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Reply #180 posted 10/12/18 7:45am

2freaky4church
1

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If you opt out of society you opt out of the moral fabric that makes us human.

All you others say Hell Yea!! woot!
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Reply #181 posted 10/12/18 10:00am

CherryMoon57

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toejam said:

OK, well this has not been made available to me. I don't believe God is there offering any choice. Your saying so doesn't make it so. The Bible was written by men, not God.


History books were written by men. What makes you believe these more than what is in the Bible? Like the Bible, they describe a multitude of things that happened a long time ago, much of it based on hearsay and which you have never seen (or verified) for yourself.


Again, I perceive your language suggesting my eyes are shut as coming from the quick and inaccurate assumption that it is my fault for not believing.


I never said anything was your 'fault', only talked about the choices you make. In fact I think you do believe in many things, but in a very selective way. You have yourself applied a quick assumption about God, giving up all hopes for a revelation to come after the age of 28. Mine came when I was 29 by the way.

Open your heart open your mind
A train is leaving all day
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Reply #182 posted 10/12/18 2:28pm

toejam

avatar

CherryMoon57 said:

History books were written by men. What makes you believe these more than what is in the Bible? Like the Bible, they describe a multitude of things that happened a long time ago, much of it based on hearsay and which you have never seen (or verified) for yourself.

.

There is so much that needs to be unpacked in your question. Firstly, it's not really accurate to describe "the Bible" as a history book (singluar) because it is a compilation of different books from different authors and contains all sorts of genres - from genuine epistles, forged epistles, poetic wisdom literature, mythology, apocalypses, and historical propaganda. So "the Bible" right from the get-go shouldn't be treated so simply as a blunt "history book". So I'm going to narrow it down to what I think you're referring to - the bibilcal gospels and Acts as history books...

.

Secondly, I think you're mistaken in presuming that I take all other ancient books reportedly describing history as reliable, thinking that I treat the gospels inconsistently in saying they are unreliable. I don't think I'm inconsistent. The closest equivalents to the canonical gospels in genre/date/context are things like the non-canonical gospels and acts (The Gospel of Peter, The Infancy Gospel of Thomas, The Acts of Andrew, etc.), Plutarch's 'Lives', Josephus' histories, Jewish Apocrypha and Talmud stories, the Old Testament historical books, etc. I can tell you that I find many things in these books a tad too unbelievable too. Indeed, no credible historian simply reads any of these texts and concludes "Yep! That must be exactly what happened! Can't be any misinformation or biased reading there!" lol. That's because we know this was an era in which there wasn't as often a clear line between history and mythology, and, let's face it, people could and would make stuff up, and traditions would get muddled, etc. That is why many commentators understand the gospels as "historical propaganda". They are not disinterested accounts and many of their stories break physics and make better sense as pseudo-historical propaganda.

.

* I don't believe Jesus' wooden cross floated out of the tomb and spoke (as told in the Gospel of Peter). In the same manner, I don't believe that a slurry of dead saints were raised on the day of Jesus' crucifixion and wandered the streets of Jerusalem (as told in the Gospel of Matthew).

.

* I don't believe boy-Jesus turned clay birds into real ones (as told in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, and later picked up by the Koran). In the same manner, I don't believe Jesus turned water into wine (as told in the Gospel of John).

.

* I don't believe the Apostle Andrew raised Demetrius of Amasea's dead child (as told in the Acts of Andrew). In the same manner, I don't believe Peter raised Dorcas (as told in Luke-Acts).

.

* I don't believe Romulus, the founder of Rome, ascended to heaven (a tradition that Livy and Plutarch relate in their histories). In the same manner, I don't believe Jesus ascended to heaven either (as told in Luke-Acts).

.

* I don't believe that as a heavenly sign of the impending Jewish War, angelic troops in armor on chariots were seen running about among the clouds and surrounding cities (as told in Josephus). In the same manner, I don't believe there really was a Star of Bethlehem that guided wise men to baby-Jesus (as told in the Gospel of Matthew).

.
* I don't believe Jesus' father was actually a Roman solider named Pantera (as told in the Jewish Talmud). In the same manner, I don't believe Jesus was born of a virgin (as told in the Gospel of Luke).

.

* I don't believe a young David killed the giant Goliath with a single sling-shot (as told in 1 Samuel). In the same manner, I don't believe the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world (as told in the Gospel of Matthew).

.

... You get the idea. The point is, I don't think I am treating the biblical gospels-acts inconsistently.

.

I never said anything was your 'fault', only talked about the choices you make. In fact I think you do believe in many things, but in a very selective way. You have yourself applied a quick assumption about God, giving up all hopes for a revelation to come after the age of 28. Mine came when I was 29 by the way.

.

I don't think my conclusion was made quickly. It took ~15-20yrs for my inner balance scales to tip to "It's probably just a superstition!". Yes, I have no hope for a revelation in the sense that I do not expect one to come. If your God exists, the door is open for him to show me I'm wrong in thinking he is a superstition. If he does exist, I hope he does. But I'm not expecting it. So until then, why am I not justified in thinking he's a superstition? You didn't say it was my fault, but it is implied when you continually use language suggesting my eyes are shut, or that you don't trust my sincerity, etc.

.

Finally, I would like to return you to this question you skipped, if that's cool:

.

Let's say I'm wrong. Will your God allow me to choose non-existence after I die over eternal conscious suffering in hell? Or is that free-will choice out of bounds? Will hell be the inevitable outcome for those like me familiar with the 'gospel message' yet still think it's a superstition?

.

[Edited 10/12/18 15:02pm]

Toejam @ Peach & Black Podcast: http://peachandblack.podbean.com
Toejam's band "Cheap Fakes": http://cheapfakes.com.au, http://www.facebook.com/cheapfakes
Toejam the solo artist: http://www.youtube.com/scottbignell
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Reply #183 posted 10/12/18 3:47pm

IanRG

toejam said:

CherryMoon57 said:

History books were written by men. What makes you believe these more than what is in the Bible? Like the Bible, they describe a multitude of things that happened a long time ago, much of it based on hearsay and which you have never seen (or verified) for yourself.

.

There is so much that needs to be unpacked in your question. Firstly, it's not really accurate to describe "the Bible" as a history book (singluar) because it is a compilation of different books from different authors and contains all sorts of genres - from genuine epistles, forged epistles, poetic wisdom literature, mythology, apocalypses, and historical propaganda. So "the Bible" right from the get-go shouldn't be treated so simply as a blunt "history book". So I'm going to narrow it down to what I think you're referring to - the bibilcal gospels and Acts as history books...

.

Secondly, I think you're mistaken in presuming that I take all other ancient books reportedly describing history as reliable, thinking that I treat the gospels inconsistently in saying they are unreliable. I don't think I'm inconsistent. The closest equivalents to the canonical gospels in genre/date/context are things like the non-canonical gospels and acts (The Gospel of Peter, The Infancy Gospel of Thomas, The Acts of Andrew, etc.), Plutarch's 'Lives', Josephus' histories, Jewish Apocrypha and Talmud stories, the Old Testament historical books, etc. I can tell you that I find many things in these books a tad too unbelievable too. Indeed, no credible historian simply reads any of these texts and concludes "Yep! That must be exactly what happened! Can't be any misinformation or biased reading there!" lol. That's because we know this was an era in which there wasn't as often a clear line between history and mythology, and, let's face it, people could and would make stuff up, and traditions would get muddled, etc. That is why many commentators understand the gospels as "historical propaganda". They are not disinterested accounts and many of their stories break physics and make better sense as pseudo-historical propaganda.

.

* I don't believe Jesus' wooden cross floated out of the tomb and spoke (as told in the Gospel of Peter). In the same manner, I don't believe that a slurry of dead saints were raised on the day of Jesus' crucifixion and wandered the streets of Jerusalem (as told in the Gospel of Matthew).

.

* I don't believe boy-Jesus turned clay birds into real ones (as told in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, and later picked up by the Koran). In the same manner, I don't believe Jesus turned water into wine (as told in the Gospel of John).

.

* I don't believe the Apostle Andrew raised Demetrius of Amasea's dead child (as told in the Acts of Andrew). In the same manner, I don't believe Peter raised Dorcas (as told in Luke-Acts).

.

* I don't believe Romulus, the founder of Rome, ascended to heaven (a tradition that Livy and Plutarch relate in their histories). In the same manner, I don't believe Jesus ascended to heaven either (as told in Luke-Acts).

.

* I don't believe that as a heavenly sign of the impending Jewish War, angelic troops in armor on chariots were seen running about among the clouds and surrounding cities (as told in Josephus). In the same manner, I don't believe there really was a Star of Bethlehem that guided wise men to baby-Jesus (as told in the Gospel of Matthew).

.
* I don't believe Jesus' father was actually a Roman solider named Pantera (as told in the Jewish Talmud). In the same manner, I don't believe Jesus was born of a virgin (as told in the Gospel of Luke).

.

* I don't believe a young David killed the giant Goliath with a single sling-shot (as told in 1 Samuel). In the same manner, I don't believe the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world (as told in the Gospel of Matthew).

.

... You get the idea. The point is, I don't think I am treating the biblical gospels-acts inconsistently.

.

Your missing the point again. It was about the faith you put your facebook list - books all written by humans, not whether religious texts are written in a combination of literal and spiritual senses (including allegorical, moral and anagogical sesnses). An example of what was said to you is that you believe Bart Ehrman even when he lied specifically and directly to you personally behind a paywall when I caught him making up facts.

.

* I don't believe Joseph Smith when he made up facts and falsly attributed them to others. In the same manner, I don't believe Bart Ehrman when he made up things and falsely attributed them to somone else.

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Reply #184 posted 10/12/18 3:59pm

toejam

avatar

IanRG said:

Your missing the point again. It was about the faith you put your facebook list - books all written by humans, not whether religious texts are written in a combination of literal and spiritual senses (including allegorical, moral and anagogical sesnses). An example of what was said to you is that you believe Bart Ehrman even when he lied specifically and directly to you personally behind a paywall when I caught him making up facts.

.

* I don't believe Joseph Smith when he made up facts and falsly attributed them to others. In the same manner, I don't believe Bart Ehrman when he made up things and falsely attributed them to somone else.

.

*You're

Toejam @ Peach & Black Podcast: http://peachandblack.podbean.com
Toejam's band "Cheap Fakes": http://cheapfakes.com.au, http://www.facebook.com/cheapfakes
Toejam the solo artist: http://www.youtube.com/scottbignell
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Reply #185 posted 10/12/18 4:03pm

IanRG

toejam said:

IanRG said:

Your missing the point again. It was about the faith you put your facebook list - books all written by humans, not whether religious texts are written in a combination of literal and spiritual senses (including allegorical, moral and anagogical sesnses). An example of what was said to you is that you believe Bart Ehrman even when he lied specifically and directly to you personally behind a paywall when I caught him making up facts.

.

* I don't believe Joseph Smith when he made up facts and falsly attributed them to others. In the same manner, I don't believe Bart Ehrman when he made up things and falsely attributed them to somone else.

.

*You're

.

It is this pedantry that leads to you missing the point. (even this is incomplete, I also said "sesnses")

.

You're missing the point again. It was about the faith you put your facebook list - books all written by humans, not whether religious texts are written in a combination of literal and spiritual senses (including allegorical, moral and anagogical senses). An example of what was said to you is that you believe Bart Ehrman even when he lied specifically and directly to you personally behind a paywall when I caught him making up facts.

.

* I don't believe Joseph Smith when he made up facts and falsely attributed them to others. In the same manner, I don't believe Bart Ehrman when he made up things and falsely attributed them to somone else.

[Edited 10/12/18 16:07pm]

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Reply #186 posted 10/12/18 4:06pm

toejam

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^Just kidding lol. The old your/you're demon strikes again! Happens to the best of us. I thought you might get a chuckle out of it, Ian. We all make mistakes.

Toejam @ Peach & Black Podcast: http://peachandblack.podbean.com
Toejam's band "Cheap Fakes": http://cheapfakes.com.au, http://www.facebook.com/cheapfakes
Toejam the solo artist: http://www.youtube.com/scottbignell
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Reply #187 posted 10/12/18 4:20pm

CherryMoon57

avatar

toejam said:

CherryMoon57 said:

History books were written by men. What makes you believe these more than what is in the Bible? Like the Bible, they describe a multitude of things that happened a long time ago, much of it based on hearsay and which you have never seen (or verified) for yourself.

.

There is so much that needs to be unpacked in your question. Firstly, it's not really accurate to describe "the Bible" (singular) as a history book because it is a compilation of all sorts of genres from different authors - genuine epistles, forged epistles, poetic wisdom literature, mythology, apocalypses, and historical propaganda. So "the Bible" right from the get go simply shouldn't be treated as a pure history book. So I'm going to narrow it down to what I think you're referring to - the bibilcal gospels and Acts.

I didn't mean to say that The Bible should be treated as a history book, only that many history reference books contain elements that are unverifiable yet are treated as facts but are not doubted as much as the Bible is. This was also in response to your original statement that if you cannot see God, it is because He does not exist. I was trying to show you that many things we believe are often things for which we have had no direct evidence other than what others have written about them.


Secondly, I think you're mistaken in presuming that I take all other ancient books reportedly describing history as reliable, thinking that I treat the gospels inconsistently in saying they are unreliable. I don't think I'm inconsistent. The closest equivalents to the canonical gospels in genre/date/context are things like the non-canonical gospels and acts (The Gospel of Peter, The Infancy Gospel of Thomas, The Acts of Andrew, etc.), Plutarch's 'Lives', Jewish Apocrypha and Talmud stories, the Old Testament historical books, etc. I can tell you that I don't find many things in these books a tad too unbelievable too. Indeed, no credible historian simply reads any of these texts and concludes "Yep! That must be exactly what happened! Can't be any misinformation or biased reading there!" lol. That's because we know this was an era in which there wasn't as often a clear line between history and mythology. That is why many commentators understand the gospels as "historical propaganda". They are not disinterested accounts and many of their stories break physics and make better sense as pseudo-historical propaganda.


I think this (in bold) is the core of your problem with all things God related. You are forgetting that many other events have happened beyond the era during which the events in the New Testament took place, people (including myself) have had spiritual things happening in their lives in connection with the invocation of Jesus. Had it been propaganda of these days only, none of this would occur in the present times. And yet, it does.

* I don't believe Romulus, the founder of Rome, ascended to heaven (a tradition that Livy and Plutarch relate in their histories). In the same manner, I don't believe Jesus ascended to heaven either (as told in Luke-Acts).

.I had been waiting for that one. lol


I don't believe that Jesus was born of a virgin (as told in the Gospel of Luke).

This was the whole point of Jesus existence as a blameless being (ie, seperate from the Adam and Eve sinful lineage.) thus making His death relevant for the rest of humanity.

And from a non-believer perspective, this really is not that out of this world: http://www.bbc.co.uk/eart...gin-births



Finally, I would like to return you to this question you skipped, if that's cool:

Let's say I'm wrong. 1. Will your God allow me to choose non-existence after I die over eternal conscious suffering in hell? 2. Or is that free-will choice out of bounds?3. Will hell be the inevitable outcome for those like me familiar with the 'gospel message' yet still think it's a superstition?

1. You soul won't 'die', and no.

2. Not sure what you mean

3. I'm afraid so, unless you repent and accept Jesus as your savior

This is a rather basic website, but it is useful in that it gathers some related Bible parts:

https://www.gotquestions....death.html
https://www.gotquestions....ation.html

Open your heart open your mind
A train is leaving all day
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Reply #188 posted 10/12/18 5:10pm

IanRG

CherryMoon57 said:

toejam said:

Finally, I would like to return you to this question you skipped, if that's cool:

Let's say I'm wrong. 1. Will your God allow me to choose non-existence after I die over eternal conscious suffering in hell? 2. Or is that free-will choice out of bounds?3. Will hell be the inevitable outcome for those like me familiar with the 'gospel message' yet still think it's a superstition?

1. You soul won't 'die', and no.

2. Not sure what you mean

3. I'm afraid so, unless you repent and accept Jesus as your savior

This is a rather basic website, but it is useful in that it gathers some related Bible parts:

https://www.gotquestions....death.html
https://www.gotquestions....ation.html

.

Do you believe that, say Indigenous Australians prior to the invasion and colonisation of Australia are condemned?

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Reply #189 posted 10/12/18 5:11pm

IanRG

toejam said:

^Just kidding lol. The old your/you're demon strikes again! Happens to the best of us. I thought you might get a chuckle out of it, Ian. We all make mistakes.

.

Me mumm were a Anglish teacha.

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Reply #190 posted 10/12/18 5:24pm

toejam

avatar

CherryMoon57 said:

I didn't mean to say that The Bible should be treated as a history book, only that many history reference books contain elements that are unverifiable yet are treated as facts but are not doubted as much as the Bible is.

.

It depends on what the fact claim is and what the evidence for it as a fact is (see further, below*). Pretty much every book in my list I will find bits that I don't find persuasive, or not as persuasive as the author thinks, etc. So it's a mistake to think I take all these authors' claims as necessarily reliable either.

.

This was also in response to your original statement that if you cannot see God, it is because He does not exist.

.

I did not say that because God can't be seen then that alone means he does not exist. I said that a major factor was a lack of detectable response from him, alongside other problems such as Biblical errors (prophecies that didn't come to pass as they should have, contradictions, obvious propaganda tropes, historical mistakes, etc.), and the understanding of how all the excuses made for God's absence can just as easily - it not better - be understood from the "It's a superstition!" viewpoint (e.g. If God is a superstition, it makes sense that believers more often than not fall back on unverifiable personal experiences, and requests to believe first, etc.).

.

I was trying to show you that many things we believe are often things for which we have had no direct evidence other than what others have written about them.

.

*As I was saying, it depends on what the fact claim is and what the evidence for it as a fact is. I also wonder if you are mistaken in thinking that if something can't established as a fact then it is necessarily not a fact. Perhaps that is what you think I think? Well, we can entertain ideas as more or less probable than another without requiring proof for facts, or what-have-you.

.

If you told me the name of one of your middle-school teachers in passing, I'd probably believe you that there exists a middle-school teacher by that name who taught you despite that it's only indirect evidence. Because it's not the kind of detail one would normally make up or mistake. Do I have proof? Nope. But I don't need proof. I might well be wrong, but I'd be more likely to believe you. The problem with Jesus of the gospels is that we are somewhat aware of the types of fictitious propaganda tropes that were commonly ascribed to cult heros - such as stories of miraculous shenanigans accompanying the conception/birth of a hero, ascensions into the clouds after death, to name just a couple.

.

[Edited 10/12/18 17:39pm]

Toejam @ Peach & Black Podcast: http://peachandblack.podbean.com
Toejam's band "Cheap Fakes": http://cheapfakes.com.au, http://www.facebook.com/cheapfakes
Toejam the solo artist: http://www.youtube.com/scottbignell
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Reply #191 posted 10/12/18 5:27pm

toejam

avatar

CherryMoon57 said:

I'm afraid so [that you will go to hell], unless you repent and accept Jesus as your savior

.

Repent from what? And I don't accept Jesus as my saviour because I think he's dead and no longer around. If he's out there, he knows where and how to show me that I'm wrong. But he doesn't - which is consistent with the superstition! hypothesis.

.

[Edited 10/12/18 17:30pm]

Toejam @ Peach & Black Podcast: http://peachandblack.podbean.com
Toejam's band "Cheap Fakes": http://cheapfakes.com.au, http://www.facebook.com/cheapfakes
Toejam the solo artist: http://www.youtube.com/scottbignell
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Reply #192 posted 10/12/18 5:45pm

LadyLayla

avatar

CherryMoon57 said:

LadyLayla said:

Haven't read the entire thread, but morals usually come from a communal group. Courage, honesty, kindness, empathy, responsibility, fairness, and loyalty are the usual candidates. And I stress these actions can apply to any societal group living on the planet. It is their societal or religious definitions of these actions that will come in to conflict with another societal or religious group.

Personally I don't think Christianity has the market cornered on morality (neither do I think any other religion has). Being an indoctinated Southern fried Baptist (with early parole for time served!) I can see the questionable and predatory practices of some organized religions especially with the "personal relationship with Jesus or God" line!

Like others have said earlier in the thread, believe what you want to believe if that makes your life easier as long as you are not hurting anyone in the process. Learning what others believe does not mean I have to believe as they do. My religion (or perhaps lack thereof) doesn't require prosthelytizing, testifying, witnessing, or converting anyone else to my belief. It only requires me to listen, question, discuss and sometime agree to disagree with my fellow human.


Hi LadyLayla! It is interesting though when you think of it that - salvation of Jesus aside - there is a lot of common ground between all the religions and societies in the world. It is almost as if all humans had a predetermined core set of moral values within themselves and the utmost need to have those values stamped by a higher spiritual authority.

As for organized religions, I have always had mixed feelings about them. I recently started attending a rural local church (Church of England) because it is the closest. As far as I am aware, they do not seek to convert anyone in there. Only sharing the Gospel message, organising seasonal events (Harvest Festival, Christmas, etc.) and creating a warm, loving community. I don't personally associate with any specific christian denomination as I have always found some positive and negative in any of them, after all they are ran by humans and humans aren't always perfect!

For me as long as the main message promoted is one that strongly resonates with what God has planted in my soul, I see no problem with any of them. God has also given me a critical mind, and nothing stops me from exercising it from time to time.

[Edited 10/11/18 3:45am]

Much love to you Cherry!

Toward the end of her life my mom started attending a Christian Church (Deciples of Christ). They were very involved in the community and especially encouraged volunteering among the able senior citizens like the backpack program.......collect non perishble food items to put in backpack for disadvantaged children so that they could have food over the weekend. The church sponsored many meetings among the religious spectrum to help their congregation and others to learn, understand, and to promote awareness and tolerance for all different faiths. Oh and always positive, learned messages in Sunday service.....not the hellfire and brimstone deliveries from the "bully" pulpit of the Baptist church of my youth.

It is almost as if all humans had a predetermined core set of moral values within themselves and the utmost need to have those values stamped by a higher spiritual authority.--and for me, my explanation of it would be evolution of the species. But if anyone wants to say it is God, Allah, Jaweh, Buddah, etc.....I have no issue!

Style is the second cousin to class
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Reply #193 posted 10/12/18 5:57pm

LadyLayla

avatar

IanRG said:

CherryMoon57 said:

1. You soul won't 'die', and no.

2. Not sure what you mean

3. I'm afraid so, unless you repent and accept Jesus as your savior

This is a rather basic website, but it is useful in that it gathers some related Bible parts:

https://www.gotquestions....death.html
https://www.gotquestions....ation.html

.

Do you believe that, say Indigenous Australians prior to the invasion and colonisation of Australia are condemned?

I can't help but laugh a little Ian! I used to ask the same type of question in Sunday School but mine was about tribes in Africa and South America! That would usually shut them up for a little then they would come back and say that this is why we need to infiltrate these countries to convert them from their Godless life. And my rebellious young mind would think, "No one is sending MY ass over to convert anyone!"

Ah youth!!!

Style is the second cousin to class
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Reply #194 posted 10/12/18 6:16pm

LadyLayla

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I also never said that morals can only came from a book, I was directly answering your comments on written moral guidance. Earlier I discussed with you the potential difference sources morals as by people alone or by people inspired by God. You raised written guidelines from people in living in tents as if these morals are unchanging, I disagreed. I said we have the ability to overcome the worst of the "untoward" outcomes of evolution by how we choose to live - It is how we have developed beyond evolutionary outcomes that allows us to do this. This is not always good: The atheist Khmer Rouge did not need books to determine their "morals" when they wiped out 25% to 33% of their own population, they also destroyed books and targeted teachers and the educated. This was also neither an evolutionary outcome nor an intervention by God - It was a choice by atheist people to create new morals.

You raise a good point Ian. But I'll take your Pol Pot and raise you a Jim Jones, David Koresh, and Warren Jeffs. And I'm going to say this point is not Christians or Aethists---it is that power corrupts. And absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Style is the second cousin to class
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Reply #195 posted 10/12/18 7:40pm

IanRG

LadyLayla said:

I also never said that morals can only came from a book, I was directly answering your comments on written moral guidance. Earlier I discussed with you the potential difference sources morals as by people alone or by people inspired by God. You raised written guidelines from people in living in tents as if these morals are unchanging, I disagreed. I said we have the ability to overcome the worst of the "untoward" outcomes of evolution by how we choose to live - It is how we have developed beyond evolutionary outcomes that allows us to do this. This is not always good: The atheist Khmer Rouge did not need books to determine their "morals" when they wiped out 25% to 33% of their own population, they also destroyed books and targeted teachers and the educated. This was also neither an evolutionary outcome nor an intervention by God - It was a choice by atheist people to create new morals.

You raise a good point Ian. But I'll take your Pol Pot and raise you a Jim Jones, David Koresh, and Warren Jeffs. And I'm going to say this point is not Christians or Aethists---it is that power corrupts. And absolute power corrupts absolutely.

.

Agreed. As a Christian, lots of bad things have been done by my people, As a Australian, lots of bad things have been done by my people, As a former atheist, lots of bad things have been done by my former people, as a man ..., a white person ..., a consumer ..., and on and on. As a human, lots of bad things have been done by my people.

.

But for all of these even more good things have been done and we can do even more again: We as humans can learn to better our outcomes by ignoring the worst of our evolutionary outcomes: The disagreement is on is whether this is with the inspiration of God, but, either way, we can be better.

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Reply #196 posted 10/13/18 3:38am

CherryMoon57

avatar

IanRG said:

CherryMoon57 said:

1. You soul won't 'die', and no.

2. Not sure what you mean

3. I'm afraid so, unless you repent and accept Jesus as your savior

This is a rather basic website, but it is useful in that it gathers some related Bible parts:

https://www.gotquestions....death.html
https://www.gotquestions....ation.html

.

Do you believe that, say Indigenous Australians prior to the invasion and colonisation of Australia are condemned?


Only God knows the circumstances and the hearts of each person so I cannot say. What I believe is that God speaks to everyone in many different ways during our lifetime - which do not necessarily involve a supernatural event (He can just as easily put something in our heart or conscience) or the presence of a priest and it is up to them to respond accordingly once they have understood or heard what God is saying to them. Similarly, the great prophets in the Old Testaments had responded to God and even if they had prohetised Jesus, they had not yet technically been saved by Him since He came later. I therefore think the judgement ultimately rests upon how God - who is fair - will examine our lives and that with regards to those who have not had a chance to hear the gospel message, He will exercise a fair judgement then decide.

Roman 1:18-23:

'For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.'

In the grand scheme of things, it is also true that the world has been darkened by sin and so we're all born in the darkness. Various circumstances - which may or not include beliefs in the occult or dark forces - are the result of those before us who have followed the path of sin, lies and world deceptions, therefore I think it is important to spread the gospel message to everyone to increase the chances of those who are still prisoners of sin to see the light and be saved rather than succumb to an eternal punishement.

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Reply #197 posted 10/13/18 3:39am

CherryMoon57

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IanRG said:

toejam said:

^Just kidding lol. The old your/you're demon strikes again! Happens to the best of us. I thought you might get a chuckle out of it, Ian. We all make mistakes.

.

Me mumm were a Anglish teacha.

falloff

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Reply #198 posted 10/13/18 4:25am

CherryMoon57

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toejam said:

It depends on what the fact claim is and what the evidence for it as a fact is (see further, below*). Pretty much every book in my list I will find bits that I don't find persuasive, or not as persuasive as the author thinks, etc. So it's a mistake to think I take all these authors' claims as necessarily reliable either.


Critical thinking is useful, but my point was that even with those historical aspects that you do find believable and that you (and many) ultimately take as facts, you still cannot always say that you have physically 'seen' and verified those facts for yourself, can you?



If you told me the name of one of your middle-school teachers in passing, I'd probably believe you that there exists a middle-school teacher by that name who taught you despite that it's only indirect evidence. Because it's not the kind of detail one would normally make up or mistake. Do I have proof? Nope. But I don't need proof. I might well be wrong, but I'd be more likely to believe you.

Yes, but that is because you easily believe anything that lies between the limits of your expectations, especially when these also meet the humanly pre-established laws of physics.

toejam said:

The problem with Jesus of the gospels is that we are somewhat aware of the types of fictitious propaganda tropes that were commonly ascribed to cult heros - such as stories of miraculous shenanigans accompanying the conception/birth of a hero, ascensions into the clouds after death, to name just a couple.


I think it is ridiculous to link Jesus' ascension with the Roman myth of Romulus. First, it is unsure if Romulus ever existed, while we know that Jesus did. Secondly, he did not led to such a widespread spiritual following as christianity did, even in Rome and Livy himself (who I believe was commissioned by Augustus) presented the ascension in a somewhat unconvinced manner, when he says; 'I believe, however, that even then there were some who secretly hinted that he had been torn limb from limb by the senators - a tradition to this effect, though certainly a very dim one, has filtered down to us.' (see Ab Urbe Condita, 1.16). I don't think anyone ever took the myth of Romulus that seriously. If it was just down to being gullible or supersticious, how would then Jesus - who was not even from Italy - have managed to so firmly override those Roman sacred heroes in the hearts and mind of the Roman nation?

I noticed that you have not commented on the following part:

toejam said:

I don't believe that Jesus was born of a virgin (as told in the Gospel of Luke).

CherryMoon57 said:

This was the whole point of Jesus existence as a blameless being (ie, seperate from the Adam and Eve sinful lineage.) thus making His death relevant for the rest of humanity.

And from a non-believer perspective, this really is not that out of this world: http://www.bbc.co.uk/eart...gin-births

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Reply #199 posted 10/13/18 4:47am

CherryMoon57

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LadyLayla said:

CherryMoon57 said:


Hi LadyLayla! It is interesting though when you think of it that - salvation of Jesus aside - there is a lot of common ground between all the religions and societies in the world. It is almost as if all humans had a predetermined core set of moral values within themselves and the utmost need to have those values stamped by a higher spiritual authority.

As for organized religions, I have always had mixed feelings about them. I recently started attending a rural local church (Church of England) because it is the closest. As far as I am aware, they do not seek to convert anyone in there. Only sharing the Gospel message, organising seasonal events (Harvest Festival, Christmas, etc.) and creating a warm, loving community. I don't personally associate with any specific christian denomination as I have always found some positive and negative in any of them, after all they are ran by humans and humans aren't always perfect!

For me as long as the main message promoted is one that strongly resonates with what God has planted in my soul, I see no problem with any of them. God has also given me a critical mind, and nothing stops me from exercising it from time to time.

[Edited 10/11/18 3:45am]

Much love to you Cherry!

Toward the end of her life my mom started attending a Christian Church (Deciples of Christ). They were very involved in the community and especially encouraged volunteering among the able senior citizens like the backpack program.......collect non perishble food items to put in backpack for disadvantaged children so that they could have food over the weekend. The church sponsored many meetings among the religious spectrum to help their congregation and others to learn, understand, and to promote awareness and tolerance for all different faiths. Oh and always positive, learned messages in Sunday service.....not the hellfire and brimstone deliveries from the "bully" pulpit of the Baptist church of my youth.

It is almost as if all humans had a predetermined core set of moral values within themselves and the utmost need to have those values stamped by a higher spiritual authority.--and for me, my explanation of it would be evolution of the species. But if anyone wants to say it is God, Allah, Jaweh, Buddah, etc.....I have no issue!


smile The main Gospel message is a positive one and so love and helping those in need is where the emphasis should be placed in all circumstances. But I also think it has become a trend and a danger in the 'universalist' type church to try and please everyone by trying to erase certain - less pleasing - aspects of the message in the Bible. The fact remains that we are all heading towards death. Without condoning any unecessary overemphasis on the eternal condemnation, I still think that leaving aside the main recurrent parts of the Bible about what happens after death when delivering the message is equal to pretending that death (or sin) does not exist.

[Edited 10/13/18 8:17am]

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Reply #200 posted 10/13/18 1:23pm

LadyLayla

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CherryMoon57 said:

LadyLayla said:

Much love to you Cherry!

Toward the end of her life my mom started attending a Christian Church (Deciples of Christ). They were very involved in the community and especially encouraged volunteering among the able senior citizens like the backpack program.......collect non perishble food items to put in backpack for disadvantaged children so that they could have food over the weekend. The church sponsored many meetings among the religious spectrum to help their congregation and others to learn, understand, and to promote awareness and tolerance for all different faiths. Oh and always positive, learned messages in Sunday service.....not the hellfire and brimstone deliveries from the "bully" pulpit of the Baptist church of my youth.

It is almost as if all humans had a predetermined core set of moral values within themselves and the utmost need to have those values stamped by a higher spiritual authority.--and for me, my explanation of it would be evolution of the species. But if anyone wants to say it is God, Allah, Jaweh, Buddah, etc.....I have no issue!


smile The main Gospel message is a positive one and so love and helping those in need is where the emphasis should be placed in all circumstances. But I also think it has become a trend and a danger in the 'universalist' type church to try and please everyone by trying to erase certain - less pleasing - aspects of the message in the Bible. The fact remains that we are all heading towards death. Without condoning any unecessary overemphasis on the eternal condemnation, I still think that leaving aside the main recurrent parts of the Bible about what happens after death when delivering the message is equal to pretending that death (or sin) does not exist.

[Edited 10/13/18 8:17am]

Again, much love to you Cherry. It's great to have open discussions without anger and blame and I respect your point of view! I have personal experience in this area. I'll delve into the message in a later post but had to have some fun first.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gospel to me = Evangelicals. Which conjur up the famous televangelists like Jim Bakker, Ernest Angely, Pat Robertson, Jimmy Swaggart, Oral Roberts, Jerry Falwell and Paul Crouch. The more famous Stepford wives of these preachers proving to the world that you can never have enough hair spray and eye makeup!

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Style is the second cousin to class
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Reply #201 posted 10/13/18 2:22pm

CherryMoon57

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^ eek lol Goes well with your signature! sexy

Don't get me started on the televangelists, they just ruined everything! mad

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Reply #202 posted 10/13/18 2:34pm

toejam

avatar

CherryMoon57 said:

Critical thinking is useful, but my point was that even with those historical aspects that you do find believable and that you (and many) ultimately take as facts, you still cannot always say that you have physically 'seen' and verified those facts for yourself, can you?

.

Accepting something as believable is not always the same as taking it as a fact. If your point is that we all believe things we can't verify as facts, then I don't know why you think I was not already aware of this? The issue is over what the evidence favors.

.

I think it is ridiculous to link Jesus' ascension with the Roman myth of Romulus. First, it is unsure if Romulus ever existed, while we know that Jesus did. Secondly, he did not led to such a widespread spiritual following as christianity did, even in Rome and Livy himself (who I believe was commissioned by Augustus) presented the ascension in a somewhat unconvinced manner, when he says; 'I believe, however, that even then there were some who secretly hinted that he had been torn limb from limb by the senators - a tradition to this effect, though certainly a very dim one, has filtered down to us.' (see Ab Urbe Condita, 1.16). I don't think anyone ever took the myth of Romulus that seriously. If it was just down to being gullible or supersticious, how would then Jesus - who was not even from Italy - have managed to so firmly override those Roman sacred heroes in the hearts and mind of the Roman nation?

.

It is irrelevant that the existence of a Historical Jesus is more likely than a Historical Romulus. Livy and Plutarch may well hint that they're not entirely sure that Romulus really did ascend, but they tell us that the belief was widespread. And Livy tells us that despite the existence of an alternate polemtic against it, he does lean toward believing the ascension. The point remains that fictitious ascension stories of cult heroes (historical or otherwise) existed and were believed. Your claim that no one ever took it seriously flies in the face of what Plutarch and Livy tell us was believed by many. It also assumes that all early Christians took the idea of Jesus' physical ascension literally, something we cannot guarantee. The longer term success of belief in Jesus' ascension over Romulus' is a much more complex question about how and why Christianity spread and why Roman gods and legends faded. It need not be answered by leaping to the conclusion that therefore Jesus' ascension must have been historical.

.

I noticed that you have not commented on the following part:

.

This was the whole point of Jesus existence as a blameless being (ie, seperate from the Adam and Eve sinful lineage.) thus making His death relevant for the rest of humanity.

.

[Jesus virgin birth] really is not that out of this world: http://www.bbc.co.uk/eart...gin-births

.

One has to ask themselves what is more likely - that Jesus was really born of a virgin by way of freakin'-rare-but-nonetheless-not-entirely-impossible natural biological phenomena that has not yet been observed to have occurred in humans? Or that the stories of Jesus' virgin birth not found until sources dating ~80-120 years after his birth were simply part and parcel of the common propaganda motif of assigning fictitious miraculous conception/birth stories to politico-religious cult heroes? Sound methodology should have us favoring the latter given the regularity of such a phenomena. Normal things normally happen.

.

Further: As I said, Jesus' virgin birth story is late to the game, not showing up in many of the earliest sources. It's not in Paul's genuine epistles, nor the Gospel of Mark (the earliest surviving gospel), nor the Gospel of John. The story only starts showing up in the early chapters of Matthew and Luke - chapters we are told by Proto-Orthodox Church Fathers were omitted in many early Christian circles' versions of those gospels (Ebionites and Marcionites, for example). And Matthew and Luke's versions contradict themselves all over the place. The likely addition of the virgin birth story to the Gospel of Luke (which I think originally began at Chapter 3) ends up making a mockery of Luke 3:23-38 which relays a lineage of Jesus' "father (so it was thought)" Joseph all the way back to Adam and Eve! There are many Christians today who rightly understand the virgin birth to be fiction. Here's a quote by Christian scholar Andrew T. Lincoln, from an interview in which he discusses his book Born of a Virgin?

.

“If you compare Matthew and Luke, as ancient biographies, with other ancient biographies, you will see that the sorts of things that Matthew and Luke placed in their birth narratives were precisely what anyone would have expected to hear in a 'beginning of the life' of a great figure. Typically what happened was that the authors of ancient biographies didn’t have a lot of information about their subject's birth because the subject came to greatness later in life. And so in these biographies, you will find “reports” and created anecdotes, signs and omens, portents and dreams etc., further stories that place the figure in precocious discussions with major state figures of the ancient world - at the age of 11 or 12 or something like that. Events that bring out his later greatness. All of those things, plus the notion that this great philosopher or statesman must have also been related to the gods in some way. And so, you will also find in these biographies accounts of how the conception and birth involved a god somehow. You will find virginal and non-virginal conceptions. But the main thing being stressed is there was no human male - it was instead a god who was involved. So all of those things are there in this literary genre.”

.

[Edited 10/13/18 14:57pm]

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Reply #203 posted 10/13/18 4:20pm

IanRG

toejam said:

CherryMoon57 said:

Critical thinking is useful, but my point was that even with those historical aspects that you do find believable and that you (and many) ultimately take as facts, you still cannot always say that you have physically 'seen' and verified those facts for yourself, can you?

.

Accepting something as believable is not always the same as taking it as a fact. If your point is that we all believe things we can't verify as facts, then I don't know why you think I was not already aware of this? The issue is over what the evidence favors.

.

.

It is irrelevant that the existence of a Historical Jesus is more likely than a Historical Romulus. Livy and Plutarch may well hint that they're not entirely sure that Romulus really did ascend, but they tell us that the belief was widespread. And Livy tells us that despite the existence of an alternate polemtic against it, he does lean toward believing the ascension. The point remains that fictitious ascension stories of cult heroes (historical or otherwise) existed and were believed. Your claim that no one ever took it seriously flies in the face of what Plutarch and Livy tell us was believed by many. It also assumes that all early Christians took the idea of Jesus' physical ascension literally, something we cannot guarantee. The longer term success of belief in Jesus' ascension over Romulus' is a much more complex question about how and why Christianity spread and why Roman gods and legends faded. It need not be answered by leaping to the conclusion that therefore Jesus' ascension must have been historical.

.

I noticed that you have not commented on the following part:

.

This was the whole point of Jesus existence as a blameless being (ie, seperate from the Adam and Eve sinful lineage.) thus making His death relevant for the rest of humanity.

.

[Jesus virgin birth] really is not that out of this world: http://www.bbc.co.uk/eart...gin-births

.

One has to ask themselves what is more likely - that Jesus was really born of a virgin by way of freakin'-rare-but-nonetheless-not-entirely-impossible natural biological phenomena that has not yet been observed to have occurred in humans? Or that the stories of Jesus' virgin birth not found until sources dating ~80-120 years after his birth were simply part and parcel of the common propaganda motif of assigning fictitious miraculous conception/birth stories to politico-religious cult heroes? Sound methodology should have us favoring the latter given the regularity of such a phenomena. Normal things normally happen.

.

Further: As I said, Jesus' virgin birth story is late to the game, not showing up in many of the earliest sources. It's not in Paul's genuine epistles, nor the Gospel of Mark (the earliest surviving gospel), nor the Gospel of John. The story only starts showing up in the early chapters of Matthew and Luke - chapters we are told by Proto-Orthodox Church Fathers were omitted in many early Christian circles' versions of those gospels (Ebionites and Marcionites, for example). And Matthew and Luke's versions contradict themselves all over the place. The likely addition of the virgin birth story to the Gospel of Luke (which I think originally began at Chapter 3) ends up making a mockery of Luke 3:23-38 which relays a lineage of Jesus' "father (so it was thought)" Joseph all the way back to Adam and Eve! There are many Christians today who rightly understand the virgin birth to be fiction. Here's a quote by Christian scholar Andrew T. Lincoln, from an interview in which he discusses his book Born of a Virgin?

.

“If you compare Matthew and Luke, as ancient biographies, with other ancient biographies, you will see that the sorts of things that Matthew and Luke placed in their birth narratives were precisely what anyone would have expected to hear in a 'beginning of the life' of a great figure. Typically what happened was that the authors of ancient biographies didn’t have a lot of information about their subject's birth because the subject came to greatness later in life. And so in these biographies, you will find “reports” and created anecdotes, signs and omens, portents and dreams etc., further stories that place the figure in precocious discussions with major state figures of the ancient world - at the age of 11 or 12 or something like that. Events that bring out his later greatness. All of those things, plus the notion that this great philosopher or statesman must have also been related to the gods in some way. And so, you will also find in these biographies accounts of how the conception and birth involved a god somehow. You will find virginal and non-virginal conceptions. But the main thing being stressed is there was no human male - it was instead a god who was involved. So all of those things are there in this literary genre.”

.

Your appeal to so called "sound methodology" is seriously flawed and only selectively applied by you.

.

Nothing you have said shows why you believe the evidence favours that Jesus is not God, it merely states your belief. This is just your pre-determined opinion. It is only once you have pre-determined that Jesus is not God that any of your methods appear sound.

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Your analogy between Romulus and Jesus failed because of the very thing you claimed as irrelevent. The crucial difference between a story about a long past legendary figure and their ascent and an actual person who lived with the people giving witness to what they saw and directly heard about is where your argument fails. A sound methodology would not seek to excuse why Christianity survived and grew much later after this event whilst belief in a legendary story faded whilst ignoring the evidence of witnesses. (You can still come up a story to protect your cognitive dissonance - you can fall back to these witnesses must have conspired to make things up Ehrman/Smith style).

.

Your "what is more likely argument" fails because you fail to take into account that everyone knowns a human boy is more likely to have a man as their father and a woman as there (see what I did their) mother. They even knew this 2000 years ago. But this common knowledge is the very point - the authors were not writing a history of just a man, but of the Son of God and Son of Man. That accessible literature and beliefs to those who lived with the Son of Man and Son of God shows people also believe that such a miraculous birth as his was an indication of God's involvement indicates that it is good way to show involvement by God. This reduces your argument to was Jesus really the Son of Man and Son of God (and therefore it is perfectly understandable that he could be born of the Virgin Mary), or just a man (and therefore it is perfectly understandable that was his parents' child). Your logic fails because your argument is circular - Jesus is not God, therefore he was born of two parents, therefore not of a virgin, therefore he is not God.

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Reply #204 posted 10/13/18 5:14pm

CherryMoon57

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toejam said:

It is irrelevant that the existence of a Historical Jesus is more likely than a Historical Romulus. Livy and Plutarch may well hint that they're not entirely sure that Romulus really did ascend, but they tell us that the belief was widespread. And Livy tells us that despite the existence of an alternative story, he does lean toward believing the ascension. The point remains that fictitious post-death ascensions stories of cult heroes (historical or otherwise) existed and were believed. Your claim that no one ever took it seriously flies in the face of what Plutarch and Livy tell us was believed by many. It also assumes that all early Christians took the idea of Jesus' physical ascension literally, something we cannot guarantee. The longer term success of belief in Jesus' ascension over Romulus' is a much more complex question about how and why Christianity spread and why Roman gods and legends faded. It need not be answered by the assumption that Jesus' ascension must therefore have been historical.


Actually it is relevant, there was a huge gap (almost 800 years) between the alleged date of the story and the date Livy was writing it. People were already aware that those were nothing but a distant myth to them. Much of what Livy tells his readers is propaganda stuff anyway, being written under Augustus to revive those old ideals and give the Romans a renewed sense of pride and patriotism in order to help restore Rome after the chaos of the Republic. The sentence to me sounds more like he still slips in what he really believes then sort of tries to appear as if he leans more towards the politically correct view (as if to cover himself). He does this throughout the whole book. Here is what he announces in his introduction: '[6] The traditions of what happened prior to the foundation of the City or whilst it was being built, are more fitted to adorn the creations of the poet than the authentic records of the historian, and I have no intention of establishing either their truth or their falsehood.'

The reason why those mythical heroes faded is that they were a passing political propaganda tool. Nothing more.

[Edited 10/13/18 17:19pm]

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Reply #205 posted 10/13/18 6:30pm

toejam

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CherryMoon57 said:

Actually it is relevant, there was a huge gap (almost 800 years) between the alleged date of the story and the date Livy was writing it. People were already aware that those were nothing but a distant myth to them.

.

Similar is true for the stories of Jesus' virgin birth. Historically, they do not start appearing until a time beyond that of any surviving eyewitnesses (~80-120 years after Jesus' birth) and are often written in a poetic/mythological style (e.g. Mary breaks out into song in Luke 1:46), in a language foreign to the Historical Jesus and his family, and likely written outside of Judea and/or Galilee in a post-Jewish War, post-Paul, post-James, post-Peter world. And we know that many early Christians did not accept Jesus' virgin birth. For all we know when these stories started circulating they only first came to people for whom the Historical Jesus and Mary were also significantly distant, geographically, temporally, personally.

.

Do you also believe the story told in the Infancy Gospel of James (chapters 19-20) in which 'Doubting Salome', an associate of Mary's midwife, is given permission by an angel to "inspect" Mary with her finger in order to prove that Mary has conceived a divine child, only for Salome's hand to become suddenly consumed by fire and then miraculously healed as her personalized proof? Do you believe that too? I bet you don't. I bet you suspect as I do that such a story is just Christian mythologizing. Matthew and Luke's stories are cut from the same mythologizing/propagandizing fabric.

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Much of what Livy tells his readers is propaganda stuff anyway, being written under Augustus to revive those old ideals and give the Romans a renewed sense of pride and patriotism in order to help restore Rome after the chaos of the Republic.

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Yep. And the gospels are propaganda too, written with a strong emphasis to attract new converts. They are not disinterested accounts. One way to win converts was to present Jesus 'one-upping' his cult-hero competitors.

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The reason why those mythical heroes faded is that they were a passing political propaganda tool. Nothing more.

.

Yep. And the same has happened to many Christians over the years, having their belief fade away from a literal virgin birth as they grow into a realisation that the stories make better sense as the result of a popular form of propagandizing of the time. Take Andrew T. Lincoln, whom I quoted above and who remains a committed Christian, as an example.

.

[Edited 10/13/18 19:41pm]

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Reply #206 posted 10/13/18 8:02pm

IanRG

toejam said:

CherryMoon57 said:

Actually it is relevant, there was a huge gap (almost 800 years) between the alleged date of the story and the date Livy was writing it. People were already aware that those were nothing but a distant myth to them.

.

Similar is true for the stories of Jesus' virgin birth. Historically, they do not start appearing until a time beyond that of any surviving eyewitnesses (~80-120 years after Jesus' birth) and are often written in a poetic/mythological style (e.g. Mary breaks out into song in Luke 1:46), in a language foreign to the Historical Jesus and his family, and likely written outside of Judea and/or Galilee in a post-Jewish War, post-Paul, post-James, post-Peter world. And we know that many early Christians did not accept Jesus' virgin birth. For all we know when these stories started circulating they only first came to people for whom the Historical Jesus and Mary were also significantly distant, geographically, temporally, personally.

.

Do you also believe the story told in the Infancy Gospel of James (chapters 19-20) in which 'Doubting Salome', an associate of Mary's midwife, is given permission by an angel to "inspect" Mary with her finger in order to prove that Mary has conceived a divine child, only for Salome's hand to become suddenly consumed by fire and then miraculous healed as her personalized proof? Do you believe that too? I bet you don't. I bet you suspect as I do that such a story is just Christian mythologizing. Matthew and Luke's stories are cut from the same mythologizing/propagandizing fabric.

.

.

Yep. And the gospels are propaganda too, written with a strong emphasis to attract new converts. They are not disinterested accounts. One way to win converts was to present Jesus 'one-upping' his cult-hero competitors.

.

The reason why those mythical heroes faded is that they were a passing political propaganda tool. Nothing more.

.

Yep. And the same has happened to many Christians over the years, having their belief fade away from a literal virgin birth as they grow into a realisation that the stories make better sense as the result of a popular form of propagandizing of the time. Take Andrew T. Lincoln, whom I quoted above and who remains a committed Christian, as an example.

.

[Edited 10/13/18 18:55pm]

.

The difference between 80 and 800 years is crucial, even you know this. This order of magnitude difference is why your argument fails. Non-Historical Jesus historians will tell you that 80 years after birth is a very, very short time after the events for the time and place. This is about the earliest that people would document things like the birth of Jesus. It is clearly documented that the written word was rejected in favour of talking to the people who directly witnessed or were taught by a direct witness and was only preferred once these people were no longer around. 80 years from Jesus' birth is less than 50 years from his death, so it is in line with other historical documents that were also written by the people immediately taught by the direct witnesses late in their lives. 800 years after has no such reliability.

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All books written about a historical event are written to push a point of view. A.J.P. Taylor's history of Bismarck and the origins of WWII were published in 1955 and 1961, more than 80 years after some of the crucial factors leading to Bismarck being Chancellor of the German Empire (but much less than 800 years later). His writings have their purpose and particular views. However, no one would therefore suggest he is not reliable in regards to the historical facts (he is no Ehrman or Smith). As the study of history 2000 years ago was different from now, you have to take into account that people then placed more value on people with direct involvement over a view expressed remotely by disinterested people with no engagement with the actual events - Josephus takes great pain to justify his involvement or his source's involvement with the Jewish Civil War to justify why people should listen to him in preference to disinterested people.

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A simple question that I am sure you will not answer: If Jesus is the Son of God and Son of Man, then this means God exists as understood by mainstream Christians: Under these circumstances, how is Jesus' birth outside of God's capabilities?

[Edited 10/13/18 20:07pm]

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Reply #207 posted 10/13/18 8:50pm

toejam

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^Oh, so I take it you also accept Papias' testimony about the death of Judas, in which Judas grew old and fat, and as such could not get out of the way of an oncoming chariot, his body being filled with puss and worms? You believe that too, right? Because afterall Papias was writing ~80-120yrs after the death of Judas and says he preferred oral traditions that stemmed from eyewitnesses...

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Do you believe that story, Ian? Nah, of course you don't. You'll struggle to admit it on this thread though, because you won't want to admit that ~80-120yrs is MORE THAN ENOUGH TIME for legend about Jesus' entourage to have got going.

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What about the Salome story I mentioned above, Ian? Do you believe that one? Nah, of course you don't. Again, I think you'll struggle to admit it in this thread because you won't want to admit that the invention of stories about Mary and her conception/delivery of Jesus quickly became something of a fad.

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Comparing Luke's infancy narrative, which includes obvious mythologizing motifs such as Mary breaking out into song, angelic visitations and proclamations, etc., to A.J.P. Taylor's history of Bismarck is frankly ridiculous.

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You haven't shown that when the stories of Jesus' virgin birth starting circulating they didn't first come to people for whom the Historical Jesus and Mary were already significantly distant - geographically, temporally, personally.

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[Edited 10/13/18 20:55pm]

Toejam @ Peach & Black Podcast: http://peachandblack.podbean.com
Toejam's band "Cheap Fakes": http://cheapfakes.com.au, http://www.facebook.com/cheapfakes
Toejam the solo artist: http://www.youtube.com/scottbignell
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Reply #208 posted 10/13/18 10:16pm

IanRG

toejam said:

^Oh, so I take it you also accept Papias' testimony about the death of Judas, in which Judas grew old and fat, and as such could not get out of the way of an oncoming chariot, his body being filled with puss and worms? You believe that too, right? Because afterall Papias was writing ~80-120yrs after the death of Judas and says he preferred oral traditions that stemmed from eyewitnesses...

.

Do you believe that story, Ian? Nah, of course you don't. You'll struggle to admit it on this thread though, because you won't want to admit that ~80-120yrs is MORE THAN ENOUGH TIME for legend about Jesus' entourage to have got going.

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What about the Salome story I mentioned above, Ian? Do you believe that one? Nah, of course you don't. Again, I think you'll struggle to admit it in this thread because you won't want to admit that the invention of stories about Mary and her conception/delivery of Jesus quickly became something of a fad.

.

Comparing Luke's infancy narrative, which includes obvious mythologizing motifs such as Mary breaking out into song, angelic visitations and proclamations, etc., to A.J.P. Taylor's history of Bismarck is frankly ridiculous.

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You haven't shown that when the stories of Jesus' virgin birth starting circulating they didn't first come to people for whom the Historical Jesus and Mary were already significantly distant - geographically, temporally, personally.

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Your Nah questions are all on the assumption that just because something is written I think it must be right. This is wrong.

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The reason I don't take extra-Bibical books written (mostly) after the Epistles and Gospels is these, like Ehrman and Smith, were discredited in their day. Many of the discussions about their discrediting were documented in their day and this has been well known for a long time. You inadvertantly helped me so easily discredit Ehrman in this very forum (together with his private forum behind a paywall) and you personally accepted his excuse to you that his statement was just guesswork anyway as a reasonable excuse for making things up and knowingly falsely crediting references to other people. I do not accept his lie about his source as being OK.

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You are confused, You were the one who sprouted their unproven opinions about the Virgin birth, not me. That these stories have survived (where all your others have died out) and these Gospels were written within normal and established methods and time periods for these people to record these things in their place and time and this knowledge has been preserved with extraordinary accuracy to be passed down to today shows that they had acceptance back then. It is wrong to think that a concept written within normal time periods for such things to be FIRST written down must not have already orally accepted by the witnessing and recording generations. This may apply to later writings (such as most of your's) because they were not written within this short time period. For things written with the short period that have not survived that is because it is not just the writing down but the acceptance that is important. That the first Gospel, which focuses exclusively on Jesus' Ministry, does not discuss things outside of that exclusive period is not proof that people did not pass down knowledge about Jesus' birth before the latter Gospels.

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There is no "Historical Jesus", there is only Jesus. Everytime you use this term, you are stating that Jesus is not the Son of God and Son of Man and you are asserting this without any proof. You do this in the mistaken opinion that proofs that are reliant on your pre-determined conclusion will convince people who have not made the same assumptions as you and it fails every time. The Historical Jesus is an 18th to 21st century term for a variety of movements seeking to construct a character without reference to what is claimed about that person. It is a process of taking God out of Jesus and Christianity. It may well be right - but only if Jesus is not the Son of Man and Son of God - So I don't believe it is right. If Jesus is the Son of Man and Son of God, then all the facebook lists in the world serve no more pupose than the equivalent lists for Star Trek, Star Wars, The Tolkien books and Game of Thrones.

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Smart Alec self-answered questions coupled with assumptions do cover up that you have failed to answer my question (as predicted).

[Edited 10/14/18 1:20am]

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Reply #209 posted 10/14/18 1:22am

toejam

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^So you agree that ~80-120 years is more than enough time for fictitious legends about events in the lives of Jesus' entourage, complete with bogus links back to eyewitness oral tradition, to have begun circulating and been believed in some Christian communities. Sort of takes the "cruciality" out of your rhetoric that "the difference between 80 and 800 years is crucial" and of a "different order of magnitude", etc.

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You still haven't shown that when stories of Jesus' virgin birth first started circulating they didn't first come to people for whom the Historical Jesus and Mary were already significantly distant - geographically, temporally, personally. And NOW you've even admitting that the length of time between Jesus' birth and when we start hearing of the stories is enough time for legends about Jesus' entourage to have taken root. Couple that with the fact that ascribing fictitious miraculous conception/birth stories to cult heroes was a common propaganda tool, that you understand other early traditions about Mary (her being "inspected" by Salome's finger) to be bogus legend, and that a virgin birth pretty much defies what we know of how new humans are conceived and it should be a no-brainer.

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You're also wrong that the Gospel of Mark "does not discuss things outside of [the period of Jesus' ministry]". Mark opens with a significant introduction to Jesus before narrating the ministry period. In the opening chapter, John the Baptist is first introduced as the fulfillment of Malachi 3:1's messenger prophecy (clumsily attributed to Isaiah - we're not off to a great start!). Jesus comes to John and is baptized by him, at which point Jesus sees the heavens tear apart and the Spirit descend upon him like a dove, while a voice from heaven declares Jesus to be God's son. Jesus is then driven out into the wilderness by the Spirit and tempted by Satan for 40 days. Finally, John the Baptist is arrested. And only after all that does Jesus begin his ministry. Mark also mentions Mary on a few occasions, yet never takes the opportunity to relay that she had conceived Jesus without having had sexual intercourse with a male. Some textual variants of Mark 6:3 also have Jesus called by his town folk "the carpenter's son". Mark had plenty of opportunity to mention the virgin birth but didn't. We can never be sure why not. It's certainly not my view that it "must" not have been in circulation by then. But it is curious why he would fail to mention it if it were circulating by his time and when he mentioned several other seemingly important stories about pre-ministry Jesus and his mother Mary.

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[Edited 10/14/18 1:37am]

Toejam @ Peach & Black Podcast: http://peachandblack.podbean.com
Toejam's band "Cheap Fakes": http://cheapfakes.com.au, http://www.facebook.com/cheapfakes
Toejam the solo artist: http://www.youtube.com/scottbignell
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