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Old 08-16-2001, 11:49 PM   #71
joedad
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Nomad:
Actually, like all people, my beliefs are rooted in those things that make sense to me, based on my own experiences, investigations, and inquiries.
And you said you can't carry on a discussion with Koy?

You stated in an earlier post that only those parts of the bible which deal with the "mundane" can be examined using evidentiary standards. Well, I agree. I would like to know, however, what your criteria is for separating the "mundane" from the non-mundane.

For example, I take it you would never debate whether Jesus rose from the dead, as this is not "mundane", but a matter of faith.

Not trying to trap you, BTW.

joe
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Old 08-17-2001, 12:26 AM   #72
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Originally posted by joedad:

You stated in an earlier post that only those parts of the bible which deal with the "mundane" can be examined using evidentiary standards. Well, I agree. I would like to know, however, what your criteria is for separating the "mundane" from the non-mundane.

For example, I take it you would never debate whether Jesus rose from the dead, as this is not "mundane", but a matter of faith.
Right. The Resurrection itself is not a matter for historical inquiry, as is, for example, the birthplace of Jesus, or when and where He died and was buried. The miraculous falls into another category, and must be treated metaphysically. I will debate these issues BTW (and have), but not on the same grounds as I would for ordinary or mundane claims.

Good night.

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Old 08-17-2001, 07:52 AM   #73
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Nomad,

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Bottom line, I think we can be fairly confident textually about what we have in the Bible. If it helps, think of the science of textual criticism as being very similar to that of paleontology. Both build models from fragments, and must rely on comparison, and always be open to new evidence. Yet our confidence in what the scientists in both fields has uncovered thus far is justified. they do seem to know what they are doing, even if a few of them get more than a little carried away with their evidence and conclusions.
While writing my post, I had the idea of the events surrounding Jesus’ life then the bible as a whole. But as the original poster noted, doesn’t it make you a little uncomfortable that many of the events that were said to have occurred in the bible, in fact didn’t. (I would just assume not get into what I mean by “many.” The point stands).

For instance, many of the claims in the bible can be tested by hard science – The flood is the obvious example. There was no worldwide flood. Apologetics generally write this off by pointing to local floods, but then the whole story loses its point. Further, do you still believe that some guy built a giant ark and put any animals on it? Other of the miracle stories couldn’t have happened without destroying the earth. It also appears that exodus was a myth…

Quote:
The problem with your example, as I see it, is that you are equating the Bible (I assume) with the works of a single man. The Bible is written by a large number of authors, and over a very very long period of time, and we do not have mere fragments here and there of their texts. We have quite a large amount of pretty reliable MSS, allowing us to have considerable confidence in what they wrote.
Again, I should have made my self clearer: I was specifically talking about the life of Jesus. Even though numerous authors wrote the sources, they are (supposedly?) about one guy. But even the bible as a whole – we might have confidence in what they wrote, but we don’t have confidence about each author – his intentions, his true beliefs, etc.

Something that Apikorus said stuck out at me:

Quote:
They are not always reporting their observations, beliefs, and deeds. Sometimes they are engaging in propaganda and storytelling. Application of critical methods can help us separate fact from fiction, but needless to say this is hardly an exact science.
The authors of the bible are fallible humans beings. They all were capable of lying, cheating, stealing, etc. I consider myself a pretty damn honest guy. However, sometimes when telling stories, I exaggerate or attribute stories to people who weren’t involved. What did Paul believe regarding the person of Jesus? Can we really say with any confidence?

Quote:
. Finally, I try to point out the really bad arguments sometimes put forward against Christianity and the Bible, and considered to be valid largely because many people do not know very much about the argument until they first encounter it here (see for example the discussion on Doherty's theories, or those of the Homeric Epics and GMark).
And this is precisely what I am talking about. You may disagree with Doherty’s thesis, but is it really a “bad” argument? I think you and specifically Bede get on many people’s nerves here when you use such dismissive language like this.

So, I think my real point is this: For the sake of this argument, let’s assume that they evidence is overwhelmingly in your favor that Doherty is wrong – which seems to be what you are claiming anyway. It seems that we could find 3 or 4 really important documents buried somewhere that could really support Doherty’s case and basically swing the pendulum just as far in the other direction.

It seems we are always a discovery or two away from completely revamping what we believe happened about an event. That is what I meant by a soft science.

On an earlier thread, you said that you were very close to 100% certain that there was a historical Jesus. Now, I respect that you are very, very sure, but how can you be that sure of anything when just a few documents could shatter that number. I don’t know how you can be more than 50 or 60% sure of any group of events that happened 2000 years ago can be interpreted one way over another.

Quote:
Actually, like all people, my beliefs are rooted in those things that make sense to me, based on my own experiences, investigations, and inquiries. I agree that much of ancient history will remain a mystery to us, but probably not nearly as much of it is as unknowable and inpenetrable as many have come to believe.
I’m rather skeptical of a lot of the historical claims that are made simply because I have seen how easy it is for a document or two to be discovered and change everything.

My beliefs are also rooted in what I experience on a day-to-day basis. One thing that never did make sense to me and probably never will, is the fundamentalists and even the orthodox position on heaven and hell. Why the fundamentalists position disgusts me is rather obvious, but even the more liberal (?) position is rather morally repugnant. Neither my Jewish relatives nor myself well be rewarded with heaven in the afterlife simply because we didn’t take the right set of propositions on faith. Doesn’t seem very fair to me. My sister is Christian. Probably doesn’t know a damn thing about the bible. Yet, she accepts the same creed as you. She gets in and I don’t? I feel like I need a PhD in 15 different fields just to defend my views. But, Billy Bob who happens to go to church every Sunday and pray gets into Heaven. That’s crap.

Just my two cents.
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Old 08-17-2001, 08:52 AM   #74
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Pug,

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Neither my Jewish relatives nor myself well be rewarded with heaven in the afterlife simply because we didn’t take the right set of propositions on faith. Doesn’t seem very fair to me. My sister is Christian. Probably doesn’t know a damn thing about the bible. Yet, she accepts the same creed as you. She gets in and I don’t? I feel like I need a PhD in 15 different fields just to defend my views. But, Billy Bob who happens to go to church every Sunday and pray gets into Heaven. That’s crap.
With respect, this is not the liberal position. Liberal Christians tend to be more universalist. Some will claim that while Christianity is the best way to God it isn't the only one. All will insist that no one is condemned for ignorance, honest mistakes or lack of ability. None will ever presume to say who God chooses.

Your view of liberal Christians is actually quite conservative (all but Christians have basically had it). I also hope you are as disgusted as I am by the atheists around here who try to prove the out-dated doctrines of eternal punishment so as to make an easier target for their abuse.

Yours

Bede

Bede's Library - faith and reason
 
Old 08-17-2001, 09:31 AM   #75
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Bede:
Your view of liberal Christians is actually quite conservative (all but Christians have basically had it). I also hope you are as disgusted as I am by the atheists around here who try to prove the out-dated doctrines of eternal punishment so as to make an easier target for their abuse.
But, Bede, the fact is that these "theological" changes and updates, and all other manner of biblical/philosophical revisions, are not things that have arrived on the christian scene from within. These changes have only been grudgingly accepted within orthodoxy, and sometimes at obvious great cost to humans and humanity.

All documents and human institutions are provincial to some degree. The refusal to deprovincialize is simply an affirmation of fear IMHO.

Christianity survives because it is, has been, and can be again, as potent a killer and predator as any other human institution. The mindset that christianity is the yardstick by which all other human institutions and universal observations ought to be measured, a view held by yourself and Nomad, has absolutely no basis in fact, yet you cling to it.

Some people are in love with their christianity and some people are in love with their atheism. BFD.

Well, this is becoming a rant and not an evidentiary exchange. And I don't want it to become an artillery exchange. But I merely wanted to point out that "atheists" holding such things as the "Hell Doctrine" against christians is legitimate, as long as christians hold onto the "Hell Doctrine" themselves, as many do, have done, and will continue to do. To not speak out openly against such fear tactics is truly "sinful".

joe
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Old 08-17-2001, 09:03 PM   #76
David M. Payne
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originally posted by Ulrich:

Quote:
Originally posted by Nomad:

This is perhaps one of the most disgraceful things I have ever seen posted against Christians, Muslims and Sikhs on these boards. I have certainly expected better from you jess. Are you actually willing to blame the victims for being murdered and persecuted?

I will admit right now that as soon as I read this far, I stopped. If you are going to tell me that the Christians, Muslims and Sikhs being killed in India deserve it, or even that it is a least understandable, because of past persecutions against Hindus by these same groups, then we are done here. Such blatant acceptance of evil as a righting of past wrongs is sickening.

I am sorry that you believe such things jess, and hope that one day you will be able to get past them.
[ August 16, 2001: Message edited by: Nomad ]

from Ulrich; Read: I am going to feign indignation now so I can skip out on the rest of the discussion, which I was losing badly.

This is one of Nomad/BT favorite tactics, when he is loosing the argument, he runs away. He has some other things he likes to use in these circumstances. He will try to get you off topic, but if you go off topic, he is very indignant about it. I’ve found that very amusing about him. Another game he and Bede play is the ignore you game, especially when you ask them to take on an argument from the bible that they will surely lose.
I also like the way he insists that expert opinion is the only opinion that he recognizes, as long as he likes the opinion of that expert that is. I wonder if he and Bede are experts according to their own definition?
It’s easy to get these two cornered and flustered, just ask them simple questions, as I did in the two threads I referred to in this thread above, and watch them avoid the subject like the plague. They lost the first argument badly and now they avoid the second one because they will lose it also. They like the arcane nebulas stuff that they can argue the meaning of, not the more concrete ideas that stick to them like glue and they can’t wiggle away from. (Like what the definition of “is” is, as ex prez Bill Clinton did in one of his depositions.) It’s OK Nomad/Bede I know how you play your game, your very transparent at it, and pathetic to boot. In the Adam and Eve thread, it’s time to use my favorite quote of Nomads, again.

Quote:
From Brian Trafford; Well... were I come from (yes, I know it is Western Canada, but I can't help that), when one side forfeits a match (twice), then it is generally viewed as a concession.
Thank you Nomad/BT it’s always nice to take your measure and see just how short you come up, again.
All the best boys
David
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Old 08-18-2001, 02:46 AM   #77
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But I merely wanted to point out that "atheists" holding such things as the "Hell Doctrine" against christians is legitimate, as long as christians hold onto the "Hell Doctrine" themselves, as many do, have done, and will continue to do. To not speak out openly against such fear tactics is truly "sinful".
Well Joe, Rich and I been speaking against the hell doctrine on the feedback board and we've got five or six atheists insisting that it is biblically the only one valid and if we don't believe it we're not proper Christians. You'd expect the same thing from conservative evangelicals but as Rich said, these are fundie atheists.

When people start defending the beliefs of their enemies so they can remain enemies you know you have some pretty sick minds.

Yours

Bede

Bede's Library - faith and reason
 
Old 08-18-2001, 11:05 AM   #78
joedad
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Originally posted by Bede:
<STRONG>
When people start defending the beliefs of their enemies so they can remain enemies you know you have some pretty sick minds.</STRONG>
I wouldn't jump to the conclusion of calling them sick. I think that is an overly emotional and simplistic assertion.

The point of my last post was this:
Quote:
The mindset that christianity is the yardstick by which all other human institutions and universal observations ought to be measured, a view held by yourself and Nomad, has absolutely no basis in fact, yet you cling to it.
May I conclude that all historical christian references to their being hells have been erroneous, in your view? Yes? Such a statement is progressive, not to mention a welcome change, especially as I am hearing it more and more frequently in christian circles.

Slow am I.

joe
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