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Old 26th May 2018, 01:08 AM   #161
Hlafordlaes
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
I was an atheist for my first 30 years, then a theist, then I called myself a "Liberal Christian" for a while, then I went back to just "theist". The thing is, my beliefs as a theist have never changed, even during the middle period while I called myself a "Liberal Christian". I never believed that Jesus was born of a virgin, was the literal Son of God, and not convinced that he was resurrected. The Gospel Jesus is certainly a myth. I used to post on a Christian Apologetics board and I mentioned all this, and asked if it was valid for me to post on the board as a "Liberal Christian", and the answer was 'yes'.

There are a lot of such liberal Christians around. Over the years I've received a lot more backlash from atheists on my beliefs -- they seem more keen to declare that I wasn't a true Christian -- than from Christians themselves. Then again, I don't spend any time on evangelical or fundamentalist boards, so that may be why.

I finally dropped the label "Liberal Christian", since to me calling myself "Christian" without believing in the resurrection seems to go beyond the allowable meaning of the term. There were early Christians who thought that Jesus was just a man, the ordinary product of Mary and Joseph, thus no virgin birth; but all seem to have a notion of a resurrection, even if it was just spiritual.

I offer the above not to support or refute any specific point in this thread, just to add my perspective.
Secular rabbinical Jesusian? I can dig it some. After all, the philosophy represents the first time (or first instance with major impact) that all humans, regardless of distinction, were all considered equals, and in that sense, does serve as an enabler of later political equality, ie, democracy. But as a source for other unique foundational postulates or general principles, not much there. Regardless, no wonder it spread quickly in a world of slaves who previously had little social standing, and so was later co-opted in Rome to accomplish just the opposite.
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Old 26th May 2018, 02:16 AM   #162
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Well, again, it seems to me like you're overlooking one crucial difference in that analogy. The crucial difference is that I'm not going to any Xians minding their own business, to tell them the good news that their religion is stonking stupid. I don't go around knocking on people's doors or anything. I don't even go to theist boards with that.

Pretty much, as I said several times before, my approach to religion is "don't ask, don't tell". I won't ask what woowoo you believe, and I'll be thankful if you don't tell me anyway

But if anyone WANTS to talk about it, I have no problem telling them that it's stupid.

Ditto for haircuts, actually. If someone actually wants to tell me about how they shaved a swastika on their head to represent their devotion to their lord and saviour Hitler, I have no problem telling them that that's idiotic.
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Old 26th May 2018, 02:57 PM   #163
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
I was an atheist for my first 30 years, then a theist, then I called myself a "Liberal Christian" for a while, then I went back to just "theist". The thing is, my beliefs as a theist have never changed, even during the middle period while I called myself a "Liberal Christian". I never believed that Jesus was born of a virgin, was the literal Son of God, and not convinced that he was resurrected. The Gospel Jesus is certainly a myth. I used to post on a Christian Apologetics board and I mentioned all this, and asked if it was valid for me to post on the board as a "Liberal Christian", and the answer was 'yes'.

There are a lot of such liberal Christians around. Over the years I've received a lot more backlash from atheists on my beliefs -- they seem more keen to declare that I wasn't a true Christian -- than from Christians themselves. Then again, I don't spend any time on evangelical or fundamentalist boards, so that may be why.

I finally dropped the label "Liberal Christian", since to me calling myself "Christian" without believing in the resurrection seems to go beyond the allowable meaning of the term. There were early Christians who thought that Jesus was just a man, the ordinary product of Mary and Joseph, thus no virgin birth; but all seem to have a notion of a resurrection, even if it was just spiritual.

I offer the above not to support or refute any specific point in this thread, just to add my perspective.

Interesting perspective GDon.

I wonder about the need to find a label for yourself however and given the bloody history of Christianity, why use that label if you reject the basic tenets of Christianity. I mean tenets regarding core belief that is, not the fantasy that Christianity is somehow responsible for equality among men and so on. Why not just refer to yourself as a theist?

None the less from what you have revealed to us in these threads I find no quarrel with you GDon - that I can bring to mind now. We need more theists like you, who aren't trying to control others, if they can't make the step into atheists that is.
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Old 27th May 2018, 01:36 AM   #164
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
That said, now that I have the time, here's the problem with defining ANYTHING as "X is what group Y believe". It ends up meaning nothing, because unless that group is 2-3 people, everyone will disagree about one bit or another of what it means.
Is that not also true of defining "ANYTHING" as "X is what groups Y believe"? In other words, how does moving it back one step from "what each individual who calls him/herself Christian believes" to "what 'each individual school or sect' believes" solve this problem?

Quote:
So how would I properly define Xianity, so it means something usable at all? Well, along the lines of "An umbrella term for a whole class of beliefs, generally centered along the idea that you're granted eternal life via the sacrifice of a saviour, i.e., Christ. BUT each individual school or sect under the umbrella term also has its own very specific claims and doctrines, and claims very specific books as being factually true accounts."
But in amongst those beliefs must necessarily be a belief in the literal truth of Matthew 28:11-15?

Quote:
What is a Xian? Someone who professes to follow one of the above-mentioned schools of Xianity.
In order to be a "Xain" you have to align yourself with one official Church body or another? And that official Church body must have a clearly-defined doctrine rather than saying that belief is for the individual to interpret?
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Old 27th May 2018, 05:02 AM   #165
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Mate, you made it so far through life without even noticing that it's always the adherents defined by the doctrine, not viceversa? E.g., that if you open any frikken dictionary, you'll find that for example communist is defined by advocating or membership to communism, not viceversa? Or since we have that discussion in the other thread, that in philosophy we define a materialist as "an adherent of philosophical materialism", NOT viceversa? That in fact we do NOT define ANY doctrine as "whatever group X believes", because that's unworkable?

Anyway, let me say it out loud for you. We always define the adherent/proponent/whatever by the doctrine. We don't define any doctrine as "whatever its self-professed adherents believe."

So, WTH, you've been hounding me for like three pages just based on your not even understanding language? Wake me up when you actually have an argument that isn't based on your stubbornly insisting that you can redefine words, and the delusion that I'm under some obligation to adhere to your nonsense redefinitions.
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Old 27th May 2018, 08:52 AM   #166
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Mate, you made it so far through life without even noticing that it's always the adherents defined by the doctrine, not viceversa? E.g., that if you open any frikken dictionary, you'll find that for example communist is defined by advocating or membership to communism, not viceversa? Or since we have that discussion in the other thread, that in philosophy we define a materialist as "an adherent of philosophical materialism", NOT viceversa? That in fact we do NOT define ANY doctrine as "whatever group X believes", because that's unworkable?

Anyway, let me say it out loud for you. We always define the adherent/proponent/whatever by the doctrine. We don't define any doctrine as "whatever its self-professed adherents believe."

So, WTH, you've been hounding me for like three pages just based on your not even understanding language? Wake me up when you actually have an argument that isn't based on your stubbornly insisting that you can redefine words, and the delusion that I'm under some obligation to adhere to your nonsense redefinitions.
This doesn't seem to be a reply to anything in my post.

However, now you seem to be implying that "Xain" is defined as being "defined by advocating or membership to Xianity", which is different from your earlier claims that one can be a "Xian" without following "Xianity". Are you changing your earlier position on this? Or is "Xianity" different in this regard from communism and materialism?
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Old 27th May 2018, 09:41 AM   #167
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1. Actually my definition was about self-professing that. So, if you want to address my definition, then address my definition, don't just make up a strawman.

2. Even that redefinition still doesn't contradict anything I've said, funnily enough, so it's at best a red herring. Neither membership, nor advocacy mean you MUST BE actually following any teaching or doctrine. I mean, what, you've never heard of hypocrisy? There are plenty of people advocating one thing, and not following it themselves.

And especially it seems strange to see you bring that, since I already addressed membership repeatedly at this point. You CAN be a member of the Catholic church, for example, and actually counted as one by the church itself, even if you are an excommunicated worshipper of Satan in the meantime. Until relatively recently it wasn't even POSSIBLE to stop being a member, and even nowadays, you have to explicitly go and get yourself removed, or they'll still count you as a member.

So, again, the largest Xian denomination says you CAN be a Xian, and will count you as a Xian, even if you don't follow ANYTHING from their doctrine.

ETA: hell, I'm pretty sure *I* am still counted as Xian somewhere, and you probably got the idea by now exactly how pious I am

So, AGAIN, why do you think I HAVE to be LITERALLY more Catholic than the Pope? I mean, usually that phrase is used sarcastically, but funnily enough in this case that seems to be LITERALLY what you're demanding of me: that I'm more strict than even the frikken Pope in what I demand from someone to count them as a Xian.

I hope you can see why I'm not particularly impressed.
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Old 27th May 2018, 02:11 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post

........

In order to be a "Xain" you have to align yourself with one official Church body or another? And that official Church body must have a clearly-defined doctrine rather than saying that belief is for the individual to interpret?

Definition of "Xain" by Squeegee.

Or on the other hand you just make up your own official church body and away you go. That's how come there are 40,000 or so Christian versions around today.

Also we have prominent members in the older denominations who don't believe in much at all, including the literal truth of Matthew 28:11-15. One John Selby Spong is such a dude.
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Old 28th May 2018, 01:45 AM   #169
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
1. Actually my definition was about self-professing that. So, if you want to address my definition, then address my definition, don't just make up a strawman.
I took your definition for communism and changed the word "communism" to "Xianity". If you consider this a "strawman", then I can only presume that your definition for communism was irrelevant and ask you to provide a relevant example instead.

Quote:
And especially it seems strange to see you bring that, since I already addressed membership repeatedly at this point. You CAN be a member of the Catholic church, for example, and actually counted as one by the church itself, even if you are an excommunicated worshipper of Satan in the meantime. Until relatively recently it wasn't even POSSIBLE to stop being a member, and even nowadays, you have to explicitly go and get yourself removed, or they'll still count you as a member.

So, again, the largest Xian denomination says you CAN be a Xian, and will count you as a Xian, even if you don't follow ANYTHING from their doctrine.

ETA: hell, I'm pretty sure *I* am still counted as Xian somewhere, and you probably got the idea by now exactly how pious I am

So, AGAIN, why do you think I HAVE to be LITERALLY more Catholic than the Pope? I mean, usually that phrase is used sarcastically, but funnily enough in this case that seems to be LITERALLY what you're demanding of me: that I'm more strict than even the frikken Pope in what I demand from someone to count them as a Xian.
Since your complaint about using the word "Xianity" as "X is what group Y believe" because "It ends up meaning nothing, because unless that group is 2-3 people, everyone will disagree about one bit or another of what it means", does that imply that you think the word "Xian" is meaningless?

I'll also note that you've failed to confirm that your definition of "Xianity" necessitates a belief in the literal truth of Matthew 28:11-16. In addition to that I'd appreciate it if you could explain by what reasoning you exclude those denominations that do not hold to the literal truth of that passage and what label you would apply to them instead.

And I'll note further that you haven't addressed that your definition of "Xian" doesn't include people who do not profess to adhere to a specific doctrine, as set out by an official Church (presumably one of the ones you include as being part of "Xianity", rather than the ones that you'd apply a different, as yet unnamed, label to), but who do still believe in God and the divinity of Jesus. What would you label these people as, and by what reasoning do you exclude them from being "Xians"?
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Old 28th May 2018, 05:25 AM   #170
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1. Taking a definition for something else and changing random words in it is not a particularly valid kind of reasoning. E.g., watch me do the same for diesel engine:

"Xianity is a compression-ignition engine in which a spray of Xians, introduced into air compressed to a temperature of approximately 1000 F (538 C), ignites at a virtually constant pressure."

Honestly, the only props I'd give to that is that it pretty much invented a new kind of fallacy I hadn't ever seen before: the argument from ad-lib

2. No. Trying to get to "Xian is meaningless" from one particular made up meaning of Xianity being meaningless, is stupid. Formally, since the premise is of the form "no Y is X" where Y is a group's beliefs, and X is what defines Xianity, to say anything from there about Y you'd have to commit the Affirmative conclusion from a negative premise fallacy.

But if you want a less formal illustration of the sillinesss you're committing: you've probably noticed it works with defining as what ANY group believes. So if that worked to make the group meaningless, then it would also make carpenters, drivers, pilots, stock brokers, and mathematicians meaningless. Ad absurdum, qed, and all that.

3. You'll notice that even such people typically feel a need to put a label on themselves, even if it's just "liberal Xian". At this point, as Thor2 was noting there are so many flavours of Xianity as to make it meaningless if you just say "I'm a Xian."

As an extreme example, you know the Carrier/Doherty idea that Jesus never actually existed at all on Earth, and was supposed to be just some celestial figure the whole time? Yeah, in the meantime there are actual Xians who believe in a Jesus that only became flesh-like and was sarificed in a lower heaven, just like their prophets Doherty and Carrier unravelled the mystery. I wish I were kidding, but I'm not. Some people read some books by atheists that say Jesus was never meant to have existed on earth, and took it as gospel. And I don't mean the figurative meaning of "taking something as gospel", but they LITERALLY took it as their gospel.

So yeah, if you just say you're an Xian, you could be one of THOSE.

Hence people tend to have a notion of which flavour of Xianity they follow. So I don't see any problem putting that in my definition.

4. Since I've said that a specific flavour of Xianity has its specific doctrines, and those are not defined by what individual followers may actually believe or not, I feel quite confident to say that at the very least the majority of them take the gospels quite literally. Even the non-literalist Catholics and Orthodox, while they may take the OT as not quite literal, tend to take the NT quite seriously.
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Old 28th May 2018, 08:23 AM   #171
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I am so lost in the lightless heat of recent discussion, just saying. Then again, good debate can often be all about definitions, as once agreed to, other matters may fall into place.
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Old 28th May 2018, 08:52 AM   #172
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I do enjoy a rigorous debate about "definitions" when one of the participants is deliberately using a bastardized version of the word "Christian."
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Old 28th May 2018, 09:03 AM   #173
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You know that it was Christians who first wrote it that way, right? The X being the greek letter Chi. Or that we can support it as being a common enough abbreviation in use at least for the last 400 years straight, right? Or are you here just to do another uninformed complaint, as usual?
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Old 28th May 2018, 02:37 PM   #174
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
I do enjoy a rigorous debate about "definitions" when one of the participants is deliberately using a bastardized version of the word "Christian."
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
You know that it was Christians who first wrote it that way, right? The X being the greek letter Chi. Or that we can support it as being a common enough abbreviation in use at least for the last 400 years straight, right? Or are you here just to do another uninformed complaint, as usual?

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Old 29th May 2018, 05:50 AM   #175
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
1. Taking a definition for something else and changing random words in it is not a particularly valid kind of reasoning. E.g., watch me do the same for diesel engine:

"Xianity is a compression-ignition engine in which a spray of Xians, introduced into air compressed to a temperature of approximately 1000 F (538 C), ignites at a virtually constant pressure."

Honestly, the only props I'd give to that is that it pretty much invented a new kind of fallacy I hadn't ever seen before: the argument from ad-lib ]
Leaving aside quite how silly you're being, if your example of communism wasn't relevant to your definition of "Xianity", then what was the point in your posting it?

Quote:
Trying to get to "Xian is meaningless" from one particular made up meaning of Xianity being meaningless, is stupid.
I was using your definition of "Xianity". I'll assume that you don't actually mean to say that you think your own definition is meaningless.

Quote:
But if you want a less formal illustration of the sillinesss you're committing: you've probably noticed it works with defining as what ANY group believes. So if that worked to make the group meaningless, then it would also make carpenters, drivers, pilots, stock brokers, and mathematicians meaningless. Ad absurdum, qed, and all that.
Interesting examples. Carpenters are people who do carpentry. Drivers are people who drive. Pilots are people who pilot. Stock brokers are people who broker stocks. Mathematicians are people who do maths. Yet "Xians" are not necessarily people who believe in "Xianity".

Quote:
At this point, as Thor2 was noting there are so many flavours of Xianity as to make it meaningless if you just say "I'm a Xian."
Why does that not also make the word "Xianity" meaningless?

Quote:
4. Since I've said that a specific flavour of Xianity has its specific doctrines, and those are not defined by what individual followers may actually believe or not, I feel quite confident to say that at the very least the majority of them take the gospels quite literally.
It only took 5 days, but you have finally conceded my point in my original post on this subject. Good. I think we can probably leave it there.
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Old 29th May 2018, 06:41 AM   #176
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Mate, exactly what's your argument at this point? Argument from pretending to be too daft by half to parse basic English? It's getting beyond silly to write exactly what I illustrate with an example, only to have you come and either repeat the same daft question anyway, or come up with "so what was the point there?" If you're essentially claiming THAT big comprehension problems, yeah, let's leave it there, because I see no point in conversing to someone who can't even understand the replies. Nor elementary logic even when it's pointed out at them.
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Old 29th May 2018, 09:08 AM   #177
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Mate, exactly what's your argument at this point?
You conceded the second half of my original post early on, and you've now conceded the first half. Thus there is no argument any more. You could have saved us both a lot of time and effort if you'd just done that from the start.
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Old 30th May 2018, 08:27 PM   #178
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
I do enjoy a rigorous debate about "definitions" when one of the participants is deliberately using a bastardized version of the word "Christian."
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
You know that it was Christians who first wrote it that way, right? The X being the greek letter Chi. Or that we can support it as being a common enough abbreviation in use at least for the last 400 years straight, right? Or are you here just to do another uninformed complaint, as usual?
I first learned the "bastardized version" in Catholic School. Chalk was at a premium, apparently.
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