Author Topic: Questions for Christian appologetics  (Read 3842 times)

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Offline Omen

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Re: Questions for Christian appologetics
« Reply #29 on: August 16, 2011, 12:40:40 PM »
The idea that God is omnipotent may in fact be lacking in scripture.

Christians of course disagree.

http://www.godonthe.net/wbt/wbt_060.htm

060.010.010       Torrey: p30, T:I, P:1
POINT 10:   God can do all things. Nothing is too hard for him. All things are possible with Him. God is omnipotent, all-powerful.

      Job 42:2 I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.

      Genesis 18:14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son.

      Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."


See, this wasn't vague at all, this christian made an argument delivered in a manner that could be understood as coherent and not pleading.

A premise, evidence to support that premise, and a conclusion.  No need to randomly throw stuff away when it doesn't serve the purpose of rationalizing towards what one has presupposed as the only conditional.  Not that I don't expect this christian to do it elsewhere.

Here is another:

http://christianity.about.com/od/biblefactsandlists/qt/biblefactsgod.htm

God is eternal.
(Deuteronomy 33:27; Jeremiah 10:10; Psalm 90:2)

God is infinite.
(1 Kings 8:22-27; Jeremiah 23:24; Psalm 102:25-27; Revelation 22:13)

God is self-sufficient and self-existent.
(Exodus 3:13-14; Psalm 50:10-12; Colossians 1:16)

God is omnipresent (present everywhere).
(Psalm 139:7-12)

God is omnipotent (all powerful).
(Genesis 18:14; Luke 18:27; Revelation 19:6)

God is omniscient (all knowing).
(Psalm 139:2-6; Isaiah 40:13-14)

God is unchanging or immutable.
(Psalm 102:25-27; Hebrews 1:10-12; 13:8)


http://www.bereanbiblechurch.org/transcripts/topical/omnipotent_god.htm

Its like this stuff just goes on and on and on, as if I can just make up anything I want.

The Bible teaches that God is Omnipotent, and He is in control. That's a reassuring thought, isn't it? Have you ever been working on a big project, and everyone involved had an important part to play. But you still feel the need to ask, "Tom, how are things going with the project?" and Tom replies, "Everything is under control." It's such a relief to hear those words, isn't it? What we will look at today is what it means for God to be in control of things. For many of us, our concepts of God take on an all too human tilt. My hope is that this message will LIFT our preconceived ideas about God and allow us to see him as he really is - an Awesome God! God is an omnipotent, sovereign God. That means God is in control. To be omnipotent is to be all-powerful.

    Isaiah 40:25-26 (NKJV) "To whom then will you liken Me, Or to whom shall I be equal?" says the Holy One. 26 Lift up your eyes on high, And see who has created these things, Who brings out their host ("the starry host" NIV) by number; He calls them all by name, By the greatness of His might And the strength of His power; Not one is missing.


Maybe I could do this with any kind of text I claim to be divine in nature and presuppose all conclusions towards?

http://www.biblestudyguide.org/topical/god-omnipotence.htm

   

The Lord God is Omnipotent (Almighty).

"And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, 'Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns'" (Rev. 19:6, NKJV)!

"Omnipotent" means the state of having unlimited power. Thus, God's authority is unlimited.


http://www.miketaylor.org.uk/xian/omni.html

2. God is Omnipotent

    ``To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?'' says the Holy One. Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.

    — Isaiah 40:25-26


Do I really have to go on?

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As I have said before, I'll repeat here.

And you'll be wrong again.

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In scripture we are given a God that we are told will have His ultimate will accomplished..

Revelations is pretty exact, no ambiguity involved.
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Offline Truth OT

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Re: Questions for Christian apologetics
« Reply #30 on: August 16, 2011, 12:50:47 PM »

What circumstances? Where? When? How?

You cited nothing other then your own vague conclusions then avoided explaining why one would ever do it in the first place, where is this magical answer you seem to have that is absent in this thread?

Again, how is this different from random make believe?

If I can cite anything I wish, whenever it serves my purpose to do so, without explanation and for the tacit reason to rationalizing towards an assumption I've presupposed without explanation..how would I ever tell someone doing that from someone else just randomly making up everything they conclude?

How could there be any contradiction, when you can make up not only the presupposition but the context of material on a whim in order to appease that presupposition?

Here are the circumstances of the wriiten accounts I refer to.
a. God creating the world with angels apparantly already present during this process
b. God creating a paradise in East Eden with a tree of Knowledge in its mist
c. Man being placed in the paradise where the tree was with access to it, yet being told not to partake of it.
d. God allowing to a tempter to interact with man.
e. God being a being that "knows the end from the beginning"

There is no "magic answer" that I'm aware of. What I'm doing is looking at the evidence given in the creation accounts and saying that from the looks of it, God must have known and therefore intended for man to eventually sin. I then consider why God would do this and conclude that it is possible that it could have something to do with what existed (in this case maybe the angels) before man was created.

Offline Penman

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Re: Questions for Christian appologetics
« Reply #31 on: August 16, 2011, 12:54:51 PM »
Agreed, it is as if it is inseparable from random make believe.

All of which consists of circular fallacies, but since you admit that the only context to be understood is that which is inseparable from make believe it doesn't really matter does it?

Logic's requirements.  Anfauglir was quite clear:

You cannot love someone you do not believe exists.

How do I love a marflarg?  What's a marflarg you say? No clue, it doesn't exist.  I'm just going to insist that it does and that it wants your love, without explanation and expect to be taken seriously.

Zero proof is not convincing enough, but for some zero proof is convincing enough.

There is only faith involved and nothing else, well that is.. besides poor education and intellect.

Correct.

Incorrect.  This is what you're trying to insert as your arbitrary rationalization.  It doesn't say this, doesn't lend itself to this conclusion, and absolutely no reason is submitted to explain why one would ever bother.  If you're on your way to be a theologian you already have magnificent start on rationalizing towards presuppositional apologetics.  It doesn't take much really, just arrogance and intellectual dishonesty.

Great, we agree.

You'll need to explain why you think Biblical writings, personal experience, and the evidence of intelligent design in creation are "circular fallacies" where the evidence of God are concerned. You just saying it doesn't make it so.

Great, you invoke the grand idea of using logic and in the same breath create an imaginary character who demands love and presume that your insistence is satisfactory. Unfortunately, you're leaving out the 66 books written over thousands of years providing not only historical accuracies of people/places/events but a narrative of people who believe in your "Marflarg," their personal stories, their ability to predict future events, the spread of the belief in Marflarg, the establishment of the church of Marflarg, and the eventual spread of this belief to millions of people. Insistence, as I'm sure you already know, isn't satisfactory. I understand what you're trying to do here, but comparing apples to tire irons in such a vague manner is only going to appease your fellow atheists and perhaps (hopefully not) yourself.

There are plenty of Biblical proofs and plenty of evidences for the existence of God. If you honestly believe in the idea of zero proof you're either incredibly ignorant of the available information or unwilling to concede basic Biblical truths for fear that by giving any ground whatsoever your atheist foundation will begin to crumble.

Faith is incredibly important, but it is not the only thing involved. It does not take faith to believe in Jersusalem, it only takes a flight and a few hours of travel to see its existence. You can't assert that only faith is involved when that clearly isn't true.

Speaking of intellectual dishonesty, it's obvious that you're the one who hasn't read the entire account in Genesis and undestood its implications. To assume Adam and Eve were not intelligent, rational beings with a general understanding of what God instructed them is absurd. The scripture gives no reason to take that position. The only reason you take that hardline view is because it supports your presuppositions. Isn't that exactly what you accuse us believers of doing?

Offline Omen

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Re: Questions for Christian apologetics
« Reply #32 on: August 16, 2011, 12:57:06 PM »
Here are the circumstances of the wriiten accounts I refer to.
a. God creating the world with angels apparantly already present during this process
b. God creating a paradise in East Eden with a tree of Knowledge in its mist
c. Man being placed in the paradise where the tree was with access to it, yet being told not to partake of it.
d. God allowing to a tempter to interact with man.
e. God being a being that "knows the end from the beginning"

None of these follow into:

At this point, I believe there must be a backstory the scriptures do not speak of

This is what you're making up on a whim, to rationalize towards a presupposed condition that all of the above text or the religious text itself MUST be about a centralized divinely inspired 'message'.  This is made up arbtirarily, in a means that demands an explanation beyond just your blank citation of it to account for a contradictory element of your religious myth.  The problem with your baseless assertion is that you can never be wrong, there will never come a time where a contradiction can exist because you can always rationalize towards whatever you see fit in this manner.  There is nothing you can't make up.

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There is no "magic answer"

Actually, you already have the "magic answer", its called lying.
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Offline Penman

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Re: Questions for Christian appologetics
« Reply #33 on: August 16, 2011, 01:01:24 PM »
First, the example you supplied was touching the stove. Touching the stove is not fatal.

You will allow a child to come to harm by its own actions as long as its not fatal?

Didn't say that, now did I? Try again, Omen.

Offline curiousgirl

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Re: Questions for Christian appologetics
« Reply #34 on: August 16, 2011, 01:10:59 PM »
If forcing my child to obey me in a potentially fatal situation negates their ability to choose, then I would negate their ability to choose. I would rather have them alive and well, which is more loving to me than letting them destroy themselves. Also, I don't accept your premise that Adam and Eve fully understood the implications of the choice because that implies that they already knew right from wrong, and that they should be punished for picking the wrong choice. How could that be the case if they had not eaten from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil yet? How could they possibly know if they could trust God when God was letting Satan lie to them and they had no past experience with which to interpret who was telling the truth?

First, the example you supplied was touching the stove. Touching the stove is not fatal. If a child was about to fatally hurt themself, than of course a good parent will intervene as parents are entrusted with keeping the child safe. Would you be doing your child a favor or disservice if you completely protected them from all physical and emotional harm throughout their life until they reached adulthood? Why or why not? If not, what would you allow to harm them and how do you decide?

Please see my response to Anfauglir about the knowledge of good and evil. Again, Adam and Eve are intelligent, rational beings who  had a personal relationship with God in the garden of Eden. They had plenty of experience and understanding to know who to trust and who would tell them the truth.

Granted, touching the stove is not fatal. However, would you still allow your child to touch the stove and be burned? I don't think that protecting a child from ANY type of harm is a disservice to that child. To answer your question, I protect my child from any type of harm that I possibly can because I love him. I question God's loving nature for not doing the same.

You said that if a parent is good, then they will intervene in a potentially fatal situation. You just proved my point about God, especially God the "Father". Is he truly loving and good as the bible describes if he does not intervene, and therefore does not keep Adam and Eve safe?

BTW, how do you know that Adam and Eve were rational or enlightened enough to choose not to eat the fruit? Eve seemed pretty ignorant to me. Didn't even know she was naked until after she ate the fruit:

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Genesis 3:
7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. (NIV)

Add to that God and Satan telling her two different things, and the fact that God had not forewarned her about Satan.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."-Carl Sagan

Offline Omen

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Re: Questions for Christian appologetics
« Reply #35 on: August 16, 2011, 01:17:25 PM »
You'll need to explain why you think Biblical writings

The bible is true because the bible is true.

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personal experience

Personal experience is true because ...? You know you have the answer, because you believe it to be true.

"Personal experience" is a type of qualification pleaded into existence that doesn't necessarily explain what you're talking about.  Even if I were to give you the benefit of the doubt, that a god visited you and magically blessed you with 'magic' knowledge, you would never be able to objectively validate that knowledge to anyone else and more so when that knowledge already contradicts reality.

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and the evidence of intelligent design in creation

Intelligent design is a label for a generalized series of arguments often made by creationists, it is not a scientific theory having no definitive ability to be tested as a hypothesis nor even an agreeable presentation that creationists can be bothered to come up with as unified.  As a group the creationist/ID movement consists of PR firms and legal agencies that try to engage in back handed deals in order to insert christianity into public schools.  It has nothing to do with science, despite the many groups being so well funded they could out match almost any research lab.  The irony is that this often involves christians attacking other christians who are trying to defend their kids education, as well as public education and science all together.  Much of ID/creationism is little more then a facade for attacking science as an epistemology, the many assertions and criticisms that originate out of ID/creationism have no merit scientifically speaking.

Your statements are a non-sequitur.

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Great, you invoke the grand idea of using logic and in the same breath create an imaginary character who demands love and presume that your insistence is satisfactory.

Strawman, no one did this.

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Unfortunately, you're leaving out the 66 books

I don't care.  I have no reason to believe in a god, no reason to suppose that any of those books are true, no reason to suppose that any of those books are collectively tied together in explanation, and absolutely no reason to suppose any of your presuppositions are true without your ability to validate them beyond your face value assertion that they are.


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providing not only historical accuracies

False.

At best, OT only sort of matches history at about the 8th century BCE, none of which has anything to do with the most significant events in the OT.  The same can be said of the NT, a jesus certainly existed, but the literal jesus of nazareth was largely a figure of legend.

This is also the conclusion of mainstream scholarship/historians, only fringe evangelical apologist claim otherwise and are not taken seriously.

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their personal stories

Personal stories are irrelevant, only evidence is relevant.

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their ability to predict future events

Nothing is actually prophesied accurately biblically speaking.  Jesus does not fulfill judaic messianic prophecy and again only fringe evangelical fundamentalist interpret something like the book of daniel to be dated hundreds of years before it was actually written.  I'm really not concerned when poetic metaphor is so vague that it can be used to claim it predicted anything.

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the spread of the belief in Marflarg, the establishment of the church of Marflarg, and the eventual spread of this belief to millions of people

Various kinds of religious beliefs have risen, flourished, and died.  Any argument that attests that this actually means anything is engaging in argumentum ad populum.

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I understand what you're trying to do here, but comparing

Christianity is to scientology is to zeus is to zoroastrianism.. as to.. anything we can insert into specious and intellectually dishonest logical fallacies.

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There are plenty of Biblical proofs and plenty of evidences for the existence of God.

You can start by listing them.

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Faith is incredibly important, but it is not the only thing involved. It does not take faith to believe in Jersusalem, it only takes

An idiot to think that the existence of a city means that legend or fiction is true.

Does the existence of London in Harry Potter mean that Hogwarts exists?

Does the existence of Troy mean myths associated with Troy existed?

Does the existence of Rome mean that Romulus and Remus existed?

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Speaking of intellectual dishonesty, it's obvious that you're the one who hasn't read the entire account in Genesis and undestood its implications.

You mean, to not immediately take your assumptions as true at face value?

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To assume Adam and Eve were not intelligent, rational beings with a general understanding of what God instructed them is absurd.

It is the tree of knowledge.  I never actually say good and evil because I find that some hebrew texts don't include this interpretation.  It doesn't say not knowledge.

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The scripture gives no reason to take that position.

It gives no reason to take your position and in fact, gives reason to take the opposite.

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The only reason you take that hardline view is because it supports your presuppositions.

I do not have any.

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Isn't that exactly what you accuse us believers of doing?

Often, when someone with a bad argument is found to be lacking, they try to accuse another person of the same.  In this case you can't accuse me of the same.  I don't actually know any of it to be true, I admittedly say so at face value.  I don't know that it need be interpreted at all, literal or metaphorical.  I admit this freely.

I then ask why I would ever bother?

Your answer isn't to tell me why, its to tell me your long list of arbitrarily selected presumptions about a narrowly defined religious rhetoric that one exhibits no reason to be believed in the first place.  That is to say you couldn't approach a human being, having never heard of this stuff, and expect them to believe it based on your approach to us.  Your religion requires people who believe already or the ability to prey upon the innocence of children.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 01:19:11 PM by Omen »
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Questions for Christian appologetics
« Reply #36 on: August 16, 2011, 01:20:31 PM »
Speaking of intellectual dishonesty, it's obvious that you're the one who hasn't read the entire account in Genesis and undestood its implications. To assume Adam and Eve were not intelligent, rational beings with a general understanding of what God instructed them is absurd. The scripture gives no reason to take that position. The only reason you take that hardline view is because it supports your presuppositions. Isn't that exactly what you accuse us believers of doing?
Heh.  I know Omen has read it and so have I.  Like so many Christians, you want to claim that your interpretations are the only "right" ones.  There is no reason to assume that A&E were intelligent or were rational or had any idea what God was telling them to do from your bible either.  I understand it quite well and I don’t get the same answers you do. Considering that this is supposedly a book from a divine being, why the difficulty in getting its message through?

We, and I mean, you and I, assume that A&E can understand instructions from their responses in the text. That seems pretty clear.
We can also assume that A&E had no idea what good and evil were since if they did know this already, there is no need for this command from God
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You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

We also know that all within the garden was from God, including the snake.  Why disbelieve the snake, Pen?  It’s obviously from God from the text and the viewpoint of A&E.  There is nothing bad in this garden.  Adam named all of the animals himself (even when God couldn’t’ figure out that a antelope wouldn’t be a good helpmeet).  So we have Eve chatting with the snake and the snake telling her that go ahead eat the apple, you won’t die. It tells her the truth
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4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
She eats it and, then *with the knowledge of good and evil*, she gives it to Adam to eat.  She knows good and evil as well as God does per God’s own words.  And she still does this. Then both A&E realize that they were sinning by being naked, yes?  Why did God allow them to sin?
Pen, you should realize that many of us were former Christians and we almost always know the bible better than the believers.  When someone like you comes in here and tries to declare their version the only right one, I just have to laugh and ask for evidence.   
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Questions for Christian appologetics
« Reply #37 on: August 16, 2011, 01:21:50 PM »
Hi, Penman:  First of all, I'd like to say that I'm glad you appear to be staying, and I respect your doing so.  Many don't have the fortitude to spend time and energy in the "enemy camp".  (I tried it myself, once, and couldn't manage it.  It was rather embarrassing.  I thought I was ready; I'm not.  Anyway.)

You'll need to explain why you think Biblical writings, personal experience, and the evidence of intelligent design in creation are "circular fallacies" where the evidence of God are concerned. You just saying it doesn't make it so.

Basically, when believers talk about the bible, they usually end up sounding like this:



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There are plenty of Biblical proofs and plenty of evidences for the existence of God.

I think there's something that needs to be clarified here: the bible, in and of itself, is not evidence of the existence of Yahweh.  Rather, it is a claim of Yahweh's existence that requires evidence to back it up.  Proof of the bible's accuracy, if there is any, must come from outside the bible.

Probably the easiest demonstration of this: the global flood.  The fact that it is written in the bible is not evidence or proof that the flood happened; it is a claim that the flood happened, and proof of the claim must come from elsewhere.  For example, if a global flood had ever occurred, there would be certain things present in the geological record to prove it, but those elements are not there.

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If you honestly believe in the idea of zero proof

No one says that there is absolutely nothing historical in the bible.  Indeed, some events mentioned in the bible did happen.  There was one mentioned in my FFRF podcast a couple of months ago, from 2 Kings, I think it was -- I wish I'd thought to make a note of it, I'm really bad about that.  Anyway, in the podcast, they discussed two claims in 2 Kings about ancient emperors.  One of those claims has been shown to be true; believers, of course, are all over that.  However, using exactly the same methods used to prove the first claim true, the second one is also demonstrably false.  Believers shy away from that one more.

All that having been said, however... just because the bible contains some historically accurate information here and there doesn't mean that the whole thing is historically accurate.  The movie "X-Men" depicts a battle between Sabretooth and Wolverine on the head of the Statue of Liberty.  The Statue of Liberty, of course, does exist, but that doesn't mean that the fight depicted in the film also happened.

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you're either incredibly ignorant of the available information or unwilling to concede basic Biblical truths for fear that by giving any ground whatsoever your atheist foundation will begin to crumble.

Most of the atheists here are not people who staunchly ignore "basic Biblical truths" (if there even are any) for fear of being converted.  Rather, most of them were fervent Christians, heck, a few of them were even clergymen.  When they felt their faith beginning to weaken, they were highly distraught.  They prayed frantically for Yahweh to give them strength, and Yahweh did not answer them.  They were effectively dragged, kicking and screaming, into the realm of atheism.

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Faith is incredibly important, but it is not the only thing involved.

Faith is, by definition, believing something without any proof that it's true.  Do you think that's wise?

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It does not take faith to believe in Jersusalem, it only takes a flight and a few hours of travel to see its existence.

True, but what is your point?

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To assume Adam and Eve were not intelligent, rational beings with a general understanding of what God instructed them is absurd. The scripture gives no reason to take that position.

Scripture does not say Adam and Eve were stupid or irrational.  Nor does it say that they could not understand Yahweh's instructions about the fruit.  However, it does say that they had no knowledge of Good and Evil prior to eating the fruit.  This being the case, it was not possible for them to know that disobeying Yahweh was wrong.  The only way you could make that work is by somehow saying that they could have known "right from wrong" without knowing "good and evil".  I don't see how that could make any sense, though.
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Offline Truth OT

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Re: Questions for Christian apologetics
« Reply #38 on: August 16, 2011, 01:28:43 PM »
None of these follow into:

At this point, I believe there must be a backstory the scriptures do not speak of

So the fact that the narratives themselves give us a holy creator and angels/gods who can sin being in existence before the beginning of our world do not cause one to think that maybe, just maybe there was likely something(s) that could have happened before us with the parties said to be in existence that may have led to us being introduced?

This is what you're making up on a whim, to rationalize towards a presupposed condition that all of the above text or the religious text itself MUST be about a centralized divinely inspired 'message'.  This is made up arbtirarily, in a means that demands an explanation beyond just your blank citation of it to account for a contradictory element of your religious myth.  The problem with your baseless assertion is that you can never be wrong, there will never come a time where a contradiction can exist because you can always rationalize towards whatever you see fit in this manner.  There is nothing you can't make up.

First, one does not have to believe in the creation accounts in the Bible to reach a conclusion similar to the one I have declared. My supposition (not PREsupposition) is mainly to address a question I have, and that is the question of: "If these accounts are true, WHY would man need to be created in the first place?" 

I get the impression that you have an issue with me using different books that discuss an issue in an attempt to get a fuller understanding of the issue. It seems that you feel that me not leaving the issue to one book is somehow wrong because each book must be understood and studied in a vacuum where no other book exists. Therefore I cannot use both Job and Genesis to discuss the topic of creation, nor can I use John and Matthew to discuss Jesus because separate writings are irreconcilable and any attempt to reconsile them is somehow a breaking of the rules.

Offline curiousgirl

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Re: Questions for Christian appologetics
« Reply #39 on: August 16, 2011, 01:32:02 PM »
Just had to add:

How I punish my son when he disobeys me: a time-out

How God punishes his children for disobeying him: death


Does this sound like a loving, good God to anybody?
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Offline Omen

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Re: Questions for Christian apologetics
« Reply #40 on: August 16, 2011, 01:40:03 PM »
So the fact that the narratives themselves give us a holy creator and angels/gods who can sin being in existence before the beginning of our world do not cause one to think that maybe, just maybe there was likely something(s) that could have happened before us with the parties said to be in existence that may have led to us being introduced?

Nope.

Not only that, but it makes god out to be a bigger idiot than before, by insisting that it deliver a message through a book so contradictory and nebulous that we have to make shit up to make it sound better.  Plus, you're actually missing ( I think on purpose ) the point I keep returning too.  As an exercise, an intellectual exercise of interpretation, you're applying a method that has no objective methodology to be understood as true.  You are instead rationalizing to what is convenient sounding.

Quote
This is what you're making up on a whim, to rationalize towards a presupposed condition that all of the above text or the religious text itself MUST be about a centralized divinely inspired 'message'.  This is made up arbitrarily, in a means that demands an explanation beyond just your blank citation of it to account for a contradictory element of your religious myth.  The problem with your baseless assertion is that you can never be wrong, there will never come a time where a contradiction can exist because you can always rationalize towards whatever you see fit in this manner.  There is nothing you can't make up.

First, one does not have to believe in the creation accounts in the Bible to reach a conclusion similar to the one I have declared.

That would be false, everything about your conclusion requires the following:

1. A belief that there is a relevant message above and beyond the text themselves.
2. That any of this be interpreted literally
3. That any of the text have a shared unity with other books, often derived from opposing or competing factions.
4. That there is a greater purpose
etc.

You also insert other qualifications, that you abandon the second they come up, like the notion that the biblical god isn't omnipotent.  You qualify that claim by insisting its not in the bible, despite that I can list dozens of christian apologist citing bible verse in a manner to be understood more clearly then your own claims themselves.

Quote
"If these accounts are true, WHY would man need to be created in the first place?" 

These accounts are consistent enough to be considered all together as one.  The bible meanders all over the place.  There is also no need to consider the bulk of it true, as known facts contradict that reality.  The earth isn't 10,000 years, there was no biblical flood, no genesis, no garden of eden, etc. 

I would no more consider it then I would consider creation myths in other religious myths.

Quote
I get the impression that you have an issue with me using different books that discuss an issue in..

Strawman.

I have an issue with you using pleading and fallacy laced arguments so vague that they are inseparable from randomly making shit up on a whim to match a presupposed conditional belief.  I've already pointed out that the logic doesn't follow from your own citations and that you specifically concentrate on where it can be vague or nebulous.. for the purpose of inserting your own qualification.

I ask again:  How is it any different than random make believe?
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Offline Omen

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Re: Questions for Christian appologetics
« Reply #41 on: August 16, 2011, 01:59:21 PM »
First, the example you supplied was touching the stove. Touching the stove is not fatal.

You will allow a child to come to harm by its own actions as long as its not fatal?

Didn't say that, now did I? Try again, Omen.

What you said is irrelevant, the genesis narrative tells us about a supernatural being that creates a situation that will cause not just a little harm or some mild punishment.. but a debilitating condition of suffering.  Like a parent about to allow a child to come to great harm.

Your answer isn't to address the implications of gods foresight/knowledge, you're implication is to claim that because its not fatal.. its not a problem.

So I ask again:

 You will allow a child to come to harm by its own actions as long as its not fatal?

Or is the inclusion of its fatal consequences just a giant red herring?
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Offline Omen

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Re: Questions for Christian appologetics
« Reply #42 on: August 16, 2011, 02:03:24 PM »
By the way Penman, we actually have a section devoted to Evolution & Creationism, if you want to talk about ID/creationism feel free to start there:

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/board,41.0.html
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Questions for Christian appologetics
« Reply #43 on: August 16, 2011, 02:12:43 PM »

Great, we agree.

You'll need to explain why you think Biblical writings, personal experience, and the evidence of intelligent design in creation are "circular fallacies" where the evidence of God are concerned. You just saying it doesn't make it so.

Biblical Writing are evidence of nothing more than what the writer wrote at the time. During that era in history numberous and conflicting tales of God, monsters, and magic appear. All of them cannot be correct. Furthermore, every one of the tales of Gods, Monsters, and Magic leave no actual physical evidence of Gods, Monsters, and Magic. The Bible is one of them. People attempt to give it special privledges above all other tales, this is the logical fallacy of special pleading. Furthermore as they think it primary evidence, that leads to circular thinking.

Evidence of Intelligent design? Everything put forward as such "evidence" amounts to the evidence a puddle is intelligently designed to fit its hole. Every intelligent design thinker starts with the premise that thier assertation is correct and looks for evidence to support it, and ignores the vast quantity of evidence that does not. That is circular thinking.

It isn't him saying so that makes it so, it is a fact.






Great, you invoke the grand idea of using logic and in the same breath create an imaginary character who demands love and presume that your insistence is satisfactory. Unfortunately, you're leaving out the 66 books written over thousands of years providing not only historical accuracies of people/places/events but a narrative of people who believe in your "Marflarg," their personal stories, their ability to predict future events, the spread of the belief in Marflarg, the establishment of the church of Marflarg, and the eventual spread of this belief to millions of people. Insistence, as I'm sure you already know, isn't satisfactory. I understand what you're trying to do here, but comparing apples to tire irons in such a vague manner is only going to appease your fellow atheists and perhaps (hopefully not) yourself.

This is the logical fallacy of appeal to popularity. By the same token we could also use the since the preponderence of people in 300BCE Greece believed in Zues, he was real. Or the because the majority of the world does not believe in Jahweh, he does not exist(Remember you need to take into accounts of all of Asia and Africa too.


There are plenty of Biblical proofs and plenty of evidences for the existence of God. If you honestly believe in the idea of zero proof you're either incredibly ignorant of the available information or unwilling to concede basic Biblical truths for fear that by giving any ground whatsoever your atheist foundation will begin to crumble.

That is circular reasoning in a nutshell. Does you accept the Illiad as proof of the interfernce of the Greek Gods in the Tojan war? Do you accept the Harry Potter Books as proof of the existence of Magic?


Faith is incredibly important, but it is not the only thing involved. It does not take faith to believe in Jersusalem, it only takes a flight and a few hours of travel to see its existence. You can't assert that only faith is involved when that clearly isn't true.
That's just an assertation followed up by a non-sequitur. Faith is important. Well, guess what; Lies and hate are important too. Just because something is held to be important does not mean it is good, or that it has any affect on reality.

An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline Truth OT

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Re: Questions for Christian apologetics
« Reply #44 on: August 16, 2011, 03:43:21 PM »

Nope.

Not only that, but it makes god out to be a bigger idiot than before, by insisting that it deliver a message through a book so contradictory and nebulous that we have to make shit up to make it sound better.  Plus, you're actually missing ( I think on purpose ) the point I keep returning too.  As an exercise, an intellectual exercise of interpretation, you're applying a method that has no objective methodology to be understood as true.  You are instead rationalizing to what is convenient sounding.
Quote
I get the impression that you have an issue with me using different books that discuss an issue in..

Strawman.

I have an issue with you using pleading and fallacy laced arguments so vague that they are inseparable from randomly making shit up on a whim to match a presupposed conditional belief.  I've already pointed out that the logic doesn't follow from your own citations and that you specifically concentrate on where it can be vague or nebulous.. for the purpose of inserting your own qualification.

I ask again:  How is it any different than random make believe?

You frustrate the heck out of me sometimes Omen. First off, there is no insistence that God needs to give a message through a book. As far as my conclusion goes your list of requirements is somewhat overstated. I can concede the point about literal interpretation, and even the idea that other texts can be employed to give a bigger and harmonious picture, but the others are not needed.

As far as God’s omnipotence, I corrected myself. If you will look back you can see that I made an error by using omnipotence in place of omniscience.

Getting to the question of WHY man was created in the 1st place according to the scriptures, all I or anyone else can do is speculate. I just listed my speculation and told you why I speculate in that manner. I could have gone further and said that I believe the scriptures paint the picture that man was created with the end result in mind being Jesus and that his purpose was to reconcile all of creation including heavenly things back to God. Were I to do that I would simply be relaying my opinion based on the whole council of scripture as well as the NT writings. Could I be wrong? Yep. But I can back up my assertion using the writings from which I glean that understanding. I know you believe anyone can back up anything by cherry picking texts to fit into a preconceived idea. Here’s a shocker, so do I, but I also believe that someone well versed in the source documents the person uses to back something up can use those same documents to debunk crazy ideas without having the source documents be contradictory to each other.

-----
I did not employ a strawman Omen. What I did was call out something I noticed that may not be related to the subject we were discussing and that is your consistent implied assertion that using different books within the Bible that discuss the same issue is of no value because the book are in essence irreconcilable and mutually exclusive.

Offline Alzael

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Re: Questions for Christian appologetics
« Reply #45 on: August 16, 2011, 05:47:49 PM »
Let's try to clarify a few things and take it one at a time.

Somehow I suspect there'll actually be a lot of obfuscation on your part. Let's find out.

If God is interested in genuine love

Key word being "if". In other words this is all theoretical at best.

via free will and our choice to love/reject Him,

Free will does not exist in the bible. There is no part of the bible anywhere that says that free will is even remotely possible. What we do see is god dominating the mind of Pharoah to make him say no to Moses. God declaring that he will intentionally cause people to disbelieve in him. God outright stating several times that who goes to heaven and who goes to hell was determined before we were all born. The entire message of the bible being one of submission and giving yourself over to god.

This doesn't even include the large list of logical problems that make free will a complete impossibility from the biblical perspective.

So we're about two sentences in and we can already see that your argument will fail.


why would He intervene on our decision to obey or disobey Him?

For the same reason that he intervenes in everything else? Why do you suddenly think god would start not interfering with humans at that exact moment? It certainly doesn't stop him at any point in the mythology. Remember Job? He had a mans entire family killed on a bet (which greatly limited their free will, by the way). If god can go to Jerusalem and cause parents to kill and eat their own children because he's in the middle of a hissy fit ; I'm pretty sure he's ok with intervening in human affairs and choices when it suits him. The question is, out of all the many times that god messes around with humans, why didn't he do it the one time it really mattered? Especially when doing so would have caused us to avoid doing all the things that end up pissing him off and causing him to smite us for later.

As a parent, you instruct your children and expect them to follow your guidance because you are the parent and they are the child. However, forcing your child to obey you negates their ability to truly choose what they want to do.

Yes, but most parents wouldn't let their children do something that was obviously dangerous. Free will or not. Especially when that child is too young to understand the danger.

Keep in mind, also, that Adam and Eve were rational adults, not toddlers. The free will decisions made were done while fully understanding the implications of the choice (whereas a toddler touching the stove does not understand the implication of being burned).

No they weren't.

.......you actually never really read that part did you? Adam and Eve were not rational adults. They had no conception of right or wrong. No ability to judge good or evil. No conept of modesty or deception either. They got these things when they ate from the tree of Knowledge, hence the name. They had no understanding of why it was wrong to eat from the tree.

I bet you also think Satan was the one who talked Eve into it, too. Right?

I like to use the idea that God created the potential for sin (free will) and it was man who actualized sin. If I leave my car door unlocked, I've created the potential for a car theft to occur. With that being said, if it does indeed end up stolen, it was the decision of the thief to steal the car that actualize the car theft.

Yes, but in that case you can't entirely blame the thief for the end result. Sure the thief stole the car. But you created the situation in full knowledge of the potential outcome. You bear at least some of the responsibility for the result for it turning out in the way that you knew it would.
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Offline Penman

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Re: Questions for Christian appologetics
« Reply #46 on: August 16, 2011, 07:45:45 PM »
The bible is true because the bible is true.

Personal experience is true because ...? You know you have the answer, because you believe it to be true.
 
"Personal experience" is a type of qualification pleaded into existence that doesn't necessarily explain what you're talking about.  Even if I were to give you the benefit of the doubt, that a god visited you and magically blessed you with 'magic' knowledge, you would never be able to objectively validate that knowledge to anyone else and more so when that knowledge already contradicts reality.

Intelligent design is a label for a generalized series of arguments often made by creationists, it is not a scientific theory having no definitive ability to be tested as a hypothesis nor even an agreeable presentation that creationists can be bothered to come up with as unified.  As a group the creationist/ID movement consists of PR firms and legal agencies that try to engage in back handed deals in order to insert christianity into public schools.  It has nothing to do with science, despite the many groups being so well funded they could out match almost any research lab.  The irony is that this often involves christians attacking other christians who are trying to defend their kids education, as well as public education and science all together.  Much of ID/creationism is little more then a facade for attacking science as an epistemology, the many assertions and criticisms that originate out of ID/creationism have no merit scientifically speaking.

Your statements are a non-sequitur.

Strawman, no one did this.

I don't care.  I have no reason to believe in a god, no reason to suppose that any of those books are true, no reason to suppose that any of those books are collectively tied together in explanation, and absolutely no reason to suppose any of your presuppositions are true without your ability to validate them beyond your face value assertion that they are.

False.

At best, OT only sort of matches history at about the 8th century BCE, none of which has anything to do with the most significant events in the OT.  The same can be said of the NT, a jesus certainly existed, but the literal jesus of nazareth was largely a figure of legend.

This is also the conclusion of mainstream scholarship/historians, only fringe evangelical apologist claim otherwise and are not taken seriously.

Personal stories are irrelevant, only evidence is relevant.

Nothing is actually prophesied accurately biblically speaking.  Jesus does not fulfill judaic messianic prophecy and again only fringe evangelical fundamentalist interpret something like the book of daniel to be dated hundreds of years before it was actually written.  I'm really not concerned when poetic metaphor is so vague that it can be used to claim it predicted anything.

Various kinds of religious beliefs have risen, flourished, and died.  Any argument that attests that this actually means anything is engaging in argumentum ad populum.

Christianity is to scientology is to zeus is to zoroastrianism.. as to.. anything we can insert into specious and intellectually dishonest logical fallacies.

You can start by listing them.

An idiot to think that the existence of a city means that legend or fiction is true.

Does the existence of London in Harry Potter mean that Hogwarts exists?

Does the existence of Troy mean myths associated with Troy existed?

Does the existence of Rome mean that Romulus and Remus existed


You mean, to not immediately take your assumptions as true at face value?

It is the tree of knowledge.  I never actually say good and evil because I find that some hebrew texts don't include this interpretation.  It doesn't say not knowledge.

It gives no reason to take your position and in fact, gives reason to take the opposite.

I do not have any.

Often, when someone with a bad argument is found to be lacking, they try to accuse another person of the same.  In this case you can't accuse me of the same.  I don't actually know any of it to be true, I admittedly say so at face value.  I don't know that it need be interpreted at all, literal or metaphorical.  I admit this freely.

I then ask why I would ever bother?

Your answer isn't to tell me why, its to tell me your long list of arbitrarily selected presumptions about a narrowly defined religious rhetoric that one exhibits no reason to be believed in the first place.  That is to say you couldn't approach a human being, having never heard of this stuff, and expect them to believe it based on your approach to us.  Your religion requires people who believe already or the ability to prey upon the innocence of children.

The Bible is true in certain aspects and I think that's where we're missing each other. The Bible can be verified on many claims through the use of different disciplines of science. The majority of history contained in the Bible, for example, has been proven correct by archaeology and nonbiblical historical records (ie: Hittites, the Merneptah Stele nonbiblical reference to Israelites, and the countless number of cities and peoples excavated over the last few hundred years). I understand not believing the entire, cover-to-cover collective work known as the Bible, but there has to be some consensus here that we're dealing with a reliable source of history that was written as an historical narrative and not a storybook piece of fiction.

Unfortunately, everything within the realm of history that precedes either of us has to be taken on the account of someone else's personal experience that was then recorded and must be verified as much as possible through what physical evidence still remains. In fact, most of what we know to be "true" is taken on the reliability of someone else's personal experience. I've never done, seen, or experienced many things personally, yet that does not discount the validity of someone else's personal experience that they've relayed to me or others.

ID simply says to examine the evidence and come to a conclusion. Much of the recent evidence, especially given the amount of molecular biology at work, continually points to intelligent design. Evolution, on the other hand, is losing traction because the more hypothesis it puts forth, the more they end up with contrary conclusions (ie: mutation producing additional genetic information). Do not confuse ID with creationism as ID does not attempt to identify the designer whereas creationism asserts it was the God of the Bible. I will try to head over to the ID/Evolution section later on for more discussion on this topic specifically.

Not a strawman. It was you who insisted this marflarg existed, demanded love, and expected to be taken seriously without explanation. I gave explanations on why your marflarg would not be taken seriously on insistence alone by giving examples of why the Biblical God is taken seriously by believers. There is a strong disconnect between your make-believe marflarg and the Biblical writings revealing the God. That was my only point.

To not even understand the basic elements of Biblical truths (see first paragraph) is your own pitfall. Your unbelief in the contents of the books where the supernatural is concerned is understandable, the rest is not. They are obviously tied together coherently if you read all of them. I am not going to coddle you on this issue because the information is readily available where this is concerned.

So the countless names, places, events, and so forth that have been verified through archaeology and nonbiblical sources mean what to you? It's hardly an "at best" classification when the majority of historical events/places recorded have been verified and when recent discoveries continually strengthen the Bible's case for an accurate portrayal of history and not the other way around. So you're saying you believe in an historical Jesus, just not a word of what He said or did as was recorded by those around Him?

Personal stories (see paragraph 2). Again, personal stories/experience are often what we rely on for the majority of things we will not and cannot experience/test ourselves. This does not invalidate the claims or information relayed to us by them.

Prophecy in the Bible stands alone compared to any religious or doomsday writings specifically because of the specificity involved. Not only Daniel, but Isaiah and others. In fact, one prophecy book I often reference contains 340 pages dedicated to the OT alone. I suppose you should let the thousands of 1st century Jews, who knew the scriptures more intimately than you and I ever will, know that Jesus is/was not their Messiah. Probably ought to let all the messianic jews know too. Just as you won't take my word for it at face value, neither will I with you concerning the assertion that Jesus did not fulfill judaic messianic prophecies. From what I've studied and from the overwhelming evidence of Jewish believers dating from the 1st century forward, you are quite wrong. As for Daniel, the traditional view is that it was written in the late 6th century B.C. and this is based on the evidence we have obtained from the DSS, linguistic evidence (the aramaic used), and historical evidence of accounts given within the book. This is the MAINSTREAM view, not the fringe as you assert. The mainstream relies on evidence and the critical view (your view) relies on the denial that such prophetic accuracy could be written hundreds of years in advance of the events they record.

My only point is that a religion based on an historical event that either did/did not occur would have a hard time escaping extinction within a short timeframe if said event did not actually occur. I'm not arguing popularity.

Biblical proofs (see paragraphs 1 and 6). Existence of God can be seen through prophetic writings, humanity, and creation of all things (again, I will try to get over to the ID/Evolution area eventually).

I don't simply think because a few places or historical figures are mentioned that any story is completely true. However, it is very obvious that the authors of the Biblical books intended to write an accurate historical narrative using many types of literary styles and not a work of fiction for entertainment purposes.

Yes, the tree of knowledge (Godly knowledge and firsthand experience of good/evil). However, before eating of the tree, Genesis records that man was made in God's image/likeness and was given dominion over all the rest of creation. God instructed man to work and watch over the garden. The dealings between God and man even before the eating of the tree require an intelligent, rational being with whom God could converse and give direction to. The idea that they posessed no knowledge before eating of the tree of knowledge is not supported by scripture and isn't the logical conclusion.

If my religion requires people who already believe, where did the first believer come from and how did he/she convert anyone else? Silly, non-sensical statement.
 

Offline Truth OT

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Re: Questions for Christian appologetics
« Reply #47 on: August 16, 2011, 07:52:50 PM »
This whole overstated concept of a parent child relationship between God and man is overstated IMHO. The conncept is but 1 aspect of the relationnship that is depicted inn the scriptures. There is also, and perhaps the more emphatically discussed master/slave relationship inn addition to the potter/clay dynamic.

Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Questions for Christian appologetics
« Reply #48 on: August 16, 2011, 08:00:46 PM »
First, the example you supplied was touching the stove. Touching the stove is not fatal.

You will allow a child to come to harm by its own actions as long as its not fatal?

Didn't say that, now did I? Try again, Omen.
I have had just about enough of your moronic nonsense.
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Re: Questions for Christian appologetics
« Reply #49 on: August 16, 2011, 08:02:56 PM »
This whole overstated concept of a parent child relationship between God and man is overstated IMHO. The conncept is but 1 aspect of the relationnship that is depicted inn the scriptures. There is also, and perhaps the more emphatically discussed master/slave relationship inn addition to the potter/clay dynamic.

Sadly Truth - this is what I get from most of my Christian friends who are trying to explain scripture, and how I should be living my life.  They use the parent-child analogy a lot!  And then when I remind them, for example, that as a father, I am certainly not a god, they abandon the analogy.

Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Questions for Christian appologetics
« Reply #50 on: August 16, 2011, 08:07:01 PM »
How did Joseph Smith convince people to become Mormon's.....your suggestion penman that people cant be convinced of something untrue is idiotic at best
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Re: Questions for Christian appologetics
« Reply #51 on: August 16, 2011, 08:17:45 PM »
This whole overstated concept of a parent child relationship between God and man is overstated IMHO. The conncept is but 1 aspect of the relationnship that is depicted inn the scriptures. There is also, and perhaps the more emphatically discussed master/slave relationship inn addition to the potter/clay dynamic.

OK, so it is overstated. Still does not answer my previous questions.


Yes, the tree of knowledge (Godly knowledge and firsthand experience of good/evil). However, before eating of the tree, Genesis records that man was made in God's image/likeness and was given dominion over all the rest of creation. God instructed man to work and watch over the garden. The dealings between God and man even before the eating of the tree require an intelligent, rational being with whom God could converse and give direction to. The idea that they posessed no knowledge before eating of the tree of knowledge is not supported by scripture and isn't the logical conclusion.


Penman, I did not say that Adam and Eve possessed no knowledge before eating from the tree. However, just because they could take care of the Garden of Eden does not mean that they knew right from wrong. Just because Adam named the animals does not mean he knew right from wrong. In fact, my argument was that he and Eve were not enlightened enough to make the right choice to obey God, which has nothing to do with dominion over animals. All dominion over animals implies is that we are superior (being supposedly made in God's image) to animals according to the bible. Yes, God told Adam and Eve that they would die if they ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. However, Satan told Eve that she would not die. How were Adam and Eve supposed to know not to follow Satan if God had not forewarned them about Satan? Also, how would they know that disobeying God is evil if they did not understand what evil was yet?
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Offline JeffPT

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Re: Questions for Christian appologetics
« Reply #52 on: August 16, 2011, 09:33:09 PM »
The Bible is true in certain aspects and I think that's where we're missing each other. The Bible can be verified on many claims through the use of different disciplines of science. The majority of history contained in the Bible, for example, has been proven correct by archaeology and nonbiblical historical records (ie: Hittites, the Merneptah Stele nonbiblical reference to Israelites, and the countless number of cities and peoples excavated over the last few hundred years).

Just because stories take place in real cities does not mean... not for one second... that the stories therein are true.  Did you not read Omen's post?  Harry Potter takes place in London England.  That matters little to the facts surrounding the rest of the stories.  BTW, archeology doesn't back up the majority of the history of the bible.  I can think of several things off the top of my head that aren't backed up.  The exodus, the great flood, the census surrounding the birth of Jesus, etc. 

At best, all we can say is the stories might have taken place in real spots.  That makes none of them true, however. 

I understand not believing the entire, cover-to-cover collective work known as the Bible, but there has to be some consensus here that we're dealing with a reliable source of history that was written as an historical narrative and not a storybook piece of fiction.

Actually, no, Penman.  We aren't.  I do not agree that the bible is a reliable source of history any more than I agree the Koran is, given that some of the names and places in that book have been found legitimate as well.  It very well may be a piece of fiction.  In fact, there are many, MANY reasons to believe it is. 

Unfortunately, everything within the realm of history that precedes either of us has to be taken on the account of someone else's personal experience that was then recorded and must be verified as much as possible through what physical evidence still remains. In fact, most of what we know to be "true" is taken on the reliability of someone else's personal experience. I've never done, seen, or experienced many things personally, yet that does not discount the validity of someone else's personal experience that they've relayed to me or others.

It depends upon the claims they make as to whether or not we can accept something at face value.  If the claim is that some guy lived a decent life, was arrested, tortured and killed on a cross 2000 years ago, then yeah we could probably buy that one.  It's not extraordinary in any way.  It probably happened a lot.  But when you are relying on (in this case) second, third, fourth or maybe fifth hand information to swing the pendulum of belief in the direction of an invisible sky man sending his child down to earth to be a human sacrifice so that we could all be free to sin and still get to be with God in his happy place when we die, then going on someone else's experience is stupidity at best. 

Here are some facts about the gospel writers. 

1.  We have no idea who they were.
2.  They were not eyewitness accounts, nor were they claimed to be.
3.  They offer 4 different versions of Jesus.

Knowing this, why anyone would ever think of the gospels as truthful is beyond me. 

ID simply says to examine the evidence and come to a conclusion. Much of the recent evidence, especially given the amount of molecular biology at work, continually points to intelligent design.

This is false.  It just is.  You are not looking at what science is actually doing if you are saying this.  You are only looking at what religious people are saying.  Name a nonreligious scientist that says there is a good amount of evidence for intelligent design.  Now, keep in mind, they do not have to believe in your god, another god, or any god.  They could believe in intelligent aliens for all we know.  But you don't see scientists (again unless they are religious) pointing to the notion that the universe had to be intelligently designed.   

Evolution, on the other hand, is losing traction because the more hypothesis it puts forth, the more they end up with contrary conclusions (ie: mutation producing additional genetic information).

Now this one is a major loss for you.  It's completely wrong.  Evolution is a fact and one of the most well supported theories in the world. 

Not a strawman. It was you who insisted this marflarg existed, demanded love, and expected to be taken seriously without explanation. I gave explanations on why your marflarg would not be taken seriously on insistence alone by giving examples of why the Biblical God is taken seriously by believers. There is a strong disconnect between your make-believe marflarg and the Biblical writings revealing the God. That was my only point.

Funny stuff.  You're god needs evidence but not mine! lol. 

To not even understand the basic elements of Biblical truths (see first paragraph) is your own pitfall. Your unbelief in the contents of the books where the supernatural is concerned is understandable, the rest is not. They are obviously tied together coherently if you read all of them. I am not going to coddle you on this issue because the information is readily available where this is concerned.

The bible is fiction.  Sorry.  You can do all the theological gymnastics you want, but it's fiction.  100%.  God isn't real. 

So the countless names, places, events, and so forth that have been verified through archaeology and nonbiblical sources mean what to you?

It means places can exist and names can exist.  Archaeology, history, and other sciences can verify them empirically.  Of that we can agree.  It depends upon the evidence for them.  If it is sufficient, then it's not hard to believe.  The events are a completely separate matter.   

It's hardly an "at best" classification when the majority of historical events/places recorded have been verified and when recent discoveries continually strengthen the Bible's case for an accurate portrayal of history and not the other way around.

Wrong. 

So you're saying you believe in an historical Jesus, just not a word of what He said or did as was recorded by those around Him?

A man named Jesus going around saying stuff 2000 years ago about the Jewish God isn't that hard to believe.  A man named Jesus being the SON OF AN INVISIBLE GOD, and coming down to the planet to sacrifice himself for us IS hard to believe.  It just is.  It's ridiculous to believe that when we consider the evidence we have. 

Personal stories (see paragraph 2). Again, personal stories/experience are often what we rely on for the majority of things we will not and cannot experience/test ourselves. This does not invalidate the claims or information relayed to us by them.


If I told you that my great grandfather died and rose from the dead 3 days later, what would you say to me? 

Prophecy in the Bible stands alone compared to any religious or doomsday writings specifically because of the specificity involved. Not only Daniel, but Isaiah and others. In fact, one prophecy book I often reference contains 340 pages dedicated to the OT alone. I suppose you should let the thousands of 1st century Jews, who knew the scriptures more intimately than you and I ever will, know that Jesus is/was not their Messiah.

I think you should take a listen to the reasons behind why the vast, vast majority of first century Jews rejected it.   

Probably ought to let all the messianic jews know too. Just as you won't take my word for it at face value, neither will I with you concerning the assertion that Jesus did not fulfill judaic messianic prophecies.

Jesus man.  Look around the forum a bit for information on this.  There are plenty... PLENTY of prophecies that Jesus didn't fulfill.  And BTW, if you think the prophecies are really useful, consider this.  The OT was written prior to the NT, correct?  So if you, as a NT writer, wanted people to think that Jesus was the messiah, and you were writing LONG after Jesus died, how hard would it be to make up the details about a guy that fit with the prophecies of a previous book?  That's exactly what happened. 

From what I've studied and from the overwhelming evidence of Jewish believers dating from the 1st century forward, you are quite wrong.

Christianity was a nothing religion for the first 300 years.  Nobody cared.  The vast majority of Jews rejected the notion that Jesus was the messiah.  You are wrong.

As for Daniel, the traditional view is that it was written in the late 6th century B.C. and this is based on the evidence we have obtained from the DSS, linguistic evidence (the aramaic used), and historical evidence of accounts given within the book. This is the MAINSTREAM view, not the fringe as you assert. The mainstream relies on evidence and the critical view (your view) relies on the denial that such prophetic accuracy could be written hundreds of years in advance of the events they record.

Explained above. 

My only point is that a religion based on an historical event that either did/did not occur would have a hard time escaping extinction within a short timeframe if said event did not actually occur. I'm not arguing popularity.

Well, that's completely wrong in just about every way.  All a belief system has to have is an invisible, all powerful being to back it up and suddenly everything is possible.  Any event that occurred in the world at that time would only have been able to be witnessed by a few people.  It is EASY to understand how a story like the Jesus story could survive if it never happened.  All you have to do is convince one person that it did, and voila, off it goes.  You could say something as silly as Jesus took off on a flying horse and went to heaven after he died.  Oh, wait.  That was Mohammed.  I guess, by your take, that must have happened too then?  After all, it's hard to see how an event like that could survive the test of time if it didn't really happen.... right?  Riiiiiight. 

Biblical proofs (see paragraphs 1 and 6). Existence of God can be seen through prophetic writings, humanity, and creation of all things (again, I will try to get over to the ID/Evolution area eventually).

You'll get lambasted there.

I don't simply think because a few places or historical figures are mentioned that any story is completely true.

Um... is that not what you were saying above?  You want us to believe that just because something was written down in a place that was real, that the events that are described to have happened in those places, are real. 

However, it is very obvious that the authors of the Biblical books intended to write an accurate historical narrative using many types of literary styles and not a work of fiction for entertainment purposes.

I don't think anyone doubts that the stories were being circulated as if they were true.  That doesn't make them true, though.  Anymore than the stories of Joseph Smith were meant for entertainment. 

However, before eating of the tree, Genesis records that man was made in God's image/likeness and was given dominion over all the rest of creation. God instructed man to work and watch over the garden. The dealings between God and man even before the eating of the tree require an intelligent, rational being with whom God could converse and give direction to. The idea that they posessed no knowledge before eating of the tree of knowledge is not supported by scripture and isn't the logical conclusion.

The genesis account is false.  That is the most logical conclusion. 

If my religion requires people who already believe, where did the first believer come from and how did he/she convert anyone else? Silly, non-sensical statement.

Where did the first believer in any religion (besides yours) come from?  To think that a story has to be true in order for people to believe it is lunacy.   

You've barked up the wrong tree, Penman.  The Christian God isn't real.  Sorry. 
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 jetson

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Re: Questions for Christian appologetics
« Reply #53 on: August 16, 2011, 09:53:20 PM »
Penman...I have to step in and also make you aware that ID is not even remotely supported by actual science.  It is a purely religious idea put forth by people who believe that there is a god at the helm of all things created.  Even though it is possible that evolution may one day be falsified (doubtful), it is the absolute best explanation, based on science, of the evolution of life on this planet.

You need to read more actual science, and less apologetics.

Offline Penman

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Re: Questions for Christian appologetics
« Reply #54 on: August 17, 2011, 02:00:19 AM »
Penman, I did not say that Adam and Eve possessed no knowledge before eating from the tree. However, just because they could take care of the Garden of Eden does not mean that they knew right from wrong. Just because Adam named the animals does not mean he knew right from wrong. In fact, my argument was that he and Eve were not enlightened enough to make the right choice to obey God, which has nothing to do with dominion over animals. All dominion over animals implies is that we are superior (being supposedly made in God's image) to animals according to the bible. Yes, God told Adam and Eve that they would die if they ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. However, Satan told Eve that she would not die. How were Adam and Eve supposed to know not to follow Satan if God had not forewarned them about Satan? Also, how would they know that disobeying God is evil if they did not understand what evil was yet?

If everything concerning Adam and Eve was good from the beginning of creation, why would they require knowledge of good and evil/right and wrong as God did? All they needed to know was who their Creator was (which they did), what their purpose was (which they did), and how to obey God's commands (which they did). How do you know they weren't "enlightened" enough to make the right choice to obey God? This is God, their creator we're talking about. What reason would they have not to believe Him concerning anything and everything? You say with certainty that God did not forewarn Adam and Eve of Satan (the serpent) but I can find no supporting scripture for that claim. Why would you assume that God did not discuss any of this with them in the garden when talking about the tree of knowledge? And, even if He didn't, He specifically instructed them NOT to do it. They understood this command, the implications of disobedience (that they would die), and recognized it as being wrong based on later scripture (Genesis 3:7 says their eyes were opened after eating of the fruit and Genesis 3:13 gives an account of Eve's response. She says she was deceived by the serpent, she does not say she didn't know it was wrong and this is AFTER eating the fruit and gaining the knowledge of good and evil. If I didn't know something was wrong, did it, then learned it was wrong, my first response would be to tell the accuser I didn't know it was wrong. Eve did not do this.)

Offline Penman

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Re: Questions for Christian appologetics
« Reply #55 on: August 17, 2011, 03:47:00 AM »
Just because stories take place in real cities does not mean... not for one second... that the stories therein are true.  Did you not read Omen's post?  Harry Potter takes place in London England.  That matters little to the facts surrounding the rest of the stories.  BTW, archeology doesn't back up the majority of the history of the bible.  I can think of several things off the top of my head that aren't backed up.  The exodus, the great flood, the census surrounding the birth of Jesus, etc. 

At best, all we can say is the stories might have taken place in real spots.  That makes none of them true, however. 

Actually, no, Penman.  We aren't.  I do not agree that the bible is a reliable source of history any more than I agree the Koran is, given that some of the names and places in that book have been found legitimate as well.  It very well may be a piece of fiction.  In fact, there are many, MANY reasons to believe it is. 

It depends upon the claims they make as to whether or not we can accept something at face value.  If the claim is that some guy lived a decent life, was arrested, tortured and killed on a cross 2000 years ago, then yeah we could probably buy that one.  It's not extraordinary in any way.  It probably happened a lot.  But when you are relying on (in this case) second, third, fourth or maybe fifth hand information to swing the pendulum of belief in the direction of an invisible sky man sending his child down to earth to be a human sacrifice so that we could all be free to sin and still get to be with God in his happy place when we die, then going on someone else's experience is stupidity at best. 

Here are some facts about the gospel writers. 

1.  We have no idea who they were.
2.  They were not eyewitness accounts, nor were they claimed to be.
3.  They offer 4 different versions of Jesus.

Knowing this, why anyone would ever think of the gospels as truthful is beyond me. 

This is false.  It just is.  You are not looking at what science is actually doing if you are saying this.  You are only looking at what religious people are saying.  Name a nonreligious scientist that says there is a good amount of evidence for intelligent design.  Now, keep in mind, they do not have to believe in your god, another god, or any god.  They could believe in intelligent aliens for all we know.  But you don't see scientists (again unless they are religious) pointing to the notion that the universe had to be intelligently designed.   

Now this one is a major loss for you.  It's completely wrong.  Evolution is a fact and one of the most well supported theories in the world. 

Funny stuff.  You're god needs evidence but not mine! lol. 

The bible is fiction.  Sorry.  You can do all the theological gymnastics you want, but it's fiction.  100%.  God isn't real. 

It means places can exist and names can exist.  Archaeology, history, and other sciences can verify them empirically.  Of that we can agree.  It depends upon the evidence for them.  If it is sufficient, then it's not hard to believe.  The events are a completely separate matter.   

Wrong. 

A man named Jesus going around saying stuff 2000 years ago about the Jewish God isn't that hard to believe.  A man named Jesus being the SON OF AN INVISIBLE GOD, and coming down to the planet to sacrifice himself for us IS hard to believe.  It just is.  It's ridiculous to believe that when we consider the evidence we have. 

If I told you that my great grandfather died and rose from the dead 3 days later, what would you say to me? 

I think you should take a listen to the reasons behind why the vast, vast majority of first century Jews rejected it.   

Jesus man.  Look around the forum a bit for information on this.  There are plenty... PLENTY of prophecies that Jesus didn't fulfill.  And BTW, if you think the prophecies are really useful, consider this.  The OT was written prior to the NT, correct?  So if you, as a NT writer, wanted people to think that Jesus was the messiah, and you were writing LONG after Jesus died, how hard would it be to make up the details about a guy that fit with the prophecies of a previous book?  That's exactly what happened. 

Christianity was a nothing religion for the first 300 years.  Nobody cared.  The vast majority of Jews rejected the notion that Jesus was the messiah.  You are wrong.

Explained above. 

Well, that's completely wrong in just about every way.  All a belief system has to have is an invisible, all powerful being to back it up and suddenly everything is possible.  Any event that occurred in the world at that time would only have been able to be witnessed by a few people.  It is EASY to understand how a story like the Jesus story could survive if it never happened.  All you have to do is convince one person that it did, and voila, off it goes.  You could say something as silly as Jesus took off on a flying horse and went to heaven after he died.  Oh, wait.  That was Mohammed.  I guess, by your take, that must have happened too then?  After all, it's hard to see how an event like that could survive the test of time if it didn't really happen.... right?  Riiiiiight. 

You'll get lambasted there.

Um... is that not what you were saying above?  You want us to believe that just because something was written down in a place that was real, that the events that are described to have happened in those places, are real. 

I don't think anyone doubts that the stories were being circulated as if they were true.  That doesn't make them true, though.  Anymore than the stories of Joseph Smith were meant for entertainment. 

The genesis account is false.  That is the most logical conclusion. 

Where did the first believer in any religion (besides yours) come from?  To think that a story has to be true in order for people to believe it is lunacy.   

You've barked up the wrong tree, Penman.  The Christian God isn't real.  Sorry.

I did read Omen's post and responded to the London/Harry Potter argument. The difference is that Harry Potter was written as a fictional story with real-life elements whereas the Bible was written as an historical narrative. Other than the supernatural events that take place with which you contend, there is no reason to assume the Bible to be a collective work of fictional stories and not a collective work of historical narrative by authors recording accurately what happened.

I see. So your contention is with supernatural inclusion into the historical text. That is fine. I do not see this as an issue because I trust the reliability of the Biblical authors even when supernatural events are recorded.

Here are some real facts about the Gospel writers:
1. Yes, we do. Matthew was written by the apostle Matthew according to early church history and according to some of the earliest manuscripts we have containing the title "Matthew." Again, according to early church history, Papias quotes John when he tells him that Mark recorded Peter's (an apostle) preaching/teaching. Luke is presumed to have been written by Luke given the evidence from the book of Acts and its statement of being a sequel to the Gospel of Luke. John was authored by an apostle as evidenced within the gospel itself and was identified by early church fathers as being John , one of the original 12 disciples.
2. Mark and Luke are the only two who would not have been firsthand eye-witnesses. Matthew and John were both apostles. However, Luke writes that his narrative is presented just as the eye-witnesses handed it down to him and was careful to investigate all the events.
3. Different audiences were the target of the gospel authors but it is still the same Jesus found throughout.

Behe

Evolution within a species is indeed a fact and supported by many observable/testable evidences. Common descent, evolutionary processes to increase genetic information, and the complete transition from one species to another is not a fact and has not been supported by any observable/testable evidences.

The Bible is non-fiction and God is real. That was fun.

I would ask for witnesses who would testify to your claim about your grandfather (or else meet him in person to see for myself). I would search for forensic evidence and physical evidence of his death and resurrection. What else could I say or do?

A large number of Jews did accept Jesus as the Messiah during the first century. Paul was one of the most infamous Jews and became the most notable apologist for the fact that Jesus was the Messiah. Over 3,000 people converted in one day. Quite a few Jews accepted Him as the Messiah, it's not like we're talking a few dozen here.

You must be referring to Messianic prophecies that Jesus hasn't fulfilled yet. There is quite the controversy surrounding all the Messianic prophecies and when they are to be fulfilled. I'm assuming you're in the Jew camp that says He should have fulfilled them all during His earthly ministry in order to be understood as the Messiah. If you have a link to where on the forum this is being discussed, please share. Thanks.

Lambasting, here I come. Thanks for the warning.

No, I want you to understand that when something is written and intended as an historical narrative that it should be viewed through that filter first and not through the filter of fiction simply because it contains supernatural events you don't believe in. The places, people, and historical events recorded are evidence and lend credibility to the assertion that it is a reliable historical narrative. That is my point.

Omen had said that my religion required people who already believe. I was responding to him about that.

The Christian God is real. Thank you.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Questions for Christian appologetics
« Reply #56 on: August 17, 2011, 06:30:01 AM »
LOL.  First of all you say that we can assume things that aren't in the Bible.....

Why would you assume that God did not discuss any of this with them in the garden when talking about the tree of knowledge?

...THEN you say that if it doesn't specifically say it, it didn't happen.....

...my first response would be to tell the accuser I didn't know it was wrong. Eve did not do this.)

The Bible does NOT report Eve saying something - so you deny it happened.
The Bible does NOT report God saying something - so you presume it happened.

Can you see where we have a problem?  Why is okay for you to assume the unwritten, but not for anyone else?


If everything concerning Adam and Eve was good from the beginning of creation, why would they require knowledge of good and evil/right and wrong as God did? All they needed to know was who their Creator was (which they did), what their purpose was (which they did), and how to obey God's commands (which they did). How do you know they weren't "enlightened" enough to make the right choice to obey God? This is God, their creator we're talking about. What reason would they have not to believe Him concerning anything and everything?

Good question.  Clearly they did NOT believe him, otherwise nothing would have happened.

If everything concerning Adam and Eve was good from the beginning of creation, why would god create the Tree of knowledge in the first place?  He already had that knowledge, he didn't want them to have it....what would be the point of creating something so irrelevant and dangerous?  Of creating it so close to the people he didn't want to touch it?  Of not protecting it?  Of not keeping his omniscience turned on so he could see what they were doing?

And even if - if - there is some argument about testing.....this is god we are talking about, who knows the hearts and minds of all men.  Perfectly possible for the "test" of Adam and Eve to be stopped as Eve raised the fruit to her lips.  But no - god elected NOT to stop the "wrongness" at that point, and instead allow them to eat, with all the problems that then ensued.

Bonus question: if everything concerning Adam and Eve was good from the beginning of creation....does that not mean that originally there was no part in god's plan for Jesus?  If Jesus was part of the plan, then so was the fall.  But if the fall was something that god didn't want...then originally god had no desire whatsoever for Jesus to be.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Questions for Christian appologetics
« Reply #57 on: August 17, 2011, 06:49:43 AM »
I did read Omen's post and responded to the London/Harry Potter argument. The difference is that Harry Potter was written as a fictional story with real-life elements whereas the Bible was written as an historical narrative. Other than the supernatural events that take place with which you contend, there is no reason to assume the Bible to be a collective work of fictional stories and not a collective work of historical narrative by authors recording accurately what happened.


Then you accept every narrative that was orally handed down a at least 6 generations before being written down, including ones that have supernatural elements as real. There is no chance for error or propaganda and any said narritive, from any culture, anywhere on the surface of the earth. The Illiad for example. Or do you give a special privledge to the narrative you were raised with as a child? HHMMMMMMMM????????
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.