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Offline median

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A Challenge to Christians
« on: April 04, 2013, 12:38:48 PM »
Demonstrate your deity. Your bible (Mark 16, John 14) commands you to do miracles (greater works than 'he' supposedly did), and it also commands you to defend your faith with reasoned argument (1 Peter 3:15, Jude 1), just as Paul "reasoned" with the Jews.

I am betting that absolutely none (zero) of you Christians will be able, or willing to adequately finish this challenge. My prediction is 2 fold (for those that actually take the challenge - because most of you believers have no confidence in your beliefs and won't take the challenge). But for those who do, you will either...

1) Obfuscate or avoid the tough questions and eventually give up or leave, or...
2) End the discussion by saying something like, "Well, I just have faith."

Neither of these are adequate responses but if you wish to actually do what your bible tells you, then please bring your A game and demonstrate (not just claim) how you know your deity Yahweh is actually real.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 12:40:41 PM by median »
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Offline John 3 16

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2013, 10:55:01 PM »

2) End the discussion by saying something like, "Well, I just have faith."

Neither of these are adequate responses but if you wish to actually do what your bible tells you, then please bring your A game and demonstrate (not just claim) how you know your deity Yahweh is actually real.
What's wrong with saying "Well, I just have faith"?

And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
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Offline John 3 16

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2013, 10:55:47 PM »
Thank you Ambassador Pony for resuscitation.
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Offline John 3 16

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2013, 11:10:13 PM »
Demonstrate your deity. Your bible (Mark 16, John 14) commands you to do miracles (greater works than 'he' supposedly did), and it also commands you to defend your faith with reasoned argument (1 Peter 3:15, Jude 1), just as Paul "reasoned" with the Jews.
I don't know which version of bible you have, but mine reads kind of like this.  Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. (1 Peter 3:15)

I am ready to explain my hope as a Christian anytime. :laugh:

(Jude 1) ????  But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. (Jude 1 17-19) OK I agree with the scripture so what?
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 11:31:27 PM by John 3 16 »
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Offline John 3 16

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2013, 11:28:57 PM »
Quote from: median link=topic=24696.msg(548838#msg548838 date=1365097128
Demonstrate your deity. Your bible (Mark 16, John 14) commands you to do miracles (greater works than 'he' supposedly did),,,,
I don't have  to demonstrate my God because He already did
For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. (Romans 1:20)

Jesus actually didn't command us to show off miracles, He commanded us to spread the gospel.
I am certain that we (Christians) did greater works than Jesus as far as spreading the gospel all over the world and still spreading.  Whereas Jesus only affected small parts of Israel.

Because Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit will guide us and help us until His return.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 12:23:59 AM by John 3 16 »
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Offline Astreja

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2013, 12:40:59 AM »
What's wrong with saying "Well, I just have faith"?

Well, in My case, I would be lying if I said such a thing and I would know that I was lying.

I don't believe in your god, J316.  I have never believed in your god.  Lying about it isn't magically going to make it happen; it would simply put My brain into a state of cognitive dissonance, with the conscious mind pretending to believe and the unconscious mind sabotaging a belief that it knows to be false.

I also don't understand why your supposed god would want someone to believe without evidence, or worse, to lie to themselves about it.  If it's so concerned about humanity, couldn't it just pop by for tea or something?
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Online Dante

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2013, 02:07:38 AM »
The problem J, is that faith is an emotion, a wishful thinking with, at the most, very little basis in reality. Which, on its face, is fine and no problemo. The problem is that most of you faithful expect to make laws, and thus make everyone else live by your faith. Not ours, yours. Yet you have no evidence that your faith is beneficial to us individually, nor the world in general.

The rest of your post is preaching. Yet again with no verifiable evidence in our reality. But, if i were to create a religion, those verses you quote are what I would be telling everyone that would listen. Would you not, were it  were a work of fiction that you wanted people to believe it the truth?

Your god exists only in your mind.
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline kcrady

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2013, 05:49:08 AM »
For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. (Romans 1:20)

Well then, it ought to be fairly easy for you to provide examples.  Please note, it isn't good enough to give anything along the lines of, "Oooooh, stars!  Preeeeetty!  Therefore, the Christian God exists."  Paul claims in the passage that you cited, that the "invisible qualities" of his particular god are self-evident in the created Cosmos.  That means you should be able to provide examples of this phenomenon that validate your god specifically, and rule out other proposed gods, such as the god of Islam, Zeus, Isis, etc..  If Paul is correct, it was all blatantly obvious in his own time, so this ought to be ridiculously easy for you, having access to Hubble telescope images, the results of global exploration and cataloging of biological species, etc., etc..  You get to take for granted vast panoplies of knowledge about the Cosmos and the Earth that was undreamt of in Paul's day.  If you can't knock this one out of the park with surpassing ease, then Paul's claim is falsified, and with it, your religion.  By all means, step up to the plate and take a swing!

Jesus actually didn't command us to show off miracles, He commanded us to spread the gospel.
I am certain that we (Christians) did greater works than Jesus as far as spreading the gospel all over the world and still spreading.  Whereas Jesus only affected small parts of Israel.
 

I'm not quite convinced that a TV ministry really counts as a "greater work" than raising people from the dead; but then, there's not any real evidence that Jesus actually accomplished such feats, so I suppose the bar for you isn't that high.

Because Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit will guide us and help us until His return.

Is that so?  You Real, True Christians (whichever group of you that is) ought to have a significant, demonstrable advantage over us ordinary mortals who have to get through life without any help and guidance from an infallible, omniscient, perfectly-honest, and omnipotent force.  With knowledge and power like that at your back, you guys should be superheroes compared to us!  So how come it doesn't work out like that?
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Offline median

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2013, 11:57:13 AM »

2) End the discussion by saying something like, "Well, I just have faith."

Neither of these are adequate responses but if you wish to actually do what your bible tells you, then please bring your A game and demonstrate (not just claim) how you know your deity Yahweh is actually real.
What's wrong with saying "Well, I just have faith"?

And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)


Faith is not a reliable pathway to truth, that's why. Anybody can just have faith in anything (as all religions ultimately revert to), but when the chips are down, you can't give good reasons, and then you pull out the "Well, I just have faith" argument, it isn't sufficient. Faith is the excuse people give when they don't have a good reason for believing something. What's wrong with it? It isn't a reliable pathway to separating fact from fiction.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 12:22:58 PM by median »
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Offline median

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2013, 12:12:15 PM »
Quote from: median link=topic=24696.msg(548838#msg548838 date=1365097128
Demonstrate your deity. Your bible (Mark 16, John 14) commands you to do miracles (greater works than 'he' supposedly did),,,,
I don't have  to demonstrate my God because He already did
For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. (Romans 1:20)

Jesus actually didn't command us to show off miracles, He commanded us to spread the gospel.
I am certain that we (Christians) did greater works than Jesus as far as spreading the gospel all over the world and still spreading.  Whereas Jesus only affected small parts of Israel.

Because Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit will guide us and help us until His return.

NOPE. More spin and rationalizing doesn't get you there dude. Jesus specifically said you would do THE WORKS he did, and greater. You spinning the text so as to lessen your job, trying to make it say what you want it to say, fails (just as it fails for Muslims when they attempt this spin tactic with the Koran). The text does NOT say you'll just spread the "good news" and that's a greater miracle. It states clearly that his true disciple will demonstrate the same types of miracles he supposedly did (greater than moving mountains!). Read your bible dude (Mark 11, Matt 17). The disciples (supposedly) demonstrated some of these same types of miracles in the book of Acts, at Jesus' directive (just as the pentecostals and faith healers claim they do today).

Second, quoting a bad argument from your bible (Romans 1) doesn't demonstrate that a deity did anything - anymore than a Muslim or Hindu quoting their holy books demonstrates anything. Nature is proof of nature. It doesn't tell you how it got here until you investigate. The trees don't say, "Made by Yahweh" on them, and rabbits don't have "Hecho in Heaven" tattooed on their asses. You need more than an infinite, "Because my bible tells me so" to demonstrate your deity. Read the OP again. A mere claim is not a demonstration.

Regarding Jude 1, read the whole chapter.


p.s. - Your definition of miracle seems to be quite low. By your definition, then, Muslims did "greater works" when they spread Islam to billions of people. What a miracle huh!? Please explain how we can distinguish a miracle from a non-miracle by your extremely low standard of what a miracle is.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 12:17:19 PM by median »
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Offline screwtape

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2013, 12:49:21 PM »
What's wrong with saying "Well, I just have faith"?

I think you've been here long enough to know what is wrong with faith.  If you don't know, you've not been paying enough attention. 

You should also know by now that quoting scripture to support your argument is at best useless.
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Offline Tonus

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2013, 01:41:48 PM »
That's a convenient set up: "just look around at nature and you'll find god; it's so obvious that it's inexcusable not to."  And if a person finds that to be ridiculous, just point them at "there will be scoffers seeking their own selfish ends and trying to divide you."  To doubt the Bible and to speak to others of that doubt is to 'follow unnatural desires,' and be 'ungodly' and an attempt to divide the faithful.  The amount of guilt that you are threatened with is suffocating.

Offline median

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2013, 02:32:52 PM »
That's a convenient set up: "just look around at nature and you'll find god; it's so obvious that it's inexcusable not to."  And if a person finds that to be ridiculous, just point them at "there will be scoffers seeking their own selfish ends and trying to divide you."  To doubt the Bible and to speak to others of that doubt is to 'follow unnatural desires,' and be 'ungodly' and an attempt to divide the faithful.  The amount of guilt that you are threatened with is suffocating.

And of course the ASSUMPTION he is making, that his bible is "the word of god", is suffocating him from breathing reality. All these gullible religious people do it (Muslims, Mormons, Hindus, etc). How sad.
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Offline median

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2013, 11:50:00 AM »
Yep, just as I suspected...when the tough questions come out the fundy religionists run for the hills. So typical...
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Offline screwtape

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2013, 09:24:36 PM »
In all fairness, the fundies are more scarce here than they used to be.
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2013, 04:25:12 PM »
What's wrong with saying "Well, I just have faith"?

And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
Sincere question:
Why do you want to please god?

Edit: missing word 'you'
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 04:59:10 PM by jdawg70 »
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2013, 05:48:10 PM »
Demonstrate your deity. Your bible (Mark 16, John 14) commands you to do miracles (greater works than 'he' supposedly did), and it also commands you to defend your faith with reasoned argument (1 Peter 3:15, Jude 1), just as Paul "reasoned" with the Jews.

I am betting that absolutely none (zero) of you Christians will be able, or willing to adequately finish this challenge. My prediction is 2 fold (for those that actually take the challenge - because most of you believers have no confidence in your beliefs and won't take the challenge). But for those who do, you will either...

1) Obfuscate or avoid the tough questions and eventually give up or leave, or...
2) End the discussion by saying something like, "Well, I just have faith."

Neither of these are adequate responses but if you wish to actually do what your bible tells you, then please bring your A game and demonstrate (not just claim) how you know your deity Yahweh is actually real.

In respect of the performing of miracles, my understanding has always been that this was a specific gift provided to the early apostles as a means of establishing the early church. Seemed to work, too.

What was your understanding of these passages back when you were a Christian apologist?
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Offline The Gawd

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2013, 05:56:50 PM »
In respect of the performing of miracles, my understanding has always been that this was a specific gift provided to the early apostles as a means of establishing the early church. Seemed to work, too.

What was your understanding of these passages back when you were a Christian apologist?

When I was a christian I would have pretended like any little thing I did was "greater miracles" than Jesus performed. Since then I have realized that I was just believing what I wanted to believe. Also, as a christian I can honestly say I wasnt nearly as well versed as I am now because in church functions they had us read the verses they wanted us to read, over and over, year after year. Never quite got to the ugly stuff many of us object to here.

The church spread thanks to Constantine, not the disciples.

Offline magicmiles

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2013, 06:05:52 PM »
In respect of the performing of miracles, my understanding has always been that this was a specific gift provided to the early apostles as a means of establishing the early church. Seemed to work, too.

What was your understanding of these passages back when you were a Christian apologist?

When I was a christian I would have pretended like any little thing I did was "greater miracles" than Jesus performed. Since then I have realized that I was just believing what I wanted to believe. Also, as a christian I can honestly say I wasnt nearly as well versed as I am now because in church functions they had us read the verses they wanted us to read, over and over, year after year. Never quite got to the ugly stuff many of us object to here.

I asked Median because presumably he gave these issues considerable thought (as an apologist), and didn't gloss over them as your church appears to have unfortunately done.


The church spread thanks to Constantine, not the disciples.

I guess it all comes down to how broad a definition of 'spread' you go with. After all, how did Constantine come to faith hundreds of years after Christ?
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Offline The Gawd

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2013, 06:40:30 PM »
I asked Median because presumably he gave these issues considerable thought (as an apologist), and didn't gloss over them as your church appears to have unfortunately done.


I guess it all comes down to how broad a definition of 'spread' you go with. After all, how did Constantine come to faith hundreds of years after Christ?
I know you were asking median, but I figured I'd take this dance while he was getting some punch   ;)
But I wouldnt say glossed over, I would say they focused on the good stuff, and the stuff we could actually do. I will say I never have been to a church where they taught to critically examine whether the claims were true, and furthermore if they were good.

As for the spread of christianity, I guess it depends on how far back you want to take it... after all how did Jesus become a Jew?

Offline magicmiles

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2013, 06:46:54 PM »
Mary was Jewish.
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Offline The Gawd

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2013, 07:18:05 PM »
Family was tracked through the lineage of the father...

Offline median

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2013, 07:19:07 PM »
Demonstrate your deity. Your bible (Mark 16, John 14) commands you to do miracles (greater works than 'he' supposedly did), and it also commands you to defend your faith with reasoned argument (1 Peter 3:15, Jude 1), just as Paul "reasoned" with the Jews.

I am betting that absolutely none (zero) of you Christians will be able, or willing to adequately finish this challenge. My prediction is 2 fold (for those that actually take the challenge - because most of you believers have no confidence in your beliefs and won't take the challenge). But for those who do, you will either...

1) Obfuscate or avoid the tough questions and eventually give up or leave, or...
2) End the discussion by saying something like, "Well, I just have faith."

Neither of these are adequate responses but if you wish to actually do what your bible tells you, then please bring your A game and demonstrate (not just claim) how you know your deity Yahweh is actually real.

In respect of the performing of miracles, my understanding has always been that this was a specific gift provided to the early apostles as a means of establishing the early church. Seemed to work, too.

What was your understanding of these passages back when you were a Christian apologist?

Jesus didn't JUST say, "Only these twelve apostles should do the works I do...and greater." He said (supposedly he said it - b/c everything in the bible is alleged) that ALL his disciples WOULD do these things (see Mark 16 and John 14 - amongst other places that speak to this effect). The "it was only for back then" argument is an obfuscation in order to avoid refutation of the religion itself. What did I believe as a Christian? I believed what the text said. But of course, the text is contradictory in many places. So, go figure.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2013, 07:22:50 PM »
Family was tracked through the lineage of the father...

Not necessarily.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_is_a_Jew%3F
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2013, 07:25:27 PM »
What did I believe as a Christian? I believed what the text said. But of course, the text is contradictory in many places. So, go figure.

I'm more interested in how you defended the passages. If you believed the text referred to all Christians, how did you explain the problem of miracles not being performed today?
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Offline median

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2013, 08:36:46 PM »
What did I believe as a Christian? I believed what the text said. But of course, the text is contradictory in many places. So, go figure.

I'm more interested in how you defended the passages. If you believed the text referred to all Christians, how did you explain the problem of miracles not being performed today?

LOL. Are you really asking your opponent to tell you which chess move to make next? The point is, those passages cannot be defended because they aren't true. Sure, you can obfuscate, rationalize, twist, and spin the text any way you want, in an attempt to save it from refutation, but now you're doing the same thing that the Muslims or Mormons I debate with do - trying desperately to hold onto an assumption (a conclusion you started with) instead of doing disinterested critical investigation (as with a salesman at the door, or anything else in life).

But to answer your question directly, I answered with things like "There ARE miracles today! They happen in Africa etc, but America...not so much. We just don't have enough faith." Of course, this is immediately refuted when you actually GO on a mission trip all over Africa (where these miracles are supposedly happening) and see no Jesus like miracles occurring. Sure, people CLAIM miracles all the time (all over the place) but claims and reality are all too often not in alignment.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 08:40:28 PM by median »
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2013, 08:52:10 PM »


LOL. Are you really asking your opponent to tell you which chess move to make next?

You're mistaking me for a pawn again Christian.


 Sure, you can obfuscate, rationalize, twist, and spin the text any way you want, in an attempt to save it from refutation

Just so we're clear: are you saying that your understanding of the passage is the only correct one? Do you interpret everything literally?
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Offline kcrady

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2013, 06:06:27 AM »
Just so we're clear: are you saying that your understanding of the passage is the only correct one? Do you interpret everything literally?

The problem isn't "literal" vs. "metaphorical/allegorical/mystical/etc." interpretation.  It's that interpretation--a subjective, un-verifiable, unfalsifiable, "eye-of-the-beholder" process is necessary at all.  At least with regard to any exclusivist monotheistic religion.  Historically, Christianity has been based on the following principles, about as far back as we can go:

1) There is only One True God.
2) There is only One True Understanding of this God (who "He" is, what "He" wants, etc., i.e. "sound doctrinetm")
3) It is necessary to believe in the One True God and have the One True Understanding of "Him" and "His" nature, commandments, etc.--otherwise you're a Vile Heretic
4) If you do not meet condition #3 within fairly close tolerances, you are not "Saved," and it is vitally important that you be "Saved."[1]

Our earliest Christian writings, the authentic epistles of Paul, are filled with thundering denunciations of other Christianities than his own (such as the "Judaizers," and mystics who used the "gifts of the Spirit" in ways he disapproved).  Likewise for the other Epistles, and Jesus as portrayed in the canonical Gospels.  Nowhere do we find room for a whole lot of squishy interpretation or toleration of the diversity of views that necessarily results.  Christianity isn't like Hinduism, where nobody would ever even think it mattered whether or not Hanuman really carried the mountain, because it's a story about his loyalty, dedication, strength, and pragmatism.  And since it's never even asserted as The One, True Truth With a Great Big Capital-T that you have to believe, it's perfectly OK to treat it as a story and interpret it in different ways.  Heck, its OK to worship Krishna or Sita or any of hundreds of other deities if Hanuman isn't your flavor of cuppa.  In Roman-era Paganism, the gods and goddesses weren't fussy.  Call him Mercury, Hermes, Thoth, or Djehuti--the god himself was fine with it whichever way.  You could even kit-bash deities together--e.g. "Amun-Re" or "Ptah-Sokar-Osiris," or "Serapis."

So the problem isn't "Waaah, you atheists take everything so literally!"  It's that you Christians expect everyone to accept the One, True Understanding of your One, True God even though you, and your "interpretations" of your One, True Holy Text are all over the map.  You don't get to say "Believe the right things, or else!" followed by "Well, it's all a matter of interpretation."  The very facts that: the texts are open to a range of interpretation, that extensive scholarship in textual criticism, dead languages, ancient culture and idiom, history, mythology, etc. are necessary to grapple with those texts in an intelligent manner falsify the claim that there is a One, True Omnimax God who is very picky about what humans believe and practice, who revealed the One, True Way through One, True Book.  Or at least, it would prove that such a deity--requiring that we get exact right answers on the Celestial Quiz, then blindfolding us with a veil of subjective interpretation and forcing us to try to pin the tail on his invisible ass under threats of torture (by his human minions now, or by him after we die)--is a gigantic douchebag.  And how many Christians would admit to worshiping a gigantic douchebag?

Edit: That said, I can point to a few counter-examples, Christians who don't hold to the "One, True" aspects, and for whom open-ended interpretation of "Scripture" (and for that matter, atheism, paganism, etc.) wouldn't be as much of a problem.  People like Fred Clark at Slactivist, or Bishop Spong.  But even they would argue that their Christianities are at least in some sense "more correct" than fundamentalist or traditional-hierarchical (Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, etc.) Christianities.  Also, progressive, open-minded, tolerant Christianities like theirs are a bright, shiny, new modern invention that relies on ignoring pretty much the entire history of Christianities, from Paul's onward, to justify their openness.
 1. Even most Christianities that do not feature a Hell of everlasting torment would still argue that becoming the right sort of Christian (theirs, natch) is pretty bloody important.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 06:17:55 AM by kcrady »
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Offline median

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #28 on: April 09, 2013, 01:03:25 PM »
You're mistaking me for a pawn again Christian.

No, I asked you a question and you didn't answer it.



Just so we're clear: are you saying that your understanding of the passage is the only correct one? Do you interpret everything literally?


Do you interpret the resurrection, hell, the second coming, and creation of the universe by Yahweh literally? As I said before, you can (as many fundies do) attempt to re-interpret any passages, of any alleged holy book, any way you want in order to justify continuance of "faith" and/or belief (this is why there is no one true Christianity, only Christianities pl). So what. That's what every religionist/apologist does when they face refutation. And that is why faith is useless for determining fact from fiction.

If you think the Christian interpretation of the bible (that miracles are for today) is mistaken then welcome to the world of Christian sects who can't agree with each b/c your bible disagrees with itself. Making the assumption that the bible is "the word of God", from the start, is the main problem anyways. Stop beating around the bush and get to your point.

« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 01:10:24 PM by median »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan