

I think Chris is right.

There was a lot of interesting material there, but it did seem to be rather more than 'the naked truth'. They appeared to have much more of an agenda than they were claiming.

And they did misquote the bible - horribly!. So Jesus said that he was called Jesus and that he was the Son of God while he was lying in the manger, did he? That's a new one on me!

It could be in one of the 'other gospels', I must admit I don't know, but I do know this - it certainly ain't in the ones that made it into the bible. Any Christians watching must have been rubbing their hands with glee when that one came up!

Why alter things, when you can show that the bible is flawed by quoting it correctly? - for example via the glaring contradictions in even its most fundamental messages (e.g. you are saved by faith v good works/the sheep and the goats).

They fell into the trap of indicating that the bible is false, but then used it to back up some other claims of their own.

'Look, my theory is true, I know this because of what it says in the bible, which is a load of crap by the way.'

'It's true because of what it says in the bible'. Now where have we heard that one before?

Anonymous said...

Whoops!

I've just realised that what I should have said above was:

'They made a mistake. They indicated that the bible is false but then used it to back up some other claims of their own.'

I thought I'd better get that in first before someone seizes on it!

Sorry! I really ought to have learnt by now that you should always read something through properly before committing yourself!

Dave.

boomSLANG said...

Quote: "Why alter things, when you can show that the bible is flawed by quoting it correctly?"

If the bible is "flawed" when quoted "correctly"(per you)...then whether it is deduced as flawed or not when quoted incorrectly would be immaterial. That's like saying, "Hey, I saw the police report with my OWN eyes, and it didn't say the robber took off in a pink flying elephant, it said he took off in a flying saucer!"

Anonymous said...

OK boomslang, I'll say it again in a different way, but this is the last time, mind you!

The point that I want to make (and I think Chris would agree with me here) is that if you change the words that are written in the bible during an argument with a Christian, you are probably going to make it easy for them to make you look like an idiot.

For example, imagine I said to a Christian: 'and what about the part in the gospels where it says Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a kangeroo! That shows that the bible is flawed, because kangeroos have never lived in that part of the world.'

It's not a good basis for an argument is it?

OK, that was an extreme example, but the general principle is, if you want to win an argument, don't make things up!

If, however, you find something that doesn't make sense about the story of Jesus entering Jerusalem on an ASS, you'll probably find that provided your argument is a reasonable one, you'll have more success with it than with the kangeroo tactic.

I can't put it any simpler than that!

Dave.

J. C. Samuelson said...

"...if you change the words that are written in the bible during an argument with a Christian, you are probably going to make it easy for them to make you look like an idiot."

There's no need to change any of the words of the Bible in order to make a point. On the contrary it seems to me that knowing the Bible more thoroughly than many believers, combined with pointing out its existing flaws is far more effective.

In other words, we don't need to create flaws to illustrate the Bible's problems.

Chris said...

Exactly. Yet this video clearly fell into that trap. There's no need to make up or use faulty information when there's plenty of other information that points to the falsity of the bible.

boomSLANG said...

Quote: "OK boomslang, I'll say it again in a different way, but this is the last time, mind you!"

' Promise? Please swear on the bible....::wink::

Okay, let's start from scratch:

Dave---in your view, is the bible flawed, or isn't it? You first stated that it was.(Quote: "Why alter things, when you can show that the bible is flawed by quoting it correctly?")

Dave?...are you now reneging on that statement?... or are you holding to it? If you hold to the statement that the bible IS flawed, then we can safely say that the bible absolutely cannot be, and SHOULD not be, representative of any kind of objective/universal truth, nor should we be expected to believe it was "Divinely" inspired. Or to put it bluntly---we can safely say that Christianity is horseshit = ) I'd just like to clear this up first, before wasting time on debating whether someone else's theory holds water, or how they arrived at that theory.

PS: I know this is a long-shot, but, Dave or Chris---if the bible IS NOT flawed in your view---meaning, that it is cohesive on every level; meaning, that there are zero contradictions, either in reality, or concept; meaning, ALL events are chronologically sound---in other words, that it can be used as universal Truth for all of humanity?......then it's really pointless to debate you as to why someone else thinks it's wrong. It would make much more sense for me to debate you as to why you think it's right = )

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that's been cleared up.

I suppose we can say that the film included some interesting information that needs to be checked carefully.

I think one of the most simple indicators that the bible and its intended audience at the time were at least heavily influenced by astrology is that one of the tactics employed by 'Matthew' to endorse Jesus as the Messiah was to have him acknowledged as a king by a group of astrologers.

Whoops!, sorry!, I should have said 'wise men'!

After all - 'wise men follow Jesus!', not 'servants of the Devil!'

Dave.

Anonymous said...

Hello Boomslang

Sorry, I didn't see your latest post before I sent my latest one.

But, actually, I think that the above post should help you....

...You know what! I'm not sure you'll get it even then!

So, here goes - Boomslang, I think that the bible is flawed.

Yours sincerely

Dave.

boomSLANG said...

Quote: "But, actually, I think that the above post should help you...."

Actually, I thought I smelled some thinly veiled pathetic apologetics for second...i.e. "servants of the devil". LMAO!

Cool, Dave.....so sign your name on the line, then?

CHRISTIANITY IS F%CKING HORSE SHIT!___________________ 8/13/06

...::wink::...

Anonymous said...

Hi Boomslang

Perhaps you'd like me to sign it in blood?

OK, now, you see the above statement. I was using what is called irony. It's a kind of humour than often works well when you're arguing with someone.

..as long as they understand what you're doing, that is.

Yes, that's right, when I use a joke, I don't write the word 'wink' after it, just to show that I'm kidding.

In fact, I'll let you into a little secret, I've been using quite a bit of irony this whole darn blog.

But unfortunately, your sense of irony seems to be a bit like Alanis Morasettes (sorry for spelling).

You see, rain on your wedding day isn't really irony, it's just plain old bad luck.

But check this out for irony from one of my past quotes!

'I really ought to have learnt by now that you should always read something through properly before committing yourself'

OK, what did I mean? Couldn't you guess?

Well, I thought that it should be fairly obvious that I was saying that in the past I became a Christian without reading the bible properly first, and then regretted it.

Once you've worked that out the next part's easy. I must be an ex-christian who used to think that the bible is the word of God but now believes it is flawed.

In fact, not only flawed, but a load of crap!!

Bingo! A lot of time and effort could have been spared for both of us!

Dave.

Chris said...

Boomslang,

I am in no way defending the bible. What I AM defending is high journalistic standards. You seem to think that anyone attacking the bible gets a free pass to say whatever they want and pass it off as fact, whether it's true or not. I have a problem with that myself, and besides, I think they'd have a much better success with this video if they used reliable sources.

Anyway boomslang, I think you could do better by not being so reactionary and jumping down anyone's throat who is just a little skeptical about supposed "facts."

Or are you just like the Christians: ready to accept anything that agrees with your worldview and reject anything that you perceive to go against it? Most of us on this website are here because we value reason and science and these led us to reject our old notions. Think about it, okay?

Chris

boomSLANG said...

To Dave,

Well goody, Dave. So since we're not speaking in riddles anymore and it's clear that we're both ex-christians, maybe you can save your condescening tripe for the enemy, then? Perfect.(see below)


To Chris,

Okay Chris, understood....but understand this: My self-esteem isn't wrapped up in whether you think I "could do better" or not, 'k, buddy? Awesome.

To both--- The reason for my aggressive inquisitiveness is because on many occasions I've/we've encountered Fundies for Christ who come in here only to pose as non-believers/Atheists/Agnostics, etc., thinking they can get an edge up with some good ol' fashioned espionage---yes, this, because they have ZERO argument for their apologetic bullsh*t world-view, so they think it's cute to play "dress-up" in logical clothes for a day.

Best regards.

Anonymous said...

Whatever those guys had to say about religion is up to them they simply put it out like many other people have like take the da vinci code they say that the church covers shit up and that jesus did have a wife and that contradics what so many christians believe. Compare every religion together and they all think something different so what is true? well it has to be what the church says cause well their always right about everything. Wrong they tell you what to believe. I'm told im going to hell cause I don't go to church on sundays what does going to church have to do with hell? If you look at spiritualism they don't believe that going to some building ill fix your sins. They believe that its everything around us like the sun and the earth. They don't listen to someone telling them what to believe they believe what they want. I say wonna be a good person don't judge others and do your own thing don't follow some book and to hell with everyone that doesn't agree cause this is my opinion not yours. Why don't you be a good little christian and tell me I'm wrong cause I don't believe what you do. For all we know we might all be wrong but we are we to know.
Life live it don't think about it to much.

Steve said...

I would not use this video to prove or disprove anything. A lot of the Bible references are taken out of context, and some of the information is just wrong.

Here's the one that first caught my attention: that the name Dalai Lama has something to do with "lamb of god." A little bit of internet research revealed the name to mean "Ocean of Wisdom."

The piece about "The Age of Aquarius" and the man bearing a pitcher of water seemed a bit of a reach as well.

He also tried to draw some sort of relationship between the sun and the son of God, going to so far as to even quote the Bible as saying Sun of God. I did a search and could find no such reference in the Bible.

They said the name Solomon has to do with the sun. False:

"Solomon (2 Sam 12:24)
The name Solomon is the Greek/Latin version of the original name Sholomoh.
Solomon is the second son of David with Bathsheba (their first son died after seven days). David already had at least six sons and a daughter when Solomon was born, and Bathsheba bore David another three sons besides Solomon. Then there were nine sons of other wives and an untold number of sons with various concubines.

The name Solomon comes from the root (shalem 2401) meaning to be complete, sound. Derivative (shalom 2401a) means peace. The word is used in Pslm 91:8 in the meaning of reward or recompense (of the wicked). Although Psalm 91 is anonymous and tradition demands that Solomon is the great peace-king, his name may have stemmed from David's deep remorse and grief over losing Solomon's older sibling."

http://www.abarim-publications.com/Arie/Names/Solomon.html

Like some have already said, the Bible can be disproven in so many ways that it isn't necessary to misquote and take it out of context.

The Bible-thumpers are the liars and distortionists, not us. Let's be careful to continue to be fact based.

Steve

Chris said...

Thanks Steve, I think you said it better than I was able to. Or maybe being misunderstood led me to believe that I wasn't clear with my words? Either way, I haven't been very clear-headed lately!

Chris said...
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Chris said...

Boomslang wrote: "Maybe you can save your condescening tripe for the enemy."

Ummm... I think the enemy is illogic and falsified information, and that includes the bible, christianity, and videographers who claim that the Dalai Lama's name means "lamb of god." Go ahead and trade one lie for another if you like, but don't accost me for continuing to be skeptical of everything I'm told, Christian or not.

Freaking out everytime you get the hint that someone MIGHT be a christian sounds eerily fascist. I really don't think you want to become like the oh-so-loved Joseph McCarthy of the Cold War era. Or do you?

Chris said...

Maybe you'd like to do away with due process in the court of law and burn all suspected Christians at the stake? "He looked at me funny! HE'S A CHRISTIAN! TO THE GALLOWS!"

boomSLANG said...

Quote: "Maybe you'd like to do away with due process in the court of law and burn all suspected Christians at the stake? "He looked at me funny! HE'S A CHRISTIAN! TO THE GALLOWS!"

Hmmmm.....I wonder where burning people at the stake originated? So Chris, you took the "condescending tripe" comment out of context....::tisk, tisk::...was that comment addressed to "Chris"? No, it was not. Now you seem to being doing precisely what you fault the guys in the video for doing. Let's read thoroughly and stick to the "facts", right? Anyway Chris, you can calm down now...you made your point, so now let me see if I can make mine:

I, too, don't think that we should accept just anything those guys in the video said as absolute fact---but to the best recollection, I don't recall any of them, either collectively, or individually, presenting the information as absolute "fact". It's called a *hypothosis---and it's one that we are all FREE to examine, and we are all FREE to accept---either some, all, or NONE of it. Again, there's NO conditions or threats attached to it, like other philosophies we know.

Because they mispoke and got a few of their sources wrong, only means that their hypothosis has gaps, and maybe they weren't thorough enough in their investigation. Mind you, while evolution is a different ball-of-wax---as it is ALL of hypothesis, theory, AND FACT---we wouldn't allow a creationist to come along and throw evolution out ALTOGETHER because there are still some gaps in it's theory, would we? No, we keep what does hold to scrutiny, and eliminate what doesn't.

Furthermore, I think the culmination of what the video is saying, while it is pretty low-budget, is that the concepts and historical claims of Christianity are NOT unique to Christianity. That's really the point. On a lesser note, there are clearly some references to astrology in the bible, yet, like they said, astrology is frowned upon in circles of Christianity, not-to-mention, knowledge is thwarted in general. Add TO that, threats of hellfire for not accepting it's doctrine...and wha'da ya got? It's called a cult. Talk about "wacko conspiracies".

Regards.

boomSLANG said...

Chris: "Most of us on this website are here because we value reason and science and these led us to reject our old notions."

So then, you've rejected Christianity?...is that what you're telling us? And you "value" reason and science, do ya? Funny--on your blog there's an entry from "Chris" telling people to "rest in the Lord". Or is that another Chris? lol.

Chris said...

Yes, I rejected Christianity a month ago, which was after that post. At that time I was still holding on to what I believed because I hadn't yet seen or heard enough evidence to disprove what I believed, and frankly I still WANTED to believe, although I was in the process of losing those beliefs. I decided fairly soon after that that I was going to look at Christianity objectively and see if I believed it.

And every ex-Christian was once a Christian. Are you saying you never were? From what I know, this website is for ex-Christians, not lifetime atheists who want to bash everyone who was ever a Christian. And if you ARE an ex-christian, what right do you have to laugh at me for beliefs you once shared as well? Maybe you're shameful about what you once believed. I just accept it as part of my past. It formed me in many ways, both good and bad.

Anyway, multiple times in the video, they say, "now that we've looked at the FACTS," and they put emphasis on this word. Look, I never said that I discounted everything they say. Some of the ideas are valid and I've taken them to heart. But at the same time, I wish they'd be more careful so their ideas would actually have the effect they intended.

Finally, you don't have to preach to us that the bible is bullshit. We've all agreed on that. I know that the hellfire doctrine is an abomination to mankind. Anyway, this debate is going nowhere, and I think the main disagreement has mostly been cleared up. I'll summarize:

1. We both agree that the video makes some good points, mainly regarding astrology in the bible and similarities between christianity and other religions

2. We agree that the video should not be taken as gospel and that many points are up for dispute.

However:

3. You seem to have less problem than I do with making something up (the meaning of the names "solomon" and "dalai lama," for instance) and calling it "fact," particularly in a published product. At least most christians, even if they're horribly mistaken about the truth, see the value in journalistic honesty. I reserve my right to get pissed off about such things. And you don't have to. If honesty isn't part of your moral system, that's your prerogative.

I hope we can end on an amiable note, and I apologize for jumping down your throat.

Chris said...
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boomSLANG said...

Understood on the "wanting to believe" part, hence, want makes religious belief subjective. Yes, I'm a former Christian, and I too have discerned the difference between an objective look at truth, and a subjective look at truth. Being objective, obviously you accept the conclusion whether it's something you "want to believe", or not----as you now realise yourself. BTW, I don't find it exactly humorous that I used to believe exactly the way you formerly believed...no, I find it sickening, and I can't believe I wasted that much of my life believing something that I was "born into". Anyway, no hard feelings.

steamboat_willey said...

Chris:

I'm with you. I think that attempts to refute the Bible should quote it properly and use well-researched information.

The objective/subjective dichotomy is problematic, since we all sometimes accept things as fact that we haven't seen with our own eyes. For example, I place a high degree of confidence in the data presented in many of the articles I read in Scentific American. They often deal with things I have not directly observed, but these things have been shown to be measurable and explainable through other than supernatural means. Particle phsics is a good example. I have never personally observed a neutrino, but I believe they exist, probably in several different "flavors."

boomSLANG is really hung up on lack of proof for God and things Christian. You will see that in a lot of his posts. He's always demanding somthing OBJECTIVE. Well, nothing objective will ever be provided for the immeasurable, invisible world that supposedly overlaps ours. That's why religion teaches that faith is the highest value.

I have simply lost faith, like many intelligent people at this post and a few famous, articulate non-theists you can find links to here. Of course, the site is for ex-Christians, not necessarily those who disbelieve God altogether.

I have tried to explain to boomSLANG in the past that God and Christ are simply not disprovable. Religion claims to receive truth from a higher source that is not subject to questioning or disproof, and that is my main objection to it. Although I accpet the existence of neutrinos, it's because I believe in science. If somebody wants to disprove that they exist, they are welcome to formulate an experiment and try, and then publish a peer-reviewed article. Science is self-correcting. Religion is not.

boomSLANG doesn't get any of this, and someday he'll probably end up back in the church because he's so stupid and narrow minded. You'd be better off beating your head against the wall than debating anything with him.

Congratulations on a month of freedom, and please continue to be a voice of reason at this site.

steamboat_willey said...

PS: I loved the way The Naked Truth repeatedly threw images of dinosaurs in with catastrophies humans had to bear. It also showed a dinosaur after mentioning giant predators the ancients feared. THE DINOSAURS DIED OFF 65 MILLION YEARS AGO!!

Shannon said...

For years, up here in Alaska there has been a rumor about a cult. An older gentleman, somewhat ornery, knocked up a young girl. He, then, married her off to another man. All was well, until the boy-child was twelve when he was told about his real father. He questioned his father some and his father answered him back some. It turned kind of ugly, though when the father had his son beat to death. Crucified, real. Some people were prosecuted for this crime but no one has ever been able pin the masterminding of the whole thing onto the old chap. He got off scot-free. What’s really odd is that the old guy seems so much gentler now.

BoomSLANG has every right to call someone’s claims of truth: bullshit because extraordinary claims demand extraordinary explanations.

steam-warden said...

Faith=delusion

If you're running out of faith, it means reality is interfering with your delusion.

steamboat_willy you're an ignorant dork!

Dave8 said...

"I have tried to explain to boomSLANG in the past that God and Christ are simply not disprovable."

And, thus, they are nothing more than hypothetical nouns, created individually, and subjectively.

Religion, refuses to accept that their "god" is linked to this natural reality in any form, but yet, they claim to "know" god. That's a contradiction.

Religion, refuses to accept that their "subjective" god, is truly an individually created mental image, and "not" universal. Yet, they claim that "everyone" can know their "god", equally and universally, and thus be able to accept the god concept.

There are only a few constants that are known, and change seems to be the underlying inspiration for the flux in the universe.

So, although you are reading this post, and we are probably across the globe from eachother, I know for a fact, that the religiously claimed "constant/universal", god, is false, by its own constructs. We live in "change", and can therefore, not talk of anything "unchangeable", like a god for instance. If a religious person makes the claim that they have beaten or found proof that there can exist any dimension of existence (use as many dimensions as one could care to), then they can start making the grandiose claims of their omnipresent and unwavering "god". There is "not" a true vacuum that has ever been created without almost immediate photonic interruption, there are temporary moments of "calm", and then, nature checking out the temporary void by sending out photons on a recon mission.

The individuals who make universal religious claims, do so, in contradiction to "everything" that can be found in reality, even if humanity can only glimpse objects from a limited perspective.

So, until a religious person pipes up to support their claim, they are in fact, conjecturing, in the face of "reality", that stares them in the face. Sharing a subjectively created hypothetical with someone else, doesn't make the hypothetical falsifiable nor real in a physical (cause-effect) sense. Albeit, some forms of academia don't necessarily rely on cause-effect, there are plenty of empiricists on this site to suggest that if there is no observable or testable cause-effect relationship that can be "understood" through some type of modeling, there doesn't exist "truth" in the form that is functionally useful.

Regarding a subjective belief of a "god" concept, the inherent belief itself does not make it "real", nor does it present an individual with the opportunity to "transfer" their thought/idea in any form that can make it useful to "another" person, other than in a very general sense. And, speaking in generalizations to make absolute statements of facts only illustrates the level of ignorance that many hold with religious beliefs.

I may not be capable of seeing a neutrino, but I undoubtedly know a cause-effect relationship when I see one. A word does nothing but describe an observed phenomenon, and all phenomenon are natural in reality, therefore, all "gods" are natural in context, period.

boomSLANG said...

Um, "Steamboat_willy", said:

"The objective/subjective dichotomy is problematic, since we all sometimes accept things as fact that we haven't seen with our own eyes."

No, it's not problematic. Most Americans are familiar with our first President, George Washington, and while none have actually seen him first hand, it doesn't take subjective bias to say that he existed. There's no "rewards" for believing that George Washington existed, nor is there "punishment" for not believing he existed. Furthermore, there's gaggles of biographical literature written by people who knew him first-hand who lived IN his lifetime, as well as auto-biographical material written by the man himself. But most note-worthy, George never claimed to do anything "supernatural", except throw a silver dollar across the Potomac river, and why don't I believe that myth?....because physics(science) says it's impossible. The Potomac is over a mile wide. The story was emroidered to show his "strength". Such a feat is testable AND falsifiable. Religious belief that based on "faith", as in "faith in the existance of God", is NEITHER testable or falsifiable. True, at some point you have to say that you "trust" history, otherwise, all of history is wiped out. But this "trust" is much different than "Faith" that relates to religious belief. If we knew that God existed like we know that George Washington existed, we would need "Faith" in God. Also, where is there a website debating the existance of George Washington?

Willy: "They often deal with things I have not directly observed, but these things have been shown to be measurable and explainable through other than supernatural means."

Right, thank you---like I said above, the supernatural is NOT testable and falsifiable. That was easy.

Willy: "boomSLANG is really hung up on lack of proof for God and things Christian. You will see that in a lot of his posts. He's always demanding somthing OBJECTIVE."

Like Shannon said: Extraordinary claims *demand* extraordinary evidence. Simple enough.

Willy: "Well, nothing objective will ever be provided for the immeasurable, invisible world that supposedly overlaps ours. That's why religion teaches that faith is the highest value."

Um, invisible world that supposedly overlaps ours? Is that likely?...or is it more likely that the "invisible" and the non-existant look the same? To give benefit of doubt, please show us the source that shows where this "invisible world" is commonly accepted.

Willy: "That's why religion teaches that faith is the highest value."

Lol. Yes, just like Islam teaches that "Faith" is the highest value. The problem is that Christians proclaim "Faith"(where there is faith, there is UNcertainty) in their God, but yet they are somehow CERTAIN that they have "faith" in the RIGHT God. Good one.

Willy: "I have tried to explain to boomSLANG in the past that God and Christ are simply not disprovable."

Neither is the Great Pumpkin. So?...he exists then, right?...October's right around the corner. Refresher: The burden of proof lies in the one MAKING the claim.

Willy: "Religion claims to receive truth from a higher source that is not subject to questioning or disproof, and that is my main objection to it."

I suppose you object to me agreeing with that? lol.

Willy: "boomSLANG doesn't get any of this, and someday he'll probably end up back in the church.."

Lol..I'll end up back in church like you'll end up leaving cookies and milk on the mantle for Santa. And what I "don't get", is are you pro-Christian?...or aren't you?...this burning the candle at both ends sounds vaguely familiar. Lol!

Willy: "..because he's so stupid and narrow minded."

DANGER: Strawman area. EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE!

boomSLANG said...

Correction: In the first paragraph it said---"If we knew that God existed like we know that George Washington existed, we would need "Faith" in God."

It should read: we "wouldn't" need Faith in God. Thanks.

boomSLANG said...

And yes, I'm aware that Willy's name calling was really "ad hominem", not strawman..::sniff, sniff::

Harlequin said...

"What I AM defending is high journalistic standards. You seem to think that anyone attacking the bible gets a free pass to say whatever they want and pass it off as fact, whether it's true or not."

This I'd agree with. The Apologists do enough of this without anti-apologetics climbing into the same slime filled pit :)

It started with the vile Irenaeus and has just continued, via that serpent Eusebius,down to the present day. Your average Cult member can't spot a decent mytheme if it bites them on their pious arses.
Regards
Grandpa Harley

boomSLANG said...

Quote: "What I AM defending is high journalistic standards."

Follow-up quote: "This I'd agree with."

.....I'd agree with it too, but it would sound a bit queer coming from the mouth of an apologist, wouldn't it? Let's call a spade, a spade.

steamboat_willey said...

OK boomSLANG. I shouldn't have called names. I remembered a few exchanges before where you just didn't seem to get the point about religion never claiming to have proof. Always saying, "Go ahead, prove it," is pointless against faith claims, and just about as dogmatic as the fundies that bark at us on this site. "How can can we disprove or test this idea?" That is less dogmatic and opens up more possibilities in every area of knowledge.

Peace

steamboat_willey said...

What book was TNT showing text from, when they drew the parallels between Horus and Jesus? First of all, it wasn't all bible based. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that Jesus spoke from the cradle. Secondly, it's about as lame as doing a cut and paste to the discussion board.

Anonymous said...

Hi. This video seems to be really "out there". It plays into the hands of many misconceptions and also many of the standard facts, without pointing out facts, which would make the intended point null.

For instance, the commentator mentions that there are 1000's of religions. He goes from there and makes some rather wrong and sweeping assumptions about the 1000's of religions in general.

Being a person who has studied far more religions than the average American, I can tell you, he is not even close to correct.

About HALF the religions of the world do NOT claim to be the only way. That is a fact. He claims the opposite in the video. Also, many of the religions of the world have NOTHING to do with Love or even one God for that matter.

Essentially, he is talking about Christianity and then draws a basic analogy of all the other religions from it. And as I stated above, you can not even do this, as over half the religions of the world ALLOW for multiple religions, multiple gods, you name it.

Regarding the facts he stated, which conviently or myopicly left out the more uncommon facts, he states that history shows religion to actually cause many of the wars and killings in the world.

Unfortunately, he is wrong again. Communism, which teaches Atheism, has caused over 10 million deaths through Russia alone. That is not counting Socialism in Nazi Germany.

Of course, some will state that Hitler had Christian ties, but as everyone should know, Hitler did it for appearances only. As was with the case of the USSR having a few State Orthodox churches.

The fact is, Evolution was part of the mandate for killing the jews. For Jews, then blacks, then other races were singled out as "weaker of the species".

Races were defined from a world view of evolution. That is why we call it "races", when in actuality, there is only ONE race, the human race.. Yet, the dictate for killing off the jews was based on evolution..

How is this possible? One of Hitler's favorite book was the "Origin of Species".

To claim that evolution and atheism did not cause the deaths of millions of people is absolutely rediculous.

NOW, if you want to call atheism and communism "religion", I guess that would fit into "religion causing all the wars" theme. But, last I checked, communists and atheists claim they have no religion.

I could go on and on about this movie.. The fact is, if you study the religions of the world, you discover that only a few of the major religions of the world have any credibility and you can easily widdle them down from there..


Sincerely
Tony

Chris said...

It appears that it is taken directly from The Book Your Church Doesn't Want You to Read by Tim C. Leedom, published in 1924.

Here's the Horus vs. Jesus section online:
http://www.adam.com.au/bstett/BJesusandHorus74.htm

boomSLANG said...

Hmmm..lot's of "internet authority" going on in this thread now.

I'd be curious to know which religions(notice, plural) have "credibility". I would think that being "True" falls into the realm of credibility, right? And when you say "widdle" 'em down, widdle 'em down to what, exactly? What?....nothing?

J. C. Samuelson said...

"Evolution was part of the mandate for killing the jews."

Ok, Tony. Time to come clean. You've been reading those Christian websites again, haven't you?

Find for me one reputable historian - besides J. Bergman - who says history supports this notion.

"...he states that history shows religion to actually cause many of the wars and killings in the world."

Read that again. I've added emphasis to show how he is not wrong on this point. You're sounding quite a lot like an apologist in disguise, Tony.

"Communism, which teaches Atheism, has caused over 10 million deaths through Russia alone. That is not counting Socialism in Nazi Germany."

Neither Communism nor Socialism are religions. They are political ideologies. I'll grant you that atheism has been considered the greater philosophy by many of history's more prominent Communists. However, I will not say that atheism is responsible for Communism. Do you understand where I'm going with that?

"...some will state that Hitler had Christian ties, but as everyone should know, Hitler did it for appearances only."

Read Mein Kampf.

"For Jews, then blacks, then other races were singled out as "weaker of the species".

Races were defined from a world view of evolution."


Wrong. Blacks and other races were considered weaker/subservient by White Christians long before Darwin was even born.

"One of Hitler's favorite book was the "Origin of Species"."

Perhaps it was, but since when does what one reads indicate how one behaves? One of my favorite books is Exit to Eden by Anne Rice (writing as Ann Rampling), but that doesn't mean I'm into the D/s lifestyle (I'm not).

From here, your post degenerates to the point where it would be useless to respond (it may be anyway). You start off trying to present yourself as an unbiased critic of the movie, but it quickly becomes apparent that your agenda is motivated by your faith.

Anonymous said...

So much anger and hate...so much obsession and time wasting....see the funny thing is that we are spending all our time trying to prove something wrong and find fault..being just as accusing as those we say accuse us...it is so sad and such a waste of life...

If you dont want to believe in Christ and His Salvation then that is your choice..leave others to believe and do that which they feel in there hearts to do...If it is to try to convert then let it be...what you choose is ultimatly up to you...and all the after effects there of is your account and no-one else can be blamed for it.

There are people out there and even in your neighberhood dying and in need of a little bit of your and my love and attention, even a helping hand or two, and here we are stating our own agendas and opinions... If we for once just stop argueing and start living and caring about others more than ourselves maybe we will find that at the base of that all that is true faith and believe...

because after all if you want to go and find facts or prove false something in the Word of God...let it be this that all God wants is a loving relashionship with His crown of creation-man. And for them to share that love with one another...all the rest is a byproduct of the choices we make, be they love or hate...if you love someone you wont kill or hurt them, if you love your child you only want the best for them, if you love your wife/husbandfriend/mother/father you only want good and not bad for them...this will make life a very nice place wont you say...?

Why waste time on trying to prove your right or prove someone else wrong...enjoy life and give all you can...and when you have spent all of yourself on others give more...like a mother for her child....that is the ultimate basis of faith revealed by the Holy Spirit to those who truly seek God the Father with al their heart...If you cant approach your father as his child in inoccence and trust that he cares for you, then he cant show his love for you as a true father does...because you will always question his motives...doubt and fear can never keep a loving relashionship alive..it will destroy it in the end...

Its true even if you dont believe it...thats fact my joy and peace in this age and the age to come!!

boomSLANG said...

Uber' said: "You're sounding quite a lot like an apologist in disguise, Tony."

cLiNg cLiNg cLiNg..we' got a winner!

Uber' said: "I'll grant you that atheism has been considered the greater philosophy by many of history's more prominent Communists. However, I will not say that atheism is responsible for Communism. Do you understand where I'm going with that?"

I do. Kinda like---certainly not all Christians are ignorant, but most ignorant people are religious. Somethin' like that?

Uber' said: "You start off trying to present yourself as an unbiased critic of the movie, but it quickly becomes apparent that your agenda is motivated by your faith."

Damn, Uber'.....two for two.

boomSLANG said...

Tony said: "NOW, if you want to call atheism and communism "religion", I guess that would fit into "religion causing all the wars" theme. But, last I checked, communists and atheists claim they have no religion."

Firstly, I would agree that 99.99999 % of that whole anti-Atheism post was straight off of a Christian Apologetic webpage.

Secondly, communism is a politcal view; Atheism is world-view. Two different things. Are all Christians Republicans?

Thirdly, if all that killing in the name of "no belief in God" was going on back then, then why in the hell hasn't it continued to this day?...especially since Atheists proportedly have no "Divine" legislation or moral codes guiding their "angry" and "love-less" lives? As a matter of fact, let's DO look at who's killing who as we sit here at our PC desks:

Let's see, we have the Protestants killing the Catholics(and vice versa)..and we have the Jews killing the Arabs(and vice versa) And why are we at war right now? The Islamic "God"--the god of Abraham--wants us dead! Hmmmm....'got god-belief, anyone?

Again, let's call a spade, a spade.

crazybeautiful-- said...

i saw this video on another site right after i stopped believing in christianity... i had read about the similarities between horus and jesus and that was basically the final thing that pushed me over the edge to not believe in christianity anymore. now some people claim that the comparison between horus and jesus is not factual or relevant or anything...well that was a huge reason i stopped believing in the bible. now if the similarities are not actual...then maybe i was wrong to doubt the bible? help here..im confused..!

crazybeautiful-- said...

i saw this video on another site right after i stopped believing in christianity... i had read about the similarities between horus and jesus and that was basically the final thing that pushed me over the edge to not believe in christianity anymore. now some people claim that the comparison between horus and jesus is not factual or relevant or anything...well that was a huge reason i stopped believing in the bible. now if the similarities are not actual...then maybe i was wrong to doubt the bible? help here..im confused..!

boomSLANG said...

Crazybeautiful said: "...now some people claim that the comparison between horus and jesus is not factual or relevant or anything...well that was a huge reason i stopped believing in the bible. now if the similarities are not actual...then maybe i was wrong to doubt the bible? help here..im confused..!"

Okay. Jesus wasn't Horus; Horus wasn't Jesus. It's a fact---no if, ands, or buts. No similarities, whatsoever. None. Zip. Zero. Nadda.

Observe---Horus wasn't Allah either, right?....so why do you doubt Islam? Horus wasn't Buddha....so why not become a Buddhist? Horus wasn't L.Ron Hubbard, why not check out the Scientology? And certainly, Horus wasn't Old St. Nick....so why not hang a stocking at Christmas?

See? So don't be confused. If you simply cannot reconcile what they say in the video, perfect..... then just take all of the "other things" that lead you away from Christianity in the first place, and combine that, with the same line of reasoning that you used to deduce that all of the above-mentioned religions are false, and there's your reason to doubt.

' Hope that helped.

Best regards.

steamboat_willey (sbwilley) said...

Crazybeautiful:

The complaints about the video are just because the weak journalism it represents is not necessary. The parallels are definitely there between Christianity and ancient pagan relgions. There's no need to grasp at straws like the first quotation from the Book of John, and the camera scan of some book from 1924. It's implied that every parallel in the book is bible-based. Some of them come from other traditions. If you want to refute the Bible, I say stick to quoting the Bible. You can still show many parallels where it drew from ancient sources, such as Enuma Elish, The Epic of Gilgamesh, Hammurabi's Law Code, etc.

If the objections are just to Catholic rituals, that needs to be made clear. There are a lot of Christians who don't believe in their extra-biblical traditions.

I hope this clears up the confusion. Chris and I were just saying the journalism wasn't great in the TNT video.

steamboat_willey said...

Tony:

You said, "Atheism. . . Communism. . . Evolution. . [BLATHER,BLATHER BLEEP, BLORP, I'VE BEEN PROGRAMMED TO RESPOND THIS WAY TO ALL SKEPTICAL INPUT, EVEN THOSE THAT DON'T MENTION DARWIN]."

Ok, you said, "Hitler had Christian ties, but as everyone should know, Hitler did it for appearances only. . . . One of Hitler's favorite book[s] was the "Origin of Species". . ."

Darwin and his writings can in no way be blamed for Hitler's actions, and Darwin despised what came to be known as Social Darwinism. He was against coercion of individuals for any reason.

Ubergeek's recommendation that you read Mein Kampf is right on. Hitler used the word “evolution” only seven times in Mein Kampf. It had a biological context in only two places. In all the other occurrences, the word referred to the development of political ideas in Germany. Conversely, the words “spirit” and “spiritual” appear 144 times in Mein Kampf. Hitler obviously was not a materialist, which Darwinism is often equated with by anti-evolutionists.

Hitler said, “the spirit is always more important than the external form which it animates.”

In particular, he believed the Spirit of God was leading him to commit genocide. This was evident in Mein Kampf, where he wrote, "Hence today I am convinced that I am acting as the agent of our Creator. By warding off the Jews, I am doing the Lord's work."

In Mein Kampf, Hitler expressed belief in a single Creator actively controlling human history by placing Hitler himself in power. He used the word “Providence” seven times in Mein Kampf. For instance:
"What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and the reproduction of our race...so that our people may mature for the fulfillment of the mission allotted it by the Creator of the universe...Peoples that bastardize themselves, or let themselves be bastardized, sin against the will of eternal Providence.”

Bill Jenkis, in the TNT video, made it clear how important the concept of spirituality is to religion.

Hitler was born and raised a Catholic, fashioned his government after the clergy, sprinkled his troops with holy water, and made Jesus prayers manditory in all schools. Late in life he said he always had and always would be Catholic.

I apologize if the pasted quotations were too lengthy. This post started with a 1-hour video, so I thought I'd be entitled to a couple of sentences of other than internet authority.

SpaceMonk said...

crazybeautiful: "now some people claim that the comparison between horus and jesus is not factual or relevant or anything..."

The whole comparison between Jesus, Horus, Krishna and Buddha section, aswell as the sixteen saviours, etc. is something I read once in an article by Acharya S.

I got all excited, so I checked it out.

I then got all disappointed because most of it is a stretch at best.
I don't bother with Acharya S. anymore, so I was also disappointed to see it in this movie.

HOWEVER,
the points about the zodiac are NOT so disappointing, and the more you investigate the more you will be surprised.
The thing that links all those 16 'Saviour' figures is not their supposed similarities to the bible (which don't hold up under investigation), but their relation to the Zodiac and the cycles of the Sun.
This is the point people like Acharya S, this video, and plenty of other New Agey froot loop type sites dishonestly overemphasise (not that there's anything wrong with being a New Age frootloop;)),
- but the core of it is true.

The thing is Jesus (and christianity) DOES have Pagan origins.

If you want a more reliable site about the similarities between Jesus and previous gods check this one out:
http://www.medmalexperts.com/POCM/index.html

Also, for some intersting zodiac stuff check out:
http://www.usbible.com/usbible/



Anyway, one thing I was surprised they didn't mention in the video
is the 'Four Living Ceatures' of Revelation 4:7 (also Ezekiel 1:5-10).

It describes the four creatures in heaven, surrounding the throne of God.
The first is a lion, the second is a bull, the third is man and the fourth is an eagle (at the 1h 10min mark in the video you can see these surrounding the zodiac/rose window in the church wall).

Of course these are the four corners of the zodiac wheel, ie. the suns annual cycle: Leo (Lion), Taurus (Bull), Aquarius (water bearing Man)and Scorpio (currently known as the Scorpion but also historically as an Eagle).

So that is the bibles description of heaven.

Also try looking up the astrological significance of the parable of the loaves and fishes
- it's frooty, but very interesting. ;)

crazybeautiful-- said...

thanks for everyone's input. im only 15 so im still trying to figure everything out which is difficult with my family being catholic and not very open to discussion. i'm sure what i wrote was very confusing. well..thats probably because i am confused. but anyways... thanks everyone.

steamboat_willey said...

YAHWEH is called "The Lord of Hosts" hundreds of times in the Bible. I did a count once, and I think it's over 300, but won't BS you. Get a concordance and check it out.

The significance of the term is that Hebrews weren't entirely monotheistic. They were ethically monotheistic.

Who were the hosts? Not the angels, like some people say. The hosts were the armies associated with animation of the heavenly bodies each day and night. The sun god had his army. The moon god had an army.

The Law didn't teach that the hosts were made up. It simply tought that YAHWEH created and was in charge of all of it. The Hebrews were told not to worship the host of Heaven, under penalty of death. It was their biggest problem, historically, as a theocracy. It's proof that "the host" had nothing to do with angels when you consider this. There was never a problem with Hebrews worshipping angels, but they were constantly being told not to face the sun and worship the host.

The connection between paganism symbology and Christianity was not very strong in the Bible, and was not encouraged by the scriptures, although it may have been laying deep underneath the language. The connection was made very strong by the Catholic Church in the early centuries AD, without Biblical authority other than the Petrine theory.

Anonymous said...

SW: "The connection between paganism symbology and Christianity was not very strong in the Bible,"

Was not? The old testament, which was Judaic, and without "Christ", of course not. The New Testament? It was built from Pagan Symbology.

The New Testament, written later than C.E., borrowed directly from previous cultures and religious belief. One doesn't create something from nothing, and thus it is with religious dogma - the bible.

Generally speaking, Pagans believed, the "sun" was the source of all life. The Pagan Evergreen Tree represented a magical object, that absorbed and exuded that Ever-lasting Life, as it remained Ever-Green throughout the most arduous winters...

Jesus became known and accepted by many as the new Sun (Son), over centuries (fourth century), because christianity was mandated by Roman Law, and those who didn't follow were persecuted... After hundreds of years of legalized repression, the popularity of Jesus as the New Son (Sun), began to pick up, as the "other" rival belief systems became extinct in the region.

The Son/Sun Jesus became known as the newly accepted "Source", (Son/Sun), of everlasting life... as well as the product (Evergreen Tree) of that everlasting source (Son/Sun).

The date of the Pagan Solstice Celebration, which used Evergreen Trees/Boughs? 25 December. The date that the Roman Emperors rid themselves of the Pagan Celebration, and gave Birth to the concept of Jesus via a voting booth, called the First Council of Nicaea? ~325CE. The date attributed to the birth of Jesus? 25 December, and that date is "not" to be found anywhere in the bible.

The fact of the matter... is that the Pagan Symbol for everlasting life (Evergree Tree), is still being worshipped on the Winter Solstice day, 25 December. That is a testament to the ongoing Pagan Symbolism throughout Christian worship, and how do we know that the Pagan Evergreen Tree was really a Pagan Symbol, borrowed by billions of Christians every year to celebrate the birth of everlasting life?

Jeremiah 10:2-4: "Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not." (KJV).

The heathens/Pagans, are joined today, by Christians, in the celebration and worship of the evergreen tree. Christians deny the worship of the tree, and suggest that its only a symbol to mark the "birth" of Christ. Right, the birth, of the Christ "concept", a few thousand years ago, by Roman Clergy.

And, of course, some Christian denominations, know the symbolism, because they are literate, and they condemn the use of the evergreen tree to represent the birth of their Sun of a god.

As well, "The fish symbol has been used for millennia worldwide as a religious symbol associated with the Pagan Great Mother Goddess. It is the outline of her vulva. The fish symbol was often drawn by overlapping two very thin crescent moons. One represented the crescent shortly before the new moon; the other shortly after, when the moon is just visible. The Moon is the heavenly body that has long been associated with the Goddess, just as the sun is a symbol of the God."
http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_symb.htm

How many Christians are running around today, that understand that the true history of their "fish symbol" is the Pagan Great Mother Goddess' vulva?

The crucifix/cross is a Pagan Symbol as well.

steamboat_willey said...

Anony:

All of the things you mentioned regarding ties between paganism and Chirstianity happened in the centuries after the NT was written. You mention 325 AD, for example.

Connection between "Son" and "Sun," for example, can be found nowhere in the NT, but it is used as justification for worship on Sunday instead of the Jewish Sabbath.

It was all introduced by the Catholic church much later in history, for the purpose of consolidating power in the Roman Empire.

The things I originally said are true:
* The Bible did not encourage paganism or its ritual
* Some common language and ideas of cosmology were shared with paganism, in OT and NT
* Ancient Hebrews were not entirely monotheistic, but were expected to worship only one God for ethical reasons

By the way, I am not a Bible apologist. I just think it should be cited correctly. Ex-Christians, should know the source of the things they don't believe. Was it from the Bible, or was it some other tradition?

Anonymous said...

SW: "All of the things you mentioned regarding ties between paganism and Chirstianity happened in the centuries after the NT was written. You mention 325 AD, for example."

So, in essence, you are suggesting that Paganism wasn't reflected in the OT. That's an interesting hypothesis, lets test it.

Paganism: "Within a European Christian context, paganism is a catch-all term which has come to connote a broad set of not necessarily compatible religious beliefs and practices (see Cult (religion)) of a natural religion (as opposed to a revealed religion of a text), which are usually, but not necessarily, characterized by polytheism and, less commonly, animism. There is little organized "-ism" in paganism."
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paganism

So, Natural Religion, usually characterized by polytheism, and less commonly as animism. Of course, an example would be... the Greek Pantheon, Polytheistic out the ying-yang, and inclusive of animism in their mythology, see Satyr's, Dragons, Unicorns, etc., which held special magical powers.

So, in context, you assert that Paganism, as directed towards the OT, wasn't inclusive of Greek Religion (Paganism), and its practical counterpart in ritual, Greek Mythology?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Greek_religion

The Greek Pagan Influence Via "Icon" On The OT:

Satyrs: "In the King James Version of the Bible, Isaiah 13:21 and 34:14, the English word "satyr" is used to represent the Hebrew sh'lrlm, "hairy ones". In Hebrew folklore, sh'lrlm are a type of demon or supernatural being which inhabits waste places. There is an allusion to the practice of sacrificing to the sh'lrlm (often translated as "devils") in Leviticus 17:7."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyr

Dragons:
Deut. 32:33 - "Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps."

Unicorns:
Deut. 33:17 - Joseph's "horns are like the horns of a unicorn."


The Greek Pagan Literary Influence On The Jewish OT In The Form Of Stories:

Genesis 19:23-26 KJV - "The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. (24)Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; (25) And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. (26) But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt."

Greek God:
"Orpheus: A Thracian poet who could move even inanimate things by his music. When his wife Eurydice died he went into the infernal regions, and so charmed King Pluto that Eurydice was released from death on the condition that Orpheus would not look back till he reached the earth. He was just about to place his foot on the earth when he turned round, and Eurydice vanished from him in an instant.

The tale of Orpheus is thus explained: Aeoneus, King of Thesprotia, was for his cruelty called Pluto, and having seized Eurydieas she fled from Aristaeos, detained her captive. Orpheus, obtained her release on certain conditions, which he violated, and lost her a second time.

There is rather a striking resemblance between the fate of Eurydice and that of Lot's wife. The former was emerging from hell, the latter from Sodom. Orpheus looked back and Eurydice was snatched away, Lot's wife looked back and was converted into a pillar of salt."
http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/poems/281.html

These "PAGAN" icons, stories, etc., were used directly by those who translated the OT. There are exactly "zero" known OT original copies, and "Paganism" was an influential part of the OT's history as it was rewritten, retranslated, etc.

Polytheism, predates Judaism/OT.

"Well-known polytheistic pantheons in history include the Sumerian gods, the Egyptian gods, the Ancient Greek religion, Norse Esir and Vanir, the Yoruba Orisha, the Aztec gods, and many others."

Egyptian belief, predates Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Egyptian religious movement, transitioned over thousands of years between stints of monotheism and Polytheism:

"A short interval of monotheism (Atenism) occurred under the reign of Akhenaten, focused on the Egyptian sun deity Aten. Akhenaten outlawed the worship of any other god and built a new capital (Amarna) with temples for Aten."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_mythology

Why does this matter? The Jews moved towards a non-polytheistic belief system, and were obviously influenced by the belief systems that held onto facets of polytheism.

Judaism became what the historical influence "made them", the extension of Pagan (polytheistic) influence. Their writings, borrowed from Pagan ideas, and were reused to meet their own literary intent. Bottom line, Polytheism, and Animism, predate "Anything", closely resembling the books of the OT, thus... the OT borrowed and was influenced by a previous era. Well, unless you believe that Judaism evolved independently from reality, and... I'll leave it there.

SW: "Connection between "Son" and "Sun," for example, can be found nowhere in the NT, but it is used as justification for worship on Sunday instead of the Jewish Sabbath. It was all introduced by the Catholic church much later in history, for the purpose of consolidating power in the Roman Empire."

Hopefully, the Pagain Icons, and Story I presented do indeed show the "direct" influence Paganism had on the OT/Judaism.

The "Sun" god, evolved into the "Son" of god - an ancient Egyptian belief. Its abstract, but the Jews' OT was written as a response to "all" polytheistic influence, as a matter of fact, the OT suggests that one shouldn't worship multiple gods, its a sin. Thus, not only did the Sun God have its impact on the writers of the OT, but "all" polytheistic belief systems that challenged Jewish authority.

True, the Sun God influenced Judaism, and the Roman Emperors' (clergy), obviously wanted to "reintroduce", the Sun God concept in order to push the pendulum back away from a Monotheistic God that only favored Jews. The consolidation of power, required a consolidation of belief, to include religious belief. Its why the bible has passages that are obviously written to suggest multiple gods exist, yet, only one god should be the pinnacle of a True Christians' worship system.

(OT) 2 Chronicles 32:13 - "Know ye not what I and my fathers have done unto all the people of other lands? were the gods of the nations of those lands any ways able to deliver their lands out of mine hand?"

SW: "The things I originally said are true:
* The Bible did not encourage paganism or its ritual"

Yet, by the very fact that it borrowed/stole Paganistic rituals and transferred them under a Christian umbrella, and renamed them, doesn't remove the origin of the belief. The origin of the ritual still exists. Christians still furnaced/relished/promoted the same ritual ideas many times, just with a different name, and under a different symbol.

It would be more accurate to suggest that Christianity as a religious movement, did not support/embrace nor endorse the Pagan movement.

Yet, they did endorse Pagan rituals, by the sheer fact of borrowing from historical Pagan ideas.

SW: "* Some common language and ideas of cosmology were shared with paganism, in OT and NT"

Monotheism, was a common factor, and the Jews and Christians embraced a creator god, yet there were obvious differences in their natures. The OT god conducted good and evil operations in the lives of people, yet the NT god sub-contracted out the evil part to Satan. And, not to underscore Paganism's influence on Christianity, but "the" idealogical factors of Paganism existed long before Christianity.

SW: "* Ancient Hebrews were not entirely monotheistic, but were expected to worship only one God for ethical reasons."

Ancient Hebrews is pretty general, and the suggestion they only worshipped "one" god for "ethical" reasons, seems pretty limiting. From what I have read, many worshipped "any" god they thought would bring them victory/destruction of the enemy on the battlefield, which is "not" what we may consider "ethical" today, hence the Geneva Convention.

SW: "By the way, I am not a Bible apologist. I just think it should be cited correctly. Ex-Christians, should know the source of the things they don't believe. Was it from the Bible, or was it some other tradition?"

Or was it, some tradition taken and used by christianity from an earlier belief. I agree, let me know when you're done reading.

steamboat_willey said...

Anony (can you adopt a "handle" so we can tell you from all of the other anony's out there?):

You have a lot of valid information, and I agree with you completely about the literary sources in the OT. My comment pertained to Jewish theology. Yes, their understanding of God arose from a polytheistic bacground, and none of the gods of nature religion just went away because they chose YAHWEH, as their one God. Nevertheless, YAHWEH was the only legitimate object of worship and central figure of their theocracy. That is what is meant by "ethical monotheism."

The covenant, handed to the Jews in the form of a suzerainty treaty (Exodus 20) by YAHWEH [actually, his agent], began with the law that only YAHWEH would be worshipped. It has come to be known as the first commandment.

The central theme of the entire collection of OT history was their struggle, as a theocracy, with that commandment. When a king did what was right, and obeyed the commandments, most importantly the first one, the nation was blessed by YAHWEH. When a king set up idols, reverted to nature religion, etc., it was called "apostasy." The nation was cursed by YAHWEH because of that leader's actions.

For example, Solomon, under heavy influence from hundreds of foreign wives and concubines, turned to idols. It resulted in the division of the kingdom. This marked the transition from a "united monarchy" to "divided monarchy."

Are you an English major? You obviously know a lot about the literary sources the OT borrowed from. The question once asked by literary critics was, "what unique contribution did the OT make to literature?"

The answer was a fancy german word, "heilsgeschichte." It means "salvation history." Neither the OT or the NT is merely the sum of its parts. If it had been, it would never have been preserved. The literature in both testaments tells new stories. Those stories were set against a backdrop of polytheism, used the same vocabulary, and assumed the same cosmology. None of it makes sense today unless you understand what that backdrop, vocabulary and cosmology was, and how it influenced the Jewish history and mythology.

My point is that you should start by understanding what it meant to the people it was written for, then decide whether you agree or disagree with it's teachings. I don't agree with heilsgeschichte because I don't beleive in any form of predestination, manifest destiny or divine intervention in human activity.

Getting back to the original topic, the TNT video merely pointed out parallels between ancient paganism and some modern day Christian symbology. It wasn't clear on when and where the parallels were created. Some of them weren't even biblical and aren't very important to the current Christian viewpoint. The best example of that was the "sun" vs "son" thing. There are much better parallels to be found between biblical literature and the sources it borrowed from. You have cited a few. The video was extremely weak and full of red herrings.

Handle-Adopted said...

SW: "I don't agree with heilsgeschichte..."

Heilsgeschichte: Salvation through reading and understanding scripture, literally the german translation is "welfare history". Of course, the translated meaning implies "a" specific "history", not any history, as you mentioned, a scriptural history, that would bring about wellbeing, when read properly.

Welfare: "Wellbeing: a contented state of being happy and healthy and prosperous;"
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

SW: "...because I don't beleive in any form of predestination, manifest destiny or divine intervention in human activity."

I actually can buy into someone receiving a feeling of well-being, by reading portions of scripture if read in a proper historical context. I receive an intellectual benefit from reading scripture/historical records, based solely on the historical significance of the writings.

I agree that a person trying to attempt to receive well-being, in the form of supernatural intervention, because they are reading history, is in a position to prove such, if they intend to extend their belief to anyone else who requires evidence.

Of course, I would require evidence of such belief, as well as evidence for the following you listed; predestination, manifest destiny or divine intervention in human activity. I as well don't blindly buy into belief, without substance.

Still, is it not possible for some nut to suggest their "well being" is sourced from some supernatural agent, because they "believe". Some people believe so strongly in their religious rituals, that they may in fact receive tangible benefit (intrinsically manifested).

SW: "My point is that you should start by understanding what it meant to the people it was written for, then decide whether you agree or disagree with it's teachings."

I'm afraid, if I wanted to suggest that I knew what the bible meant to "anyone" today, I would be hard pressed to come up with an explanation, let alone attempting to understand what the words of a book meant to a group of religious followers of a specific Jewish sect, thousands of years ago.

When I read the bible, I read it literally/exegetically. I do make the attempt to limit my personal coloring of the words using eisegesis, of course, no one can remove themselves from bias, we project psychologically outward in order to recursively make predictions in our environment. I would like to predict that everything I say, is understood by you exactly the way I understand it, but... that's not possible, you associate my words with the information/knowledge you already neurally host, which creates a neural filter... we each have unique filters, and thus, our information by-products are going to be slightly different.

Perhaps, because I understand individual cognitive make-up, I realize that its impossible to; "start by understanding what it meant to the people it was written for,"

If I wrote I love you... what would you tell me it meant? If you attempted to make such a guess, of course, your guess would be slightly different than another persons'. Yet, the sentence structure is exactly the same. Point is, I can't tell you what a writing meant to a person who live thousands of years ago, as a general conclusion. Each person has their own unique interpretation of the words in that writing, and the words back then, don't necessarily have the same meanings today, nor has there been an "exact" translation of the original copies into modern languages, I'll spare the linguistic limitation explanation.

Instead of working from the "many" and trying to understand what it meant to individual people, I prefer to work from the author(s). I still have to couch those writings in a historical context, in order to understand what the "author(s)" were trying to convey to their audience, and more importantly - why. The backdrop may well have bee influenced because of the polytheistic backdrop of emerging cultures, but that canvas was covered over time by a thicker political canvas. Sure, the backdrop of Paganistic polytheism influenced the Jewish cultures, yet... it was replaced by the Roman Empire's political Juggernaut.

The NT was written in "that" political backdrop, as you alluded earlier. Sure, I understand the history of "how" the bible was written, yet... I don't assume to know, exactly what those words "meant" to those who read the bible in their era. Today, if someone proposed they received a book from an Angel, written on golden plates, it would have a unique meaning to that person reading the words, typically, the person receives what they "want" to receive from writings, because they "project" onto the words their "expectations", typically based on desires, needs, etc.

Everyone inherently is blessed with an innate projection, mechanism. Personal growth, and meaning in life, is found by moving/maturing from primal projection, to a critical understanding of "self" through introspection. True introspection, through philosophical research, leads people to finally realize there are no absolutes in life - to include their own. Thus, tolerance is the only viable option, for any decent human being.

For those who have made such a journey, it as well, becomes understood that no two people see the same things in the same manner.

SW: "...then decide whether you agree or disagree with it's teachings"

Those "teachings" as you say, are framed in a political context, that is what I learned. Perhaps, the OT was molested by the Roman Church, as they "repainted" the backdrop, or killed those who didn't accept the new political framework known as the NT/Roman Law.

I do understnad that drinking urine, as written in the bible, is not something I need to read about to get a deeper sense of meaning in my life. I suppose, what I am getting at... is that, I have meaning because of self-understanding, the words in a book don't change that... well, unless I haven't matured to the point of introspective thought.

As well, I don't pass judgement on those who chose to drink urine in the bible, I'm sure they had their reasons, and perhaps there was some underlying symbolic meaning behind such acts. Living in a third world country, one can't help to notice, that the bible was written in much the same context.

Just out of morbid curiosity, what do you believe the bible "teaches" you, when you read it? Or, do you believe you "teach" yourself, based on the words in that particular book?

steamboat_willey said...

Handle-adopted (that's great!):

I learned to do historical critical method. I mostly rely on other peoples' work, read multiple commentaies, then draw my own conclusions. There are lots of people who are more serious about it than I. I have fallen out of practice with the original languages. I study either a topic or a passage in exhaustive detail, but I don't do it often, only when someody asks my opinion and understands that the answer is going to be coming from a non-believer. It's strictly armchair theology.

Most of the time it's difficult to determine who the authors of certain texts were. It's easier to get a rough idea of the date by comparing with other texts. Then you can examine the history of the period, understnd what the political, economic, and family concerns were. Then interpret the text in light of those findings, and finally decide what principles from the passage, if any, apply to life today.

My most recent study was more than 80 hours on Ezra and Nehemiah. I concluded that Nehemiah probably returned to Jerusalem first. It didn't make any sense to me that Nehemiah, who was sent to ensure the physical security of the community, could reconstruct the entire city wall in just a few days, but Ezra, who was sent to restore the Jewish law to the community, waited more than ten years to read it in public. As far as the culture of Judaism goes, the Torah became way more important than those walls.

What did the whole story teach me? I think I can still agree with the principle that "Man cannot live by bread alone." Except I reject the rest of the proposition, that we need "every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." Since nobody has magical powers to talk to God, any more than I do, I seek knowledge only from people who speak of reality. I get my "bread" from Scientific American and Philosophy Now. Science is bringing real answers to questions in all areas of inquiry. Philosophy is the ideal that religion sought to be, but could never achieve.

Philosophy means love of wisdom. Wisdom consists of absorbing the knowledge of those who came before you, and then adding your own. Those who claim to talk to God don't increase human wisdom because they don't add anything new to our knowledge. They just recycle the same old platitudes.

Handle-Adopted said...

Steamboat_Willey: "Except I reject the rest of the proposition, that we need "every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." Since nobody has magical powers to talk to God, any more than I do, I seek knowledge only from people who speak of reality. I get my "bread" from Scientific American and Philosophy Now."

I see better where you stand, or is that possible? We can't occupy the same space, yet... we may have commonly accepted truths. For that reason, I suppose the bread for me is that which we can't convey in langugage (any symbolic form).

And, I would agree, that we can not live on "bread" alone. We are driven to survive, and through exploration and curiosity, we have come to develope science and philosophy, building upon what seems to be a valid means to study reality.

However, I'm a cynic of language, and its viability in the search for truth, but... its what we have at the moment. Spoken/written symbolism, is nothing but a human by-product. We are the photocopiers of the universe, where the universe is the original. Copies, are never the "exact" representative of the original. Not only is there that limitation, but everyone's copier lense (perceptions), are different, which accounts for the myriad of different descriptions of the same original.

We are caught between an ever-changing original, and the attempt to linguistically express our perceptions of that reality to others. In that aspect, I perceive the "origin" of art to be the ever-changing universe, and thus... all that comes afterwards must also follow to be they by-products of mother "art". As such, I perceive science as the product of "art", in the form of human artistic expression/creation.

Perhaps, the Universe or bread doesn't really change, it just rearranges the same substance. One hydrogen atom and two oxygen give us a water molecule. We call it a water molecule linguistically, yet, we are expressing nothing but the proximity of two atoms to eachother by distance/bonding - nothing truly created or destroyed. Does one water molecule make something wet? No, thus we create more names to express how many of these molecules exist, from fog, to rain.

I must admit, I rarely read an entire book of anything. Most books can be summed up in less than ten pages, to include most dissertations. I'd love to see research and books categorized by philosophical genre, it would make life so much easier. However, if this were the case, I'd never really have a need to read the bible, as it would fall under metaphysics, for the most part.

The fact that I can artistically manipulate the biblical words to describe something different, further removes the words from its original context (which can never really be known, except to the original author).

I have come to accept that the truest reality we have, is in the immediate present, where we are at the truest personal revelation of reality. Beyond that horizon, we move into doubt and feeble attempts to express the past.

I don't want to convey that I read only for research purposes... I do enjoy artistic expression, its a dance I have with the universe, mother art. Humanity is very productive, in that manner, those cultures who have found more materials to paint with, have outpaced the others, not by lack of ingenuity, but lack of proximity to the pastels.

As well, I find it intriguing that the U.S. population hasn't really boomed, as our modernization capacity increases. However, those countries who have the most impoverished cultures, are having population booms. Perhaps, it gives comfort to those who feel they are going to leave the planet and have no heir to their DNA.

Well, this has been a diverse conversation, so, I'll leave it there, before my mind finds some more information to play with.

steamboat_willey said...

HA:

I guess I'm not as cynical as you about language. I also studied communication, and I believe we can find shared meaning with people from this age or any other. We have all faced the human condition. Ex-Christians come to this site looking for like-minded others. We find supportive others using shared language.

I know we all see events from different angles and relative locations in space-time. I don't think that completely destroys meaning. A concept is still a concept. It includes all of the attributes of the objects it refers to. Language can be successfully used to describe those attributes and test procedures for expected behavior of the entities.

Language can also adequately describe past events and meanings. The artistic manipulation of words, removing them from their context is exactly what most readers do with the Bible. They use the "proof text" method, jumping around from book to book, considering it homogenous. However, it contains many different types of literature written for many different reasons in different settings.

We learned to distinguish between devotional truth and theological truth. One is where you open the book, read a verse in the morning, and then say, "Isn't that nice," and dwell on the words all day. The other uses historical critical method to infer meaning.

There is a lot of Biblical expertise at this site. I think some people who come in don't care about it though. They only learned the devotional part and are trying to separate their emotions from it. Higher criticism, which points out the incongruities of the original message, may be irrelevant to somebody who says, "Well, I never believed that part anyway."

Thomas Jefferson took a pair of scissors to the Bible, but still called himself a Christian. I've done the opposite, which is why TNT offended me. I don't believe the fundamental message of the Bible, but believe it should be quoted honestly and disputed logically. I always preferred theology over devotion.

Handle Adopted said...

SW: "I guess I'm not as cynical as you about language. I also studied communication, and I believe we can find shared meaning with people from this age or any other."

What you are assuming, is that you can find shared patterns that exist from one era to another. Further, that given similar conditions, created by ebbing universal energy flows, humanity in fact will in some measure symbollically represent these conditions via syntax. As well, when future generations are subject to such patterns, they can reflect back to written syntax, and see these patterns, which can in-turn be used to cognitively form an opinion - called "meaning".

I say energy flows, because if you study physics along with communication, as well as physical science, and a few other fields, you would understand that all "form" in the universe is based on such ebbing energy flows - energy flows that when slowed down long enough, allows matter to gather and bond together, thus rendering a negative imprint of such patterns of energy flows - again... "form". Philosophers have studied "form" since ancient history in the context of aesthetics, epistemology, logic, and even metaphysics.

Per many scholars, the Pythagorean mathematicians, are credited with recognizing such recurring patterns, and providing a symbolic system to represent such "forms" - finally defined in context by Euclid in the Elements. We create such patterns symbollically, and define the axioms in order for us to "recognize" them again.

Now, if we need to go further in detail on "communication", let me know, pick a language, pick a symbology, it really doesn't matter, in the end, we are talking about pattern recognition, codification via symbols/syntax, and decryption/reflection based on cognitive knowledge - again, decryption becoming our bridge to an "opinion" we call "meaning".

Now, it appears I don't doubt that ebbing energy flows exist, here we are, and our Universe is still breaking itself down and recreating itself, like living tissue on a human body, and it hasn't hardened up like a suspended crystalline object at absolute Kelvin - call it old age, change, keeps our Universe alive.

We as humanity give "meaning" to those patterns, its a human trait. The meaning you attribute to an aesthetically pleasing starfish, may be much different than the meaning Euclid or the Pythagoreans understood.

Could you "share" your meaning with another person? No, you can understand possibly what it "meant" to another person by syntax, you will never truly know their "experience". In short, what you can share, is the syntaxed form of "knowledge", not "meaning", as meaning is synthesized from personal experience, based on individually unique environmental conditions, which we use to cognitively color our Universe.

SW: "We have all faced the human condition. Ex-Christians come to this site looking for like-minded others. We find supportive others using shared language."

Actually, SW, what we share is "knowledge", perhaps you should research a little further in the field of communication, it would help tremendously.

Let me attempt to re-symbolize... We have all faced the human condition - we can't escape it. Ex-Christians come to this site for many reasons, and I couldn't possibly know all the reasons. What many find comforting, me included, is that through all of the uniqely individual experiences in life, we have come to certain common personal truths.

We share "knowledge", when we write, not "meaning", and certainly not "experience". Meaning is left up to the individual, unless we are going down the road to manipulation/coercion. Language, can not capture ones' true being, some are more skilled at communication than others, but still, language reflecting the most minute of details in a persons' experience, is akin to gisting... not remotely close to objective reflection.

We find supportive others, who use language to the best of their ability to "provide comfort", yet, its how we apply "meaning" to those words that brings about an inner peace. It still, requires us, to cognitively/internally form what we "believe" is "meant" by those comforting words - its an approximation, at best. Again, what does "love" mean to you? This question brings about an emotion, why? Because, you must reflect back to a moment in your life/experience, in which to color that word, in order to make sense of the language. Love to you, is the experience "you" have had, and have given meaning.

SW: "I know we all see events from different angles and relative locations in space-time. I don't think that completely destroys meaning."

Meaning again, is human dependent, and specifically experience dependent. Meaning is only destroyed, when a person loses their personal ability to cognitively create subjective meaning. However, they can't transfer "meaning", they can transfer "knowledge", its up to the Individual to create meaning.

SW: "A concept is still a concept."

What does "Pi" mean to you? A concept is "knowledge", not "meaning". Pi may never mean anything to me, to any great useful extent, as I may only accept that reality is the experience of temporal approximations, of which I find myself a part of. Perhaps, I may find academic meaning, behind the historical significance of such a concept, but "I" assign that meaning.

SW: "It includes all of the attributes of the objects it refers to."

So... you suggest a single word like "joy" can accurately reflect "all" the attributes of a persons' human physiology which renders them to that state of "being"? Care to describe in one word, what apple pie tastes like? Of course, without using the words apple pie, as we all know not all apple pies are the same, right.

SW: "Language can be successfully used to describe those attributes and test procedures for expected behavior of the entities."

You appear to be going back towards physics. Language is used to pass "knowledge", not "meaning"... and its a poor substitute for empirical/material evidence. Knowledge can be reflected in a recipe book, and can be used to perform certain functions in order to create some level of predictability, but what that "means" to someone is subjectively understood. And, language can't possibly describe "all" attributes in a baking event, there is a point, that the ebbing energy flows of the Universe is affecting the outcome, even if in such a minute manner, if environmental conditions remain somewhat stable at the mid-level energy states.

SW: "Language can also adequately describe past events and meanings."

The transferrence of "knowledge", yet, when Language is used to transfer "meaning", it loses its potency. Language as knowledge, even historical knowledge, is meant to be "tested", using "other" writings, archeological artifacts, etc., language alone is only the beginning for many, in the search for meaning.

Also, the "meaning" you attribute to the language of the past, does not necessarily reflect the "authors'" meaning. You must take that authors' words, as "knowledge"... and then, in your own personal way, derive meaning from it.

SW: "The artistic manipulation of words, removing them from their context is exactly what most readers do with the Bible."

In context, means to test the words in the scripture, based on some "standard"... and... what would that standard be, per se. We each define that standard, in order to derive meaning, we are, in short, the origin of truth by which we measure our universe.

SW: "They use the "proof text" method, jumping around from book to book, considering it homogenous. However, it contains many different types of literature written for many different reasons in different settings."

The "knowledge", that was given syntax, shows internal conflict within the bible as a whole. Perhaps, because the "knowledge" level of each author, was slightly different. What "meaning" would you ascribe to such a statement?

SW: "We learned to distinguish between devotional truth and theological truth. One is where you open the book, read a verse in the morning, and then say, "Isn't that nice," and dwell on the words all day. The other uses historical critical method to infer meaning."

Its innate to infer meaning. What you are asserting, is that some christians aren't critical of the varying "levels" of "knowledge" found within the bible. For some, when a christian says a "god" wrote the bible, they expect to see a concise, and consistent syntax, equally representing an omniscient being with unwavering "knowledge" - no conflicts. For some, the disparity of the "premise" of "divinely written" creates doubt, and meaning becomes lost in context to that premise.

Still, there are others, who chalk up that inconsitency of knowledge, as the intentional act of a god, to test the faith of his followers. They premise everything on "god", is real, and there is no challenge to that premise, thus, all answers lead to "god".

Testing the "knowledge", using comparative analysis via historical records, artifacts, etc., is "meaningful" to some... not necessarily others. Its a personal choice, what one does with that knowledge.

SW: "There is a lot of Biblical expertise at this site. I think some people who come in don't care about it though. They only learned the devotional part and are trying to separate their emotions from it. Higher criticism, which points out the incongruities of the original message, may be irrelevant to somebody who says, "Well, I never believed that part anyway."

I agree, when referencing historical syntax as knowledge, two people must agree on the terms of their studies, in order to derive meaning. I dare say, that many christians don't require "study", and "comparative analysis" to find "meaning".

"Blind faith", to many christians, is all that matters, and "faith" doesn't require the test of "knowledge" to derive "meaning". I disagree with that statement when its used by christians, because they require "knowledge", in order to suggest they have "faith". Thus, "faith", requires "knowledge", its just a matter of understanding how different people assign meaning to that knowledge.

SW: "Thomas Jefferson took a pair of scissors to the Bible, but still called himself a Christian. I've done the opposite, which is why TNT offended me. I don't believe the fundamental message of the Bible, but believe it should be quoted honestly and disputed logically. I always preferred theology over devotion."

I may agree with you, on how we test "knowledge", but I will derive meaning individually, and from my synthesis of information, I may in-turn provide a different prespective or knowledge to others, who will in turn do the same. I too, choose to look at all the historical documents, not just of the bible, but of the era in which it was written, as there were many more books written with the same type material, from different perspectives, because the authors held different levels of knowledge. Some denied the divinity of a Jesus, others stated he never existed, others went on to say Jesus was wicked.

We each devote ourselves to our standards for understanding truth. I don't believe there is "one" fundamental "message" of the bible, there are different authors with different levels of knowledge, thus, many different messages. The OT has a diametrically oppositional message than the NT. The OT teaches exclusive religion in favor of the Jews, and the NT embraces a Universal God who gives salvation to "all" people who will receive his name. There are "messages" within "messages" in the bible. One could historically follow a timeline, and watch the internal messages morph over time.

Okay, I understand you have your "meaning" assigned to the bible, and so did Thomas Jefferson, but, obviously Thomas accepted the premise of "god" prior to reading his bible, and with that "knowledge", forced his bible to conform to his belief - with scissors.

You have chosen not to force your environment to conform to your belief, you accept it just the way it is presented based on the argument of the christian tradition, all passages included.

You and Thomas have different standards for discerning the validity of "knowledge", and thus, each of you give meaning to that "knowledge" differently.

My standards for discerning the validity of "knowledge" is quite different than many I work with, yet, I am able to discuss with them cogently about my standards. I transfer the "knowledge" I have to them, whether it "means" something to them, is entirely up to them. Can you use language to describe what peppermint tastes like to someone who has never been exposed to it? Language is based on experience.

TNT may well not be the "best" way to challenge the standards by which christians measure knowledge... however, not all christians have the same "experience" that they have used to create their "standards" for truth. Thus, there is no one silver bullet answer to challenge a christians' faith, to challenge a christians' faith, is to challenge their interpretation of "experiences" they have had in their lives. Many aren't willing to revisit their past in order to validate their knowledge, for a myriad of psychological reasons.

Hopefully, this knowledge presented in syntax, will mean something to you, but that's your decision, and of course, I didn't transfer any experience to you, but, you will use your experience to test my knowledge. Still, language requires equity of experience, to be useful, and approximations are the best we have.

steamboat_willey said...

HA:

I'm sorry. It's been a few years since I received my bachelor's degree in communication. Since you know so much about the subject, perhaps you can refresh my memory.

"Meaning is not in words, but in people." This is a famous saying, but it's not a direct quotation of the theorist who is credited with it.

Who was it?

Handle Adopted said...

SW: "HA: I'm sorry. It's been a few years since I received my bachelor's degree in communication. Since you know so much about the subject, perhaps you can refresh my memory.

"Meaning is not in words, but in people." This is a famous saying, but it's not a direct quotation of the theorist who is credited with it. Who was it?"

Other than the millions who have this philosophy, and an entire philosophical school of thought (logical positivists), I suppose I could pull one up.

Answer: Ludwig Wittgenstein

If you would like a list, then let me know. By the way, I thought this thread was dead, until your memory loss.