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Old 06-14-2001, 06:11 PM   #1
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Post The Origins of Man and Religion

What is the origin of man and religion?

That is the question and subject of the following essay, which is essentially a book report followed by personal comments on John G. Jackson, Christianity Before Christ, The American Atheist Press, PO Bx 2117, Austin, TX, 1985.

The Origins of Man and Religion

In 1871, Charles Darwin, in The Descent of Man, predicted that the origin of man would be found to be in Africa. (John G. Jackson, Christianity Before Christ, The American Atheist Press, PO Bx 2117, Austin, TX, 1985, p. 173.)

In 1883, in The Natural Genesis, Gerald Massey asserted that Africa was the home of man and that Blacks who were Kamites migrated around the world, leaving fossil and cultural evidence, and that the two cultures of Blacks in Britain and Blacks of Australia originated from the same racial origins in Africa. Massey stated that Professor Aldous Huxley observed that the native Egyptians and the Australian Blacks are descended from the same race. (Gerald Massey, The Natural Genesis, Vol. I, pp. 8-9.)

According to Jackson, modern men have found Pygmy fossils in all lands throughout the world. (Jackson, p. 175.)

Pygmies have certain obvious physical characteristics: short stature, dark skin, frizzled/wiry hair, round faces, broad noses, and thick lips. (Jackson, Chapter XII.)

Dr. Albert Churchward, in The Origin and Evolution of the Human Race, 1921, asserted that (A) the human race originated in Central Africa in the Nile River Valley, particularly the upper regions near the sources of the Nile, and (B) the first humans were Pygmies. (Dr. Albert Churchward, The Signs and Symbols of Primordial Man, p. 3)

Discoveries of human fossils in Africa and identified as Pygmy fossils by Dr. Raymond Dart, Dr. Robert Bloom, Professor Louis Leakey, Mary Leakey, Richard Leakey, and others confirmed Darwin’s prediction, Massey’s observations, and Churchward’s assertions. (Jackson, p. 173.)

In The Origin and Evolution of Religion, 1924, Churchward stated that the first evidence of religion and religious practices were traced back to the Pygmies, the first humans to evolve from the Anthropoid Apes. The Egyptians described the earliest divine men in their mythology as having the physical characteristics of Pygmy men and the earliest Mother Goddess as having the physical characteristics of Pygmy women. (Dr. Albert Churchward, The Origin and Evolution of Religion, London: George Allen and Unwin, 1924, pp. 7-8.)

For twenty years, Jean-Pierre Hallet, an anthropologist, lived in the Congo and studied the people and the culture of the Pygmies of the Ituri Forest and concluded that Christianity originated with the Pygmies.

The Pygmies had a story much like that of the Judeo-Christian Adam, “... the story of a god, a garden paradise, a sacred tree, a noble Pygmy man, who was molded from the dust of the earth, and a wicked Pygmy woman who led him into sin, ... [a] ban being placed by God upon a single fruit, the discovery by God [of the sin of eating the forbidden fruit], the woman’s urging, the man’s reluctance, and the awful punishment he [God] laid upon the ancient Pygmy sinners: the loss of immortality and paradise, the pangs of childbirth, and the curse of hard work.” (Jean-Pierre Hallet, Pygmy Kitabou, Greenwich, Ct.: Fawcett Publications, 1975, p. 37.

According to Jackson, in the religious mythology of the Pygmies was a Father-God and a Virgin Mother whose son was a Savior-God who died for the salvation of man, was resurrected, and ascended into heaven.

Jackson therefore asserts that in the Pygmy culture we find the origins of man, of religion, and Christianity before Christ (hence the name of his book). (Jackson, p. 175.)

Apologists!: Be careful when attacking this essay. It is based upon physical evidence (physical evidence: Pygmy fossils found in all the lands of the world), and in the traditions of the Pygmies themselves, as reported by Jean-Pierre Hallet, (eyewitness report from a credible witness, defined as an anthropologist who spent twenty years among the Ituri Forest Pygmies of the Congo), meaning you, yourself, could go to the Congo and spend time with the Pygmies of the Ituri Forest and learn from them their mythology.

Also, when you criticize, please do so in terms of knowledge, not belief/opinion. Tell me what you know; do not tell me what you believe. Because of your emotional bias, I expect that you believe all this to be nonsense; but that is a belief/opinion and should be supported by facts. Tell me the facts which refute the claims/statements/assertions listed. Avoid ad hominem arguments, e.g., The American Atheist Press could not produce anything worthwhile/can only produce nonsense, or because of the conclusion the author (John G. Jackson) is obviously biased (in fact, he reports [p. 185] trying to refute Gerald Massey and failing), or that I, Bob K., am obviously biased and incapable of observing and reporting the truth. And if you attempt to refute, there is a fundamental question: What were the origins of man and religion? which you must answer, and to claim that the Bible explains it all is not enough, given the controversies/contradictions/etc. which actually exist and cannot be refuted by physical evidence, eyewitness reports from credible witnesses, and logical arguments/reason.

What is most important is truth.

But truth must be based upon empirical proof, (1) physical evidence (defined as people/things.events who/which can be seen/heard/touched/smelled/tasted and who/which are independent of opinion/cannot be denied, and who/which are not the content of ideas), (2) eyewitness reports from credible witnesses of physical evidence and corroborated by credible corroborators, and/or (3) logical arguments in which all premises are verifiable/falsifiable/verified by physical evidence.

If the gods (A) never existed, or (B) existed but died, or (C) exist but don't give a damn about human beings, then we need to face whichever is the reality and go about creating a culture that will improve the lives of all mankind, within reason. Given any conclusive proof that the gods never existed/died/don't give a damn about humans, man can effectively create a culture which will have a natural morality based upon the selfishness of normal people (not sociopaths/psychopaths) which matures from personal selfishness (seeking only to achieve one's personal desires and to maximize one's personal happiness without regard for the desires and happiness of other people) to social selfishness (seeking to achieve most of one's desires and to maximize one's happiness by helping other people achieve their desires and maximize their happiness) when individuals learn that to achieve most of their desires and to maximize their happiness they need the ready, willing and able cooperation of other people and therefore must be ready, willing and able to cooperate with those other people by negotiating and seeking to achieve common desires.

Again, truth is what counts.

I need information, defined as knowledge, not belief/opinion.

Show me. Show me the physical evidence. Show me the gods. Or show me the clear and obvious observable effects of the gods, effects that are so clear and obvious that they cannot be refuted by physical evidence, which prove conclusively that they could only have been caused by gods, and that, therefore, gods exist.

If you cannot do this, then have the personal integrity to say so.

We are, or should be, all on this planet at this time united in trying to make this a better place in which to live for all mankind, and religious belief/opinion unsupported by conclusive proof should not be a source of contention and conflict and human misery.

[This message has been edited by Bob K (edited June 14, 2001).]
 
Old 06-15-2001, 01:53 AM   #2
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Whilst I am unable to comment on the religious aspects of the above I would challenge some of the claims about the origins of man an the interrelationships of the various races. If the evidence which has come to light over the last ten years is to be believed then the only bit of this which is correct is that man originated in Africa. I suspect this information is only of minor importance to the substance of this thread so I will leave it at that unless further information is requested.

 
Old 06-15-2001, 08:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Bob K:
Apologists!: Be careful when attacking this essay. It is based upon physical evidence (physical evidence: Pygmy fossils found in all the lands of the world), and in the traditions of the Pygmies themselves, as reported by Jean-Pierre Hallet, (eyewitness report from a credible witness, defined as an anthropologist who spent twenty years among the Ituri Forest Pygmies of the Congo), meaning you, yourself, could go to the Congo and spend time with the Pygmies of the Ituri Forest and learn from them their mythology.
Quote:
</font>
Ahhh… The old “Apologists Beware” warning. Unfortunately I did not learn any tactics at the apologetics boot camp I recently attended that would thwart such an argument as the one you are presenting. I mean how can you argue against Pygmy fossils? That’s way outta my league. Is there a number I can call to contact the Pygmies of the Ituri Forest?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Also, when you criticize, please do so in terms of knowledge, not belief/opinion. Tell me what you know; do not tell me what you believe. Because of your emotional bias, I expect that you believe all this to be nonsense; but that is a belief/opinion and should be supported by facts.
Quote:
</font>
If I didn’t know any better I’d think you were claiming that you KNOW that gods do not exist. Such a claim would require omniscience of the entire universe. Is this your claim? If not, then your claim that god does not exist is exactly the same thing for which you criticize theists; namely, that it is only a belief. So Bob… Tell us what YOU know.


Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Again, truth is what counts.
I need information, defined as knowledge, not belief/opinion.
Show me. Show me the physical evidence. Show me the gods. Or show me the clear and obvious observable effects of the gods, effects that are so clear and obvious that they cannot be refuted by physical evidence, which prove conclusively that they could only have been caused by gods, and that, therefore, gods exist.
If you cannot do this, then have the personal integrity to say so.
Quote:
</font>
I can’t do it. Am I now a man of integrity?

Peace,

Polycarp




[This message has been edited by Polycarp (edited June 15, 2001).]
 
Old 06-15-2001, 06:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Given any conclusive proof that the gods never existed/died/don't give a damn about humans, man can effectively create a culture which will have a natural morality based upon the selfishness of normal people (not sociopaths/psychopaths) which matures from personal selfishness (seeking only to achieve one's personal desires and to maximize one's personal happiness without regard for the desires and happiness of other people) to social selfishness (seeking to achieve most of one's desires and to maximize one's happiness by helping other people achieve their desires and maximize their happiness) when individuals learn that to achieve most of their desires and to maximize their happiness they need the ready, willing and able cooperation of other people and therefore must be ready, willing and able to cooperate with those other people by negotiating and seeking to achieve common desires. [....]
We are, or should be, all on this planet at this time united in trying to make this a better place in which to live for all mankind</font>
Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows everywhere...
I was under the impression that this sort of faith in humanity had completely died out over the last 50 or so years... clearly not. It does explain a few of your previous posts though. But anyway, if you want to rant your optimist humanist beliefs, why do it in this particular forum?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">For twenty years, Jean-Pierre Hallet, an anthropologist, lived in the Congo and studied the people and the culture of the Pygmies of the Ituri Forest and concluded that Christianity originated with the Pygmies.

The Pygmies had a story much like that of the Judeo-Christian Adam, ... the story of a god, a garden paradise, a sacred tree, a noble Pygmy man, who was molded from the dust of the earth, and a wicked Pygmy woman who led him into sin, ... [a] ban being placed by God upon a single fruit, the discovery by God [of the sin of eating the forbidden fruit], the woman’s urging, the man’s reluctance, and the awful punishment he [God] laid upon the ancient Pygmy sinners: the loss of immortality and paradise, the pangs of childbirth, and the curse of hard work. (Jean-Pierre Hallet, Pygmy Kitabou, Greenwich, Ct.: Fawcett Publications, 1975, p. 37.

According to Jackson, in the religious mythology of the Pygmies was a Father-God and a Virgin Mother whose son was a Savior-God who died for the salvation of man, was resurrected, and ascended into heaven.

Jackson therefore asserts that in the Pygmy culture we find the origins of man, of religion, and Christianity before Christ (hence the name of his book). (Jackson, p. 175.)</font>
Ignoring the opinions that Jackson reads into this, what do we actually have here. The only facts we have (assuming they are facts and aren't completely made up) is that the Pygmies of the Ituri Forest in Congo have the same (or similar) creation story to the Jewish-Christian one and have a story of a very similar figure to Christ. The similar creation story is hardly unprecedented, I have heard mentions of other similar creation stories in different cultures. This suggests that there is some sort of link between all these cultures. But what sort of link? Is there any basis for postulating that the Pygmy story is the original and the others copies of that (as opposed to the two alturnatives of one of the others being the original or of the original being a now-lost common source)? There may possibly be, but I don't see it in Bob K's post.
Even were we to prove beyond any doubt that the Pygmy culture is the source of this story what relevance would this have exactly to Christianity?
In short: none.
Bob has said (and although it may be untrue I have no particular reason to doubt it) that Pygmies are the oldest race and from them all others are descended. If that is the case then Adam and Eve in the Bible story would clearly have been Pygmies.
If anything the fact that the Pygmies also have this creation story gives it support rather than detracts from it.

The other point was:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">According to Jackson, in the religious mythology of the Pygmies was a Father-God and a Virgin Mother whose son was a Savior-God who died for the salvation of man, was resurrected, and ascended into heaven.</font>
Again it is erroneous (without further evidence) to conclude that the Pygmy story is separate to or the source of the Christian one. It is almost completely impossible to even imagine the contorted happenings required for the Pygmy story to be the source of the Christian one. What seems eminantly more likely is that the Christian story is the source of the Pygmy one. Even if it could be ruled out beyond reasonable doubt that the Christian story managed to reach the Pigmy prior to the visit by Jean-Pierre Hallet (which I imagine would be extremely hard to prove) I would still believe it to be the most likely possibility. The alturnative of a separate existence of so similar story seems unlikely in the extreme. Indeed I would suggest that it is impossible short of some sort of divine revelation to the Pygmies.

Time for some justified ad hominems . I hope you realise that since the publisher has a vested the results and controversy sparked by this book and since the author is getting published by this publisher in the first place: there is a very good chance that there is some sort of bias present in the book. By the way, you are probably also biased to some extent, so you may find what bias there is in the book difficult to see. I know you've asked that these biases not be mentioned but I believe that we must carefully do "What is most important is truth". Although I seriously doubt that you believe that I believe this!
I would have a lot more respect for any arguments you present if you defended them from a source which was clearly unbiased.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Show me the gods</font>
God not gods.
I do seriously wonder though, if I could show God to you - would you really want to see him/know that he existed? Or would you prefer that he didn't exist?
I can suggest something that may work, or it may not. Spend 10 minutes or so praying to God for him to show himself to you. If it "works" then I sure you can see the potential benefits, and if it doesn't... you've lost nothing (okay, you've lost 10 minutes). However if you aren't honestly seeking truth, then I seriously doubt anything will come of it.

-Tercel
 
Old 06-15-2001, 10:24 PM   #5
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Hi Bob, I think it is a great God who can make me out of a fish, don't you agree?

If you are looking for Gods 'out there' you are looking in the wrong places and if you and your handicapped antrhopologist friends think that Christianity originated outside of Christendom you are telling the world that you do not understand much about religion. I suggest that religion is much like a wheel barrow that can get you from A to B and if A is life without God, B is life with God.

Pygmies have nothing to do with Christianity and it matters not one iota if all of mankind at one time was black and Pygmy and short or tall and came from Africa or not because Christianity does not deal with the origin of mankind but with the origin of the mythology whereupon religion is based to serve for the survival of the tribe. If Pygmies have similar ideas of God and Gods as does Christianity you should considder the posibility that there is an archetypal truth to the method and manners of God in who's image man is made (Pygmies included).

You seem to think that learning is always a matter of looking for evidence to complete a puzzle while you fail to realize that the omniscient mind is that from which science must extract its pieces to complete the puzzle (this should tell you that science will always be behind the eightball).

Understand well here that religion holds that man was made in the image of God and our humanity is just a condition of being that pertains to man and has no corporeal substance (the suffix -ity should tell you that).

Amos

PS So if it would make you happy, yes, we all came from Pygmys and there is no God out there to be blamed for our humanity and therefore we are the sole creator of our misery.




[This message has been edited by Amos123 (edited June 15, 2001).]
 
Old 06-16-2001, 06:13 AM   #6
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Massey stated that Professor Aldous Huxley observed that the native Egyptians and the Australian Blacks are descended from the same race.

There are no races, and except for historical understanding, who cares what scientists in 1863 thought about human descent relationships? They were all wrong. As we now know, Australia aboriginals are a people relatively distantly related to the Egyptians (whoever they were) and more closely related to some South/SE Asian groups, AFAIK, as DNA studies show.

According to Jackson, modern men have found Pygmy fossils in all lands throughout the world. (Jackson, p. 175.)

And his source for this fantastic claim? I can't even find anything about pygmy fossils anywhere in google.

Dr. Albert Churchward, in The Origin and Evolution of the Human Race, 1921, asserted that (A) the human race originated in Central Africa in the Nile River Valley, particularly the upper regions near the sources of the Nile, and (B) the first humans were Pygmies.

Unfortunately, there is no evidence that the first humans were pygmies. Writing in 1921, again, why should we pay attention to any assertions of this high ranking free-mason who thought all religion descended through Egypt.

Discoveries of human fossils in Africa and identified as Pygmy fossils by Dr. Raymond Dart, Dr. Robert Bloom, Professor Louis Leakey, Mary Leakey, Richard Leakey, and others confirmed Darwin’s prediction, Massey’s observations, and Churchward’s assertions.

You mean, Austropithcenes are pygmies? How do you mean that? Anatomically similar to modern pygmies -- who are indisputably H. sapiens -- or just "short?"

In The Origin and Evolution of Religion, 1924, Churchward stated that the first evidence of religion and religious practices were traced back to the Pygmies, the first humans to evolve from the Anthropoid Apes.

This is a little confusing. First, humans are anthropoid apes, modern apes and humans share a common ancestor. The earliest known religious behavior apparently occurred in the neandertals, but that is disputed. All known religious behavior occurred among the genus Homo. Do you mean that 4-6 million years ago creatures like Lucy had relgious thought?

For twenty years, Jean-Pierre Hallet, an anthropologist, lived in the Congo and studied the people and the culture of the Pygmies of the Ituri Forest and concluded that Christianity originated with the Pygmies.

Hallet believes the pygmies are the oldest and most genetically isolated group of humans. However, I have never heard that he thinks Christianity originated with them. We all know where and when it originated. Do you have a cite for this opinion of Hallet's?

meaning you, yourself, could go to the Congo and spend time with the Pygmies of the Ituri Forest and learn from them their mythology.

I am not an apologist, and I find Jackson's comments incredible.

Michael
 
Old 06-17-2001, 12:46 PM   #7
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Polycarp:

I wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Apologists!: Be careful when attacking this essay. It is based upon physical evidence (physical evidence: Pygmy fossils found in all the lands of the world), and in the traditions of the Pygmies themselves, as reported by Jean-Pierre Hallet, (eyewitness report from a credible witness, defined as an anthropologist who spent twenty years among the Ituri Forest Pygmies of the Congo), meaning you, yourself, could go to the Congo and spend time with the Pygmies of the Ituri Forest and learn from them their mythology.</font>
You wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Ahhh… The old “Apologists Beware” warning. Unfortunately I did not learn any tactics at the apologetics boot camp I recently attended that would thwart such an argument as the one you are presenting. I mean how can you argue against Pygmy fossils? That’s way outta my league. Is there a number I can call to contact the Pygmies of the Ituri Forest?</font>
The point is to require you to present knowledge as proof as physical evidence as people/things/events who/which are comprised of matter/energy and can be seen/heard/touched/smelled/tasted and not opinions/beliefs unsupported by proof.

The Bible is now looking to be totally fiction, paraphrases of earlier mythologies, fabrications of NT fulfillments of OT prophecies, most of which are not of a distant future JC/Messiah, but are of local importance, and one of them, that JC shall be a Nazarene not being found anywhere in the OT, as ably pointed out by Thomas Paine in THE AGE OF REASON. The possibility of mythology preceding and influencing the fabrication of the Bible is now too strong to dismiss as atheist/agnostic nonsensical attempts to discredit the Bible.

Mike Turton (Turtonm) in a Reply to this Post has references to fossils which could be checked out, since fossils are physical evidence.

I can deal with physical evidence. What is is.

But beliefs/opinions mean anything goes and no one can deal with them, even those who have the opinions/beliefs, because they are not based upon proof as physical evidence everyone can deal with.

What might be is what might be and not necessarily what is: anything can go, therefore anything goes.

The point of referencing the report of Jean-Pierre Hallet is to require you to be ready, willing and able to travel to the Ituri Forest of the Congo to do your own work in contacting the Pygmies and getting from them their information re: their history and mythology so you could either confirm or deny Hallet’s report rather than just merely giving your opinion without supporting reasons and without having dealt with the Congo Pygmies yourself. With that thought in mind, any worthwhile travel agency can book you a trip to the Congo so you can do the legwork yourself.

Or, if you have information concerning another credible eyewitness report which contradicts Hallet, then certainly that information would be valuable and helpful, provided that it is information about facts, about eyewitness reports, and corroborations, not opinions/beliefs unsupported by any dealings with the Congo Pygmies.

Keep in mind that I am doing a book report. I am reporting what Jackson included CHRISTIANITY BEFORE CHRIST, and I am citing his sources as well.

I have thus set up standards for replies, because without standards anything goes, and, in some of the replies, obviously some individuals think that anything goes.

If I recall, On the Post: Standards for the Analysis/Evaluation/Judgment of Gods I requested that you tell me what were you standards, and that you eventually agreed that yours were similar to mine.

That simply means to me that we both have the same problem of determining what’s real and what is not. And that means looking seriously at myths and fictions which suggest/prove that the Bible is phony in spite of what we want it to be (or not be).

Otherwise, ‘glad to see you admit that apologists really do have boot camps.

I wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Also, when you criticize, please do so in terms of knowledge, not belief/opinion. Tell me what you know; do not tell me what you believe. Because of your emotional bias, I expect that you believe all this to be nonsense; but that is a belief/opinion and should be supported by facts.</font>

You wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">If I didn’t know any better I’d think you were claiming that you KNOW that gods do not exist. Such a claim would require omniscience of the entire universe. Is this your claim? If not, then your claim that god does not exist is exactly the same thing for which you criticize theists; namely, that it is only a belief. So Bob… Tell us what YOU know.</font>
How do you get out of what i have written any possibility that I am claiming that I know gods do not exist?

My philosophical position is agnostic, but defined, as are other subjects, on my terms, not someone else’s.

If we look at the concept of proof of the existence or nonexistence of gods, then I define a theist to be a person who has a belief in the existence of proof of the existence of gods, an atheist to be a person who has a belief in the existence of proof of the nonexistence of gods, and an agnostic to be a person who has no belief in the existence of proof of the existence of gods or in the existence of proof of the nonexistence of gods.

These definitions follow popular definitions by normal people, humorously defined as nonscholars.

I do not claim omniscience of the entire universe.

I do claim as knowledge that any proof of the existence or nonexistence of gods which is not physical evidence as people/things/events who/which are comprised of matter/energy is inconclusive proof.

I do claim as knowledge that the universe is the space within which exist people/things/events who/which are comprised of matter/energy, are independent of opinion/belief, and are not the content of ideas/mental representations.

Be sure you understand what I am saying: The universe is space, and if it were not filled, at least to some extent, with people/things/events comprised of matter/energy, then it would be a total vacuum.

Can anyone/thing create empty space? Would he/she/it require a space in which to create empty space? What would we call the space within which someone/thing could create empty space? Space? The universe?

We have never observed something coming from nothing, therefore something can only come from something else.

If space is absolutely nothing, is not comprised of matter/energy, then it could not have been created. It would have existed without a beginning, exist now, and would exist without an ending.

Physicists have proven (A) that matter and energy cannot be destroyed but only changed in form, which was described by Dr. A. Einstein in m = E/c2 and E = mc2, and (B) that the total amount of matter and energy is a constant.

This means that matter/energy is (A) infinite in duration but (B) finite in quantity.

If there is nothing on a total vacuum, then not even the gods could exist in a total vacuum.

If space were total vacuum, then not even the gods would exist.

But there is “stuff” in space, matter and energy, and that stuff can be the cause (the source of causality) of other stuff as people/things/events who/which are effects and who/which can be the causes of other people/things/events as effects.

The stuff in space would also have to comprise the gods.

Gods are comprised of matter/energy of some kind, possibly of a kind men have not yet discovered, but matter/energy of some kind, for without matter/energy there would by only empty space/a total vacuum.

The gods would have to use energy to transform matter/energy for their purposes; they could not use nothing to create something. Magic/words would not get anything done.

There is nothing outrageous in any of this.

If the gods are more knowledgeable and more powerful than man individually or collectively, then the gods could be capable of performing actions man currently cannot. There would be no magic to what the gods could do, only a difference from man of knowledge and capabilities.

And THAT would, of course, be a significant difference.

There is the possibility that man individually or collectively could learn and therefore know what the gods know and still be unable to do what the gods can do.

And there is the possibility that man could learn what the gods know and be able to do what the gods can do.

In this description of the universe, of matter/energy, and gods, I have given a description of what I know, the fundamentals of what I know, but I have also given a speculation which is a rational though limited description of what the gods, if they exist, might be/are, that contrasts with the omni-everything description of gods that is unlikely to be reality and more likely to be fantasy/nonsense because of the contradiction between an omnipotent/omniscient/omnibenevolent god and the presence of evil/evil beings (A) because the god is not omnipotent because he/she/it cannot control evil/evil beings or (B) because he/she/it is not omniscient because he/she/it should have known that there would be/are evil/evil beings, or because (C) he/she/it is not omnibenevolent because he/she/it did/does not protect man fro evil/evil beings.

Knowledge: The universe would be empty space if it were not filled with matter/energy which is the source of the causality of people/things/events.

For other claims of knowledge, consult my website: www.bobkwebsite.com

I wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Again, truth is what counts. need information, defined as knowledge, not belief/opinion.

Show me. Show me the physical evidence. Show me the gods. Or show me the clear and obvious observable effects of the gods, effects that are so clear and obvious that they cannot be refuted by physical evidence, which prove conclusively that they could only have been caused by gods, and that, therefore, gods exist.

If you cannot do this, then have the personal integrity to say so.</font>
You wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I can’t do it. Am I now a man of integrity?</font>
You certainly are more of a man of integrity than anyone who claims otherwise and can’t do what he claims.

Are you possibly thinking of becoming an agnostic?


[This message has been edited by Bob K (edited June 17, 2001).]
 
Old 06-17-2001, 01:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Bob K:
If we look at the concept of proof of the existence or nonexistence of gods, then I define a theist to be a person who has a belief in the existence of proof of the existence of gods, an atheist to be a person who has a belief in the existence of proof of the nonexistence of gods, and an agnostic to be a person who has no belief in the existence of proof of the existence of gods or in the existence of proof of the nonexistence of gods.
These definitions follow popular definitions by normal people, humorously defined as nonscholars.
Quote:
</font>
Bob,

I think part of our problem is that you are using word definitions that are simply false. Here’s what dictionary.com has for definitions:

Theist - One who believes in the existence of a God; especially, one who believes in a personal God; -- opposed to atheist.

Atheist - One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.

Agnostic - a. One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God.
b. One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism.


You want to add the term “proof” to each of these definitions which is simply unwarranted, and frankly changes the meaning of the words as the rest of the world uses them. Each definition relates to "beliefs" and has nothing to do with "proof". Why be so dogmatic and require absolute proof for everything you believe? I’m not going to re-hash old arguments, but you know dang well that you believe many things for which you do not have “proof”. How come when it comes to god you require proof instead of probability before believing? If you do indeed believe solely on the basis of probability, then you need to drop the word “proof” from your definitions.

Please provide the name of a dictionary that supports your definitions of “theist”, “atheist”, and “agnostic”. If we use your definitions, then I’m an agnostic. What do you think of that?

Peace,

Polycarp
 
Old 06-17-2001, 02:31 PM   #9
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Tercel:

You wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I was under the impression that this sort of faith in humanity had completely died out over the last 50 or so years... clearly not. It does explain a few of your previous posts though. But anyway, if you want to rant your optimist humanist beliefs, why do it in this particular forum?</font>
I rant because I want to make sure people who might not check out other forums or my website: www.bobkwebsite.com have a chance to read my views.

But also to remind everyone that we are in fact on this planet together at this time, and that, if the Bible is false, we need to be helping each other find our ways of working together, including setting up understandings of natural morality, defined as morality without gods.

You wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Ignoring the opinions that Jackson reads into this, what do we actually have here. The only facts we have (assuming they are facts and aren't completely made up) is that the Pygmies of the Ituri Forest in Congo have the same (or similar) creation story to the Jewish-Christian one and have a story of a very similar figure to Christ. The similar creation story is hardly unprecedented, I have heard mentions of other similar creation stories in different cultures. This suggests that there is some sort of link between all these cultures. But what sort of link? Is there any basis for postulating that the Pygmy story is the original and the others copies of that (as opposed to the two alternatives of one of the others being the original or of the original being a now-lost common source)? There may possibly be, but I don't see it in Bob K's post.

Even were we to prove beyond any doubt that the Pygmy culture is the source of this story what relevance would this have exactly to Christianity?

In short: none.</font>
The link: If the Pygmies were the ancestors of all other human races, AND if the Pygmies were the source of the Adam and Christ/savior-god stories/myths, then each following religion would not have a chance of being an original, and therefore, not being an original, would be a phony.

The relevance to Xnity: If Xnity has to be true, then JC had to have died, been resurrected, and ascended into ... heaven(?). No death/resurrection/ascension, no Xnity. if other races/cultures have savior-god myths, then the JC myth is not necessarily true, and is more likely to be a ripoff of these other myths, suggesting strongly, yea, proving strongly, that Xnity is nonsense.

You wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Bob has said (and although it may be untrue I have no particular reason to doubt it) that Pygmies are the oldest race and from them all others are descended. If that is the case then Adam and Eve in the Bible story would clearly have been Pygmies.

If anything the fact that the Pygmies also have this creation story gives it support rather than detracts from it.</font>
When considering the content of the Adam story, and in the Xn Bible we have two Adam stories, Gen 1, and Gen 2, both of which cannot be true, therefore one is false, or both are false, so then we have the problem of determining which Adam story is true.

Then we have the problem of determining how humans got that story, for it would seem that a god/angel would have had to have dictated to a human at least the part of it dealing with how Big G created stuff before man.

If we cannot solve THAT problem with a ratinal explanationm meaning if we cannot determine that a god/angel dictated the Adam story to a human, then we are justified in concluding that the Adam story is a myth.

AND we would not be rational to allow anyone claiming the Adam story as part of their religion’s mythology to have exclusive rights to it.

You wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Again it is erroneous (without further evidence) to conclude that the Pygmy story is separate to or the source of the Christian one. It is almost completely impossible to even imagine the contorted happenings required for the Pygmy story to be the source of the Christian one. What seems eminently more likely is that the Christian story is the source of the Pygmy one. Even if it could be ruled out beyond reasonable doubt that the Christian story managed to reach the Pigmy prior to the visit by Jean-Pierre Hallet (which I imagine would be extremely hard to prove) I would still believe it to be the most likely possibility. The alternative of a separate existence of so similar story seems unlikely in the extreme. Indeed I would suggest that it is impossible short of some sort of divine revelation to the Pygmies.</font>
When the Pygmies are considered to be the ancestors of the Ethiopians and the Ethiopians to be ancestors of the Egyptians, and the Egyptians having Pygmies in their mythologies concerning the early gods, with the Sphinx having the flat nose/thick lips/round face similar to Pygmy features, there grows evidence that the Pygmies did in fact influence the development of Egyptian mythology, and when that mythology also contains an Egyptian Christ, the possibility becomes excellent that the Pygmy mythology predated the Xn and therefore influenced the Xn mythology rather than being interpolated into current Pygmy mythology.

The whole point of Christianity Before Christ is the discovery of evidence that suggests that the mythology of Xnity is not original, hence Xnity is not original, hence Xnity is worthless.

RE: Savior-gods, if everyone has one, are they all phonies, or which is the true one? And how do we know?

You wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Time for some justified ad hominems . I hope you realise that since the publisher has a vested the results and controversy sparked by this book and since the author is getting published by this publisher in the first place: there is a very good chance that there is some sort of bias present in the book. By the way, you are probably also biased to some extent, so you may find what bias there is in the book difficult to see. I know you've asked that these biases not be mentioned but I believe that we must carefully do "What is most important is truth". Although I seriously doubt that you believe that I believe this!

I would have a lot more respect for any arguments you present if you defended them from a source which was clearly unbiased.</font>
Points of information: John G. Jackson from 1971 to 1973 was a lecturer in the Black Studies Department of Rutgers University; from 1973 to 1977 he was a Visiting Professor at the University of New York (which campus was not disclosed); and from 1977 to 1980 he was a Visiting Professor at Northeast Illinois University, where he taught courses titled Comparative Religions and Social Movements.

His books include Introduction to African Civilizations; A Guide to the Study of African History, Ethiopia and the Origin of Civilization; Man, God and Civilization: and Pagan Origins of the Christ Myth.

Jackson, in Christianity Before Christ, is citing many sources.

I am not familiar with all these sources to be able to determine if or not their bias is excessive and damaging.

Someone could claim that anyone who has studied ancient mythologies and concluded that the Xn religion has been fabricated from the mythologies of other religions is biased, as he would be biased against any claim otherwise, but that does not necessarily prove that his bias is excessive or damaging.

What would be your definition a writer who was clearly unbiased?

Mine would include writers who provided proof in terms of physical evidence.

I wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Show me the gods!</font>
You wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">God not gods.

I do seriously wonder though, if I could show God to you - would you really want to see him/know that he existed? Or would you prefer that he didn't exist?</font>
I am seriously interested in the existence of gods, in particular, in proof of the existence of gods, or in proof of the nonexistence of gods.

I have my standards for the analysis/evaluation/judgment of gods: http://www.bobkwebsite.com/stndrdsgods.html

The prime standard is that the gods appear in a form I can understand and prove he/she/it is a god as a being of more knowledge and powers than man individually or collectively by performing actions man individually or collectively currently cannot.

If the gods are not willing to do that, then they are responsible for my not knowing they exist.

At one point in my youth I wanted to be a minister, because I thought the gods did exist, etc., but then I started to read the Bible as an adult, with an adult’s understanding, and I quickly saw that the Bible was loaded with contradictions, starting with Gen 1 vs. Gen 2 creation/Adam stories.

I am thus looking for conclusive proof of either the existence or the nonexistence of the gods.

You wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I can suggest something that may work, or it may not. Spend 10 minutes or so praying to God for him to show himself to you. If it "works" then I sure you can see the potential benefits, and if it doesn't... you've lost nothing (okay, you've lost 10 minutes). However if you aren't honestly seeking truth, then I seriously doubt anything will come of it.</font>
If you check my website: www.bobkwebsite.com, you will quickly see that I have a heavy interest and background in psychology.

I am familiar with what is the human mind (an individual’s personal system of desires, fears and priorities), what are feelings (reactions to the realizations of desires or fears), and the sequence in which feelings develop:

1. Desire: _____ (?) [Wanting a person/thing/event.]
2. Realizations: _____ (?) [Achieving/not achieving the desired person/thing/event.]
3. Feeling: _____ (?) [The Reaction to the Realization of the Desire.]

I am also familiar with delusions, defined as ideas which are believed to be true in spite of being proven to be false, and hallucinations, defined as impressions of sensory perceptions which are false (seeing/hearing/touching/smelling/tasting people/things/events who/which are not real).

And I define proof to be (1) physical evidence (people/things/events (A) who are comprised of matter/energy, (B) who/which can be seen/heard/touched/smelled/tasted, who/which are independent of opinion/beliefs, and are not the content of ideas); (2) eyewitness reports from credible witnesses and corroborated by credible corroborators: (3) logical arguments in which the premises are verifiable/falsifiable/verified by physical evidence and lead to a conclusion which is true if the premises are verified to be true.

What can I expect to have happen if I want to find the truth and I pray for ten minutes?

If I experience a good feeling, feeling good about something/someone does not mean that person/thing/event is true. Feeling good about O.J. Simpson does not mean he is innocent. If I feel good thinking about gods, does that prove that gods exist?

If I feel good about something, then I am reacting to the realization of a desire. What desires would be realized if I were to pray for ten minutes? That I was able to realize my goal of being able to pray for ten minutes?

If I were to hear a voice inside me, how could I prove that that was not an hallucination?

If I were to see a flash of light and a man in a white robe beckoning to me, how could I prove that was not an hallucination?

If I had an idea that a god exists and was contacting me, giving me ideas/truths, how could I prove that that was not a delusion?

I once had the experience of being a theist wanting to be a minister but complaining to an ordained minister that I could not believe that a just god would punish people who were just people but who were brought up in another culture and believed in different gods and being told that my words were the words of a prophet. After some thought I realized that I was not aware of any voice inside me, or any other reason to believe that my thoughts were not my thoughts, so I had no reason to believe that they were someone else’s thoughts. I knew that these thoughts were therefore only mine, and that, therefore, I had no delusion of being a prophet for a god of any kind.

So, while praying what would I be looking for/experiencing that would prove to me that gods exist?

Please be advised that there were atheists/agnostics in foxholes in wars.

Please be advised that the I prayed to god and god answered my prayers and therefore that proves god exists proof of the existence of gods does not work because the requirement for proof includes a requirement for falsification as well as verification, therefore ANY example of a prayer not answered would be proof of the nonexistence of gods, and I am certain we can find parents whose prayers for their children’s lives were not answered. And the excuse, “Well, God has other plans, ...” does not impress me favorably, because it clearly means that the individual using this proof will not allow for the falsification requirement. Thus, you cannot have things all ways: you cannot claim that answered prayers are proof and that unanswered prayers are also proof, because God has other plans, or we cannot know the mind of God, etc.

No, the "All you have to do is pray!" argument will not work for me.

Nor will all the money, power and sex I want, either.

The gods will have to show up and prove themselves according to mt standards.

And if I didn't have any standards, then anything would go.

What are YOUR standards for the analysis/evaluation/judgment of gods?

NOTE: Please avoid the "You can't tell gods what to do therefore I don't have any standards" or "The gods have their own standards" routines. I've heard them before, and they don't work, either.

Either you have standards and you think rationally, objectively, critically, or you do not and you are irrational/subjective/uncritical.

Look at the whole religion mess this way: If you were a god, would you respect someone who had only blind faith based upon fear and thus did good deeds for bad reasons, or would you respect someone who critically questioned and yet did good deeds because he wanted to help other people?

And if this critical person did not believe in you, would you or would you not let him into your heaven?

[This message has been edited by Bob K (edited June 17, 2001).]
 
Old 06-17-2001, 04:46 PM   #10
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Amos 123:

I require all statements made is discourse to refer to (1) people (defined technically as things but given special status to appease those individuals who do not like to be thought of as things), (2) things (defined as objects, unities which retain their identity for longer periods of time than their related events), and (3) events (defined as causal relationships among things in which things as causes cause/create/produce new things as effects) comprised of matter and energy we can see/hear/touch/smell/taste who/which (A) are comprised of matter/energy, (B) are independent of opinion and (C) are not the content of ideas.

I require all terms and phrases being used to be defined by operational definitions, definitions by which the terms/phrases being defined are described by means of seeing/hearing/touching/smelling/tasting people/things/events who/which (A) are comprised of matter/energy, (B) are independent of opinion and (C) are not the content of ideas; operational definitions thus define terms/phrases by observations and measurements of the people/things/events of reality and thus make abstract terms/phrases concrete.

Operational definitions are required by The Code of Science for clarity of communication.

I define proof to be (1) physical evidence, defined as people/things/events who/which can be seen/heard/touched/smelled/tasted and (A) are comprised of matter/energy, (B) are independent of opinion and (C) are not the content of ideas; (2) Eyewitness reports from credible witnesses (witnesses who can be judged to be not insane), and corroborating reports from credible corroborators, all reports describing people/things/events who/which can be seen/heard/touched/smelled/tasted and (A) are comprised of matter/energy, (B) are independent of opinion and (C) are not the content of ideas [NOTE: physical evidence and not opinions/beliefs must be the subject/content of eyewitness/corroborating reports); (3) logical arguments consisting of verifiable/falsifiable/verified premises (verified by physical evidence) leading to conclusions which are true if the premises are true (the form of the logical argument must be correct but also the content of the premises must be true).

I thus require you and anyone else using terms/phrases to define those terms/phrases by operational definitions and provide proof to support claims of fact.

Opinions can be opinions, but should, at some point, be based upon some facts, and I therefore require that everyone who asserts opinions provide the reasons/facts, grey, cloudy, or stretched though they may be, for those opinions.

I am relentless upon insisting that all discourse be eventually concretized because of my observation that without an orientation to real-world people/things/events anything goes and all logic is lost.

If a person cannot create operational definitions of the terms/phrases to be used in discourse then I have good reason to conclude that (A) what person/thing/event the person is trying to describe does not exist/is not real or (B) the person does not know the person/thing/event he/she is talking about.

This relentless requirement for clarity forces people to think carefully and therefore clearly about the concepts (mental representations/ideas about things/objects/unities) and principles (mental representations/ideas about events/causal relationships between/among things) they are using for communication and for thinking.

You wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">If you are looking for Gods 'out there' you are looking in the wrong places and if you and your handicapped anthropologist friends think that Christianity originated outside of Christendom you are telling the world that you do not understand much about religion. I suggest that religion is much like a wheel barrow that can get you from A to B and if A is life without God, B is life with God.</font>
Why are all “my” anthropologist friends handicapped?

Define in operational definitions the following:

god(s)

wrong places (to be looking for gods)

religion

The whole point of Christianity Before Christ is the presentation of evidence that Xn myths existed prior to Xnity and, therefore, there is a strong possibility that Xnity is phony.

If you want to argue against the point of this book, then present arguments using physical evidence/eyewitness reports that Xnity is original, that Gods exists, that Mary was a Virgin, that JC was a savior-god who was crucified, died, was resurrected and ascended into a heaven.

For example, prove that such mythical ideas virgin births/savior-gods/crucifixions (or executions of savior-gods)/resurrections/etc. do not appear in the mythologies of other religions.

If you cannot prove your arguments, then no one is obligated to believe you.

Tell us what you know, not what you believe. give us facts, not fairy tales.

You wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Pygmies have nothing to do with Christianity and it matters not one iota if all of mankind at one time was black and Pygmy and short or tall and came from Africa or not because Christianity does not deal with the origin of mankind but with the origin of the mythology whereupon religion is based to serve for the survival of the tribe. If Pygmies have similar ideas of God and Gods as does Christianity you should consider the possibility that there is an archetypal truth to the method and manners of God in who's image man is made (Pygmies included).</font>
Again, the point is that if the mythology of Xnity existed in other religions prior to the development of Xnity, then Xnity can critically be viewed as a phony religion, with no necessary original or true virgin births/savior-gods/resurrections/etc.

The mythology of Xnity does exist in other religions, therefore there is no reason to believe that Xnity is an original religion or a true religion.

SEE: The Bel (Baal) Myth Parallels to the Jesus Myth: http://www.bobkwebsite.com/belmythvjesusmyth.html

The Judeo-Christian, Chaldean and Hindu Flood Myths: http://www.bobkwebsite.com/floodmyths.html

The Hindu Krishna and Christian Jesus Myth Parallels: http://www.bobkwebsite.com/krishnajesusmyths.html

Did you know that there are archetypal myths? The psychologist, Carl Jung, claimed to have identified a number of them. Look him up on the web.

I cannot consider the possibility of the truth of the manners and methods of a person/thing/event I cannot see/hear/touch/smell/taste.

If you want to talk about your god, make sure I can see/hear/touch/smell/taste him/her/it; otherwise I am not obligated to believe he/she/it exists.

You wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">You seem to think that learning is always a matter of looking for evidence to complete a puzzle while you fail to realize that the omniscient mind is that from which science must extract its pieces to complete the puzzle (this should tell you that science will always be behind the eightball).</font>
I do think looking for physical evidence is necessary for discovering truth and therefore knowledge.

There is a difference between knowledge and belief/opinion/faith. Knowledge requires verification, but with opinion/belief/faith no verification is needed and anything goes.

I do not require answers to all questions, but when I am asked to make decisions based upon answers to difficult questions, I require physical evidence or otherwise I am not obligated to make the decision.

Define “omniscient mind” operationally.

Tell me what people/things/events are related to it that I can see/hear/touch/smell/taste.

Do not tell me that in order to perceive this omniscient mind I must believe, for I am looking for reasons to believe before I can believe. Give me reasons why I should believe.

Then tell me how you know that scientists must extract their concepts and principles from the omniscient mind.

You wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Understand well here that religion holds that man was made in the image of God and our humanity is just a condition of being that pertains to man and has no corporeal substance (the suffix -ity should tell you that).</font>
How does anyone know that man was made in the image of the gods?

Tell me what you know, not what you believe, for you can believe anything, but you can only know the truth, whatever the truth is.

Define operationally “condition of being.”

How does the condition of being human (having humanity) differ from the corporeal substance of being human?
 
 

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