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Old 10-06-2001, 05:49 AM   #61
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Originally posted by Metacrock:

MEta =&gt; O you mean the typing exercizes that Lowder put on the internet?

No actually I respect Lowder. I think he's rather fair minded in many respects. Unfortunately I dont' think that most of his coharts imulate him in that respect. I also think that 90% of the so called contradictions that atheists point out can be dismissed as "ahteist forgets wh he leanred in English class when he reads the Bible." A good many of them are nothing more than not bothering to check for literary devices.

There are some that are problematic. But theologians love tension. The major theologians of the world walk thorugh such problmatics ever day of their lives and their faith is intact. So the existence of a problematic reading does not have to mean loss of faith, or untrustworhiness of the text.

The things in which the text must be trustwrothy are:

1) Doctrinal statments

2) the bestowal of Grace

3) history only when it pertians to major doctrinal issues, such as the res. Wheather or not David had the idea to number or wheather satan inspired him to number the children is minutia.

The proof the bestowal of Grace is in the pooding. If Grace is bestowed than it bestows Grace. So the only proof of that is if one experinces it. Since I have I believe it is real.</STRONG>
Hm..What about the second coming then...

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Old 10-06-2001, 05:52 AM   #62
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First, it should be noted that if there is a God, odds are Christinsanity's version of him is straight up blasphemy. You make God out to be a complete idiot: why could he not say what he means, and mean what he says? Why use metaphor, mythology, this or that criterion, etc. instead of being clear? Do you realize how inferior God apparently is to so many humans who are able to write novels, instruction manuals, text books, magazines, etc., and have it be easily understood by the vast majority of all its readers? Yet God, who created the entire universe, cannot even do this? Then God, if he exists, is a complete idiot.
Then how do you figure out what is literal and not literal? History clearly shows that certain events in the Bible did happen. This means that those described events are said in a literal context. But what about something that is also described in such a context and is obviously false, like Noah's Flood? Thats an error.

Meta =&gt;Right, well that's one criterion that can be used; contradiction with known facts about the world. Usually that can be derived from science. Another would be mythological content. Mythology, metaphor and all the literary devices can be gleaned through understanding literary devices. For that one need only consult standard textual methods. Mythology is really clear because we have lots to compare it to. When something like the flood follow the earmarks of surrounding pagan myth than we can be sure it's mythological.
No, you don't get away that easily. There is NOTHING in the flood story to indicate its a mere mythological parable, and EVERYTHING indicates the opposite. Virtually all Jews considered it literal. The Bible itself includes Noah in geneologies, and his specific children. Jesus himself said the flood happened. And there is not a thing in its written context to indicate a fake story meant to teach a lesson rather than a literal, allegedly historical account of an event. Just because you have confessed that your holy book ripped off stories from surrounding cultures, doesn't get you off the hook. Not only does it prove how untrustworthy Bible authors are, because they plagiarized other, heathen religions for theirs, but it doesn't work for other dubious Bible claims. For example, what would you say to other Bible flaws, like the alleged exodus (which would have left thousands of artefacts at the bottom of the Nile. To date, no evidence of the supposed event has been found); or Joshua's stopping the sun (would have caused a world wide eclipse, but there is no evidence of such)?
You still have not explained why we are to trust a book that has flaws in it - if it got quite a number of stuff wrong, how do we know which parts are right?

Meta =&gt;You still have not explained why the use of mythological truth constitutes a "flaw?" These are only flaws if one assumes the fundi model of revelation. That only goes back to the 19th century, so why do you use it? Why should we assume that that is the only proper way to look at the text?
BECAUSE THATS WHAT THE CONTEXT OF THE BIBLE PASSAGES IN QUESTION SO OBVIOUSLY INDICATE! Find me some historical accuracies in the Bible. Then specifically explain how the inacuracies (such as those I spoke about above) are different enough in context to warrant their being taken as mythology. You cannot do it. Therefore the false passages were meant to be taken literally, but are still false. Which means the Bible has false claims, which means it is not trustworthy. You are not going to get away by claiming everything that you don't like is mythology or metaphor.
Moreover, I think in what I said about the text bestowing Grace explains that pretty well. We should follow it because it bestows Grace.
Explain how it does this.
Nomad tries, too, but fails:

For Christians, our way of knowing what God is, wants, and thinks, is transmitted to us by way of the Bible, the Church (both acting as agents of the Holy Spirit), and personal revelation. Is this objective? I suppose that depends on how you look at it. To me it is completely objective, but only way we can have objective facts is if God exists at all. Otherwise, none of us can prove that we actually KNOW anything.

Well, your Christian way of 'knowing God' has failed miserably. Its brought you nothing but disagreement over the past 2,000 years.
Meta =&gt; ahahahahahaahahhahahhhaaha, A lot of what you think of as "disagreement" is nothing more than difference. Of course there will be difference, people in different times in different lands come at things with different cultural understandings, how can they fail to disagree? So what? We have the core of the doctrine that is pretty much the same for the whole church. Culture gets in the way a lot, but the same can be said for almost everything that matters in life.
No, the disagreement is far and wide. Christians spent at least a thousand years killing all who opposed them. Then they found out that was wrong. They used to think the solar system was geocentric. Then they found out it was wrong. Slavery, sexism, racism, imperialism, child abuse, witch hunts, etc., all this was supported by the same criterion Nomad put forth. Now its not.

Your disagreements are anything but trivial.
Even now, there are many Christian divisions out there each claiming they have your above-quoted criterion to 'prove' their drastically different versions of Christinsanity.

MEta =&gt; Most differences in views are meaningless and unimportant. The church is more untied now than it has ever been. The ecumenical movements of the 20th century were extremely successful
Hardly. You still have seventh day adventists, mormons, capitalist christians, communist christians, moderate christians, fundamentalists, bible literalists, liberal christians, catholics, protestants, etc. You are just as divided now as you ever have been.

Originally posted by Emperor 0f The Universe:
Well, your Christian way of 'knowing God' has failed miserably. Its brought you nothing but disagreement over the past 2,000 years. Even now, there are many Christian divisions out there each claiming they have your above-quoted criterion to 'prove' their drastically different versions of Christinsanity.


I do not follow your line of reasoning at all Emperor. First, I gave you the clearest guidelines I could find to help you understand how we can know God's Word and Will. We do this by faith, through His Holy Spirit, His Word, AND the Church. I even referenced an in depth explanation of how this works, written by St Augustine over 1600 years ago. I invite you to read it, as much of what he has to say will no doubt, surprise you.
Yeah, so you've said. To date, these criterion still don't work, and never have.
Your objection appears to be that since there is disagreement, no one should be viewed as right, but such an approach in any other area of knowledge would be pure nonsense. Just looking at morality alone, because some think some things are moral, and other that they are immoral, are we to reject all models for living a moral life?

As you can see, such an opinion would be nonsensical, and would lead to complete social chaos.
See above. To say the disagreements in Christinsanity are 'trivial' (or something to that equation), and that it is still a united, coherent doctrine is like saying the disagreements between Republican politics and Democrat politics are 'trivial', and therefore, they are united as one coherent political force.
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Old 10-17-2001, 08:54 AM   #63
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Originally posted by Meta: I dont' think the Bible is meant to be Information please or the Book of World records.
Ahhh, the age old dodge. It's all you need to know how to live your life and a complete, factual account of our creation, purpose and entire existence up until the point when someone starts questioning the logic and pointing out the contradictions and deconstructing the glaring flaws and then it all becomes metaphorical, doesn't it Meta?

Astounding, ins't it? The amazing flip-flopping cult mythology! Step right up!

MORE: It's a serious text about cosmic questions pertaining to the nature of being human. What it says about mustatrd is unimportant.
No, really? Well how nice of you to pretend that mustard is the only problem with the book and attempt (in so doing) to equate it all and just childishly dismiss every single thing that proves the bible is nothing more than quaint, ancient folklore mythology.

Not to mention the fact that you are dead wrong in your assessment. The book is not a "serious text" about our cosmic origins, it is a mythology about our earthly origins. We were made here, from dirt and ribs and it is here that we live and breathe and it is here that Jesus allegedly came to and Satan was banished to (walking up and down within it) and every single story/parable contained within the bible is designed to provide lessons about living your life so that you can be saved after you're dead.

The book is geared entirely toward earthly existence with nothing more than abstractions concerning the after life (with the exception of the clinically insane hallucinations the author of Revelations somehow got away with--must have been a Pope's lover).

All of which, of course, is irrelevant. Either the book is a factual account of literal creatures with the powers ascribed to them fully intact--such as omniscience--or it's fiction. If the characters in that text get basic elements of science, biology, and physical environment factually incorrect, then that is evidence of fraud (if non-fiction) and pointlessness (if fiction).

You asserting that Jesus getting the size of the mustard seed wrong being unimportant is, therefore, evidence of fiction, for if a literal, omniscient God--whether fully man, whatever the fuck that means, or not--stated that the mustard seed (as just one example and not to be misconstrued as the only example the way you disingenuously attempted to do, Meta) was the smallest seed among all seeds, then he's wrong. End of story.

For you to apologize for such an error by claiming he meant something other than what he stated (it was the smallest in their experience) is to prove fraud.

Indeed, the entire concept of apologetics conclusively proves fraud, so we can throw out the mustard seed and the sun orbiting the earth and the irrefutable fact that no dead man has ever resurrected from the grave, let alone the countless ones claimed to have resurrected in various ancient mythologies, etc., etc., etc.

You are taking proof of mythology and/or fraud to be evidence for apologetics, making apologetics more important and (ridiculously) more accurate than the alleged goddamned words coming directly out of these character's mouths!

This fact alone proves beyond a shadow of a doubt the lies of your cult. The mustard seed was just one example. As you know perfectly well, there are hundreds more that are never addressed by cult members without reliance upon apologetics, which only serves to further prove the fraud.

Look at it this way. Imagine you and I are gardeners, conversant in botany. I hear of some guy alleged to be God, the omniscient creator of all the universe, and I convince you to go with me to hear him speak and this is what we hear him say:
"The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard see, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof." (Matthew 13:31-32)
Instantly we would know this guy has no idea what he's talking about. It is not the least of all seeds nor could it be classified as the greatest among the herbs since that has no qualitative meaning, it doesn't grow into a tree and there are no branches for birds to "lodge" in.

Since we know he's dead wrong on at least three qualitative points in his own analogy, why in the world would we think he is what others (and himself, according to "John") allege him to be?

Let's make it even simpler. Jesus claims to be the greatest veterinarian, with the most complete knowledge on the entire globe regarding animals. We go to his symposium on the care and feeding of house pets, and he says:
"The proper nutrition in a pet's diet is like the speed of a house cat, which is the fastest of all the felines. When fed properly, the house cat will grow into the largest feline in the world and other animals will cower from its fearsome antlers!"
Now, we may be able to sluff off some of the statements as nothing more than hyperbole for the sake of analogy, but the antlers thing is just plain wrong and a house cat will never grow to be the largest feline on the planet and the fact that this supposed expert doesn't recognize what he's saying is preposterous, regardless of his intent, well, it just demonstrates that the guy clearly knows nothing about the topic he allegedly is an expert in.

The second he said such obvious errors is the second we leave the auditorium.

You guys, on the other hand (I'll call you cat apologists) take such blatant evidence of fraud, refuse to recognize the fraud and proceed to spend your entire lives if necessary marginalizing every single word this guy uttered so that you can force his obvious ignorance 180 degrees around into evidence for his unquestionable, superior expertise.

That or you do as you attempted here and claim that the guy was talking more about the overall concept of proper nutrition and care and feeding in general and therefore the trivial details of what he did or did not get wrong in an analogy in the heat of the moment are irrelevant. A classic, meaningless apologetic dodge, I should add.

Both of which serve only to prove one thing: you will go to any length to support your denial of the truth.

(edited for formatting - Koy)

[ October 17, 2001: Message edited by: Koyaanisqatsi ]
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