ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags theism

Reply
Old 28th March 2019, 05:17 AM   #361
Cosmic Yak
Master Poster
 
Cosmic Yak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Where there's never a road broader than the back of your hand.
Posts: 2,810
Originally Posted by GDon View Post
The Holy Trinity? Jesus as the same substance as the Father? Bodily assumption of Mary into Heaven? Various ideas about God as proposed by philosophers like St Augustine and Thomas Aquinas?

It's an extraordinary statement you make, but it is along the lines of what I've expressed here and elsewhere: some atheists are obsessed with the Bible, to the point of blindness. This may not be you, but I don't understand why you keep making such statements.
Yes, those kinds of things. Without the Bible as a source, would you,or St. Augustine or Aquinas, know about any of them? I suggest you would not.
I also fail to see what is so extraordinary about this.
It is also somewhat galling to have most of my points ignored, and to have you confine yourself to soundbites, selective answers and semi-veiled insults.
Is this your idea of reaching out amicably? Because it doesn't look that way from this side.
Which of the many of your god's laws that I have cited would you have thought of by "looking into your heart?"
How would you even know the name 'Jesus' without the Bible? Is that too supposed to be written somewhere about my ventricles?
__________________
Fortuna Faveat Fatuis
Cosmic Yak is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th March 2019, 11:37 AM   #362
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,316
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
You know what this does to your credibility don't you?
Who needs credibility from atheists and other mere mortal when you're loved by a god?
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.
To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th March 2019, 12:01 PM   #363
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,316
Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Just not interested in doing that again, I'm sorry.
Very interested however in insulting atheists by claiming they don’t know what theists believe their particular god is so they make it up and tell theists what they believe. This insulting theist however is just not interested in explaining even the simplest question relating to their own god belief to help fix the "problem" (if it were true). Easier and more satisfying for this person to insult “the enemy” than explain I guess. Very dishonest and cowardly debating insulting tactic.
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.
To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

Last edited by ynot; 28th March 2019 at 01:37 PM.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th March 2019, 02:59 PM   #364
GDon
Graduate Poster
 
GDon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,089
Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
Yes, those kinds of things. Without the Bible as a source, would you,or St. Augustine or Aquinas, know about any of them? I suggest you would not.
But the source for many of those beliefs is NOT the Bible, but from pagan philosophies and earlier religions. These have been extrapolated over time by later Christian philosophers and theologians. Often they have then searched the Bible to find something to support those beliefs. But the Bible isn't their source.

Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
It is also somewhat galling to have most of my points ignored, and to have you confine yourself to soundbites, selective answers and semi-veiled insults.
I apologise. I tend to focus on the bits that interest me, and ignore things that (to me at least) aren't relevant. I can understand why you'd find that galling when I ignore things that perhaps interest you more than me.

Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
Is this your idea of reaching out amicably? Because it doesn't look that way from this side.
Fair point. Though I've never claimed that I am reaching out amicably.

Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
Which of the many of your god's laws that I have cited would you have thought of by "looking into your heart?"
I'm not talking about my god here, but the experiences of theists over time to explain and redefine God, based on prevailing philosophies. The Bible is NOT the source for many ideas about God in modern times.

Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
How would you even know the name 'Jesus' without the Bible? Is that too supposed to be written somewhere about my ventricles?
No, not the name 'Jesus'. I don't think any theists would make that claim. (Though interestingly, since the name could mean 'saviour' or 'deliverer', maybe that isn't too far fetched!) But do you think that every modern idea about God comes from the Bible? Remember, I was responding to your comment: "If you reject the Biblical description of God, even if it's just to shift from literal to metaphorical, what is the source of your information about God? Because, as far as I know we have literally nothing else."

Last edited by GDon; 28th March 2019 at 03:01 PM.
GDon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th March 2019, 03:29 PM   #365
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,316
Originally Posted by GDon View Post
But the source for many of those beliefs is NOT the Bible, but from pagan philosophies and earlier religions. These have been extrapolated over time by later Christian philosophers and theologians. Often they have then searched the Bible to find something to support those beliefs. But the Bible isn't their source.

I apologise. I tend to focus on the bits that interest me, and ignore things that (to me at least) aren't relevant. I can understand why you'd find that galling when I ignore things that perhaps interest you more than me.

Fair point. Though I've never claimed that I am reaching out amicably.

I'm not talking about my god here, but the experiences of theists over time to explain and redefine God, based on prevailing philosophies. The Bible is NOT the source for many ideas about God in modern times.

No, not the name 'Jesus'. I don't think any theists would make that claim. (Though interestingly, since the name could mean 'saviour' or 'deliverer', maybe that isn't too far fetched!) But do you think that every modern idea about God comes from the Bible? Remember, I was responding to your comment: "If you reject the Biblical description of God, even if it's just to shift from literal to metaphorical, what is the source of your information about God? Because, as far as I know we have literally nothing else."
Typical “Will-o'-the-wisp” theist (leads one on but is impossible to reach).
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.
To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th March 2019, 03:48 PM   #366
Thor 2
Philosopher
 
Thor 2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Brisbane, Aust.
Posts: 5,186
Originally Posted by GDon View Post
But the source for many of those beliefs is NOT the Bible, but from pagan philosophies and earlier religions. These have been extrapolated over time by later Christian philosophers and theologians. Often they have then searched the Bible to find something to support those beliefs. But the Bible isn't their source.

The source of beliefs not the Bible???

The specific beliefs you listed were as you said:

Quote:
The Holy Trinity? Jesus as the same substance as the Father? Bodily assumption of Mary into Heaven? Various ideas about God as proposed by philosophers like St Augustine and Thomas Aquinas?

Can you list some work referred to by "pagan philosophies" from "earlier religions", (earlier than Christianity I presume), about any of these three? Something about the substance of Jesus before he came on the seen would be interesting.
__________________
Thinking is a faith hazard.
Thor 2 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th March 2019, 04:30 PM   #367
8enotto
Muse
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Mexico
Posts: 790
Certainly Egypt and Babylonia had pagan influence on Hebrew population as they spent significant time in both places. The cult of Isis has some parallel to RCC dogma.

But specific characteristics seem to morph twice a generation even today. Change the wartime to peace time or the liberties of a group or the whole population and god will shift to a new reality. Not so much with older folks but for the young who did not know the life of past generations.
8enotto is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th March 2019, 07:36 PM   #368
GDon
Graduate Poster
 
GDon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,089
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Can you list some work referred to by "pagan philosophies" from "earlier religions", (earlier than Christianity I presume), about any of these three? Something about the substance of Jesus before he came on the seen would be interesting.
You have given my answer to one question, and applied it as the answer to another question. That is not arguing in good faith.
GDon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th March 2019, 07:37 PM   #369
GDon
Graduate Poster
 
GDon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,089
Originally Posted by 8enotto View Post
But specific characteristics seem to morph twice a generation even today. Change the wartime to peace time or the liberties of a group or the whole population and god will shift to a new reality. Not so much with older folks but for the young who did not know the life of past generations.
Exactly. They say that every generation thinks that they were the ones who discovered sex, but I'd say that every generation thinks that they were the ones who discovered God as well.
GDon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th March 2019, 01:55 AM   #370
IanS
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,689
Originally Posted by GDon View Post
But the source for many of those beliefs is NOT the Bible, but from pagan philosophies and earlier religions. These have been extrapolated over time by later Christian philosophers and theologians. Often they have then searched the Bible to find something to support those beliefs. But the Bible isn't their source.

You say the source of what Christians believe about the existence of God and the miracles of Jesus etc. (which is what we are talking about) is NOT the bible (your own emphasis capitalising "NOT") ... ie that same bible which is taught and preached constantly and exclusively in every Christian church and by every preacher, priest, vicar, bishop, archbishop & pope, to the extent that nothing else at all and no other source at all is ever preached by any of those people ...

... the bible is the whole entire thing that is preached, worshipped, prayed upon and quoted as constant guidance for Christian life etc etc etc ...

... and yet you are here claiming that the bible is not the source of what all those billions of Christians say is their source.

Why do you want to distance yourself from the obvious fact that all Chrsitians today very obviously do rely entirely on the bible.
IanS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th March 2019, 04:15 AM   #371
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,068
I don't know why it surprises you. The assumption of the Virgin Mary is not mentioned in the New Testament. It's a fourth-century idea. It is a dogma only of Catholics since the last century. The Holy Trinity has been a dogma since the fourth century. The consubstantiality of the Son with the Father is a controversial issue to this day.
None of these ideas is explicitly stated in the New Testament. And they were not shared by many believers. Therefore, they are merely inspired by the Bible. They are interpretations that also depend on pagan or Jewish concepts. St. Paul, for example, depends on Philo.

It is a common assertion, even in exegesis, that early Christianity was strongly influenced by Stoicism, Neoplatonism and other philosophical tendencies that had more or less led to religion in the first century.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th March 2019, 05:10 AM   #372
TragicMonkey
Poisoned Waffles
 
TragicMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Monkey
Posts: 49,574
Originally Posted by IanS View Post
You say the source of what Christians believe about the existence of God and the miracles of Jesus etc. (which is what we are talking about) is NOT the bible (your own emphasis capitalising "NOT") ... ie that same bible which is taught and preached constantly and exclusively in every Christian church and by every preacher, priest, vicar, bishop, archbishop & pope, to the extent that nothing else at all and no other source at all is ever preached by any of those people ...

... the bible is the whole entire thing that is preached, worshipped, prayed upon and quoted as constant guidance for Christian life etc etc etc ...

... and yet you are here claiming that the bible is not the source of what all those billions of Christians say is their source.

Why do you want to distance yourself from the obvious fact that all Chrsitians today very obviously do rely entirely on the bible.
Not all Christian denominations are so focused on the Bible. Protestants tend to be, but not Catholics or the Orthodox. They spent centuries building up a body of theology and have instituted hierarchies. That makes reliance on a single text less important. Centuries of saints, doctors of the church, and religious writers have added to the religion.

And the only reason Protestants are so focused on the Bible is that was the justification they used to argue against everything in the established Catholic church they didn't like. In another millennia they'll be less Bible-centric themselves as their denominations solidify just as the Catholic church did.
__________________
You added nothing to that conversation, Barbara.
TragicMonkey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th March 2019, 06:45 AM   #373
IanS
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,689
Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Not all Christian denominations are so focused on the Bible. Protestants tend to be, but not Catholics or the Orthodox. They spent centuries building up a body of theology and have instituted hierarchies. That makes reliance on a single text less important. Centuries of saints, doctors of the church, and religious writers have added to the religion.

And the only reason Protestants are so focused on the Bible is that was the justification they used to argue against everything in the established Catholic church they didn't like. In another millennia they'll be less Bible-centric themselves as their denominations solidify just as the Catholic church did.

What? Catholics doe not believe that God created the universe? And they don't believe Jesus rose from the dead? They do do not preach from the bible? You must be dreaming … see this simple page from Wiki (which is all about how Catholics rely on the “scriptures” that are the “Holy Bible” -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_theology


Scriptures
Main article:*Catholic theology of Scripture

Christianity*regards the*Bible, a collection of*canonical*books in two parts (the*Old Testament*and the*New Testament), as authoritative.

It is believed by Christians to have been written by human authors under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and therefore for many it is held to be the*inerrant*Word of God.[34][35][36]*


Protestant Christians believe that the Bible contains all*revealed truthnecessary for salvation. This concept is known as*Sola scriptura.[37]*The*books*that are considered canon in the Bible vary depending upon the denomination using or defining it. These variations are a reflection of the range of*traditions*and*councils*that have convened on the subject.

The Bible always includes books of the Jewish scriptures, the*Tanakh, and includes additional books and reorganizes them into two parts: the books of the*Old Testament*primarily sourced from the Tanakh (with some variations), and the 27 books of the*New Testament*containing books originally written primarily in*Greek.[38]*The Roman Catholic and Orthodox canons include other books from the*Septuagint*Greek Jewish canon which Roman Catholics call*Deuterocanonical.[39]*Protestants consider these books*apocryphal. Some versions of the Christian Bible have a separate Apocrypha section for the books not considered canonical by the publisher.[40]

Roman Catholic theology distinguishes two senses of scripture: the literal and the spiritual.[41]*The*literal*sense of understanding scripture is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation.
The*spiritual*sense has three subdivisions: the allegorical, moral, and*anagogical*(meaning mystical or spiritual) senses.
The*allegorical*sense includes*typology. An example would be the*parting of the Red Sea*being understood as a "type" (sign) of baptism.[42]
The*moral*sense understands the scripture to contain some ethical teaching.
The*anagogical*interpretation includes*eschatology*and applies to eternity and the*consummation of the world.
Roman Catholic theology adds other rules of interpretation which include:
the injunction that all other senses of sacred scripture are based on the*literal;[43]
the historical character of the four Gospels, and that they faithfully hand on what Jesus taught about salvation;
[44]
that scripture must be read within the "living Tradition of the whole Church";[45]
the task of authentic interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the pope.[46]
IanS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th March 2019, 07:11 AM   #374
Delvo
الشيطان الأبيض
 
Delvo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Posts: 7,966
Don't confuse how dedicated they say they are to the Bible with how dedicated they actually are to it.

There's a lot of it that they never say a word about because it's not what they believe, and a lot of their beliefs aren't in it or are even contradicted in it, so those must have come from somewhere else (probably pretty much anything you ever hear them say that they don't quote the Bible for).
Delvo is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th March 2019, 07:37 AM   #375
IanS
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,689
30 sec. ago . ... Mrs May loses her Vote by 286 to 344
IanS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th March 2019, 07:51 AM   #376
TragicMonkey
Poisoned Waffles
 
TragicMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Monkey
Posts: 49,574
Originally Posted by IanS View Post
What? Catholics doe not believe that God created the universe? And they don't believe Jesus rose from the dead? They do do not preach from the bible? You must be dreaming … see this simple page from Wiki (which is all about how Catholics rely on the “scriptures” that are the “Holy Bible” -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_theology


Scriptures
Main article:*Catholic theology of Scripture

Christianity*regards the*Bible, a collection of*canonical*books in two parts (the*Old Testament*and the*New Testament), as authoritative.

It is believed by Christians to have been written by human authors under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and therefore for many it is held to be the*inerrant*Word of God.[34][35][36]*


Protestant Christians believe that the Bible contains all*revealed truthnecessary for salvation. This concept is known as*Sola scriptura.[37]*The*books*that are considered canon in the Bible vary depending upon the denomination using or defining it. These variations are a reflection of the range of*traditions*and*councils*that have convened on the subject.

The Bible always includes books of the Jewish scriptures, the*Tanakh, and includes additional books and reorganizes them into two parts: the books of the*Old Testament*primarily sourced from the Tanakh (with some variations), and the 27 books of the*New Testament*containing books originally written primarily in*Greek.[38]*The Roman Catholic and Orthodox canons include other books from the*Septuagint*Greek Jewish canon which Roman Catholics call*Deuterocanonical.[39]*Protestants consider these books*apocryphal. Some versions of the Christian Bible have a separate Apocrypha section for the books not considered canonical by the publisher.[40]

Roman Catholic theology distinguishes two senses of scripture: the literal and the spiritual.[41]*The*literal*sense of understanding scripture is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation.
The*spiritual*sense has three subdivisions: the allegorical, moral, and*anagogical*(meaning mystical or spiritual) senses.
The*allegorical*sense includes*typology. An example would be the*parting of the Red Sea*being understood as a "type" (sign) of baptism.[42]
The*moral*sense understands the scripture to contain some ethical teaching.
The*anagogical*interpretation includes*eschatology*and applies to eternity and the*consummation of the world.
Roman Catholic theology adds other rules of interpretation which include:
the injunction that all other senses of sacred scripture are based on the*literal;[43]
the historical character of the four Gospels, and that they faithfully hand on what Jesus taught about salvation;
[44]
that scripture must be read within the "living Tradition of the whole Church";[45]
the task of authentic interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the pope.[46]
If you can't tell the difference between 'rely on it utterly', 'rely on it somewhat but also on other things', and 'utterly ignore it' then I can't see the point in talking to you.
__________________
You added nothing to that conversation, Barbara.
TragicMonkey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th March 2019, 07:54 AM   #377
IanS
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,689
Whoops , wrong thread lol! ... mixing up this thread with UK Brexit thread.

Last edited by IanS; 29th March 2019 at 07:55 AM.
IanS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th March 2019, 08:47 AM   #378
IanS
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,689
Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
If you can't tell the difference between 'rely on it utterly', 'rely on it somewhat but also on other things', and 'utterly ignore it' then I can't see the point in talking to you.

You are trying to play around with words. What Gdon said about the beliefs of Christians, is that “the source of many of those beliefs is NOT the bible". But I had just reminded him that the beliefs in question, i.e. the ones that atheists are pointing to as no longer credible, are such things as God believed to be the supernatural creator of the universe, Jesus believed to have risen from the dead, and the belief that the bible does report various miracles some of which are actually true …. that's what we are talking about as what Christians overwhelming believe even today, and which are constantly preached today as absolute fact in their churches, but which atheists point out as all things where science has shown that the bible is no longer a credible source in claiming such things to be actual facts.

The point is, and this was clearly established on the last couple of pages, that religious beliefs of Christianity today rely completely on the bible in the sense that (as explained in a previous post) without that bible such that the OT and NT had never existed, Christians would not be proclaiming the existence of their God (i.e. the biblical God Yahweh) as creator of the universe (a belief which Christians today, and in the past, obtained entirely from the OT and NT bible), and they would not be claiming that God sent his only Son to show his truth to the people (which Christians today and in the past get purely from the Bible), and they would not be proclaiming today and in the past that Jesus rose from the dead (which belief they also get entirely from their Bible) …

… it's the constant claiming of miracles like that from the bible, that atheists are talking about when they say Christians today are not credible when they use their bible to claim that such miracles really happened.

Those are the core beliefs upon which Christianity is based. And all of that comes from the bible. If you take those beliefs away then anything that remains as a belief system is no longer the religion known as "Christianity".

Last edited by IanS; 29th March 2019 at 08:48 AM.
IanS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th March 2019, 09:18 AM   #379
TragicMonkey
Poisoned Waffles
 
TragicMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Monkey
Posts: 49,574
Originally Posted by IanS View Post
You are trying to play around with words. What Gdon said about the beliefs of Christians, is that “the source of many of those beliefs is NOT the bible". But I had just reminded him that the beliefs in question, i.e. the ones that atheists are pointing to as no longer credible, are such things as God believed to be the supernatural creator of the universe, Jesus believed to have risen from the dead, and the belief that the bible does report various miracles some of which are actually true …. that's what we are talking about as what Christians overwhelming believe even today, and which are constantly preached today as absolute fact in their churches, but which atheists point out as all things where science has shown that the bible is no longer a credible source in claiming such things to be actual facts.

The point is, and this was clearly established on the last couple of pages, that religious beliefs of Christianity today rely completely on the bible in the sense that (as explained in a previous post) without that bible such that the OT and NT had never existed, Christians would not be proclaiming the existence of their God (i.e. the biblical God Yahweh) as creator of the universe (a belief which Christians today, and in the past, obtained entirely from the OT and NT bible), and they would not be claiming that God sent his only Son to show his truth to the people (which Christians today and in the past get purely from the Bible), and they would not be proclaiming today and in the past that Jesus rose from the dead (which belief they also get entirely from their Bible) …

… it's the constant claiming of miracles like that from the bible, that atheists are talking about when they say Christians today are not credible when they use their bible to claim that such miracles really happened.

Those are the core beliefs upon which Christianity is based. And all of that comes from the bible. If you take those beliefs away then anything that remains as a belief system is no longer the religion known as "Christianity".
But that's not how life works. Sure, if this were sci-fi and you time travelled back to the first and second centuries and destroyed all the texts that would later become the collection we call the Bible, then yes, Christianity as we know it wouldn't exist today. But millions of believing Catholics have never read the thing. They don't need to, they have people for that, who extracted all that's necessary and explain how to act accordingly. If every copy of the Bible vanished overnight most Catholics wouldn't be impacted. Heck, for centuries their mandatory rituals were conducted in a language the laity didn't even understand! Catholicism does not require scholarship and primary source familiarity from believers. What is required the hierarchy is happy to tell them.
__________________
You added nothing to that conversation, Barbara.
TragicMonkey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th March 2019, 10:19 AM   #380
dann
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 7,895
And their need to believe would not have vanished along with the texts, which is what drives the whole thing. Karl Marx's metaphor, the opium of the people, is very true. If some new plant pathogen were to kill all poppies and coca plants, people would still be searching (and finding) stuff to do (approximately) the same thing.
And if there aren't any providers they make (up) their own stuff, which is so much easier when we're not talking about a real substance but about comforting fantasies where all you need to do is use your own imagination. And providers catering to those fantasies will appear out of the blue to take care of that need - with or without a hierarchy.
My favourite example, the Harry Potter religion of the children of Beslan:

Quote:
In this respect it's similar to the case of the children in Beslan who were held hostage at a school by Chechen rebels:
Carat, 11: "I was hoping that Harry Potter would come. I remembered that he had a cloak that made him invisible and he would come and wrap me in it, and we'd be invisible and we'd escape."
Nine-year-old Laima draws pictures of what she saw when she was held hostage:
"I found a little cross on the gym's floor. I kept it on me for all of the three days. It helped me to survive."
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th March 2019, 01:12 PM   #381
IanS
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,689
Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
But that's not how life works. Sure, if this were sci-fi and you time travelled back to the first and second centuries and destroyed all the texts that would later become the collection we call the Bible, then yes, Christianity as we know it wouldn't exist today. But millions of believing Catholics have never read the thing. They don't need to, they have people for that, who extracted all that's necessary and explain how to act accordingly. If every copy of the Bible vanished overnight most Catholics wouldn't be impacted. Heck, for centuries their mandatory rituals were conducted in a language the laity didn't even understand! Catholicism does not require scholarship and primary source familiarity from believers. What is required the hierarchy is happy to tell them.

You must be talking about some other subject entirely. Or else you are making a joke or something.

Look - it doesn't matter if they have ever read it or not. What they are being told as God's absolute truth, about God creating the Universe, God creating Mankind, about God sending his "Son" as Jesus, about Jesus rising from the Dead, about whichever of the NT miracles they still chose to believe, etc. etc. ... that's all coming from the Bible isn't it! That's not really arguable.

Those are the core beliefs of Christianity. And that comes to them entirely from the bible, and not from anywhere else. The bible is their source for all those fundamental beliefs.

If you talk about people who say they believe because of reasons such as “personal experience”. Then what does that mean? … where are they getting that idea from? … they are claiming some sort of “feeling” or “sensation” or “awareness” or “belief”, but a belief about what? … it's always a “personal experience” of God, or of Jesus, or of Mary or of something else that derives directly from the bible. They never say “I became a Christian because I had a “personal experience” of how to fix the exhaust on my car”! And you cannot have a “personal experience” about things that are obviously related directly to/from the words of the bible, unless you are already influenced to believe what you had already heard or read from that same bible …

… afaik, there are no genuine cases where someone says they had never heard of any bible and never heard of Christianity or any religion but then suddenly had a “personal experience” about Yahweh or Jesus!
IanS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th March 2019, 01:35 PM   #382
Thor 2
Philosopher
 
Thor 2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Brisbane, Aust.
Posts: 5,186
Originally Posted by GDon View Post
You have given my answer to one question, and applied it as the answer to another question. That is not arguing in good faith.

As I read it I questioned your answer and gave some specifics you could apply it to. My faith is good in many things but not spiritual belief.
__________________
Thinking is a faith hazard.
Thor 2 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th March 2019, 01:52 PM   #383
Thor 2
Philosopher
 
Thor 2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Brisbane, Aust.
Posts: 5,186
Originally Posted by IanS View Post

If you talk about people who say they believe because of reasons such as “personal experience”. Then what does that mean? … where are they getting that idea from? … they are claiming some sort of “feeling” or “sensation” or “awareness” or “belief”, but a belief about what? … it's always a “personal experience” of God, or of Jesus, or of Mary or of something else that derives directly from the bible. They never say “I became a Christian because I had a “personal experience” of how to fix the exhaust on my car”! And you cannot have a “personal experience” about things that are obviously related directly to/from the words of the bible, unless you are already influenced to believe what you had already heard or read from that same bible …



Yes and when they have that "personal experience of God" they identify it with the god they have learned about. For most of the time it's Jesus for Christians but Catholics have a tendency to identify Mary.

I have linked this before but it is very topical:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...ubz_souh0#t=27
__________________
Thinking is a faith hazard.
Thor 2 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th March 2019, 07:58 PM   #384
attempt5001
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 455
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post


Yes and when they have that "personal experience of God" they identify it with the god they have learned about. For most of the time it's Jesus for Christians but Catholics have a tendency to identify Mary.

I have linked this before but it is very topical:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...ubz_souh0#t=27
Most of the times I've seen someone "become a Christian", they don't know anything about the bible or religious tenants at all at the time. It's typically someone having an intense emotional experience in a setting like a church gathering, often attending for the first or second time. They often respond to a generic encouragement to "receive Jesus" with a repeat after me type prayer. Most go on afterwards to learn something about the bible or their local church doctrine, but many will continue to point to that first experience as being what underpins their faith.

So I don't think the initial "personal experience" is with a God they have learned about already. I think it's an experience that's difficult to describe and the explanation for it is provided to them largely after the fact. I think people accept the explanation that is given for a variety of reasons.

Even when I was very involved in my church group (often in leadership), I shied away from being very evangelical; recognizing how difficult it is not to manipulate someone who is in a very vulnerable position following what they perceive as a religious experience.

Last edited by attempt5001; 29th March 2019 at 08:01 PM.
attempt5001 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th March 2019, 09:28 PM   #385
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,316
Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Most of the times I've seen someone "become a Christian", they don't know anything about the bible or religious tenants at all at the time. It's typically someone having an intense emotional experience in a setting like a church gathering, often attending for the first or second time. They often respond to a generic encouragement to "receive Jesus" with a repeat after me type prayer. Most go on afterwards to learn something about the bible or their local church doctrine, but many will continue to point to that first experience as being what underpins their faith.

So I don't think the initial "personal experience" is with a God they have learned about already. I think it's an experience that's difficult to describe and the explanation for it is provided to them largely after the fact. I think people accept the explanation that is given for a variety of reasons.
I don’t/can't accept that in predominately Christian countries (like US and Canada) that anyone (other than the very young or a hermit living in a remote cave up a mountain) doesn’t know anything about The Bible or Christian religious tenants. I was initially raised in a remote rural town with a very small population (around 12 houses), and even though my family wasn’t religious and the small community wasn’t overtly religious, I knew of such things from a young age (God, Jesus, Mary, Noah's flood, heaven, hell, etc.). How can a person “receive Jesus or God” without knowing about such characters? Do you really believe that the people you speak of simply wandered into a church or religious gathering completely by accident and without any knowledge of the religious goings on?

Sure, the intense emotional experience of a “group/crowd encouragement/hysteria” would’ve been a (if not the) initial motivating factor, but this factor is irrelevant to knowing about The Bible or Christian religious tenants or not.
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.
To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

Last edited by ynot; 29th March 2019 at 09:51 PM.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2019, 12:45 AM   #386
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,068
Originally Posted by IanS View Post
If you talk about people who say they believe because of reasons such as “personal experience”. Then what does that mean? … where are they getting that idea from? … they are claiming some sort of “feeling” or “sensation” or “awareness” or “belief”, but a belief about what? … it's always a “personal experience” of God, or of Jesus, or of Mary or of something else that derives directly from the bible. They never say “I became a Christian because I had a “personal experience” of how to fix the exhaust on my car”!
Your mistake. The Assumption of Mary does not derive from the Bible. Nowhere in the Bible is it said that God is one and three "persons". The Biblie doesn't directly foster Christian beliefs. Not ever. Not frequently.

Christians believe in a complex of stories that are often invented and vaguely inspired by the gospels (tradition) and in a complex structure of interpretations of how the gospels are to be read (theology). Some of these interpretations often include the allegorical interpretation of biblical passages.

Therefore, the correct phrase is that Christians' belief is indirectly inspired by the Bible.
Therefore, a direct attack on literal interpretation does not affect all Christians. Only those who believe in literal interpretation. Some Christians even claim that the historical existence of Jesus is not really important, but God's message contained in the gospels.

I hope this clarifies your vision of Christianity which is a little rigid.

Last edited by David Mo; 30th March 2019 at 12:51 AM.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2019, 12:50 AM   #387
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,068
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Sure, the intense emotional experience of a “group/crowd encouragement/hysteria” would’ve been a (if not the) initial motivating factor, but this factor is irrelevant to knowing about The Bible or Christian religious tenants or not.
Se my previous comment, please.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2019, 01:01 AM   #388
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,068
Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
So I don't think the initial "personal experience" is with a God they have learned about already. I think it's an experience that's difficult to describe and the explanation for it is provided to them largely after the fact. I think people accept the explanation that is given for a variety of reasons.
The philosophical problem is not whether the religious experience is before or after the belief, but how the personal experience can be explained and translated into a specific belief.
Everyone has personal experiences. This is the human emotional background. But some of these experiences can be explained in terms of intersubjective concepts and others not.

The crazy woman is talking to God on the phone. She says that God commands her to do this or that.
-How do you know it's God on the other side of the phone, the doctor asks the crazy woman.
-He says it's God, she replies.

This is where the problem lies.

Last edited by David Mo; 30th March 2019 at 01:03 AM.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2019, 02:11 AM   #389
Cosmic Yak
Master Poster
 
Cosmic Yak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Where there's never a road broader than the back of your hand.
Posts: 2,810
Originally Posted by GDon View Post
But the source for many of those beliefs is NOT the Bible, but from pagan philosophies and earlier religions. These have been extrapolated over time by later Christian philosophers and theologians. Often they have then searched the Bible to find something to support those beliefs. But the Bible isn't their source.
Interesting. You appear to be willing to throw your own religion under a bus in order to win an argument on the internet.
I say this because if, as you claim, the beliefs of Christianity are based on earlier pagan religions, then the Bible cannot be divinely inspired, and neither is Christianity as a whole. It is in fact a massive act of plagiarism, formed of whatever ideas the early Christians found and liked in other religions, and were able to cobble together into a semi-coherent whole.
There is another possibility, which is that, if these imported beliefs are true, then the pagan religions from which they originated must also be true. Not only does this invalidate Christianity's claim to be the one true religion, it also goes against the Biblical injunction to worship only one god- namely Yaweh- and, lastly, makes the Christian suppression of pagan beliefs in the early years of the Church an act of heresy.
__________________
Fortuna Faveat Fatuis
Cosmic Yak is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2019, 04:02 AM   #390
IanS
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,689
Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Most of the times I've seen someone "become a Christian", they don't know anything about the bible or religious tenants at all at the time. It's typically someone having an intense emotional experience in a setting like a church gathering, often attending for the first or second time. They often respond to a generic encouragement to "receive Jesus" with a repeat after me type prayer. Most go on afterwards to learn something about the bible or their local church doctrine, but many will continue to point to that first experience as being what underpins their faith.

So I don't think the initial "personal experience" is with a God they have learned about already. I think it's an experience that's difficult to describe and the explanation for it is provided to them largely after the fact. I think people accept the explanation that is given for a variety of reasons.

Even when I was very involved in my church group (often in leadership), I shied away from being very evangelical; recognizing how difficult it is not to manipulate someone who is in a very vulnerable position following what they perceive as a religious experience.

I'm sorry, but your first sentence gives the game away - you say they knew nothing from the bible, and knew nothing about any God or about anyone called Jesus (they had no prior knowledge of any of that at all) but they somehow found themselves in a Christian church being preached to about God, Jesus and the bible!! ... why are they in a church if they had never heard of any such thing as God and Jesus and a bible???? That's just not credible.

Look, to spell it out - in a scenario like that (as you have described), the person who somehow finds himself or herself listening to preaching and sermons or whatever in a Christian church, already knew what a church was and they already knew in broad terms what the religious people within that church said about God, Jesus and the bible ... they already knew that those Christians were in that church preaching & praying to God precisely & entirely because they had religious beliefs about God & Jesus known from the bible.

That person in your example did not just wander into the church thinking it was a cinema or a town hall! They already knew before hand, what a church was, what God is supposed be, who Jesus was, and they knew what praying was etc.

The idea, or actually it was a claim or suggestion from Gdon, that people become Christians and continue to practice Christianity as a religious faith, without ever getting their Christian beliefs from the bible as their original source for such belief, is just about the most ridiculous claim ever produced on this forum. Some of them, might for some astonishing reason, actually be unaware that the source of their Christian religious beliefs is the bible (because, for example they may not have personally read the bible), but that bible is nevertheless the complete and entire source of what they have come to believe (it's what they have been told and taught by others who have got it from the bible) about God creating the universe, about God making humans, God sending his “son” (a supernatural part of himself!?!) to Earth, Jesus rising from the dead and performing all sorts of miracles (which are believed actually to have really happened) etc., that is all ultimately coming to them from the bible.

In western Christian societies, such as the USA, it's simply not possible for any normal person to grow from childhood without knowing broadly what God is, who Jesus was, what miracles are, and what the bible is. You cannot escape that from childhood … you will hear it from parents, brothers & sisters, neighbours, school friends, you will be taught it in schools, you will see churches on every street corner, you will hear about it on the radio, on TV, in the newspapers, and now all over the internet … the idea that you can grow up in in a society like that and have literally no exposure to that, is frankly ridiculous if not totally delusional. It's inevitable that the person in your example will certainly have known at least the broard outline of all that long before ever accidentally finding themselves in a church!
IanS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2019, 05:38 AM   #391
TragicMonkey
Poisoned Waffles
 
TragicMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Monkey
Posts: 49,574
I think we're all getting sick of pointing out that the Bible is not 'the complete and entire source' of Christianity. It wasn't put together until after the religion had started. Two centuries after! And even then different texts have been added, removed, and edited since then by various denominations. Then there's the non-Biblical elements of Christianity that it acquired through syncretion like every other religion, plus the bits specifically added by councils, popes, theologians. If Christianity existed before the Bible, incorporates elements from outside the Bible, and has its largest denomination specifically (and per themselves infallibly!) declare particular non-Biblical teachings divinely inspired doctrinal truth then it seems quite inconsistent with the claim that the Bible is the 'complete and entire' source of Christianity.
__________________
You added nothing to that conversation, Barbara.
TragicMonkey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2019, 09:17 AM   #392
Cosmic Yak
Master Poster
 
Cosmic Yak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Where there's never a road broader than the back of your hand.
Posts: 2,810
Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I think we're all getting sick of pointing out that the Bible is not 'the complete and entire source' of Christianity. It wasn't put together until after the religion had started. Two centuries after! And even then different texts have been added, removed, and edited since then by various denominations. Then there's the non-Biblical elements of Christianity that it acquired through syncretion like every other religion, plus the bits specifically added by councils, popes, theologians. If Christianity existed before the Bible, incorporates elements from outside the Bible, and has its largest denomination specifically (and per themselves infallibly!) declare particular non-Biblical teachings divinely inspired doctrinal truth then it seems quite inconsistent with the claim that the Bible is the 'complete and entire' source of Christianity.
Please cite any historical record, apart from the Bible (which cannot be described as a reliable source of historical fact), from which we could obtain information about any of the events described in the New Testament.
That Christianity was built on the Bible, and the theological details threshed out in the centuries following the supposed life of Jesus, is not in any doubt.
That there is another source of this information beyond the Bible is the bone of contention. Your post does not address this at all.
__________________
Fortuna Faveat Fatuis
Cosmic Yak is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2019, 09:19 AM   #393
Cosmic Yak
Master Poster
 
Cosmic Yak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Where there's never a road broader than the back of your hand.
Posts: 2,810
Originally Posted by GDon View Post

I apologise. I tend to focus on the bits that interest me, and ignore things that (to me at least) aren't relevant. I can understand why you'd find that galling when I ignore things that perhaps interest you more than me.

This is, of course, entirely your right.
However, I am also within my rights to refuse to accept your highly selective responses. If you choose only to respond to the points you think you can score points off, I will assume that any of my points you ignore are conceded by you to be correct.
__________________
Fortuna Faveat Fatuis
Cosmic Yak is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2019, 09:20 AM   #394
Cosmic Yak
Master Poster
 
Cosmic Yak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Where there's never a road broader than the back of your hand.
Posts: 2,810
Originally Posted by GDon View Post

Fair point. Though I've never claimed that I am reaching out amicably.
Is it not one of the tenets of your professed religion that you love your neighbour as yourself?
__________________
Fortuna Faveat Fatuis
Cosmic Yak is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2019, 09:42 AM   #395
IanS
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,689
Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I think we're all getting sick of pointing out that the Bible is not 'the complete and entire source' of Christianity. It wasn't put together until after the religion had started. Two centuries after! And even then different texts have been added, removed, and edited since then by various denominations. Then there's the non-Biblical elements of Christianity that it acquired through syncretion like every other religion, plus the bits specifically added by councils, popes, theologians. If Christianity existed before the Bible, incorporates elements from outside the Bible, and has its largest denomination specifically (and per themselves infallibly!) declare particular non-Biblical teachings divinely inspired doctrinal truth then it seems quite inconsistent with the claim that the Bible is the 'complete and entire' source of Christianity.

You are talking about something entirely different.

We are talking about what Christians today believe about God as the miraculous supernatural creator of the universe, miraculous creator of Mankind, the miracles of Jesus including the miracle of his rise from death. The claim was that atheists are relying on a literal interpretation of those things from the bible, while Christians are supposedly "NOT" getting that as an actual factual belief from the bible ... i.e. that Christians today either do not believe those things are really true i.e. that they deny God created the universe, deny that he created Mankind, deny that he sent Jesus to Earth, deny that Jesus rose from the dead, and deny that any other biblical miracles are true ... or else if they do not deny those things then the claim from Gdon is that Chrsitians get all that from somewhere else and "NOT" from the bible ... that is what Gdon was claiming to say atheists believe things from the bible that Christians themselves do not actually believe; and that's what we are arguing about...

... I am saying Gdon is entirely wrong if he's claiming that Christians today do not believe that God literally created the universe, do not believe that God intentionally created Mankind, do not believe that Jesus truly rose from the dead, and do not believe any of the miracles in the bible. Because they (Christians) most definitely do believe that, and it's preached and taught by every church in their country.

Then Gdon was suggesting that whilst they might believe such things (they are miracles) really did happen, they actually got it from somewhere else and not from the bible. But that's just not credible either, because all those beliefs are certainly in the bible and they are in fact the absolute central core beliefs upon which the faith depends, and that is taught repeatedly every day in every Christian church all over the world ... those are the people who become Christians from listening to what they are taught in churches, what they are taught by others who have got it from the churches and from reading the bible themselves, from what they are taught at a young age in religious classes in Christian schools, from what they hear as discussion of Christian religion on the radio, on TV, from the internet, from newspapers, from neighbourhood playmates & school friends, from neighbours, from parents etc., etc., all of that comes to those other people ultimately from the bible, and not from anything else ...

... it does not matter if it was also in earlier Pagan traditions ... Christians today are getting those core beliefs from what became the compilation of gospels and letters known as the NT bible (as well as from various parts of the OT bible). That's why it's only the bible that is preached and taught in all those Christian churches and schools etc. ... those churches are not teaching & preaching to tell their listeners that they must instead follow much earlier Pagan religious superstitions and beliefs - the bible (NT & OT) is what is taught as the source and origin for all those religious beliefs about Yahweh and Jesus and the miracles.

And by the way I am not "having a go" at Gdon in any of this (if he or anyone else thinks that, then they are wrong). I am just explaining why it is not credible to claim, or to give the impression, that Christians today do not get their belief about God as a suernatural creator and Jesus rising from the dead etc. from the Bible … and why it's not credible to claim that when atheists criticise Christians saying they should not believe that a supernatural God created the universe, created Mankind, and sent a miraculous Jesus who rises from the dead etc., that atheist criticism means that atheists believe more literally in the bible than Christians do!
IanS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2019, 11:29 AM   #396
GDon
Graduate Poster
 
GDon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,089
Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
Is it not one of the tenets of your professed religion that you love your neighbour as yourself?
I'm not a Christian. My neighbours got to take their chances with me. They knew what they were getting into when they were born.

Last edited by GDon; 30th March 2019 at 11:46 AM.
GDon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2019, 11:45 AM   #397
GDon
Graduate Poster
 
GDon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,089
Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
Interesting. You appear to be willing to throw your own religion under a bus in order to win an argument on the internet.
I say this because if, as you claim, the beliefs of Christianity are based on earlier pagan religions, then the Bible cannot be divinely inspired, and neither is Christianity as a whole.
I don't believe the Bible is divinely inspired. It's just a book. It is a wonderful time capsule of ancient beliefs, but it is one among many. Nor would I say that Christianity is 'based' on earlier religions, but it was certainly influenced by them.

One big influence was the popularity of Platonism in its various forms around the time Christianity started: Middle Platonism, and then Neo-Platonism a few centuries later. Platonism had a big impact on all religions of the time, not just Christianity. It is from that the the idea of an allegorical approach to ancient myths arose. It is also from there that we get the idea of a perfect, timeless and changeless God. But if God is changeless, how can He act? The answer: through a Logos. Christianity wasn't the first religion to have a Logos, an intermediary between God and Man.

In the 19th C, science had a similar impact on Christianity and other religions. Rather than a Bible providing philosophical and allegorical truths, it now became a science book. This is why the literalist approach developed around that time. Two thousand years ago, religions tried to validate their beliefs by reconciling them with Greek philosophy. Nowadays they try to do the same thing with science.

Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
There is another possibility, which is that, if these imported beliefs are true, then the pagan religions from which they originated must also be true. Not only does this invalidate Christianity's claim to be the one true religion, it also goes against the Biblical injunction to worship only one god- namely Yaweh- and, lastly, makes the Christian suppression of pagan beliefs in the early years of the Church an act of heresy.
Well, no it doesn't. Christians just had to say that Christians were the ones who got it right. Read Justin Martyr and other early apologists to the pagans. They found 'truth' in the old Greek and Roman myths, which they believed were plagiarised from the Old Testament, and declared some earlier Greek philosophers and Roman writers as near Christians. (Seneca was virtually declared an honorary Christian by the early Church.) They just didn't get it quite right!

Last edited by GDon; 30th March 2019 at 11:48 AM.
GDon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2019, 03:22 PM   #398
Thor 2
Philosopher
 
Thor 2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Brisbane, Aust.
Posts: 5,186
Originally Posted by GDon View Post
I'm not a Christian. My neighbours got to take their chances with me. They knew what they were getting into when they were born.

Well what you are is hard to nail down.

Perhaps we can list all the things you aren't to finally arrive at it, or is it something unique? A GDonian perhaps?
__________________
Thinking is a faith hazard.
Thor 2 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2019, 10:32 PM   #399
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,068
Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
Please cite any historical record, apart from the Bible (which cannot be described as a reliable source of historical fact), from which we could obtain information about any of the events described in the New Testament.
That Christianity was built on the Bible, and the theological details threshed out in the centuries following the supposed life of Jesus, is not in any doubt.
That there is another source of this information beyond the Bible is the bone of contention. Your post does not address this at all.
There is no other contemporary source of the account of the Gospels, except for two very suspicious fragments of Flavius Josephus.
But not all Christian beliefs are drawn from the Gospels.

There is tradition. (This is the case of the Assumption of Mary).
There is the inevitable interpretation of the Gospels. (This is the case of the Most Holy Trinity).

Therefore, the beliefs of Christians are based on the Bible, tradition and Hellenistic-Jewish concepts incorporated into theological interpretations.
Therefore, it is false to say that Christians only "thresh out" the Bible.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th March 2019, 11:02 PM   #400
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,068
Originally Posted by IanS View Post

... I am saying Gdon is entirely wrong if he's claiming that Christians today do not believe that God literally created the universe, do not believe that God intentionally created Mankind, do not believe that Jesus truly rose from the dead, and do not believe any of the miracles in the bible. Because they (Christians) most definitely do believe that, and it's preached and taught by every church in their country.

Then Gdon was suggesting that whilst they might believe such things (they are miracles) really did happen, they actually got it from somewhere else and not from the bible. (...)

I am just explaining why it is not credible to claim, or to give the impression, that Christians today do not get their belief about God as a suernatural creator and Jesus rising from the dead etc. from the Bible … and why it's not credible to claim that when atheists criticise Christians saying they should not believe that a supernatural God created the universe, created Mankind, and sent a miraculous Jesus who rises from the dead etc., that atheist criticism means that atheists believe more literally in the bible than Christians do!
You're making a simplistic reduction of Christianity. Christianity is very diversified and not all Christians believe the same things. There is a scale between fundamentalist and liberal Christians ranging from literal to symbolic interpretation of the Bible.
Therefore, there are Christians who do not believe in the literal biblical descriptions of God, creation, Jesus, and miracles. For example, there are Christians who believe only in Jesus' words and not in his miracles. See Rousseau, Bultmann, Schweitzer.
I do not believe that "atheists believe (?) more literally in the Bible". Some simplistic atheist, perhaps.

PS:
I do indeed think that we can now know almost nothing concerning the life and personality of Jesus, since the early Christian sources show no interest in either, are moreover fragmentary and often legendary (…)
However good the reasons for being interested in the personalities of significant historical figures, Plato or Jesus, Dante or Luther, Napoleon or Goethe, it still remains true that this interest does not touch that which such men had at heart; for their interest was not in their personality but in their work (…)
In the case of those who like Jesus have worked through the medium of word, what they purposed can be reproduced only as a group of sayings, of ideas -- as teaching. (Rudolf Bultmann, Jesus and the Word, Introduction)

Last edited by David Mo; 30th March 2019 at 11:24 PM.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:34 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.