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Old 06-19-2001, 08:39 AM   #11
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by rodahi:
Oh, but to be considered RATIONAL, those who believe the Creed must present convincing evidence to support their belief. Otherwise, they can say they can believe anything they wish, ostensibly for any reason--just to make themselves feel good. I submit that is NOT a rational position.

ILLUSTRATION

Creed
1. I believe in the Heavenly Father Zeus, God Almighty and the Creator of Heaven and Earth
2. I believe in Herakles, His son, the Savior
3. I believe Herakles was miraculously conceived by the Virgin Alcmene
4. I believe Herakles, the Savior, suffered and died
5. I believe Herakles survived his death as the Holy Spirit
6. I believe Herakles ascended to Heaven and is sitting at the right hand of Zeus
7. I believe Herakles will return to Earth some day to judge humanity
8. I believe these things are true with all my heart

This creed is my understanding of who I am. I don't have to prove any of it to anyone. It isn't necessary. It's not science, or history, or philosophy--it doesn't have to be. It just makes me feel good to believe these things. Anyone who has felt the Spirit of Herakles in his heart knows what I mean.

rodahi

</font>
To be considered rational by whom? Since you aren't a member of that community,why should we care if you think we aren't rational? We think you aren't rational. YOu don't meet our standard of ratinality. If you don't believe our thing, don't join it.

Herck would understand what I'm saying.
 
Old 06-19-2001, 08:42 AM   #12
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by James Still:
I have to agree with meta here. A creed is a confession of faith and not an evidential straightjacket. When a believer says "I believe in Jesus Christ" he or she is not saying "I have studied the internal evidence and now give my intellectual assent to the truths therein." For most believers that would sound very strange (and perhap that's why biblical studies are largely a secular endeavor). There is an enormous difference between belief "in" the gospel and belief "that" a gospel is true. Think of Kierkegaard's "deo incognito" -- even if you were a disciple of the historical Jesus and witnessed his miracles firsthand you would still need to choose whether to believe in him. </font>
By George I think he's got it!

I guess all those philosophy classes paid off
 
Old 06-19-2001, 10:52 AM   #13
Lance
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James: I think the point of Rodahi's post was that creeds are essentially fairy tales and do not contain factual information.

It is what the person believes, their perception of it--factually right or factually wrong.

THAT can be completely at odds with the real world, but we see that all the time in Christians anyway...
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Old 06-19-2001, 11:34 AM   #14
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Amos,

No big deal, but in fact the Apostles Creed DOES say "He descended into HELL". Not he descended into "death".

Just for your edification, the theology that prompted the assertion was that prior to the redemptive act on the cross, because of Original Sin, no human being could enter the presence of God. But "just" people had obviosuly existed prior to the atonement (Moses and various and sundry prophets, for example), but they awaited the redemption in the "netherworld" (Hell). Jesus' first act upon his death was to, in spirit form, "descend" to their presence and announce their release and claim them for heaven.

Incidentally, I was an intensely devout Catholic for most of my life, and I never knew a Catholic who did not consider themselves a Christian. Admittedly, once the fundamentalists became better known over time, Catholics felt they tarnished the name, and might have been hesitent to be associated with what came to be the popular understanding of the word "Christian". But to call the original, and by far the largest Christian denomination in the world "non-christian" is tantamount to calling the framers of the Constitution "non-American".
 
Old 06-19-2001, 12:03 PM   #15
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by James Still:
I have to agree with meta here. A creed is a confession of faith and not an evidential straightjacket. When a believer says "I believe in Jesus Christ" he or she is not saying "I have studied the internal evidence and now give my intellectual assent to the truths therein." For most believers that would sound very strange (and perhap that's why biblical studies are largely a secular endeavor). There is an enormous difference between belief "in" the gospel and belief "that" a gospel is true. Think of Kierkegaard's "deo incognito" -- even if you were a disciple of the historical Jesus and witnessed his miracles firsthand you would still need to choose whether to believe in him. </font>
So do I James and so should all believers. If however we are brothers and sisters IN Christ and have drank of the cup he drank we will know first hand what those words mean. I should point out here that it is our mandate to follow the footsteps of Jesus and drink of the cup he drank etc.

I agree that is is not good enough to study or have witnessed the salvation event of Jesus because we must be the subject of the event and recognize the reality behind the words first hand because we have been there (Jn.5:39-40). This is precicely why mythologies can be transparent and why in the end, why poetry is poetic.

Amos
 
Old 06-19-2001, 12:45 PM   #16
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by fred pratt:

Amos,

No big deal, but in fact the Apostles Creed DOES say "He descended into HELL". Not he descended into "death".

Just for your edification, the theology that prompted the assertion was that prior to the redemptive act on the cross, because of Original Sin, no human being could enter the presence of God. But "just" people had obviosuly existed prior to the atonement (Moses and various and sundry prophets, for example), but they awaited the redemption in the "netherworld" (Hell). Jesus' first act upon his death was to, in spirit form, "descend" to their presence and announce their release and claim them for heaven.

Incidentally, I was an intensely devout Catholic for most of my life, and I never knew a Catholic who did not consider themselves a Christian. Admittedly, once the fundamentalists became better known over time, Catholics felt they tarnished the name, and might have been hesitent to be associated with what came to be the popular understanding of the word "Christian". But to call the original, and by far the largest Christian denomination in the world "non-christian" is tantamount to calling the framers of the Constitution "non-American".
</font>
Hi Fred, I would like to agree with you from a religious perspective but since the argument here is open to all I wanted to present the philosphical interpretation from which it was written and from where it must be bulletproof.

It cannot be hell because hell is opposite to heaven and if heaven is a state of mind upon earth hell must also be a state of mind upon earth. The netherworld is not hell but it is the subconscious mind and that is where Jesus went as Christ to set the captives free (knowledge frees). The captives were his own images including those incarnate upon him through the generations (yes, much like Alice in Wonderland). We can say that Jesus went underground to become familiar with his own subconscious mind.

Religion must explain this from a religious perspective and your suggestion is the result of that. Regardless of that, do I object to the word "hell" in the Creed because hell is never part of the netherworld . . . or, in short, it could never be eternally ours.

If you take a good look at the Gospels you will find that Jesus was never addressed as Christ because he was not fully Christ until after the resurrection. In fact, when the keen insight of Peter identified the dual nature of Jesus as Christ (human and god)Jesus told him to tell noone. The same is true for us. If and when we are born of God and the second Christ-like nature is born within us we are to work out our own salvation with fear and frembling because we will find that the old milk and honey religion no longer satisfies our needs (son of man has no place to lie his head).

I had never heard of the word Christian until I immigrated to Canada where I also met the first protestants I have known. Catholicism was always part of my life but was never important to me.

Amos
 
Old 06-19-2001, 01:32 PM   #17
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Amos123:
Hi meta. I would say that it is science and that philosophy can justify the creed or the atheist community would be right. In other words, it is not just a fairy tale.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

James Still: I have to agree with meta here. A creed is a confession of faith and not an evidential straightjacket.

I seriously doubt that you will get Metacrock (or Ish, or SecWebLurker, or Nomad, or Layman, or Tercel, or Bede, et al) to admit that the Creed is merely "a confession of faith."

James Still: When a believer says "I believe in Jesus Christ" he or she is not saying "I have studied the internal evidence and now give my intellectual assent to the truths therein."

THAT is precisely what I hear virtually all Christian posters saying. I certainly have no quarrel with those who will freely admit that their beliefs are based solely on faith and NOT evidence, but how many admit this?

James Still: For most believers that would sound very strange (and perhap that's why biblical studies are largely a secular endeavor). There is an enormous difference between belief "in" the gospel and belief "that" a gospel is true.

The vast majority of all biblical studies (of the JC Bible) are done by Christians, so I disagree that it is largely "a secular endeavor." It is true than many claim to bracket their Christian presuppostitions during their studies, but the fact remains that most evidence Christian bias. Every Christian scholar has a vested interest in the object of his study.

James Still: Think of Kierkegaard's "deo incognito" -- even if you were a disciple of the historical Jesus and witnessed his miracles firsthand you would still need to choose whether to believe in him.

What do you think prompted Kierkegaard to think such a thing? What makes you think he is correct?

rodahi

 
Old 06-19-2001, 01:41 PM   #18
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by rodahi:
Oh, but to be considered RATIONAL, those who believe the Creed must present convincing evidence to support their belief. Otherwise, they can say they can believe anything they wish, ostensibly for any reason--just to make themselves feel good. I submit that is NOT a rational position.
ILLUSTRATION

Creed
1. I believe in the Heavenly Father Zeus, God Almighty and the Creator of Heaven and Earth
2. I believe in Herakles, His son, the Savior
3. I believe Herakles was miraculously conceived by the Virgin Alcmene
4. I believe Herakles, the Savior, suffered and died
5. I believe Herakles survived his death as the Holy Spirit
6. I believe Herakles ascended to Heaven and is sitting at the right hand of Zeus
7. I believe Herakles will return to Earth some day to judge humanity
8. I believe these things are true with all my heart

This creed is my understanding of who I am. I don't have to prove any of it to anyone. It isn't necessary. It's not science, or history, or philosophy--it doesn't have to be. It just makes me feel good to believe these things. Anyone who has felt the Spirit of Herakles in his heart knows what I mean.

rodahi

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

Metacrock: To be considered rational by whom?

Rational people, who else?

Metacrock: Since you aren't a member of that community,why should we care if you think we aren't rational?

I do not believe the Creed is based on solid evidence; therefore, I do not believe it. It has no more evidence to support it than does the Zeus/Herakles Creed, so why believe it?

I am not particularly interested in whether you think I am rational or not. My argument was directed at reasonable people AND those who think there is a rational basis for believing the Creed.

Metacrock: We think you aren't rational. YOu don't meet our standard of ratinality. If you don't believe our thing, don't join it.

See previous response above.

Metacrock: Herck would understand what I'm saying.

Good.

rodahi
 
Old 06-19-2001, 01:44 PM   #19
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Lance:
James: I think the point of Rodahi's post was that creeds are essentially fairy tales and do not contain factual information.

It is what the person believes, their perception of it--factually right or factually wrong.

THAT can be completely at odds with the real world, but we see that all the time in Christians anyway...
</font>
You are correct. Thank you for understanding my point, Lance.

rodahi

 
Old 06-19-2001, 08:48 PM   #20
James Still
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rodahi, lance, and others,

When I said that a creed was a confession of faith I meant that its truths are understood quite differently from those truths in science and history. They derive their meanings solely from within the language-games of belief (to use a Wittgensteinian term). They are not treated the same way we treat scientific facts. But sometimes nonbelievers pluck out articles of faith from within the language-games in which they were at home in order to hold them up to scientific criteria. This practice generates a great deal of confusion in my opinion. We start talking about heaven, hell, whether such places exist, and so on. But they are all metaphorical -- either the believer believes in them literally but without understanding or believes in them them metaphorically with understanding. In neither case is the belief formed as a result of empirical examination of the evidence.

The confusion cuts both ways of course. Some believers, mesmerized by the near certainty that science affords, insist that they believe literally and with understanding. But as we all know, when asked to provide the reasons for their belief (which is now a perfectly valid request since the believer himself has extracted the belief from its language-game in order to treat it as an evidential matter) we soon discover that their reasons are woefully inadequate if not downright comical. Comical according to the criterion of scientific verification that is but not according to the language-games of belief -- if they had left well enough alone and believed on faith there would never have been a problem.

Yes, I'm a dualist with respect to faith and reason. I think that life is much simpler and more rewarding when one discards the metaphysical baggage of religion. But not everyone agrees. Religion is an important aspect of our lives and it's probably here to stay. As long as we keep faith and reason in their respective spheres I don't have a problem with that.

I want to say that I understand rodahi's project in that he is examining the creeds evidentially and I support it if it is in response to Christians who I described as confused: those who claim to believe literally with understanding and reasons for that belief. In that case, yeah the Holy Ghost, heaven, hell, resurrection, the whole shebang is a load of hooey. But it's a load of hooey according to scientific criteria only -- it's still enormously meaningful for those who treat them metaphorically or as pure articles of faith and I don't want to say that such people are wrong.
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