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Old 25th June 2017, 01:34 PM   #321
Zivan
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
What is it with the fig tree?
Jesus had a temper tantrum and killed a fig tree, and it was not even in season. Why did he not just magically make fruit suddenly appear instead of killing the poor tree?

Also, it is against jewish law to destroy a fruit tree. Why did the "son of god" not know what the laws of his father were?

Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
No, Jesus was not at war with Yahveh,
Jesus sure broke a lot of laws given by YHVH. For example, destroying a fruit tree, because he was in a snit. Chasing the buyers and sellers out of the temple courtyard was breaking another law given by YHVH.

Why was the son of god so rebellious against his father?

Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
he was there from the beginning, the original High Priest, as mentioned in Genesis.
There is no mention of a "High Priest" in Genesis.

You sure seem to think a lot of things are in Genesis that are simply NOT THERE.

Have you even read it?

You should. That is what this thread is about.

Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
What is a priest?
An israelite priest is from the tribe of Levi, and ONLY from the tribe of Levi.

According to your NT, Jesus had no earthly father, so he had no tribal status. And no, you do NOT "inherit" tribal status through adoption. Tribal status comes only through the biological father. It does not come from the mother.

Since Jesus had no tribal status he could not be a king or a priest. Full stop.

Last edited by Zivan; 25th June 2017 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 25th June 2017, 01:55 PM   #322
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What distanced me from the bible wasn't just its obvious errors and immoral maxims, but the vast swaths of plain boring and irrelevant details of the history of a small and unimportant group of tribes. If this one book is the pillar on which all of it is built, why wouldn't a perfect God not swap all that old, arbitrary stuff out and replace it with more interesting stuff that's able to retain its usefulness a few centuries longer? It almost appears as if God had no idea the books would still be around 2000+ later, or that the world would move on.
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Old 25th June 2017, 02:14 PM   #323
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Originally Posted by Zivan View Post
Jesus had a temper tantrum and killed a fig tree, and it was not even in season. Why did he not just magically make fruit suddenly appear instead of killing the poor tree?

Also, it is against jewish law to destroy a fruit tree. Why did the "son of god" not know what the laws of his father were?

Jesus sure broke a lot of laws given by YHVH. For example, destroying a fruit tree, because he was in a snit. Chasing the buyers and sellers out of the temple courtyard was breaking another law given by YHVH.

Why was the son of god so rebellious against his father?

There is no mention of a "High Priest" in Genesis.

You sure seem to think a lot of things are in Genesis that are simple NOT THERE.

Have you even read it?

You should. That is what this thread is about.

An israelite priest is from the tribe of Levi, and ONLY from the tribe of Levi.

According to your NT, Jesus had no earthly father, so he had no tribal status. And no, you do NOT "inherit" tribal status through adoption. Tribal status comes only through the biological father. It does not come from the mother.

Since Jesus had no tribal status he could not be a king or a priest. Full stop.
What the hell are you doing? You are making two, excuse the expression, cardinal mistakes.

The first is you are trying to make sense of religion.

The second is asking questions of the average Christian. Christians are essentially taught that what came before Jesus is basically immaterial so they barely read the Old Testament.

That was the point I was making when I created this thread. I had been a Christian for 20 something years and I had barely read much more than a few of Paul's epistles, the Gospels and a scattering of stories in the OT.

Basically, Christianity is the lazy person's religion. Say you love Jesus and your covered.
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Last edited by acbytesla; 25th June 2017 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 25th June 2017, 02:35 PM   #324
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Here's a fun one for you. I was told that Man was created in God's spiritual image, not his physical image. Which means that God shouldn't be visualised as a literal bearded white man in the sky who could only be in one place at a time.

I could never get a good handle on what "spiritual image" actually meant. It was obviously a post-hoc rationalisation about an ancient text written by prescientific people who didn't have the tools to understand how a physical image might be limiting for a deity.

Yes I have had this response (sort of) from the faithful when backed into a corner also. Consistently I find them floundering when trying to explain the "In God's Image" thing, when the idea of being physically so is shown to be absurd.

So they desperately look for some other way that we are the image of God and come up with the spiritual thing. When pressed about what this means however, answers are either garbled or suggestions we are mentally made in his image are offered. They are dead meat when they fall back on this one however as I skewer them with ...... "But our mentality is our failing in God's eyes as we rebelled."
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Old 25th June 2017, 02:51 PM   #325
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
What the hell are you doing?
Having fun!


Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
You are making two, excuse the expression, cardinal mistakes.

The first is you are trying to make sense of religion.

The second is asking questions of the average Christian.
But Vixen's "answers" are so intertaining!

In a bang-your-head-against-a-wall sort of way.........


Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Christians are essentially taught that what came before Jesus is basically immaterial so they barely read the Old Testament.

That was the point I was making when I created this thread. I had been a Christian for 20 something years and I had barely read much more than a few of Paul's epistles, the Gospels and a scattering of stories in the OT.

Basically, Christianity is the lazy person's religion. Say you love Jesus and your covered.
Which is why I wish the early christians had not decided to glue the "OT" to their "NT". It is irrelevant and no one reads it anyway.
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Old 25th June 2017, 03:15 PM   #326
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
God has his reasons.
He works in mysterious way.
It is not for us to understand
Man cannot comprehend the mind of God

and so on and so on and so on.

In my experience you can get most religious people to admit that they have no proof of God but they still believe on faith. That is, if you can get them from to stop pointing at a tree or a beautiful sunset and just declaring that is proof of God.

I like to pose this question to them.

How do they know that God isn't just testing their gullibility?

Your last line here reminds me of a theory hypothesis I have formed. I may have mentioned this before on the thread "Gods Purpose".

Given the assumption that Christianity is true then an explanation of why God did all this stuff and made man could be because he is lonely ...... God wants companions.

Now the kind of companions God wants are very special kinds of people. There must be no rebellious ones among them. They must be willing to accept his supreme authority without question and grovel to him for eternity. A long long time.

Planet Earth is the testing ground to prove these faithful souls and the Christian religion to be accepted without question. If someone takes this on and swallows the Bible with all its absurdities he/she will make the grade. All the rest of us are just collateral casualties.
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Old 25th June 2017, 03:18 PM   #327
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Originally Posted by Zivan View Post

Which is why I wish the early christians had not decided to glue the "OT" to their "NT". It is irrelevant and no one reads it anyway.
They didn't. Marcion of Sinope created a New Testament more than 200 years before the Council of Nicea which settled on basically today's Christian bible. It included an edited version of Luke and ten of Paul's epistles. No, John, Matthew or James. Marcion was convinced that when Jesus was speaking of the Heavenly Father he wasn't talking about the Jewish God Yahweh, but another God entirely.
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Old 25th June 2017, 03:28 PM   #328
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Your last line here reminds me of a theory hypothesis I have formed. I may have mentioned this before on the thread "Gods Purpose".

Given the assumption that Christianity is true then an explanation of why God did all this stuff and made man could be because he is lonely ...... God wants companions.

Now the kind of companions God wants are very special kinds of people. There must be no rebellious ones among them. They must be willing to accept his supreme authority without question and grovel to him for eternity. A long long time.

Planet Earth is the testing ground to prove these faithful souls and the Christian religion to be accepted without question. If someone takes this on and swallows the Bible with all its absurdities he/she will make the grade. All the rest of us are just collateral casualties.
Therein lies the problem I had. For a being we were commanded to be worthy of and admire. There was very little about God's character that you would want your children or yourself to emulate. The God of the Bible is petulant, needy, jealous and vengeful. I always had a problem with the absurdity of the miracles, but after actually reading the OT I'm left being disgusted not inspired.
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Old 25th June 2017, 03:39 PM   #329
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
What distanced me from the bible wasn't just its obvious errors and immoral maxims, but the vast swaths of plain boring and irrelevant details of the history of a small and unimportant group of tribes.
The "OT" was written by, and for, a small and unimportant group of tribes. That is all. (It was probably high entertainment back then when they did not have streaming videos to watch).

Unfortunately, it was taken by the early christians, re-arranged, changed, re-named, then glued onto their "new testament".

2000 years ago, the older, more ancient a religion was, the more it was considered "legitimate". Christianity was new, and wanted to be seen as "legitimate/ancient". So they took old writings from the jews who already had an established religion.

It is really unfortunate. If the early christians had not done that, the tanakh ("OT") would still be an obscure collection of writings that no one, except a small unimportant group of jews and a few historians, would even know about.

If the early christians had decided to glue the zoroastrian's writings (for example) as the christian "OT", everyone would be talking about Ahura Mazda instead of YHVH.
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Old 25th June 2017, 03:40 PM   #330
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
They didn't. Marcion of Sinope created a New Testament more than 200 years before the Council of Nicea which settled on basically today's Christian bible. It included an edited version of Luke and ten of Paul's epistles. No, John, Matthew or James. Marcion was convinced that when Jesus was speaking of the Heavenly Father he wasn't talking about the Jewish God Yahweh, but another God entirely.

An interesting character that Marcion and a good example of how the religious wizards will jump through hoops to be seen as being correct.

Quote:
In contrast to other leaders of the nascent Christian church, however, Marcion declared that Christianity was in complete discontinuity with Judaism and entirely opposed to the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible). Marcion did not claim that the Jewish scriptures were false. Instead, Marcion asserted that they were to be read in an absolutely literal manner, thereby developing an understanding that Yahweh was not the same god spoken of by Jesus. For example, Marcion argued that the Genesis account of Yahweh walking through the Garden of Eden asking where Adam was, had proved Yahweh inhabited a physical body and was without universal knowledge (omniscience), attributes wholly incompatible with the Heavenly Father professed by Jesus.

Marcion doesn't say that Yahweh is a false god just a different one that inhabited a physical body indeed. A salient point referring to some previous posts about our being made in God's image.
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Old 25th June 2017, 03:41 PM   #331
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
They didn't. Marcion of Sinope created a New Testament more than 200 years before the Council of Nicea which settled on basically today's Christian bible. It included an edited version of Luke and ten of Paul's epistles. No, John, Matthew or James. Marcion was convinced that when Jesus was speaking of the Heavenly Father he wasn't talking about the Jewish God Yahweh, but another God entirely.
There were many different versions, not just from Marcion.

And Marcion is not the one who won......
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Old 25th June 2017, 04:51 PM   #332
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Originally Posted by Zivan View Post
There were many different versions, not just from Marcion.

And Marcion is not the one who won......
No question. I was trying to make the point that early Christianity was in fact a very different religion than what we have today. The religion was splintered with a lot of different sects battling over the story of Jesus. Do we really think that if Constantine hadn't adopted it as the religion of Rome, that it would be the largest religion on the planet? I just find it amusing that 200 later there are double the number of New Testament books. And there were many books that didn't become canon.
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Old 25th June 2017, 06:49 PM   #333
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
No question. I was trying to make the point that early Christianity was in fact a very different religion than what we have today. The religion was splintered with a lot of different sects battling over the story of Jesus. Do we really think that if Constantine hadn't adopted it as the religion of Rome, that it would be the largest religion on the planet? I just find it amusing that 200 later there are double the number of New Testament books. And there were many books that didn't become canon.
The best way to lose faith is to read the Bible. The second best way is to study the history of the Church. The third best way is to read about other religions and realize they are just as confident in their religion as you (generic, not acbytesla) are in yours.

The more you know about things outside the bubble they built for you in Sunday School, the less likely you are to believe. The reason that reading the Bible is particularly effective is that the Bible is supposed to be on the inside of the bubble. Once you realize it's on the outside, the bubble can burst.
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Old 25th June 2017, 06:57 PM   #334
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
The third best way is to read about other religions and realize they are just as confident in their religion as you (generic, not acbytesla) are in yours.
Bingo. There it is. This is one of the two main reasons I stopped going to church.
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Old 25th June 2017, 07:02 PM   #335
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
The best way to lose faith is to read the Bible. The second best way is to study the history of the Church. The third best way is to read about other religions and realize they are just as confident in their religion as you (generic, not acbytesla) are in yours.

The more you know about things outside the bubble they built for you in Sunday School, the less likely you are to believe. The reason that reading the Bible is particularly effective is that the Bible is supposed to be on the inside of the bubble. Once you realize it's on the outside, the bubble can burst.
Well said.

I had multiple discussions with my pastor about all this. His answers were that Satan had got a hold of me. And I really didn't understand what i was reading. And that faith shouldn't be put to a test. And that the religion came to be in its present form because God made it that way.

Also it was because I wanted to sin.

Every answer he gave was both condescending and disingenuous.
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Old 25th June 2017, 07:25 PM   #336
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Slavery can be traced back to ancient Arabic and Egyptian cultures. It is an aspect of how nasty people can be. People are horrible. That's why God called for a flood and only saved two of a kind of each animal.

Torture, ditto. Sacrifice is typical of pre-Christian pagan practices.

Our species have long been a bunch of barbarians.

Resurrection is a promise. That's why Christian burials align facing west-east.
Christianity has done these bad things as well. Resurrection is a promise? Yes, but is it a fulfilled promise? When a con artist tells you he can double your money that's a promise too; but is it a promise that can be fulfilled?

"People are horrible. That's why God called for a flood and only saved two of a kind of each animal". That makes God even more horrible, doesn't it? Are you sure the Bible says he saved only 2 of each kind?

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Old 25th June 2017, 07:28 PM   #337
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Old 25th June 2017, 11:14 PM   #338
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Christianity has done these bad things as well. Resurrection is a promise? Yes, but is it a fulfilled promise? When a con artist tells you he can double your money that's a promise too; but is it a promise that can be fulfilled?

"People are horrible. That's why God called for a flood and only saved two of a kind of each animal". That makes God even more horrible, doesn't it? Are you sure the Bible says he saved only 2 of each kind?
"two of a kind"? Depends which of the flood stories you consider the accurate one.
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Old 25th June 2017, 11:56 PM   #339
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
God has his reasons.
He works in mysterious way.
It is not for us to understand
Man cannot comprehend the mind of God

and so on and so on and so on.

In my experience you can get most religious people to admit that they have no proof of God but they still believe on faith. That is, if you can get them from to stop pointing at a tree or a beautiful sunset and just declaring that is proof of God.

I like to pose this question to them.

How do they know that God isn't just testing their gullibility?
If God is unintelligible they cannot. "How do you know that it is God that speaks to you by telephone?", asked the doctor to the crazy woman. "He says he is God", the woman answered.
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Old 26th June 2017, 12:11 AM   #340
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
I see. So do you despise Plato as well, who in his The Republic shows him to disdain the plebs having a say in government, that being left for the elite, in his view.

The Ancient Greeks had a class system which included hapless slaves. Can't see you hurling abuse at Plato.
Can you find people treating Plato as a god? No, but you can find many people denouncing his ideas. That's very common. It is also common for people to deplore the existence of slavery in the ancient world, just as they condemn later Christian or Muslim slaveholders.
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Old 26th June 2017, 12:30 AM   #341
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Originally Posted by Zivan View Post
2000 years ago, the older, more ancient a religion was, the more it was considered "legitimate". Christianity was new, and wanted to be seen as "legitimate/ancient". So they took old writings from the jews who already had an established religion.
The triumph of "Judaizing" Christianity over Marcionism and other Gnosticisms that claimed against the God of the Old Testament had a more simple and vulgar reason: new religions without links with a traditional one were considered as atheism in Rome and severely persecuted. This is the reason why the new religions in Rome ever have a foreigner ancestor (Dyonisus, Mithra, Isis, Attis, etc.).

Further, Christianity was a Jewish sect in its origen and it was very difficult to erase all the traditional stories at the stroke of a pen. Marcion had little chance, but the dependence of the Old Testament and the strong links with Judaism were -are yet- a peeve to many Christians. Rationalism and antisemitism are the causes, sometimes mixed, of this annoyance.

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Old 26th June 2017, 05:54 AM   #342
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
The triumph of "Judaizing" Christianity over Marcionism and other Gnosticisms that claimed against the God of the Old Testament had a more simple and vulgar reason: new religions without links with a traditional one were considered as atheism in Rome and severely persecuted. This is the reason why the new religions in Rome ever have a foreigner ancestor (Dyonisus, Mithra, Isis, Attis, etc.).

Further, Christianity was a Jewish sect in its origen and it was very difficult to erase all the traditional stories at the stroke of a pen. Marcion had little chance, but the dependence of the Old Testament and the strong links with Judaism were -are yet- a peeve to many Christians. Rationalism and antisemitism are the causes, sometimes mixed, of this annoyance.
When you think about it. This all isn't so unusual. Why reinvent the wheel, when you can just modify parts of an old religion? Christianity borrows from stories of Zoroastrianism and Judaism. Judaism has to be hell to try and follow with its absurd laws. The two fastest growing religions on the planet both borrow from Christianity and Judaism.

This is par for the course.
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Old 26th June 2017, 10:09 AM   #343
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Human existence - hominids - goes back circa 250K years to Lucy, an AUSTRALOPITHECUS AFRICANUS itself a split from the chimpanzee branch of primates, five million years ago. Neanderthalis hominids died out some 50K years ago. Mankind proper since and before that time lived in neolithic/cro-magnon caves (for example, Cheddar Gorge, Denisova, Montana Clovis, Hohlenstein-Stadel) like brute beasts, with every day a fight for survival, in common with the animal kingdom.

For circa 200,000 years homo sapiens lived beastly brutish lives. It was each man for himself, then each family for itself, then each tribe. It was dog eat dog. Those Israelites wandering the desert had to fight and kill off the predators (Amalkites, etc) - it was everybody's only means of defence - and survival - was to kill the other tribe before it killed you and raped your women. Of course the early Old Testament is a riot of violence. Homo sapiens are a violent bunch and we are still at it - warring against each other - today. Why would the Bible be a book of lovey dovey Mills & Boons fluff? It was savage man-savage beast.

But something strange happened about 10,000 years ago (neolithic man). We began to become civilised. We became artistic and this coinicided with organised religion with people given burial rituals. We see religious thought amongst the Ancient Egyptians, said to be man's oldest civilisation. They began to query their place in the universe, invented hieroglyphics, described creation myths, such as osirus, believed in an afterlife and left utilities and ornaments in with the mummifed remains (admittedly, only for the ruling classes). Egypt only goes back 7,000 years.

So you see, religious and artistic thought (including writing, language and the development of maths, astronomy and philosophy) are all associated with the evolution of higher thought processes.

So yes, religion, namely Christianity is the result of high level evolution of the brain. Why Christianity? Because there is no primitive superstition or idolatory.
There is nothing special about this, except that people started to settle and develop more permanent structures. Neanderthals buried and decorated their dead, so they understood death, and possibly had some religious ideas.

The something that happened about 10,000 years ago was the end of the ice age and the consequent invention of agriculture (possibly independently in several parts of the world).

Mesolithic hunter-gatherers would have been attracted to coastal margins as they are rich environments, and limpets and cockles don't run away, so there is lots of fairly accessible protein.

Also at the end of the Ice Age, the sea level rose. In some parts of the world - the Arabian Gulf, for example, it has been estimated that there would have been a sudden flood followed by about a thousand years of sea advancing at about a kilometre a year. Something like that is going to get into the oral histories. We know that in Australia, Aboriginal cultures have preserved descriptions of events from those times, including of the flooding that created the Great Barrier Reef, and those have only been written down last century.


There is nothing supernatural about any of this. Just opportunity. If you are not farming, and have to follow your food, then you are not going to have permanent dwellings. It's hard to organise to make ritual landscapes.
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US 16.4% of GDP of which 48.2% is public expenditure - 7.9% of GDP is public spending
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Old 26th June 2017, 10:14 AM   #344
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Well thanks for the lesson about evolution - about which I do have a smattering of knowledge. Your last paragraph did cause a sharp intake of breath however, and I wonder if you can refer me to a source for this inspiration.

Nice to know that you are not a young Earth creationist, although I wonder how you blend this with the idea of being made in the image of God, men having souls, and original sin. Inevitably we must come to the thorny question of “when was the first soul?”.

If the possession of a soul is the thing that distinguishes humans from animals, as I assume you believe, then as both evolved from a common source, at some point along the path of development God must have decided, “OK this man looks enough like me now so he gets a soul”, and then selects a woman resembling his female side who gets one as well. This original soul-equipped couple then go and eat apples, or have sex, so original sin is committed and things are right on track.

Is this the way you think it happened and if not how?
I might as well quote my son at this point. I mentioned that I have come across a couple of Young Earth Creationists at work (they work in a technical field, so I am still gobsmacked about the lack of critical thought in that).

My son (he's 16, and enjoys such discussions and has done since primary school) asked whether it was more ridiculous to believe that every word in the bible was true, or that some was obviously not true, but that somehow we should trust the bible on other things.

Pretty obvious question really, but one I had never thought of in those terms.
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link is 2015 data (2013 Data below):
UK 8.5% of GDP of which 83.3% is public expenditure - 7.1% of GDP is public spending
US 16.4% of GDP of which 48.2% is public expenditure - 7.9% of GDP is public spending
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Old 26th June 2017, 10:23 AM   #345
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
You're more moral than your God. In fact I've never met anyone who isn't. Maybe Hitler gives him/her/it a run for the money. But considering that God not only supposedly kills every human being on the planet minus IIRC eight he kills off almost all the animals. So not even Hitler is less moral. That is saying something if you ask me.
Don't forget the obvious questions about why Cain needed to be marked. Surely his parents knew him. Surely Seth could be told - oh the other man who isn't Adam is your homicidal brother.

Who did Cain marry? Who did Seth marry? It's almost as if it makes no sense.

How did the Nephilim survive the flood?
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http://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/health-data.htm
link is 2015 data (2013 Data below):
UK 8.5% of GDP of which 83.3% is public expenditure - 7.1% of GDP is public spending
US 16.4% of GDP of which 48.2% is public expenditure - 7.9% of GDP is public spending
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Old 26th June 2017, 10:30 AM   #346
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Here's a fun one for you. I was told that Man was created in God's spiritual image, not his physical image. Which means that God shouldn't be visualised as a literal bearded white man in the sky who could only be in one place at a time.

I could never get a good handle on what "spiritual image" actually meant. It was obviously a post-hoc rationalisation about an ancient text written by prescientific people who didn't have the tools to understand how a physical image might be limiting for a deity.
It's almost as if it makes sense if you think it came from fireside stories of illiterate bronze age goat hearders who weren't particularly sophisticated for the era.

One interesting thing though, is that they did preserve several competing myths.
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OECD healthcare spending
Expenditure on healthcare
http://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/health-data.htm
link is 2015 data (2013 Data below):
UK 8.5% of GDP of which 83.3% is public expenditure - 7.1% of GDP is public spending
US 16.4% of GDP of which 48.2% is public expenditure - 7.9% of GDP is public spending
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Old 26th June 2017, 10:51 AM   #347
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Not for me. It wasn't because of the Bible that I stopped going to church.
Was it the organ music?

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Old 26th June 2017, 11:01 AM   #348
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Don't forget the obvious questions about why Cain needed to be marked. Surely his parents knew him. Surely Seth could be told - oh the other man who isn't Adam is your homicidal brother.

Who did Cain marry? Who did Seth marry? It's almost as if it makes no sense.

How did the Nephilim survive the flood?
Those are the obvious questions. My question was if Cain slew Abel, why didn't God strike Abel down? God clearly doesn't have a problem with killing. After all, he commands 2 she bears to slay 42 children for mocking Elisha about his bald head. You would think God wouldn't have a problem with striking down Cain for slaying his brother.

There are lots of questions. God clearly was missing a script supervisor to at least keep all of this logically consistent.
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Old 26th June 2017, 01:24 PM   #349
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
My son (he's 16, and enjoys such discussions and has done since primary school) asked whether it was more ridiculous to believe that every word in the bible was true, or that some was obviously not true, but that somehow we should trust the bible on other things.

Pretty obvious question really, but one I had never thought of in those terms.
This is exactly the question that actually led me from agnosticism/indifference to atheism:

Having been surrounded all my life by luke-warm Christians who only know the best-of chapters of the bible and believe in a feel-good Jesus, I moved to Georgia (USA) and met bible-literalists en-masse for the first time - made friends among them, fell deeply in love with one. Around that time, my twin sister also got in contact with US-inspired protestant "free churches", and she turned into a YEC.
This forced me to ponder the whole enchillada, and I came away with a personal conviction that IF you believe in the God and the divine Jesus of the Bible, THEN the only coherent, inteligent way is to accept it ALL. If you find that the Bible is not trustworthy from cover to cover, the only smart thing is to take rejection of each bit as the null hypothesis and work from there.
I then found that NO bit of the Bible could be corroborated independently of itself, and that much had to be rejected on grounds of observation, logic, irrelevance and first principles of ethics. With this, the entire Bible, and the entire idea of Yahwe/Jesus, had to go.

The believers' only other argument was what they "felt" or "knew" in their hearts - my sister would often tell me with great joy that God had directed her to do this or leave that - but a) this cannot be tested b) he never directed me, the bugger c) his directions didn't really work out all that well. (Off topic: For example, God told her to abandon her job (office assistant) and start a 3-year eductaion towards becoming a hospital nurse. After little more than a year, she had to give that up because of a latex allergy, but couldn't return to her old job easily. Instead, she married, became a housewife... Excuse me, I did not see any divine guidance in all of that, only the normal difficulties and choices and tough luck we all face.)
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Old 26th June 2017, 01:46 PM   #350
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Originally Posted by Zivan View Post
Which is why I wish the early christians had not decided to glue the "OT" to their "NT". It is irrelevant and no one reads it anyway.
Originally Posted by Zivan View Post
It is really unfortunate. If the early christians had not [glued the OT onto their NT], the tanakh ("OT") would still be an obscure collection of writings that no one, except a small unimportant group of jews and a few historians, would even know about.

If the early christians had decided to glue the zoroastrian's writings (for example) as the christian "OT", everyone would be talking about Ahura Mazda instead of YHVH.
Assuming it is correct that the NT is not a direct outcrop/continuation of the OT in the minds of its writers:
But they had to glue something to the NT as a "prequel". It's difficult to sell a God who suddenly, in the year 16 of Emperor Tiberius's reign or so, starts taking an interest in humankind and the universe by wandering through some unimportant, semi-arid province and collecting a few fishermen and peasants as first fans. People would legitimately ask: Where were you when the first crop of barley was sown? Where were you when the first wall of Jericho was erected almost 8000 years ago? Where were you when the cities of Uruk, Memphis, Harappa signaled that "civilisation" had come upon humankind? We had been able to advance without you for thousands of years! We don't need you now.
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Old 26th June 2017, 02:13 PM   #351
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Those are the obvious questions. My question was if Cain slew Abel, why didn't God strike Abel down? God clearly doesn't have a problem with killing. After all, he commands 2 she bears to slay 42 children for mocking Elisha about his bald head. You would think God wouldn't have a problem with striking down Cain for slaying his brother.

There are lots of questions. God clearly was missing a script supervisor to at least keep all of this logically consistent.

I guess God has his bad days.

God once tried to kill Moses (Exodus 4:24) but was foiled by a skillfully thrown foreskin. You would have thought killing Moses would have been a snap given God's past record of smiting.
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Old 26th June 2017, 02:30 PM   #352
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I guess God has his bad days.

God once tried to kill Moses (Exodus 4:24) but was foiled by a skillfully thrown foreskin. You would have thought killing Moses would have been a snap given God's past record of smiting.
Oh yeah, I forgot. Not only was Yahweh vengeful, jealous, needy, and cruel, he was an incompetent moron.
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Old 26th June 2017, 04:31 PM   #353
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Originally Posted by Beady View Post
Wait a minute! My government pension and SSI are divinely inspired, and were foretold several hundred thousand years ago?

This signature is intended to irritate people.
Yeah, read Genesis, which predicts a man is doomed to work his fingers to the bone for life as punishment for disobeying God and eating of the tree of knowledge.
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Old 26th June 2017, 04:34 PM   #354
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Originally Posted by Zivan View Post
Jesus had a temper tantrum and killed a fig tree, and it was not even in season. Why did he not just magically make fruit suddenly appear instead of killing the poor tree?

Also, it is against jewish law to destroy a fruit tree. Why did the "son of god" not know what the laws of his father were?



Jesus sure broke a lot of laws given by YHVH. For example, destroying a fruit tree, because he was in a snit. Chasing the buyers and sellers out of the temple courtyard was breaking another law given by YHVH.

Why was the son of god so rebellious against his father?



There is no mention of a "High Priest" in Genesis.

You sure seem to think a lot of things are in Genesis that are simply NOT THERE.

Have you even read it?

You should. That is what this thread is about.



An israelite priest is from the tribe of Levi, and ONLY from the tribe of Levi.

According to your NT, Jesus had no earthly father, so he had no tribal status. And no, you do NOT "inherit" tribal status through adoption. Tribal status comes only through the biological father. It does not come from the mother.

Since Jesus had no tribal status he could not be a king or a priest. Full stop.
Only after Aaron.

Melchizedek comes before Aaron in the Old Testament.

Jesus is of David's line.
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Old 26th June 2017, 04:46 PM   #355
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
What distanced me from the bible wasn't just its obvious errors and immoral maxims, but the vast swaths of plain boring and irrelevant details of the history of a small and unimportant group of tribes. If this one book is the pillar on which all of it is built, why wouldn't a perfect God not swap all that old, arbitrary stuff out and replace it with more interesting stuff that's able to retain its usefulness a few centuries longer? It almost appears as if God had no idea the books would still be around 2000+ later, or that the world would move on.
It's basically a history of the Jewish people, or rather, the twelve tribes of the Israelites. It is not meant to be a fluffy fairy story.

This appears to be the OP's main objection to it. The OP and others cannot grasp the historical context that if the Israelites didn't slaughter the Amelkites, the Amelkites would have slaughtered them. 'Twas always the way.

When Germany made war noises, we had to take up arms and defend ourselves.

In ancient Scandinavian mythology, slain soldiers on the battlefields had an afterlife in Valhalla - a hall where they feasted and drank - the Valkyries went around the battle fields collecting them up.

God has always been connected with war and wrath. The OP and others have been misled if they thought he was some kind of hippie guy wearing flowers in his hair.
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Old 26th June 2017, 04:52 PM   #356
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Originally Posted by sphenisc View Post
The MRCA is not equivalent to either mt Eve or Y-Adam. The MRCA occurred in the last few thousands years.
http://steveolson.com/uploads/2009/0...ancestors2.pdf
Exactly. Take the population of Finland. It was circa 100,000 - 300,000 by the end of the Great Northern War. Today it is 5 million.

There'll have been migrations, sure. However, most of it has been out. To Sweden and the USA, mainly.

So do the math.

Cousins OBVIOUSLY must have married cousins of cousins of cousins, who in turn married within a homogenous population with some input from the Swedes in the West, the Sami in the North and the Karelians in the East.

That applies to virtually all of earth's populations, which have expanded exponentially over the recent millenia.
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Old 26th June 2017, 05:02 PM   #357
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Jesus is of David's line.

Only if you believe that God wasn't his daddy.
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Old 26th June 2017, 05:03 PM   #358
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Your last line here reminds me of a theory hypothesis I have formed. I may have mentioned this before on the thread "Gods Purpose".

Given the assumption that Christianity is true then an explanation of why God did all this stuff and made man could be because he is lonely ...... God wants companions.

Now the kind of companions God wants are very special kinds of people. There must be no rebellious ones among them. They must be willing to accept his supreme authority without question and grovel to him for eternity. A long long time.

Planet Earth is the testing ground to prove these faithful souls and the Christian religion to be accepted without question. If someone takes this on and swallows the Bible with all its absurdities he/she will make the grade. All the rest of us are just collateral casualties.

Or. Imagine you created a perfect world and you made mankind in your image and you love what you have made with all your being, giving them wonderful foods to taste, sunshine, warmth, shelter, lots of animals for companions, cute little dachshunds and puddy-tats, etc.

Then one of your trusted angels stabs you in the back, as it were and poisons your beloved creation.

You would need to defumigate the world you made. You might destroy what was spoilt and start again, as with Noah's ark.

But still, to your great sorrow and sadness the Wicked One is still spreading mischief with murder, rape, corruption, theft,arson, fraud and deception.

You see that some people love you back and look after the world you put them in. They take steps to save wild life and the seas and oceans. They practice love and peace (except when they have to defend themselves, their families or their countries).

You say, 'Do you know what? I am going to save the goodies and get rid of the baddies, and then the world will be perfect once again. No more crime, disease or death'.

Sure the baddies will moan that you are a terrible creator, but, hey, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.
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Old 26th June 2017, 05:04 PM   #359
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
They didn't. Marcion of Sinope created a New Testament more than 200 years before the Council of Nicea which settled on basically today's Christian bible. It included an edited version of Luke and ten of Paul's epistles. No, John, Matthew or James. Marcion was convinced that when Jesus was speaking of the Heavenly Father he wasn't talking about the Jewish God Yahweh, but another God entirely.
And what God would that be?
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Old 26th June 2017, 05:08 PM   #360
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Originally Posted by Zivan View Post
The "OT" was written by, and for, a small and unimportant group of tribes. That is all. (It was probably high entertainment back then when they did not have streaming videos to watch).

Unfortunately, it was taken by the early christians, re-arranged, changed, re-named, then glued onto their "new testament".

2000 years ago, the older, more ancient a religion was, the more it was considered "legitimate". Christianity was new, and wanted to be seen as "legitimate/ancient". So they took old writings from the jews who already had an established religion.

It is really unfortunate. If the early christians had not done that, the tanakh ("OT") would still be an obscure collection of writings that no one, except a small unimportant group of jews and a few historians, would even know about.

If the early christians had decided to glue the zoroastrian's writings (for example) as the christian "OT", everyone would be talking about Ahura Mazda instead of YHVH.

Or. God saw how evil the world has become, and as he prophesised through Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekial, Jeremiah, Micah, etc., he would send a Messiah (an anointed one =[priest]) to save mankind.

As the prophets foretold, Jesus was born, who purchased us from from the Wicked One. Born to give us second birth.
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