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Old 04-30-2001, 08:29 PM   #121
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Just out of curiosity, I don't see where I or Robson said that Christianity's success had to be the result of divine intervention. I have been trying to understand how the sceptics on these boards think, and as near as I can tell, most of them cannot differentiate the success of Christianity from the success of any other faith. To them it all looks pretty much the same.

If that is truly the case, then so be it. I can hardly argue with them, but don't they ever wonder how Christianity succeeded, especially when it is so illogical, and has been from the beginning? After all, people have been preaching a risen dead nobody for a long time, and people keep believing it. If the best you can do is that people are idiots, or they are gullible, no problem. But it seems to miss the point completely.

Nomad
 
Old 04-30-2001, 08:40 PM   #122
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The implication (which I'll admit I might have simply assumed to be your point) was that Christianity's "uniqueness" and "success" equals its "correctness".

I will admit I'm a little confused. If you aren't claiming that Christianity's "successes" are the result of supernatural influences, then what was the point of this thread?
 
Old 04-30-2001, 08:42 PM   #123
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Nomad:
If the best you can do is that people are idiots, or they are gullible, no problem. But it seems to miss the point completely.

Nomad
</font>
People ARE gullible. Looked at the Mormon church lately? How 'bout Heaven's Gate?
Jonestown?

 
Old 04-30-2001, 09:05 PM   #124
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Monkeybot:

The implication (which I'll admit I might have simply assumed to be your point) was that Christianity's "uniqueness" and "success" equals its "correctness".</font>
I think this argument is used, but it strikes me as too easy. After all, if Christianity is true, then it needs to account for both its failings AND successes. The Jews faced (and face) the same problem. Saying God did it does not really tell us anything, since this argument easily cuts both ways.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I will admit I'm a little confused. If you aren't claiming that Christianity's "successes" are the result of supernatural influences, then what was the point of this thread?</font>
Like my thread titled "What Happened", I am interested in finding out what and how sceptics think, especially about history. How do they explain specific events? Is there any real differences between the beginnings of Christianity and that of any other religion? Robson's argument is that it is very different, and I agree with him. Thus far I haven't seen much from the sceptics that helps us explore what happened though. As near as I can tell, the sceptics here do not think that it was that big of a deal, nor all that interesting.

I guess I am just betraying my own fascination with history here, but I had hoped for better.

Nomad
 
Old 05-01-2001, 05:25 AM   #125
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Originally posted by Nomad:
[BIf that is truly the case, then so be it. I can hardly argue with them, but don't they ever wonder how Christianity succeeded, especially when it is so illogical, and has been from the beginning? [/b]

They're all illogical, so what's your point? Religions a lot dumber than Christianity continue to spread (look at Scientology).

After all, people have been preaching a risen dead nobody for a long time, and people keep believing it. If the best you can do is that people are idiots, or they are gullible, no problem. But it seems to miss the point completely.

Nomad


What is it you would like to discuss here? Human sociality? People seem to change their religion quite a bit. For some reason people seem compelled to bring others around to their point of view, no matter how irrelevant it is. If you want a more complex view of the persuasion/acceptance dynamic than "people are gullible," you'll have to read up on the psychology of belief.

Michael

 
Old 05-01-2001, 08:44 AM   #126
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by turtonm:

They're all illogical, so what's your point? Religions a lot dumber than Christianity continue to spread (look at Scientology). </font>
Thank you for the answer Michael. You do not differentiate between the religions of the world, and don't think that it is really much to think about. Such is your right.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: After all, people have been preaching a risen dead nobody for a long time, and people keep believing it. If the best you can do is that people are idiots, or they are gullible, no problem. But it seems to miss the point completely.

Michael: What is it you would like to discuss here? Human sociality?</font>
No. I would like to know why sceptics here think that a religion that preached such a ridiculous and stupid idea as a raised dead nobody smoked every religion in the Roman Empire, and did it largely before Constantine converted. I would like to know why, once it became the accepted and established religion of that same empire, it did not go down in flames with that empire, but actually converted its conquorers instead. I would like to know how, in the absense of any significant organized governmental structures in the early Middle Ages, the Church managed to build places of learning and higher education that allowed Europe to later on absorb the ideas and sciences of the Greek and Islamic world, and use it to create a scientific revolution and age of Enlightenment never seen anywhere else in history.

These things fascinate me, and I just don't encounter many sceptics that think about them much. If no one wants to give it a go, that is fine, but I come to these boards to learn what other people think.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> People seem to change their religion quite a bit. For some reason people seem compelled to bring others around to their point of view, no matter how irrelevant it is. If you want a more complex view of the persuasion/acceptance dynamic than "people are gullible," you'll have to read up on the psychology of belief. </font>
I find this argument curious. In other threads I have been told that people are Christian/Jewish/Muslim/Hindu/whatever largely because their parents were Christian/Jewish/Muslim/Hindu/whatever, as where their grandparents, great grandparents as so forth before them. This sounds very plausible to me, yet here you are arguing that the opposite is the case.

Which do you think is more true Michael?

Thanks for the response.

Nomad
 
Old 05-01-2001, 10:00 AM   #127
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LP, Christianity was going very strong until a Pagan emperor by the name of Diocletian started a persecution of Christians with an ill-thought-out edict. Constantine thought Diocletian's acts to be those of a mad man. Comparitively, Constantine was a breath of fresh air for Rome and human rights.

Ish

[This message has been edited by Ish (edited May 01, 2001).]
 
Old 05-01-2001, 10:33 AM   #128
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[Nomad:] No. I would like to know why sceptics here think that a religion that preached such a ridiculous and stupid idea as a raised dead nobody smoked every religion in the Roman Empire, and did it largely before Constantine converted.

[LP:] A rewrite of history. Paganism was still alive and well when the Christian Church got Constantine on its side.

And as to "a ridiculous and stupid idea as a raised dead", the sight of Nomad sneering at his own creed is certainly a sight to see. Lots of pagans had believed that we would go off to some other realm when we die, which reduces to much the same thing. I think that the real reason Christianity had triumphed is because the Christian Church was well-organized and zealous in stamping out competition; most of its competition was unlike that.
 
Old 05-01-2001, 12:12 PM   #129
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Nomad, if the subject of the spread of religions fascinates you, why not read up on it? Not only will it satiate your fascination, but it will prevent you from making the numerous historical errors you presented in this thread. Far from demonstrating the confusion of skeptics, all you've shown is that you cannot spot the basic ethnocentric position of someone like Robson, whose position you endorsed.

Bede and I had an excellent discussion on the origin of science and Christianity on the thread in S&S about Christianity holding science back 500 years. Perhaps you could review it before posting sweeping claims on the topic, or at least review some of the major works in the field.

I do not know what is confusing about "people tend to believe in the religion they were raised in" and "people seem to change their religions." Obviously people do both. Since we are not concerned with Grand Theories of Human Nature here, but merely with a theory of the middle range concerning the spread of Christianity and other religions, it is not an issue. If you wish to discuss why people change or remain with their religions, start a new thread in the Open Discussion.

Speaking of the spread of Christianity, we are now at post 125, and still no argument showing why we should take your claim for the uniqueness of the spread of Christianity over that of other religions. I guess that must mean you don't have one, or are incapable of making one.

Michael
 
Old 05-05-2001, 11:01 AM   #130
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Nomad:
I find this argument curious. In other threads I have been told that people are Christian/Jewish/Muslim/Hindu/whatever largely because their parents were Christian/Jewish/Muslim/Hindu/whatever, as where their grandparents, great grandparents as so forth before them. This sounds very plausible to me, yet here you are arguing that the opposite is the case.

Which do you think is more true Michael?

Thanks for the response.

Nomad
</font>
MISSIONARIES!MISSIONARIES!MISSIONARIES!
BESIDES MISSIONARIES, xtianity was one religion that pushed the idea that the more you bring to my fathers house, the more its guaranteed that you too will have a place - so heaven - sellers went out and spread the so-called "Word" and so the word corrupted the world - we are still trying to clear that mess. Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism did not offer a clear-cut, easy solution to eternal life. Because in X-stianity, you just be a sheep and dont worry about being part of nature and all, just be a sheep and Jesus will lead the way - Oh, and there is suerly hell for those who dont comply, and oh, burning at the stake, and so on and so forth....
Success?
Hardly.
 
 

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