You are diving deep. It's hard for me to answer your question on a reasonable/rational level.
Isn't this the hallmark of someone who's about to say a whole bunch of bullshit they can't prove in any way, shape or form? Is anyone else automatically going into /eyeroll mode before they even read the rest? And much like a massive 10 car pile up on the highway, NONE of you can resist looking at the rest of what he wrote, right? Or is that just me?
I can only respond to you based on my own understanding, which is not based on scripture, but my understanding of scripture.
And the traffic slows down on both sides of the road... can't...look.... away!
I believe the soul is the thinking mind. Being filled with the spirit doesn't make one's mind "unthinking", which many on this site will disagree with. I believe God is a Spirit and the Bible was written for spiritual beings. That you need to be "born again" (John 3:) to understand. Although this seems ridiculous to a rational mind, it fits. To me it is the only thing that makes sense, but I don't know how to explain it rationally to a genius who doesn't believe it.
jtp, just because your 'reasoning' makes theological sense (or 'fits) to you, does that in any way make it true? I mean, you can rationalize anything you want here. Using the word 'spirit' just makes the whole thing a mess, because you can't just toss it in there as some sort of given fact that it exists. The conversation is already off on the wrong foot the minute you say "X causes Y" if both sides do not agree on whether X exists.
The Bible was written by 40 different men over a period of 1,500 years. It all fits together. The odds of the OT prophesies coming true are astronomical. Yet they did come true in Jesus.
That's... just so wrong. For centuries, thousands of scribes, monks, priests, etc, have manipulated, changed, rewritten, copied and recopied other error filled copies of the bible, so much so that we have no way of knowing what the original authors even said anymore. We have no idea who wrote a good portion of the bible. The gospels are NOT eyewitness accounts. There are contradictions and errors all over the place. It does NOT all fit together. In fact, only when you read the individual books for themselves can you see what each author was trying to say.
The OT prophecies... damn man, that is such a dead argument. Look, if you found a really old book that talked about the future actions of some future character, how hard would it be for you to write a book, today, with a character that filled all the 'prophecies' you found in that book? The gospel writers had copies of the OT with them when they wrote the gospels, jtp. Is this really that difficult for you to understand?
I guess a better way to look at it is this... Is it more likely that some God spawned human came down into a virgin, popped out, did a bunch of miraculous stuff, satisfied a whole crap load of prophecies, died, came back to life, and then went up to heaven sometime later.... or... Is it more likely that the people who wrote the gospels just filled in the blanks, because they wanted people to believe that Jesus was the messiah? Do we know people lie? Yes. Do we know people tell stories? Yes. Do we know people can be fooled by lies? Yes. It is vastly more likely that the latter is true, and you know it. The whole prophecy argument is stupid.
It boils down too: do you believe the Bible? or Hawking, Einstein, Greene, Historicity, Hatter, etc.
Given the amount of proof for the biblical claims, and given the amount of proof for what Hawking and Einstein claimed, anyone who goes with the bible should have their head examined. It's completely ridiculous.
Here are two good quotes for you, from an atheist, that will sum up what I believe.
“Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.” - Isaac Asimov.
"I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I'll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it.
The wilder and more ridiculous something is, however, the firmer and more solid the evidence will have to be.” - Also, Isaac Asimov.
I would believe in God if there were evidence for it, but the evidence would have to be overwhelming. That's just the way it is. That is the same way I approach most, if not all of the things in my life. I don't see any reason to dump that process when it comes to religion. The fact that there is ZERO evidence for God is a big issue for me.
Do you think your soul lives after your body breaks down and stops working?
There is no such thing as a soul. Prove me wrong.