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Old 01-18-2001, 07:19 AM   #11
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[Me on Alexander of Abonutichus, Mormonism, Christian Science, and Scientology]

[Metacrock:]
This argument doesn't wash. Like most atheists you assume that all ancient world people were stupid and all religions are cults. So compare a cult and say they don't contraidct the leader so no early christians would have contradicted the Apostles. But that makes no sense. Why would they be Apostles in the fris place, why would anyone join them if they knew the whole thing was a lie. he was crucified in the very city and cliamed to have risen from the dead. If it was all made up, no one would have heard of it, no one would join the so called "cult." And of course it is not a fair assumtion to supposse that it's all a cult. Those groups you mention were in it for money they controled things tightly and faked things becasuse they wanted to make money. But the Apostels died for their "lie" why would anyone do that?

[Me:]
That, to me, is a non-argument. Aside from the whole question of whether the Apostles had really gotten martyred, does willingness to die for some belief make it true? People have been willing to die for Communism; does that make Communism true?

And do you really believe that the founders of Mormonism and Christian Science had only been in it for the money???
 
Old 01-18-2001, 07:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Metacrock:
It's not fair to call everything relgious a cult and there is no evidence that it was a cult. [/B]</font>
That depends on your definition of "cult."

--W@L
 
Old 01-18-2001, 07:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Metacrock:

That is not true. We are talking about the first 100 years or so. It wasn't unitl way after the second century that the Chruch got power to stone people or in other ways to punish heratics, basically not until they had state power at the end of the fourth century. So this does not apply.
</font>
We're talking early centuries, plural, and so the point stands. And even disregarding the context of the first century or so, the point remains that Xians tended to burn, oppress, or otherwise wipe their theological enemies from the face of Europe. Or have you never read works like the Malleus Maleficarum?

--W@L
 
Old 01-18-2001, 10:30 AM   #14
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Metacrock:
It's not fair to call everything relgious a cult and there is no evidence that it was a cult.</font>
Pat Robertson:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Any group that thinks they have the one truth is a cult.</font>
 
Old 01-21-2001, 05:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by smugg:
From Brittanica.com:

Arianism

a Christian heresy first proposed early in the 4th century by the Alexandrian presbyter Arius. It affirmed that Christ is not truly divine but a created being...

According to its opponents, especially the bishop Athanasius, Arius' teaching reduced the Son to a demigod, reintroduced polytheism (since worship of the Son was not abandoned), and undermined the Christian concept of redemption since only he who was truly God could be deemed to have reconciled man to the Godhead.

...
</font>
/b]

MEta =&gt; OK when you said "different account" you meant different interpritation. I thought you meant they used a different canon from that of the ORthdox. That's what I was saying was not different. They used the same Gospels they just understood them differenlty. So that was my misunderstanding of your termenology. Sorry. But the question of their view of diety is merely a matter of how one interprits diety. To me a "demigod" is still divine. I know they saw Christ as a created being. But that's just a matter of interpritation as towheather that's divine or not. What can be said is that they rejected the notion of Christ as part of the Godhead co equal and co eternal with the father.


From Encyclopedia.com:

Arianism

Christian heresy arising from the teaching of the Alexandrian priest Arius, c.256-336. To Arius, Jesus was a supernatural being, not quite human, not quite divine, who was created by God...


I was cutting them some slack by not using their opponents' terminology since it's all bunk to me.

Metacrock, are you claiming you know they had no other texts? Does absence of evidence equal evidence of absence?


MEta =&gt; That's the backwards way to look at it. Typical assumption though, gaps in knolwedge mean whatever view I want to imposse must be the case. If we have no knowlede of them using another text that does not mean that they used another text. If you think they did you must present evidence for it. Gaps in knowledge are not room for assumptions. They are gaps, we must use shcolarly caution.


Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Anyway, I think I misinterpreted the OP - if the question is were there Gospel accounts that disagreed with the Gospels we have today? There certainly were by the relatively late date of 250, and I suspect there were earlier ones, given the properties of transcribed texts and oral reports.</font>
Meta =&gt; There aren't any texts of rival Gospels that predate the mid second century. But it's all a matter of how you look at it. I think all of those non-canonical Gospels show a remarkable agreement with the canonicals. The divergencies are in minor details, the basic story is always the same, Jesus working miracles caliming to be the Messiah, how he died where he died the empty tomb, all of that is always assumed.


Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
If the question is were Christians just a cult? I'm not qualified to judge, I suppose, since (as per Metacrock's generalization) I see all religions as 'cults' - given their falsehoods.
Quote:
</font>

What falsehoods?

The term cult is used loosely in this day and age, proulgated by the media. It's come to mean a little band of looneies that kidnapp people ect. Sociologists don't use the term in this way. In the sociological sense it did begin as a cult, but that's not bad. It just means a small band tightly organized with a strong identification of the group as oppossed to the outside world and organized around a central charismatic leader.
 
Old 01-21-2001, 06:08 AM   #16
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Metacrock:
another thing about this Arian question
</font>
The argument Nomad makes deals with the first few decades of the Christian movement. the Arians were much much latter. IT wasn't until about 20 years that we start seeing the first seeds of heretical understandings of the faith, and not for a couple of houndred years that we get major divergences in the Christiologial controversies. And that's complicated becasue they arose amid the need to define the nature of Christian identity, and weren't created until the chruch tried to pin down what it meant by Christology.

But for the early formation of the Jesus' story the argument holds that the eye-witnesses could have stomped it out if they weren't reflecting the facts. The basic agreement of all Gospels on the basic facts indicates that the story was set in stone very early. That can only be becasue the community all knew the facts and they could not be questioned.
 
Old 01-21-2001, 06:15 AM   #17
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by lpetrich:
[Me on Alexander of Abonutichus, Mormonism, Christian Science, and Scientology]

[Metacrock:]
This argument doesn't wash. Like most atheists you assume that all ancient world people were stupid and all religions are cults. So compare a cult and say they don't contraidct the leader so no early christians would have contradicted the Apostles. But that makes no sense. Why would they be Apostles in the fris place, why would anyone join them if they knew the whole thing was a lie. he was crucified in the very city and cliamed to have risen from the dead. If it was all made up, no one would have heard of it, no one would join the so called "cult." And of course it is not a fair assumtion to supposse that it's all a cult. Those groups you mention were in it for money they controled things tightly and faked things becasuse they wanted to make money. But the Apostels died for their "lie" why would anyone do that?

[Me:]
That, to me, is a non-argument. Aside from the whole question of whether the Apostles had really gotten martyred, does willingness to die for some belief make it true? People have been willing to die for Communism; does that make Communism true?</font>


Meta =&gt; Ok the problem with your analogy is that communism is largely true. I used to be a communist so I don't buy that as an analogy. Secondly, there is strong historical evidence that at least Peter was martyared, and Paul but of those who knew Jesus, at least one did. Dying for a blief doesn't make it true, but how many people die for a lie when they made it up? Peter was one of the principles, if the Apostles made it up he would have been the ring leader.

The evidence is that Clment of Alexadria says he was martyred and that some who were witnesses to this were still among them at the time of his writting.


Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
And do you really believe that the founders of Mormonism and Christian Science had only been in it for the money???[/B]</font>

Meta =&gt; No but I don't think that Joseph Smith knew he would be killed either. Peter probably had a pretty good idea of it by the time the Neronian persecutions broke out.

 
Old 01-21-2001, 06:17 AM   #18
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by jess:
Pat Robertson:

Quote:
Any group that thinks they have the one truth is a cult.</font>
So The Republicans are a cult?


I guess atheism is a cult because most atheists seem to think that science is the only truth.
 
Old 01-21-2001, 06:23 AM   #19
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Writer@Large:
We're talking early centuries, plural, and so the point stands. And even disregarding the context of the first century or so, the point remains that Xians tended to burn, oppress, or otherwise wipe their theological enemies from the face of Europe. Or have you never read works like the Malleus Maleficarum?

--W@L
</font>
Now you are totally off topic. This is just an emotive post that says "I dont' like christianity it is bad, boo Christianity."

The point is entirely about the frist century. The basic argument of the thread is coud the eye-witnesses have contradicted the Apostles had they made up most of what is written in the Gospels. So what the chruch did in the subsequent centuries is irrelivant to the issue.


But even on that score you are still ignoring the basic facts. The chruch had no power to do any of those things prior to Contantine's conversion. IT was making the chruch an arm of the state (which actually happened after Contantine) that corrupted it and turned it into an oppressive force. So it was not anything intrensic to religious belief or Christian doctrine that did this, but the social/historical acciedents which gave it state power and made it a tool of people's power seeking.
 
Old 01-21-2001, 11:17 AM   #20
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[Metacrock:]
But for the early formation of the Jesus' story the argument holds that the eye-witnesses could have stomped it out if they weren't reflecting the facts.

[Me:]
An argument I consider totally bogus; that's why I brought up Alexander of Abonutichus, Mormonism, Christian Science, and Scientology, all of whom/which had aroused the attentions of skeptics early in their careers. I will now expound on them in more detail, because they present such strong counterexamples to Metacrock's argument.

Consider the case of A of A, who liked to show off a snake with a clay man's head attached, and claim that it was a god. Applying Metacrock's argument, A of A's followers would have quickly discovered that that "god" was a fake, and A of A's career would have quickly ended.

Or consider the case of Christian Science, which teaches that disease is essentially false belief, and that it can be cured by convincing oneself of the truth. However, its founder, Mary Baker Eddy, had been known to take laudanum (a painkiller), and Dr. Isaac Asimov had more recently discovered a Christian Science church to contain an air conditioner in active use. Ms. Eddy's lack of faith in her own teachings had not stopped her followers, who have sometimes demonstrated similar lack of faith; according to Metacrock's argument, when her followers discovered Ms. Eddy taking laudanum, they would have immediately rejected CS.

Mormonism has aroused no shortage of skepticism about its founder's "revelations", its "reconstruction" of North American prehistory, and a certain Egyptian papyrus which was claimed to be the "Book of Abraham", but which is more likely a funeral text. However, contrary to Metacrock's argument, such skepticism has clearly not stopped Mormonism.

Scientology started off as Dianetics, a "therapy" with a remarkable resemblance to Freudian psychoanalysis; a fetus could hear and misunderstand what was going around it, and these misunderstandings could produce many diseases later on in life. As Dianetics mutated into Scientology, those bad events were shifted to past lives. Dr. Isaac Asimov had learned of this theory from science-fiction-magazine editor Joseph Campbell, whose response to Dr. A's skepticism about it was that Dr. A has a "built-in doubter". Contrary to Metacrock's argument, he certainly did not stop believing in Dianetics. Eventually, JC moved on, but that was more likely because he and L. Ron Hubbard were competing Messiahs in this movement. And JC did not become significantly more skeptical; he would later show interest in the likes of the Hieronymus Machine.
 
 

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