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Offline jgunter

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A Possible Rebuttal
« on: January 20, 2010, 12:51:56 AM »
Hello, I saw the youtube video and wished to post some of my thoughts on the subject.  First, I'd like to introduce myself.  My name is John and I am currently a college junior.  I'm not a college graduate as of this time but I do believe I'm a relatively intelligent Christian with some knowledge on the debate over the existence of God and in particular the Christian God.  I sort of stumbled on the video and was interested in the approach taken by the founders of the website.  I always look for fresh perspectives on the debate surrounding the existence of God.  I think the founders of the website pose an interesting question by asking why God won't heal amputees.  However, I don't necessarily think the other 9 questions are all that new but still need to be answered in order to reconcile belief in God with the rational mind.  I don't believe that everybody has to accept the answers but only that they are logically sound and stand on their own in the debate.  At this time my purpose is to post a response to the first question with more to come later as I have the time.

It was interesting when the youtube video talked about what most Christians believe.  Towards the beginning of the video, the speaker explains "most Christians believe that God is curing cancers, healing diseases, reversing the effects of poisons and so on."  The speaker then goes to on to say that God does not heal amputees and this does not make sense when we consider the notion of God's healing power over other ailments.  However, I think one needs to consider what would the purpose of a healing be?  What would a miracle be for?  If you look at each of the ailments mentioned I would consider each one to be life-threatening when a miracle takes place.  In other words, God would cure someone of deathly cancer or a deathly disease.  

If we consider an amputee what are we thinking about?  Presumably we are thinking about someone who has had an amputation for their own good or in order to save their life.  Taken in that light could not the miracle have already been done?  Perhaps missing a limb is not considered life-threatening in this case because it has already been removed in order to preserve life.  Perhaps one could even go so far as to say that the development of prosthetic limbs has allowed for the miracle the founders of this website have in mind to actually occur.  Of course not everyone can get a prosthetic limb but not everyone can get medication for curable diseases either but it does not mean that the medication does not exist or that it wouldn't work.  

Just because something does not occur for everyone does not mean something doesn't occur for anyone.  That is a side note but  my main point is that we have to think about the purpose of a miracle and see if there are any differences between miracles that supposedly occur and ones that we do not believe occur.  

I realize there is a counterargument here where one could say that Jesus healed people who could not walk and who were blind.  In that case, we need to look at the context those miracles took place and the times the people lived in.  Could not a handicap like the inability to walk or the inability to see have been life threatening?  There certainly were no special accommodations for people in those times.  Presumably it would be very difficult for a crippled person or a blind person to get the necessities of life and the handicap may have been as such that it would have eventually killed the people whom it afflicted.  I don't take this to be a wild rationalization and could in fact be a very reasonable explanation.  

However, still further in this debate is another counterargument going something like why doesn't God do this for everyone?  If God can do miracles, why cure some but not all and why allow some people to have ailments and others to be healthy?  What we are really asking here comes down to one question that really isn't all that new and has been posed over and over again over the years:  "Why would God allow evil in the world?"  In that case, we're not dealing with something new but something dealt with time and again.  It's a very interesting question and has haunted many people over the years.  

If one wants a very eloquent composition on the problem of evil I would suggest the 19th century Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov for further reading.  I believe the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omni benevolent God to be perfectly compatible with suffering in the world.  In the end the answer lies in man's free will.  For the full philosophical explanation I would urge the interested reader to consider the Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga's arguments against the problem of evil.  One could also consider William Lane Craig's Reasonable Faith for the layman's explanation regarding the problem of evil as Plantinga is strictly an academic and his stuff can get pretty dense.  

I would be happy to discuss this further with anyone interested.  Again, I'm interested in the initial posting I like to see people joining the debate.  I respectfully put my hat into the ring and welcome anyone who would like to join in rigorous inquiry into the question of whether God exists  :)        
« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 04:34:45 AM by jgunter »

Offline Zankuu

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Re: A Possible Rebuttal
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2010, 01:02:37 AM »
Bookmarked.

jgunter, welcome to the site. I look forward to exchanging thoughts with you.

Also, a small tip: Try breaking up large walls of text into smaller more manageable paragraphs. Some people find large walls of text rude and if they think you didn't put any effort into making your posts vision friendly, they won't bother reading it.
Leave nothing to chance. Overlook nothing. Combine contradictory observations. Allow yourself enough time. -Hippocrates of Cos

Offline jgunter

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Re: A Possible Rebuttal
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2010, 01:06:11 AM »
Oh right, I'm sorry I didn't mean to be rude to anyone!  I'll make sure to do that in the future.

Offline GetMeThere

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Re: A Possible Rebuttal
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2010, 01:11:09 AM »
Hi John. Welcome to the forum.

It think the logic of the WWGHA argument is supposed to work like this:

1) People with deadly diseases like cancer who PRAY, based on numerous verses in the new testament that promise that prayers of the faithful will be answered, sometimes find themselves healed--and then claim that their prayers were answered. Based on those same biblical promises, it's reasonable to assume that those who have lost a limb (or been born without one) should ALSO be healed--have their limb replaced.

2) The fact that those people NEVER grow back their lost limbs (as far as anyone has ever heard) suggests that it is NOT prayer that is healing the cancer patients, but simply a normal reversal of cancer that sometimes occurs in believers and non-believers alike.

3) THEREFORE, one can conclude that the promises made in the bible are NOT KEPT. It's that FAILURE of scripture that is pointed to by the WWGHA argument, and NOT the idea that god doesn't care about amputees, but should.

Here is the opening presentation of the argument.

and here are some specifics about healing and prayer.

There ARE arguments about suffering, etc. But the actual WWGHA argument doesn't depend on them.

Offline Zankuu

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Re: A Possible Rebuttal
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2010, 01:13:08 AM »
Oh right, I'm sorry I didn't mean to be rude to anyone!  I'll make sure to do that in the future.

No sweat. If you want, you can modify your original post and break it down. In the upper right hand corner of your post, there are three options: Quote, Modify, and Remove. The Modify button allows you to edit your post to your liking.

I have no doubt you’ll get more action in this thread if you make a few aesthetic changes to it.
Leave nothing to chance. Overlook nothing. Combine contradictory observations. Allow yourself enough time. -Hippocrates of Cos

Offline jgunter

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Re: A Possible Rebuttal
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2010, 02:05:27 AM »
That's an interesting point GetMeThere.  I looked at the specific verses you referenced and I noticed common points of reference in all of them.  By the way, just for future reference I noticed Matthew 21:21 and Mark 11:24 are the same story twice from the two books so one need only look at one or the other.  That seems trivial but it's kind of important to my point which is to urge context.  What was Jesus saying in these verses?  

What you are saying from my point of view is that the prayers of the faithful will be answered when they pray.  I made sure to look at each verse referenced in order to see what we can glean.  Some common points themes in all the verses are to be faithful and that prayer is a powerful thing.  Matthew 7:7 is the ask, seek, knock verse.  Jesus is saying that the faithful should ask God for something and they will receive it.  But, in order to ask for something one must be faithful.  So we could think of it like this: faithful+asking= receiving.  However, if we are going to ask for something we have to be faithful and if we are faithful that means our prayers should look like the Bible's outline for prayer.  In other words, we have to consider what a faithful person would ask for.

So what would a faithful person ask for?  If we go back to Matthew 6:9-13 we actually see a quote from Jesus telling us how to pray and what to ask for.  In the prayer, Jesus says that the faithful should pray for God's will to be done, to be given their daily bread, and to be forgiven of sins.  Also, in verse 8, Jesus says that "your Father knows what you need before you ask him."  We take this to mean that we pray for God's will to be done, we ask for what we need, and that we be forgiven.  Jesus says that God already knows what we need and that praying is useful because it is acknowledging we are faithful to God and that we know he has our best interests at heart with regards to need.  Thus, the ask, seek, knock verse can be said to mean that we should ask for these things, seek these things, and knock on the door in order to receive these things.  If we are faithful we will pray for these things and then when we ask, seek, and knock, they will occur.

I don't take Matthew 17:20 or the Fig Tree stories of Matthew 21:21 or Mark 11:24 to be threatening at all to the notion that prayer is powerful.  If one looks at the context of the passages one realizes Jesus is talking in metaphor by referring to faith as a mustard seed.  When he talks about mountains presumably is he is using imagery to promote the idea that prayer has the power to do big things.  A mountain would be very big to those people so saying that their faith would be able to do big things through this use of imagery would allow the message to hit home.  That isn't necessarily defeated by the amputee argument.

John 14:12 says that anyone who has faith and prays will be able to do what he is doing.  The question then become what was Jesus doing?  One could say he was healing and that could be one way to take it.  That seems to be small-scale thinking, however.  In my mind, the correct way to take it would be to consider what was the overall mission of Jesus?  It was to proclaim man's salvation through him.  Therefore, the faithful should pray in order that they be able to proclaim the good news to the world.

For Matthew 18:19 I reference Matthew 6:9-13 again.  Jesus tells the faithful how they ought to pray and in verse 8 tells them that God already knows what they need.  If you are going to be faithful you will obey Jesus' commands and you will pray how he tells you to pray.  Therefore, you needn't worry because God will give you what you need if you pray because he already knows what you need.  The amputee argument doesn't defeat this.

James 5:15-16 says that a prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well and the Lord will raise him up.  That means that a person has to be sick in order to be well.  Do we think of an amputee as being sick?  Presumably they were amputated in order to save their life and prevent them from being sick.  That goes back to my original point.  It doesn't seem the amputee argument defeats this.

I'm answering the argument offered on the grounds offered by the website.  The website takes verses and says what they mean and that what they mean doesn't cohere with what we know about the world.  I argue that if we look at them logically and see how Jesus told the faithful to pray then the faithful will pray in that way if they are truly faithful.  If they are truly faithful they will ask for God's will to be done, to be given what they need, and to be forgiven their sins.  The amputee argument does not defeat this concept because it deals with the concept of need and one has to make a leap in logic in order to justify needs other than those necessary as described by the "daily bread" of Matthew 6.

I feel I've answered the logic of the argument on its own grounds and I look forward to more rigorous inquiry.  This is fun!  I'm enjoying delving into the scriptures and using reason to draw conclusions about God and the world.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 02:13:09 AM by jgunter »

Offline GetMeThere

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Re: A Possible Rebuttal
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2010, 02:22:31 AM »
^
OR...you're making an elaborate series of rationalizations to explain away writings that are ridiculous.

How about

Matthew 21 NIV
19Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" Immediately the tree withered. 20When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. "How did the fig tree wither so quickly?" they asked. 21Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. 22If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."


Doesn't the phrase "I tell you the truth" suggest that jesus means EXACTLY what he is saying, and not something metaphorical? And he gives EXAMPLES: You can do exactly what was done to the fig tree AND even very much more--toss a mountain into the sea. If you believe you receive WHATEVER you ask....and he prefaces this with I TELL YOU THE TRUTH.

When jesus specifically says he is TELLING THE TRUTH....shouldn't that be taken as THE TRUTH?

Offline ReasonIsOutToLunch

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Re: A Possible Rebuttal
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2010, 02:30:36 AM »
Quote
If we consider an amputee what are we thinking about?  Presumably we are thinking about someone who has had an amputation for their own good or in order to save their life.  Taken in that light could not the miracle have already been done?  Perhaps missing a limb is not considered life-threatening in this case because it has already been removed in order to preserve life.  Perhaps one could even go so far as to say that the development of prosthetic limbs has allowed for the miracle the founders of this website have in mind to actually occur.


I am really sick of this answer. What did you all get together and decide this is the answer? I have only been back a couple of months and I have seen this arguement at least 10x. It's as stupid now as the first time I saw it. The question WWGHA isn't "Why is Amputation a Miracle?". It is telling that you don't think the problems of being limbless is a real problem with real ramifications. I am really sick of xians minimizing the pain of real people saying "oh god must not think its important so neither do I".  Then to further cement the fact that you are another apologizer for god, you give him the credit for people creating prosthetic limbs.

Here is the simple answer, YHWH doesn't exist, I won't call him god, because he isn't, he didn't create anything, he can't answer prayers, he can't heal cancer, he doesn't cause it to rain or the sun to shine, he is a figment of the imaginations of heat stroked middle easterners. Now, I know you are going to keep on coming up with lame excuses and arguements for the bible, it's the xian SOP, but stop pretending that god can heal but he won't because it serves some higher purpose.

Oh yeah, and welcome to the forum. Most people here don't bite, so make yourself at home, pour a cup o tea and stay a bit.
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Offline GetMeThere

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Re: A Possible Rebuttal
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2010, 02:37:44 AM »
James 5:15-16 says that a prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well and the Lord will raise him up.  That means that a person has to be sick in order to be well.  Do we think of an amputee as being sick?  Presumably they were amputated in order to save their life and prevent them from being sick.  That goes back to my original point.  It doesn't seem the amputee argument defeats this.

I think you're purposely limiting your imagination. People might lack limbs because of:

1) A congenital defect. Born that way. Perhaps the mother was subjected to a poison--a poisonous plant she ate, for example. Seems this could easily be called a "sickness." The mother was made sick, and it made her baby sick and unable to grow it's limbs normally.

2) An illness, as you mention. An infection perhaps. Bone cancer. Of course, it's only in the last 200-300 years, I would guess, that such limbs were actually REMOVED surgically. Before then, they probably just ROTTED OFF. No recordings from antiquity talk of such limbs ever growing back--even though their loss was definitely a "sickness."

3) An injury. Some limbs are ripped off, cut off, or crushed. That's certainly not a process of getting well! Certainly, such a person can easily lose multiple limbs, and their ability to feed themselves be taken away. This too, in older times, could be seen as a "sickness" that could cause someone to die. They might pray for their "daily bread" and still be unable to acquire it.

It's a rationalization to claim that ANY cause of a loss of a limb isn't something that could be called a "sickness." Missing a limb is certainly not "wellness."

Besides, the argument is very EASILY defeated in the most ordinary terms: MOST of those who have cancer and pray are NOT healed. Do you REALLY BELIEVE that all the sick who faithfully pray are healed? That seems very naive. The amputee example exists mostly to give the situation CLARITY--a limb growing back (or NOT growing back) is a very UNAMBIGUOUS thing.

Think of the children in offshoot christian groups who have died because the parent's strict reading of the bible made them use prayer as the only source of healing. How can you POSSIBLY question the faith of those people? They put EVERYTHING on the line because of their beliefs. Yet their prayed-for child died, nevertheless.

Offline jgunter

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Re: A Possible Rebuttal
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2010, 04:07:56 AM »
Interesting points.  However, your arguments have several problems.  First of all, if we're going to start taking everything literally we still reach the same conclusion.  Jesus gave explicit instructions how to pray.  He said pray like this and told the faithful what they should pray for.  If one is to be faithful one ought to pray within the bounds Jesus has established.  Anything after that is going to be in the context of how one ought to pray.  That is, that God's will be done, that one receive what one needs, and that one be forgiven of one's sins.  So yes, I'll take Jesus for exactly what he is saying which is to pray like this and everything after follows from that.  So being given whatever you ask for will be given in the context of what a faithful person out to ask for in their prayers.  Those things may be big if God's will is to be done and if one's needs are to be met in that way.  I don't see your refutation as a defeater to Matthew 6.

Missing a limb is a very real problem it is a matter of true human suffering that few of us can truly comprehend.

Here's your biggest problem: that you have attached stipulations as to what gets to count as an amputation.  This website is based on the premise that God does not heal amputees and God does not exist because God does not heal the amputees.  But if you start attaching different situations of what gets to count as amputation then it becomes another type of disease or human suffering.  I am answering under the assumption that we are talking about surgical removal of body parts or necessary removal of body parts.  When we start talking about all these other things we are really asking, "why does God allow these horrible things to happen to humans?"  It then becomes the problem of evil or the problem of suffering again which isn't a new argument.  If I'm to use my imagination I can come up with any kind of suffering and ask why doesn't God heal it?  I'm still asking the same question logically speaking.  It is just in a different form.  The website doesn't ask a new question it merely asks an old question in a different form.  In the end, my refutation is the same.  

Also, with regards to the other question, Why God would heal some and not others? that comes down to Matthew 6 once more which is a question of need.  In verse 8 God is said to know exactly what we need.  You assume that the greatest need of a faithful Christian amputee is to have their limb return.  Like I said before, it becomes a question of what is the greatest need and God knows what the greatest need and decides to answer prayer by need.  If we are truly faithful we will ask for what we need and it will be given to us.  That is the context for all future statements about prayer on your grounds if we are to take Jesus literally at what he says.  He says this is how you should pray.  I take that as being how a faithful person should pray and that anything will be granted to them in the context of God's will, one's individual needs, and one's salvation.

I will say something else of interest.  I think you have yourself in a bind logically speaking.  You're committed absolutely to reason.  You say that Christianity has crippling problems with it that cannot be refuted and that God does not exist.  However, all you've really accomplished is saying the conception of God as presented in the Bible is not in fact true.  That's not to say that God doesn't exist.  Suppose there is an argument based on reason and science that God exists.  If this argument is sound, you are committed to saying that God does in fact exist.  Well, suppose a case can be made from that point that a personal creator God exists.  If that argument is sound you're committed to a personal creator God.  Now suppose an argument that Jesus was really who he said he was and did what he said he did.  If that argument is sound you're committed to Jesus and you're right back where you started.  My point is that if you want to reach the point where you can absolutely say God doesn't exist you're wasting time with this.  Go to the core where the analytic philosophical arguments lie and start debating the foundational arguments for theism if you really want to challenge the existence of God.  You're starting at one layer and even if I were to accept this you still have to defeat a lot of argumentation before atheism has won the day.  Personally I don't think any of the arguments you've presented are convincing considering they can be refuted so easily and that the best this website has is a tricky form of the problem of evil.  So I don't think you've gotten that far yet.  But it's just a thought to consider.  You're starting from the top of layers and layers of reason and evidence but if it were me I would go directly to the source and try to rip the heart out of theism.

It's nice to be welcomed as such.  I'm not worried though if someone were to attempt to bite me I'm perfectly capable of defending myself ;) btw, is there any way to get notifications of posts sent to my email so I'll know when someone responds?  I just kind of had to check back and see if anyone responded because it wasn't sent to me.  k, thanks!
« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 04:12:42 AM by jgunter »

Offline jgunter

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Re: A Possible Rebuttal
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2010, 04:31:06 AM »
People might lack limbs because of:

1) A congenital defect. Born that way. Perhaps the mother was subjected to a poison--a poisonous plant she ate, for example. Seems this could easily be called a "sickness." The mother was made sick, and it made her baby sick and unable to grow it's limbs normally.

2) An illness, as you mention. An infection perhaps. Bone cancer. Of course, it's only in the last 200-300 years, I would guess, that such limbs were actually REMOVED surgically. Before then, they probably just ROTTED OFF. No recordings from antiquity talk of such limbs ever growing back--even though their loss was definitely a "sickness."

3) An injury. Some limbs are ripped off, cut off, or crushed. That's certainly not a process of getting well! Certainly, such a person can easily lose multiple limbs, and their ability to feed themselves be taken away. This too, in older times, could be seen as a "sickness" that could cause someone to die. They might pray for their "daily bread" and still be unable to acquire it.
 
In that case, perhaps Jesus did heal amputees.  Matthew 12:10, Mark 3:1, and Luke 6:6 all begin a story of Jesus healing a man with a shriveled hand maybe this is an example of a limb rotting off.  A man with a shriveled hand presumably had a defect and was perhaps on his way to being an amputee.  A shriveled hand in that case could have meant amputee.  A shriveled hand could have been meant to describe an arm without a hand or a hand that was missing parts or anything that we would think of as an amputee.  Based on your definition we may have evidence to say that Jesus did do it in which case it then becomes the question of why heal some but not others?  Which goes back to what I said before about Matthew 6 and the problem of evil.  Same conclusion just an interesting thought.

Offline Blaze

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Re: A Possible Rebuttal
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2010, 05:09:11 AM »
jgunter, are you equating the problem of amputees to the problem of evil?

Quote
Based on your definition we may have evidence to say that Jesus did do it in which case it then becomes the question of why heal some but not others?  Which goes back to what I said before about Matthew 6 and the problem of evil.  Same conclusion just an interesting thought.

Where is the evidence that Jesus even healed SOME people??? NOT ONE person has been miraculously healed, EVER.

Just nitpicking, don't have time to read through walls of text...
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Offline GetMeThere

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Re: A Possible Rebuttal
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2010, 05:11:46 AM »
I'm now losing interest in this discussion because I see the very typical christian EVASION poking up.

First of all, if we're going to start taking everything literally we still reach the same conclusion.  Jesus gave explicit instructions how to pray.  He said pray like this and told the faithful what they should pray for.

So, take everything literally, but make as the BASIS those literal things you PREFER, and let them hold sway over everything else. How about giving a DIRECT ANSWER to why jesus would make a DIRECT and EXPLICIT statement that he DOESN'T MEAN, but which he means to SUBSUME to some minor comment elsewhere.

Here's your biggest problem: that you have attached stipulations as to what gets to count as an amputation.  This website is based on the premise that God does not heal amputees and God does not exist because God does not heal the amputees.

My biggest problem? Stipulations? The site doesn't make a STIPULATION, it merely tries to choose the example that can be most easily understood. The argument is victorious as soon as a SINGLE PERSON who has faith fails to receive what they've asked for in prayer. It's clearly YOUR SIDE that has the major problem--and one that can't be helped by ANY stipulation (except ones to evade explicit statements).

I will say something else of interest.  I think you have yourself in a bind logically speaking.  You're committed absolutely to reason.

Committed to reason? That may be true, but I'm not sure it applies directly to this discussion. Here, I'm committed to FAIR INTERPRETATION. The bible makes DIRECT promises (you may, if you wish, try to refute that with a well-formed, structured, and evidenced argument, but not by the generalities you've made so far)--those promises aren't kept. This means that the bible doesn't conform to reality. That means that what the bible describes isn't TRUE.

Of course you know, I'm sure, that answers to prayers are only ONE such point out of MANY MANY. Another of my favorites is jesus' incorrect prophecy of his return with the kingdom of god within the lifetime of those around him. None other than CS Lewis calls the many verses spoken by jesus on that score: "The most embarrassing verses in the bible."

I would say that perhaps the two most heavily covered topics of jesus are god's promises to man via him (through prayer, and through his sacrifice), and the prophecy of his return. If BOTH those areas are under significant doubt, then christianity itself is in DEEP trouble--for those who look objectively at the gospels in evaluating christianity for truth.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 10:30:24 AM by GetMeThere »

Offline GetMeThere

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Re: A Possible Rebuttal
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2010, 05:14:11 AM »
In that case, perhaps Jesus did heal amputees.

Again, the topic on this site is not stories about jesus, but jesus' promises regarding answers to prayers.

Offline GetMeThere

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Re: A Possible Rebuttal
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2010, 05:30:35 AM »
So what would a faithful person ask for?  If we go back to Matthew 6:9-13 we actually see a quote from Jesus telling us how to pray and what to ask for.

IMO, if you are going to refer to verses you should quote them, so interpretations can be challenged. Looking at Matthew 6 (NIV)

9"This, then, is how you should pray: " 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11Give us today our daily bread. 12Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13And lead us not into temptation.

So, how to interpret those verses. They're very SPECIFIC.

I have to ask then, if that was SPECIFICALLY what jesus wanted people to pray for, then why make statements that WHATEVER you ask for in prayer will be answered? Shouldn't he just repeat this prayer in every circumstance when he discusses prayer? Certainly, many things are repeated over and over again throughout the gospels. And, in fact, what IS repeated over and over again is the promise to give WHATEVER IS ASKED FOR in prayer, whereas this prayer is not repeated over and over.

My interpretation: This is just an EXAMPLE given by jesus of a good, general prayer. I see NOTHING here to imply that this should stand above all other discussion of prayer, or that when jesus says that ANYTHING one asks for in prayer is given, when what he would REALLY mean is that only the things above would be answered.

Seriously, how can ANY writings possibly be understood under your interpretation? Mine, OTOH, are very simple and straightforward: When jesus says he's TELLING THE TRUTH, and anything that you ask for in prayer will be granted to you, then that's what he MEANS, and that INCLUDES the things in the simple, general, example prayer as given here.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 05:42:17 AM by GetMeThere »

Offline GetMeThere

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Re: A Possible Rebuttal
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2010, 05:39:10 AM »
I will say something else of interest.  I think you have yourself in a bind logically speaking.  You're committed absolutely to reason.  You say that Christianity has crippling problems with it that cannot be refuted and that God does not exist.  However, all you've really accomplished is saying the conception of God as presented in the Bible is not in fact true.  That's not to say that God doesn't exist.  Suppose there is an argument based on reason and science that God exists.  If this argument is sound, you are committed to saying that God does in fact exist.  Well, suppose a case can be made from that point that a personal creator God exists.  If that argument is sound you're committed to a personal creator God.  Now suppose an argument that Jesus was really who he said he was and did what he said he did.  If that argument is sound you're committed to Jesus and you're right back where you started.  My point is that if you want to reach the point where you can absolutely say God doesn't exist you're wasting time with this.

Yes, all those alternatives are ABSOLUTELY CORRECT. The argument here is against the BIBLE--because THAT is the ONLY THING extant on which to base any argument. If any of the other things you mention were somehow "proved" then THEY would be true--but the bible would still be false.

As it stands now all sects of christianity are based on the bible. There IS NO JESUS other than what is described in the bible--without the bible jesus is just the name of some hispanic baseball player.

If your religion, or the religion you wish to discuss is not based on the BIBLE then you're in the wrong forum. A god that exists only in someone's MIND cannot be discussed, challenged, or refuted by anyone other than the owner of the mind in question--nor is it of value or interest to anyone other than the mind in which the god is found.

Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: A Possible Rebuttal
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2010, 06:33:58 AM »
bm
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline Dragnet

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Re: A Possible Rebuttal
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2010, 08:05:08 AM »
Welcome to the forum.

Try not to take anything personal, unless of course it gets personal : :P
I am responsible with my actions NOW so I don't HAVE to be responsible for them later.