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Old 08-22-2001, 11:39 PM   #41
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Quote:
Previously posted by Rich:
I certainly do not consider it as proof. I merely think that if the belief system was so faulty, it wouldn't propagate as it has/does.
Previously posted by Donald Morgan:
Rich:
You seem to disregard Judaism as being a true religion on the basis that the number of adherents is relatively small (even though it is a nonproselytizing religion) and its influence not as great as that of Christianity--even though it is the backbone, so to speak of Christianity itself and has had influence which seems to far outweigh the number of adherents.

Quote:
Rich now responds:
not true...I do see it as the foundation of Christianity and in fact believe that Jews worship the same God I do
What is it that is not true?

Am I wrong that you disregard Judaism as a true religion? You do think it is a true religion? (Keep in mind that I neither said nor implied that you disregarded it as the backbone of Christianity. The point is that Judaism seems to have had influence which far outweighs the number of its adherents.)

Quote:
I am not making statements as to what is a true religion...I am simply suggesting that there is a reason why Christianity has spread as it has.
You said this previously:
Quote:
Previously posted by Rich:
I have a hard time seeing how outside of it being true, it could have spread throughout the world as it has for so long.
That sounds to me that you are making a statement as to what is a true religion.

Previously posted by Donald Morgan:
The number of adherents to Islam and/or its influence may someday exceed that of Christianity. If and when it does, will that make it true?

Quote:
Rich continues:
see statement above...if it does manage to propagate in other cultures then one would be wise to examine why it was successful
Astronomy in one form or another has propagated to numerous cultures. Would we be wise to examine why it was successful in doing so? And if so, why would it be wise to do so?

Previously posted by Donald Morgan:
What has the number of adherents or the widespread influence of a religion necessarily to do with its truth?

Quote:
Rich continues:
Possibly nothing, but I would say that the majority of people that have ever lived have believed in monotheism which at least on some level would seem to at least cause one to examine its truth.
So, we're back to this business of the number of people who believe something. Examine the truth of? Certainly. I have. I am an ex-Christian whose incentive to examine the truth of what he believed came about as a result of getting into it so heavily that he began to see biblical and theological problems that were eventually fatal to belief.

Previously posted by Donald Morgan:
Did the number of adherents and the influence of the flat-earth belief make that belief true?

Quote:
Who believes it anymore and why? No one because it's been proven false! Exactly what some atheists thought would happened to religion after the age of reason...apparently it hasn't been as easy to debunk as some on this site would have you to believe.
No, it isn't nearly as easy to prove something false when it is as nebulous as Christianity is; it is much easier to prove that the earth is not flat.

But of course, you didn't answer the question that I asked. I'll ask it again: Did the number of adherents and the influence of the flat-earth belief make that belief true?

Previously posted by Donald Morgan:
4.) Don't you think that the billions of dollars and billions of man-hours spent advertising, promoting, and promulgating Christianity has anything to do with its propagation and influence?

Quote:
I don't deny this fact at all, but it is not possible to force someone to convert...maybe in name but not belief...if I had a million dollars would you believe in Christianity?
No, I wouldn't believe in it. But if you spent that $1,000,000 in attempting to convince me, personally, that it was true, and you did so from the time that I was young until now, I might possibly believe.

Remember, I wasn't talking about bribing people to believe (although that is what the Christian "God" does), I was talking about advertising, promoting belief through clever and repetitious advertising campaigns.

Quote:
Previously posted by Rich:
I am not sure if I understand your question. Are you asking if I think that the money and man-power spent has contributed to ongoing belief in the resurrection?
The so-called Resurrection, yes, but Christianity as a whole as well.

Previously posted by Donald Morgan:
Keep in mind that there has to be some "lie" (for lack of a better word) that is, in fact, the biggest lie of all.

Quote:
Rich continues:
Why does there have to be some lie?
When you have several religions claiming to be the one true religion, no more than one of them can be true (and the fact is that none of them might be true).

--Don--

[ August 23, 2001: Message edited by: Donald Morgan ]
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Old 08-24-2001, 06:43 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ron Garrett:
<STRONG>Jeff if you read other examples of sacred writing, I have in mind the Bahgvad Gita in particular, you will note that these writings overflow with stories of appearances by the demi-gods and heroes where they are unrecognized until the end of the story.</STRONG>
You don't even have to go that far: Homer contains this motif as well. Indeed, Robin Lane Fox has shown that the motif of the unrecognized god was commonplace in the ancient Mediterranean (anyone on the street can be a god, testing you, so you'd better be civil, etc.). That the Gospels try to exaggerate the recognition part of this motif with hyperbolic "proofs" is one of their most suspicious attributes--and likewise shows that the original stories were more typical of the time and place, and culturally explicable without any real resurrection.
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Old 08-24-2001, 06:57 AM   #43
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Before advancing any theories about the Gospels having to be better collated than they were or such like, one must first read my essay The Formation of the New Testament Canon. There you discover:

(1) No one was even thinking about a collated canon of literature until the 140's, and then it was a heretic who did it first. The so-called orthodoxy had to respond ad hoc and make do with what it had, and it wasn't until the 160's that even made much of a start, and it wasn't until the 300's that any effort at an organized attention to canonical issues began.

(2) Above all, the would-be orthodoxy had to please as many churches as possible that agreed with its basic views, in order to win the propaganda war. This meant accepting the Gospels that various allied groups accepted--there was no way around it, nor would it have been accepted to just edit them, which would have exposed them as liars. The sort of editing that went on was small scale, ad hoc, uncoordinated, gradual, and covert, and it tended to make things worse on occasion rather than better.

(3) The orthodoxy tried very early on to create a harmony of the Gospels: Tatian composed the Diatessaron in the late 2nd century. But it simply wasn't popular, and never survived the bartering and negotiation that went on as churches competed and allied with each other for power and glory. In effect, the reason the Bible is so full of contradictions is that it was selected by committee, and is perhaps a classic case of what happens in the face of bureaucratitis.
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Old 08-24-2001, 07:26 AM   #44
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Our Fearless Leader posted:

Quote:
You don't even have to go that far: Homer contains this motif as well. Indeed, Robin Lane Fox has shown that the motif of the unrecognized god was commonplace in the ancient Mediterranean (anyone on the street can be a god, testing you, so you'd better be civil, etc.).
And Aesop, etc. ad infinitum. The secret the audience knows, but the actors don't, right? It's part and parcel of good story-telling.

Abbot and Costello are guarding the wax museum, but the coffin has the the real Count Dracula inside. The audience with great self-satisfaction knows what's is going on before the players.

The disciples see fantastic feats and stupidly mumble to each other, "What manner of man is this?", while the audience, who has not been lobotomized for purposes of effect, shouts, "He's not a man you idiots! How can you not see that?"

The Messianic Secret we call it. Tell the gospel stories to a little child and they can't wait to tell everyone what they can clearly see coming but the grown men of the twelve cannot. There's nothing unusual in these stories as any writer could tell you.

[ August 24, 2001: Message edited by: Ron Garrett ]
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Old 08-24-2001, 08:26 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ron Garrett:
<STRONG>Our Fearless Leader posted:

And Aesop, etc. ad infinitum. The secret the audience knows, but the actors don't, right? It's part and parcel of good story-telling.

Abbot and Costello are guarding the wax museum, but the coffin has the the real Count Dracula inside. The audience with great self-satisfaction knows what's is going on before the players.

The disciples see fantastic feats and stupidly mumble to each other, "What manner of man is this?", while the audience, who has not been lobotomized for purposes of effect, shouts, "He's not a man you idiots! How can you not see that?"

The Messianic Secret we call it. Tell the gospel stories to a little child and they can't wait to tell everyone what they can clearly see coming but the grown men of the twelve cannot. There's nothing unusual in these stories as any writer could tell you.

[ August 24, 2001: Message edited by: Ron Garrett ]</STRONG>
George Bernard Shaw called truth "the funniest joke in the world".

My former high school proudly displays above it's front doors the well known "Knowledge is Power; The Truth will make you Free." For decades I actually accepted that as "truthful". However, I now realize that it should read, "Truth is Power; but Knowledge will make you Free".

Truth, in fact, represents in many people's usage, culturally and personally, a kind of secrecy, a withholding of knowledge. Now that's Power!

joe
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