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9/19/2007                                                                                       View Comments

Stop looking at imperfect people; look at 'GOD' instead

Sent in by Laughing Buddha

I am sick and tired of one of the most worn-out arguments that Xtians use when they are dealing with people who don't believe anymore:
Stop looking at imperfect people; look at 'GOD' instead.

Guess what, people? I don't want to stop looking at people. Your Bible says you are supposed to be 'salt' and 'light' in the world. Your Bible says you are supposed to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Your Bible says you are to love your enemies and turn the other cheek.

In short, it's not my fault that there are all these commands in your Bible that your people can't follow. You are supposed to be, in every area of your life, what Jayzus commands. You are supposed to be the ones demonstrating for the rest of the world what 'life in Christ-almighty' is supposed to be like. You are supposed to be showing the world what a little taste of the 'kingdom of god' is all about. Don't, please, for pity sake, cry to me that 'people are imperfect.'

Straight up, no need for grease, you are all liars. You told us that some ghostie was dwelling in us and making it possible for us to live a supernatural life you claim is available to us. When did I ever, EVER attend a church where there wasn't freaking drama and bullshit to wade through, up to my god-damned knees?
Well, sniff, sniff... the Bible says the early church had problems too...

Whoop-dee-f%#*ing-doo... Now you're blaming the apostles, who obviously couldn't keep shit straight either? You know who I blame for acting like a religious asshole all the years that I did? ME. That's who.

I don't blame anyone else... I swallowed the Xtian bullshit line and I rammed it down everyone else's throats, too. I marginalized and rejected people who lived differently than I, all because I had deluded myself into thinking that I was living differently than them. What a crock.

From now on, NO, I won't stop looking at the clowns who populate your little brainwashed zoo in the name of your Jayzus. When you can finally show love without condemnation, trust without conditions or sideways glances, and faith without ridiculous set-in-concrete dogmas, then I will leave you alone. Till then, your sorry asses are on display for the whole world to see, and no pope or pastor is gonna explain away the fact that millions of people are fed up with your hypocrisy.

Where has your god-da-fodder, Jayzus H. Chrysanthemum and the ghostie 'trinity' been? I know one thing for sure... REAL friends don't let friends get their asses kicked without jumping in, and TRUE friends wouldn't let you be such fake liars without calling you on it. Maybe Jaysuz did to you what you did to us... turned around and walked away. Maybe, just maybe... I'm more of a friend to you than your Jayzus is... at least I'm sticking around and telling you the truth.

93 comments:

mike said...

Awesome post and to the point!

To christians, we have looked to God also and he has left us wanting. Why? Because all the promises and hoopla of the christian faith does not pan out in real life.

Awesome post man!

computer said...

You can look to St. paul who says in 1 Cor 4:16 "Therefore I urge you to imitate me." or Mother Theresa, St. Therese, Father Damien, Henriette Delille, Father Solanus Casey, Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez, Pope John Paul II. The list goes on and on.
As you look at the lives of these and many other people you will see God at work in their lives and through there lives changing them into the loving people God intended for their and all of our lives

Carl K. said...

Ah, yes. Mother Theresa. The saint in process who tended sick people in her hospice because "it was God's will that they were sick and would die", rather than send them to the hospital up the street where they could have been treated and cured.

Now there's a saint.

Lorena said...

" You can look to St. paul who says in 1 Cor 4:16 "Therefore I urge you to imitate me.""

Are you kidding? Imitate Bible-Paul? A women hater, bitter, self-righteous individual who didn't know how to work with other people?

No thanks!

Train'd 'n Ordain'd said...

>> I marginalized and rejected people who lived differently than I, all because I had deluded myself into thinking that I was living differently than them. What a crock. <<

I agree. It is a crock not to be honest with yourself. But just because you deluded yourself, does not mean that we are deluding ourselves. One should not universalize one's own experience.

>> When you can finally show love without condemnation, trust without conditions or sideways glances, and faith without ridiculous set-in-concrete dogmas, then I will leave you alone. <<

How many of us must adhere to your conditions? If one does, will that suffice? Do all need to?


>> REAL friends don't let friends get their asses kicked without jumping in, and TRUE friends wouldn't let you be such fake liars without calling you on it. Maybe Jaysuz did to you what you did to us... turned around and walked away. <<

Sounds like somebody in your church experience (a)let you get your ass kicked without jumping in to your defense, (b)let you be a fake liar without calling you on it and (c)turned around and walked away from you.

That doesn't mean that all Christians do this. You are again universalizing your experience and judging us all based upon those experiences. Surely you see how this is not rational.

>> Imitate Bible-Paul? A women hater, bitter, self-righteous individual who didn't know how to work with other people? <<

1. Paul is not a woman hater. Your (and others) misinterpretation of Paul leads you to believe this, but you are wrong.

2. Paul was not bitter. He stated his many trials and also stated that he learned to be content "in all things."

3. Paul was not self-righteous. Paul offers more than anyone else in the Scriptures a rationale for the righteousness of Christ such that he will not boast in anything but Him.

I don't think you are reading Paul very well.

trancelation said...

Computer:

I can also find socially beneficial behavior in non-Christians. Would you say this is God at work as well? I don't know, because you probably won't respond. What I can say is, Christians are wont to display 'good' behavior from others they consider Christians (usually those in a position of power above them, whom they may or may not be giving money to) and call it God at work. But this is not proof of God at work. The Bible does not say this is God at work. I demand Christians show me a verse wherein it states that God is directly at work through a person when they perform socially acceptable behavior.

.:webmaster:. said...

T&O: Paul wasn't self righteous? "Imitate me" sounds a bit bold to me. And the way he denigrated James (Jesus' brother and the leader of Christianity), and all the apostles "according to the flesh" was pretty damned self-righteous, too. He actually considered his experience on the road to Damascus as more authoritative than the men who lived with Jesus. He was right -- they were wrong. Read Galatians again sometime. I think you are missing a few things.

"And if anyone love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed!" -- Paul.

darthwonka said...

Whoa. Slow down there christians. I really don't care about 'Paul' or whoever wrote any of that BS.

First and foremost.. All truth is Gods truth.

Prove to me that the imitation-leather bound book you have in front of you is the infallible word of god as it is claimed. difficulty: use external resources.

I know that the bible has been modified and does not even represent the BS that was originally written in it. Therefore, it is fallible, not the words of god.

Read 'Misquoting Jesus' by Bart Erhman. He is an authority on the origins of the new testament scriptures. Then.. come back and join us. You will be welcomed.

Train'd 'n Ordain'd said...

Hey! Don't call me T&O. That sounds too close to T.O. who is a great football player but a total jerk! : ) How 'bout T'nO? : )

>> "Imitate me" sounds a bit bold to me. <<

How is 'imitate me' not merely the words of a discipler? If I disciple somebody - or let's say I am a public speaking coach - am I not justified in saying 'imitate me'?

Paul said two interesting things:

1. "I am the least of the apostles and am not fit to be called an apostle because I persecuted the church of God."

2. "But by the grace of God, I am what I am."

Paul never claims his own righteousness as either efficacious or laudable. He is humble to the core.

>> And the way he denigrated James (Jesus' brother and the leader of Christianity), <<

>> and all the apostles "according to the flesh" was pretty damned self-righteous, too. He actually considered his experience on the road to Damascus as more authoritative than the men who lived with Jesus. He was right -- they were wrong. Read Galatians again sometime. I think you are missing a few things. <<

In Galatians Paul speaks of opposing Peter's hypocrisy that occurred after some of James' men came to Peter. No problem there. Paul was correct. The issue that Paul is addressing was a key issue in the early Church.

Perhaps I am not understanding the issue you are addressing? Could you provide some references that I can look up? I don't want to argue based on assumptions of what you are saying.

Regards,
T'nO

Train'd 'n Ordain'd said...

>> Prove to me that the imitation-leather bound book you have in front of you is the infallible word of god as it is claimed. difficulty: use external resources. <<

I could use the same methods used by Classicists - and I do - to demonstrate the reliability of the Scriptures, that is that the current Greek NT is a reliable facsimilie of the original, though the autographs are unavailable.

>> I know that the bible has been modified <<

It has been modified, but that does not make it unreliable. In fact, we know when and how it was modified and that knowledge helps us go back before any modification to arrive at what was most likely the original.

>> and does not even represent the BS that was originally written in it. <<

Actually, it does represent the original very faithfully - at least as far back as the earliest MSS that we have, which are in the first Century.

>> Read 'Misquoting Jesus' by Bart Erhman. He is an authority on the origins of the new testament scriptures. Then.. come back and join us. You will be welcomed. <<

Bart Erhman - I believe at Chapel Hill - and not himself a Christian since he was at Wheaton - and then probably not even - and I have had conversations via email and there are MANY problems with his interpretations. Though some would consider him 'an authority,' I consider him mistaken on many points. He is hardly the authority that you might think.

darthwonka said...

==Bart Erhman - I believe at Chapel Hill - and not himself a Christian since he was at Wheaton - and then probably not even - and I have had conversations via email and there are MANY problems with his interpretations. Though some would consider him 'an authority,' I consider him mistaken on many points. He is hardly the authority that you might think.==

Since when does someones religious affiliation equate to expertise?

Well.. How about the bible in front of you. Look at the footnotes and the [[ ]] sections. It will say things like 'This portion of text does not appear in the earliest and most reliable manuscripts'. I recommend going through and marking out with a dark pencil all of such verses.. It completely alters the message. Fascinating.

I would love to hear of your own criteria for determining a correct interpretation and how you have personally come to validate the compilation of books.

What authors do you turn to for guidance? How are they more knowledgeable than scholars like Dr. Ehrman? Keep in mind, much of what Dr. Erhman writes about is actually common knowledge -- just dismissed and invalidated by many for a variety of their own reasons and self interests.

Josephus, the 'historian', is said to have written about him. But he was born after Jesus supposedly died. He also documented the life of Hercules.

The evidence only suggests that these documents exist. It does not verify that they are authentic copies since all we have is a genealogy of copies of copies of copies and no originals and no verifiable authors.

No doubt that a lot of thought and effort went to making up these stories.. Mostly to make it sound credible and to make the christian god better than all of the roman gods. Did you not notice that all of the 'miracles' described in the bible have been done and documented by all of the various roman gods?

All truth is Gods truth. If it isn't true, it isn't gods truth.

Train'd 'n Ordain'd said...

>> Since when does someones religious affiliation equate to expertise? <<

It equates with the validity of one's conclusions because it equates with one's assumptions. Erhman's writings are replete with faulty, a priori biases. Obviously, there is no pure theology. Everybody comes to all areas of study with biases. Bart is no exception and he makes more mistakes than you can shake a stick at.

>> Well.. How about the bible in front of you. Look at the footnotes and the [[ ]] sections. It will say things like 'This portion of text does not appear in the earliest and most reliable manuscripts'. I recommend going through and marking out with a dark pencil all of such verses.. <<

I know where they are and they are incredibly few. There are two major passages of such kind: John and Mark. The rest are verses here and there and let me explain what is happening when you see that:

One text family has one rendering while another has a different one. The translators of - say the NIV or the NASB - are making a choice as to the one they prefer for various reasons. To be fair to alternative renderings they offer that there are other possibilities. I can look at my Greek NT and determine every single verse where such a thing occurs and determine why it's there. It isn't that difficult a task.

>> It completely alters the message. Fascinating. <<

Theoretically. An instance is places where "son" of God is left out of newer translations while present in such places as the KJV, which did not have available newer MSS. We can determine that in those places "son" was not likely present, but in other places it is. But the important thing there is that the doctrine of the "son of God" is not held in the balance because of this. That doctrine is clear regardless of its placement in the disputed passages.

>> I would love to hear of your own criteria for determining a correct interpretation and how you have personally come to validate the compilation of books. <<

Simple, though complex. The process of textual criticism (the same basic process of the non-biblical Classicist) helps us determine what words, verses, passages are most likely orginal - or at the very least the most ancient of witnesses. We see emendations occur down the road in various text families, but they are easily accounted for. The process by which one option is chosen over another is also quite simple.

An example: (lectio dificilior) - (note: MS (a) and MS (b) are in the same text family in this example): if a reading in the earlier MS (a) muddies the waters, it is to be preferred to the later MS (b) because the clarity offered by MS (b) probably reflects the desire on the part of a scribe to "fix" the passage according to his knowledge of doctrine or for other various reasons.

>> What authors do you turn to for guidance? <<

All are worthy to be read. Biases are important to understand going in. For instance, your average Harvard, Princeton, Chapel Hill scholar rejects the supernatural due to a priori biases against such. Your average Evangelical scholar starts from a different place - accepting the words at face value and critiquing from there.

>> Josephus, the 'historian', is said to have written about him. But he was born after Jesus supposedly died. He also documented the life of Hercules. <<

That Josephus was born after Christ isnt' terribly relevant. He is merely one ancient historical testimony. Tacitus is another.

But here is one thing that should be realized. Jesus was an intinerant preacher - among many others - whose significance was very local. We should not expect that much contemporary notice of his activities. He was not the talk of the world that He is today.

>> The evidence only suggests that these documents exist. It does not verify that they are authentic copies since all we have is a genealogy of copies of copies of copies and no originals and no verifiable authors. <<

See above. If you believe in any of the personages of the ancient world, you must do the same with Jesus because the way we determine His existence is the same as we determine any others. In fact, take any historical figure. The same holds true.

>> No doubt that a lot of thought and effort went to making up these stories.. Mostly to make it sound credible and to make the christian god better than all of the roman gods. <<

If so much thought and effort went into making up these stories, why are there so many embarrassing additions such as the sins of various disciples? The opposite would, in fact, be expected. What you see in the NT is not a sterilized version of history. The good, bad and ugly are all present.

>> Did you not notice that all of the 'miracles' described in the bible have been done and documented by all of the various roman gods? <<

The OT also records that non-believers in Yahweh had miraculous powers, as well. This is basic Christian theology.
All truth is Gods truth. If it isn't true, it isn't gods truth.

.:webmaster:. said...

References are from Galatians:

1:1 Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead.

In other words, Paul is asserting his authority is magical, unlike the man-chosen apostles of the Jewish Church. He is better, in his mind.

1:6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.

Right, James and those he sent are perverting the Gospel. But Paul, who never met Jesus in the flesh, was never chosen by Jesus in the flesh, and who didn't even bother linking up with the original apostles knows better than they do on how things are supposed to be run. Uh huh. It looks to me like you aren't really comprehending what is going on here. Paul is building his version of his new religion. James and Peter are wrong, and Paul is right? Why would you assume that? Because of the other Pauline epistles? Because of the Acts of the Apostles, which was obviously written by a Paul follower?

"1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!"

Well, that's something! Paul is asserting more authority for his message than angels, apostles, or anyone or anything! And those who came from James, the LEADER OF THE CHURCH, should be eternally condemned. Nice.

" 10Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ."

In other words, "I don't care what James or Peter say -- I'm right and they are wrong. Listen to me!

Anyway, the missive goes on and on that vein. Paul is this, Paul is that. Paul this. Paul that. Everyone else is a loser in comparison to mighty Paul.

Listen T&O, your blinders are showing. If some preacher started talking like this Paul, that his authority was superior to the apostles according to the flesh, based on his spiritual experiences, would you follow him? If not why not?

Poltergoost said...

When are these christians going to quit using the excuse, "Not All Christians Act Like This"?

I will remind every christian idiot who posts on here, that it is "YOUR BIBLE" that we are basing most of these truths on about your christian faith being nothing but a lie. It's not based on what some dumb ass christian did or what they said.

There are many of us who post on here who have taken your "So Called Truths" from your "Bible" and applied them to our lives in the past, and it didn't work out. It had nothing to do with "what other christians did or said" it had to do with your book "The Bible" being a bunch of Bullshit.

Notice how christians like to put the blame along with their own irresponsibility on their own God with their own statements. Of course we have the typical overused statement, "God didn't do it Satan did it" or "It's all because of man's free will", which is nothing but 2 lame excuses that christians come up with.

I guess then that God is not powerful enough to stop Satan, and it seems that God is not powerful enough to have control over man's free will. Just like he wasn't powerful enough to bring man back to himself without sacrificing a man on the cross. Wait a minute! That man (Jesus) was God. God committed suicide by having himself killed.

It's also our fault that all of these sins happened in the first place, even though none of us existed back then. So everyone who is living right now sinned, and we ate that fruit out of the "Garden of Eden" and I personally took nails and "Physically" nailed Jesus to a cross 2,000 years ago, even though I didn't live back during that time period. Right? *Rolls Eyes*

That is the reasoning behind what christian fundies believe.

As far as the men and apostles who were supposedly "Under God's Influence" or were "Inspired By God" when they wrote the bible, these same people are nothing but a bunch of dead rotten corpses lying in the ground with worms eating on their decaying bodies.

Doesn't matter what "The Bible Says" Quoting scripture does not mean shit to people like myself.
So those of you who quote scripture can shove the bible up your asses.

As far as the almighty "Apostle Paul" is concerned, he was a friggin' loser, who hated women. He probably couldn't get dates with women. Or he was mad because his girlfriend walked out on him, because she didn't let her control him with his "Chauvenistic" attitude.

Most christians who post on here with their little "defense" have no idea what they are talking about.

The fact remains that Christianity is losing ground more and more everyday, and a lot of christians are starting to panic, because their precious Jesus has not come back to redeem them in this battle that they are continuing to lose here on planet Earth.

Thank Goodness for Secular Countries like Australia, where christianity is only around 3 percent.

It's no wonder that countries such as "Australia" have an educational system that is so much more further ahead than what the United States Educational System is. They don't rely on some Dumb Ass Mythical God. They believe in progress, and moving on in order to benefit mankind in ways that are practical.

I also praise every single "Human Secularist" who is out there.

Most christians who defend God by running their mouths and quoting scripture on a continuous basis would reject Jesus if they were ever really face any type of "Real Persecution" that involved physical torture. 99 percent of christians are nothing but mouth, and pure talk who don't know how to do nothing else but go around cramming their values down someone else's throat and beating their bibles.

Christians do a lot of talking (Bible Quoting) and "Talk Is Cheap" and christians do a lot of it.

If their God exists, then he is the only one who can prove he is real, and there is nothing that no 2,000 year old book or some christian can say or do to prove any different to me.

No christian or their 2,000 year old text has any credibility with me.

I rest my case.

mike said...

Ah Yes God is at work making Christians wonderful people.

Why is it that christians raise up a few rare individuals as an example of how great christians are?

Yet the divorce rate in the church is slightly higher then in the "real world". Pornography is running near rampant among ministers. Child abuse and molestation is becoming more and more the norm in churches.
Christians are sarcastic and mean and un-giving to the needy when it might hurt their lifestyle.
Yes God is doing a great work in his people!

Just because a few rare saints are doing something good does not mean that is the norm among Christians. If anything it is a rarity.

Telmi said...

Poltergoost,

Good stuff. Enjoyed reading your post. Keep it up.

Laughing Buddha (not at this moment, however) said...

Ok... here goes:

Computer: Don't EVER ask me to imitate the wafer-beggars in the Catholic Church's canon of 'saints'. Magician-priests with special powers to make dead-body-cookies and mystically interpret books belong in the fucking movies, not in any arena dedicated to benefiting mankind. By the way, any of the 'saintly' things those people have done have also been done by adherents to other religions and none at all, such as feeding the poor, caring for the sick, teaching the ignorant and on and on.

T&O (or T&A, or TWA, or TNT or whatever), you asked:

"How many of us must adhere to your conditions? If one does, will that suffice? Do all need to?"

DAMN straight, ALL need to, otherwise your super ghostie is sleepin' on the job. Your apost-hole 'John' says that anyone who does not love his brother is a liar and has not God. Period. Your Paulie-boy says you are to kick the disobedient gossip-mongers and self-righteous pricks OUT. There. Now, turn off the fucking whine-o-matic and go bring some god-damned integrity to your religion.
Another thing, T'n'O: Yes, in fact, I DID get my ass kicked emotionally a bunch of times. Are you happy now? Were you waiting with a little religious hard-on to see if I would break because you hit a touchy subject? Tough shit. Fact is, friend, that if I can't make some pretty safe statements about the genuineness of Xtianity from the vast wealth of experiences I've had, then there's a whole lot of other shit we can't assume, either, cause it's all done on a LOT less evidence:

Do you ASSUME that the cars stopping at that red light are all going to stop before they cross the intersection and ram you? NO ONE checks the cross-traffic every time, so we better not drive if we can't be sure.

Do you ASSUME that the registered sex offenders in your area are fucking sickos, no matter what rehab they may have had? Fine... you send your kids to their house. Fuck'd if I'd send mine, EVER.

Truth be told, going to a church and hoping to not get shit on again is a game of Russian Roulette, and, baby, I ain't stupid. Let someone else pull the fucking trigger; I've got a life to live and I'm not betting on your ghostie to show up anytime soon.

Train'd 'n Ordain'd said...

Webmast: Thanks. That is helpful so we are starting from the same page.

First, you believe the Paul believes himself to be superior to the other Apostles because while they were chosen by a 'man,' he, himself, was chosen by Jesus. In fact, Paul recognizes that they were all equally chosen by Jesus.

Paul is telling the Galatians that his authority is derived directly from Jesus and not the Apostles - not to place himself over and against the Apostles, but to place himself on the same plane - a legitimate Apostle, chosen by Jesus just as they were.

Second, the MAIN issue in the early Church (Acts 15) centers on "what does a Gentile need to do to become a Christian." The Judaizers taught that one needed to first become a Jew and then come into "the Way."

Peter agreed initially with Paul's argument that fellowship with Gentiles was acceptable, but after some came "from James" he stopped doing so. Paul admonished Peter that he was in the wrong - for the theological statement he makes in 2:16. Therefore, whether those who "came from" James were sent by him or were merely those who associated with him, they were still wrong and Paul addresses it.

You have as much right to disagree with Paul's ultimate position as Paul had to disagree with Peter's. If I disagree with another that does not make me proud or haughty. It simply makes puts me in disagreement and such can still be done from a place of humilty.

For some reason you believe that Paul not having met Jesus "in the flesh" makes him less of an Apostle than the others. You're in good company. Some of the Galatians obviously believed that, as well, thus the need for Paul to assert that meeting Jesus at all is his source of authority - not when the meeting occurred. And yes, Peter and maybe James were wrong in believing that Gentiles first needed to be Jews in order to be Christians. Though you are free to disagree with that position.

By the way, I believe Paul is right based upon (a)my reading of Paul and his persuasive argumentation and (b)my knowledge of the OT.

Paul is definitely asserting his theological position and warns hid disciples that the theology he presented to them was the true and correct theology that nobody had the right to abrogate. This is the prerogative of an Apostle and we are free to disagree with his conclusions on the theology. So far the Church has not.

But again, your belief that this somehow makes Paul self-righteous or proud is not borne out by the facts. In fact, it is a faulty argument. It seems to stem from a belief you have that for one person to say that his position is the correct position is a proud position or haughty position.

If I say it is always better to feed the poor than to ignore the poor, does that assertion make me proud? If I say that nobody else can possibly be right and if anyone tries to tell you the opposite, be assured that they are wrong and I am right - does this make my proud or haughty? In your eyes probably not, but only because you agree with me on that particular position. Where you disagree with me on a position you are likely to discount my assertion as proud. That is what you are doing with Paul.

You are subscribing terms to others "loser" etc. that Paul would not subscribe to them. He proposed a theological position that is correct and states that no matter who argues against it, they are wrong - as well they are. Free to disagree, but probably not to ascribe to Paul that which you do not know about him - his humility vs his pride. You are attempting what is called a "psycho-history" of Paul - a discipline in its infancy and fraught with peril.

I hope I was clear on that. Thanks for the discussion. I find you thoughtful and - somewhat - fair. : )

Now to others who ... not so much. : )

>> There are many of us who post on here who have taken your "So Called Truths" from your "Bible" and applied them to our lives in the past, and it didn't work out. <<

That would take some explication. What was tried that did not work out?

>> I guess then that God is not powerful enough to stop Satan, and it seems that God is not powerful enough to have control over man's free will. <<

First, he is powerful and has stated that Satan's powers are limited.

Second, for God to be "powerful enough to have control over man's free will" would create an oxymoron. If he exercised the power He surely has to override man's free will, it would cease to be free will. Free will is either free or it isn't. It can't be a combination.

>> Just like he wasn't powerful enough to bring man back to himself without sacrificing a man on the cross. <<

He can do it in any way He wanted, but He chose the OT way of sacrifice. There is an extensive theology behind the substitutionary death of Jesus, but suffice it to say that it isn't a matter of ability on God's part, but a matter of His will to do it in that way.

>> It's also our fault that all of these sins happened in the first place, even though none of us existed back then. <<

Not exactly. It isn't your fault, but the sin of Adam/Eve created a sinful, fallen world that everybody inherits.

>> That is the reasoning behind what christian fundies believe. <<

It may be the reasoning that the misinformed believe, but it is not Christian theology.

>> As far as the men and apostles who were supposedly "Under God's Influence" or were "Inspired By God" when they wrote the bible, these same people are nothing but a bunch of dead rotten corpses lying in the ground with worms eating on their decaying bodies. <<

There is no theology that I know of which requires those inspired to record God's words and deeds to have lived forever rather than decayed in the earth. I think that argument is fallacious in many ways.

>> As far as the almighty "Apostle Paul" is concerned, he was a friggin' loser, who hated women. <<

That is a misinterpretation of Paul. He places Priscilla before Aquila in almost all of his mentions of them because SHE was the leader of the two spouses, was more than Aquila responsible for instructing Apollos and he considered Junias (female) an apostle. I could go on regarding your misinterpretation of Paul and women, but it is an extensive issue. Suffice it to say you couldn't be more wrong. But you are in good company because many are confused.

>> The fact remains that Christianity is losing ground more and more everyday, and a lot of christians are starting to panic, because their precious Jesus has not come back to redeem them in this battle that they are continuing to lose here on planet Earth. <<

I have never heard nor seen in Christian print the idea that we are panicking for any of the reasons you state. But perhaps I should tell all my friends to start panicking? : ) Christianity is doing just fine. We are experiencing more growth in the non-Western world and more falling away in the Western world. Such are the ebbs and flows of life.

>> Thank Goodness for Secular Countries like Australia, where christianity is only around 3 percent. <<

You might check your numbers again. They are more in the range of 50%-65% depending upon source. But this is a trivial argument. Christianity isn't validated by its numbers and is not invalidated by them. No religion is for that matter.

>> Most christians who defend God by running their mouths and quoting scripture on a continuous basis would reject Jesus if they were ever really face any type of "Real Persecution" that involved physical torture. <<

You may be right. Persecution purifies the Church and makes people stand up and be counted. There are certainly those who don't take it very seriously and may "cultural" Christians more than "religious" Christians. The same is true of all religions.

>> I rest my case. <<

I doubt that. : )

(HELP: can someone tell me why I always have to type in the Word Verification twice to get through? Do I really get it wrong every time or is this an added security feature? Thx.)

Train'd 'n Ordain'd said...

Ooops. Skipped this one:

>> "How many of us must adhere to your conditions? If one does, will that suffice? Do all need to?"

DAMN straight, ALL need to, otherwise your super ghostie is sleepin' on the job. Your apost-hole 'John' says that anyone who does not love his brother is a liar and has not God. Period. Your Paulie-boy says you are to kick the disobedient gossip-mongers and self-righteous pricks OUT. There. <<

And so if all do - thus, perfection is achieved - then you'll come back? No. I don't see that happening. It's a straw man - Christians are just so...therefore I am not a Christian. That just won't cut it before God.

>> Another thing, T'n'O: Yes, in fact, I DID get my ass kicked emotionally a bunch of times. Are you happy now? <<

No, not happy. But it is almost axiomatic now that the angriest "ex-Christians" are those who were wronged. Yes, I've been wronged by other Christians, too - even a pastor. I just choose to disassociate with those who are not friendly to me. But I don't disassociate from Christ on their behalf. That's throwing myself out with the bathwater. Silly.

>> Fact is, friend, that if I can't make some pretty safe statements about the genuineness of Xtianity <<

But you are not. You are making statements about some Christians and generalizing that to Christendom. That is specious.

>> Truth be told, going to a church and hoping to not get shit on again is a game of Russian Roulette, and, baby, I ain't stupid. <<

So be a Christian in your own life not connected to a Church unless and until you can find a safe bunch. Disassociating from Christ only punishes you, not Christ.

I have heard many like you who come back to Christ say that they thought they were somehow punishing Christ by leaving in the same way that they might punish their parents by running away. Sorry but Christ is not punished by your departure. Saddened, yes, but not beaten down by you for it.

.:webmaster:. said...

T&O, Paul admits he only knows a mystical, magical, Jesus. He never knew Jesus, unlike the rest of the apostles.

All the rest of your apologetic on behalf of Paul is from Paul's mouth. Of course it is all supportive of him! You have been taught to see all this from one perspective, and you are completely blind to what is going on between the lines here. Why do you think Gnosticism took off in such a big way? Could it be because Paul taught that mystical union with Jesus was better than the weak religion of the flesh?

"He (Paul) proposed a theological position that is correct and states that no matter who argues against it, they are wrong - as well they are."

The reality is, without Paul's epistles and his apologetic story book of Acts, you'd have to theology at all. Jesus certainly is never credited with teaching Pauline theology. Paul is the real founder of the Catholic (Universal) Church and Paul's harsh rhetoric planted within that church the seeds and justification for anti-antisemitism.

You applaud Paul for standing up to Peter and resisting those sent from James. But we don't have Peter or James' side of the story, do we? We only have Paul's side. James and the original movement founded by the man Jesus fades unceremoniously into history.

Paul's mysticism, in part by his ability to communicate it, caught on, as we all know. Then, in the Fourth Century, the Roman Emperor Constantine makes a political move to unite his army. By that time the old gods were falling out of vogue, replaced by dozens if not hundreds of versions of the Jesus cult. Poor Constantine needed some unity. Everyone arguing over religion all the time was not in the best interest of a conquering Emperor. So, he ordered the clerics to get together and decide which version of this religion was the correct one, and he made that version the law.

All those Christians who didn't adhere to and accept the mandated "orthodox" beliefs and the "approved" Christian writings were denigrated as heretics, and hunted into extinction. Their books were burned, their memories erased. Fortunately Nag Hammadi preserved what "legal" Christianity tried to destroy.

When you are only hearing one side of a position, that side seems perfectly correct. I've heard both.

.:webmaster:. said...

"I have heard many like you who come back to Christ say that they thought they were somehow punishing Christ by leaving in the same way that they might punish their parents by running away."

I no longer believe in the mythology of a flying un-dead god-man who is really three persons but separate from the other two persons in a mystical and magical way. I for one do not think I am punishing anyone. I no longer believe this nonsense. Your assumptions are erroneous. Oh, and I am 49 years old. I could care less what my parents think about anything.

eel_shepherd said...

Trained 'n' Ordained asked:
"...can someone tell me why I always have to type in the Word Verification twice to get through? Do I really get it wrong every time or is this an added security feature?..."

Depends on how long it took you to type your post. Each of the word-verification words has a time limit on it, so that it doesn't become common knowledge for spammers. For one- or two-sentence posts, you will probably fall within the time limit window for that password, but for longer posts, the time will have expired for it and a new one will have taken its place. For slow typists like myself, that happens almost every time.

A handy tip: Periodically hit Ctrl-A to Select All, and then Ctrl-C to copy what you've typed so far. That way, if your browser acts up, or there is some glitch on the net, you can Ctrl-V paste it into NotePad or somewhere so that you don't have to retype the whole shootin' match all over again. Hope this helps.

Won't do much to bolster your theology though. There probably never was a Jesus, but if there was, he was just a guy.

Anonymous said...

That Paul was self-righteous and arrogant, especially given his spurious origins as an apostle, I accept as given. 14 out of the 27 books of the New Testament are attributed to Paul (although a good many of them were apparently written by Marcion...). He denounces the actions of Apostles who walked with Jesus for years, while he himself never even MET Jesus and spent quite some time persecuting his followers.

It´s enough to believe Paul was an active saboteur of Christianity... and he succeeded.

The least you can say is that EVEN THE FIRST GENERATION OF CHRIST´S FOLLOWERS, INCLUDING HIS INNER CIRCLE, could not even agree among each other. Pardon my French, but that is just fucking PATHETIC. Holy Ghost, my ass. Human opinions (ideals, if you insist).

Oh, and Paul not sexist? This Paul:

"I do not permit a woman to teach, nor have authority over a man, but she must remain silent."

?


-Leonard

Laughing Buddha said...

TO, you said:

"So be a Christian in your own life not connected to a Church unless and until you can find a safe bunch. Disassociating from Christ only punishes you, not Christ."

>>Well, your fundie friends and their Bahble tell me that you are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. It seems you Xtians have this church thing as pretty much a law. What you fail to see through your rose-colored glasses is that 'god' is never the one doing the judging. Xtianity handles that. That's why I don't want anything to do with him/it if he/it coincides with your view of him/it. He/it allows your people to act shitty in his/its name.

"I have heard many like you who come back to Christ say that they thought they were somehow punishing Christ by leaving in the same way that they might punish their parents by running away. Sorry but Christ is not punished by your departure. Saddened, yes, but not beaten down by you for it."

>>Now you're the one making the big assumptions. I don't believe I am punishing anyone, especially a flying Jewish zombie. I just don't want anything to do with this HUMAN endeavor known as Xtianity. To me, it's no different than if I didn't like a certain restaurant. The food here sucks; you eat it if you like it... I hate it.

By the way, when it comes to generalizations and so on, let me leave you with another analogy... I'm not nearly as pithy as others, but I'm a Buddhist, so I love analogies. Here's one:

A fire hose shoots water at an incredible pressure, enough to seriously injure or even kill a person if it were directed at them. Ergo, I do not let anyone even think about pointing one at me... I won't go somewhere where they would, either. Now, since I know what the fire-hose is capable of, would I be sane if I let someone point one at me while I HOPED and PRAYED that THIS ONE fire-hose MIGHT be the rational, caring, mentally-balanced one that WON'T hurt or kill me?

You guys regularly open the hose on others. I've seen and felt its effects. None for me, thanks; I've had enough.

Oh, and don't bother with the "Jesus isn't like that" crap. I've never met the guy. Save the "ooohh, you've never MET him!" argument, too. There is NO mystical Jayzus trying to 'speak' to my brain like a disembodied Jiminy Cricket. 'Gods' powerful enough to be undead and fly, but not powerful enough to appear and talk like a normal person are of no value to me. By the way, if you come back with, "but 500 people saw him alive"... I'll laugh till I puke. Can there REALLY have been NO redactions, reductions, removals and obfuscations of the truth in documents that YOUR holy priests use to justify their power? Ha. Ha ha. Hahahahahahahaha...

SpaceMonk said...

W'll Train'd n' Ind'ctr'nat'd Psych'ph'nt: "...That doesn't mean that all Christians do this. You are again universalizing your experience and judging us all based upon those experiences. Surely you see how this is not rational."

I think you missed the entire point of the post - he get's that already.

“>> What authors do you turn to for guidance? <<

All are worthy to be read. Biases are important to understand going in. For instance, your average Harvard, Princeton, Chapel Hill scholar rejects the supernatural due to a priori biases against such. Your average Evangelical scholar starts from a different place - accepting the words at face value and critiquing from there.”


No, no, no. Fuck the intellectual debate. Fuck the comparison of texts and authors and documents and references.
It makes me sick when christians think they’re proving something by getting all deep into the scholarship and textual criticism and the minute historical points.
Who cares if the documents are accurately translated or not?

Either way the content of those texts is still fairytale bullshit.
The theology of christianity is bullshit.
The historical setting is irrelevant.

It's okay for those who don't beleive in fairytales to debate such historical documents intelligently, in their own way, but fairytale believing christians can't do the same. Sorry.

So there may be proof for a historical preacher named Jesus who got 'mentioned by Tacitus'? There really was a 'Paul'? There really was a church at Ephesus, and Corinth, etc?
Irrelevant.

It doesn’t take an education or an ego to know that:
- People do not die then come back to life after 3 days.
- Virgins do not conceive.
- Eternal hell does not really exist.
- Snakes don’t talk, magic is not real, Satan is just a standard boogeyman, etc, etc.

No supernatural resurrection = no basis for christianity.

There's no solid irrefutable evidence for such a supernatural thing, therefore there's no moral obligation for me to accept it, or be held liable if I don't.

“But here is one thing that should be realized. Jesus was an intinerant preacher - among many others - whose significance was very local. We should not expect that much contemporary notice of his activities. He was not the talk of the world that He is today.”

Other things supposedly happened, on an historical scale, in the gospels that aren’t recorded in any other source, eg. the dates of reigns of the various rulers, the requirement for all people to return to their home cities for a census, the mass killing of the firstborn, the mass rising out of the graves of the dead at the crucifixion who then came into the city to talk with everybody(!)...
If any of these things really happened they would have been recorded by every historian in the region and talked about around the Empire.

“If you believe in any of the personages of the ancient world, you must do the same with Jesus because the way we determine His existence is the same as we determine any others. In fact, take any historical figure. The same holds true.”

As it does for mythical figures too… including all those other solar heroes who died and rose again at the winter solstice, bringing the promise of rebirth, new life, etc.

“If so much thought and effort went into making up these stories, why are there so many embarrassing additions such as the sins of various disciples? The opposite would, in fact, be expected.”

It’s called good story telling, myth making, hero worship. Everybody around the godlike hero is flawed …so they need to be saved by the saviour who saves.

I suppose they didn't go into the zodiacal solar hero mythology when you were being trained and indoctrinated at bible college...?

“He can do it in any way He wanted, but He chose the OT way of sacrifice.”

He could also have chosen some system of reincarnation where we get multiple chances to realise the ‘truth’, by which method everybody would eventually be saved
…but bible-god chose the one-shot-then-eternal-hellfire system, so fuck him.

He should have stayed in his state of total perfection and never have created us in the first place (except then he wouldn’t get that filtered elite corps of psychophants who will stroke his ego for the rest of eternity either…).

“There is no theology that I know of which requires those inspired to record God's words and deeds to have lived forever rather than decayed in the earth. I think that argument is fallacious in many ways.”

Have you not read:
"Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom…"?

“But you are in good company because many are confused.”

"God is not the author of confusion..."?

"No, not happy. But it is almost axiomatic now that the angriest "ex-Christians" are those who were wronged. Yes, I've been wronged by other Christians, too - even a pastor. I just choose to disassociate with those who are not friendly to me. But I don't disassociate from Christ on their behalf. That's throwing myself out with the bathwater. Silly."

Angry or not we've all been wronged, including you - by christianity itself.
It's a psychological mindrape that plays on our fears and hopes to keep us locked in its system of control.

Anger is the fear killer.

“Sorry but Christ is not punished by your departure. Saddened, yes, but not beaten down by you for it.”

If he’s so sad about it why does hell exist?
Oh, that’s right, he only wants the hardcore psychophants.

Train'd 'n Ordain'd said...

>> T&O, Paul admits he only knows a mystical, magical, Jesus. He never knew Jesus, unlike the rest of the apostles. <<

We'll just have to agree to disagree that meeting Jesus post-resurrection and being given that authority is equal to the Apostles who walked with Him.

I think it's ironic that you would pair Paul with Gnosticism since (a)you are so concerned about his writings and (b)nothing is in his writings to imply he has a Gnostic view of the Kingdom. Ask Elayne Paegels if Paul is a Gnostic.

Re: anti-Semitism from Paul’s writings:

Paul states that wishes that he, himself, could be cut off from Christ for the sake of his brothers. His passion for his people coming to know Jesus is clear. Whatever anti-Semitism arose out of a misunderstanding of Paul can hardly be placed on Paul.

Your comments on Constantine are worthy. As a political/military leader he needed unity. But it would be your a priori bias against him seeing a cross ('by this sign conquer') that would lead you down the road you've gone. He would also have been one of the few who could have called together such a group to determine what was heretical and what was not. A worthy endeavor to be sure.

>> When you are only hearing one side of a position, that side seems perfectly correct. I've heard both. <<

My master's degree tells me that I have heard both sides. : )

eel - thanks for the tips about the verification. That must be what was happening.

>> That Paul was self-righteous and arrogant, especially given his spurious origins as an apostle, I accept as given. 14 out of the 27 books of the New Testament are attributed to Paul (although a good many of them were apparently written by Marcion...).<<

Written by Marcion.... It's difficult to have rational dialogue with irrational statements like that. What elven fairy told you that was the case?

>> Oh, and Paul not sexist? This Paul: "I do not permit a woman to teach, nor have authority over a man, but she must remain silent." <<

Before I answer that, I'll give you some homework:
1. Determine why Paul chose the word he chose for "authority" instead of the one he did not choose and provide the semantic ranges for both.
2. Tell me something about where the letter was written to and what was happening in (a)that community and (b)the church community in that local that helps us understand the sentence.
3. Tell me something about the Greek tense for "I do not" that helps us undestand the sentence.

>> A fire hose shoots water at an incredible pressure, enough to seriously injure or even kill a person if it were directed at them. Ergo, I do not let anyone even think about pointing one at me... I won't go somewhere where they would, either. Now, since I know what the fire-hose is capable of, would I be sane if I let someone point one at me while I HOPED and PRAYED that THIS ONE fire-hose MIGHT be the rational, caring, mentally-balanced one that WON'T hurt or kill me? <<

Your personal experiences, though apparently tragic, are just that - your personal experiences. To externalize and universalize those experiences is not rational.

>> No, no, no. Fuck the intellectual debate. Fuck the comparison of texts and authors and documents and references. It makes me sick when christians think they’re proving something by getting all deep into the scholarship and textual criticism and the minute historical points.

Who cares if the documents are accurately translated or not? <<

Well, that's a rational position to take. Watch it or the other atheists will kick you out of the "we're the only ones who submit our lives to reason" club. : )

>> Either way the content of those texts is still fairytale bullshit.<<

That's an a priori bias. You must realize that such biases are intellectually inferior to accepting all ideas with an open and reasoning mind until you arrive at a conclusion.

>> It's okay for those who don't beleive in fairytales to debate such historical documents intelligently, in their own way, but fairytale believing christians can't do the same. Sorry. <<

You obviously have no training in historiography.

>> It doesn’t take an education or an ego to know that:
- People do not die then come back to life after 3 days. <<

No, it just takes an a prior bias against such beliefs. It takes a rational, thinking person to consider otherwise.

>> No supernatural resurrection = no basis for christianity. <<

True.

>> There's no solid irrefutable evidence for such a supernatural thing, therefore there's no moral obligation for me to accept it, or be held liable if I don't. <<

It depends upon what you want for proof. There is no acceptable proof for the existence of any ancient personage - unless you accept documentary evidence. And then if you choose to believe in Tacitus using all of the accepted means of such inquiry, then you must also be open to believing that Jesus existed.

>> Other things supposedly happened, on an historical scale, in the gospels that aren’t recorded in any other source, eg. the dates of reigns of the various rulers, the requirement for all people to return to their home cities for a census, the mass killing of the firstborn, the mass rising out of the graves of the dead at the crucifixion who then came into the city to talk with everybody(!)... If any of these things really happened they would have been recorded by every historian in the region and talked about around the Empire. <<
Perhaps. Not all ancient events show up in the records either because the records aren’t available or because it wasn’t as big a thing as we assume it must have been from our perspective. That is reading in to history what we want to see rather than letting history communicate something to us. It’s an argument from silence.

>> He could also have chosen some system of reincarnation where we get multiple chances to realise the ‘truth’, by which method everybody would eventually be saved
…but bible-god chose the one-shot-then-eternal-hellfire system, so fuck him. <<

He could have chosen many different methods. He chose the one that is your option and which establishes that connection with the Old Covenant that was pointing to Jesus.

>> “There is no theology that I know of which requires those inspired to record God's words and deeds to have lived forever rather than decayed in the earth. I think that argument is fallacious in many ways.”

Have you not read:
"Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom…"? <<

That verse does not "require those inspired to record God's words and deeds to have lived forever." It merely says that some won't live until they see a particular event, which they did post-resurrection.

>> "God is not the author of confusion..."? <<

No, but confusion exists because (a)Satan brings it and (b)sin brings it.

>> Angry or not we've all been wronged, including you - by christianity itself.
It's a psychological mindrape that plays on our fears and hopes to keep us locked in its system of control. <<

Yes, I've been wronged. But I didn't internalize it and curl up into a ball. I externalized it and recognized the sinful place from which it was coming - out there in that person(s). To internalize it is to become self-injurious after the fact and to universalize it to all of Christianity is to no longer be a rational, thinking person.

>> If he’s so sad about it why does hell exist?
Oh, that’s right, he only wants the hardcore psychophants. <<

Good cannot coexist with evil and evil requires the greatest of consequences.
Not all Evangelicals believe in hell. That is due to interesting reasons. I think there is plenty of room for debate on the matter.

boomSLANG said...

Spacemonk: Either way the content of those texts is still fairytale bullshit.

TnO's response: That's an a priori bias. You must realize that such biases are intellectually inferior to accepting all ideas with an open and reasoning mind until you arrive at a conclusion.

If it's an "a priori bias" to deduce that the claims/stories of the supernatural, or "meta-physical", are by definition, beyond the natural or physical universe, then we would literally have to investigate every single claim, no matter how ridiculous, because where the supernatural is concerned, anything could be "possible". ANYTHING.

So, sans investigation, dismissing Joseph Smith and his encounter with Marconi; dismissing Snow White and the Dwarfs; dismissing Jack's bean stalk, and on and on and on, would be "a priori bias", as well. Yet, amusingly, the Christian dismisses, a priori, all those things and many more, without thorough investigation; without keeping an "open and reasoning mind". Anyone see the double-standard?

TnO: No, but confusion exists because (a)Satan brings it and (b)sin brings it.

Of course, there's no such thing as either, but for sake of argument, those things, if they existed, would exist because, either a) biblegod allows it, or b) biblegod is too impotent to stop it. Either way, "He" has no business being "GOD".

The logic of Christianity is....is...well, there IS no logic.

stronger now said...

T&O:"All are worthy to be read. Biases are important to understand going in. For instance, your average Harvard, Princeton, Chapel Hill scholar rejects the supernatural due to a priori biases against such. Your average Evangelical scholar starts from a different place - accepting the words at face value and critiquing from there."

So would you admit that you have a priori bias against allah? How about Ra? How about all the other gods that man could believe in?

also:"Your personal experiences, though apparently tragic, are just that - your personal experiences. To externalize and universalize those experiences is not rational."

***One can look at supernatural claims in such a way as well. So what if someone a long time ago claimed to see superfantastical visions and attributed them to a deity. Could just be their brian gettin' out O' whack. If I don't have a similar experience and you cannot show evidence of such experiences then that leaves your claim of the supernatural realm on equal ground as anyone elses' claim. No different than tales of fairy magic and leprichans and invisible pink unicorns.



also:"I just choose to disassociate with those who are not friendly to me."

I did the same thing when jebus didn't help me when I needed him to. It wasn't other christians that did it to me.

And:" But it would be your a priori bias against him seeing a cross ('by this sign conquer') that would lead you down the road you've gone."

See ***above

T&O:"Good cannot coexist with evil and evil requires the greatest of consequences."

Isaiah 45:7
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

Booya!

Train'd 'n Ordain'd said...

>> If it's an "a priori bias" to deduce that the claims/stories of the supernatural, or "meta-physical", are by definition, beyond the natural or physical universe, then we would literally have to investigate every single claim, no matter how ridiculous, because where the supernatural is concerned, anything could be "possible". ANYTHING. <<

I'm ok with opening up all questions to all of the investigative processes at our disposal. Atheists are not. They pretend to be reasoning in their approach, but that is a ruse. It's an emotional and psychological masturbation meant to make themselves feel better about themselves vis-a-vis believers of any stripe.

Let all claims be subject to the same inquiries. Atheists don't start from that position. They start from "there is nothing that is not natural." Hence, they are absolutists on only those points which serve them the best.

>> for sake of argument, those things, if they existed, would exist because, either a) biblegod allows it, or b) biblegod is too impotent to stop it. Either way, "He" has no business being "GOD". <<

If God allows evil to exist, it is because He gave Adam/Eve - and us - free will to do as we please. So while He certainly can reverse anything we might do, he chooses to allow us liberty. And because of that - and because He has not made us puppets, but willing, free agents - He is worthy to be praised as God.

Anonymous said...

I can look at a christian and say that he is behaving in a manner that is inconsistent with his religion, but when an atheist is a jerk what standard is he violating?
A christian who lies is a hypocrite.
Is an Atheist who lies doing anything more thatn behaving in a manner that I find inconveinent or inappropriate?
R. T. C.

.:webmaster:. said...

"My master's degree tells me that I have heard both sides. : )"

Well, I think I understand why you don't see any arrogance in any of Paul's writings. ;-')

T&O, sometime when you are bored from waving your laurels about, count the number of times that Paul uses the word I in his writing. Even in the verses you quote, it's all about I, I , I, and I. And, a sentence where he calls for self-immolation doesn’t cancel out the sentences where he not-so-subtly calls for the eternal damnation of James’ messengers. Then, if you dare, please share the titles of some of the works you’ve studied or read that are critical of your religion. I’d be interested in the depth of your touted ministerial degree.

Now, as to the vision of a cross by a Roman emperor… Are you serious? Why in the world would you believe a ridiculous story like that? OMG!

There is/was many more versions of Gnosticism than just one. Surely you must know that. And Paul’s stories of meeting the un-dead Jesus all sound like hallucinatory, mystical meetings with a non-flesh ghostie thing. Have you ever wondered why Paul tells no stories about the real flesh and blood Jesus, except perhaps for the death meal? To Paul, Jesus is magic!

“I'm ok with opening up all questions to all of the investigative processes at our disposal. Atheists are not. They pretend to be reasoning in their approach, but that is a ruse. It's an emotional and psychological masturbation meant to make themselves feel better about themselves vis-a-vis believers of any stripe.”

You lost me on this one. Now I KNOW why you see Paul as humble. You have just attempted to lump an entire people group into a narrow channel of your own making. You have no idea what all atheists think, how they reason, ect. And, in case you forgot already, most of us here were believers, some for decades. Your self-righteousness is showing. Better cover it up.

”Let all claims be subject to the same inquiries. Atheists don't start from that position. They start from "there is nothing that is not natural." Hence, they are absolutists on only those points which serve them the best.”

Again with the “all” type statements. Fallacious. T&O, we all come into life as atheists. We don’t magically KNOW that a flying zombie is the savior of the world. We have to be taught that myth. If you were born in Iran, you’d be taught another myth, and undoubtedly -- based on your mindset -- you’d believe in Islam with all your heart and mind and think Christianity was a crock. We can’t logically begin from a position of “There are magical winged demons and angels floating around in the ecto-sphere even though there is absolutely no evidence for such creatures outside a leather bound book of magic spells on the table written by Bronze-Age men.” With that kind of thinking, T&O, there would be no way to determine reality. If I said an invisible tree was rooted in my front yard, one that can’t be sensed in any way, but that I know it is there… would you consider a conversation on the topic reasonable or rational? Wouldn’t you want some evidence for this magical tree?

“If God allows evil to exist, it is because He…” created the situation, scenario, and the subjects to guarantee evil would exist. That is, unless you are one of those who is a bit soft on omniscience. I mean, surely this great omnipotent guy could’ve come up with a better plan for his special little toys than setting in motion a system that HE KNEW would culminate with the vast majority of humanity writhing in eternal horrific agony in a lake of fire that HE CREATED to appease HIS WRATH, right? And don’t tell me I’m condemned because Adam (Atum in Egypt, btw – look it up) made the wrong choice. First of all, why in hell was that tree there? Why was Satan there? Why did this god act all surprised when what HE KNEW would happen, happened? Maybe because it’s a childish myth?

And this god you keep promoting. Did you say you had any evidence that the thing exists?

Finally, last shot at Paul:

Has it ever occurred to you that Jesus’ words are nearly irrelevant in Christianity and Paul’s have come to have the preeminence in nearly everything? I mean, isn’t that odd that the magical bastard son of a god is milk and Paul is meat?

liniasmax said...

Is it just me (probably not), but shouldn't something really so self-evident as the Christian God, with the truth once and for all delivered to the saints and all that, actually be a little more evident? Look at all the cyber-space above this comment spent defending the God who is so obvious that no one has an excuse to not believe in him (paraphrasing Paul), yet still requires so much mental hopscotch and keyboard-pecking to beieve in and defend. Shouldn't be like that, should it? Who are you oh man to blah blah blah... Arguing with an old book is like arguing with a wall...

.:webmaster:. said...

Another anonymous wrote: "I can look at a christian and say that he is behaving in a manner that is inconsistent with his religion, but when an atheist is a jerk what standard is he violating?
A christian who lies is a hypocrite.
Is an Atheist who lies doing anything more thatn behaving in a manner that I find inconveinent or inappropriate?
R. T. C."


An atheist who lies is a liar. An atheist who steals is a thief. An atheist who murders is a murderer.

I'm sorry, what is so hard about this? The point is, Christians SAY they are infused by a transmorgifying magic ghost. Yet, they don't look, act, or smell a bit different than the rest of humanity. Seems like someone playing host to a magical spirit being would stick out, ya know?

boomSLANG said...

OnT: I'm ok with opening up all questions to all of the investigative processes at our disposal.

Yes, so long as these processes don't yield results that negate your religious convictions(read on)

OnT. Atheists are not. They pretend to be reasoning in their approach, but that is a ruse.

I pretend nothing; my days of pretending are over. ***My lack of belief---in your biblegod, and all other types of gods---is not a conviction....neither a religious one, nor a non-religious one.

Here's why: When I see empirical evidence for "Jesus"---as in the same type of evidence that the "500" and the Twelve" allegedly saw---then I must, and will, reconsider my position. Until then, I will NOT accept, on "faith", such revealed "knowledge" as objective truth. Moreover, the "faith" of these alleged "eyewitnesses" was unscathed. So that said, I would rather no one hand me the Jesus just wants you to have faith soundbite. You'll need something better---similar to how a Muslim would need something better than "faith"..i.e.."hope", if he or she were to convince you that Muhammad is Almighty God. 'Get it?

OnT: It's an emotional and psychological masturbation meant to make themselves feel better about themselves vis-a-vis believers of any stripe.

Feel better about myself? To the contrary---the objective search for truth is to accept the results no matter how it makes me "feel". It is generally the Theist who appeals to emotion(s). Additionally, your argument that Atheists want to feel superior to believers is made of straw. Fluff. Again, you'll need something better.

OnT: Let all claims be subject to the same inquiries. Atheists don't start from that position. They start from "there is nothing that is not natural".

Yep. However, again, this is not a convicition. Once I see something defy the laws of nature/physics, then I will reconsider the position from where I started. To review, see here*** above.

Let's look, now, at where the Christian "starts". They start by positing that the supernatural does exist. They generally accept this "fact" by three means: 1) revelation, 2) Faith("hope"), and 3) the anecdotal evidence of other believers.

Yet, interestingly, they casually dismiss these three types of "evidence" when it comes to any and all religions that oppose theirs. Got bias?

OnT attempts: If God allows evil to exist, it is because...[insert any conceivable reason]

"IF God allows" it...then God allows it. Period. The "because", is irrelevant. Please don't insult my intellignece by suggesting that the Ruler of the Universe would do something that He or She doesn't really want to do; that a lesser being has "God" in a "bind".

OnT continues: He certainly can reverse anything we might do, he chooses to allow us liberty. And because of that - and because He has not made us puppets, but willing, free agents - He is worthy to be praised as God.

If "He" can do, or undo "anything", then "He" is most certainly omnipotent. Yet, "He" apparently couldn't create a being that didn't have the innate propensity to displease "Him", could "He"? Furthermore, if "He" is "free" to change something, whether "He" does, or doesn't...the future isn't "God's plan", or else nothing would need to be changed. If nothing needs to be changed, and everything is "God's plan", then you are worshipping someone's elses "puppet". Perhaps Jesus is Allah's puppet?

eel_shepherd said...

boomSLANG wrote, immediately above:
"...If "He" can do, or undo "anything", then "He" is most certainly omnipotent. Yet, "He" apparently couldn't create a being that didn't have the innate propensity to displease "Him", could "He"? ..."

Maybe, far from humans needing the god character to redeem them, the god character needs the humans to redeem him/her/it. After all, presumably the god character also has free will (and some serious mood-swing disorders), so she can't be all that nuts about herself. Maybe the god character will gain deliverance once humans get a handle on their N.H.P. (Natural Human Perversity on this occasion, not No Horizontal Paper).

Maybe I'll take this up with some "ordained" person, who really is no different from any other person, some day when I have not one single fucking thing else to do.

Mikayla Starstuff said...

To any Christian who tells me to look at God....

Well, show me a god and I'll check it out, ok? As I see it now, the only way to see any god, if you even want to call it that at all (I don't), is in People. If there is any divinity in the world at all it's in us imperfect people.

Thanks, that's all I have to say about that.

Train'd 'n Ordain'd said...

>> "My master's degree tells me that I have heard both sides. : )"

Well, I think I understand why you don't see any arrogance in any of Paul's writings. ;-') <<

Hey, you were the one who said "When you are only hearing one side of a position, that side seems perfectly correct. I've heard both" making the lame attempt to suggest that YOU have heard both sides but I have not. Silliness. Show me your degree and I'll decide if you are up to the educational challenge! : ) I don't think you are.

>> T&O, sometime when you are bored from waving your laurels about, count the number of times that Paul uses the word I in his writing. <<

Yes, the number of "I"s in a paragraph is so indicative of pride! What sophistry! How 'bout a person arguing a position that he olds might say I this and I that. I guess he should have employed the modern "one would posit..."

>> Now, as to the vision of a cross by a Roman emperor… Are you serious? Why in the world would you believe a ridiculous story like that? OMG! <<

Provide some evidence that this did not occur. If you don't believe it, your only reason is an a priori bias against the possibility.

>> There is/was many more versions of Gnosticism than just one. Surely you must know that. And Paul’s stories of meeting the un-dead Jesus all sound like hallucinatory, mystical meetings with a non-flesh ghostie thing. Have you ever wondered why Paul tells no stories about the real flesh and blood Jesus, except perhaps for the death meal? To Paul, Jesus is magic! <<

You would do well to understand Paul's use of sarks and pneuma. It is clear from Paul's writings that if he understood Jesus only to have been a spirit person and never a flesh person he had plenty of opportunity to explicate this, which he does not. He is fully aware of the humanity of Christ and does not discount it in anyway anywhere.

>> You lost me on this one. Now I KNOW why you see Paul as humble. You have just attempted to lump an entire people group into a narrow channel of your own making. You have no idea what all atheists think, how they reason, ect. And, in case you forgot already, most of us here were believers, some for decades. Your self-righteousness is showing. Better cover it up.<<

Indeed, atheists reject out of hand the supernatural. The discussion from which this arose centered on the apparent silliness of attempting to investigate "every single claim, no matter how ridiculous." So what's wrong with subjecting each and every claim? Except for the time such a thing would take, there is no other reason not to - other than that you are an atheist and you already claim that the supernatural doesn't exist. And, yes, I do know what atheists think and believe. Their statements echo each others across the web and in personal conversations as if they were reading from a prepared script. Listen to yourselves sometimes. There is nothing self-righteous about any of that. It is simple observation.

>> With that kind of thinking, T&O, there would be no way to determine reality. If I said an invisible tree was rooted in my front yard, one that can’t be sensed in any way, but that I know it is there… would you consider a conversation on the topic reasonable or rational? Wouldn’t you want some evidence for this magical tree? <<

I would listen to your claims and ask why you believed it to be true. If you could provide zero evidence, I would simply discount it. However, all claims of Christ are subject to certain rules of evidence along certain lines. We cannot duplicate any of them in a laboratory, but that is not how we validate historical claims anyway.
You and your friends have rejected out of hand any and all possibilities of the supernatural.

Go on and deny that. I'm listening.................................................................................

>> “If God allows evil to exist, it is because He…” created the situation, scenario, and the subjects to guarantee evil would exist. <<

Guarantee? Creating the situations, scenarios and subjects guarantees nothing. It only gives them the option of choosing their path, which He did.

>> I mean, surely this great omnipotent guy could’ve come up with a better plan for his special little toys than setting in motion a system that HE KNEW would culminate with the vast majority of humanity writhing in eternal horrific agony in a lake of fire that HE CREATED to appease HIS WRATH, right? <<

He certainly could have. It would have required the over-riding of your free will. Because He gave free will to all, some would end up choosing the hell that awaits them while others would choose God.
>> And don’t tell me I’m condemned because Adam (Atum in Egypt, btw – look it up) made the wrong choice. <<

You're not. You are condemned for not believing in Christ Jesus.

>> First of all, why in hell was that tree there? Why was Satan there? Why did this god act all surprised when what HE KNEW would happen, happened? Maybe because it’s a childish myth? <<

Good philosophical questions that require a lot of typing to cover! Why the elements were present I can't say. But they had the free will to obey God and they chose not to. I don't recall God acting surprised.

>> And this god you keep promoting. Did you say you had any evidence that the thing exists? <<

Yes, a man was born of a virgin in time and space, lived and had his words and deeds recorded claiming to be acting on behalf of God performing supernatural miracles, was killed and seen post-resurrection by those who recorded the events. The only real problem for you in all of that is your a priori bias against the supernatural. That's not a barrier I have to overcome. I don't have such biases.

>> Has it ever occurred to you that Jesus’ words are nearly irrelevant in Christianity and Paul’s have come to have the preeminence in nearly everything? I mean, isn’t that odd that the magical bastard son of a god is milk and Paul is meat? <<

Perhaps you attended the wrong church. I've never seen Jesus' words put in second place. Paul develops a lot of good theology, but the essentials of Jesus' birth, death and resurrection are all in the Gospels. Paul mainly develops what that all means for humanity and deals with the nature of the Church.

>> Is it just me (probably not), but shouldn't something really so self-evident as the Christian God, with the truth once and for all delivered to the saints and all that, actually be a little more evident? <<

Seems like it requires faith to me. Seeing God in His creation is also self-evident. You may be blind to all of that, but that is you.

>> So would you admit that you have a priori bias against allah? How about Ra? How about all the other gods that man could believe in? <<

I have seen no evidence to suggest that these gods are worthy of worship. Allah, in fact, is considered by Islam to be the same God as Yahweh. As far as that is concerned, then, I believe Allah exists, but they are calling Him by the wrong name. Ra - and other gods - have yet to present the same level of evidence as Yahweh has through His Son most especially.

>> One can look at supernatural claims in such a way as well. So what if someone a long time ago claimed to see superfantastical visions and attributed them to a deity. Could just be their brian gettin' out O' whack. If I don't have a similar experience and you cannot show evidence of such experiences then that leaves your claim of the supernatural realm on equal ground as anyone elses' claim. No different than tales of fairy magic and leprichans and invisible pink unicorns. <<
If the discussion centers on how to verify what supernatural claims are more worthy of acceptance than others, then I think it would be those that have a physical component that can be examined - such as one who was once dead, then was alive, then ascended in the presence of others. That's easier to accept than the presence of a spiritual tree in a front yard.

>> also:"I just choose to disassociate with those who are not friendly to me."

I did the same thing when jebus didn't help me when I needed him to. It wasn't other christians that did it to me. <<

So Jesus didn't help you. He answered "no" to your prayer? He allowed something to happen that you can't forgive Him for? Did you ever think that maybe Christianity is about something more than what Jesus does for you?
Ask not what your God can do for you; ask what you can do for your God. (borrowed) How does that sound?

>> T&O:"Good cannot coexist with evil and evil requires the greatest of consequences."

Isaiah 45:7
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. <<

Homework: Please provide the semantic range for the Hebrew word used to translate "evil" and tell me what you learn from this.

I'm still waiting for the homework assignment on Paul's alleged "sexist" comments.

>> OnT: I'm ok with opening up all questions to all of the investigative processes at our disposal.

Yes, so long as these processes don't yield results that negate your religious convictions(read on) <<

I think you are speaking of yourself here. You are the one whose religious non-convictions are not permitted to be altered by the presence of supernatural reality. That is your big stumbling block.

>> Here's why: When I see empirical evidence for "Jesus"---as in the same type of evidence that the "500" and the Twelve" allegedly saw---then I must, and will, reconsider my position. Until then, I will NOT accept, on "faith", such revealed "knowledge" as objective truth. Moreover, the "faith" of these alleged "eyewitnesses" was unscathed. So that said, I would rather no one hand me the Jesus just wants you to have faith soundbite. You'll need something better---similar to how a Muslim would need something better than "faith"..i.e.."hope", if he or she were to convince you that Muhammad is Almighty God. 'Get it? <<

There is PLENTY of empirical evidence for Jesus. Just not the kind you are willing to accept. In essence, you are not being honest when you say that you will reconsider your position. All the evidence you will ever have is already available of the type of which you are already aware.

>> OnT: Let all claims be subject to the same inquiries. Atheists don't start from that position. They start from "there is nothing that is not natural".

Yep. However, again, this is not a convicition. Once I see something defy the laws of nature/physics, then I will reconsider the position from where I started. To review, see here*** above. <<

Start reading. There are contemporary reports of healings and deliverances and so many other documented cases - in physicians' medical charts and the rest. You just refuse to accept that any of this is actually happening because it didn't happen in front of your eyes. Pardon me if I doubt whether or not even that which occurred right in front of you would alter your position.

>> Let's look, now, at where the Christian "starts". They start by positing that the supernatural does exist. They generally accept this "fact" by three means: 1) revelation, 2) Faith("hope"), and 3) the anecdotal evidence of other believers. <<

Also the anecdotal evidence of non-believers of other stripes and non-believers as well. How many write of their experiences as non-believers that made them believers? Or is that not acceptable because by then their report is coming from a believer? The supernatural exists whether or not God is the activating force. I rather think you merely paint yourself into a corner from which the paint will never dry and you refuse to step on wet paint.

>> Yet, interestingly, they casually dismiss these three types of "evidence" when it comes to any and all religions that oppose theirs. Got bias? <<

I don't dismiss them. The Egyptian magicians who threw down their staffs did have them turn into snakes.

>> OnT attempts: If God allows evil to exist, it is because...[insert any conceivable reason]

"IF God allows" it...then God allows it. Period. The "because", is irrelevant. Please don't insult my intellignece by suggesting that the Ruler of the Universe would do something that He or She doesn't really want to do; that a lesser being has "God" in a "bind". <<

I haven't said any such thing. God allows it because He wants to allow it. He allows it because He wants us the freedom to choose.

>> OnT continues: He certainly can reverse anything we might do, he chooses to allow us liberty. And because of that - and because He has not made us puppets, but willing, free agents - He is worthy to be praised as God.

>> If "He" can do, or undo "anything", then "He" is most certainly omnipotent. Yet, "He" apparently couldn't create a being that didn't have the innate propensity to displease "Him", could "He"? <<

That is not the case. Being able to create a being without the propensity to displease Him is not the same as being willing to create such a puppet.

>> Furthermore, if "He" is "free" to change something, whether "He" does, or doesn't...the future isn't "God's plan", or else nothing would need to be changed. If nothing needs to be changed, and everything is "God's plan", then you are worshipping someone's elses "puppet". Perhaps Jesus is Allah's puppet? <<

Well, that all depends upon whether you hold to a strict Calvinism or something else. God's future, His ability to achieve His desirable future and how we play a role in that, whether that be by willing submission or by His choosing those who will be willing participants are all good points for debate.

AT ANY RATE - seeing as how it is far easier for each one of you to respond to one of me and much more time consuming for me to do the same, let's call it good?
I'm still interested in the two homework assignments I've given because I always enjoy when atheists throw the Bible at Christians and say - see! It says thus and so! Deal with that! Such ignorance also makes me cringe.
----------------
So those two homework assignments are open areas for my continued participation in this particular thread, if that arises. All other comments are welcome, but I just can't keep responding ad infinitum.
Regards

.:webmaster:. said...

T&A, your arrogance is showing. You might want to zip up.

Show that Constantine did NOT see a magically floating cross? HUH? That isn't the way evidence works, doofus. I think you may have gotten ripped off at Bible college.

Now, before wasting any more time with you, please list the books you've explored that are critical of your religion. I'll posit that there isn't a one.

Peace.

stronger now said...

T&O:"So Jesus didn't help you. He answered "no" to your prayer? He allowed something to happen that you can't forgive Him for? Did you ever think that maybe Christianity is about something more than what Jesus does for you?"


You assume that I asked jebus for something that was against his will.(according to the bible it was not) In that you show your bias. You also insulted me without knowing it. If I asked for faith or strength wouldn't your jebus have done something to keep me near him? John 14:13-21

I NEEDED him. He did NOTHING!

So that is my evidence. You have a priori bias against it. It is your stumbling block. You chastize us for not accepting someone elses experience as truth and disregard mine because it doesn't agree with you priori bias towards the supernatural, more specifically the brand of supernatural you accept. You accept the visions of someone you cannot recieve feedback from to gain honest insight of what was factual. You accept the ravings of dead men and disregard those who can speak for themselves?

Ra, Ra-Shaw. I know the differences, the semantics. Thanks for the lesson, here's one for you:
Explain why Pauls experience is more valid than mine.

Hint: Read my testimony under stronger now post in june '07.(yeah I don't know how to make a link with this)

fjell said...

Webmaster said to TO: If you were born in Iran, you’d be taught another myth, and undoubtedly -- based on your mindset -- you’d believe in Islam with all your heart and mind and think Christianity was a crock.

Although TO nearly picked through every other line the webmaster laid down, he did not touch this one.

I think many believers of many religions fear this may be absolutely true, which doesn't bode well for their religious convictions being "the one truth out there" out of them all.

It's like they all think they won the fucking lottery - "Ha Ha, what luck!! I just happened to have been born into a culture which practices the only true religion in the world. Sweet!"

The dogmatic regionalism that plagues this world starts to appear all to stupidly explicable when we take into account a human child's propensity to believe the first religion he is presented for the rest of his life.

Wake up, people. You want to claim you're religion has a monopoly on truth? You tell me I'm wrong to doubt this when my finger lands on you, but when it lands on Abu in Tunisia, you're right there with me. Wake the fuck up. Mashing Christianity into the mind of your five year old is "the best thing you can do for him", but how do you feel watching five year old Muslims ingesting verses of the Qur'an till it comes dripping out their ears.

Double standard was never so apt a phrase.

fjell

Jamie said...

There is PLENTY of empirical evidence for Jesus. Just not the kind you are willing to accept. In essence, you are not being honest when you say that you will reconsider your position. All the evidence you will ever have is already available of the type of which you are already aware.

For me there is enough evidence to suggest that there may have been a man named Jesus. But there to say there is evidence that He raised from the dead...well...it just isn't so? Where is He? Why can't I see him? Speak with Him? (In ways that aren't easily confused with my own imagination). Isn't it a bit too convenient to say, "well, He's in heaven now, so we'll just have to believe that someone DID see him a couple thousand years ago". Evidence of a man being raised from the dead and living for eternity would be...well...how about a man who is still alive and has been living these past 2000 years. In fact, if I saw THAT, I'd be willing to take the eternity part on faith, even if he had only been alive 2000 years so far.

It just doesn't make sense to me. I wish it did. Honestly. But it doesn't.

Danny Tuason said...

It seems to me that Trained and Ordained is extremely brainwashed by his Christ cult.

Pity!

Danny

Jim Arvo said...

Here are some replies to a few cherry-picked phrases by TO. Sorry, but I don't have the patience to wade through every bit of it at the moment.

TO: "My master's degree tells me that I have heard both sides. : )"

I'm going to assume that the smiley face at the end of your comment means you realize how facile that is. In any case, we'll assess what you say based on it's substance, not on any pieces of paper you happen to possess. Feel free to reciprocate.

To the statement "It doesn’t take an education or an ego to know that: - People do not die then come back to life after 3 days." TO responded "No, it just takes an a prior bias against such beliefs. It takes a rational, thinking person to consider otherwise."

No all biases are unjustified. I have a bias against stories about people who fly by flapping their arms. In my experience people cannot do this, it contradicts what I know about mechanics and aerodynamics, and those who claim they can do so are usually mentally ill. It's neither practical nor prudent to treat every story as equally likely. I presume you do not treat Joseph Smith's story of finding gold tables as likely as that of a person who finds a dollar bill on the sidewalk (all else equal). Or am I mistaken about that?

TO: "Provide some evidence that this [the vision of a cross] did not occur. If you don't believe it, your only reason is an a priori bias against the possibility."

As I'm sure you are aware, proving that some historical event did not take place is typically infeasible, unless said event would leave persistent and unmistakable evidence. For example, I can give you evidence that a meteor the size of New Jersey did NOT hit my house last week. However, when you are speaking of ephemeral events such as "visions", it's absurd to ask for evidence that they DID NOT happen. With no positive evidence that they did, the claim can be ignored.

TO: "It is clear from Paul's writings that if he understood Jesus only to have been a spirit person and never a flesh person he had plenty of opportunity to explicate this,..."

And, conversely, he had plenty of opportunity to negate it. It works both ways. Given the plethora of beings presumed to live in a spiritual realm at the time (Osiris, Mithra, Attis, etc.), and spoken of in terms similar to Paul's (e.g. dying on a tree or pike, rising on the third day), one might reasonably expect that Paul would make it abundantly clear that HIS presumed lord was different in a crucial way--he walked the Earth. But he does not. Apparently this distinction did not strike him as being particularly important. Nor did it strike Justin Martyr as being important enough to mention. He was apparently content to have his detractors think of Jesus as being similar to the "Sons of Jupiter" (who inhabited a spiritual realm).

TO: "He is fully aware of the humanity of Christ and does not discount it in anyway anywhere."

You are making a claim as to what Paul was aware of. How do you intend to substantiate that if not by his written words?

TO: "Indeed, atheists reject out of hand the supernatural."

As with all overly-broad statements, one counterexample is sufficient to disprove it. Here I am. I don't "discount" the supernatural a priori. I see no rational means to do so. Never have. However, I currently do not believe in anything "supernatural" as I have never seen any evidence nor heard any compelling argument for such.

TO: "And, yes, I do know what atheists think and believe. Their statements echo each others across the web and in personal conversations as if they were reading from a prepared script."

That's somewhat surprising to hear. From what you've written thus far it does not appear that you know what any of the atheists here think. Moreover, it absurd to assert that all atheists hold the same view. I have debates with other atheists frequently. There is precisely one trait that we are guaranteed to share: lack of belief in gods or goddesses.

TO: "If you believe in any of the personages of the ancient world, you must do the same with Jesus because the way we determine His existence is the same..."

If you mean to imply that the evidence for Jesus is as strong as that for any other ancient figure, that it patently false. Please name one historian or writer coeval with Jesus who mentions him by name. Show me an artifact depicting Jesus from the first century. In fact, show me ANY fact about Jesus that is historically well-attested, meaning documented by at least one author whose reliability is demonstrated through other well-known works. Josephus, of course, would be a wonderful candidate for such, were it not for the dubious nature of his passages concerning Jesus.

As evidence of god, OT offered this: "a man was born of a virgin in time and space,..."

Aside from the anonymously-authored Gospels attributed to Luke and Matthew, what evidence do you have for this?

TO: "...performing supernatural miracles,..."

On what evidence? Anonymous hagiographic texts that borrowed from numerous unknown sources?

TO: "...was killed and seen post-resurrection by those who recorded the events."

Who, specifically, ever saw Jesus and recorded it. Please provide a list of the names, and we'll go through them.

TO: "The only real problem for you in all of that is your a priori bias against the supernatural."

That ad hominem approach won't get you far.

TO: "Paul develops a lot of good theology, but the essentials of Jesus' birth, death and resurrection are all in the Gospels."

But there is no evidence that Paul knew ANY of the historical details provided in the Gospels. Did Paul think they were irrelevant? Did he think nobody would be interested? Did he think everybody already knew? What's your theory, and what do you have to back it up? The null hypothesis would be that he never mentions those facts, even when they would substantially help his case, because he simply didn't know them.

TO: "Allah, in fact, is considered by Islam to be the same God as Yahweh."

However, according to Allah (transmitted through Mohammed), Jesus was merely a mortal prophet, and claiming otherwise is blasphemy. Is that consistent with your notion of Yahweh?

TO: "There is PLENTY of empirical evidence for Jesus."

Let's make a list: 1) Epistles by those who do not seem to know any historical facts about him, and do not clearly assert to have ever met him, 2) Anonymous books whose authors copied from and redacted one another as well as other unknown sources long after the supposed death of Jesus, 3) A few vague and/or dubious phrases in works outside the Bible (Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Pliny the Elder, the Talmud, etc.). Anything else?zclaeu

Laughing Buddha said...

TO said:

"I'm still interested in the two homework assignments I've given because I always enjoy when atheists throw the Bible at Christians and say - see! It says thus and so! Deal with that! Such ignorance also makes me cringe."

Yeah? Well, such arrogance as yours makes me puke. Fucking jerk. I only take homework assignments from people I can learn a gawd-damned thing from. Furthermore, if my holy book said I was supposed to be able to fly because I have a mystical fucking pelican in my head, wouldn't you say I was full of shit if I could not fly on demand? Ditto for your asshole Xtians who claim that the POWER they have to love and forgive comes from a magical, fake-ass invisible ghostie living in them. On one hand, the ghostie (who is supposedly almighty gawd) is seemingly impotent in the face of human free will, which makes him/it less than gawd. On the other hand, maybe the 'power' is a crock of dominionist bullshit devised by people who want a justification to rule over the rank-and-file of humanity. Deal with THAT, asshole.

Don't bother telling me that the 'true believers' believed in the UberGhostie before the Bible was written; the only extant writing you have about said ghostie is years and years removed from the 'originals'. Fuckers edited and made up shit in the name of 'scripture' so they could dominate people's lives with their scare tactics.

By the way, t's nice to be able to read Aesop's fables about his talking lions and shit and then turn to some nomadic jew's fables about talking snakes and magic fruit trees. They are all very well developed stories, even if they are fucking make-believe. I don't have to whip my brain into submission to believe one set of myths, so I don't see the need to do so for the sake of the other.

AtheistToothFairy said...

Train'd 'n Ordain'd said:
"The only real problem for you in all of that is your a priori bias against the supernatural. That's not a barrier I have to overcome. I don't have such biases"
-----
Hey T.O.,

Speaking for myself alone, I can tell you that in my younger days I had a strong belief in many things supernatural. In those days the radio, tv, movie and book media was bombarding us young folks with the ideas of many supernatural things being 'factual'.

I was certain in those days that ghosts existed and were quite common, that we all had a soul that continued on (somewhere), that space aliens really had visited earth and taught our ancestors how to construct things like the pyramids and Stonehenge etc etc..

I was sure ESP and Telekinesis powers and the ability to talk to the dead, were traits that some human minds really possessed.
I was more sure than not, that Bigfoot and Nessy were true legends (after all, we had pictures of them).

My point here is that just like with religion, one can spend years weighing the evidence intellectually and do an about-face on such matters.
While the emotional part of me would still like to believe there is something supernatural out there that is very real, I had to put aside my wishful thinking for such things in favor of going with logical reasoning instead.

There just is no valid concrete evidence for the existence of anything supernatural I mentioned above and any testing done or evidence sought, to try and prove such things always fails horribly.

The evidence for your god and jesus is no different than the rest of the supernatural made-up fairy tales that many folks WISH to exist, therefore in their minds, they must exist.
Wishful thinking does not make something become reality!!

Besides how error prone your bible writings have been shown to be in both a scientific and historical nature (not to mention philosophical), secular history has no record of your Jesus living or doing any of the great things he claims to have done, nor is their any record of the supernatural events spoke about in the entire bible.

e.g. Why doesn't Chinese history shows the sun stood still, or the sun was blotted from the sky for hours? Why is there no archeological or historical evidence to show that fictitious Moses ever led all those Jews from Egypt?
Why don't we have all kinds of records outside the bible telling us about this great man that came back to life, along with hundreds of other dead humans.
The historical list goes ON AND ON AND ON as to the important things that are missing-in-action about your bible stories.

Oh but then, believers in UFO's, bigfoot, ESP, tarrot cards, Divining Sticks, and gods, really don't require any real evidence to support their faith, because they are driven solely by what they WISH to believe and nothing more.

Can you understand the meaning of the word DELUSION, huh?


ATF

boomSLANG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
boomSLANG said...

OnT(previously): I'm ok with opening up all questions to all of the investigative processes at our disposal.

my previous response: "Yes, so long as these processes don't yield results that negate your religious convictions"

OnT's latest counter: I think you are speaking of yourself here. You are the one whose religious non-convictions are not permitted to be altered by the presence of supernatural reality. That is your big stumbling block.

Stumble this---if, out of one side of your pie-hole you are admitting that I have, quote, "non-convictions" about the existence of the supernatural, and then out of the other side of your hole you tell me that I'm not permitted to change my mind---you, then, are not only are one arrogant son-of-a-bitch, but you just coughed up a big contradiction. Of course, neither one too shocking.

Furthermore, my denial of Buddha, Quetzacoatl, Neptune(the god), Allah, Muhammad, Odin, etc., is no more "religious" that YOUR denial of the very same deities I mentioned.

Let it penetrate your cranium: Lack of belief in "gods"--or anything else for that matter--is not a "Faith", or a "religion". Is your lack of belief in Leprechauns a "religion"? According to your 'logic', there MUST be a Leprechauns don't exist doctrine. Where is it? Where is the Leprechauns don't exist Community Center? Where is the Leprechauns don't exist Ministry? What is the Leprechauns don't exist prayer, again?.....I forgot it.

OnT: There is PLENTY of empirical evidence for Jesus. Just not the kind you are willing to accept. In essence, you are not being honest when you say that you will reconsider your position. All the evidence you will ever have is already available of the type of which you are already aware.

You've been asked by several people to produce this evidence. Please, by all means, stop with the "polly-wanna-cracker" apologetics for a minute, and produce this evidence now.

Hint: Make sure that your means of validation, when applied to other faiths, doesn't make them "true", as well. After all, it wouldn't do your argument much good if just any ol' faith could be true. Remember, biblegod, the alleged Creator of the Universe, has a problem with jealousy; He's a "jealous God".

lol!(If that's not one of the most asinine things I've ever read in a work of fiction)

OnT: There are contemporary reports of healings and deliverances and so many other documented cases - in physicians' medical charts and the rest.

And of course, you, being the objective seeker of truth that you are, won't just read the "reports" of Jesus' amazing medical intervention, will you? You'll be sure to investigate the miraculous healings of the Almighty Allah, as well.....right?(we know the answer to this)

OnT: You just refuse to accept that any of this[the supernatural] is actually happening because it didn't happen in front of your eyes.

You refuse to see that a good portion of these supernatural claims are attributed to gods OTHER than your own.

OnT: Pardon me if I doubt whether or not even that which occurred right in front of you would alter your position.

You should be begging our pardon......begging it for your pathetic attempt to argue for your biblegod's existence. You've proffered nothing to support your beliefs..."ordained", "trained"..or insane. From what I can see, you've essentially been telling us what we all think. Wow. Thanks, but we're big boys 'n girls now, and we don't need people to tell us we what we think, or should think---especially, that there's a invisible flying zombie in the clouds who's watching us.

Beat it.

Train'd 'n Ordain'd said...

So far only one attempt at real biblical exposition:

'Stronger now': >> Ra, Ra-Shaw. I know the differences, the semantics. Thanks for the lesson, here's one for you: <<

No, you don't. Give me the semantic range of rah. Then tell me about whether or not "God creates evil."

Anybody else?

According to 'Anonymous - Leonard ' Paul is a sexist given the verse he provided.

Can anyone answer my homework questions and help out your friend there?

computer said...

boomslang, you say you havent been provided proof of God. What kind of proof are you willing to accept?

Monk said...

T.O. said:

"Can anyone answer my homework questions and help out your friend there?"

You, sir/madam, are an arrogant prig. You, in an earlier post, came out and blatantly refused to answer our questions and refutations of your points, so why should we complete YOUR "homework?"

stronger now said...

T&A,

No I'm afrid your arrogance is getting the better of you. The semantic range of ra has little to do with the overall matter, since god created everything and allows evil and commands genocide and a host of other atrocities. One passage isn't enough to attribute the cration of evil to god, I agree, however the overall aspects of the deity you worship are on par with my sentiment.
Your deity not only created evil, He Is evil.

boomSLANG said...

Computer: boomslang, you say you havent been provided proof of God. What kind of proof are you willing to accept?

I've already stated what I will, and will not accept, right here in this thread. If you care to, research it yourself and let me know if you have any questions. If not, I'm good with that, too.

Either way, I'm curious, though---what would falsify your "Faith"? In other words, what senario or set of circumstances, where, if true, would falsify..i.e..disprove, your religious conviction(s)?

Note: And please, I implore you to NOT drift from the subject that you, yourself, raise. Do you think that you can stick to the subject? Furthermore, please don't start in with appeals to emotion..e.g.."God is like a snowcone on a hot day!"..or "just look around!...God is everywhere!!". And please don't caricature the Atheist position, or claim to know what "ALL Atheists" think, like your idiot Christian colleague, m'kay? Thanks.

Bill said...

Train'd 'n Ordain'd

I also have a masters degree from an accredited Evangelical Seminary. I am ordained and licensed but no longer practicing. All I can tell you is that it takes time and courage to forget what you want to believe and really seek rational truth. You have a long way to go. The harder you cling to your beliefs the more difficult it will become to fulfill them. Your trust in your education is obvious as is your pride. Your anger at not triumphantly winning your arguments is obvious. The truth is easy to see if you are willing. If the Holy Spirit is real, than the evidence would point toward it. Christianity will never achieve agreement or unity on even the most basic of beliefs such as salvation. Never mind all the other theologies and doctrines used to explain the compilation of writings call the bible. What religion usually boils down to for most people is the need to feel loved, secure, have purpose and direction in life. These beliefs also touch on the desire to feel that life will continue on.

To computer,

I am worried about you. You still don't seem to be able to look beyond your religious thinking. Your comments are less and less impacting and more and more desperate. You seem to have little experience to draw from other than the stories you've learned. It is unfortunate that you are working so hard to keep your beliefs going. One day when you start to think beyond your box you will look back and realize how driven you were to fulfill someone else’s fantasy.

I wish you well and hope that neither of you will become fanatics justifying irrational actions to show your love for people or God.

Bill J.

Train'd 'n Ordain'd said...

>> You, sir/madam, are an arrogant prig. You, in an earlier post, came out and blatantly refused to answer our questions and refutations of your points, so why should we complete YOUR "homework?" <<

Nonsense. That's a cop-out from someone not up to the task and throwing out a red herring. I merely said I cannot possibly continue to debate 15 or however many people the thread has become. Too much time involved.

But I don't want to ignore people's pathetic refutations of the Scriptures that they don't even know.

>> No I'm afrid your arrogance is getting the better of you. The semantic range of ra has little to do with the overall matter, since god created everything and allows evil and commands genocide and a host of other atrocities. One passage isn't enough to attribute the cration of evil to god, I agree, however the overall aspects of the deity you worship are on par with my sentiment.
Your deity not only created evil, He Is evil. <<

So you're saying you might be wrong about your understanding of that verse. And yet you want to philosophize about God creating evi. Then stick to that: philosophy. You're better off with that than trying to shoot of Bible verses that you really don't understand.

>> I also have a masters degree from an accredited Evangelical Seminary. I am ordained and licensed but no longer practicing. <<

Then show your compatriots how they might just be wrong about what those verses mean.

Ignorance of the Bible goes a long way toward weakening faith.

Come on, folks.

stronger now said...

Don't you dare tell me what to do. Your arrogance is overwhelming indeed! You, sir, have NO authority here. I shall do and behave as I see fit. If you have a problem with that then GET LOST!

Now, I had basic understanding of the apologetic response before I used said verse. I used that verse because it illustrated not only the horrible works of your deity as exampled in other passages but the unreliability of it as well. Duality if you will.

I'm sorry you cannot fathom someone, other than the dead raving lunatics that wrote the texts in question, having more depth in the words that they choose to use than your arrogance allows you to see. But that's just you I suppose. I think it would be easier for someone to explain the reasons they had for writing something down if they are, in fact, alive. A fact that you can't seem to get a handle on.

AtheistToothFairy said...

computer wrote:
"boomslang, you say you havent been provided proof of God. What kind of proof are you willing to accept?"
------
Computer,

I sure can't speak for boomslang or anyone else here, but I know for myself I haven't seen even any circumstantial evidence presented here by ANY xtian that chimed-in with their so called evidence of god/jesus.

All we ever hear about is xtians FEELING that god touched them or showed himself to their eye's (alone) or changed their lives, and of course they swear that god answers their prayers.
Then we are told to just look around us at god's creations and universe and that is surely enough to convince anyone of this god...WRONG.

I'm not demanding that god/jesus come down from heaven and present himself to the whole world, although that sure would help his cause.
Short of such face-to-face evidence, I'll settle for the following:

1. Gives us solid proof that god heals his leaders or even his lowly believers, that is not only repeatable within the xtian population, but far exceeds the statistical chance of those non-christians who also get healed.
No non-biased (read non-xtian) study ever done has shown any miracle healings going on when folks pray for themselves, or pray for others.

2. Show us a documented case of god growing back an arm or leg, on a returning xtian soldier from a place like Iraq.

3. Find the missing secular history of your supernatural jesus. History, that wasn't inserted by underhanded xtians into the writings of some ancient secular record keeper of those days when jesus roamed the earth.
If Jesus was real and really did all the bible claimed, why is the bible the only place he gets this great recognition.

Why don't we see writings from the descendants of those jesus raised from the dead or healed? What about the many that saw him do all these miracles, that didn't bother to record such events, nor hand them down thru the generations to the present times.
Didn't Lazarus have any family that would have told the tale of his being raised from the dead by this christ god?

Christ was a carpenter, or so we are told, yet we never hear about anything he built, nor has anything he built been saved by his followers or his family. Very odd indeed!!!

Given how important a figurehead he must have been, why was nothing he made, nothing he even wore, saved by his followers.
Every artifact the church has ever claimed as being associated with jesus, has been proven to be fake.
Can you produce a genuine artifact that belonged to christ?


4. Why doesn't the bible gives us the history of most of his Christ's life?

Here we have the most important 'man' that ever lived, and we know next to nothing about most of his years he spent on earth. In fact, we only know about a handful of months worth of his life, far short of the 33 years he was said to have lived.
Was the rest of his life so boring that it wasn't worth documenting, even for future curiosity reasons?

Have you perhaps found the missing scrolls that documented all those missing years of his life?

5. I'll even settle for proof that the devil exists. Can you offer up any proof about this creature perhaps?

Well, I think you get the gist of what would be needed to make me reconsider my conclusion about your god not existing (except in your own mind and nowhere else on this earth).


ATF

Curious George said...

Train'd 'n Ordain'd: Nonsense. That's a cop-out from someone not up to the task and throwing out a red herring. I merely said I cannot possibly continue to debate 15 or however many people the thread has become. Too much time involved."

Yet, if you had one simple item that is irrefutable, it would seem almost effortless to justify "that" simple statement, if you actually had one to make.

Train'd 'n Ordain'd: "But I don't want to ignore people's pathetic refutations of the Scriptures that they don't even know."

The scriptures are completely "arbitrary", which is best understood as "meaningless".

When I say... "Joy be to okejn", it could mean anything a person wanted to make it mean... that is... the word "okejn" means what a "person" wants to make of it, the word "okejn" itself, has no specific "identity" and as indefinable.

That is exactly like metaphor, the bible, metaphorically written, becomes exactly what a person wants to "make it mean". Thus, it is "arbitrary", and can mean as many things as there are people on this planet.

Now, one could argue that it's cool to have a word or even a canon mean anything a person wants to interpret it to mean, but then... that means the bible is meaningless as providing an objective direction for a people to follow. In other words, there can be no "True Christian", because everyone can make the claim using their own interpretation of the bible... no one can define "morality", because the bible is completely "interpretable"... and the second some moron suggests it isn't "interpretable", that it is, word for word, written by the "hand of God", then it becomes "conflicted", because of the thousands of "conflicts" found in the bible...

Two people looking at a billboard picture may have two entirely different perspectives of that picture. The same holds for characters on a page... Until words have equal meaning for people, then they are arbitrary, and "meaningless".

T&O: "So you're saying you might be wrong about your understanding of that verse. And yet you want to philosophize about God creating evi. Then stick to that: philosophy. You're better off with that than trying to shoot of Bible verses that you really don't understand."

I quite well understand the bible verses, and how they conflict... God per the Christian is loving, yet wades in blood, is jealous, and created "hell" before creating earth on the sixth day according to the bible, suggesting the Christian God deliberately created the earth for the purpose of sending people to eternal torment "forever"... knowingly, willingly, and deliberately...

The problem with theology, is that it's intent isn’t' to provide answers to questions... it's intent to to provide unanswerable "questions"... and further, to suggest that "everyone" should take these questions and spend their lives seeking answers to these "particular" questions...

T&O: "Then show your compatriots how they might just be wrong about what those verses mean."

According to "my" degree from an four year "Christian" University, I'd suggest that there is not a single person who has "the" correct understanding of "any" verse of the bible... because, the entire bible is "arbitrary", written with metaphor, mythology, and numerous other literary devices, that can be interpreted as one wants, according to their whims...

True, I can take a verse and interpret it as a metaphor and "spin" it in the direction of "good", but the exact "same" verse, I could "spin" in a manner that creates suffering...

That is exactly the "point"... because, Christianity has "no" ability to give "concrete" meaning to its words in a book, it can be used for "anything" a person wants to use it for... And, whenever a so called Christian shows up, to suggest "they" have the "right" interpretation, it only shows their "lack of education" in the matter...

The point, isn't that a verse "can be" interpreted for "good"... the point is, it can be interpreted to mean "anything", and is therefore, "useless" as a definitive "guide" for "anything"...

And, the word supernatural, as defined as that which escapes the Natural, is absurd...

The pondering of the word itself is done with the natural mind...

The word "supernatural", is a suggestion that there "exists" more than "nature", yet Nature is required in order to present the concept of "supernatural"... thus, the term is hopelessly absurd... it must "reject" the very thing that gives it "meaning"... Nature...

A theologian would likely suggest, that studying questions with words like "supernatural" in them, is noble, just, and the way to live a good life...

A philosopher would likely suggest, as I would, that studying questions with words that have no "meaning", are "arbitrary" (can mean anything a person wants them to mean), or are quite "absurd"... is a "waste of time"... the only gain that can be made in studying such "questions" is to finally realize that such questions are invalid, and can not "ever" lead to a single "Truth" or "Answer"...

I find life valuable, and my time is better spent "learning" what I can... not believing in what I can't know... which is the theologians job.

Monk said...

To TO (for whom I sincerely have a great deal of pitty):

TO said: "Nonsense. That's a cop-out from someone not up to the task and throwing out a red herring. I merely said I cannot possibly continue to debate 15 or however many people the thread has become. Too much time involved."

It was a red herring, indeed, but I really wish you would have noticed the ad hominem that I threw in for kicks. Oh, well.

As for doing your assignment...I gave it serious consideration. I honestly did. Not because I thought I might find something profound, but because I was curious to see how you'd use your own faulty logic and a priori biases to squirm around and twist anything I might have to say.

But, no, you are far to arrogant, vain, and prigish (note yet another ad hominem, intentional and planned, as always) for my tastes. If I believed for one second something productive might come from a semantics/historical context/classical language debate, I'd readily accomodate you. You are more set in your beliefs of what you "know" to be true than anyone I've seen on here, christian or atheist. Nothing external would ever sway you. Any change for you would have to come from within, and I am not about to waste my time (further) trying to snap you out of your self-induced delirium.

Call it a cop-out, red herring, or any other fancy name you wish. I call it cutting your intellectual losses when you meet someone too proud and certain of themselves for their own good.

As a final note to you, I will say that you, like most every christian troll that ambles through, seems to feel that we have not read the bible, or not read it "properly," or something. To that, I say that I'd be willing to bet that the majority of ex-christians who post here regularly HAVE read the bible cover-to-cover AT LEAST once. I know I have. I still study it on a regular basis. How many times do you have to read it to "get it"???

It's what you make of it. You can read it and choose to indulge your imagination and wishful thinking with its fantastical claims, or you can examine it as you would any other dusty old book and see that it just doesn't add up. And since you like to site fancy latin terms for logical fallacies, the previous sentence is a classic example of the either-or argument/bifurcation/excluded middle fallacy. Once again, I used it intentionally, but this time I think it applies nicely. Why? Because your arguments, like your thinking, possesses no middle ground and no serious allowances for the differing beliefs of others.

Have a nice life making easy money, spreading lies, and giving people false hope in an afterlife they will never see. Enjoy being just another charlatan (one last ad hominem for good measure). I sincerely mourn the waste of a potentially outstanding intellect.

Cheers,

MG (Monk)

Astreja said...

Trying 'n' Obtuse: "Ignorance of the Bible goes a long way toward weakening faith."

*bzzt* Wrong! Ignorance of the Bible is one of the major things that keeps the rank-and-file members from just walking away.

Think about it: The average Christian assembly does some combination of...

- Touchy-feely "Gawd loves ya" stuff

- Psychological abuse such as "You're a worthless sinner who deserves to burn forever... And you have to admit it in front of the congregation, or you can't be 'saved'."

- A bowdlerized Bible Study consisting of the Gospels, selected quotes from Paul, and snippets of the Old Testament, but very little of the "WTF?" stuff.

Most of us are here at Ex-C becase we *did* read the Bible, with our critical thinking switch in the "ON" position.

fjell said...

@TO:

In order to try and impart unto you the sense of hucksterish guile sewn up in the trail of your biblical homework breadcrumbs, I have one question:

Would you indulge a Muslim in a string of his breadcrumb questions and eventually accept his final conclusion? Believe you me when I say that they can and will use the same tactic to arrive at "truths" other than Jesus' divinity.

The breadcrumb trail tactic itself is worthy of scorn, and can be used to arrive at a whole horde of conclusions. You should be able to present an argument, whole and cohesive, without demanding that we answer question A before you give us any inkling what the next twist in the trail might be. Would you enjoy having a discussion with someone this way? It's pretty demeaning, and if you weren't so high on your exclusivity to truth, you would probably agree. This method deserves derision and you ought not be shocked that it has received it.

fjell

p.s. I can nearly already hear your broken-record reply, "So, still won't do your homework, eh?"

Pathetic.

jfraysse said...

Brother T&O: I'm too ignorant to do your homework – sorry. But I have a much broader question for you and would like your perspective.

Our understanding of the Bible and its “god” is tantamount to our “salvation”, both in this life and the one to come. Would you not agree?

Why isn’t this simple? Why do we have to have a Masters Degree, as you do, just to understand, so unquestionably, the “Truth”? Why is the “all powerful” god so powerless over evil? Why have there been so many atrocities and wars in “god’s name” and where was God’s Unifying, Truth Leading, Holy Spirit in all of this?

Not understanding these questions, as you do, leads many of us to either conclude that:

a) God does not exist or doesn’t care about us individually or collectively or

b) (and much worse) god is evil by his very nature.

As much as I would like to, I find the idea of worshipping the “God of the Bible” with his requirement of Blood Sacrifice and his “Love Me of Burn Forever in Hell” policy to be a very difficult thing to understand and embrace. There are 100’s of millions of others throughout the world that feel the same way.

But again, in summary, my question is, why is something so important as humanity’s collective understanding of “what god wants”, so complicated?

SpaceMonk said...

Train'd n' Indoctrinated:
"If God allows evil to exist, it is because He gave Adam/Eve - and us - free will to do as we please. So while He certainly can reverse anything we might do, he chooses to allow us liberty. And because of that - and because He has not made us puppets, but willing, free agents - He is worthy to be praised as God."

I'm probably a bit late with this one, seeing as it doesn't relate to anyone's homework, but anyway, of all the things I could answer from your reply to me (which all seemed to miss the point anyway) this goes directly to a point you ignored over all the others ( beside the zodiacal solar hero concept I mentioned which trumps christianity on it's own)...

What you've said above could only be an answer if ignoring the 'time' before creation.

Bible-god is, was, and supposedly always will be, "perfect and unchangeable" aswell as omniscient.

So instead of holding US accountable for things we've done with our own freewill, I repeat, HE should have never created us in the first place.

If he is and was perfect, unchangeable and omniscient then he would have known what would happen if he created such eternal freewill beings.

He knew that some (MOST) would end up in hell. So the only moral, compassionate, merciful and just thing he could have done was to not go ahead with creation (or come up with something besides eternal hell, like say, reincarnation).

It would be no skin off his nose, because he was already perfect and unchangeable.
There was nothing he could gain or need ...was there?
If there was then he wasn't perfect.

Yet he did it anyway, which can only be interpreted as Sadistic.
So I say he is NOT worthy to be praised.

You need to re-examine your ideas about the nature of a loving and merciful creator god (hint: Why create, if you're already perfect?).
The best thing you can do is forget all of your education and training and indoctrination and start to think for yourself.


And about this freewill thing, why does it have to stop?
Ask someone suffering in eternal hell if they really want to be there.

Jim Arvo said...

T&O,

I haven't addressed your "homework" because I don't find the questions very interesting (or particularly relevant to me). If I did, I'm confident that I could discover the answers without much difficulty (and, no, I do not know the answers now).

There is a difference between what I call "stamp collecting" and reasoning. Your homework problems are of the stamp collecting variety. They are tidbits of information that can be fun and amusing, and on occasion edifying. However, they do not constitute reasoning, and they do not indicate any kind of synthesis, which is the stuff of scholarship. While your graduate degree may have provided you a magnifying glass and a pair of tweezers, the larger task of a scholar is making sense of what is thereby found (if, indeed, that is your objective--I do not presume to know your ambitions).

The fundamental and much larger questions that are before you involve evidence. What evidence can you offer to support the various assertions you've made? For example, you've made some prosaic claims about the reliability of the Bible, but I've seen nothing in the way of support for them yet. That is the larger picture. If you wish to employ your magnifying glass in the service of addressing such questions, then I invite you to do so. But I encourage you to not use it as a shield--an excuse to ignore more substantive matters--or worse, as a badge to intimidate. Can we agree that the latter tactics are antithetical to rational inquiry?

If you wish to address the larger issues, there are many here who will engage you.

A. Ford said...

The problem with the comments here is they fail to address the biggest problem with religion: faith. Nearly every comment on this post involves some sort of reasoning to make a point. This reasoning is completely against the teachings of religion to begin with. Jesus didn't say "talk to me and I'll see what I can do" or "ask me questions and I'll gladly answer them". Instead, he says things like "whatsoever ye ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive". He reduces everything down to belief. That's why people like the author of the post behaved the way he did; he just accepted what he was told without applying any true reasoning to his beliefs.
Of course, I can believe a lot of things that aren't true. I can believe that if I help my neighbor, someday, he will help me. In reality, he is just as likely to treat me poorly regardless of how I pitied him. I could likewise believe that Earth is flat, but I couldn't put a satellite in orbit with that belief.
Looking at some of the early comments, St. Paul is an interesting character in the Bible because he makes an attempt to use some reasoning for faith. However, you notice that he rarely mentions anything Jesus said; rather, he appeals to people to believe in Jesus because of his (Paul's) superior reasoning ability (which is terribly faulty by the way). In short, Paul makes some attempt to apply reasoning to faith, which is why his words instead of Jesus's, are used in many apologetics texts. Even so, the entire foundation Paul builds his arguments on is a myth, and Paul's type of reasoning for faith only creates confusion for those willing to question the original premises of his arguments. Without questioning, that is the decision making process that was supposedly granted to mankind when the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was eaten, people can believe anything.

boomSLANG said...

AF: The problem with the comments here is they fail to address the biggest problem with religion: faith. Nearly every comment on this post involves some sort of reasoning to make a point.

Good grief... yeah? Like "reasoning" is a bad thing? BTW, if I might ask---wasn't it you who said you are a "scientist" in some other thread? Yes? Well, don't scientists use reason?

If the problem with religion is "faith"--and I'm not saying it isn't 'a' problem--then how does one tackle or challenge the misguided faithful if not with "reason"? I'd truly like to know, since we're in agreement that accepting religious dogma on "faith" is a huge problem for humanity, with serious consequences.

AF: Jesus didn't say "talk to me and I'll see what I can do" or "ask me questions and I'll gladly answer them". Instead, he says things like "whatsoever ye ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive".

Honestly, now you sound like a theist. Nonetheless, haven't you just made a distinction without a difference?...e.g.."ask me questions and I'll gladly answer them"..vs..."whatsoever ye ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive"? Are you suggesting that the key word is "believing"?? Is not the "belieiving" part implicit in both statements?..that is, unless the person, or "god", is just out-n-out lying. In any event, it seems like you are splitting hairs, when the underlying point of the article(if I've understood correctly) is that the bible is either the "Divinely Inspired Word" of the Creator of the Universe, or it is not. If it is, then the language therein should reflect that, and therefore, mean what is says. Last but not least, Christians should follow it. Yet, what the author is saying, in part, is that Christians don't follow it; they instead, pick and choose what to follow, literally, and what to ignore as "parable", or ignore altogether. And this is generally done to suit the believer's OWN beliefs, which illustrates, once again, that religion is one big subjective free-for-all...."Faith", or not.

AF: That's why people like the author of the post behaved the way he did; he just accepted what he was told without applying any true reasoning to his beliefs.

I'm sorry, but that sounds like awfully contradictory advice, seeing as how I thought you just admonished "reasoning".

Ironically, there is "reasoning" behind accepting knowledge on "faith", and that is to keep people dumbied down to the truth.

AtheistToothFairy said...

A. Ford said...
"The problem with the comments here is they fail to address the biggest problem with religion: faith...... This reasoning is completely against the teachings of religion to begin with"
---
A.Ford,

While I agree that xtians hate to use reasoning when dealing with their religious beliefs, their bible isn't "completely" against the idea of using reasoning:

Isaiah 1:18
"Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord"

Now I'm not saying that reasoning outweighs faith in the bible, for there are also many versus that say the opposite.
Like we've all said a million times, one can make the bible say anything we want it to say.


> "St. Paul is an interesting character in the Bible because he makes an attempt to use some reasoning for faith. However, you notice that he rarely mentions anything Jesus said"

This is because Paul never knew the human Jesus. All he knew of his Jesus was from
the psychotic visions he had of this ghostly Jesus.

Truth be told, no author of the bible writings ever knew Jesus firsthand !!
Very odd that his own 12 special followers never had a single word written about their leader, which makes almost any reasoning person wonder how we came to know all the things that Jesus said and did. Funny how no xtians ever question this little historical problem.


Faith vs Reasoning:

Boom already addressed this issue but let me ask my own question.

If you're dealing with a person of faith who is unable (or unwilling) to use reasoning, then what would you suggest we use to show them the errors of their ways; Faith of a different kind; a counter-faith perhaps?
That would be like fighting faith with faith, which we can see at work when those of two different religions debate who's god is the right one, yet both have this great faith going for them.

So if using counter-faith doesn't work, and you say reasoning doesn't work, then I ask you, what is left to use with these xtian believers?
Should we sacrifice a few goats on their behalf in hopes the magic of doing so, will wake up their blind minds?

Frankly, other than logic and reason, I know of no other means to reach these xtians and so we just keep trying, hoping some one thing we say might make them start to question their blind faith.


BOOMSLANG........You're right, he does sometimes sound like a theist in how he presents his arguments. I keep wondering why that is, don't you?



ATF

Monk said...

It occurs to me that we all perhaps miss (or ignore) a seemingly minor coincidence when we address theists: it is difficult, if not impossible, to combat their EMOTION-based belief and faith with any sort of EXTERNAL reasoning. Change must come from within.

It would appear that such was the case with each of us, too. I've read every testimonial I can get my hands on in this site, and I can't remember a single one where the poster said that someone else reasoned them out of christianity directly. It started within each of us. Direct challenges tend to result in knee-jerks from hell (pun intended).

I will be very surprised if we ever directly turn a True Christian(TM) to the dark side on here. That is NOT to say that we shouldn't keep doing what we're doing. We should keep trying, there are always exceptions. We just can't forget the kind of single-minded madness we're up against.

Jim Arvo said...

ATF said "If you're dealing with a person of faith who is unable (or unwilling) to use reasoning, then what would you suggest we use to show them the errors of their ways; Faith of a different kind; a counter-faith perhaps?"

Bingo!

Monk said "...it is difficult, if not impossible, to combat their EMOTION-based belief and faith with any sort of EXTERNAL reasoning. Change must come from within."

Absolutely. It's a slow process for most people. Religious convictions are a scaffold that supports a huge number of other beliefs. People will generally resist the dismantling of one scaffold unless or until there is another that can take its place. By gradually helping them build another that rests on evidence and reason, some of them may one day take the bold step--if they choose to.

Monk also said "...I can't remember a single one where the poster said that someone else reasoned them out of christianity directly."

I recall seeing quite a few testimonies from people who rejected religion because it simply didn't make sense. That was so in my case. I was seven or eight years old when I realized that nothing I'd been told about Christianity was supported by anything solid, so I "flagged" the whole thing as suspect. It didn't take long for me to reject it after that. There was no significant event in my case--just a mundane realization that not everything I'd been told was necessarily correct.

eel_shepherd said...

This could have been added at any point in this thread; I've been out of town for a few days. Just trying to be helpful...

evidence

1. ev.i.dence \'ev-*d-in(t)s, -*-.den(t)s\ n
1a: an outward sign : INDICATION
1b: something that furnishes proof : TESTIMONY; specif :
something legally submitted to tribunal to ascertain the truth of a matter

2: one who bears witness; esp : one who voluntarily confesses a crime and testifies for the prosecution against his accomplices : to be seen :
CONSPICUOUS - in evidence

2. evidence vt : to offer evidence of : PROVE, EVINCE


empirical

em.pir.i.cal or em.pir.ic \-i-k*l\ \-ik\ \-i-k(*-)le-\ aj 1: relying on experience or observation alone often without due regard for system and theory

2: originating in or based on observation or experience

3: capable of being verified or disproved by observation or experiment
{ ~ laws} - em.pir.i.cal.ly av



ordain

or.dain \o.r-'da-n\ \-'da-n-m*nt\ vb [ME ordeinen, fr. OF ordener, fr. LL ordinare, fr. L, to put] in order, appoint, fr. ordin-, ordo order

1: to invest officially (as by the laying on of hands) with ministerial or sacerdotal authority

2: to establish or order by appointment, decree, or law :
ENACT, (MDECREE; specif : DESTINE, PREDESTINE : to issue an order :
DECREE, COMMAND - or.dain.er n

[Courtesy of the Webster Dictionary site.]

stronger now said...

I figure T&O thinks he's got me over a barrel or something. No time to "take him to school" now. Perhaps later.

Train'd 'n Ordain'd said...

Reason: you all think you've got the handle on it and yet some among you make unproved assertions like "Paul is a sexist". And when you are challenged to offer a reasoned proof for that statement you balk.

When another reasoning person challenges such an unreasonable and, indeed, ignorant statement, emotion flies around here - not reason.

Suddenly I'm arrogant and priggish and whatever else your emotions cause you to spew. Lots of emotion; little reasoning.

You are being led by emotions - just look at all the cursing and name calling.

Can't anyone PROVE rationally that Paul is a sexist?

Train'd 'n Ordain'd said...

Reason: you all think you've got the handle on it and yet some among you make unproved assertions like "Paul is a sexist". And when you are challenged to offer a reasoned proof for that statement you balk. So much for reason.

When another reasoning person challenges such an unreasonable and, indeed, ignorant statement, emotion flies around here - not reason. So much for reason.

Suddenly I'm arrogant and priggish and whatever else your emotions cause you to spew. Lots of emotion; little reasoning. So much for reason.

You are being led by emotions - just look at all the cursing and name calling. So much for reason.

Can't anyone PROVE rationally that Paul is a sexist? How 'bout a little reason?

Passerby said...

Train'd 'n Ordain'd,
You speak of reason. Please indicate which of the following popular religious stories are real and which are mythology?

1) A bush can have a conversation with a human?

2) A baby can walk and speak intelligently immediately after birth?

3) A snake can have a conversation with a human?

4) Ants can talk to humans?

5) A person can live inside of a whale for 3 days and 3 nights?

6) A horny Holy Ghost flies around impregnating virgin girls and the offspring is a deity?

7) A person can fly a winged horse to Heaven and back to earth?

8) An all powerful evil dude exists who has 7 heads and 10 horns?

9) A donkey can have a conversation with a human?

10) A devil exists with wings?

Cheers

Monk said...

TO:

To echo Passerby, it's convenient to hide behind reason when it's over something trivial and (largely) opinion-based (i.e. Paul's thoughts on women). But how would you reason even ONE of the myths provided by Passerby into a real event/thing?

We're all people here. Surely you didn't expect to walk into a forum of EX-christians (read: EX-christians) spouting your apologetics and still be welcomed with open arms?

Further, you tried to put the cart before the horse. You cannot successfully argue the details of a myth (such as Paul's thoughts on women) without first coming to a common intellectual ground on the overall myth itself. There is nothing even resembling such an agreement between you and us regarding the bible.

Also, it was YOU who stalled the initial argumentation and reasoning by narrowing the dialogue down from general theological arguments concerning christianity and the bible into nit-picky specifics. You thereafter refused to discuss the broader issues in lieu of a specific theological debate. You hold as much responsibility as anyone else here for letting the discussion degenerate away from REASON and into incessant carping.

Jim Arvo said...

Adding to Monk, who echoed Passerby...

There is plenty for T&O to respond to here should he deign to do so. Or, he can avoid it indefinitely by quibbling over minutia and complaining about the tenor of the discussion.

stronger now said...

T&O,

Twasn't my statement that paul was sexist so I feel no need to support it. I responded with reason and emotion to your arrogance.

It is a common tactic, of men especially, to use their bible knowledge as a club. Beating others into subission with the intent to control them. Pastors and others in christianity tend to do this often and with the sole purpose of propping theirselves up as superior and regarding all others without their level of knowledge as inferior and discounting everything the other person has to say. They claim they are just helping others understand the bible better in order to make them stronger in faith. But that doesn't seem to be the case when those same individuals later abuse their "subjects", by forcing or manipulating them to do things they wouldn't do otherwise.

"My master's degree tells me that I have heard both sides. : )"

"Show me your degree and I'll decide if you are up to the educational challenge! : ) I don't think you are."

As if I don't have a valid stance on why I do not worship your god! As if my experience means nothing but the experiences of the long dead barbarous men, who you believe were witnesses of grand enlightenment, means everything. I would think that one as educated as yourself could conclude that I can answer questions regarding my experience thereby providing definition to it that would be impossible for any dead man to do. That is what gives my point of view more validity. I can be interviewed and asked to give more accurate detail of my experience than anyone in the bible can.

"I would listen to your claims and ask why you believed it to be true."

"So Jesus didn't help you. He answered "no" to your prayer?"

I never said that jebus answered "no", I said he didn't help me. If you did as you said you would I would have explained that he did nothing. You didn't listen and you didn't ask.
Why did you discount my claims other than you are biased against them?

"You and your friends have rejected out of hand any and all possibilities of the supernatural."

"There are contemporary reports of healings and deliverances and so many other documented cases - in physicians' medical charts and the rest. You just refuse to accept that any of this is actually happening because it didn't happen in front of your eyes. "

No, that's not right. They don't happen often enough and in a method that would difference them from statistical probability.

We didn't reject them out of hand. At least I didn't. I accepted them at one time. How could a christian not accept the supernatural. You seem to forget that some of us were christians and did believe the supernatural claims. It's just that we found them to be unsubstantiated and rejected them. Not because we were biased against them but because they didn't manifest in a way that would leave no doubt as to their existence.


You answered a question concerning the validity of other gods you responded:"I have seen no evidence to suggest that these gods are worthy of worship."

Did you mean to say that you have seen no evidence that you would accept? Bias.

"So you're saying you might be wrong about your understanding of that verse. And yet you want to philosophize about God creating evi. Then stick to that: philosophy. You're better off with that than trying to shoot of Bible verses that you really don't understand."


As far as your "homework" I didn't really need it as I explained before. I knew that it was a bad translation. One of many in the bible. But rather than accept the fact I knew what I was doing you kept on insisting that I do the assignment to YOUR specifications. Why? Was it to teach me a lesson about hebrew? One that I didn't really need to begin with? No that wouldn't make sense would it. I think it was to MAKE me do something. Thus establishing that I was inferior and could be controlled as a sheep can. It was a method of forcing me to stroke your ego. Well, If you need something stroked you'll just have to stroke it youself, as usual, I'm sure.

And why should I have to stick to either philosophy or "shooting off bible verses"? In almost every sermon I have heard preached the pastor, father, preacher has spouted bible verses and philosophized about their meaning and then spouted more verses to back up their philosophical claims. Why expect anything different of me. Oh yes. Trying to control me again. Forcing me to do what you want to make it easier for you to deal with any questions I might raise about you, your bible, your god, and your faith. The Only reason I still do not expound on the meanings of the hebrew word Rah is to aggravate you.

Is it killing you, not gettin' what you want?

If the word ra has several subtle differences and it takes explanation to determine the proper usage then how can one determine the whole body of work as objective truth? If language is subjective and changeing then what truth can be derived from ancient texts about ancient people who had no understanding of science or liturature? The stories were handed down verbally(subjectivly) for hundreds if not thousands of years before the people ever got around to writing them down. And can you honestly presume that some didn't use these stories to control other tribes and even their own people by making use of the subtle changing of words, to change the intent, and gain power over the unthinking? Could not most of the miracles and speeches by god have been made up and exaggerated? The whole of human history testifies to the fact that men will try to dominate other men to gain power. Much like you are trying to do here. It would be folly to think that verbal traditional stories of ancient hebrew tribes weren't changed and used and misconstrued to manipulate and influence those people.

I feel I have made a strong case for your purpose of visiting this site.You didn't come here to show the love of christ. In that you didn't come here to spread joy or peace. You didn't come here to be meek or kind. You didn't come here with an open mind and heart. You didn't come here to understand. You didn't come here to show us what a christian should be like. You were generalizing, judgemental, quick to speak and slow to hear. You came here to treat us as your subjects, as inferior, as unthinking animals to be hearded in any direction you wish. You certianly haven't respected our experiences. That to me is most telling.

You do respect the experiences of those in the bible, but not those who can explain and respond. I think that your conduct has shown that the only reason you believe in the bible and the only real reason you studied it so much and the only reason you have your masters is to control and berate others. If you would have taken my advice and read my testimony here you would have gained better understanding of why some of us are not so easy to manipulate.

I was never trained. I was never ordained. I don't have a masters. I never went to college. I barely mad it thru high school.

If one such as I can see thru your arguments so easily and not fall prey to your wiles perhaps you should throw your masters degree in the trash and ask for your money back. I shouldn't have been that hard for you to defeat me. In fact it should have been expected that ou could utterly destroy me in an argument about any part of biblical understanding. So far you don't seem to be doing so well in leading this little dance of ours. It wouldn't have been much of a victory even if you had.

Oh yes, one more thing:




Booya!

Train'd 'n Ordain'd said...

>> As far as your "homework" I didn't really need it as I explained before. I knew that it was a bad translation. <<

Yep. A bad translation and yet knowing it was bad you still attempted to employ it as a part of some larger argument.

This, in fact, is the way you deal with other Christians on this site: "Hey Christian. You're following a fake religion full of 'ghosties' and whatnots and you don't even realize that the Bible says xyz and so you are just fooling yourself."

SO MY PURPOSE WAS to show you that just maybe you are wrong about your understanding of portions of Scripture.

SO MY PURPOSE WAS to throw you off balance and FORCE YOU to be more honest in AT LEAST that approach to Christians who come on here.

It has nothing to do with my ego. I'm fully cognizant of the fact that someone with a master's degree in engineering or biology or literature has more knowledge than me and some with my same degree have greater knowledge and understanding than me. So I am not puffed up for what I know or for knowing more than you in a given area. I realize that the greater the island of my knowledge, the greater the shoreline of my ignorance.

>> If the word ra has several subtle differences and it takes explanation to determine the proper usage then how can one determine the whole body of work as objective truth? <<

Like any other written work that is of an ancient pedigree, instruction is necessary. Though there have sadly been anti-intellectual streams in the Church, most notably the Pentecostal stream of which .:webmaster:. was a part, better teaching is always helpful in the Church.

And I have only sought to press you all to accept the fact that perhaps you are mistaken here or there because of your pride and haughtiness. For all lay people in the Church, I am quite a different sort of teacher.

>> If language is subjective and changeing then what truth can be derived from ancient texts about ancient people who had no understanding of science or liturature? <<

Ancient people did have some scientific understanding, but they did not seek to advance scientific positions in Scripture. To use the Scriptures as a science manual has always been wrong as it was never the intent of the authors to express scientific truth. And they did have an understanding of literature and you will find that the entirety of the Bible is written in styles consistent with those cultures in which the Scriptures were written with the only exception I can think of right now being the Gospels.

>> The whole of human history testifies to the fact that men will try to dominate other men to gain power. Much like you are trying to do here. <<

Power has long been sought by those with information. We take that into consideration when we treat matters of historical inquiry. I have not sought to dominate any of you here. I have only sought to force some humility on your part when dealing with the Scriptures that you want to throw at Christians who come on here.

>> I feel I have made a strong case for your purpose of visiting this site.You didn't come here to show the love of christ. <<

True. I found the site because I did a Google search for something else and noticed that some in this thread - starting with 'Lorena' - were misunderstanding Scripture and using it against believers. I wasn't looking around the net to try to re-convert the de-converted.

>> You came here to treat us as your subjects, as inferior, as unthinking animals to be hearded in any direction you wish. <<

Nope. That is merely projection on your part. In fact, in the rest of your quote that I didn't quote you are actually projecting your friends' behavior onto me. You have all been quite rude, proud and everything else that you claim I am. That isn't ironic. It is psych 101.

>> If you would have taken my advice and read my testimony here you would have gained better understanding of why some of us are not so easy to manipulate. <<

I read it. I was struck at how similar it was to a young girl's testimony I watched the other night on t.v. who had been sexually abused by her father from about 10-13 years of age - weekly. She stood up and told her family and then went public on television while still a teenager to help find her fugitive father and stayed in the spotlight all the while letting her otherwise embarrassing story be told and yet did not lose her faith in the least.

Jim Arvo said...

T&O,

A number of legitimate question have been put to you plainly and calmly. You could always choose to address them likewise, sans ad hominems.

Train'd 'n Ordain'd said...

Just look at the length of the comment I posted in which this is found:

>> AT ANY RATE - seeing as how it is far easier for each one of you to respond to one of me and much more time consuming for me to do the same, let's call it good? <<

There is only so much time in the day to take on a dozen comers. As I said, I am perfectly willing to address the issue that is before you now. You need not address it if you feel you can't and that is fine.

Monk said...

>>This, in fact, is the way you deal with other Christians on this site: "Hey Christian. You're following a fake religion full of 'ghosties' and whatnots and you don't even realize that the Bible says xyz and so you are just fooling yourself."<<

There IS a knee-jerk reaction...and it comes from having the same things repeated over and over ad nauseum without the presentation of any concrete supporting evidence (outside the bible...NOT, in our opinion, an objective source, regardless of the translation).

>>SO MY PURPOSE WAS to show you that just maybe you are wrong about your understanding of portions of Scripture.<<

Yes, many of us may have differing interpretations from you. And if we try (and, in some cases, WISH) hard enough, all sides of the argument can seem to make a case for their stance. Yet, if the bible is the sole, irrefutable word of truth, why would it allow for so many differing interpretations? What's the point? So that some could be lead astray and burn in yahweh's hell? Or that there IS no point because a bunch of fallible, UNINSPIRED men wrote and modified it for their own purposes? Much of the bible is contradictory because there were MANY competing schools of thought in early christianity, each trying to refute the other. Books included in the bible were chosen capriciously, to suit the needs of men, NOT god (even if he DID exist).

Failure to read the bible the same way is not a new trend nor is it one that will go away any time soon (think denominations, etc. etc.). If you don't read it the same way as everyone else, there will be havoc, and NOT control...which is what many propagators of the bible have wanted over the years (control). That's why the church tried so hard for so long to keep the bible out of the common man's hands. Access to knowledge leads to independent thinking. That's unthinkable when you want control.

>>SO MY PURPOSE WAS to throw you off balance and FORCE YOU to be more honest in AT LEAST that approach to Christians who come on here.<<

Honest? Once more, by whose measuring stick? Yours? Strongernow interprets the bible differently than you. I probably interpet it differently than both of you. Who's view is most valid? Why?

>>I realize that the greater the island of my knowledge, the greater the shoreline of my ignorance.<<

Arrogance knows no intellectual barriers. We can all be arrogant. Up until your last post, however, yours has been overbearing.

>>better teaching is always helpful in the Church.<<

How do you decided which is best? And can even the best, most intellectual christian dogma stand up to any OBJECTIVE critical thinking exercise? I think not.

>>And I have only sought to press you all to accept the fact that perhaps you are mistaken here or there because of your pride and haughtiness. For all lay people in the Church, I am quite a different sort of teacher.<<

As I said earlier, if any of us come off that way, it's because we've heard the same UNSUPPORTED christian rantings over and over. We demand evidence, not just theology grounded in wishful thinking.

>>Ancient people did have some scientific understanding, but they did not seek to advance scientific positions in Scripture. To use the Scriptures as a science manual has always been wrong as it was never the intent of the authors to express scientific truth. And they did have an understanding of literature and you will find that the entirety of the Bible is written in styles consistent with those cultures in which the Scriptures were written with the only exception I can think of right now being the Gospels.<<

The bible was not meant to explain the natural world? So, if the creation story is false (or even some sort of allegory), why should you take ANYTHING the bible says literally? In that case, not a single word should be interpreted as an actual guide for conduct, because you wouldn't know whether they really "meant" it or not. Also, if it's not meant to fill the role of science, tell that to you fundamentalist brethren...and while you're at it, tell them to keep their rubbish out of our schools!

>>some in this thread - starting with 'Lorena' - were misunderstanding Scripture and using it against believers.<<

Once more, misunderstood based on what standard? The christian standard? Which one? The protestant standard? Catholic? Fill in the blank standard?

>>I read it. I was struck at how similar it was to a young girl's testimony I watched the other night on t.v. who had been sexually abused by her father from about 10-13 years of age - weekly. She stood up and told her family and then went public on television while still a teenager to help find her fugitive father and stayed in the spotlight all the while letting her otherwise embarrassing story be told and yet did not lose her faith in the least.<<

Not cool. Period.

Jim Arvo said...

So, just to be very clear, you are declining to back up your previous assertions about the reliability of scripture, Paul's view of Jesus, and the extensive empirical evidence for Jesus?

.:webmaster:. said...

I think this is my favorite ad hominem from T&O:

"There have sadly been anti-intellectual streams in the Church, most notably the Pentecostal stream of which .:webmaster:. was a part..."

In one sentence this “True Christian™” managed to denigrate, marginalize and alienate an entire subset of his own cult. And then, without a pause, he deftly threw in a not-so-subtle personal insult to the webmaster. Applause and congratulations to T&O for demonstrating the awesome power of Christ!

Oh, btw, .:webmaster:. had been a Five-Point Calvinist for several years when he left Christianity. Not that it matters. Frankly, all Christianity is anti-intellectual. So, you're right. Anyone would have to be a complete moron to lower him or herself to belonging to such an abusive, controlling, idiotic and lunatic movement.

Yup. That was definitely my favorite ad hominem from T&O.

Train'd 'n Ordain'd said...

>> I think this is my favorite ad hominem from T&O:

"There have sadly been anti-intellectual streams in the Church, most notably the Pentecostal stream of which .:webmaster:. was a part..." <<

There are not many A.G. Ph.D.s I'm certain you know this. One of the few - a well-known and well-regarded one who is still A.G. - spoke to a number of us and admitted that throughout the history of the A.G. there has been an 'anti-intellectual' streak. It was perceived as a badge of honor. (This is a matter of Church history and hardly bears much legitimate argument against the notion.)

This Prof's argument to us was that members of the Pentecostal and Pentecostal-type orgnizations should guard against any pressure to eschew education and dive right in.

Thus, the argument is not my attempt at an attack on a stream of the Church, but rather an historically accurate reflection of what not only this Prof. but others in his camp have stated elsewhere.

>> And then, without a pause, he deftly threw in a not-so-subtle personal insult to the webmaster. <<

No. It had nothing to do with insulting webmaster. It had only to do with (a)pointing to that stream of the Church more subtley than just stating it outright and (b)illustrating that I did read the recommended testimonials.

So if you still feel that was ad hominem against the A.G. - whom I dearly love (a)for their tremendous works in Latin America and (b)their reminder to the Church that God comes in power and (c)and in which I have a number of close friends - or against you, then you are mistaken. But if you need to feel like a victim today, you can't do worse than believing that I meant these statements to be ad hominem.

.:webmaster:. said...

This T&O is amazing.

First he insults a "stream" of the church as being anti-intellectual, ties in the .:webmaster:. as being a member of that ignorant stream, and then says that's not what he meant, then accuses the .:webmaster:. of "needing to feel like a victim" for pointing out the obvious.

Is Insultogetics a required course in Bible School? If so, T&O gets an A+++++.

Looking up at the title of this thread again, I can certainly understand why T&O has elected to comment here. Then again, I could be wrong, as this poster gives no outward evidence of self-doubt regarding his self-perfection.

If this T&O is really on the road to being some religious leader instead of the troll he appears, Christianity is sincerely f***ed up.

And everyone said, "DUH."

Train'd 'n Ordain'd said...

Is it an insult to call a stream of the Church that which well-regarded members in good standing and the historical record records to be the case? Not at all. It is your ignorance of Church history and the real meaning behind "anti-intellectual" as it relates to the Church that makes you miss the point.

If you had studied Church history you would be aware that there are two major historical streams - scholastics and mystics - and the Pentecostal Church has clearly fallen within the mystical branch.

Once again, simple ignorance on larger Christian matters makes you miss the point. But alas, be the victim you choose to be. It is, afterall, your choice.

stronger now said...

T&O:>>I read it. I was struck at how similar it was to a young girl's testimony I watched the other night on t.v. who had been sexually abused by her father from about 10-13 years of age - weekly. She stood up and told her family and then went public on television while still a teenager to help find her fugitive father and stayed in the spotlight all the while letting her otherwise embarrassing story be told and yet did not lose her faith in the least.<<

And what? What is your point here? That I was weak in my faith? How do you know? Ahh Yes..YOU DON'T!

What you don't know about me and my life and the things I went thru could fill oceans. Do not attempt to marginalize my experience by comparing it to anyone elses'. I am glad that this girl has enough strength to stand up for herself in such adversity. Can you prove that her strength comes from jebus and not herself? Do you see it as a weakness in me that I stood up for myself when your jebus didn't help me keep my faith. Yep I asked for a lot of stuff like that and when I needed it most jebus did nothing. What on earth could you expect from this? For me to say that I didn't really do the things I said I did, and concede that I was just kiddin'? Come on man! If I told you a story about a really well educated man who after studying the bible rejected it as the word of god, would It matter at all to you? I doubt it, you could just say that he was mistaken. How about ponying up some evidence that a god exists. Then pony up the evidence that said deity is the one the bible describes. That would go further than enything else you could say or do to helping us believe correctly.

By the way your starting to sound less and less interesting. Less worthy of our considerations.

clair said...

Yes, I agree, now only intresting in a car wreck sort of way. No, the dead oppossum interesting. I look over at stronger now, put a finger to my lips, and whisper "shhh, it's sleeping". Good for a dry joke, but also gross as it's beginning to stink. Clair (the wife)

eel_shepherd said...

Let's go out and come back in again (easy for me to say, I know, since I haven't been in the thick of the debates) and consider the topic of the thread, which is to not consider the exemplars of Xtianity in all their human failings, but the doctrine or message (and, one assumes, the deity that goes with it).

Or, at least, to consider the results of that doctrine, i.e. the non-bad converts to (and de-converts from) Xtianity.

Eternal hellfire aside, T.& O., would you agree that there are as many people whose inner and outer lives have taken a sharp turn for the better by de-converting from Xtianity, or any religion, as there are of those whose lives have taken a similar upturn from converting to, in this case, Xtianity? Not exact numbers, but on roughly the same order of magnitude?

freethinker05 said...

"By the way your starting to sound less and less interesting. Less worthy of our considerations?"

Sounds like someone else I know; His initials are, MARC!!!

Monk said...

Hey, not all "Marks" are evil.


Mark G (monk)

stronger now said...

Freethinker05, I dunno' about this one. But I have been wrong before. I did get that feeling awhile back so you ain't alone.

stronger now said...

Oh wait! Do you know for sure?

freethinker05 said...

No, Stronger Now, I ain't for sure, but, by just recalling how certian people,(like marc), posts his comments seems familier in words and sentences compared to the other names he's used in the past. It's fun trying to guess though. Peace, Roger...A/A