Author Topic: Another 10 Questions Thread  (Read 10614 times)

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Offline Grimm

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #58 on: September 15, 2009, 02:48:52 PM »
Let me begin by saying that today has been a particularly mentally vicious one, and I may do a bit of yammering in circles.  If I do, I beg your indulgence - and maybe some tylenol.

Ugh.  Never, ever, ever, ever, ever upgrade a critical accounting system more than fourteen versions the day before payroll.  Anyway.

Quote from: WWGHA
    Question #8: How do we explain the fact that Jesus has never appeared to you? Jesus is all-powerful and timeless, but if you pray for Jesus to appear, nothing happens. You have to create a weird rationalization to deal with this discrepancy.
Here is my weird rationalization!

Firstly and simplest one answer is He does. Loads of people claim Jesus has appeared to them. I read that this is quite common in Iran at the moment leading to Muslims seeking out Christians to ask about Jesus. I will ask around for books on this as I’m sure there are some. Google brings up testimonies.
However, what does this prove to the sceptic? When someone says that Jesus did appear to them, does the sceptic just drop his disbelief or more likely does he say ‘you are making it up you deluded fairy-hugger.’


In 1860ish, a man named Brigham Young claimed visitation by an angel, who revealed unto him great mysteries.  Do you believe what he said?

Why or why not?

It's not wholly ridiculous - there are several (million?) people who honestly believe he was visited by God (or at least God's agents).  SO!

The point isn't whether or not these people are right or whatever - why is it you don't believe what they have to say?  Why is the testimony of Brigham Young not good enough for you to follow his admittedly more modern faith?


We can also go back farther.  In 400CE or so, a man named Mohammad was out in the desert, when he was visited by an angel of God - who claimed that Abraham's descendants were of the same faith.  Much dogma ensued.   

This faith is now Islam - why is it you don't believe him?  Why are you not a follower of Islam, given that the man claimed to have a vision of an angel from the Abrahimic religion?


The point is that you dismiss out of hand what led others to their faith, while claiming that visitations are somehow occasionally true... and yet you've not had one personally.  In fact, for the great major world faiths that are related to, but are not, Christianity - you categorically deny the basis of their faith and likely consider them 'heretical' based on the very same thing you claim happens on a regular basis.

If your preacher came to you tomorrow telling him that Jesus told him to lead you all to a new church, and to a new way of life with him - and that you should sell your home, would you sell your home or no?

Where do you draw the line as to 'real' visitations, and what evidence do you require?  Why is a testimonial - someone saying 'I saw Jesus' good enough for you?  If he appears to them, why has he not appeared to you? 

Quote
The main problem with this question is that the Christian cannot win.
1) Has Jesus appeared to you?
No!
That proves my point.

2) Has Jesus appeared to you?
Yes!
I don’t believe you.


The point of the question is to ask what constitutes a visitation, and what should the outside observer require as proof?  Or.. so I think, anyway.  What are the criterion by which you accept the truth of a supposed visitation/testimonial, and how rooted are those criterion in your own belief?

Quote
The way the article has been presented means that Christians, by default, are delusional so anything they say is 4/5th crazy, a point I raised in my first thread here.

Secondly I get the impression that the author doesn’t understand Jesus or Christianity. He seems to think that Jesus works like a genie and all we have to do is rub the lamp and Jesus appears with a puff of smoke. Jesus was not a performing monkey and this can be seen in the instances where the religious leaders asked Jesus for a sign.

Jesus himself says he is, to a point- but this isn't the issue directly.  I think instead that this question cuts to the idea that when it comes to faith, Christians possess a double-standard of evidence.  It's so double-standard, in fact, that what is a perfectly valid testimonial for the snake handlers up here wouldn't make the cut in the local methodist church (and vice-versa) - yet both sides would never actually notice that they're applying rigorous standards outside of their immediate circle, and accepting blindly anything that fits their preconception of what God should be.

Put another (extreme) way:  if Jesus appeared to you in a voice that commanded you to kill your children, should we consider you crazy?   Throttle that back:  if Jesus appeared to you in a voice that commanded you to give half your income to charity, should we consider you crazy?   Back farther:  If Jesus appeared to you in a voice and said you're a really neat person destined for great things, should we consider you crazy?

... at what point does the declaration 'Jesus appeared to you' suddenly become something other than madness.. when it's harmless?  Uncontroversial? 

Quote
Thirdly, I get the impression that the author started with what he already decided was the answer and constructed the question around it.
Quote from: WWGHA
  8) How do we explain the fact that Jesus has never appeared to you? Because God is imaginary.

Like I think you mentioned Grimm, the Christian starts with the believe that God exists and sees the world from this perspective and the sceptic sees the world from the perspective that there is no God. Here the author takes his answer God is imaginary and constructs a question that can only lead to this. I’m not too sure why he thinks a Christian might pray for Jesus to appear to them. I’ve heard of Christians praying for stuff and I’ve heard of Jesus appearing to people but not a Christian praying for Jesus to appear.

I think that is true - with the caveat that we atheists (at least we American atheists) were generally Christian once, and these questions are the questions that -- on serious examination -- are troublesome for faith.  Many of us came to our beliefs through them, and still look for answers to them. 

Which, admittedly, is a  different perspective than just 'I start with God not existing - let's prove that'.

Instead, we did once believe, then we started asking some really tough things.  When those things had no answer, we asked even more dangerous things.  We rationalized, at first.  We said things like 'well, the statistics must be skewed' or 'what kind of a question is that?  Pssh.  It doesn't mean anything' - and so on.

In the end, however, these are the tough questions about belief, given alternate form.  Why aren't Christians more moral (en masse) than their unbelieving counterparts?  Why don't miracles - like the Catholic church says happens every eucharist - actually happen? (Transubstantiation)  And then this question - "Why do aliens appear only to farmers?", or, in more relevant terms, 'why do we only believe testimonial evidence that agrees with what we already believe?'
"But to us, there is but one god, plus or minus one."  - 1 Corinthians 8:6+/-2

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Offline LonestarGrandad

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #59 on: September 15, 2009, 06:13:16 PM »
Well said Grimm.

I would venture to say that most of us "athiests" have arrived at the position of non-believers from our experiences as believers.   Christians approach us as if we have no experience in their faith when, in fact, our experience is precisely why we are on the opposite side of the fence than they. 

What is the difference between me and the Christian I used to be?
As a Christian, I used to try my very best to force rational thought and explanation to fit the things I believe.
As a non-Christian, I try my very best to force what I believe to fit only those things that have some basis in rational thought.

Is this the death of faith?  I guess so.  But it is surely also the birth of living.
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."  Soren Kierkegaard

Offline Slapdash

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #60 on: September 18, 2009, 02:06:07 PM »
Quote from: Grimm
    In 1860ish, a man named Brigham Young claimed visitation by an angel, who revealed unto him great mysteries.  Do you believe what he said?

This faith is now Islam - why is it you don't believe him?  Why are you not a follower of Islam, given that the man claimed to have a vision of an angel from the Abrahimic religion?
Hello again Grimm, always a pleasure. Sorry to hear about your day.
To answer your question about Brigham.
In this case, to accept what this man says, I would have to dropkick my Bible out the living room window along with most of my beliefs.
Without doing too much research on BY, I can see that he did and said things that conflict with Christianity. Deut 18 had requirements for a prophet to fulfill so the people would not be conned by false prophets. Jesus warned that many would come in His name. He also said ‘By their fruit you will recognize them.’ Simply put, with people like this, I would have to make a decision to follow Jesus as per the Bible or follow them. What is important though is to understand that they are not the same or that BY is not the next chapter of the Bible story.

On top of this I believe that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Law. Meaning that there is no need for further prophets. For someone to come forward as the next prophet after Jesus is to nullify Jesus IMO.

This brings us on to Islam, which is a special interest of mine. Muhammad violated the requirements of Deut 18 and completely invalidated everything Jesus was and did. I could go on and on about this but I will stop here while I still can.

In short, I hope to demonstrate that a Christian need not just accept or reject someone’s claims of divine revelation based on whim or the toss of a coin.

I can expand on any of the above if it is of interest.
Quote from: Grimm
    In fact, for the great major world faiths that are related to, but are not, Christianity - you categorically deny the basis of their faith and likely consider them 'heretical' based on the very same thing you claim happens on a regular basis.
Of the great major world faiths related to Christianity there is Judaism, which I by no means reject, I just believe it was fulfilled. I believe the prophesied One the Jews are waiting for has come in the form of Jesus. Islam I reject for the reason I mentioned above among a thousand others and all post-Jesus sects that feature a prophet fall into this category too. This is simplifying things massively.
Quote from: Grimm
    If your preacher came to you tomorrow telling him that Jesus told him to lead you all to a new church, and to a new way of life with him - and that you should sell your home, would you sell your home or no?
I would need to know more. Interestingly you say this because there is talk about our church moving to a warehouse due to size issues. However I know the vicar would never tell us to follow, much less sell our property to move. When people have moved to new areas away from our church he has encouraged them to find a good local church rather than commuting great distances to remain with us. The reason is so they can get involved in the area they live.
I don’t know if this is side-stepping your question but my main point is that we should engage our brains and not just follow blindly. This goes also when deciding on which church to go to in the first place.
Quote from: Grimm
    Where do you draw the line as to 'real' visitations, and what evidence do you require?  Why is a testimonial - someone saying 'I saw Jesus' good enough for you?  If he appears to them, why has he not appeared to you?

I have not made up my mind whether the testimonies are genuine mainly because I don’t have to because it doesn’t affect me. I think if someone came forward with a revelation or whatever that did affect me I would want to know more. If it were in harmony with scripture then that would be a good start. I might question why God did not reveal directly to me if it was about me though.
It is hard to say hypothetically.
Quote from: Grimm
    The point of the question is to ask what constitutes a visitation, and what should the outside observer require as proof?  Or.. so I think, anyway.  What are the criterion by which you accept the truth of a supposed visitation/testimonial, and how rooted are those criterion in your own belief?
I think my problem with the question is that it does not make clear exactly what it is getting at.
I think the time of Biblical style prophesies like BY’s Moses style one is over. I don’t believe God will talk to one man to guide a nation like in the OT. I believe that God talks to people in a very personal way about the things on that individual’s heart and this is grounded in the Bible.
Quote from: Grimm
... at what point does the declaration 'Jesus appeared to you' suddenly become something other than madness.. when it's harmless?  Uncontroversial? 
I believe that when Jesus appears to someone, they are left in no doubt about what happened. Many of the testimonies I have read talk of Jesus identifying Himself clearly. IMO Jesus appears to individuals for a specific and personal reason. Those people who claim God told them to start a new type of church or mimic some Biblical event today are very suspect.
Put simply, I believe that Jesus appears on a very personal level and not to deliver some great new plan. It is not for anyone else to make up their minds whether this person is crazy or not because it is not between them. If that person then goes on to do something that does effect others as a result of this visitation then ‘we will know the tree by its fruit.’
Quote from: Grimm
    I think that is true - with the caveat that we atheists (at least we American atheists) were generally Christian once, and these questions are the questions that -- on serious examination -- are troublesome for faith.  Many of us came to our beliefs through them, and still look for answers to them.
I didn’t mean to oversimplify believers and non-believers and I know that people cannot be pigeonholed but this is maybe one of the biggest problems. Among the Christian there is going to the one who reads their Bible for 4 hours everyday and the one who props up his TV with his, and everyone in-between. Likewise there is going to be the Atheist who thinks a man sitting on a cloud is silly and the one who has studied religion and science and is very clear in his own mind that what he believes is correct, and everyone in-between. For every type of Christians there is the equal opposite. Some Christians studied the evidence and became Atheist and some Atheists did the same and became Christians. C.S.Lewis and Lee Stroble both started out as Atheists and I think both set out to disprove Christianity and converted on the way.
I think I am just rambling now.
The end.
P.S. maybe you are my equal opposite Grimm  ;)

Offline velkyn

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #61 on: September 18, 2009, 02:45:30 PM »
I believe that when Jesus appears to someone, they are left in no doubt about what happened. Many of the testimonies I have read talk of Jesus identifying Himself clearly. IMO Jesus appears to individuals for a specific and personal reason. Those people who claim God told them to start a new type of church or mimic some Biblical event today are very suspect.
Put simply, I believe that Jesus appears on a very personal level and not to deliver some great new plan. It is not for anyone else to make up their minds whether this person is crazy or not because it is not between them. If that person then goes on to do something that does effect others as a result of this visitation then ‘we will know the tree by its fruit.’

and every theist claims that its "fruit" is what God really meant.   Let me address your claim above from a personal experience.  The church I grew up in and worshipped at split because of one woman claiming that God spoke to her and said that we needed a new church building. The original building is a lovely classic country church with an established graveyard, etc, with no crowding I could ever see.  How does one know that this woman heard anything?  Why should people's lives be turned upside down because of it?  People really got to hate each other over this nonsense.  Why, even if one could prove she heard something, believe that it was God/Jesus?  It seems that nothing at all happens if one "takes God's name in vain".

You may believe certain things but other Christians are just as sure of their beliefs and all point to scripture as supporting them. I've seen it personally.  There is no reason to think any of you are right.  None of you can show your god exists or that any of you know what God really wants.   
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Offline Grimm

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #62 on: September 21, 2009, 11:55:52 AM »
Quote
Without doing too much research on BY, I can see that he did and said things that conflict with Christianity. Deut 18 had requirements for a prophet to fulfill so the people would not be conned by false prophets. Jesus warned that many would come in His name. He also said ‘By their fruit you will recognize them.’ Simply put, with people like this, I would have to make a decision to follow Jesus as per the Bible or follow them. What is important though is to understand that they are not the same or that BY is not the next chapter of the Bible story.

There is a school of sociological thought that talks about ideas as viral entities.  I don't know if it started with Neil Stephenson's fiction, or if he coopted an idea by Dawkins, or what - but like all good thoughts, this one has taken root in the popular consciousness and borne fruit.

This idea is the meme - from the ancient Sumerian me, which roughly translates to 'procedure for doing'.. or.  Uh.  Instruction Set.

The Sumerians had me for everything.  When to plant, when to harvest, what to do when the rains came, how to record business transactions, how to worship, how to treat injury.  They were collected at the temples, and dispersed to the population as wisdom when these methodologies were required, either by time of year or what have you.   What makes the me interesting is the process.

You see, the Sumerian culture was (largely) immune to outside cultural influences on any part of their society that matterd.  The me innoculated them against foreign thought.

Meme are the viral version.  They're the 'thought worm' that gets in your brain and changes it in some way.  Some are just popular culture, and are fairly innocuous (LOL K THNX BYE!, "ALL YOUR BASE", or Bannaphone, anyone?).  The thing is - some are not.  Some ideas become self-defensible; they change the way you think about issues that are presented.  They.. well.. 'self-innoculate' against concepts, and make it difficult to think without them clouding your perceptual filters, as it were.

Look at what you said up there - of course Mormonism is at odds with Christianity.  Of course they're not the same religion (though Mormons would vehimently disagree!).  Of course they're exclusive.  The same goes for Islam - but the question wasn't anything more than 'why don't you follow them?'   Your answer is, 'because they are not Christianity'.

My response to you in this is that Christianity is a modern form of the me of one of our first civilizations.  It is an idea that so fundamentally underpins your perceptions, you find it impossible to divorce yourself from it to make a rational comparison without it in the picture.  Islam, by Christianity's measure, is utterly false - of course it is!  But by its own measure, Christianity is false.   Which one is right?

You would say Christianity.  A Muslim would say Islam.  And the Atheist looks at both of you and says 'neither, as you both have precisely the same basis for your faith.'  At which point both adherents will dive headlong for their various holy texts and show precisely how those texts say the atheist is wrong, and have - though it may differ in semantics - precisely the same quality of proof.

A belief system is, by its nature, complete.  It shows you how other belief systems are wrong by its own internal logic, and if you subscribe to it, then you will follow the same logical path.  With one small change, however - say, in this case, removing the holy books as a valid source material from all faiths involved (that is, you can use anything except the Bible to prove the validity of the Christian faith, or the Quaran for Islam, or the Book of Mormon (and the Bible) with Mormonism) - you have no proof at all.   

Looking at these three faiths from the outside?  They have equal weight in holy text, testimonial, miracles, divine revelation, 'saints' (miracle stories), even bureaucracy.  Heck, Mormons can arguably be said to, en masse, be far more loving and accepting than your general Christian population (how many Christian churches do you know that have a church-mandated Family Night and that send their youth away from home for a couple of years at a time?).  Islam can be said to have a more coherent holy tradition, as their book is not considered 'canon' unless in Arabic.  All translations are suspect, and ONLY arabic Quaran are considered valid, as they can be compared without translation error.

The point being:  you view the claims of these faiths through the filter of the Bible, when these faiths do not claim the Bible has authority.   Only the Christian faith makes that claim - and just as a Muslim man will call you foolish for not accepting the authority of his holy book, you call him foolish for not accepting the authority of your own.

So.  Drop apologetics for a moment - they prevent you from moving to other faiths, just as they should.  But ask:  if you had never seen the Bible before, why would you consider it more authoritative than the Muslim or Mormon view?  Were you just born and raised to see it that way?  Do you follow these apologetics because you assume the Bible is truth?  Where is your proof?  Where are the sources outside of the bible that point to the truth of the bible? 

... if it were not internally consistent, it wouldn't be much of a holy book.  So... how is something proving itself evidence of anything?
"But to us, there is but one god, plus or minus one."  - 1 Corinthians 8:6+/-2

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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #63 on: September 21, 2009, 02:03:08 PM »
Grimm shoots. Grimm scores! Grimm for the WIN! 8) ^^^^^^
When all of Cinderella's finery changed back at midnight, why didn't the shoes disappear? What's up with that?

Offline Hermes

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #64 on: September 21, 2009, 03:34:19 PM »
Grimm shoots. Grimm scores! Grimm for the WIN! 8) ^^^^^^

Agreed.  Clearly stated, very readable.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

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Offline Slapdash

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #65 on: September 29, 2009, 07:16:44 AM »
nogodsforme/Hermes – I didn’t know this was a competition

Grimm, sorry for the extra long delay but I went on my holibobs but did get to go to Monkeyworld and I can report that no $#!t was tossed.

I see what you are saying here but I was answering specific examples you gave. Both BY and Islam claimed to be later chapters in the Christian story but both conflict with what came before and that is what I was getting at. I was not saying that if it does not fit with Christianity it is wrong because of that. Muhammad claimed to be a prophet in the line of Moses, David and Jesus but what he brought conflicted with the very thing he claimed to be part of.

To give a example, imagine the Godfather Part III but instead of Al Pacino we have some other actor. Instead of Sicilian Mafia we have Columbians, Jamaicans or East End London Gangsters. The plot is very different, and during this third in the trilogy we have flashbacks to the previous films but they are not scenes we recognise from the first two films or they are but important details are different in them. Also the film steers away from the standard chronological format and goes for a Pulp Fiction style film order.
The film claims to be part 3 and the director acknowledges how good the first two films were but fans of this film have to reject the previous two because they cannot work together due to inconsistencies.
I hope this makes sense. Part 3 could be a good film and people have every right to like it but problems arise when it claims to be part of something it actually rejects.

I don’t reject Islam or Mormonism because they are not Christianity, I reject them because they claim to be part of something they technically cannot.
 
Quote from: Grimm
  So.  Drop apologetics for a moment - they prevent you from moving to other faiths, just as they should.  But ask:  if you had never seen the Bible before, why would you consider it more authoritative than the Muslim or Mormon view?  Were you just born and raised to see it that way?  Do you follow these apologetics because you assume the Bible is truth?  Where is your proof?  Where are the sources outside of the bible that point to the truth of the bible? 
The truth is I was raised a Christian so I cannot imagine my life in a parallel universe but my faith is my own. I do question my faith and I believe it requires me to do so as I believe blind faith is meaningless to God. My proof is my putting my faith into practice and analysing others doing and not doing the same.

Offline Hermes

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #66 on: September 29, 2009, 07:41:57 AM »
nogodsforme/Hermes – I didn’t know this was a competition

You never give out compliments for things people do that you appreciate?
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline Slapdash

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #67 on: September 29, 2009, 02:04:38 PM »
Quote from:  
Grimm for the WIN! 8) ^^^^^^
It was this bit i meant.
I hoped it was just an exchange of understandings.
I'm all for compliments on things well put. :)

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #68 on: September 29, 2009, 03:25:36 PM »
I just meant that Grimm did a great job of explaining the perspective that 1) everyone thinks that their religion is the correct one, and 2) believers rarely apply the same critical perspective to their own religion that they apply to other religions.

Slapdash, you admit that you can't imagine being of a different religion. Neither can most people. But if you were born and raised in India, you would be a Hindu. Hindu culture cannot make sense of monotheism.Christianity would make no sense to you at all. You may think you would still be a Christian regardless of culture, but you would be wrong.

If there was one religion that was objectively true, it would survive all scrutiny and people everywhere would adhere to it in equal numbers, regardless of cultural background. If religion is really transcendent, it should transcend! There would be no need to argue or proselytize or translate sacred texts; it would just make sense to everyone, like the existence of the sun and the moon.

But instead, we find that religious belief is amazingly limited by history, culture and geography. People in India rarely have visitations from Jesus, and people in Mexico don't get inspired to worship Allah. Nobody adopts any religion without learning about it from some other human being who already believes.

Has a non-Christian person (say, a tribal animist from a Pacific Island who had never heard of Jesus) ever seen the Virgin Mary inside their coconut? No. Will a Muslim person from Saudi Arabia ever spontaneously decide to worship Brahma and Vishnu without any contact with Hindus? No. Would a Protestant from Finland start casting santeria spells out of the blue without having ever heard of it? No.

Isn't it obvious that there is nothing supernatural going on, just human beings transmitting their beliefs to other people? If you get a message from god, it will be a god you are already acquainted with....otherwise it would not make any sense.
When all of Cinderella's finery changed back at midnight, why didn't the shoes disappear? What's up with that?

Offline Grimm

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #69 on: September 29, 2009, 04:48:32 PM »
*grins at Somari*  OOOK!  OOOK I SAY!*

One of my favorite bible passages is 'you shall know them by their fruit'.  I adore that one.  Because... now we're coming full circle.

If you will know a believer by that which they do, by that which they produce in the world, then - well.  Mormons have base Christians beat in just about every metric.  Mormon marriages last longer, divorce rates are lower, families tend to be tighter knit, they have their own welfare system to take care of any mormon anywhere down on their luck, they enforce familial bonds and are heavy charitable givers.  When Katrina hit, Salt Lake City opened its doors to the poor and now homeless that had nowhere else to go.  I mean - what's not to admire here?

Sure, there are problems.  Racism, homophobia, dogmatism - but as a general rule, a mormon you meet on the street is just nice.  I mean, really, really nice.  They're friendly, outgoing, nonjudgemental - just flat out generally good people.  And - you know that racism, homophobia, and dogmatism?  It's not any different than your average Christian population.

So.  Is their 'fruit' not worth noting? 

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Offline Slapdash

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #70 on: October 03, 2009, 01:53:58 PM »
Quote from: nogodsforme
    I just meant that …
In that case, nogodsforme, I appologise. I think no one is more grateful for Grimms input than me.
Quote from: nogodsforme
    If there was one religion that was objectively true… like the existence of the sun and the moon.
I think this ignores human nature though. Don’t forget that people worship the sun and moon.
Quote from: nogodsforme
    But instead, we find that religious belief is amazingly limited by history, culture and geography.
This is what I was talking about with Iran. That is just one example I know of so it might be happening all over India for all I know. I cannot speak for other religions.

 
Grimm, I feel the verse you quoted was not about people groups but individuals. The context is of prophets and false prophets to come. If they are false prophets, their actions will speak for them. A quick glance at Brigham Young and we see that he had 55 wives (making marital comparisons hard), he revoked priesthood for black members and is believed to been involved in a massacre. Now if that doesn’t set off alarm bells, I don’t know what would.

So is their fruit worth noting?
Good done by an individual is worth noting but it gets complicated when we start talking about people groups.

Offline velkyn

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #71 on: October 06, 2009, 09:38:58 AM »
I can show that Young's actions are very much in line with what the Bible advocates by citing bible verses.  It seems that his "fruits" are okay with God.  You don't find them acceptable since you are sure that only your interpretation of the bible is the correct one 

Matthew 7 is Jesus saying what his followers should do.  If people, singularly and as a group, do not do what he says, they will be "different" than those who do.  Considering that all who worship Jesus will have the powers of prophecy, healing, etc, I find that attempting to say that only "some" people are meant in the "fruits" verse.  All the verses around it are addressing Christians as a whole and do not seem to mean only "certain" people. 
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Offline Grimm

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #72 on: October 06, 2009, 09:39:57 AM »

Grimm, I feel the verse you quoted was not about people groups but individuals. The context is of prophets and false prophets to come. If they are false prophets, their actions will speak for them. A quick glance at Brigham Young and we see that he had 55 wives (making marital comparisons hard), he revoked priesthood for black members and is believed to been involved in a massacre. Now if that doesn’t set off alarm bells, I don’t know what would.

So is their fruit worth noting?
Good done by an individual is worth noting but it gets complicated when we start talking about people groups.

I'm also going to reference:

Quote
The truth is I was raised a Christian so I cannot imagine my life in a parallel universe but my faith is my own. I do question my faith and I believe it requires me to do so as I believe blind faith is meaningless to God. My proof is my putting my faith into practice and analysing others doing and not doing the same.

But that isn't your truth - not if what you said above is correct.  Paul was a misogynist.  Aquinas was likely gay.  Jesus had a temper (beat the hell out of those fellows in the Temple in righteous indignation, didn't he now..). The patriarchs of the Jewish faith, and thus ultimately the Christian faith, also had multiple wives, and often took slaves via conquest, yet I don't see anyone questioning the holiness of Noah or Abraham.  That's precisely the point:  you look at Brigham Young and say "hey, he wasn't a really nice guy" - and believe me, I agree - but so what?  His followers are good, gentle, family-loving folks (who have their own sets of problems, but you can't deny the part that's good just because there's a part that's bad. That goes for Christianity, too - but it's rare to see a sect quite so universally motivated as Mormons.)  

Again, however, your scripture inoculates you:  false prophets are those that are defined to have fruit that does not fit the biblical perception of 'good'.  Thus, of course anyone that doesn't fall into the definition of belief as espoused by your faith is a false prophet.   It doesn't matter that Mormons are (by and large) genuinely good people in a way that most sects of Christianity are (by and large) not.  Your faith says Brigham Young was a bigamist, and that's it.

... before you ask.  No, I'm not an ex-Mormon.  I just know enough about 'em to be dangerous, got curious in them after watching several Trey Parker/Matt Stone movies, and find I enjoy chatting to their roving missionary sorts. :)
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Offline Slapdash

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #73 on: October 12, 2009, 03:33:24 PM »
Grimm, I think we have strayed a bit now and I have had to look up what the question was that we were discussing. To answer the point about BY I don’t reject him because of his personality but because he doesn’t fit in with what he claimed to. To put is simply, I don’t buy it and that is why I reject him. Like a tall man claiming to be short it does not work IMO. He may have been the nicest man alive, he might have been the greatest husband to all his wives but that is irrelevant. Being nice does not make what you say true just like being bad at times doesn’t mean that God cant use you like all the Biblical big cheeses (except Jesus). We do question the actions of patriarchs and take comfort that they were not perfect (unlike Islam which makes them so). I personally take great comfort and reassurance in the fact that such things are recorded in the Bible.

Quote from: ???
    Jesus had a temper (beat the hell out of those fellows in the Temple in righteous indignation, didn't he now..).
Just doing my Christian bit now :), I think this is a popular misconception. If we read the actual passages in the gospels about this we find no mention of Jesus hitting anyone, let alone ‘beating the hell’ out of anyone. The passages mention Jesus turning over the money changer’s tables over in the temple and driving out those who were buying and selling there. John’s Gospel details Jesus making a whip to aid this task but it also says
‘15So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle
This to me says that the whip was intended for the sheep and cattle, not the people with whom He could communicate.
As for the Patriarchs having multiple wives, whenever this happens, the Bible records the problems that arose directly from this issue. One major player who we don’t hear of having trouble with his wife is Moses who only had one to my knowledge.

Offline LonestarGrandad

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #74 on: October 12, 2009, 05:55:07 PM »
As for the Patriarchs having multiple wives, whenever this happens, the Bible records the problems that arose directly from this issue. One major player who we don’t hear of having trouble with his wife is Moses who only had one to my knowledge.

I believe Moses had 2 wives, marrying the first one as a general of the Egyptian army (The Ethopian Woman1) and marrying the second one after tending Jethro's flocks (Zipporah2).
1.  Antiquities of the Jews, II.10.1-2
2.  Exodus 18
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #75 on: October 12, 2009, 07:25:24 PM »
Grimm, I think we have strayed a bit now and I have had to look up what the question was that we were discussing. To answer the point about BY I don’t reject him because of his personality but because he doesn’t fit in with what he claimed to. To put is simply, I don’t buy it and that is why I reject him. Like a tall man claiming to be short it does not work IMO. He may have been the nicest man alive, he might have been the greatest husband to all his wives but that is irrelevant. Being nice does not make what you say true just like being bad at times doesn’t mean that God cant use you like all the Biblical big cheeses (except Jesus). We do question the actions of patriarchs and take comfort that they were not perfect (unlike Islam which makes them so). I personally take great comfort and reassurance in the fact that such things are recorded in the Bible.

Quote from: ???
    Jesus had a temper (beat the hell out of those fellows in the Temple in righteous indignation, didn't he now..).
Just doing my Christian bit now :), I think this is a popular misconception. If we read the actual passages in the gospels about this we find no mention of Jesus hitting anyone, let alone ‘beating the hell’ out of anyone. The passages mention Jesus turning over the money changer’s tables over in the temple and driving out those who were buying and selling there. John’s Gospel details Jesus making a whip to aid this task but it also says
‘15So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle
This to me says that the whip was intended for the sheep and cattle, not the people with whom He could communicate.
As for the Patriarchs having multiple wives, whenever this happens, the Bible records the problems that arose directly from this issue. One major player who we don’t hear of having trouble with his wife is Moses who only had one to my knowledge.
Again it comes down to that you can't tell who are the "real Christians" by their "fruit" if God supposedly can "use" anyone.  We have Abraham willing to murder his child because of a disembodied voice said do it.  Lot who offered his daughters to the ravening crowd, etc. 

as for marriage to only one woman, it seems that Timothy thinks that the elders of the church should be limited to only one: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Timothy+3&version=NIV  but not necessarily anyone else. 
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Offline Slapdash

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #76 on: October 14, 2009, 07:37:37 AM »
LoneStar, I haven’t read that so I cannot comment. I don’t even know how reliable that is. There is no mention of this marriage in the Bible.

Velkyn, you clearly don’t believe in the Bible so it is going to sound ridiculous to you and I think that is the way it is going to stay.

As for what Timothy says, I think it is safe to say that the reason he is saying that about the elders is because they should lead by example meaning that everyone should only have one wife etc.

If no one has any objections, I will move on to the next question as we have veered off this one for some time now.

Offline velkyn

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #77 on: October 14, 2009, 09:53:36 AM »
LoneStar, I haven’t read that so I cannot comment. I don’t even know how reliable that is. There is no mention of this marriage in the Bible.

Velkyn, you clearly don’t believe in the Bible so it is going to sound ridiculous to you and I think that is the way it is going to stay.

As for what Timothy says, I think it is safe to say that the reason he is saying that about the elders is because they should lead by example meaning that everyone should only have one wife etc.

If no one has any objections, I will move on to the next question as we have veered off this one for some time now.


I clearly don't believe in the bible for good reason.  Adn yes, it all does sound ridiculous listening to all of the baseless claims that Christians make.  Can we tell by the fruit or not?  Evidently not.  As for Timothy, you are making assumptions again. Yes, it may be that they are to lead by example, but why is there no law or direct command not to have more than one wife as the example to be followed?  Why does it not say that Christians should only have one wife, but it says that one can marry if one can't be celibate?  This seems to be a perfect place for this "one wife" policy to be mentioned.  I've seen the argument that God "allows" polygamy but does not "require" it, but the reasons, mostly that women couldn't find enough husbands at some particular time in the past, are not supported by evidence and do bring up the problem why God couldn't have corrected this problem in another way if it was so "wrong".  

I did find this one interesting "prophecy" about how polygamy seems necessary

Quote
Isaiah 4:http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%204&version=NIV
Yep, it could be metaphor but other Christians are quite sure it is not.  

oh and you can read just what LSG wrote cause it's in your bible.  So, your comments are possible.
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Offline Slapdash

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #78 on: October 19, 2009, 03:01:03 PM »
Quote from: Velkyn
As for Timothy, you are making assumptions again.
Maybe I am and maybe you are too. If you take the whole passage into account though I think we can dismiss your assumption with a little common sense. In addition to being the husband of just one wife, Timothy mentions ‘temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.’
By your assumption Timothy would be saying that the general populace of the church are allowed to be violent, quarrelsome drunks. By my assumption Timothy means for this to apply to all but that the leader should make special effort as one people will look to. Otherwise it is a case of the blind leading the blind, to quote someone or other.

Also it should be noted that in the very beginning of the Bible it says ‘Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.’
Which Jesus echoes later in Matthew 19. One man and One woman from the beginning. Two become One.

Quote from: Velkyn
I did find this one interesting "prophecy" about how polygamy seems necessary - Isaiah 4
If you read the context of this passage (Isaiah 1-3) you will see that this is a prophecy of what will become of Israel and Jerusalem as a result of rejection of God. The passage is by no means saying that this is a good thing, let alone recommended. It is saying that this will be the desperate state of things to come unless they change their ways. I.e. Avoid!!!
Isaiah 3 says  A man will seize one of his brothers at his father's home, and say, "You have a cloak, you be our leader; take charge of this heap of ruins!"
Again this is not saying this is a good thing.

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #79 on: October 19, 2009, 03:01:39 PM »
Quote from: WWGHA
Question #7: Why didn't any of Jesus' miracles in the Bible leave behind any evidence? It's very strange, isn't it? You have created an excuse to rationalize it
Here comes my crazy rationalization (or response as it is normally called).
I think this is the strangest question of the 10. Again I have to ask ‘like what’?
Foot prints on the river Jordan or 5000 people still with full stomachs.

If the author is asking why didn’t Jesus chose to do miracles that could still exist today I would say he doesn’t understand the purpose of Jesus’ miracles and he probably underestimates man’s ability to reject anything and everything.
Again like what? What example might people today believe?
I bet a even a Polaroid of Jesus holding up an advent calendar dated year zip wouldn’t do it.

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #80 on: October 19, 2009, 04:28:17 PM »
Here comes my crazy rationalization (or response as it is normally called).
I think this is the strangest question of the 10. Again I have to ask ‘like what’?
Foot prints on the river Jordan or 5000 people still with full stomachs.

If the author is asking why didn’t Jesus chose to do miracles that could still exist today I would say he doesn’t understand the purpose of Jesus’ miracles and he probably underestimates man’s ability to reject anything and everything.
Again like what? What example might people today believe?
I bet a even a Polaroid of Jesus holding up an advent calendar dated year zip wouldn’t do it.

Some contemporary, non-biblical corroboration of these miracles would be a start.
So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.  --Bertrand Russell

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #81 on: October 20, 2009, 06:48:22 PM »
I bet a even a Polaroid of Jesus holding up an advent calendar dated year zip wouldn’t do it.

youre right, because that would only prove that jesus actually existed. we would need concrete evidence of one (at least) of the alleged supernatural events jesus performed. even some semiconcrete evidence from outside of the bible would be a good start. but remember we will most likely insist that it is at least from the same century in which jesus is alleged to have lived.

you think with god's awesome god-powers he would not only be able to preserve the claims (the holy spirit has kept the bible uncorrupted for 2000 years, right?), but also the evidence.  :-\
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #82 on: October 22, 2009, 11:48:52 AM »

Quote
Maybe I am and maybe you are too. If you take the whole passage into account though I think we can dismiss your assumption with a little common sense. In addition to being the husband of just one wife, Timothy mentions ‘temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.’
I know you are making assumptions. If you wish to claim I am, show me how I am.  No more of this attempted excusing your ineptness by trying to cast aspersions on me.  I have taken the entire passage into account.  There is nothing about your claim in what is written.
Quote
By your assumption Timothy would be saying that the general populace of the church are allowed to be violent, quarrelsome drunks. By my assumption Timothy means for this to apply to all but that the leader should make special effort as one people will look to. Otherwise it is a case of the blind leading the blind, to quote someone or other.
However, you have claimed this initially "everyone should only have one wife" but it doesn't say that.  It only says that the elder must do this.  Yes,he is acting as a example, but you are assuming that there is nothing that sets a bishop/deacon apart from other Christians. Compare this with the verses that say that no one should get married unless one can't stand to be without sex.  Now, here is a real assumption on my part.  Could this be Paul setting up a who's holier list?  Why or why not?  We have the usual rabble, the "elders" the really pure virgins who gee, would be emulating Paul....
Quote
Also it should be noted that in the very beginning of the Bible it says ‘Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.’
Which Jesus echoes later in Matthew 19. One man and One woman from the beginning. Two become One.
And Jacob married Leah and Rachel, by God's desire, and David had oh how many wives? 

Quote from: Velkyn
I did find this one interesting "prophecy" about how polygamy seems necessary - Isaiah 4
If you read the context of this passage (Isaiah 1-3) you will see that this is a prophecy of what will become of Israel and Jerusalem as a result of rejection of God. The passage is by no means saying that this is a good thing, let alone recommended. It is saying that this will be the desperate state of things to come unless they change their ways. I.e. Avoid!!!
Isaiah 3 says  A man will seize one of his brothers at his father's home, and say, "You have a cloak, you be our leader; take charge of this heap of ruins!"
Again this is not saying this is a good thing.[/quote]
again an assumption that this is a prophecy all about Christianity with no evidence.  Again, can you show why I should take your interpretation over those of other Christians? 




Quote from: WWGHA
Question #7: Why didn't any of Jesus' miracles in the Bible leave behind any evidence? It's very strange, isn't it? You have created an excuse to rationalize it
Here comes my crazy rationalization (or response as it is normally called).
I think this is the strangest question of the 10. Again I have to ask ‘like what’?
Foot prints on the river Jordan or 5000 people still with full stomachs.

If the author is asking why didn’t Jesus chose to do miracles that could still exist today I would say he doesn’t understand the purpose of Jesus’ miracles and he probably underestimates man’s ability to reject anything and everything.
Again like what? What example might people today believe?
I bet a even a Polaroid of Jesus holding up an advent calendar dated year zip wouldn’t do it.

let's think about this.

Did polariods exist back in 1 AD or a couple of decades prior or hence?  No.  

Did the technology exist for even creating such a thing or similar things?  No.

Did Christians at that time concern themselves with Jesus' birth as a holiday?  No evidence of it.

Did any of the events prior to the birth actually occur?  No evidence of any census; the supposed stories of it don't agree, etc.  

And so we come to the crux, where is the evidence?  Always it becomes the "fault" of non-believers in Christianity for needing miracles and evidence when in your Bible the miracles were done for the express purpose of demonstrating that Jesus was who he claimed.  No "faith" was required, works had to be done, empty tombs had to be witnesses, etc.  Even Abraham and Moses had to have evidence.  

Such claims as you make about "but mean ol' atheists wouldn't ever believe anything anyway" are just an excuse because you are wrong. There is no more reason to not do them now as back in the supposed time of Jesus and if I witnessed soemthing that I could explain in no better way than a supernatural force did it, I would accept that as a possible answer, always knowing that I may find evidence later.  Now, proving it was your particular deity, might be harder but your attempt to excuse God's inaction by whining is a way to end any discussion.  

« Last Edit: October 22, 2009, 12:05:42 PM by velkyn »
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Offline Grimm

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #83 on: October 23, 2009, 09:11:30 AM »
I've waited a bit to hop back in here, mostly because my ability to be rational remains constrained by Real World Silliness (tm) - I hope I'm coherent.  If I'm not, I hope you'll all forgive me.

In talking about a lack of evidence, Velkyn is thus far just right:

Quote
And so we come to the crux, where is the evidence?  Always it becomes the "fault" of non-believers in Christianity for needing miracles and evidence when in your Bible the miracles were done for the express purpose of demonstrating that Jesus was who he claimed.  No "faith" was required, works had to be done, empty tombs had to be witnesses, etc.  Even Abraham and Moses had to have evidence. 

Such claims as you make about "but mean ol' atheists wouldn't ever believe anything anyway" are just an excuse because you are wrong. There is no more reason to not do them now as back in the supposed time of Jesus and if I witnessed soemthing that I could explain in no better way than a supernatural force did it, I would accept that as a possible answer, always knowing that I may find evidence later.  Now, proving it was your particular deity, might be harder but your attempt to excuse God's inaction by whining is a way to end any discussion. 

I had something much larger written, but then I realized - it really all comes down to this:

If I came to you and said I raised my grandmother from the dead, you would not believe me without significant, and I mean significant proof.  You would require more than my assertion, especially in light of your experience.  In the case of the bible, there are wholly competing belief systems that claim the same - if not grander - things... yet it's safe to say you dismiss them.  They have precisely the same evidence.  Why do you dismiss them while accepting a different story?

Beware of putting the cart before the horse:  you believe the events of the bible because you were told they were true.  Your experiences as a Christian are a function of that belief, not the other way around.  Yet, why do you dismiss out of hand Mohammed rising to heaven on a winged horse?  How is that more fantastic than a resurrection?

Proving a miracle out of the bible is a practical impossibility given the state of evidence, just like proving Coyote stole the moon is a practical impossibility; what we know for certain is that the world does not work in the way the bible says it does.  Faith in the bible and its principles does not change the way the world works (if it did, that would be very strong evidence for God!).   A statement of supernatural events does not make those events true - it is just a statement.
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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #84 on: October 27, 2009, 06:35:55 PM »
Quote from: Grimm
    In 1860ish, a man named Brigham Young claimed visitation by an angel, who revealed unto him great mysteries.  Do you believe what he said?

This faith is now Islam - why is it you don't believe him?  Why are you not a follower of Islam, given that the man claimed to have a vision of an angel from the Abrahimic religion?
Hello again Grimm, always a pleasure. Sorry to hear about your day.
To answer your question about Brigham.
In this case, to accept what this man says, I would have to dropkick my Bible out the living room window along with most of my beliefs.
Without doing too much research on BY, I can see that he did and said things that conflict with Christianity. Deut 18 had requirements for a prophet to fulfill so the people would not be conned by false prophets. Jesus warned that many would come in His name. He also said ‘By their fruit you will recognize them.’ Simply put, with people like this, I would have to make a decision to follow Jesus as per the Bible or follow them. What is important though is to understand that they are not the same or that BY is not the next chapter of the Bible story.

In other words: "It contradicts what I already believe. Therefore it is wrong."

The corrollary, of course, is that, having proven that the other claim is wrong, you can proceed to reinforce your own belief based on the fact that it contradicts this claim that you now know to be wrong.

This brings us on to Islam, which is a special interest of mine. Muhammad violated the requirements of Deut 18 and completely invalidated everything Jesus was and did. I could go on and on about this but I will stop here while I still can.

You mean before the hole gets too deep? Would you like a shovel?

In short, I hope to demonstrate that a Christian need not just accept or reject someone’s claims of divine revelation based on whim or the toss of a coin.

You have succeeded. In fact, you have demonstrated that a Christian instead "accepts or rejects someone’s claims of divine revelation" based on which claim they heard first. They take the first claim as gospel, and reject all subsequent ones that contradict it.

That's pretty much what you're saying.

I can expand on any of the above if it is of interest.

No, I think it's fairly clear.

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #85 on: October 27, 2009, 07:13:17 PM »
‘15So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle
This to me says that the whip was intended for the sheep and cattle, not the people with whom He could communicate.

I think, in context, "both sheep and cattle" is a derogatory metaphor for the humans there present.

Offline Slapdash

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Re: Another 10 Questions Thread
« Reply #86 on: October 28, 2009, 08:16:57 AM »
Quote from:  Agamemnon
Some contemporary, non-biblical corroboration of these miracles would be a start.
Like what?

Quote from:  DI
you think with god's awesome god-powers he would not only be able to preserve the claims (the holy spirit has kept the bible uncorrupted for 2000 years, right?), but also the evidence.
This is presuming that God would want to.
Like I said, this was not the purpose of the miracles.

Quote from: velkyn
If you wish to claim I am, show me how I am. 
Quote from: Slapdash
By your assumption Timothy would be saying that the general populace of the church are allowed to be violent, quarrelsome drunks.
By my assumption Timothy means for this to apply to all but that the leader should make special effort as one people will look to. Otherwise it is a case of the blind leading the blind, to quote someone or other.
Quote from: velkyn
However, you have claimed this initially "everyone should only have one wife" but it doesn't say that.  It only says that the elder must do this. 
Quote from: Slapdash
Also it should be noted that in the very beginning of the Bible it says ‘Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.’
Which Jesus echoes later in Matthew 19. One man and One woman from the beginning. Two become One.
Quote from: velkyn
And Jacob married Leah and Rachel, by God's desire, and David had oh how many wives? 
Could you explain ‘by God’s desire’ and where the Bible says David’s many wives was a good thing please.
Quote from: velkyn
again an assumption that this is a prophecy all about Christianity with no evidence.  Again, can you show why I should take your interpretation over those of other Christians?
I said no such thing.
What I did say was…
Quote from: Slapdash
If you read the context of this passage (Isaiah 1-3) you will see that this is a prophecy of what will become of Israel and Jerusalem as a result of rejection of God.
Also I am not telling you my interpretation, I am merely asking you to read the context and see for yourself if you are genuinely interested in answers.
I recommend starting with Isaiah 1: 1 The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

Quote from: velkyn
Did polariods exist back in 1 AD or a couple of decades prior or hence?  No. 
Did the technology exist for even creating such a thing or similar things?  No.
Please tell me you knew that was a joke. Believe it or not, an irrational fairy hugging Christian like me knows how old photography is. I was making a point.
Quote from: velkyn
  And so we come to the crux, where is the evidence?  Always it becomes the "fault" of non-believers in Christianity for needing miracles and evidence when in your Bible the miracles were done for the express purpose of demonstrating that Jesus was who he claimed.  No "faith" was required, works had to be done, empty tombs had to be witnesses, etc.  Even Abraham and Moses had to have evidence. 
That is because there was a reason for the miracles. There was a reason Jesus and Moses had to have evidence. I’m not too sure of what evidence from Abraham you are talking about though.
I think some people think that because Jesus did miracles for some people, He should do them for all people for all time and as I said, this is to misunderstand the purpose of the miracles.

Quote from: velkyn
Such claims as you make about "but mean ol' atheists wouldn't ever believe anything anyway" are just an excuse because you are wrong.
Ok, give me an example of something that Jesus could have done 2000 years ago that you think could leave evidence that pointed to Him as being the true son of God.