Author Topic: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP  (Read 15496 times)

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Offline Gimpy

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Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #203 on: September 26, 2010, 09:15:15 AM »

I understand that. Unfortunately the claim is that all such records were included int he bible by the Council of Nicea. It's just not reasonable to expect us to find one that they missed


If they did not "miss" any, and this is the best they got in terms of anything material, I'm still scratching my head!

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Offline Eddy Swirl

Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #204 on: September 26, 2010, 09:24:43 AM »
Thread title should really read: UP's Escapology and Biblical Misinterpretation/ask UP......But dont expect a straight answer
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Offline Eddy Swirl

Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #205 on: September 26, 2010, 10:04:11 AM »
UP, the above comment is in jest, so I urge you not to take offence...

You've demonstrated that sometimes you interpret a question incorrectly.
As this threads content involves your biblical interpretation, and you have trouble interpreting questions regarding this, wouldn't you be having some doubts about your biblical interpretations?

As you have mentioned that you are using this forum as a sounding board for your ideas, does this mean that you have had doubts from the beginning?
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Offline JeffPT

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Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #206 on: September 26, 2010, 10:46:58 AM »
Unfortunately, That's the claim, that this miraculous thing happened to this incredible charismatic character of Jesus and everybody who saw it became believers and started writing the bible.

You, as well as everyone else here, knows the people who supposedly saw all that miraculous stuff could not read or write.  Neither could the vast majority (90% or so) of their friends and neighbors. 

In any event, when a miraculous thing is claimed by anyone in the world, at any time, is it smarter to assume the miraculous happened, or smarter to assume it didn't?  For example...

If I said my grandfather died and rose again 3 days later, is it smarter to assume that really happened, or to look for evidence to back it up?  And what if I convinced 50 people that it really DID happen, and those people started to spread the idea around to other people, just like in the bible... would it still meet the standards required for someone to actually believe it happened?  Hardly.  So which is more likely...  The people who wrote the gospel accounts were getting their information second, third, maybe 4th hand from someone who said they knew someone who saw the events and lied about it?  Or that a man died on the cross, and rose from the dead 3 days later?  I'm sorry man.  We know people lie.  We know people make stuff up.  It's been happening in religion for thousands of years.  It is possible that an apocalyptic preacher named Jesus lived during that time and was all nutty claiming the world as going to end, and being charismatic, people bought his story when they heard it from someone who heard it from someone who heard it from someone.  After all, apocalyptic Jewish preachers were a dime a dozen back then.  But to say there is reasonable reason to believe that the resurrection actually happened?  With the sheer lack of hard evidence?  I don't get that at all.   

As a result of that being the claim I can't provide you with any critical contemporary sources. That's what you asked for. I freely admit I don't have it. I don't have the beef.

So what you are saying is... you have no evidence.  But that would mean you believe on faith, wouldn't it?  I mean the only way to believe without evidence... is faith.  I thought you didn't believe in faith?   

However, because that is the claim, if I had any critical contemporary source, it would actually disprove the claim that it happened the way the bible says it did, so we can't ask for that, it would be... whatever the opposite of begging the question is.. unbegging the unquestion...

Nice mental gymnastics.  I give it an 8.5.  Couldn't the other more obvious reason be that it never really happened to begin with? 

So now we need to ask the question, as critical historians who don't believe the bible is the word of god, how would we determine whether or not this claim is true.

Reasonable doubt.  Very simple.  We have a miraculous claim which is, by in large, the lynchpin of the entire Christian faith.  A man named Jesus rose from the dead 3 days after he died.  Based on the evidence for, and against, there is more than enough reason to reject the idea, and no compelling reason to accept it. 

Let's look at the facts. 

A. There is no mention of Jesus by contemporary writers.  Not for at least 100 years after the fact.
 
B. Nobody, NOBODY saw Jesus rise from the dead. 

C. The tomb was empty.  Could it be empty for any natural reason?  OF COURSE.  Someone could have moved the body to a special Jewish burial plot. I am not saying that IS what happened, but it is a vastly more likely scenario than Jesus's true form was normally an invisible sky man who poofed his own body back to life. 

D. The gospel writers were NOT the eyewitnesses.  They were getting their information decades after the supposed events took place.
 
E. People LIE all the time.  For thousands of years, religious people have been making things up and lying for their religions. 

F. Saul of Tarsus had a vision.  Do we normally accept "visions" as documented evidence of truth? I don't care if he hated Christians before the event.  It doesn't matter.  He had an experience he couldn't understand, and he thought it was from Jesus.  Could it simply have been that he was sick in some way?  Some have suggested epilepsy. If you had epileptic seizure in 50 A.D. would you have understood it as a naturally occurring disease process, or would you likely think it some sort of majestic sign?  It's a no brainer. 

G. We have no original copies of any of the biblical writings.  And the copies we do have are copies of copies of copies of copies.  Suffice to say, we have nothing of what they originally said.  Not only that, but we don't even know who wrote a good many of them. 

H. Humans don't rise from the dead.  Period.  If you are going to seriously suggest that someone did, then you better back it up with serious evidence, or you are just being a gullible fool.  If you believe that story, then you should have no problem believing me when I tell you I once jumped from the ground and touched the top of the Empire State building and landed back on the ground safely.  I can't prove it to you, but I did.  Nobody saw it, but it happened.  I told some people about it, and they wrote about it.  That should be enough to convince you.

I. The vast, VAST majority of Jews who heard the Jesus story rejected it.  Christianity in its early forms was a no name, weak ass religion that only a few people believed in.  It was a religion that had a lot of appeal for poor, illiterate people because it held claims that those people would be exalted in heaven.  If you were poor and illiterate and someone came along saying "hey, if you believe in Jesus, after you die you will go to a super nice place and be better off than rich people" what would you do?  You would buy that shit no doubt.  The movement took on a life of it's own, spreading far and wide to poor people who were looking for reasons to think they were poor.  Then Christianity adopted a bunch of the pagan customs to bring in more of them, and it spread slowly for years until Constantine.  Then it exploded. 

J. During early Christianity, there were a ton of different manifestations of the religion.  From the Ebionites, Marcionites, Gnostics, orthodox, etc.  They all had different beliefs about Jesus's divinity.  There were several other gospels that people wholeheartedly believed in.  But I guess they were all wrong too. 

L. There is no evidence, anywhere, that the story actually happened. In fact, outside of the bible, there is no contemporary evidence that a man named Jesus ever existed.  While I believe someone did, that doesn't mean I am right.  I could be wrong about it. 

There are more reasons to discount the story as true, but it doesn't matter.  Those are more than enough to make the case for reasonable doubt. 
 


Your entire line of thought here regarding your theology is based on a premise that God is real.  You use your theology and philosophy to defend a position that is EASILY defensible, because of the nature of your fake God.  He can do anything he wants.  You can define him however you wish.  Just like the other thread about God's culpability.  You played the "He's Fucking GOD, he can do what he wants" card.  Oh joy.  That's a great way to add a fake notion of God into a reality that doesn't HAVE one.  Do you see that?  In a reality without God, bad and good things would still happen, and they would happen EXACTLY like they currently do in our universe.  In other words, you do not need to presuppose God to explain a single thing in our universe at this point.  You just don't.  There are gaps in knowledge, but that is all they are.  They are things we do not YET understand.  Will we ever understand everything?  No, I doubt it. But that doesn't mean we CAN'T understand everything, or that we should stop trying to understand everything. 

There is nothing you can't "explain away" because every part of the belief rests on things you can't prove and therefore we can't DISprove it. This is how all religion works.  Every religion is theologically defensible if you wrestle your mind around it enough, because nobody can disprove it.  Thinking people SEE that.  Thinking people KNOW that.  Thinking people ask for MORE.  So should you.

Bottom line.  You have been fed Christian stuff from a very young age.  A lot of us here have too.  Millions of people believe in God.  Millions of people reject it.  One side is RIGHT, the other side is WRONG.  So you must admit, it is possible that your side is wrong.  I openly admit my side could be wrong. To a man, I don't think there is a single atheist on this site that would be unwilling to accept evidence that your God is real.  If you have it, bring it.  We have been here a long time, and nobody... NOBODY from the theist side has brought anything useful to the table.  Until there is ample evidence to believe otherwise, then it is entirely possible that your entire religion, and all the people who taught you are 100% wrong.  100% wrong.  100% wrong.   

But your faith is strong. None of us will convince you.  That is the hallmark of faith... belief in something when there is no real good reason to do so.  You said you don't believe in faith, but for someone who doesn't believe in it, you sure practice the hell out of it.  The only way you can claim not to have faith, is if you had evidence.  All you have are theological positions, philosophy, and logic that you use in reverse (you have concluded that God is real and use logic to cram that idea into reality, instead of letting logic lead you to conclusions).  Those are poor, poor substitutes for evidence. 

If this entire thread is nothing more than letting us know what you think, then that's fine.  But please, PLEASE don't try to pass any of your theology off as some sort of truth.  It's not.  It's foolishness.  All of it.  Embarrassingly foolish.  In fact, I am really starting to think religion is a form of mental illness.  In that respect, Christianity is like going full retard.  As Sgt. Lincoln Osiris would tell you, "You never go full retard".   

It frustrates me to no end. What a massive waste of your life, UP.  Honestly.  You could be doing something good and useful with your life.  You seem like an otherwise smart person.   Humanity needs those types of people.  But people like you who hold on to these false beliefs just hold humanity back.  How can we progress if we keep believing in the same lies our forefathers believed in?  We have to accept the truth if we are ever going to make our world the best it can be.  Religion is dying.  We aren't ignorant fools anymore.  God doesn't exist.  That is a FACT.  We need to look back at the last few thousand years and say, "Never again", not "More of the same". 

Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

Offline Alzael

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Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #207 on: September 26, 2010, 11:27:42 AM »
Very well stated, JeffPT.
"I drank what?!"- Socrates

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Offline Eddy Swirl

Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #208 on: September 26, 2010, 11:35:45 AM »
You read my sig again, didn't you...

Offline cheezisgoooood

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Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #209 on: September 26, 2010, 11:38:34 AM »
I don't usually read walls of text but that was more of a fun water-slide of text.  Nice.

Offline generousgeorge

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Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #210 on: September 26, 2010, 11:58:38 AM »
Lets all say a prayer that UP does not have a "heardened heart" on this reason stuff. Maybe there is hope for him.....it could happen.  &)

Offline sammylama

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Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #211 on: September 26, 2010, 01:41:16 PM »
@ JeffPT

That was really, really well written.  [+1] 
You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep seated need to believe.
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Offline shnozzola

Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #212 on: September 26, 2010, 02:11:03 PM »
This paragraph:

It's also possible (and I think more likely) that a person could accept the sacrifice of Jesus without ever becoming a theist, or hearing the name, but my coming to understand (by whatever means) that the world is not as it should be, and that they, as in individual have become part of the problem rather than the solution, and that though they want to be part of the solution, they need help.

..is typical of intellectual christian thinking, trying to “OK” in one’s mind the illogical. Trying to universally accept everyone (even without knowing about jesus), but demanding that everyone realize they are nothing, are helpless, without salvation.  In one of my “stages” of Christianity, while I believed EVERYONE got saved, I thought the added life baggage of “knowing you have done wrong” and “needing to be forgiven” was the scribes and Pharisees teaching that jesus so railed against.  One must twist themselves into a pretzel to logically follow all the BS that is tied to christianity.  Sad, really – so much excellent  mindblowing upsidedown wisdom that has been tied to so much horror.
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Offline Gimpy

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Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #213 on: September 26, 2010, 02:20:32 PM »
This paragraph:

It's also possible (and I think more likely) that a person could accept the sacrifice of Jesus without ever becoming a theist, or hearing the name, but my coming to understand (by whatever means) that the world is not as it should be, and that they, as in individual have become part of the problem rather than the solution, and that though they want to be part of the solution, they need help.

..is typical of intellectual christian thinking, trying to “OK” in one’s mind the illogical. Trying to universally accept everyone (even without knowing about jesus), but demanding that everyone realize they are nothing, are helpless, without salvation.  In one of my “stages” of Christianity, while I believed EVERYONE got saved, I thought the added life baggage of “knowing you have done wrong” and “needing to be forgiven” was the scribes and Pharisees teaching that jesus so railed against.  One must twist themselves into a pretzel to logically follow all the BS that is tied to christianity.  Sad, really – so much excellent  mindblowing upsidedown wisdom that has been tied to so much horror.



Thank you for pointing that comment out, shnozzola, and for your addressing of it.

I would like to add one more thing regarding this part: but [one] coming to understand (by whatever means) that the world is not as it should be, and that [person], as [an] individual [has] become part of the problem. . . .

I'm sorry, but I and the vast majority (even theists) are not "part of" any "problem" regarding how the world "should" be.

I spend a great deal of my "spare time" engaging in activities that it is my hope will help to move my community, society and culture forward, even if that activity is simply sitting in a quiet place by myself and reading.

Even people I know who are pretty much destitute, have almost nothing that they actually own, know and understand and act in accordance with the idea that we are all in this together and engage in activities that they feel will also help move their families, their communities, or whatever, forward.

When you say "the world is not as it should be" -- I don't even know what that means. The world is exactly as it "should" be.

What are you talking about here?
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Offline Asmoday

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Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #214 on: September 26, 2010, 02:56:13 PM »
There is absolutely no hard-evidence that reveals a historical jesus who was crucified by the romans. And the alleged "accounts" of people who claimed to see such a person later were not recorded first hand and during the timeframe of the alleged event.

Well I'm sorry. I can't give you an eye witness who saw the Resurrection and still persisted to disbelieve in Christianity, but decided to record the event for posterity immediately anyway.
Sorry, but this doesn't make sense.

If the events described in the NT actually happened, a lot of them would have been worthy of note to various people. For example the zombie invasion of Jerusalem and the darkness accompanied by earthquakes should have been noteworthy to...oh, I don't know...everybody maybe?!
Or how about the various times that large masses of people gathered to listen to Jesus. Sometimes going up to thousands of people. Maybe it's just me, but something like that should surely have been of interest to the Roman army and administration occupying Palestine, which left behind notes and "paperwork" concerning much more trivial happenings compared to the gathering of hundreds if not thousands of people.

^^ Paul, and the Disciples  :-\
Sorry, but no. I can only wonder why no one so far has taken the time to directly speak out against this. It is simply wrong.
Neither Paul's letters nor the gospels have been written by eyewitnesses.

Not one of the gospels has been written by the apostle of the same name. That view has been long since abandoned by all but fundamentalist scholars.
Not only do even the earliest dates for the gospels (with the gospel of Mark being the first at around 70 CE as the earliest estimate) make it virtually impossible that they came from the apostles (if they have existed at all) but there are also a lot of other points, of which I'll name a few, pointing away from this possibility.

- To attribute writings to prominent figures even though they did not write the text in question was the norm in the time the gospels are supposed to have been written. Gospels and fragments of writings have been discovered that are attributed to all the other apostles, which differ greatly from the canonical gospels. We even have writings of people seemingly talking about the canonical gospels but they seem to be about completely different texts than what we know as The gospels.
As such it's not wise to place too much faith in the authors of the gospels being the apostles of the same name.

- The "gospels of..." were not known as such before the late second century. It takes till 180 CE till the gospels are attributed to authors named Mark, Matthew, Luke and John.

- The gospels are heavily edited and have been shown to be both composite works from the start and to be filled with later additions.

- The gospels themselves contain errors that simply leave no other choice but to assume the authors where neither of the time nor area of land in which the described events are supposed to have happened.
Mark for example messes up Palestine geography, social norms and actually lets Jesus recite from mistranslated scripture (!) instead of the original Hebrew version of scripture. It does not even get much better with the other gospels. In some cases the error is simply copied and in others each author tries to correct the error found in Mark but despite their corrections they still get it wrong.


The Pauline epistles are not much better either. First of all the majority of the 13 letters attributed to Paul have been shown to be not written by the same author. Only 4 can can be declared to have been written by the same author (presumed to be Paul) with certainty and an additional 2 two which are likely to be from the same author as the other four but it's a bit shaky. And even these meager 6 out of 13 are not free of additions and later redacting. Funnily enough, despite being the oldest texts of the NT, they give us absolutely no information about the life of Jesus. Nothing at all. Paul never met Jesus nor does he seem to know about any of the important "facts" of his life which are deemed so important later by the authors of the gospels; Paul has a vision instead.

The Jesus of Paul is more of an astral spirit than a human and a case can be made that (leaving out the later additions but at the same time looking at the wording of the Greek version) Paul's Christ has more in common with Gnostic beliefs than (catholic and protestant) Christian beliefs.

Another funny point is, that Paul also includes one of the errors about Palestine social norms of the time, which would have made contemporaries around the supposed time of Jesus' life think that he (Paul as well as Jesus) was crazy.
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Offline Alzael

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Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #215 on: September 26, 2010, 04:03:03 PM »
The one thing which I should add to Asmodays extensive post is that the bible of today is also missing almost all of the books that it originally had. The current books of the bible make up only about twenty percent of what it was in the beginning. This came about because Constantine saw the christian church as a way to consolidate his power and wanted the church and state to be as inseparable as possible. Constantine and his successors spent the better part of several centuries pruning christian doctrine to work to their own favour.

Initially there were about six hundred books that made up the bible, or so it's estimated, by the time they were all done the early church leadership were down to about eighty for the first King James Translation. With the Protestants reducing it further to sixty-six (the books they removed are called the Apocrypha) for the "Authorized" King James bible in 1865. You can still see some evidence of these changes though as several books are mentioned in the modern biblical works that were removed by Constantine or his followers. Joshua 10:13 references the book of Jasher as does Samuel 1:17. The book of Jasher is a very long volume (about 150,00 words if memory serves), and has a much more comprehensive genealogical history than the current old testament version. Chronicles 12:15 mentions both the books of Shemiah the Prophet and Prophet Iddo, and there are other references to other books throughout and many of these books still exist to be read. Some of them even make some semblance of sense.

EDIT: Regarding the Apocrypha, amusingly enough one of the reasons that Protestants tend to give for why they don't include it in their bible is that it doesn't make sense and is contradictory. So......yeah.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 04:06:18 PM by Alzael »
"I drank what?!"- Socrates

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Offline UniversityPastor

Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #216 on: September 26, 2010, 04:21:51 PM »
So Azazel, are you satisfied? ...or did I miss your response... I don't see you talking to me.

Gimpy, what i thought you were getting at was "isn't it true that the only contemporary sources are in the bible" and it is, I thought I should come out and admit it. They were eyewitnesses to the cruxifixion, and the post resurrection appearances, which is what I'm trying to establish (those 4 facts from 2 days ago) not to the resurection itself, that comes only as a conclusion.

You tell me it's misleading to say "the bible" when I hadn't been compiled yet, but I didn't, i said Paul and the disciples, then you asked me where it was.. then i said the bible... then you said I had been dishonest. That's dirty pool and I think you know it.

Jeff: beautiful work but you completely miss the point. I was begrudgingly shoved into this conversation by Azazel despite not wanting to because it would appear to be something it wasn't. In context I had been talking about using the resurrection to verify the authority of the bible and not visa versa, In a scenario where he and I understood that we would have already granted the existence of the supernatural and theism. I think you're absolutely right, on atheism, you would need a disgusting amount of evidence to believe in a resurrection. I'm not sure I;d even believe it if one of the disciples got it live on tape. but that's not what we were talking about.
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Offline sammylama

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Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #217 on: September 26, 2010, 04:25:10 PM »
Paul never met Jesus nor does he seem to know about any of the important "facts" of his life which are deemed so important later by the authors of the gospels; Paul has a vision instead.

Never fails to  astound, how this fact gets glossed over or simply ignored, outright.  Saul has a "vision" and that makes him some sort of proxy apostle...
You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep seated need to believe.
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Offline UniversityPastor

Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #218 on: September 26, 2010, 05:11:06 PM »
Paul never met Jesus nor does he seem to know about any of the important "facts" of his life which are deemed so important later by the authors of the gospels; Paul has a vision instead.

Never fails to  astound, how this fact gets glossed over or simply ignored, outright.  Saul has a "vision" and that makes him some sort of proxy apostle...

If you don't believe it it's ridiculous.

If you do it makes sense.

Suspend your disbelief for a moment, pretend it's a sci fi movie. Paul never met Spock until after they used the Genisis device on him in 3, but they caught up on everything Spock had taught about up until that point, so by the time Paul went back and met Kirk in Jerusalem, Kirk had nothing new to tell him.
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Offline Noman Peopled

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Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #219 on: September 26, 2010, 05:34:14 PM »
If you don't believe it it's ridiculous.

If you do it makes sense.
That can be true about anything that can make sense to someone on some level.
Whether making sense to you is a valid factor in a debate is another matter entirely. Sci-Fi movies may or may not make sense to me, but neither makes them less fictitious or more logically sound.
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Offline UniversityPastor

Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #220 on: September 26, 2010, 07:02:35 PM »
True enough. That's why i intentionally related it to a fictional example.

I don't expect you to believe it, but it isn't a problem for those that do.
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Offline Alzael

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Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #221 on: September 26, 2010, 07:05:17 PM »
So Azazel, are you satisfied? ...or did I miss your response... I don't see you talking to me.

Gimpy, what i thought you were getting at was "isn't it true that the only contemporary sources are in the bible" and it is, I thought I should come out and admit it. They were eyewitnesses to the cruxifixion, and the post resurrection appearances, which is what I'm trying to establish (those 4 facts from 2 days ago) not to the resurection itself, that comes only as a conclusion.

You tell me it's misleading to say "the bible" when I hadn't been compiled yet, but I didn't, i said Paul and the disciples, then you asked me where it was.. then i said the bible... then you said I had been dishonest. That's dirty pool and I think you know it.

Jeff: beautiful work but you completely miss the point. I was begrudgingly shoved into this conversation by Azazel despite not wanting to because it would appear to be something it wasn't. In context I had been talking about using the resurrection to verify the authority of the bible and not visa versa, In a scenario where he and I understood that we would have already granted the existence of the supernatural and theism. I think you're absolutely right, on atheism, you would need a disgusting amount of evidence to believe in a resurrection. I'm not sure I;d even believe it if one of the disciples got it live on tape. but that's not what we were talking about.

You were begrudgingly shoved into a conversation by me, before I even made a single comment? At least I assume you were talking about me, since if you're talking about me then I suggest you check your spelling. And no, I wasn't talking to you, I was merely commenting on something that was missing from Asmodays post.
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Offline Gimpy

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Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #222 on: September 26, 2010, 07:18:05 PM »
Gimpy, what i thought you were getting at was "isn't it true that the only contemporary sources are in the bible" and it is, I thought I should come out and admit it. They were eyewitnesses to the cruxifixion, and the post resurrection appearances, which is what I'm trying to establish (those 4 facts from 2 days ago) not to the resurection itself, that comes only as a conclusion.

You tell me it's misleading to say "the bible" when I hadn't been compiled yet, but I didn't, i said Paul and the disciples, then you asked me where it was.. then i said the bible... then you said I had been dishonest. That's dirty pool and I think you know it.


No, I didn't say you had been "dishonest." I actually said that you had been sort of misleading.

I'm having the distinct impression that you are trying to think too hard on these questions and as a result end up answering things I either did not ask or was not trying to ask.

Case in point, you THOUGHT I was asking "isn't it true . . . blah blah blah".

I had already stated that there is absolutely no hard evidence that reveals an historical jesus (etc etc etc) See: http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=15839.msg357360#msg357360

So I think we both pretty much agreed that there was nothing outside of the legends in the bible.

So I then asked point blank this question:

Can you give an "eye witness" who believed in "christianity" (which wasn't even called 'christianity' then, but oh well), who recorded the resurrection immediately for posterity?


My question contained two key variables:

1) eyewitnesses to the resurrection and 2) recording that eye-witnessing of it immediately,

To which, instead of saying, "outside of the accounts in the bible, no," you replied "Paul and the disciples."

I thought that was an interesting square peg in the round hole of my question, so I did ask where and when they recorded it, thinking that perhaps you knew of some OTHER writings they made outside of the ones in the bible.

I wanted clarification regarding your assertion that Paul and the disciples were not only eye-witnesses, but managed to record somewhere, other than the dodgy texts that were written years later by NON-eye-witnesses that then ended up in the collection of myths we call the bible.

I will admit I was surprised that you then carried the charade further by stating it actually was the bible, when, in fact, none of the disciples witnessed the resurrection or wrote it down immediately after.

THAT'S what I was saying was misleading. And even then I qualified it by saying "sort of" misleading.

I realize that the NT talks about the resurrection. But the entire problem with it is those two key components. 1) first-hand eye-witness account and 2) immediate record of it.

I know JeffPT said that many people of that time were illiterate. That is true, but many of the gentlemen that we know to be the disciples were not. They allegedly wrote prolifically decades later.

It's just quite odd and, well, more than highly suspect, that something as magnificent as such an event would be would not receive some immediate recording for posterity's sake.


There was nothing dishonest in my line of inquiry.

All you had to do was say "No." to my question, because that is the only answer possible.
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Offline Gimpy

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Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #223 on: September 26, 2010, 07:20:22 PM »
True enough. That's why i intentionally related it to a fictional example.

I don't expect you to believe it, but it isn't a problem for those that do.

!!!

Again, very odd direction here.

Are there people who regularly believe works of fiction, other than children[1]?

 1. And of course people who believe in ancient texts that are collections of myths and legends that they call their holy books
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Offline sammylama

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Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #224 on: September 26, 2010, 08:23:41 PM »
Suspend your disbelief for a moment, pretend it's a sci fi movie. Paul never met Spock until after they used the Genisis device on him in 3, but they caught up on everything Spock had taught about up until that point, so by the time Paul went back and met Kirk in Jerusalem, Kirk had nothing new to tell him.

I suspended my disbelief for long enough when I was a christian.  But honestly, UP, you're losing me here.  This stuff is really not making sense.  Sure, if I give in enough and play the game, I can somehow "make it work" so that christianity / bible makes sense.  But, what's the point?  Why go through all the gymnastics to make this stuff palatable when reality is so much easier to grasp? 



edit: cleared out some nested quotes
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 08:42:51 PM by sammylama »
You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep seated need to believe.
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Offline Gimpy

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Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #225 on: September 26, 2010, 08:41:11 PM »
Suspend your disbelief for a moment, pretend it's a sci fi movie. Paul never met Spock until after they used the Genisis device on him in 3, but they caught up on everything Spock had taught about up until that point, so by the time Paul went back and met Kirk in Jerusalem, Kirk had nothing new to tell him.


We voluntarily suspend our disbelief in order to enjoy the entertainment of something we already know to be a complete work of fiction.

I don't suspend my disbelief when I read biographies or communication research data.

If one has to suspend ones disbelief in order to read the bible (or the qoran or the book of mormon, or L. Ron Hubbard's stuff, or any other holy book), then -- I think you know where this is going.

Obviously if I suspend my disbelief, then talking donkeys and snakes will "work" -- in the fantasy world of the fiction I am reading.

Not so much when the time comes to unsuspend my disbelief.

Are you asking that we do that....permanently?!
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 08:43:14 PM by Gimpy »
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Offline UniversityPastor

Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #226 on: September 27, 2010, 12:29:55 AM »
Suspend your disbelief for a moment, pretend it's a sci fi movie. Paul never met Spock until after they used the Genisis device on him in 3, but they caught up on everything Spock had taught about up until that point, so by the time Paul went back and met Kirk in Jerusalem, Kirk had nothing new to tell him.

I suspended my disbelief for long enough when I was a christian.  But honestly, UP, you're losing me here. 

The point is just, check if your criticism flies by pretending you're not an atheist for a second. This isn't a problem, Paul met him after the resurrection, which, provided you believe in a resurrection, is just as good as meeting him beforehand.

The ten questions are really effective in this way, they expose problems with the way Christians see their own religion. This just exposes a problem with the way you see their religion, we already know you don't believe the resurrection happened, the fact that that means that Jesus's meeting with Paul didn't happen isn't particularly damning at that point.
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Offline ksm

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Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #227 on: September 27, 2010, 02:36:05 AM »
Suspend your disbelief for a moment, pretend it's a sci fi movie. Paul never met Spock until after they used the Genisis device on him in 3, but they caught up on everything Spock had taught about up until that point, so by the time Paul went back and met Kirk in Jerusalem, Kirk had nothing new to tell him.

I suspended my disbelief for long enough when I was a christian.  But honestly, UP, you're losing me here. 

The point is just, check if your criticism flies by pretending you're not an atheist for a second. This isn't a problem, Paul met him after the resurrection, which, provided you believe in a resurrection, is just as good as meeting him beforehand.

No it is not because it still means that he was not present at, or a witness to the crucifixion and resurrection. Meeting him afterwards does not change that.

Offline Noman Peopled

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Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #228 on: September 27, 2010, 04:59:41 AM »
True enough. That's why i intentionally related it to a fictional example.

I don't expect you to believe it, but it isn't a problem for those that do.
I would agree with Gimpy here. It may not be a problem to make sense of it, but that doesn't mean the sense made of it is itself unproblematic. (For clarification, it's easy to make sense of Herodot's writings. Believing everything he wrote is another matter entirely.)
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Offline Grimm

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Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #229 on: September 27, 2010, 07:49:46 AM »
I do however think they wrote about it, probably that day, but not in a way that was codified, and organized and datable for 30 years or so.

I personally suspect that Mark was writing mark even before the crucifixion. But I can't come even close to proving it

(Again, I'm late to the party.)

UP, just to state this for the record:  The earliest version of Mark end after the crucifixion, but before the resurrection.  The resurrection was added in later texts, but was not in the original (as best scholarship can tell at this point).

Even if he was writing it beforehand, the events that transpire after the death of Jesus are later additions by a well-meaning scribe.

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Offline Grimm

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Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #230 on: September 27, 2010, 07:56:30 AM »
Well I'm sorry. I can't give you an eye witness who saw the Resurrection and still persisted to disbelieve in Christianity, but decided to record the event for posterity immediately anyway.
    If any one of the atheists in this thread actually saw the Resurrection, they would never persist on disbelieving in Christianity. Who are you trying to fool with this argument?
Well yes that's  precisely the point Lot. We don't have contemporary critical accounts but if the resurrection happened we can't very well expect them now can we?

Again, I know I['m late, but:  You don't need primary evidence if you have good secondary evidence.  Even if no one wrote about the resurrection proper, any number of the miraculous events that happened after Christ's death would be sufficient to corroborate events.  If someone had written about the moment of absolute darkness, the rending of the temple veil, the undead marching on Jerusalem, or the giant earthquake, it would be a good hint:

Matthew 27:51-53:  51At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. 52The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

Unfortunately, despite these massively supernatural events, not a single contemporary writer,  or near-contemporary writer, was impressed enough by the giant earthquake and the march of the holy dead on Jerusalem to say a single word.  Is that not at all odd, do you think?

"But to us, there is but one god, plus or minus one."  - 1 Corinthians 8:6+/-2

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Offline Grimm

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Re: UP's Theology and Biblical Interpretation / Ask UP
« Reply #231 on: September 27, 2010, 08:11:40 AM »
Suspend your disbelief for a moment, pretend it's a sci fi movie. Paul never met Spock until after they used the Genisis device on him in 3, but they caught up on everything Spock had taught about up until that point, so by the time Paul went back and met Kirk in Jerusalem, Kirk had nothing new to tell him.

I suspended my disbelief for long enough when I was a christian.  But honestly, UP, you're losing me here. 

The point is just, check if your criticism flies by pretending you're not an atheist for a second. This isn't a problem, Paul met him after the resurrection, which, provided you believe in a resurrection, is just as good as meeting him beforehand.

The ten questions are really effective in this way, they expose problems with the way Christians see their own religion. This just exposes a problem with the way you see their religion, we already know you don't believe the resurrection happened, the fact that that means that Jesus's meeting with Paul didn't happen isn't particularly damning at that point.

Loftis wrote about a thing called the "outsider test for faith" - and used similar language.  It's actually a fairly effective logical tool, and one that you purport to have used in finding your own faith (which is to say, you say you've started from 'okay, I don't believe this stuff' and got to 'I believe', while most believers are born with "I believe" and never go back to the beginning).

What intrigues me about the discussion as a whole is that I've yet to see the chain of logic you used to get there.  If I grant you, for the sake of understanding, the existence of the supernatural, I'm not sure how you leaped from 'supernatural' to 'theism' and then to 'Christianity'.  I know, for instance, that Bhuddism offers a fairly rational worldview, inclusive of the supernatural, that doesn't require a 'God' (Taosim doesn't include the 'supernatural'; it is, by default, not relevant).  Mormonism is far more current; its holy texts and history reference real events that can be, at this stage, independently verified.  Brigham Young did exist, after all - it's verifiable.  You can go get his birth certificate, and you can go visit the sites where the Mormons were persecuted, and ... well.  You get the point.

Islam offers an equivalent position to Christianity that, at least according to the Koran, also respects both Christianity and Judaism, even if most of its followers really don't, at this point.  The neopagan movement offers a less cohesive philosophical view, but does pick-and-choose the high points from a dozen different faiths, acting as a sort of synthesis of relgious dogma into a fusion purported to be the 'best parts' versions of those faiths.  Heck, even voodoo has its merits; santaria is absolutely facinating, cohesive as a belief  system, and utilizes a great wealth of christian iconography and history with a wholly different take.

I haven't noticed where these have been ruled out.  Honestly, why not be Mormon, to pick on them specifically?  What about these faiths have caused you to reject them in place of Christianity? 

"But to us, there is but one god, plus or minus one."  - 1 Corinthians 8:6+/-2

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