Author Topic: Why am I expected to believe in god (under penalty of eternal punishment)  (Read 1251 times)

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Offline epidemic

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Jesus did not simply have someone write down moral tales, rules and guidelines.  He appeared, performed miracles, to a group of 12 people for years and I am expected to take them at their word and simply believe the words of people from superstitious people who lived 2,000 + years ago.

I am simply to have faith that these people were not just a bunch of people easily swayed like mormons or jehovahs wittnesses.  I know humans as a whole are prone to believing in magic and easily swayed to believe most anything given it answers the unanswerable trials of life.

The human mind seeks answers to why are we here, why do bad things happen, why do good thing happen... Where do we go when we die.

With the latter being what I consider the primary reason for religions existance.  We simply don't like the idea of not being.  the state of not being is likely not all that bad but it sucks to think of yourself being no more.  Religion answers all of these basic needs for humans.

why do bad things happen-  character building, teaches lessons, helps one appreciate the good things in perspective, because god has a bigger plan that you can understand.

Why do we die -  we don't we go on to a happy hunting ground unless you don't believe!!!

why are we here-  I am not sure religion answers this one too well.  we are here because god wanted us to be here to piss him off, to live out our 70 to 100 years as sinners by design so that some of us might make it to heaven.  But being that god is all knowing he knows since the beginning of time and before which ones of us he will punish for eternity it seems like a boring exercise.





PS the bible says god has been pissed off several times. (possibly constantly) this sounds alot like me building a toe stubbing machine that bashes me in the toes repeatedly and being mad when it works exactly as I designed it to.


Offline wheels5894

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What, no Christians responding to such a simple matter as this? That must be because its so simple it isn't worth answering. To save them a job, here's how it ought to seem to a Christian.

  • Jesus appointed disciples and they were his witnesses. It is through them that the gospel writers, inspired by god who made sure they didn't make mistakes. So it is not on faith but realising that fact that the gospels are true because god made sure they are.
  • Jesus gives the answers to the various questions and problems of people and that's why people are Christians - well that, and the fire insurance for the fires of hell!
  • One can think of the way god looks at things as being able to see the outcomes of things but not change them and indeed that would have to be so because without that, god would not be all-knowing.  It doesn't alter the fact that we have free will and make our choices though
  • Think of god more like a father whose son keeps getting things wrong, leaving a mess and gereally being like any other boy. No need for the toe kicking machine!

However, I am not a Christian and my answers are far from the above. The gospels are so far removed from the time of Jesus that what they contain may only be, in effect, legends which have grown with the telling. Thus walking on rocks just under the water surface to meet the disciples in a boat grew to walking on water etc. Other stories in the gospels seem to match the tie of writing better than the time in which Jesus lived - telling about the Christians being thrown out of the synagogues is a 70s CE thing not 3rd decade and Jesus.

Thus the only way to accept the stories of Jesus is on blind faith and that doesn't match the way we deal with the rest of our lives or I, for one, would have had several fortunes from Nigeria by now!

Finally, death and decomposition are what happens to every other species on the planet and we are descended from them. Can anyone really believe that we live on after the brain - the bit that contains that which is us - dies? we will juts cease to exist and it will be like the way it was before we were conceived - you remember that don't you?
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline Mooby

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What, no Christians responding to such a simple matter as this?
Chill, killer.  You didn't even wait an hour.  If we go by your average posts per day, this board would need to have ~28 Christians at your activity level with time to respond and potential interest in the thread content to ensure that the Christians had ample opportunity to view it and decided not to respond.  Considering all that, do you really think you had a sound basis for your question?

Jesus did not simply have someone write down moral tales, rules and guidelines.  He appeared, performed miracles, to a group of 12 people for years and I am expected to take them at their word and simply believe the words of people from superstitious people who lived 2,000 + years ago.
Is there any actual evidence that suggests this group of people in general were any more superstitious than we are today?

And no, you're supposed to read their words and evaluate their merits.  Then, you're supposed to read the words of many other people throughout history, too, including those who thought the first group's words were a pile of crap.  Then, you're supposed to look around to see whether those words ring true for your own experiences or the experiences of anyone else in your life.  Then, you're supposed to figure out where you stand in terms of belief, including whether you have any belief at all.

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I am simply to have faith that these people were not just a bunch of people easily swayed like mormons or jehovahs wittnesses.
On what grounds do you accuse Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses of being easily swayed?  I have no personal experiences with Mormons, but they appear to be pretty firm in their beliefs.  And I have met a few JWs, and can confirm that at least the ones I've met are incredibly difficult to sway.  Certainly moreso than many mainstream Christians I've met.

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The human mind seeks answers to why are we here, why do bad things happen, why do good thing happen... Where do we go when we die.
Agreed

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With the latter being what I consider the primary reason for religions existance.  We simply don't like the idea of not being.  the state of not being is likely not all that bad but it sucks to think of yourself being no more.  Religion answers all of these basic needs for humans.
Is there any way to prove this consideration of yours?
« Last Edit: May 23, 2013, 05:24:24 PM by Mooby »
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Offline Jag

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Whenever the question of the origins of religion comes up, I get a picture in my head of very early upright bipeds cowering under a stormy sky. I can see how that would evolve into an angry powerful entity who committed random acts of violence and needed to be appeased.

I realize that's heavily influenced by my environment and cultural references, and it just occurred to me that the "Planet of the Apes" movies from the 60's and 70's may have played a role in my early questions about religion...
"It's hard to, but I'm starting to believe some of you actually believe these things.  That is completely beyond my ability to understand if that is really the case, but things never cease to amaze me."

Offline The Gawd

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because there is no evidence, so they have to make the reward/punishment over the top or any person actually thinking about the non-sense will laugh off the Aesops Fables.

Offline jetson

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I don't believe anyone is expected to believe in God.  If there is a god, there is absolutely no way that anyone or any writings we know about today were associated with this god.  It is beyond obvious that every last bit of "scripture" (just stories, nothing more), is pure, unadulterated mythology.  With modern critical analysis, academics basically agree that there are more holes in this set of writings than there are words in the writings themselves!

Anyway, rest assured that if there is a god, and it knows about us, that's pretty much the end of the story.  Oh, and read The God Delusion if you haven't yet.  It is a satisfying feeling to know that whatever individuals want to believe, does not have to impact you unless you choose to believe it.  Want to think Sylvia Browne is special, go right ahead.  Want to give the Pope some form of undeserved reverence, feel free.  But we are all human beings, and none of us has to follow what others make up, or pretend to know without accountability.  Religion is more tradition these days than anything worthy of so much attention.

Atheists, in my opinion, are the only humans brave enough to stand directly in front of the onslaught of ignorance and fear that is modern religion.  We hold the absolute best position - that being that we see no compelling reasons at all to think that any god depicted so far is actually real, much less wants something from us.  Laughable, really.

Did I miss anything important?

Offline epidemic

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Is there any actual evidence that suggests this group of people in general were any more superstitious than we are today?
I guess to be fair I don't know enough about historical cultures to answer this with authority.  It is just a feeling from the readings I have done and my evaluation of ancient peoples.  There just seemed to be a heluva lot of magic in the world back before education hit the masses.

And no, you're supposed to read their words and evaluate their merits.  Then, you're supposed to read the words of many other people throughout history, too, including those who thought the first group's words were a pile of crap.  Then, you're supposed to look around to see whether those words ring true for your own experiences or the experiences of anyone else in your life.  Then, you're supposed to figure out where you stand in terms of belief, including whether you have any belief at all.
 

I don't know what merits I can give to the texts that make up the religions of the world.  There is virtually no credible secular corroberation of magic associated with Jesus, Moses...  If the Torah spoke of Jesus coming to life.  If temples in Egypt spoke of first born genocide, if Romans Greeks and American Indians spoke about the sun turning off mid day for a time 2,013 years ago, if dinosaur bones were all interlaced with pottery and human remains from a giant flood wiping out all but a select few live on earth then Noah would ring true.  As it stands scientific research still leads me to see an old universe with natural origins.

If Stars 7,000 to 10,000 years old popped into the heavens daily as their light mad the 10,000 year journey to earth that would give a young universe credibility.

On what grounds do you accuse Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses of being easily swayed?  I have no personal experiences with Mormons, but they appear to be pretty firm in their beliefs.  And I have met a few Jews, and can confirm that at least the ones I've met are incredibly difficult to sway.  Certainly moreso than many mainstream Christians I've met.
 

Again I must hand it to you,  You are right.  However I consider Mormons as a faith which is more easily debunked than Christianity because time is not an issue with the secular world seeing the lack of miraculous evidence.  With the written word being solidly entrenched in society by the time of John Smith.  All of his claims of magic underpants, and golden tablets not making it to a single follower sounds like verifiable snake oil salesmanship.  Clearly John Smith did not risk being sent to the lions in the arena.  His motivation could more easily be seen than that of early Christians or the apostles.  But more than that, I was trying to use Mormons as an example of a false religion formed in modern times that clearly to a Methodist, catholic,... Christian would be false.  I guess I could have cited any of a hundred big modern day religions that fit the bill (cough cough Scientology cough cough). 

Mormons and JW's are of course faithful and not easily swayed from their belief.  Again I was saying to the mainstream christian that they were easily swayed to a wrong religion.

Simply put faith can be put in any religion because faith is based on nothing tangible.  all religions require blind faith.  Hey god may want it this way but I require something.  Hell if god whispers to me he is real and follow the pope I am all in.  (assuming I don't believe I have lost my marbles.:)


You have given me stuff to think about.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 09:19:10 AM by epidemic »

Offline neopagan

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Mooby,
"Is there any actual evidence that suggests this group of people in general were any more superstitious than we are today?"

I think there is...

Right off the top of my head, I'd point to the story of Paul and Barnabas in Acts stirring up a riot in Lystra - the (superstitious) locals decided those two were Zeus and Hermes, started building temples for them and commenced worshipping.  Paul and Barnie were not too happy about that and caused a real ruckus.

Was that more superstitious than today?  I'd say so, we see the "paralyzed" "healed" by phony religious types all the time, or better yet hear how it happens all the time in darkest Africa/Borneo/wherever (all with as much proof as Paul and Barnie) and aside from the handful of the gullible the nonsense doesn't grip the whole city.  Benny Hinn comes and goes with his traveling freak show and has a finite appeal...

If my magic time machine worked, and I'd shown up in bible days with a flamethrower and an iPod, you'd all be worshipping me now!  :-[
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline junebug72

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I believe God is fair.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/t/thomas_paine.html#XXwlhVIMq06zWg2d.99

Offline jdawg70

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Mooby,
"Is there any actual evidence that suggests this group of people in general were any more superstitious than we are today?"

I think there is...

Right off the top of my head, I'd point to the story of Paul and Barnabas in Acts stirring up a riot in Lystra - the (superstitious) locals decided those two were Zeus and Hermes, started building temples for them and commenced worshipping.  Paul and Barnie were not too happy about that and caused a real ruckus.

Was that more superstitious than today?  I'd say so, we see the "paralyzed" "healed" by phony religious types all the time, or better yet hear how it happens all the time in darkest Africa/Borneo/wherever (all with as much proof as Paul and Barnie) and aside from the handful of the gullible the nonsense doesn't grip the whole city.  Benny Hinn comes and goes with his traveling freak show and has a finite appeal...

If my magic time machine worked, and I'd shown up in bible days with a flamethrower and an iPod, you'd all be worshipping me now!  :-[
That's pretty weak evidence though, as the events of the story cannot be taken as accurate and at best one can do is derive some information based off of the writer from the story.

I tend to think that there really isn't a whole lot of evidence of a general decrease in superstition.  When adding the corrective factor of increased knowledge, vast changes in social structure and order, and markedly different forms of communication, I think one would be hard pressed to be able to make the claim of even being able to measure 'degree of superstition' of the general mindset of people.

Society in the past may have believed in more superstitious bull-plop in the past, but that doesn't necessarily correlate to any increase or decrease in tendency towards superstition.

Thoughts?
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."

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Online Mrjason

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Society in the past may have believed in more superstitious bull-plop in the past, but that doesn't necessarily correlate to any increase or decrease in tendency towards superstition.

Thoughts?

I think that as science explains more and more "stuff"[1] there are less unexplained phenomenon that can be attributed to wild fairytails

I think I'm agreeing with you? :o
 1. the universe n ting

Offline neopagan

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I guess there's no good measurement for assessing superstition levels of ancient people groups, especially when you use stories in the bible as a point of reference.   Use a made up superstitious book to assess superstitions and you get what you pay for...

If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline epidemic

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of course the major point is that God new he would have to provide extraordinary proof to the apostles.  He could have just given the good word to a few folks and let them run with it.  But in reality it took extraordinary proof of rising from the dead to really seal the deal with most of them.

The eye witness testimony of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John recorded well after their deaths by unknown authors, hand picket from hundreds of accounts. is simply not nearly as compelling as the evidence that they had and even at that a few of them were on the fence until the man supposedly rose from the dead.

Jesus's story is not even really that unique, virgin birth, healings... were all the rage back then. 
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 10:28:29 AM by epidemic »

Offline Mooby

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Right off the top of my head, I'd point to the story of Paul and Barnabas in Acts stirring up a riot in Lystra - the (superstitious) locals decided those two were Zeus and Hermes, started building temples for them and commenced worshipping.  Paul and Barnie were not too happy about that and caused a real ruckus.
That's just it, though.  The Bible stories (and other ancient texts) love to accuse non-believers of being superstitious, which only really makes sense if they thought their audiences would view superstition negatively.  The people who are depicted as superstitious are all uncivilized pagans worshiping false gods that must be shown the silliness of their beliefs and elevated to the truth of the one true God.  Much as we look around us and accuse tribal or historical societies of being superstitious, so too did the early Christians do the same exact thing--with the same exact assumption that they were intellectually superior and enlightened compared to their superstitious neighbors.

When looking around on Google, I found plenty of examples of superstitions, but nothing on how many people were actually superstitious.  We could do the same today by listing modern superstitions (horoscopes, sports rituals, not walking under ladders, the number 13, zodiac signs, fortune tellers, etc.), but that says nothing about how superstitious our culture really is compared to others throughout history.  The best I could find is a blog post arguing from a clearly biased viewpoint and mostly citing other blog posts... which is hardly an authoritative source.

It's certainly true that there was less scientific knowledge, and that many people believed philosophical theories that were later found to be inaccurate (such as matter being made up of 4-6 elements), but that doesn't say much about how credulous people were or weren't outside of that limited knowledge.  My guess is that credulity waxed and waned to some degree with the popular philosophies (i.e. it may have been lower during periods when skepticism and/or rationalism were big), but I don't know of any evidence that actually tells us one way or another.

I don't know what merits I can give to the texts that make up the religions of the world.  There is virtually no credible secular corroberation of magic associated with Jesus, Moses...  If the Torah spoke of Jesus coming to life.  If temples in Egypt spoke of first born genocide, if Romans Greeks and American Indians spoke about the sun turning off mid day for a time 2,013 years ago, if dinosaur bones were all interlaced with pottery and human remains from a giant flood wiping out all but a select few live on earth then Noah would ring true.  As it stands scientific research still leads me to see an old universe with natural origins.
Me too.  And, in fact, the majority of worldwide Christians belong to denominations that accept scientific evidence for an old Earth.  While the fundamentalist movement advocating a strict literal interpretation of the Bible is certainly loud and is growing in the US (30-40% from various sites), it's still a relatively new denomination (~100-150 years) and still encompasses a small percentage of Christians worldwide (<10%).  And though they claim their view is the closest to that of early believers, and while the texts were certainly read more strictly 2000 years ago than they are today, the writings of early Christians (such as Augustine) suggest that discussion of which stories were literal was at least on the table. 

The idea of the Bible being the sole source for Christian teachings didn't even become big in literature until the Protestant Reformation (1600s), and even then there's not really much suggestion of strict literalism until the rise of the fundamentalist movement.  That's over 92% of Christian history.  So this notion that reading the texts and seeing their merits means rejecting the scientific evidence for an old universe is not representative of traditional Christianity.

That being said, there are other things in the texts that may appear dubious to unbelievers: you likely don't have a strong reason to believe in the Resurrection or Christ's teachings on salvation.  Which is why I suggested that the next step was to see if and how this connects to the experiences of yourself and others.

Of course, if you're unable to see merit in the texts and are unable to see God working in your own life, it's pretty unlikely that you will be able to cultivate faith and pretty unreasonable for me to expect you to do so.  The best I can hope for is that at some point your perception will change, and that you will come to recognize God.  That's not likely to result from someone screaming at you on a forum, though, and is liable to have the opposite effect.  Unfortunately, there is a significant percentage of believers who insist on screaming anyways, and I suppose the rest of us are stuck with them until atheism gains enough traction to win them over (take some of the Muslim fundamentalists too, while you're at it.)

Mormons and JW's are of course faithful and not easily swayed from their belief.  Again I was saying to the mainstream christian that they were easily swayed to a wrong religion.
They're certainly strange beliefs to a mainstream Christian, and contain beliefs that are bit easier for a nonbeliever to dismiss out of hand.  I just don't see how this reflects on the adherents being "easily swayed."  It would seem to me that those who are easily swayed would be quick to abandon these group's teachings, which has not been my observation.
"I'm doing science and I'm still alive."--J.C.

Offline 12 Monkeys

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I believe God is fair.
What is your proof of this?
There's no right there's no wrong,there's just popular opinion (Brad Pitt as Jeffery Goines in 12 monkeys)

Offline 12 Monkeys

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I don't know about your murderous Christian society Mooby,But other Ancient societies around the world were hardly heathen or Pagan...... the Bible spoke to a very limited Pagan audience in the region surrounding early Christians.

 You look as ridiculous to the non-believers as the Pagans did to early Christians. Just because you believe something fails to make it true.

 Christians have been waiting for the return of Jesus for 2000 years,how much longer?
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Offline Mooby

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You look as ridiculous to the non-believers as the Pagans did to early Christians.
Exactly. Which is precisely why it's fallacious to assume those pagan societies were more superstitious than us based on the condescending remarks towards them made by early Christians, just as it will be fallacious for future societies to assume we are more superstitious than them based on condescending remarks towards Christians by people like you.
"I'm doing science and I'm still alive."--J.C.

Offline Add Homonym

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And, in fact, the majority of worldwide Christians belong to denominations that accept scientific evidence for an old Earth.  While the fundamentalist movement advocating a strict literal interpretation of the Bible is certainly loud and is growing in the US (30-40% from various sites), it's still a relatively new denomination (~100-150 years) and still encompasses a small percentage of Christians worldwide (<10%).

YEC is relatively new, because prior to the old Earth scientific theories arriving, a young Earth was simply assumed, and had virtually nobody contradicting it, or even bothering to.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Earth_creationism

Proposed calculations of the date of creation, using the Masoretic from the 10th century – 18th century include: Marianus Scotus (4192 BC), Maimonides (4058 BC), Henri Spondanus (4051 BC), Benedict Pereira (4021 BC), Louis Cappel (4005 BC), James Ussher (4004 BC), Augustin Calmet (4002 BC), Isaac Newton (4000 BC), Johannes Kepler (27 April, 3977 BC) [based on his book Mysterium], Petavius (3984 BC), Theodore Bibliander (3980 BC), Christen Sørensen Longomontanus (3966 BC), Melanchthon (3964 BC), Martin Luther (3961 BC), John Lightfoot (3960 BC), Cornelius Cornelii a Lapide (3951 BC) Joseph Justus Scaliger (3949 BC), Christoph Helvig (3947 BC), Gerardus Mercator (3928 BC), Matthieu Brouard (3927 BC), Benito Arias Montano (3849 BC), Andreas Helwig (3836 BC), David Gans (3761 BC) and Gershom ben Judah (3754 BC).


The dialogue of Augustine and Origenes, that you talk about, are discussing whether Christians should be stupid enough to consider that the sun was created on day 4, plus talking snakes, and other obvious biblical problems. They said that Christians should adopt scientific facts, so as not to appear stupid.
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline 12 Monkeys

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You look as ridiculous to the non-believers as the Pagans did to early Christians.
Exactly. Which is precisely why it's fallacious to assume those pagan societies were more superstitious than us based on the condescending remarks towards them made by early Christians, just as it will be fallacious for future societies to assume we are more superstitious than them based on condescending remarks towards Christians by people like you.
Superstition gets you what exactly,and you will hardly be alive 500 years from now when the last bastion of Christianity is holding onto the belief that Jesus will return to offer them salvation.

 People like me use rational thought,and look for evidence to explain things. They remarks made are not offensive remarks just pointing out your belief system was used to mock Pagans. The fact early Christians mocked Pagan beliefs is exactly what is happening more and more to Christians today. We mock you because your belief system is a joke,as the Pagan belief was a joke to Christians.

 BTW when is the return of Jesus imminent? 100,200,1000 years from now? If Jesus had returned to the early Christians as he promised them,we would NOT be having this conversation
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Offline Mooby

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The dialogue of Augustine and Origenes, that you talk about, are discussing whether Christians should be stupid enough to consider that the sun was created on day 4, plus talking snakes, and other obvious biblical problems. They said that Christians should adopt scientific facts, so as not to appear stupid.
Correct.  And my point is that the OP need necessarily not think in terms of, "If I were to become a Christian I'd need to take the Bible literally" because that's a minority view in Christian history.  While Christians at times may have assumed Bible claims as fact throughout history, the idea that they must be believed as fact to the exclusion of science is not a core tenet of Christianity.

Superstition gets you what exactly,and you will hardly be alive 500 years from now when the last bastion of Christianity is holding onto the belief that Jesus will return to offer them salvation.
Did you read the text you quoted?

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People like me use rational thought,and look for evidence to explain things.
Who are the people like you, exactly?

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The fact early Christians mocked Pagan beliefs is exactly what is happening more and more to Christians today. We mock you because your belief system is a joke,as the Pagan belief was a joke to Christians.
What does that have to do with the relative levels of superstitions between peoples living at different times, which reason and evidence would suggest is the actual topic at hand per the text you yourself quoted?

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BTW when is the return of Jesus imminent?
Matthew 24:36
"I'm doing science and I'm still alive."--J.C.

Offline The Gawd

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@Moobs

So, since it is not necessary to think the bible is true or literal I can be a Christian and be an atheist? I dont have to believe in a literal god or literal Jesus. Or literally being "saved" or literal anything in the book? Or is there a method as to determine what is real and what is fable?

Offline Mooby

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@Moobs

So, since it is not necessary to think the bible is true or literal I can be a Christian and be an atheist? I dont have to believe in a literal god or literal Jesus. Or literally being "saved" or literal anything in the book? Or is there a method as to determine what is real and what is fable?
There actually is such a thing.

I'd say "no" in any meaningful sense, though.  Christianity is overwhelmingly characterized by the belief in Jesus as God, so really anyone planning on converting should plan on engaging in some theism.  While taking the Bible 100% literally is not a requirement for Christianity, it's generally assumed the Christian believer will accept most of the stories as conveying spiritual truths and hold a literal belief in the major events of Jesus' life, death, and Resurrection.

There's not one specific method that I know of for determining which stories should be read as literal historical events.  Most modern scholars use things such as historical/cultural context (What was the likely intent when the story was written?), passage context, genres, figurative language in the original manuscript, comparisons to other ancient writings, etc. to aid in their analyses. 

In addition, one can look to the religious community at large to see how the majority of Christians view a particular story (i.e. almost every Christian takes the Resurrection as literally true, while far fewer take the creation narratives as literally true.)  For instance, Abraham is generally considered by Biblical scholars to be the first historical figure in the Bible, and thus non-literalists generally do not take the first 11 chapters of Genesis literally.

In general, most Christians don't believe the Bible was intended as a science book and thus don't place too much emphasis on the historical accuracy of stories ascribing alternate explanations for natural events (such as creation.)  Deliberate violation of natural laws generally get a bit more weight, especially in the Gospels (with the Resurrection being the most important.)  That's just a heuristic, though.  We can talk specifics if you want, though I'm not a theologian and thus my responses would reflect more how I personally read the texts than how a scholar would.
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Offline The Gawd

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@ Mooby

But this whole Jesus as god is a new development, no? So belief in Jesus as god wasnt a prereq early on and may not be a prereq in the future. As far as I know people REALLY believe in the literal flood. Really believe in the talking snake. Really believe rotting corpses came out of their tombs at Jesus' death. Really believe in a resurrection. Since we have no reliable method of determining what is fable and what is literal... and it ALL sounds like fable... and you dont have to take parts of it literally to be a Christian, then it appears as though you can be a Christian and just not take any of it literally; from original sin to resurrection. I can call it all fable, and still be a Christian.

Offline Add Homonym

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@ Mooby

But this whole Jesus as god is a new development, no? So belief in Jesus as god wasnt a prereq early on

There was a split, early, called the Arian controversy. It was over an issue that was even more trivial than the issue of whether Jesus was a god, but over whether Jesus was the first god. Arius' case is well founded, but they still trounced him.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arian_controversy

Quite a lot of executions have happened because one person stirs up some theory that the church does not approve of. Taking the Bible literally, or not, is not the issue. It's whether you go against the literal dogma of the Church, that's the problem.

The Jehovah's witnesses are from the Arian stem.
http://www.religionfacts.com/jehovahs_witnesses/beliefs.htm
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 10:54:47 PM by Add Homonym »
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Offline Mooby

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@ Mooby

But this whole Jesus as god is a new development, no?
Not in Christianity.  There was some debate at the very beginning but the issue was settled early and there hasn't been much change since.

Quote
Since we have no reliable method of determining what is fable and what is literal... and it ALL sounds like fable... and you dont have to take parts of it literally to be a Christian, then it appears as though you can be a Christian and just not take any of it literally; from original sin to resurrection. I can call it all fable, and still be a Christian.
Sounds like the continuum fallacy to me.  The fact that Christians read the Bible with some variation in literalism does not mean that every possible point along that spectrum is consistent with Christianity.
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Offline 12 Monkeys

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So this is why there are 38,000 different versions of Christianity......because some take it as literal and some could care less and believe as long as they think of Jesus once in a while they are ok


 So do you believe in an afterlife,since you don't really have to pay attention to the Bible(generally speaking)?
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