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RonPrice

Apologetics Anyone?

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Six main difference between the two would forms of literature:

1) the confirmation between the two books--the prophesies confirmed in the Old Testament (something like a 100--the probability of which is close to zero)

 

You seem to forget the bible aint a source document. There are a lot parallels between the odessy and the illiad, it doesn't make either divinely created. Also, probability for an event means the events are not related. Are you saying people who knew the torah and no idea how to draw parallels to the existing religion? history fail.

2) the geneaologies at the beginning of Matthew

 

Are you referring to the 'impossible geneologies'? g'luck!

 

3) the first person accounts in the Gospels (1) the authenticity which which these stories is told is impressive (Peter, Thomas, and Judas all come to mind--even Paul is incredibly honest and authentic) 2) relative similarity, but not so much that they were carbon copies 3) this is further grounded by the historically & geographically grounded claims they made)

 

 

What part of hundreds and hundreds of miles away hundreds of years later don't you understand? Eyewitness accounts were repeated 200 years later -- thats not exactly credible (especially given intelligence at the time, we are talking about south carolina dumb. they needed a code of ethics so they wouldn't fuck sheep. seriously). Did George Washington chop down a cherry tree? Did Jesus walk on water? Water into wine? Did a giant lumberjack create the great lakes?

 

4) the historical record which confirms Jesus' life and death as historical fact. (the work of Gary Habermas is quite impressive on this point. His Q & A page covers a host of issues as well)

 

 

Given that all accounts of his life mirror pagan myths, and all accounts of his life are hundreds of years later, I'm inclined to at least give merit to the other group of scholars, who aren't quite sure if Jesus-the-man is really a historical being. I'll let you google.

 

5) science based considerations. (we will put miracles on the backburner & I know I haven't provided a warrant here)

 

this is why your ideological and theological brethren dont want you posting. What the fuck does this mean, that you are conceding all of material reality? thanks, ill take it. retired ftw.

6) the ethics of the New Testament stack up better against most other forms of literature. (particularly on the issue of forgiveness and grace and confession)

bartleby the scrivener is probably a better hero than jesus, for our times.

Edited by retired

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Originally Posted by nathan_debate viewpost.gif

Six main difference between the two would forms of literature:

1) the confirmation between the two books--the prophesies confirmed in the Old Testament (something like a 100--the probability of which is close to zero)

You seem to forget the bible aint a source document. There are a lot parallels between the odessy and the illiad, it doesn't make either divinely created. Also, probability for an event means the events are not related. Are you saying people who knew the torah and no idea how to draw parallels to the existing religion? history fail.

Quote:

2) the geneaologies at the beginning of Matthew

Are you referring to the 'impossible geneologies'? g'luck!

 

Quote:

3) the first person accounts in the Gospels (1) the authenticity which which these stories is told is impressive (Peter, Thomas, and Judas all come to mind--even Paul is incredibly honest and authentic) 2) relative similarity, but not so much that they were carbon copies 3) this is further grounded by the historically & geographically grounded claims they made)

 

What part of hundreds and hundreds of miles away hundreds of years later don't you understand? Eyewitness accounts were repeated 200 years later -- thats not exactly credible (especially given intelligence at the time, we are talking about south carolina dumb. they needed a code of ethics so they wouldn't fuck sheep. seriously). Did George Washington chop down a cherry tree? Did Jesus walk on water? Water into wine? Did a giant lumberjack create the great lakes?

 

Quote:

4) the historical record which confirms Jesus' life and death as historical fact. (the work of Gary Habermas is quite impressive on this point. His Q & A page covers a host of issues as well)

 

Given that all accounts of his life mirror pagan myths, and all accounts of his life are hundreds of years later, I'm inclined to at least give merit to the other group of scholars, who aren't quite sure if Jesus-the-man is really a historical being. I'll let you google.

 

Quote:

5) science based considerations. (we will put miracles on the backburner & I know I haven't provided a warrant here)

this is why your ideological and theological brethren dont want you posting. What the fuck does this mean, that you are conceding all of material reality? thanks, ill take it. retired ftw.

Quote:

6) the ethics of the New Testament stack up better against most other forms of literature. (particularly on the issue of forgiveness and grace and confession)

bartleby the scrivener is probably a better hero than jesus, for our times.

I've reordered in my answering...but I answered all 6.

 

1) I don't know anyone who takes issue with the character or legacy of Jesus--not misuses of his name--but the real legacy of Jesus. Sure, Nietzsche did--but given that Nietzsche fails the relationship test (would you want your mom, dad, or anyone in your family to be a Nietzchian)--I have severe questions. Also, previously cited he had a rather severe Oedipal complex--more than most.

 

what makes bartleby the scrivener such a model?

 

2) You haven't cited anything about the geneaologies in Matthew.

 

3) I beg to differ with your history--eyewitness accounts 30 to 60 years later. I cited that earlier in the thread. Here's the lineage of Pauls writing. Also, the historical record of Jesus is better than most other figures like Caesar or Napolean. Additionally, the Jesus movement would have created more backlash among historians had. And the apostles had no reason to lie. If anything they told gory details of the truth (we too are sinners....).

 

“Mark written no later than about AD 60, maybe even the late 50s. If Jesus was put to death in AD 30 or 33, we’re talking about a maximum gap of thirty years or so.”

Dr. Craig Blomberg

4) Your mirror pagan myth claim seems to be answered by the differences between Jesus and the others. As such Gary Habermas' historical documentation of the historical Jesus stands. Again its better than Caesar or Napolean. Also, although this line of reasoning sounds intuitive...is like saying lots of bands from the Seattle sound era sound like Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, and Nirvana--there for those 3 bands copied the other bands. If anything its the reverse.

 

5) Given the supposed dumbness of the time--it indeed seems a miracle that the writings in the Bible are so lyrically poetic and filled with wisdom into the workings of the human pyche and soul. Lets say the Jersey Shore people are equivalent of what you're making out South Carolina to be--the Bible is easily 5 to 10x what people wrote then and 5x to 10x what they write today.

 

6)

you are conceding all of material reality?
Obviously not.

 

Please read Habermas, who incidently probably played a role in persuading Flew the famous atheist philosopher to convert, but also these quotes on the historical nature of Jesus which belies the claims of "myth" (the last one speaks to his character):

 

"There are, very clearly, at least nineteen early pagan writers who refer to Jesus Christ as an actual, real-life, historical figure: Tacitus, a great historian of Rome; Suetonius, also a historian; Pliny the Younger, one of the leaders of the Roman Empire; Epictetus; Lucian; Aristides; Galenus; Lampridius; Dio Cassius; Emeritus; Annianus (or Anianus); Marcellinu; Eunapius; and Zosimus. Some wrote entire works about Jesus, such as Lucian, Celsus (the first great antagonist, who wrote a whole book attacking Christianity), Porphyry, Hieracles, and Julian the Apostate (p. 75)

D. James Kennedy, doctorate in comparative religions from New York University, Skeptics Answered: Handling Tough Questions About the Christian Faith, 1997

 

"Flavius Josephus was the most highly reputed Jewish historian. Born in AD 37, shortly after Christ's death, he wrote about the Jew's history and wars. He also was a general in the Jewish army." (p.76)

D. James Kennedy, doctorate in comparative religions from New York University, Skeptics Answered: Handling Tough Questions About the Christian Faith, 1997

 

"The evidence is all on Christianity's side. Let's take a tally: twenty seven books of the New Testament, nineteen pagan writers, and three Jewish writers testify to Jesus Christ's historical reality. Christians, indeed, did not follow a cunningly devised fable, but a real person. There were, as the Bible proclaims, eyewitnesses to His majesty. That historical fact is at the very foundation of the faith we hold" (p. 77)

D. James Kennedy, doctorate in comparative religions from New York University, Skeptics Answered: Handling Tough Questions About the Christian Faith, 1997

 

"I know men; and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force! Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him."

French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte

Edited by nathan_debate

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This thread is a perfect mirror of the great macrocosm of Christian apologetics writ small.

 

That is to say, it's an endless, groundless churn of question-begging and abject nonsense, which avoids refutation because of its continuous shifting of the topic and goalposts.

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Really????????? I would beg to differ based on the rest of the thread. That seems to be a blatant attempt to disregard the facts. If you want to give up or stop engaging...thats your choice. To me that sounds like one of two problems. Either that sounds like the high schooler who doesn't want to do his homework and throws his/her hands up says "I don't understand it" or it sounds like you're playing chess with your brother for an hour and a half and he loses his queen and either walks a way (and attempts to demolish the board as he walks away) Ultimately, a red herring if I ever saw one.... If you feel genuinely frustrated...I guess I can respect that, but I don't think that justifies what you said.

 

To be honest this seems like name calling:

question-begging and abject nonsense
I've demonstrated a pretty compelling case for the historical Jesus as documented by even agnostics. Retired failed to present any evidence as a general rule and I presented five scholars who cite facts about who spoke about Jesus in their historical documents. Retired pressed the issue of "its a myth...its a myth"--I'm not sure else how one is supposed to reply to that kind of flippancy.

 

This isn't pie in the sky theory. These are historical documents. In the same way that creation echos the creation story many years or eons later. The same way that even amidst the chaos there is an elegance order--which is writ large across the uniqueness and diversity of creation.

 

The end result of your position is that in policy debate we shouldn't have so called "clash of civilizations" (dems vs. gop or kritics vs. policy or einstein vs. newton) because of some terminal Kuhnian separation of paradigms. By the way, the solution to the problem you outline is one of two solutions:

1) create a new thread of discussion on this thread

2) engage more--generally continue the conversation & go deeper.

And I think we have already had discussions here which crossed the Kuhnian divide--or at least changed my view of particular subjects.

Edited by nathan_debate

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I was going to let this one slide, retired, but it has gotten to the point where I feel that it would be criminally negligent to let you continue in your inane rambling.

 

Disclaimer: You contradict yourself and repeat the same points a lot, so this will be scattered in places.

 

So let's begin:

 

 

 

absolutely not. i dont think nontheist have any burden of proof of any kind. false belief bad, judge.

 

object morals bad judge.

 

 

Objective morals bad. Objectiveness bad. False beliefs "bad"? How do you qualify what is "bad"? In your world (where objectivity doesn't exist) why do I have to adhere to the burden of proof when you're telling me that there is only a semantical difference between having proof and not?

 

So, based on your reasoning, theists don't have a burden of proof either (at least in the sense that you have no logical predicate upon which to assert such a burden)

 

 

 

in the end, sects are political organizations, nothing more. To define them by their beliefs rather than their actions isn't helpful. Just as democrats can have a party platform of universal health care, we should judge them on their actions.

 

actually, i answered that. Religious groups are political organizations, and we should just them as such.

 

 

"Political organizations"? Is that a joke? You may see Catholic-oriented PACs pushing influence on politicians, but I would love to see you explain how my city's Korean Baptist church is a "political organization." Oh, define them by their actions? Okay, it's a Baptist church where sermons are conducted in Korean. They offer bus rides to Korean college students and others who don't have ease of transportation. Yes, they are clearly very politically motivated.

 

 

 

Religion can only do harm. To suggest that the compassion of human beings wouldn't be present without official doctrines of belief and commitments to organizations is ludicrous.

 

 

Yes, religion can do only harm. That's what I think of when I remember how the Roman Catholic church operates more than 80,000 institutions globally, not including Churches, Basilicas, Cathedrals, et al. But including but certainly not limited to: Hospitals, Schools, Orphanges, Soup Kitchens, Homeless Shelters, and more. And that's just the catholics. There are non-denominational Christian NPOs like the Rainbow Network, which is currently one of if not the largest single contributor to humanitarian efforts to Nicaragua. Or we can look to Divine-inspired government actions. W. specifically started PEPFAR because he felt he was called by God to do it. As in, the largest assistance program ever done in Africa, which has prevented over 4 million children from contracting HIV, was the result of belief. Oh, and on a household level, there's the dozen or so studies indicating a statistically significantly higher level of charitable giving by religious households compared to non-religious households.

 

So, 1) as this is wonderfully indicative of, religion does massively more good than no religion, and 2) we would not be so compassionate were it not for religion.

 

oh, two more things. You are making logical gibberish to say that "Religion does harm" but then that:

object morals bad judge.

(btw, their motives for giving doesn't matter when you say the above, either)

 

 

 

Theism is about the content of belief. Religion is about organization, power, and control.

 

...

 

I've studied the bible, and to a lesser extent the quoran. The new testament is interesting case -- christians should be called Paulists because it was written 200 years later and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of miles away, basing the claims on "100" eyewitnesses who were long dead and and had absolutely no connection to the author. If that's what you'd like to call a source document, I have serious concerns about your schools history department.

 

Well, one, no retired, you haven't studied the Bible, you actually told me that in this post (with the rest being addressed later):

 

 

Theism is about the content of belief. Religion is about organization, power, and control.

 

I've studied the bible...

(It's nice for you to do my work for me. Copy and pasting is much faster than typing.)

 

 

Two, you clearly show you don't understand history, which is just fantastic because of how much you're trying to bring up. This is a problem I see as very prevalent with atheists: they just don't understand history. Some haven't studied it, some have studied it, but they're being instructed by infidel " " "scholars" " " (emphasis for how lulzy calling them a scholar is,) but in general, they don't really comprehend any of it. This part of your post was where you said "I don't really know history." Here's the thing: If you don't know the history of religion in Western Civilization and you also don't know the history of religion in Middle-Eastern civilization you just don't get to talk about the history of Abrahamic religions and their respective churches.

 

 

 

There is serious socio-economic harm in a fundamental scientific illiteracy, at a personal, communitarian and nation-state level.

 

Our governor may remove over $1billion from our states GDP by changing the rules for stem cell research in our state (handing the entire scientific economy to california, where their former republican governor encouraged the research). Whats the difference? Well, one was born in Austria, the other, Colorado Springs (home of focus on (your own damn) family).

 

 

Wrong again. Evolution's contribution to society is minimal at best, and so iting it as an important example of societal ignorance of science and how it "negatively contributes" is as misinformed as many of these people are. NEWSFLASH: Unless your goal is to kill all the Jews, Evolution isn't relevant to the betterment of society.

 

Please, O Glorious Retired, enlighten us on why a mechanical engineer needs to know evolution to make a more fuel-efficient car. Please O Glorious Retired, enlighten us on why an Energy Engineer needs to know evolution to better our clean energy sources. Please, O Glorious Retired, enlighten us on why a Electrical Engineer needs to know evolution to advance information tech.

 

OH WAIT THAT'S RIGHT THEY DON'T

 

The problem here is general scientific ignorance, namely, the stigma surrounding stem cells' procurement (fetuses.) So you may have an example of it harming your state, but it is wholly unrelated to knowledge or belief in evolution.

 

 

 

I think you are on the wrong side of history on this one. From mathematics to astronomy and medicine, science thrives when religious institutions try not to flex political nuts. Galileo anyone? Just because the only educated people were either filthy rich or part of a monk tradition doesn't mean religion had jackshit to do with squat.

 

The wrong side of history is the one which is coming into prominence today. Specifically, this change in understanding the role of the church is the result of activist scientists overstepping their boundaries and fucking with history (see: atheists don't understand history.) The church and science were originally on very good terms, as scientists saw it as the basis for their inquiries.

 

 

 

also, you have a god shaped whole in your head

 

Good work, your attempt at being clever resulted in poor English and using a Christian metaphor.

 

 

 

You seem to forget the bible aint a source document. There are a lot parallels between the odessy and the illiad, it doesn't make either divinely created. Also, probability for an event means the events are not related. Are you saying people who knew the torah and no idea how to draw parallels to the existing religion? history fail.

 

You seem to forget that the Scripture wasn't compiled into an omnibus until almost four hundred years after the first writings of the Gospels emerged. You do realize that the gospels, epistles and so on were all written as independent documents which were later compiled, right? And that using Biblical documents in a historical manner is only a problem if you don't understand how reason works?

 

If your only reason to say the Bible is fallacious is 1) miracles can't happen, then you're intellectually dishonest, as it's as simple as "If God exists, he can cause miracles." It's like you're using the top 10 list for Worst arguments to make about Christianity against an educated opponent.

 

 

 

The new testament is interesting case -- christians should be called Paulists because it was written 200 years later and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of miles away, basing the claims on "100" eyewitnesses who were long dead and and had absolutely no connection to the author. If that's what you'd like to call a source document, I have serious concerns about your schools history department.

 

What part of hundreds and hundreds of miles away hundreds of years later don't you understand? Eyewitness accounts were repeated 200 years later -- thats not exactly credible (especially given intelligence at the time, we are talking about south carolina dumb. they needed a code of ethics so they wouldn't fuck sheep. seriously). Did George Washington chop down a cherry tree? Did Jesus walk on water? Water into wine? Did a giant lumberjack create the great lakes?

 

Given that all accounts of his life mirror pagan myths, and all accounts of his life are hundreds of years later, I'm inclined to at least give merit to the other group of scholars, who aren't quite sure if Jesus-the-man is really a historical being. I'll let you google.

 

Pagan similarities, lol. You watch too much zeitgeist.

 

Protip: Smart atheists have realized that arguing the historical veracity of the scripture and the existence of Christ is the swiftest path to destruction in an argument with someone learned in apologetics and the scripture. Why? Well, for one, the documents from gospels such as Matthew have been dated to 50-60 AD. Then there's the extreme historical accuracies of the works of Luke (The Gospel of Luke and the Acts,) which demonstrate knowledge requiring the Author to have been present at many of the detailed sites (As in locations, Luke wasn't an apostle.)

 

On the note of Luke- something which is frequently seen among archeologists and scholars of the old world is the skill and accuracy which Luke held and articulated through his work. In that regard, Luke has empirical backing showing that he was present at many locations prior to 62 AD. So no, not hundreds of miles and years away. Thirty years after the crucifixion and resurrection, and on-location. And that's just Luke.

 

How about the numerous historians who wrote about Christ and the Christians, all within a century of his death? Let's see, there's Josephus, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, and, aside from others, most significantly the Jewish tradition. Even removing Josephus' contentious passage on Christ, he has an undisputed passage mentioning Jesus, brother of James, who was called the Christ. That Josephus even mentions Christ is seen as highly significant by real (read: not the ones you're reading) historians. Then there's Tacitus, who recorded Nero's persecution of the Christians, blaming them for the great fire of Rome, saying that they were so Called Christian because of the man they followed after, Christos, whom was crucified. Then there's Pliny the Younger, who documents the arrests, torturing and extraction of information from Christians, which shows three points of major importance. 1- Christians had permeated all classes of citizens, 2- Christianity had considerable spread, 3- Christians were seen as to behave in highly ethical manners. And that's all to ignore the most significant of any, which is the Jewish literary tradition, which recorded Christ as a healer and miracle-worker.

 

So, outside of the scripture, this is well established: There was man named Christ whose followers were called Christians, he was regarded as a healer and miracle worker, and he was crucified. His followers went on to spread in number, the class they were in, and they were also persecuted for their beliefs, and this was all happening as early as the great fire of Rome (64 AD)

 

 

No respected historian doubts that Christ existed. Those that do raise objections with vacuous and fallacious content.

 

 

 

Q.E.D.

Edited by Dr. McNinja

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You're making assertions without warrants: WHY is it that skepticism shouldn't be the starting point of discussion? We have this thing in debate called presumption for exactly those purposes.

 

You can see "he created the moral framework", but to win this argument you need to win that "he" exists. AND that he has ALL of the characteristics that your human mind applies to him. AND that he actually created it all manually without relying on evolutionary mechanisms. AND that God is good. AND that objective morality exists.

 

EDIT: Problem for religious people I've always wondered about:

If in the beginning there was ONLY God (as described in Genesis 1:1), and out of nothing God created light, AND it was Good, why and how do we know it was Good? If there was only God, don't we need some standard of Evil to determine what Good is? Good isn't some sort of magnetic monopole that exists without its double. So.... is God also Evil?

 

First, your opening paragraph doesn't make sense, please clarify.. Second, "created the moral framework" is a metaphor for "gave us a moral code." I don't have to prove he exists, it has to do with the logic of divine authority. If God doesn't exist, there is no divine authority, and so morality doesn't exist (except in an infinite regress.) If God exists, he iterates the moral code. As for the characteristics of God, this is simple enough.

 

If God created the universe, he would need to have several traits: 1) Omnipotence, the power to command existence from nothing. 2) Omniscience, the knowledge to order existence (Physical laws, etc.) 3) Autonomy, to make the decision to create the universe, 4) Necessity, to cause self-existence, which means there is only one.

 

Finally, as we see from the scripture, being Godly is good, and being ungodly is bad. You come back to that presupposition that there is a moral framework without God, but there isn't. There is no such thing as being good, only being Godly, just as there is no such thing as being bad, only being ungodly. That's also your standard for evaluating whether something is good or evil.

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First, your opening paragraph doesn't make sense, please clarify.. Second, "created the moral framework" is a metaphor for "gave us a moral code." I don't have to prove he exists, it has to do with the logic of divine authority. If God doesn't exist, there is no divine authority, and so morality doesn't exist (except in an infinite regress.) If God exists, he iterates the moral code. As for the characteristics of God, this is simple enough.

 

If God created the universe, he would need to have several traits: 1) Omnipotence, the power to command existence from nothing. 2) Omniscience, the knowledge to order existence (Physical laws, etc.) 3) Autonomy, to make the decision to create the universe, 4) Necessity, to cause self-existence, which means there is only one.

 

Finally, as we see from the scripture, being Godly is good, and being ungodly is bad. You come back to that presupposition that there is a moral framework without God, but there isn't. There is no such thing as being good, only being Godly, just as there is no such thing as being bad, only being ungodly. That's also your standard for evaluating whether something is good or evil.

 

But god allowed the holocaust to happen. If our morals are only based on godly/ungodly letting genocide happen is now "godly". Not really something I down with affirming.

Things like this make me even more sure that even if God DID exist, i still would not be religious.

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But god allowed the holocaust to happen.
Here are 8 perspective/rationales:

 

1) He made the universe--he sets the rules. We don't get a vito power on how the world works. Sure, we can choose to reject him, but then he can say "I don't know you" on judgment day.

 

2) Humans at every point along the way were responsible. Humans at every point along the way had options to act and 95% didn't.

 

The root cause of every instance of genocide is sin and idolatry. Christians, atheists, and agnostics all dropped the ball.

 

In all of His doings, God is just (Psalm 145:17). The blame for the Holocaust lies squarely on the shoulders of sinful humanity. The Holocaust was the product of sinful choices made by sinful men in rebellion against a holy God. If the Holocaust proves anything, it is the utter depravity of man. Just fourteen years after "the war to end all wars" (World War I), Hitler rose to power. What is even more shocking is that millions followed him, enabling his horrific policies and pursuing a path to national destruction.

 

And while Nazism took hold in Germany, where were the European churches?

In fact, the same can be said about the majority of Americans about poverty & genocide now.

 

3) No one knows. I don't know why God didn't directly intervene in the holocaust--until the time it was over. It may be that he prompted people along the way to act, but no one ever stepped up to the plate. This is a question of how much he intervenes or using which mechanism. The Holy Spirit only prompts, but doesn't control.

 

4) You're argument assumes we deserve happiness. We don't. Got gave us life in the first instance. We sin...and in the face of that he offers us grace, forgiveness, and everlasting life. Here is a Jewish explanation:

 

From the perspective of its ultimate purpose, suffering is seen as a Divine gift of love, though also a Divine and human tragedy. God's and man's urgent prayer is for the hidden "blessings" of pain to be "sweetened" to revealed blessings of bounty, through repentance and good deeds. This view of suffering as stemming from Divine love, is articulated in different language by the different levels of traditional Jewish thought, from the "Revealed" dimensions of Torah, to its mystical "Hidden" dimensions.

 

5) This world is a vapor. Real meaning is not in the material. A caring father doesn't always pick up the pieces for his children. A caring father has the interests--although not necessarily the happiness of His children at heart.

 

6) God has a plan for each of us. That plan on earth may not involve equality--it may be only in heaven that we realize true equality (the last shall be made first).

 

7) There is an argument that Gods nature compels him not to intervene (this is the free will argument)

 

8) Arguably it was a test of faith, will, determination, and courage. Suffering creates greater character development and sympathy. I realize this is over the longer term.

 

Ironic, that if sin was the root cause that we would blame God for what is at root a human & Satan problem. Ultimately: I don't have all the answers on this one--I do hope one or more of the above helps to clarify the issue.

Edited by nathan_debate

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But god allowed the holocaust to happen. If our morals are only based on godly/ungodly letting genocide happen is now "godly". Not really something I down with affirming.

Things like this make me even more sure that even if God DID exist, i still would not be religious.

I already answered the question of suffering thoroughly above....

 

 

PS:

 

AM I THE ONLY DAMN PERSON THAT WANTS TO ARGUE ABOUT THERMODYNAMICS

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I already answered the question of suffering thoroughly above....

 

 

PS:

 

AM I THE ONLY DAMN PERSON THAT WANTS TO ARGUE ABOUT THERMODYNAMICS

I don't see where you have answered this suffering argument, and anyways my argument was more to show the absurdity of saying there is no such thing as morals just godly/ungodly actions. I don't want to live in a world where we should have to try and emulate "godly" actions when "godly" actions include being blind to mass suffering because "everything might happen for a reason".

 

Also I implicitly answered this thermodynamics argument. It's not our job prove where matter came from, it's your job to prove that God created matter and that he exits (see my earlier post on how non-theism is the default position).

 

 

Here are 8 perspective/rationales:

 

1) He made the universe--he sets the rules. We don't get a vito power on how the world works. Sure, we can choose to reject him, but then he can say "I don't know you" on judgment day.

 

Be we do get "veto" power over how the world works. Just God makes some people grow up to be rapists i dont have to affirm rape. EVEN IF god is real we have to ability to decide if we want to follow those rules or not, for example the God from the Bible commanded some really really fucked up shit.

And if God dosent know me on judgment day thats OK, i dont want to be associated with somebody who supports/allows the fucked up shit he does anyways.

2) Humans at every point along the way were responsible. Humans at every point along the way had options to act and 95% didn't.

 

The root cause of every instance of genocide is sin and idolatry. Christians, atheists, and agnostics all dropped the ball.

 

In fact, the same can be said about the majority of Americans about poverty & genocide now.

 

 

Even if humans had responsibility, we dont have the privileged to be omniscient and omnipresent. If god is real he does, and should of been able to make a good call here. Like to go back to the rape example if i say a guy trying to rape somebody i would step in and stop it, your god is witness to all of this and does nothing, which makes it seem like i am even more moral than your god.

 

I also think we link turn this Responsibility DA, if we view the world as just what it is without some big benevolent controller in the sky, when shit goes down it is our fault and we have to take responsibility for what happens. When we say that there is another being that has infinite knowledge and foresight then it means we will say stupid shit like "it happened so we can learn from that suffering".

 

Also I'm very glad you brought up poverty. Billions of people starve to death and live in poverty and have NO OTHER CHOICE. I don't believe it's ok to say those people should be poor because they are sinners. They dont get to end up reflecting on what good comes of that suffering because they have more pressing matters on their mind like putting food on the table and finding clean water.

 

3) No one knows. I don't know why God didn't directly intervene in the holocaust--until the time it was over. It may be that he prompted people along the way to act, but no one ever stepped up to the plate. This is a question of how much he intervenes or using which mechanism. The Holy Spirit only prompts, but doesn't control.

 

I don't know why it should be allowed either. I would of stopped it if i had unlimited power. And again it seems like if there was an omnipresent, omniscient, perfectly good god, the fact that he makes his actions unknowable seems like another form of suffering he bestows on us.

 

 

4) You're argument assumes we deserve happiness. We don't. Got gave us life in the first instance. We sin...and in the face of that he offers us grace, forgiveness, and everlasting life. Here is a Jewish explanation:

 

Why wouldn't we deserve happiness. I want to be happy and i want others to be happy. I don't think people should suffer unnecessarily because "its part of a larger plan".

 

5) This world is a vapor. Real meaning is not in the material. A caring father doesn't always pick up the pieces for his children. A caring father has the interests--although not necessarily the happiness of His children at heart.

 

Again this goes to what i originally said. Even if this world is vapor i would rather base my meaning in the material. Think of Cypher in the matrix even if this world is false i choose to affirm what is immanent rather than transcendent.

 

6) God has a plan for each of us. That plan on earth may not involve equality--it may be only in heaven that we realize true equality (the last shall be made first).

 

Answered above. The idea that there is a plan or things happen for a reason lead to extreme moral relativism. I would work to see my peers and other beings not suffer rather than brush it off as "well they get their reward later". Because if they don't i would feel like a huge asshole.

 

7) There is an argument that Gods nature compels him not to intervene (this is the free will argument)

 

8) Arguably it was a test of faith, will, determination, and courage. Suffering creates greater character development and sympathy. I realize this is over the longer term.

 

First if he dosen't do anything by nature, and he just lets humans do as they please why should i give a shit? Again if God is omnipresent, omniscient, and just lazy - he's not somebody i want to be associated with, because if i had those powers i would put them to use.

 

Number 8 is answered above multiple times.

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But god allowed the holocaust to happen. If our morals are only based on godly/ungodly letting genocide happen is now "godly". Not really something I down with affirming.

Things like this make me even more sure that even if God DID exist, i still would not be religious.

 

Making sense of what is viscerally wrong is difficult -- especially at that magnitude. It is a good thing you cannot accept things the way they are. It should bother you.

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But god allowed the holocaust to happen. If our morals are only based on godly/ungodly letting genocide happen is now "godly". Not really something I down with affirming.

Things like this make me even more sure that even if God DID exist, i still would not be religious.

Did you see the argument I made on the last page?

 

First, from the eternal perspective, "death" isn't death because it's not an actual ending. Genocide is only a matter of relationships under this paradigm [as is every other human interaction], and choice is a core part of any real relationship. Love isn't love unless you can choose not to love, which is why God lets us do as we wish.

 

Love > Hate. That justifies allowing free will, and thus justifies allowing genocide.

 

We don't have to affirm genocide, but we have to respect the right of others to make their own choices. That's not to say that we shouldn't act against genocide.

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Did you see the argument I made on the last page?

 

 

 

We don't have to affirm genocide, but we have to respect the right of others to make their own choices. That's not to say that we shouldn't act against genocide.

 

Again look at my response to Nathan. If god is a lazy god why should i care about being religious? I don't think we should just be respect everyone's choices. Some choices are wrong, period. Like witnessing rape and letting it happen. Or letting millions starve to death because they structurally can't get enough nutrients to sustain life. Or allowing innocent people to be gunned down and gassed. Doesn't sound like love to me, sorry. Especially when i know myself (with my limited cognitive abilities compared to a deity) would care enough to stop atrocious things.

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Free will cannot exist without the ability to change the world around us, for better or worse. If God intervened to stop our bad choices we would be unable to impact our external world and thus wouldn't have free will.

 

Love cannot exist without free will.

 

You haven't addressed either of these points which means your post is nonresponsive.

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4 pages of worthless discussion-- why do atheists bother to convince theists otherwise?

 

There's no advantage to it, and its not like they're on our epistemic level anyways...

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Objective morals bad. Objectiveness bad. False beliefs "bad"? How do you qualify what is "bad"? In your world (where objectivity doesn't exist) why do I have to adhere to the burden of proof when you're telling me that there is only a semantical difference between having proof and not?

 

So, based on your reasoning, theists don't have a burden of proof either (at least in the sense that you have no logical predicate upon which to assert such a burden)

He said objective morals bad, not objective values.

 

Values imply morals, not vice versa.

 

 

"Political organizations"? Is that a joke? You may see Catholic-oriented PACs pushing influence on politicians, but I would love to see you explain how my city's Korean Baptist church is a "political organization." Oh, define them by their actions? Okay, it's a Baptist church where sermons are conducted in Korean. They offer bus rides to Korean college students and others who don't have ease of transportation. Yes, they are clearly very politically motivated.

I lol'd. Baptists not being political? I don't care if they're korean; this is asinine.

 

 

 

 

Yes, religion can do only harm. That's what I think of when I remember how the Roman Catholic church operates more than 80,000 institutions globally, not including Churches, Basilicas, Cathedrals, et al. But including but certainly not limited to: Hospitals, Schools, Orphanges, Soup Kitchens, Homeless Shelters, and more. And that's just the catholics. There are non-denominational Christian NPOs like the Rainbow Network, which is currently one of if not the largest single contributor to humanitarian efforts to Nicaragua. Or we can look to Divine-inspired government actions. W. specifically started PEPFAR because he felt he was called by God to do it. As in, the largest assistance program ever done in Africa, which has prevented over 4 million children from contracting HIV, was the result of belief. Oh, and on a household level, there's the dozen or so studies indicating a statistically significantly higher level of charitable giving by religious households compared to non-religious households.

There's no causal link between goodness and religion-- there's only correlation. Even when they say "Religion makes me good", there is no empirical way to know if its religion doing that, or if they would be doing the same w/o religion.

Also, the delusions of W. should not be taken as proof positive that religion = good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, 1) as this is wonderfully indicative of, religion does massively more good than no religion, and 2) we would not be so compassionate were it not for religion.

 

oh, two more things. You are making logical gibberish to say that "Religion does harm" but then that:

 

See the 1st point, he's claiming implicitly that he has values, he can be a moral nihilist without giving up values, blah blah blah, take a class on basic ethics.

 

 

 

 

 

Well, one, no retired, you haven't studied the Bible, you actually told me that in this post (with the rest being addressed later):

Ad hom.

 

 

 

Two, you clearly show you don't understand history, which is just fantastic because of how much you're trying to bring up. This is a problem I see as very prevalent with atheists: they just don't understand history. Some haven't studied it, some have studied it, but they're being instructed by infidel " " "scholars" " " (emphasis for how lulzy calling them a scholar is,) but in general, they don't really comprehend any of it. This part of your post was where you said "I don't really know history." Here's the thing: If you don't know the history of religion in Western Civilization and you also don't know the history of religion in Middle-Eastern civilization you just don't get to talk about the history of Abrahamic religions and their respective churches.

Actually, he's correct on the whole "200 years later" thing-- the catholic church acknowledged the age and possibility of people still being alive.

Stop talking until you make a claim that's warranted, instead of bullying and shooting your mouth off. It makes you look retarded.

 

 

 

 

Wrong again. Evolution's contribution to society is minimal at best, and so iting it as an important example of societal ignorance of science and how it "negatively contributes" is as misinformed as many of these people are. NEWSFLASH: Unless your goal is to kill all the Jews, Evolution isn't relevant to the betterment of society.

Minimal at best?

 

God damn, this is why theists blow.

 

 

Please, O Glorious Retired, enlighten us on why a mechanical engineer needs to know evolution to make a more fuel-efficient car. Please O Glorious Retired, enlighten us on why an Energy Engineer needs to know evolution to better our clean energy sources. Please, O Glorious Retired, enlighten us on why a Electrical Engineer needs to know evolution to advance information tech.

Christian arrogance at its finest.

 

 

The problem here is general scientific ignorance, namely, the stigma surrounding stem cells' procurement (fetuses.) So you may have an example of it harming your state, but it is wholly unrelated to knowledge or belief in evolution.

start/stop making sense.

 

 

 

The wrong side of history is the one which is coming into prominence today. Specifically, this change in understanding the role of the church is the result of activist scientists overstepping their boundaries and fucking with history (see: atheists don't understand history.) The church and science were originally on very good terms, as scientists saw it as the basis for their inquiries.

 

You say history as if it was some immutable substance, something that is unchangable. Newsflash: everybody changes narratives and history for their own gain, including yours. This post is representative of that-- despite retired being correct, you represented him as something else....

 

 

 

 

Good work, your attempt at being clever resulted in poor English and using a Christian metaphor.

Good work, your attempt at being clever resulted in looking arrogant and being a douche.

 

 

You seem to forget that the Scripture wasn't compiled into an omnibus until almost four hundred years after the first writings of the Gospels emerged. You do realize that the gospels, epistles and so on were all written as independent documents which were later compiled, right? And that using Biblical documents in a historical manner is only a problem if you don't understand how reason works?

I'm not entering into this clusterfuck of inaccuracies and misrepresentations.

 

 

 

 

 

If your only reason to say the Bible is fallacious is 1) miracles can't happen, then you're intellectually dishonest, as it's as simple as "If God exists, he can cause miracles." It's like you're using the top 10 list for Worst arguments to make about Christianity against an educated opponent.

same.

 

Skipping down to this part, as, while this will be ad hom, it is well-warranted nonetheless.

 

Q.E.D.

Just stop. You may be able to defend your beliefs, but you're an arrogant asshole(Read as "Worst Christian evar").

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I glanced at this thread thinking it would be a healthy, interesting debate. I was mistaken.

 

tldr- and I'm sure I'm not the only one

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Free will cannot exist without the ability to change the world around us, for better or worse. If God intervened to stop our bad choices we would be unable to impact our external world and thus wouldn't have free will.

 

Love cannot exist without free will.

 

You haven't addressed either of these points which means your post is nonresponsive.

 

Wrong. I don't think God doing things means we no longer have free will. That idea comes from viewing him as some unknowable incomprehensible entity (impacted in my response to Nathan), just because people/beings do things that might impeded actions of yourself doesn't mean you no longer have free will. My dog has free will, but if it's about to shit on the carpet I carry it outside. It's just that our free will's coexist in competition. Also just because i don't want my dog shitting on my carpet doesn't mean i dont love it either.

What that means is that it would be totally justified for God to intervene with "worldly" affairs his free will co-exits with ours, and due to the fact his powers are far greater than ours we should hold him to a higher degree of responsibility.

Also you still haven't answered why i should care if God is indifferent. Or proven that he exists, just that if he did exist he doesn't care about people, just loves them enough to watch them continuously live lives of pain and humiliation.

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I'm kind of surprised a discussion like this is happening on Cross-X. I always regret posting here, but there are a few things that I think should be recognized-

 

First, it is not the burden of those who don't believe in God to disprove his existence. Just like no one can "prove" astrology is fake or that Santa Claus isn't real. When something has no scientific basis to begin with, there is never a scientific way to disprove it.

 

Second, there are lots of discussions here about where things like where matter and time come from. Clearly it is just fallacious logic to say that simply because X or Y thing can't be explained, then it -must- come from God. I can also turn that argument against you and ask you where God came from.

 

Third, our brains are wired in order to make us believe in nonsensical things and to be superstitious. http://www.zo.utexas.edu/courses/THOC/gambler.pdf (A long article, but a good one)

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chaos and nathan, i have no idea what were even debating?

 

which debate do you want me to win -- the jesus is probably not real debate, the evolution is more true than anything you say debate, or the religion horrible debate?

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If God intervened to stop bad things it would force us to be good, which would prevent us from choosing to be good, which would be bad. Even if our wills compete with each other, God's actions would totally overwhelm anything we could do to counter that which is different than your dog analogy. We wouldn't be able to impact our external world in the ways we wanted to which would eliminate freedom.

 

If I lock a woman in my basement and rape her that does not mean that she loves me. God created us for love and it's not love if it's forced.

 

If we can't change the world around us we do not have free will which is worth anything. Even if it would "exist", it would still not really do anything which means that God wouldn't be able to access the benefits of love.

 

Also you still haven't answered why i should care if God is indifferent. Or proven that he exists, just that if he did exist he doesn't care about people, just loves them enough to watch them continuously live lives of pain and humiliation.

Are you saying that the lack of action by God justifies lack of action by people? If not I don't understand your argument.

 

I have to go to bed, if you're saying this I'll answer it in the morning.

 

chaos and nathan, i have no idea what were even debating?

 

which debate do you want me to win -- the jesus is probably not real debate, the evolution is more true than anything you say debate, or the religion horrible debate?

I'm focusing on the God = Evil/Not Evil debate. I'm interested on what you think about my earlier post though.

 

I don't know how to prove the existence of God in the same way that I don't know how to prove the existence of the external world.

 

The external world can only be proven true based on the assumption that your senses are true, and your senses can only be proven true if you experience them. In the same way, I think God needs to be experienced in order to be "proven" true.

 

Feedback please?

Edited by Chaos

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I only have to address three arguments--I might get back to the rest later.

 

1) Theism--the historical jesus is one of the best 3 internal links to the existence of God. Thats gone 100% undenied (not that statement--just the historical record). Second, live coming from nonlife is a miracle by the definition of science (its never happened ever in the history of the world except at the big bang. Third, we live in a fine tuned universe which otherwise has a hyper low probability of occuring--is also by definition a miracle. This is bolstered by the order in the universe from chaos theory to DNA to the distance between the planets. Fourth, science wouldn't exist but for natural laws--those natural laws which means science today is still relatively as science proves a universal in the cosmic universe.

 

2) Who sets the rules of the universe?

 

Be we do get "veto" power over how the world works.
You don't get power over the universe. Last time I checked you didn't control gravity. You don't even get veto power of what happens to you.

 

This also means you can't separate the micro from the macro of history. The full impact of the Holocaust hasn't been played out.

 

This also means that you're waving your arms in the middle of a moving tide of history and the laws of the universe. You barely have an impact on local and national elections--much less what passes as law. And certainly you don't hold the constants of the universe in your hand.

 

3) Free will.

Free will is actually the internal link to the ethics debate. Free will is unfortunately, the flip side of genocide.

 

In one sense, this question is the intersection of the immanent & transcendent as it addresses character & love.

 

Everything hinges on 1, 2 & 3. I think winning any of those is a TKO for you.

 

4) If miracles happen (which I discussed in #1)--the eternal is probably more important than the immanent.

 

Also, over focus on the immanent is what led Hitler & his minions to sin in the first place.

Edited by nathan_debate

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In reply to retired,

 

It doesn't matter to me.

 

In reply to JD:

 

Third, our brains are wired in order to make us believe in nonsensical things and to be superstitious. http://www.zo.utexas.edu/courses/THOC/gambler.pdf (A long article, but a good one)
1) This we get the patterns wrong argument goes both ways--its a critique of our ability to grasp reality, not just the divine.

 

2) God shaped hole is not an argument against faith just an interesting observation. The same can be said of rejections of God in relation to application of 1) autonomy 2) Freuds Oedipal complex (we're trying to kill our father). It just so happens that Freud, Satre, Camus, B. Russel and Nietzsche all had father issues 3) the illusions of enlightenment reason--or rather individualism & hyper-modernity (particularly in relation to time) and I'm the center of the universe).

Edited by nathan_debate

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Nathan, you are ignoring the point of the article. The argument there is that the human brain is wired to think both rationally and irrationally. The irrational portions of the brain allow things like unshakable faith to take place, regardless of who your cultural deity is.

 

Secondly, I think it is pretty ignorant to automatically assume that the existence of god is something that 100% revolves around your own experiences. Why should your own free will matter more than the free will of a lizard or a stone? What are you, after all, other than a mass of matter that has been able to know itself?

 

 

 

I think the basic problem is that everyone here is talking about this in the wrong way. You can't prove or disprove the existence of god, that is just silly. To -prove- something like that is impossible. However, I do believe in a higher power and my only explanation for why I do is a story.

 

Two years ago I was sick with the flu and I decided to go to the gas station two blocks from the house I was renting to get some gatorade. I know gatorade has no immediate health benefit, but it made me feel better, so sue me. Anyway, on my way back from my two block drive a car ran a stop sign at a four way intersection, the intersecting road had stop signs while my road did not. I was crossing the intersection and I T-boned the asshole who jumped out.

 

At 35 miles an hour (which in a wreck is quite a bit faster than it seems otherwise), my car slammed into the side of this other vehicle with enough force to total my engine. My car spun in circles twice as I screamed and I finally came to a stop when the back end of my car swung into the front of another car (someone who actually stopped at the stop sign).

 

Of course, it wasn't that simple. As the impact hit, glass busted and metal tore in a horrendous sound that I will never forget. My airbag only half deployed, if even that much. I grabbed onto that half-empty bag of air and screamed as I spun in circles over and over. I'm not a strong guy, especially not back then. Somehow I managed to hold onto that pitiful little dusty bag of air hard enough to keep myself from slamming my head into the driver's side window.

 

Afterwards, I stepped out of the wreck without any damage other than some torn up clothing. People in the intersection were positive there was a passenger in my car- the half-pound bottles of gatorade had shot through the windshield like bullets and the hole left behind looked like one a human body would leave as it hit the glass.

 

 

The point of this whole story is that in that moment of sheer chaos, where a few short seconds seemed to last hours, I felt something there. I was given a strength to hold on to that pitiful airbag and to keep from damaging myself. In the ensuing noise of insurance arguments and police sirens, I simply sat on the curb- I knew I had experienced something of a higher or divine nature.

 

Now, I could be wrong. I could be attributing my survival to supernatural causes when really there is a logical explanation, but that doesn't change that I have a fundamental belief about what happened to me that day. Something greater than myself stepped in to keep me alive. From any logical perspective I am wrong, but that doesn't change what I believe.

 

That is the whole problem with this debate. You are trying to provide empirical or logical proofs for the existence of something that cannot be proven, it can only be experienced and felt. You can't prove or disprove the existence of a higher power. Any debate you have about it is hollow and pointless.

 

 

But, if you ever have the misfortune of experiencing something like what happened to me, you'll suddenly realize something that a million words could never communicate.

Edited by -JD
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