Abandon All Stupid, Ye Who Enter Here
My "XC" and "X3" are faces, Bri. XC is a scrunched-eyes-frowny-mouth-face, and myX3 is a scrunched-eyes-siilly-grin-face. I use em so I can convey what I mean better, because things can get taken out of context very easily on the internet. I figure that using emoticons will help people understand when I'm being serious/silly/sarcastic/wtf-ish. I have a lot a lot a lot of those emoticons, too. Should I quit with em?
Face it, buddy, I'm far more open minded and tolerant than you could hope to be!----------------Believing that, is precisely why you aren't.Funny how that works. Same thing with empathy and love. Those who have come to believe that they have it, are the same ones that lack it. The belief, makes the doing of it, un-necessary to them. That's called PRIDE.
"Isn't a republic more dangerous than democracy? Why CAN'T we all vote on issues firsthand? Why would that be so bad?"The founders would've answered that with one word: Athens. Athens, for all its philosophical, literary, artistic etc. genius, was a complete mess politically. Athens scared the hell out of the founders, just as it scared the hell out of almost every ancient Greek author who wrote on the subject of Athenian democracy. Remember, the founders had very intense classical educations (which is to say their educations emphasized Greek and Latin languages and the Greek and Roman authors).
I have a lot a lot a lot of those emoticons, too. Should I quit with em?----------------------Well of course not. I just wasn't familiar with those. Emoticon away!(:O()> (That one meant "Burl Ives")
"Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."-ChurchillSo I guess he wasn't talking about the US then.
Did you feel like you 'dealt with the argument' by donning your Thomist hat and dancing shoes and shuffling off stage right? We've been talking about the KCA for quite a while now, and I'm saying that it implies, it has to be implying, an infinite being with infinite power. Since the premises, 'what we know', is that the infinite is impossible, we cannot conclude that infinites ARE not only possible, but now necessary! If the universe is infinite, and we don't know that it's not, the present state of the universe wouldn't be any help at all in deducing it's previous state, much like a butterfly is no help in deducing it's previous state as a caterpillar nor the caterpillar's previous state as an egg. Gods ARE anthropomorphications of the forces of nature, since they cannot be anything else. Leibnitz, and no doubt, yourself too Eric, admit this by saying that God is an EXPLANATION of nature. Is nature really in need of an explanation? You, Eric, seem to think so, I think not.
What was wrong with Athens politically? (These questions must seem tedious but I am a student of Digital Animation and Game Design and as much as I love history I'd rather have direct/specific questions answered than sift through a bunch of stuff to get what I'm after)Brian: I'll make sure to label my more esoteric ones then. `u` (this one's pretty obvious though)
I understand the USA, Canada etc. etc. to be representative democracies. Eric disagrees, that's fine, I'm sure that about half Americans disagree. This is because they're stupid, like Eric. LOL
Cogs, read the Federalist numbers 10 and 51 (both by Madison) for starters. They're among the most influential and important of the Federalist papers, and they're short enough to get through in twenty minutes or so.
Floyd, a representative democracy is more or less synonymous with a republic today.
Cogs, how is a naked letter "u" obvious? Understated? Unambiguous? Umbrage? Ungulate? I've seen emoticons before, but usually I can get an idea... Jeeze! :-) (See, that one there, it looked like a face!)lol...
Eric said,Do you have a *reason* for your lack of belief, even if it's only "there's no reason to believe"? If so, then you have an objection to belief in god. If you don't believe for no reason, then your lack of belief is non-rational.I wasn't asking for your approval, nor did I go into my *reasons*. I suspect that whatever I said, you'd disagree.
Floyd, a representative democracy is more or less synonymous with a republic today-----------------Oh, now I can see why you said we were a republic!It was a great way to disagree with the truth and still adhere to it. The 'have your cake' argumentative technique at its finest.
"I wasn't asking for your approval, nor did I go into my *reasons*. I suspect that whatever I said, you'd disagree."My point sailed right over your head, as usual. I wasn't asking you for a reason, I was addressing your claim to 'have no objections' and your characterization of my question as a red herring. If you have a reason for your lack of belief -- whatever it is, whether I think it's good or bad -- then you have an objection to belief in god.I note that you neglected to respond to my direct question, though, so I'll ask it again: Is it meaningful to say that atheism is true?
All right, getting into number 10, at the beginning I see this: "Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens, equally the friends of public and private faith, and of public and personal liberty, that our Governments are too unstable; that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties; and that measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice, and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority."Isn't that what is happening to us right now? Isn't Romney in with that overbearing majority, being a rich white male? More as I continue on...
Hell they're talking about Republicans!
Cogs, read the Federalist numbers 10 and 51 (both by Madison) for starters. They're among the most influential and important of the Federalist papers, and they're short enough to get through in twenty minutes or so.---------------Now, that's just being rude. She just told you to tell her because she doesn't want to read up on it. So you gave her another homework assignment! What a dick! And also apparently, a dick that has no ability to compress his knowledge in a manner that is more easily digestible. You are incapable of simplifying, for the simple reason that in simple terms it becomes painfully obvious that you're totally full of rhino poop.
Agh! `u`it's just a smile! it's just upright instead of sideways. =)
"Oh, now I can see why you said we were a republic!"Brian, read the Federalist papers I referenced (it'll take about twenty minutes, and you might actually learn something): they're full of explanations about the dangers of democracies and the advantaged of republics.
Cogs, Allosauri such as myself often miss the obvious. Here's my emoticon for Eric: 8=====>
I bet that's exaggerated...
Also, what does he mean by all this talk about faction? Which faction is it? Are all factions included? I'm confused.
Yes, faction in general. But remember the context: The Constitution was crafted to address the deficiencies of the Articles of Confederation, and the Federalist Papers were written to persuade the citizens of New York to vote to ratify the Constitution.
WAIT. WAIT. WAIT. Eric, you said that regular vote would be not as good as a republic, which is apparently what we have, when I asked what's wrong with everyone voting. A republic, defined by you, is a system in which people do not vote directly but instead elect representatives to vote for them. Then you tell me to read these papers, in which I find this:"If a faction consists of less than a majority, relief is supplied by the republican principle, which enables the majority to defeat its sinister views by regular vote. It may clog the administration, it may convulse the society; but it will be unable to execute and mask its violence under the forms of the Constitution."What. Are you trying to get at here?
The paper states the evils of PARTY and wants to uphold individual vote. That's what I'm getting out of this, and I'm taking my time here.
Wait and then it says that the individual vote would be bad, Republics are the way to go, then gives warning of electing bad dudes. He seems to have wanted a large number of people in the party here, as long as they were "fit characters."
"Eric, you said that regular vote would be not as good as a republic, which is apparently what we have, when I asked what's wrong with everyone voting. A republic, defined by you, is a system in which people do not vote directly but instead elect representatives to vote for them."Right, which is why you find clear passages supporting what I said like this in Fed. 10 (note the contrasts between democracies and republics, and note the posited advantages of republics over democracies):"From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole...it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths..."A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking. Let us examine the points in which it varies from pure democracy, and we shall comprehend both the nature of the cure and the efficacy which it must derive from the Union."The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater number of citizens, and greater sphere of country, over which the latter may be extended."The effect of the first difference is, on the one hand, to refine and enlarge the public views, by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country, and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations. Under such a regulation, it may well happen that the public voice, pronounced by the representatives of the people, will be more consonant to the public good than if pronounced by the people themselves, convened for the purpose. On the other hand, the effect may be inverted. Men of factious tempers, of local prejudices, or of sinister designs, may, by intrigue, by corruption, or by other means, first obtain the suffrages, and then betray the interests, of the people. The question resulting is, whether small or extensive republics are more favorable to the election of proper guardians of the public weal..."In the first place, it is to be remarked that, however small the republic may be, the representatives must be raised to a certain number, in order to guard against the cabals of a few; and that, however large it may be, they must be limited to a certain number, in order to guard against the confusion of a multitude. Hence, the number of representatives in the two cases not being in proportion to that of the two constituents, and being proportionally greater in the small republic, it follows that, if the proportion of fit characters be not less in the large than in the small republic, the former will present a greater option, and consequently a greater probability of a fit choice."In the next place, as each representative will be chosen by a greater number of citizens in the large than in the small republic, it will be more difficult for unworthy candidates to practice with success the vicious arts by which elections are too often carried; and the suffrages of the people being more free, will be more likely to centre in men who possess the most attractive merit and the most diffusive and established characters."
One of the other things to keep in mind about our particular form of democracy, the Republic, is that our founders were extremely suspicious of the common man. As part of the various checks and balances, the founders clearly intended to keep a distance between individual citizens and the election of the President, for example. In original form, the Presidency was closer to a parlimentary selection process than today. Based on our current political processes, they were probably being generous.There were also practical reasons for choosing a Republic over a purer form of democracy, of course. The business of government is impractical when every citizen is required to participate in every decision (just sit in on a city council meeting and you'll see why).
Cogs, I just realized that your emoticons make sense if I imagine them as a dead cartoon cyclops.......
All this talk about republics and democracies and which is best, and in the mean time the Republican party is still a party that seeks to accomplish harm on a large percentage of the population, and also seeks to deceive us all into not believing they're actually doing that. And they're full of christians. All people that have no ability to see life through anybody's eyes but their own. All who believe that they know better than the rest of us, so of course they are obligated to get into power using any and every means necessary. They are the type of good-doers that insist on doing their good no matter who or how many it hurts or even kills. Any harm done to others is merely collateral damage to the accomplishment of their Brave New (Old) World, and well worth the cost (that they're not paying in the first place).
Well, you see where Eric takes it, to the U.S.Constitution and fucking Athens! Everyone who lives in the 'West' knows that democracy means representative democracy, but just saying 'democracy' well that's not good enough for Cunt-head, no.
Just imagine if we weren't 'political' enough to know what to call it, Eric would have had loads of laughs denying away that we have democracies, loads of fun, 'cos 'oooooo', 'technically' he's right!But this is the same kind of bullshit he always pulls. A democracy can be a representative democracy, it's not wrong to call a representative democracy a democracy, but in Eric's mind, ooo, he's 'got us on a technicality'. Fucking asshole.
But he wasn't even 'technically right' here. He was just using the 'strictest' possible meaning to tell us how wrong we were for not using that same 'strictest' possible meaning! Just a total jack-off.How many times, we must wonder, has Eric told us how uneducated, how wrong etc. etc. we are for not using words in the sense he's meaning, no doubt the 'strictest' sense? He keeps telling me I'm wrong and I don't even know why I'm wrong, so it's likely the same thing as this, 'USA not 'strictly' a democracy' thing. That is so childish, since he can claim he's so educated, think of some 'strict' meaning and be holding us to that meaning, and be all smug about it, when the meaning we are using is perfectly fine, he just feels that it's fine for him to say 'no it's not'.
As usual... I got a bit nasty on him, but really, it's no different than any other day, other than I wasn't in the mood for it.Sorry Eric. When I'm friends with the devil I shouldn't complain about the smell of brimstone, now should I?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/janet-ritz/romneys-creationist-debat_b_1941995.html?utm_hp_ref=politicsMitt Romney's over the top October 3rd debate performance used a technique forbidden in policy debates known as "spreading" taken to a creationist extreme. Policy debaters started talking fast in the 1960s, when a team from the University of Houston figured out that speed allowed them to cram more arguments into a timed speech than their opponents would physically be able to negate. -- Jay Caspian Kang Wired, "High School Debate at 350 WPM"Romney's version of that technique, known as the Gish Gallop, developed by Duane Gish, the creationist, combined spreading with purposeful lying, resulting in the "flood of B.S. technique" that Romney used to dominate the first debate with President Obama. It's common among creationists and climate science deniers refuse to debate on the merits by flooding their opponents with false information leaving them without time to keep up with the lies and, as a result, appearing pedantic and professorial in their responses.
The flood of bullshit technique! Eric, one of your favorites!
Eric's variation adds in side-tracking references to articles and books and appeals to authority, to even further muddle the mix. Oh, and of course condescension... gobs and gobs of condescension... Makes winning an argument with him like swimming upstream in a rockslide.Cool. Glad that has a name.
The little bit I saw of the debate showed Romney being 'dominant' and Obama being 'submissive'.Now they're both 'showmen', so we have to ask ourselves 'why', why is Obama allowing Romney to do this? Well, from what we know about Obama, he's not, absolutely not going right out for a dick measuring contest. He had a majority and a 'supposed' super-majority, not counting the DINOS, never forget the DINOS, so, realistically Obama has to be as right of centre as possible without completely alienating his base. Romney has no constraints at all, he's Yosemite Sam out there, shooting all over the place, what's the worst that can happen, he's not President now and he can continue not being President.I honestly think that both the radical right and the radical left WANT this fight, the right see victory as total capitulation of the left, but the left see it as the first shots of revolution. Never mind the Sharon Angles pretending that they're the underdogs who'll save the people from the fascist/socialist/unAmerican/(anything else 'not us' you can think of), never mind the realistic spread of political POV of people in general owing to their life experiences, if the Hispanic/Latinos, blacks and other minorities get thrown under the bus and we add in unemployed/under-employed whites, the right may as well be saying, "Revolution? Bring it on! We control the armed forces, the police, you don't stand a chance!"Point is that Obama couldn't come across as the person who the right hate, as the revolutionary that they've painted him, the 'failure'(to be American) they've painted him, as some charismatic revolutionary that they've painted him, so they've done their job of painting Obama into a corner, since before he actually took power.He likely thinks that the right will reassess Obama in light of this first debate, and they should, who didn't notice that it's Romney who is the aggressor, but it's a tricky game since, I think anyways, that Obama is actually trying to gain the respect of Americans of all 'stripes', while Romney just wants to be the President at the cost of selling his soul to the warchickens and bigots and the 'trusters-in-the-LORD'.
I've been told that I don't belong to or come from this planet. I can see this. Here we are in the 21st. Century, that promise, from SF visionaries is coming to pass, right here right now, and I'm thinking, "Where's my flying car? You promised me a flying car!"This couldn't be further from the truth of course, science always seems to develop along unexpected lines, not unexpected really, but in ways where, when it is useful, it's almost as if we've always known this. Did anyone notice the big ticker-tape parades when it was discovered that DNA was actually a double helix? No, it doesn't happen that way, it's not a 'revelation' which now, somehow everyone 'gets'. The real scientific community goes out and tries to kill it, it's the only way really.That didn't happen when Theology and Astrology were the height of scientific thought, when we thought that we could build a 'coherent system' and defend it as truth.We could all just as well be basing our decisions on the idea that Heaven reflects Earth, what goes on here is reflected in Heaven, "Of course the tyrant was always going to do this since Mars was in conjunction with Jupiter and we're in the Seventh sphere of influence."Shit. We may as well assume that God wrote an unwritten list of morals on our heart and we're at a loss when it comes to decyphering it since it's mysterious and all.There must be a fancy building somewhere, where we can go and ask some guy in a skirt what it all means, where else are we going to find 'the Truth'?
Whoa, I go away for a couple days and we've got two anons, one delusional and one an ass. Eric, you may want to post under your name.
I don't know. I got the impression that Romney suddenly shifting all his positions to the left where Obama already was, left Obama confused and still wanting to have the fight that he rehearsed with John Kerry in practice debate sessions. He was totally prepared for that fight, knew that he couldn't lose it, and so went into the debate with total confidence born of good preparation, but then Romney changed the parameters, requiring Obama to change mid-stream to a totally different line of defense and attack, requiring Obama to focus on the shifting rather than the positions shifted to or shifted from. Obama needed to cry foul somehow, but gee, he had all those neato points to bring up about Romney's 500 billion in tax cuts, that when Romney disavowed them he still couldn't stop talking about them, couldn't stop attacking Romney on the very point that Romney had just effectively defused with his lie. He needed to invalidate that shift, not pretend that it didn't just occur. He was too slow. He's not that good on his feet when confronted with the 'Flood Of Bullshit' technique.I hope he's ready next time. It doesn't seem like a card Romney can play twice... where would he shift to?
And another thing I don't understand. If I was on Obama's team and we were talking about who he should practice debating Romney with, John Kerry would be just about the last name on my list. I mean think about it... Obama's people know that one of Obama's problems is coming off too 'professorial' and detached. So John Kerry REALLY???And it showed, didn't it? Obama had on display, all of John Kerry's debate weaknesses. It's like he practiced being effete and pedantic.
Bill Clinton needs to get in on being Obama's practice partner. I can't think of any Democrat better at knowing and handling right-wing bullshit.
The way Obama kept nodding.... nodding when Romney was telling lies about him! Unreal... was he trying to throw the debate? It looked almost like he was. If he was, he did it right.
The last place that Romney can shift to, would be Dennis Kucinich area. Take Obama out from the left. Hey, with that chameleon, anything's possible.
I find it interesting that the right wing is silent about how their candidate just morphed back into the Massachusetts Mitt Romney with all his liberal leanings. Not a peep. They seem to get it, that they need to shut up and let the lies work this time.
Maybe Obama thinks that all the early voters have already won the election for him if he can keep the right from bothering showing up. If he can just allow Romney to open up to the middle, show them his inner middle, the right will be so ill they won't bother voting!
So many theories as to why Obama 'threw' the debate, when to me it looked like he just plain old lost it. I mean hey, I hope you're right and he's Capablanca versus a less moral version of PeeWee Herman here, but at this point I'm not deluding myself that it's just a hope.
Could be the old "never give them 100% on the first day" ploy...
Get Romney to say, "I'ma fire Big Bird!" LOL
Could be the old "never give them 100% on the first day" ploy...------------------Yeah. But you'd think there'd be some middle ground between 'totally annihilating Romney' and 'presenting Romney with your jugular as a gift.'If Obama had beaten Romney decisively, Romney's whole campaign would have been almost dead in the water. With those parameters, going easy on him just doesn't seem to fit.
Get Romney to say, "I'ma fire Big Bird!" LOL----------------Yeah, of only he'd done that in the debate, he'd have been a laughing stock, huh? Oh wait, he did do precisely that. In almost so many words. Nothing gets through to the stupid christians. They'd vote for crucifying Christ all over again, as long as it would get Obama out of the White House.
Do we even know at this point what Romney even wants to do here? I mean with all this bouncing around he's doing.
Romney wants to be "Reagan II", with a re-hashed version of trickle-down economics.
Sure, big recession/depression:-"If not now, when?If not me, who?If anyone has to be fucked over,Rather not me but you!"
It kills me how the rich want what the poor have, the few crumbs they have left. They have this need, you see, to 'win' at the 'game' of life, and it's apparently a zero-sum kind of game where once you have a lot more than everyone else, it's obligatory to take the rest from them. Fuck them, after all, for their envy, which is how they see it I suppose.... fuck them for thinking the rich aren't being 'fair,' whatever that means.... whatever that means... what does that mean again? Oh yes, it's we win because we're homo superior since we have the right numbers in our bank accounts to be considered good people, and they lose everything, and since they're the losers, they should have the manners to go away and die somewhere where they don't spoil the view.
Just envision a World of ladies and genlemen, and all their toadies! They're in charge, but they're not responsible since they have 'people' to deal with responsiblity, but they're their toadies, so they're only responsible to the ladies and gentlemen, not responsible FOR anything.Slowly, very softly government will be restyled into, 'The Ministry for toadying to the ladies and gentlemen', 'The Ministry responsible for keeping the toadies elusive, but not wandering too far', 'The Ministry responsible for reminding the toadies that they owe everything to the ladies and gentlemen', and so on.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/08/charlie-fuqua-arkansas-candidate-death-penalty-rebellious-children_n_1948490.htmlThis republican asshole wants to make it legal to kill our rebellious children. Is is time yet, for a pogrom on christians? If it was, I'd be in.
I've never before read a quote from a republican that made me want to hunt him down and take him out. I mean, I won't, because I'm not EVIL like they are, but in this instance, the desire is definitely there.
Fuck, I used to always use that Deuteronomy thing against christians, telling them 'see, you think your book is so good, but it tells you to kill your rebellious children!' I never fucking thought for a minute that they liked that part, too, and secretly wanted to bring it back!Someone should dash all his kids on some rocks.
If Romney wins, these people also win. It's no longer far-fetched to think they'd destroy this country forever, creating laws, yes, even a law like one that says it's okay to have your kids put to death if they piss you off. I don't want to live in that country.
This is Eric's challenge. How to make a faith that approves of killing disobedient children palatable to sane people.Eric, and you wonder why I call you and your kind evil? I bet you'll denounce the man, sure, but then you go right on back to hard-selling his essential philosophy to us again.Wish I could slap you sane, dude. But then I'd get evil all over my hand.
(I bet you love the phrase "you and your kind.." Lol...)
Re: Charlie Fuqua, at last, an honest christian.
Yes, Mister "What-The-Fuqua?" is that, at least. Honest. I am really tired of the endless river of slack-jawed, knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, malignant idiocy in the name of GAWD from the christian right. I'm tired of being physically nauseated every time I read the news.
Fuqua is our friend. He's appealing to a demographic that will not exist in 50 years, but he's unappealing to just about everyone and is more effective at creating atheists than all the college clubs combined.
I suppose, but people are voting for this dysentery stain.
We speak so easily of what is appealing and what is not, and yet there is a man being utterly evil. Unappealing does not cover this. There is no good word for it, so I use 'evil' because it such a thing existed, this man surely would qualify.
"This is Eric's challenge. How to make a faith that approves of killing disobedient children palatable to sane people."Brian, if anything, you should be an anti-Semite. The Jews still hold fast to the OT laws, not Christians, who have believed since the beginning (remember Jesus' remarks to the Pharisees on the law, or the early Christians changing the day of worship from the Sabbath to Sunday -- a rather big deal, or Paul's dispute with Peter over circumcision, etc.?) that Jesus *fulfilled* the law. (Look into it and you'll see that this explains quite adequately the common, tired 'jot and tittle' retort -- after all, the 'jot and tittle' passage is found immediately after Jesus claims to have come to fulfill the law! And remember to read this in context with Jesus' many claims that abrogate or relax the OT law. In short, read the text as you would read Milton or Shakespeare or Cervantes, and let it speak for itself.) Further, remember that the OT law only applied to Jews (indeed, it was designed to make then 'holy,' i.e. 'set apart'), while Christianity is explicitly applied to everyone, Jew and gentile alike.Now this is not to say that *none* of the OT law binds us today, for you have to distinguish (as Aquinas did) elements of the OT law, i.e. moral elements, judicial elements and ceremonial elements. The moral elements, obviously, are still in force today, but the judicial and ceremonial elements are not, and were never intended to be -- for non-Jews, that it.So your real beef is with Jews (and with Christians who are ignorant of the history and theology of their faith, of course). So why aren't you an anti-Semite, Brian?"Fuqua is our friend. He's appealing to a demographic that will not exist in 50 years, but he's unappealing to just about everyone and is more effective at creating atheists than all the college clubs combined."Which shows how illogical atheists are. That's as foolish as saying that since atheist Peter Singer of Princeton argues, from his atheistic worldview, that newborn children can be killed morally within twenty eight days of their birth, he's more effective at creating Christians than all the college clubs for Christians combined, and hence Peter Singer is our friend.
A Cherokee LegendAn old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy. "It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too." The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?" The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."
My beef is with lying Christians. They're the ones trying to gain power in politics in this country. Eric, you're tiresome. Kind of an idiot I think, one with a lot of words but no ability to process.
Brian, how many Christians, from the death of Christ to today, can you cite who have advocated "killing disobedient children"? See, *you* said, "This is Eric's challenge. How to make a faith that approves of killing disobedient children palatable to sane people." If no Christians have advocated this, how can you say that it's approved by the Christian faith?
"...one with a lot of words but no ability to process." I doubt that there has ever been, or ever shall be, a clearer case of projection than this...
Where are all the Jews calling for laws allowing us to kill our kids, Eric? Why is there a christian doing it instead? Why do SO MANY christians think they need to follow Leviticus and Deuteronomy and try to act on it? Like this putz, or the Phelps clan? No, don't answer. I am tired of your disease now. I just needed to get that out there. As to the atheist there, never heard of him and who the fuck is he and where did you... no, no answers, shhh... All I can say is that I'm not seeing him try to run for office. An amoral atheist is not as common as an amoral christian, though. There are nuts everywhere, but your side has more of the than Planters. You trying to explain this one, makes me sick. You need to fucking apologize for your religion, not promote it. You need to talk to people like this dipshit and tell them they're doing it wrong, try to rein them in, and not spend your time trying to defend and spread a polluted faith (to people like us) that sickens decent people with it's evil idiocy and fucked up people that hate almost everyone all the time. So shut the fuck up, and go do some good in the world for a change. Stop being an asshole for God and start telling people who've got it all wrong that they've got it all wrong. Stop being as useless as tits on a bull.
I doubt that there has ever been, or ever shall be, a clearer case of projection than this..---------Predictable twat answer, you twat.
Always so willing to accept it when christians are evil, and trying to point it back to atheists as if that were a religion or a moral path when it's simply disbelief in one or any. I am a moral atheist; there are immoral ones' too, but they aren't that way because of their holy book; they're that way because of YOURS. The christian pseudomoral system permeates society so much that even some atheists have no empathy for life; they weren't raised to have it; and that traces back to their christian relatives and ancestors and the christians extant in our society spreading this social manure. If your path actually caused people to behave morally, even the atheists in society would have benefited from that. But no, your path has it's eyes on the afterlife, which frees up christians to shit all over this one. Do one good thing in your sorry life, and try to stop that. Or continue as you are, a morally-bereft apologist for a social disease. I see nothing moral in you. You are an excuse-maker for the mentally ill.
"Always so willing to accept it when christians are evil"I am? When?"If your path actually caused people to behave morally, even the atheists in society would have benefited from that." Wow! You *have* benefited *enormously* from it, Brian! That has to be one of the craziest comments you've ever made!
I am? When?-------------I post about the evil christian that thinks it's okay to kill kids. Who defended him immediately by trying to point away from it, tried to lessen the horror of it? YOU did. And you never even mentioned anything about how he's got it all wrong, either... nope... you just tried to prove me wrong by pointing to others. Away from him. Even when it's indefensible, you still defend. You need an intervention. You can't even see your own disease.
Brian, a few quick quick questions: what is the institution that provides goods like healthcare and education worldwide on the largest scale? What institution put the first orphanages in place (and whose members are responsible for the largest collection of orphanage in the world today)? Pioneered care for the elderly over a thousand years ago? And how large a gap is there between the actions of this institution in these areas and the next best institutions?Any guesses?
I started this whole line of conversation by posting ONE DEFINITE DOCUMENTED example of a christian doing this, and you ask me right after that to name one christian doing this! What a fucked up dude you are.
"Go outside and play, it's healthy."I can't -- I'm recuperating from (minor) knee surgery."I post about the evil christian that thinks it's okay to kill kids. Who defended him immediately by trying to point away from it, tried to lessen the horror of it?"Um, how did I defend him by pointing out that what he's advocating isn't in any sense 'Christian'? I must be missing something here. That's like saying that your remarks about Singer and atheism constitute a defense of Singer!
"I started this whole line of conversation by posting ONE DEFINITE DOCUMENTED example of a christian doing this, and you ask me right after that to name one christian doing this!"Brian, you missed the point: You leaped from that one case to "this is the faith Eric defends." It's that move that I've called into question. If what this clown advocates is 'Christianity' then you should be able to come up with sundry examples of Christian communities historically defending or advocating the practice. Otherwise, it's no more significant to Christianity as such than Singer's position is to atheism as such.
Brian, can you think of any examples of something that's evil to the core inspiring people to seek and find truth on such a large scale (you can find a plethora of quotes from scientists who say that their faith has motivated them to study the world god created), to create beauty on such a large scale (just visit a museum, or take in a symphony, or read the greatest works of literature, or check out some architectural masterpieces) and to do good on such a large scale (healthcare, education, resources for the poor, etc.)? How can something so evil be responsible for bearing such good fruit?
Now I'm not saying that that's the whole story, of course -- there's a lot of nasty stuff there too (Inquisition etc.). But the point is that your view is too simplistic; it cannot account for all the facts. My view, however, can account for both the good and the evil. Hence, at least prima facie, my view has more explanatory power than yours does.
Well, Jesus never relaxed or abrogated the law, he simply pointed out that we’re not able to keep it. Nowhere does he follow that up with “… so don’t bother trying with the stuff that makes you uncomfortable”. What he actually says is “Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”, and there is no reason to think (unless you are pre-committed to inerrancy and sola scriptura) that Jesus wouldn’t have given Peter and Paul an earful about their later teachings. Also, if you’re committed to honest inquiry, you cannot use Paul to explain Jesus (nor Aquinas explain Judaism). I also liked your use of quotes around fulfilled, it’s like you’re admitting you have no idea what the word actually means in the context in which you are using it. Now, before you say “Nuh-uh…” this just represents the beauty of the bible. Same words, different people, different conclusions. One conclusion we should all be able to agree on is that this is fairly damning evidence that those words are not divinely inspired. But alas, I won’t hold my breath. Which shows how illogical… Peter singer is, for many Christians, their “friend” in the sense I was using the word. Furthermore, you’re an idiot.
"Well, Jesus never relaxed or abrogated the law, he simply pointed out that we’re not able to keep it. Nowhere does he follow that up with “… so don’t bother trying with the stuff that makes you uncomfortable”."Hmm, let's look at some passages, shall we?Mark 7:15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.Is he saying here that we're "not able" to keep the laws, or that they're not what makes a person good, holy etc.?Matthew 12: 1 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat.2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?6 But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day. Is Jesus saying that we're not able to keep the Sabbath, or that we need not keep it in these circumstances? And is he placing himself under the Sabbath (and, by extension, the OT law), or above it?We could go on, but what's the point? (We'll see why it's pointless next):"What he actually says is “Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”"Wow, Ryan, there's evidence in that very passage of what Jesus was doing to the OT law! What formulaic introduction does he use throughout the passage? "You have heard it said, but I say to you..." Have you ever asked what this means? The first part, "you have heard it said" refers to the OT law, so Jesus is again putting his own teachings (and hence himself) above the OT law.Note how Ryan fails to quote the *entire* passage (I wonder why?):Ryan's quote: "Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."Actual quote: "18 For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law *UNTIL ALL IS ACCOMPLISHED*.19 Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
So, what does "until all is accomplished" mean? What does it refer to? Jesus constantly refers to the reason he came (e.g. "Matthew 20:28, "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.") "Remember Jesus' last words from the cross? "It is finished" (other translations are "completed" "accomplished" "consummated").So Jesus constantly places himself over the law, says that not a jot or tittle will pass away from it until all is accomplished, he refers constantly to his reason for being here, and he claims that it's all accomplished at his death."Also, if you’re committed to honest inquiry, you cannot use Paul to explain Jesus (nor Aquinas explain Judaism)."What unadulterated rubbish. Paul knew Peter, John and James, and his teaching was confirmed by them. And we all use conceptual categories others have provided (as in the case of Aquinas, who was merely formalizing the Fathers) to elucidate texts. Did you learn Latin the way most of us do, Ryan, with the (relatively) modern a analytical method? Well guess what, you've done the same thing you'[re here claiming that I can't do!
Apparently Jesus fulfilled the old laws in just such a way as to leave his followers totally confused about whether they should still follow them or not, huh? Because plenty of christians today seek to have them writ back into laws for all to follow. Like the above asshole wanting to kill kids. So when I say the bible has evil laws in it, you can say Jesus cancelled them out. And when I note that people like this man are not seeing that, and want to still follow them, you can say he's not a real christian. You get to have you way in either direction. And yet, I didn't see anything in your Jesus quotations there that explicitly tells us that the old ways are obsolete now, DO I, SIR SNAKE? So you're parsing intent here, for your convenience, which you can interpret as you like. You're a lawyer here, not a holy man.
Funny how you shout 'unadulterated rubbish' when you deal in the adulterated variety. Seems silly.
By my measure, almost all christians are not real Christians. (Note caps)You're a whole religion of false Scotsmen pointing out the few real ones as a measure of you all as a whole. You're like Maple Syrup with no actual Maple in it... but it still tastes like Maple, you insist!
What I said, Brian, is that the OT laws comprise moral, ceremonial and judicial categories; that the ceremonial and the judicial only ever applied, and were only ever meant to apply, to Jews (like Jesus and his followers before his death); that the moral precepts, obviously, have universal application; and that Christians are only obliged to live under the OT moral law. Nothing I've said here is controversial -- any Christian who know his faith is aware of all this. Unfortunately, few Christians today do understand their faith, which is in large part why some of them will (like you) become former Christians.
From where I sit, if you wanted to do good in the world Eric, you'd be spending your time trying to reach those 'false christians' that all seem to insist that they're not false at all, and get them to see that they should not try to follow the old laws, and not spending it here trying to see if you can score 'wins' against the evil atheists. We're not reachable.... but with your talents, I think many of them might be.
Well, we disagree on the context of Mark 7:15 and who Jesus actually thought he was in Matthew 12, but what can you do...Note how Ryan fails to quote the *entire* passage (I wonder why?)Um, listen jerkwad, I didn't mention the rest of the passage because you had quoted it in the preceding comment. You need a lesson in "charity". Maybe try out Islam since Christianity's not working out so well for you. "It is finished" (other translations are "completed" "accomplished" "consummated").And yet other translations have "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" so who knows what the fuck he actually said. Probably not John or Paul either.Did you learn Latin the way most of us do, Ryan, with the (relatively) modern a analytical method?I have no idea, I learned reading an annotated copy of the Aeneid. But way to miss the point!!!In closing, you're an idiot.
So why aren't you out there telling the christians that are mistaken about all that, that the old laws only applied to Jews? Instead of 'letting it slide' because hey, they're already on the team.
Either you're a craven opportunist trying to become famous like Dinesh by taking the short path to success that leads through Idiotville, or you come here to argue because you need to believe that your arguments are sound; in short, you argue to assuage your own doubts.I tend to lean towards 'A' myself, but I have hope it's 'B.'
Unfortunately, few Christians today do understand their faith, which is in large part why some of them will (like you) become former Christians.---------------Again, it would seem that you have a path to walk here, if you choose to walk it. You have a calling waiting for you, clearly. Why waste your talents trying to get atheists see your faith in the right way, when you'd do a lot more good in the world if you focused on teaching those who call themselves christians and yet do not understand their own faith?
You see, it's the evil they do that bothers me, not their faith. So if your way of seeing it does not include the old, draconian laws, then I would see your version spread and theirs abate. I can't do that. You can. When will you start?
Moral, Ceremonial, and Judicial laws? What weight can the moral ones have had, when the other two kinds were utterly immoral? Seems rather odd. Laws, legislation, these things are moral codes, all of them. If they're not written in a moral and fair manner, they produce an immoral and unfair result in societies that adhere to them. You can put 'thou shalt not kill' in a book over and over if you want to, but if in that same book it offers numerous penalties resulting in death for even minor infractions of numerous laws, then the book is not a moral book, it's even more immoral in that it offers confusion between the good and the evil, as it were. It says 'do A' and 'do not-A' both at the same time.
And yet other translations have "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" so who knows what the fuck he actually said. Probably not John or Paul either.---------------Nobody wanted to print what Jesus actually said, because it was "AAAARGH, MOTHERFUCKER, THAT HURTS!!!"
You said it yourself, eric; I myself am evidence that those false (or unaware?) christians are ruining the faith, giving it horrible P.R. and repelling people all over the place. Get on that.
Although in truth, the false christians were only a part of why I lost my 'faith.' Mostly it was the rampant hypocrisy right there in the Bible. The contradictions, the draconian O.T. laws, the happy-happy-joy-joy N.T., and the sheer ridiculousness of it trying to get people to believe in two or more contradictory things at once. My logic circuits prevented it from capturing my mind as it did yours. Ever. Not temporarily until I saw a better, more sophisticated interpretation of it. What mattered, after all, was what it was doing in the world, how it's followers behaved, how they interpreted it, which was mostly in a literal and not figurative manner, and so forth. It requires insanity of its readers, and thoughtfully provides the mechanism to accomplish that.
The actual Bible is an incomprehensible mishmash of different kinds of thought, offering little clarity, and what it offers of worth is counterbalanced by the harm that it does. But, it's the original Real Deal. It is what it is. Then people like Aquinas came along and offered new, more palatable interpretations of it, and insist that it's pure and holy. That's like a 1960's movie about killer tomatoes having a new review come out about it today that tries to deny the entire original premise of the movie, claims that it was actually laced with really heavy philosophical metaphor, and insists that it should have won an Oscar."Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"
Eric, how many angels exactly, can dance on the head of a pin? I've always wondered, and I can't think of a better man to ask.
I see, not being a conditioned christian, how the apologists are shining that turd all the time. Don't you know Eric, that it's obvious that you guys could have done this with any holy book or any faith? Devoting all the time and energy to coming up with rationalizations... heck, you could make almost anything sound more reasonable and decent. Human sacrifice? No problem! Modern Aztecs would just love you!
What Jesus actually said on the cross, according to the bible is...Father forgive them, for they know not what they do. Oh, hai, I didn't see you there. This sucks doesn't it? But don't worry, truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise. Wait, you are all still here? Well then woman, behold your son: behold your mother. AAAARGH, MOTHERFUCKER, THAT HURTS!!! My God, My God, why have you forsaken me. I thirst... shit is this vinegar? no water? Really? OK, it is finished... oh, and one last thing, father, into your hands I commit my spirit.Pretty wordy for a dude that is suffocating to death. Another fun one is to get them to explain, as if blocking a stage play, just who is present at the tomb...
"Well, we disagree on the context of Mark 7:15 and who Jesus actually thought he was in Matthew 12, but what can you do..."Ryan, would you say that texts have a definite meaning (whether we can discern it or not), or are you more of a deconstructionist?"And yet other translations have "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" so who knows what the fuck he actually said."Other 'translations'? I hope you misspoke there..."Again, it would seem that you have a path to walk here, if you choose to walk it. You have a calling waiting for you, clearly. Why waste your talents trying to get atheists see your faith in the right way, when you'd do a lot more good in the world if you focused on teaching those who call themselves christians and yet do not understand their own faith?'Well, I can do both, of course. But, remember, I'm not a theologian or a biblical scholar; I'm a philosopher, so it's natural for me to focus on atheism rather than on inter-/intra-denominational theological issues. But I agree with you, I certainly could do more in that regard (which would require my learning a heck of a lot more, and that never hurts). You're certainly right there.
Other 'translations'? I hope you misspoke there...a joke, see my comment immediately preceding yours. Oh, and way to miss the point.
But I agree with you, I certainly could do more in that regard (which would require my learning a heck of a lot more, and that never hurts). You're certainly right there.--------------It pleases me that you see it that way.Why is it necessary for a philosopher to focus on atheism? Isn't it better to focus on morality? Or the best ways to think in order to do the most good in and for the world? Or well, I could think of many things that I'd see as a lot more worthy of your talents than a focus on disbelief in your deity. Maybe that's more fun for you for some reason, but it accomplishes precious little good for the world.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/10/us/study-finds-that-the-number-of-protestant-americans-is-declining.htmlThe Good Word! I'm thinking it's all the stupidity on display in recent times. Nobody wants to belong to the religion of Backwards.
I think this has descended into a weird area, 'The Gospels'.There is just so much wrong with them. Christians will tout them as four separate accounts(which isn't true), by four named individuals(which isn't true), of eye-witness reports(which isn't true).These later named 'reporters' apparently collected stories from eye-witnesses, scoured the OT for prophecies to match up with these stories, proving(to themselves?) that Jesus was the foretold Jewish Messiah.I'm stuck trying to imagine one of these 'reporters' hunting down any remaining witnesses to the supposed events, never telling us their names, with the equivalent of a note-book in one hand and a list of prophecies, not recognised at all as prophecies by the main body of the religion, at hand to inject into the story as it supposedly unfolds before said 'reporter'.Apologists claims and observations are all over the place about this, basically pick the one you like best, 'cos that'll do as well as any other. For example, I'm quite sure that there are literalist apologists who would defend every single supposed act of Jesus as TRUTH whereas others would point out that every one of the purported 'holy men' around that time, and there were many, would have miraculous tales attributed to them.These Gospels are NOT some 'reporter' giving his history and credentials, the history and credentials of the witnesses, no.Their not of the, "The alien abduction of Phil!" by Ian Taylor.(short history of myself and how I came hear the story of Phil)(short history of Phil)(Phil's story in Phil's own words)(The stories of any witnesses to the facts of the case of Phil)(We might explore any prophecies which Phil, I or any of the witness felt were germain to the incidents surrounding Phil's case)What we appear to have, in the Gospels, is 'The Legend of Jesus the Christ', and it just won't do.
I suppose the point being, the unnamed writers of the Gospels seemed to be determined to make a story which followed a list of supposed prophecies about 'the Messiah'. They had 'the Prophecies', set them out in the best order that they could, and wrote a story about those having been fulfilled. Each of these nameless experts on O.T. Prophecy did gather as much information about those as possible, Matthew and Luke each having a chronicle of Jesus' anscestry, not seeming to recognise the problem that Jesus was God's only begotten son, and NOT Joseph's begotten son. The only reason Matt and Luke bother to copy a geneology is to allow for the prophecy that the Messiah will be descendant of David, which kind of sets the scene, sets the standards by which these unnamed writers were telling their tale.They'll even admit, right in the Gospel text, that some odd things happened or were said, simply to fulfill a prophecy. I don't need any more proof than that, that these writers were more concerned about prophecies being fulfilled than any supposed eye-witness accounts.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/10/scott-desjarlais-abortion-pro-life_n_1953136.htmlScott DesJarlais, Pro-Life Republican Congressman And Doctor, Pressured Mistress Patient To Get Abortion--------------------------You have to love these hypotwits. They're too stupid to know better.
Agreed on the Gospels Pboy. It's funny how thin the evidence actually is, that they base their entire religion upon. As weak as a rumor, as ephemeral as a whisper in a crowded room.. but it must be true! It just must be, or else we are fools! So it must be true!
"Christians will tout them as four separate accounts(which isn't true)"Again, no informed Christian says that they're entirely separate, *but they are comprised of separate source material*. So, even though Matthew and Luke clearly use material in Mark in some areas, they also contain material not found in Mark or in the other gospels, so we do have three separate sources here (actually more, if you accept Q). And John is well known to be very different in its sources from any of the synoptic gospels. So we do have four -- actually, more than four if you go to the sources of the gospels, but that's besides the point -- separate sources in the gospels, though not four *entirely* separate sources."by four named individuals(which isn't true)"Again, this is a qualified claim. No one claims that the gospels have cover pages attached to them naming the authors; rather, we have *early* traditions (e.g. Papias, born just after Mark written, and who lived while Matthew, Luke and John were written, and Irenaeus, who was born about forty years after John was composed, and so on) who refer to the authors of the gospels. So, while claims of authorship aren't ironclad by any means, they're not at all baseless either, so you can't simply say "not true." "of eye-witness reports(which isn't true)."This is another complex area, and you can't simply say "not true." For example, have you ever engaged with (or even heard of) the arguments presented by Bauckham (University of St. Andrews, Scotland) in "Jesus and the Eyewitnesses"? I doubt it.
True story:This morning, I had a follow up appointment with my doctor to check on my progress after last Thursday's surgery. An older gentleman (sixties, I'd say) in line before me is signing in, and the secretary asks him what his co-pay is. He responded, "I have no more co-pays -- now I have a two thousand dollar deductible. Thanks a lot, President Obama."
Poor guy... was he senile?
Eric, just what I expected. Of course you are compelled to defend the indefensible. It sounds really sad, how thin that defense is, but hey, believers have to cling to something, eh? I'm sure that in your mind, you're certain. And that's really all that matters, right? We lack your 'spark' of faith, so we do not attempt to prove it either way, we just look at the evidence and we see that there really isn't any. No real evidence but people talking. And those people, were biased. G'bye!
No one claims that the gospels have cover pages attached to them naming the authors; rather, we have *early* traditions (e.g. Papias, born just after Mark written, and who lived while Matthew, Luke and John were written, and Irenaeus, who was born about forty years after John was composed, and so on) who refer to the authors of the gospels. So, while claims of authorship aren't ironclad by any means, they're not at all baseless either, so you can't simply say "not true."-------------Fantastic! Who were they, then? The authors? What were their names? And their relationship to the deceased apostles? They didn't know them, but who did they know that did? Do tell! I've never heard that they were referenced... what are their names?
Oh, if you don't have any names, if those early 'references' to the authors did not name them, nor how they knew what they supposedly knew, then I have only one question: Aren't you tired of this yet? Always being on the weak side of the argument, having to dig ridiculously deep for even a partial 'proof?' Doesn't it get to you? It would make me ill.
Besides, we know that there *were* authors. The gospels didn't write themselves. So someone referencing the bible authors, with no other information about them, is less than useless information.
What I find entertaining is that Eric will take a liberal view on scripture when it suits him, but then cite a quote that could very possibly be made up (even in his view) to defend a theological issue ass if its an absolute certainty that it is absolutely accurate.
"Fantastic! Who were they, then? The authors? What were their names? And their relationship to the deceased apostles? They didn't know them, but who did they know that did? Do tell! I've never heard that they were referenced... what are their names?"Papias said that John the disciple (whom he knew personally) told him that Mark was a follower of Peter, and that Matthew was originally written in Hebrew. Iranaeus said that Luke was a follower of Paul, and that John the disciple was the author of John's gospel.
"What I find entertaining is that Eric will take a liberal view on scripture when it suits him, but then cite a quote that could very possibly be made up (even in his view) to defend a theological issue ass if its an absolute certainty that it is absolutely accurate."I'll find it interesting when you finally get something right -- just one thing, Ryan.Nothing I've said hints at or implies 'absolute certainty' on my part, so please, stop being ridiculous. I know that reasoning cogently and reading carefully and writing clearly aren't 'your things,' but please, at least make some effort here, OK? I don't care if an argument if made by a 'conservative' or by a 'liberal' scholar -- all I care about is the quality of the argument. As I see it, the arguments for reading scripture as I do (which is hardly 'liberal,' though it may be liberal *relative to* the rare hyper literalists) are strong, as are the arguments for an *old* and *consistent* tradition concerning the authorship of the gospels.Now if you have anything interesting to add, please, do contribute.
I'm not sure when you talk about old references to bible authors and things like say, Josephus, whether you yourself are ignorant of human nature, or you are hoping that we are. You never take it into account.
Eusebius the Untrustworthy is our source for Papias re: the gospel authors, if I'm not mistaken.
So it's 'I read about a guy thousands of years ago, who knew a guy, who knew a guy....' Nicely done! I'm sure you're a legend in your own mind here.
"Again, no informed Christian says that they're entirely separate.."You seem to be implying that I had said, "All Christians"."so we do have three separate sources here (actually more, if you accept Q)."Yes, indeed, you changing what I said, 'four separate accounts', to 'this or that many separate sources', ducks that quite 'effectively', you think?" No one claims that the gospels have cover pages attached to them naming the authors;" That is rubbish. If I were to ask any Jehova Witness/other Evangelist/Mormon to tell me how he/she knows which Gospel he/she is quoting, they'd think me dense. They'd say, "How dense are you, it's written, "The Gospel according to St. Matthew(or whoever) right at the top of every page!"".. you can't simply say "not true.""Sure I can Eric, and I explained why. No eye-witnesses are named or quoted and the Gospel writers keep refering to supposed O.T. prophecies as reasons why the supposed event happened, in effect, the writers had one agenda, to tell a story which connected all the supposed O.T. Prophecies.You can imagine some nameless eye-witness explaining to a Gospel writer that Jesus, while on the cross, said, "I am thirsty!", in order to fulfill an old prophecy, if you like, but I'm not buying it!
EUSEBIUS! Well well... I see now. The scales have been lifted from mine eyes! The man who said it's okay to lie for the religion, is Eric's source. Perfect. I'm sure Eric is sure Eusebius never, ever lied, oh no, why would he? What motive could he have? This is pure hogwash.
Nothing I've said hints at or implies 'absolute certainty' on my part, so please, stop being ridiculous.Using scripture to support a theological assertion requires an assumed 'absolute certainty' in said scripture.
Now if you have anything interesting to add, please, do contribute.-----------------Now now... stop being a prick. God knows I'm trying.... you do it too.
It's sounding like Eric's saying 'These are my arguments... I know they're not good ones, but they are indeed, arguments!' If this were a courtroom, the judge would have to gavel for order, because the audience would be snickering.
I remember Eric saying that the early martyrs were a sort of testimony of the veracity of Christ. In other words, who would kill themselves if they did not know that it were true?...thus supporting Islam more than Christianity. Hell, they're still dying for their religion. On purpose. Surely then Allah is God, and Muhammad His prophet!
Using scripture to support a theological assertion requires an assumed 'absolute certainty' in said scripture.-------------Hell, being a christian in the first place, assumes 'absolute certainty' in scripture. If the scripture is made-up, then so is the whole shebang.
Nothing I've said hints at or implies 'absolute certainty' on my part, so please, stop being ridiculous.---------------You're not certain that you are right, but you do not deviate from the dogma that you have accepted. You still defend it, albeit with such caveats as 'gee, I'm not sure but...'I am not certain that there is no god. However, I am certain that your dogma is wrong. It screams wrong. Everywhere you look are potential sources of error, intentional and unintentional, and so when you add all of them together, the chances of all of them being true are astronomical.
Re: the martyrs, think Pliny's (not our Pliny) letter to Trajan knocks that one on its ass.But they get around the whole Islam thing in that the argument assumes that the first christian martyrs were close enough to the event to know for sure if they were true or not, and if they were not, they wouldn't have been willing martyrs and would have recanted (never mind that we don't know just how willingly they actually were or if recanting was even an option)
A man can always be wrong, and can always be questioned. Not so with a god. This explains the utility of gods, to men. The best cover story possible. Eusebius was in on the scam at the start. Hell, just about everything we know about Constantine as regards the religion came from him. Open those eyes! His motive to lie was ENORMOUS. And he's on record saying that it's not a sin to lie for God. Wake up, dude.
the argument assumes that the first christian martyrs were close enough to the event to know for sure if they were true or not, and if they were not, they wouldn't have been willing martyrs and would have recanted----------------------So martyrs today, who are less sure, kill themselves for why again? The early martyrs were sure. Sure they were. But it wasn't a thought, it was a belief. They believed what they were told. It was a pretty story to them, and they believed it. It's not like they saw anything for themselves. Everything they 'knew' came from the stories of other humans about a recent event. No reason why those stories had to be true. Believers do not require proof. They think it's bad form even to ask for it.
Today we have believers seeing god in a piece of toast or a screen door, and Eric relies on the testimony of early believers who had even less reason to adhere to reality. Wow. I have this bridge that I've been trying to sell. great deal, too...
"I remember Eric saying that the early martyrs were a sort of testimony of the veracity of Christ. In other words, who would kill themselves if they did not know that it were true?...thus supporting Islam more than Christianity. Hell, they're still dying for their religion. On purpose. Surely then Allah is God, and Muhammad His prophet!"I have never made such a ridiculous argument.At best, if one is in a position to know that X is true (as, say, Jesus' disciples were), and is willing to die for X (as Jesus' disciples seem to have been, since we have accounts of Peter's, Paul's and Jame's deaths), then we can say that it's almost certainly the case that such a person believed X to be true. What's the significance of that? Well, it depends -- as a defense against an argument from conspiracy, for example, it's a pretty decisive refutation, but as an argument for the truth of X, it merely establishes those who died as sincere witnesses, and not the truth of X.
What account do we have of Paul's death?Peter's account, if you are talking about Clement, tells us nothing about if he died as a sincere witness.Additionally, Acts merely says James was killed with a sword. Not a lot of details there.
"What account do we have of Paul's death?"Ignatius, who was about thirty when Paul died, refers to Paul as a martyr in one of his letters; Clement also refers to Paul's death."Peter's account, if you are talking about Clement, tells us nothing about if he died as a sincere witness."I have no idea what you mean by 'sincere witness.' Clement refers to Peter (and to Paul) as the "greatest and most righteous pillars of the church," and says that they were "put to death.""Additionally, Acts merely says James was killed with a sword. Not a lot of details there."Josephus also records James' death. I';m not sure what 'details' you're looking for, but given your "I'm hyper skeptical when it suits my prejudices, and hyper gullible when it suits my prejudices" methodology -- very impressive, by the way -- I doubt that what you're looking for even matters.
I think you've misused the term "account" here, especially in Paul's case. I'll chaulk it up to an honest mistake.
But the main point is that the writings of people like Clement and Ignatius and Papias and Polycarp and Iranaeus, who were third generation (i.e. after the original disciples) Christians, and who in many cases personally knew one or more of the original disciples, are preserved in the writings of others (or in small fragments of their own), which is not at all uncommon with ancient sources, and these sources refer in places to the authors of the gospels. And that was my only point -- we have early (even Eusebius is early) traditions concerning the authors of the gospels, and, just as importantly, we have *no* disputes about authorship in the historical record (i.e. no one in any of our ancient sources claims that someone other than Mark the follower of Peter wrote Mark's gospel, or that someone other than Luke the follower of Paul wrote Luke's gospel, or that someone other than John the disciple of Jesus wrote John's gospel, and so on). So, we have an early, multiply attested and consistent tradition concerning the authorship of the gospels, which, though it doesn't establish the tradition of authorship as factual, decidedly does falsify Floyd's claim that "it's not true" that we can say who wrote the gospels; we can say, but only with some degree of probability on decent historical grounds, not with certainty.
This is funny -- William Lane Craig "Eastwoods" Dawkins!
Eastwooding was pathetic when Eastwood did it.
"Eastwooding was pathetic when Eastwood did it."A thing/person can be funny and pathetic -- just look at reality TV (I try not to, I really do, but it's almost impossible to maintain normal relationships with friends and family without ever setting one's eyes on reality TV).
Eric, I was talking about the state of mind of the earliest martyrs, not the attributation of the gospels.
"Eric, I was talking about the state of mind of the earliest martyrs, not the attributation of the gospels."Fair enough. We do know of Christians who renounced their faith to save their lives, and we know of Christians who are said to have been martyred, so the inference is, I think, clear enough. But if your point is that we can't establish with certainty what any particular Christian who was executed actually thought, then sure, I grant the point. But the fact that it seems, from what we do know, that they could have saved their lives by renouncing their faith, the inference to 'sincere belief' is justified.
Tradition doesn't mean a damned thing to me Eric. Simply because they decided on names later, then all decided that the names they chose were as good as any, the closer they could tie those names to the Gospels, the better, doesn't mean a thing.You may as well tell me that Dec.25th is when Jesus was born, since that's when you traditionally celebrate it.Christ, Eric, you'd actually imagine that you're talking to a Catholic, informing me about Catholic tradition."Thanks to Tradition, guaranteed by the ministry of the apostles and their successors, the water of life that flowed from the side of Christ and his saving blood comes to the women and men of all times. In this way, Tradition is the permanent presence of the Savior who comes to meet, redeem and sanctify us in the Spirit through the ministry of his Church for the glory of the Father. This reality of the divine action of the Holy Spirit within the Church is essential to understanding Catholic Tradition. It is what makes Sacred Tradition something far different than mere human traditions."Why would your 'divine action of the Holy Spirit etc. etc.' be persuasive to anyone but a Catholic, Eric?
My point is actually that Pliny tells us Rome, by the early 2nd c. didn't have a standard on if Christians were even allowed to recant or not and the martyrdom "accounts" don't tell us anything worthwhile either.I get that you need to believe, so you are going to run with anything you can even remotely rationalize. And this is a case in point.
"Tradition doesn't mean a damned thing to me Eric."Then it's a good thing that you're not a historian (and apparently have never taken a course on historical methods, or read a book on historical methods)!"Thanks to Tradition, guaranteed by the ministry of the apostles and their successors, the water of life that flowed from the side of Christ and his saving blood comes to the women and men of all times. In this way, Tradition is the permanent presence of the Savior who comes to meet, redeem and sanctify us in the Spirit through the ministry of his Church for the glory of the Father.This reality of the divine action of the Holy Spirit within the Church is essential to understanding Catholic Tradition. It is what makes Sacred Tradition something far different than mere human traditions."Did you, you know, even read the quote, Floyd? It distinguishes Sacred Tradition from human traditions in general in the very last sentence. See, when I referred to the 'tradition' of authorship, I wasn't referring to Sacred Tradition but to historical tradition. Sheesh, you really have no idea what you're talking about here, do you? My goodness, man, I would've thought it ridiculous to suppose that there are people out there who care enough about certain issues to spend countless hours talking about them, but not enough to spend even one hour researching them. You are truly a bizarre human being, Floyd.But at least you make my job easy, for you make my case with each post.
Also, I understand that Eusebius might technically be "early", but does anyone really think that 300 years is really, truly early in any meaningful sense?
"I get that you need to believe, so you are going to run with anything you can even remotely rationalize. And this is a case in point."Yep, I need to believe, which is why I'm studying the most skeptical discipline, which is dominated by religious skeptics, at a thoroughly secular university. Wow. Now if only I'd chosen to study the Bible at Liberty University -- maybe then you'd conclude that I don't 'need to believe'!Anyway, as I've said repeatedly, I was an atheist once -- and not at all in the sense you clowns seem to imagine (Gee, I don't think that there's a god, but I really, really, REALLY hope that there is, so if I can find just one, tiny reason to believe, I'll grab hold of it and never let go! So, how can I accomplish this? I know! I'll study the most skeptical discipline at one of the most skeptical universities in the nation! Great strategy!) -- so I know perfectly well that I can live as an atheist if that's where the arguments seem to lead. I have to admit, however, that the more time I spend here, the more persuasive the "sin darkens the intellect" notion becomes!
It's so bullshit of you to tell us about Christian tradition, church tradition, concerning the naming of the Gospels, then trying to say that what you were talking about was just the regular ordinary kind of tradition. "Suchandsuch leaders of the early Christian Church decided this or that about the Gospels, but how silly of you Floyd to imagine that it's the Sacred Catholic Tradition I'm talking about!"Pfft!
"Also, I understand that Eusebius might technically be "early", but does anyone really think that 300 years is really, truly early in any meaningful sense?"It depends: is Diodorus on Alexander the Great an early source? It's the first biography of Alexander we have, and it was written about three hundred years after the death of Alexander. Is it an early source? See, here's the rather safe assumption: A source from three hundred years after an event is itself using earlier sources (most of which are unavailable to us now). A further assumption is that since relatively few people at the time were literate, the audience for such a work would have been small and well educated, and so wouldn't include the plethora of dunces that a book's audience includes today. In other words, if it weren't true to the older sources (which the more educated audience would have been likely to have been aware of), it's not as likely that it would have lasted. Is that a solid deductive argument? Nope, but history -- especially ancient history -- isn't done with solid deductive arguments.I wonder, Ryan, if you're as skeptical of history in general as you are of Christian history in particular?
And the snide remarks, they completely turn me off Eric.If I had time to, I wouldn't want to be like you.
"It's so bullshit of you to tell us about Christian tradition, church tradition, concerning the naming of the Gospels, then trying to say that what you were talking about was just the regular ordinary kind of tradition."Floyd, I'm sorry, but you're a moron. Only a moron would, after having had the distinction between Sacred Tradition and tradition as historians understand it explained to him, insist that it's all 'bullshit.' If you're too dense to make rather basic little distinctions like this and to apply them, Floyd, then stop wasting my time.
"And the snide remarks, they completely turn me off Eric."Floyd, you're one of the most snide individuals I've ever met! Now sure, I can be snide, but only when dealing with people like you who combine snideness, arrogance and ignorance to previously unimagined degrees!
Ryan, if you're as skeptical of history in general as you are of Christian history in particular?History in general, but more so of any history making supernatural claims, obviously.I would agree with the statement that we don't rally know dick about Alexander the Great.As for your background, you used to like Ayn Rand, so...
"As for your background, you used to like Ayn Rand, so..."Right, and I rejected her early on, not for Christianity, or even for theism, but for a robust philosophical naturalism.
Ha! You said "robust philosophical"
As I see it, Floyd, if you put the time into a subject required to really learn it, and someone who knows nothing about it comes up to you and acts as if he knows everything about it and you know nothing about it, then you've earned the right to be snide to him, for he deserves it. Think about how you feel when an ignorant creationist comes up to you and starts telling you what a moron you are for accepting evolution, and he then he says something stupid like, "if we evolved from monkeys, then why are there monkeys, huh?" You've earned the right to be a bit snide there if you so choose, Floyd.
"..no one in any of our ancient sources claims that someone other than Mark the follower of Peter wrote Mark's gospel, or that someone other than Luke the follower of Paul wrote Luke's gospel, or that someone other than John the disciple of Jesus wrote John's gospel, and so on.."I didn't notice Q in there, maybe he's the Q on Star Trek! Would the close followers of Peter, Paul and whoever Matthew was supposed to be really need to have waited forty years to talk to other 'eye-witnesses', or are we suddenly including them themselves AS the 'eye-witnesses'? Why would they weave in all this stuff on supposed prophecy that only they can see, as opposed to the non-Christian religious leaders of the time?How is it that the descendants of the Jews who did not believe, can clearly see, like every other non-believer(in Christianity) that those woven in prophecies are taken completely out of context from the O.T., borrowed from the O.T. apparently in such a way that Christians and ONLY Christians can decypher them? Makes no sense at all to me, to have a giant collection of booklets stating their case fairly clearly about what and who they were on about, only to have Christians tell them they're reading it wrong, since, if they have (wink-wink) wisdom, lines can be extracted from the O.T. in such a way as to 'turn out to be' a prophecy about God coming down to Earth to be a human sacrifice, to Himself.
" if you put the time into a subject required to really learn it,"Oh, so you ARE a theologian then Eric? Seems to me I just read you telling us that you're not a theologian. Another Eric?
Floyd, I get it, you have questions. We all do. Now when I have questions, I track down scholars in the field -- the top scholars if I can identify them -- and I check out what they have to say. That's why I, as a Christian, accept evolution wholeheartedly, even though too many Christians don't. That's why I, as a Christian, reject biblical fundamentalism, even though too many Christians accept it. That's why I, as a Christian, am against the death penalty, even though many Christians support it. That's why I, as a Christian, am a vegetarian, even though the issue seems completely unimportant to most Christians. I can name area after area where I, as a Christian, disagree with other Christians, but you guys are almost all in lock step with one another. So, go track down some scholars and look into the topics that interest you.
"Oh, so you ARE a theologian then Eric? Seems to me I just read you telling us that you're not a theologian."Are you a biologist, Floyd? No? Didn't I refer to you and evolution in that post, Floyd? I did? OK, so I wasn't talking about expertise, Floyd, but about taking the time required to learn about a subject. I may not be a biblical scholar, but I evidently understand the subject better than you do.
I guess it makes sense to have one of the writers' of the Gospels to be a follower of Paul, since otherwise he has no connection to them at all."Paul the Apostle (c. AD 5 – c. AD 67; variously referred to as "the Apostle Paul" or "Saint Paul"), also known as Saul of Tarsus, is perhaps the most influential early Christian missionary."So, as the story goes, Saul was a tax-collector, then sometime after he was 28, since there was no 'Christianity' before that, correct me if I'm wrong, Saul decided that them Christians were full of shit, in fact SO FULL OF SHIT that he felt the need to persecute them. How long did he persecute them? A couple of days? Months? Years? Anyways, he had his dream and became Paul! How long did that take to build up a following? Maybe Luke was right outside the tent when Saul had his dream?But if Luke had been an eye-witness to the events and was already a Christian, why 'follow' Paul? Wouldn't he have been more likely to start right into his 'Gospel' than follow Paul? Doesn't make sense to me to imagine that one of the writers of the Gospel followed Paul then went home(wherever) to finally, finally write out his story of Jesus using material already available and any other shit he could dig up.
"As I see it, Floyd, if you put the time into a subject required to really learn it, and someone who knows nothing about it comes up to you and acts as if he knows everything about it and you know nothing about it, then you've earned the right to be snide to him, for he deserves it."Again, ".. put time into a subject required to really learn it.." " I may not be a biblical scholar, but I evidently understand the subject better than you do."Make up your mind buddy, did you 'put in the time to really learn it' or didn't you?
"Make up your mind buddy, did you 'put in the time to really learn it' or didn't you?"Goodbye, Floyd.
Wait? Why are we talking about the Luke Author being an eyewitness? He admits to not being one in the first several verses of the gospel.
I imagine he's going off to talk to those other christians right away. I knew he was a good guy after all.
Floyd, what did you do? Give him a panty wedgie? You'd think I'd piss him off more than you do, but man, you got to him somehow there.
I wonder, Ryan, if you're as skeptical of history in general as you are of Christian history in particular?--------------I don't know about Ryan, but I sure fucking am! Those dudes lie like RUGS! I don't even hire christians to paint my house... anything that involves coming inside my house, I don't trust them, period. They're not sane. I have a little boy....
Seriously though, they lie like rugs. I see how christians are trying to change history *now* by editing schoolbooks and so forth. They're despicable in that way. And in many others. So OF CCCOOOOUUUURRRRSSSSE their version of events in the real world is heavily colored by the fact that they can't fucking see the real world. They believe that their beliefs are the real world!
I think that a guy like Eric can see the weak parts in the Gospels, that they're not what they claim to be, so that has to be 'disturbing', though of course they're not allowed to think that.I mean of course they're not 'eye-witness reports', that's total bullshit. But they're not, so they have to be portrayed as four versions of a story which the writer concocted out of eye-witness reports, which is also bullshit since they copy parts word for word from each other. So, so much for the idea that they're separate accounts. Better to pivot off that to the different 'sources' of the material, that's so much vaguer, right?
"Nothing I've said hints at or implies 'absolute certainty' on my part, so please, stop being ridiculous"This would imply agnosticism. Which leaves one to wonder why you would argue so vehemently for the existence of god.
"You'd think I'd piss him off more than you do, but man, you got to him somehow there."I can take vitriol, Brian, especially from someone like you: your heart's in the right place, insofar as you hate things that should be hated; I only fault you for misidentifying such things in what I say. But I can't handle stupidity very well -- it's a weakness of mine, I admit. Call me an ass all you want, but if I provide a pellucid explanation of something I've already said and you *still* insist on screwing it up, I'm likely to get a bit peeved.
Eric:The physician (albeit an amoral, non-christian one) in me hopes that your knee will improve after your recent surgery.I must admit that I was wondering how you might try to get from a belief in any creative force that might be responsible for our Universe to your traditional Catholic faith, but I see now that you have jumped directly to "Scripture". Although I agree that we have precious little "documentation" by eye witnesses of most of ancient history, there is a big difference in both the circumstances and end result of acceptance of these accounts. In the case of actual "history", we may at least try to avoid the mistakes reported therein by knowing the outlines of how things happened; In the case of religion (any one of your choice) we are asked not only to accept these "gospels" as true, but to make major changes in behavior, take large segments of our time in this life, not to mention great expense that might be put to personal use and betterment, etc, all in the hope that there will be some "reward" during an afterlife for whose reality there is no support.I think one must admit that none of this rises to a level of certainty (sans "faith", that is) that warrants such a prodigious investment in time, money, and efforts to convince everyone else that you are right. Any economist (a discipline not unlike philosophy, it seems to me) would point out that the "opportunity costs" are far outweighed by any real profit to be gained.
Eric, your problem is much like your choice of the word 'pellucid' to mean 'clear...' You are rarely clear, even in your choice of a word to describe how clear you are!Unless you're from Pellucidar, you're far from being pellucid. :-)
Nono Brian, Eric is of the opinion that if he answers, it ought to be enough. To comment on how dismally off his answer really is, for example the difference between 'separate accounts' and 'different sources' is nothing at all to Eric, after all, he. has. spoken.I can see he diverted away from 'accounts', he can see that he diverted away from 'accounts', he just wasn't expecting to be called on it.So, he's caught out, he goes the old 'Snide Eric' route to save face. He didn't answer the charge that he's actually changing the subject from the 'accounts' to the 'sources' because he can't. He may as well have said, "But I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!", in the hopes we'll all think, "Good point Snide Eric! Well played!" LOL
I only fault you for misidentifying such things in what I say--------------What if I'm right, and you just cannot see it due to a blind spot caused by Pride? Nah, impossible, right? You're far too smart for that... no wait...
But I can't handle stupidity very well -- it's a weakness of mine, I admit.-----------------Whatever, dude. But in my opinion, between pboy and you, you're the gullible one. No offense.
I mean, in your own defense you jump on far-fetched claims like Tony Hawk, but when we state the obvious, you deem it far-fetched. It's not logical behavior. There is a blindness involved, and it isn't us.
"The physician (albeit an amoral, non-christian one) in me hopes that your knee will improve after your recent surgery."Thank you, Harvey."I must admit that I was wondering how you might try to get from a belief in any creative force that might be responsible for our Universe to your traditional Catholic faith, but I see now that you have jumped directly to "Scripture"."I was responding to Floyd, who raised the issue first. I wouldn't go from the sort of god that I think reason can establish immediately to scripture. I think it's important, though, to say a few things about the sort of god that reason does (in my judgment) establish, for this allows us first to eliminate all sorts of alternatives to Christianity, and second to show that Christianity is consistent with what reason establishes. (Note, this isn't all the work that's done in making the connection; it's just the ground-clearing work).So, we can know by reason that (1) one (2) metaphysically simple (3) immaterial (4) eternal (5) uncaused (6) perfectly good (7) omnipotent (8) omniscient (9) personal entity (10) causes and (11) sustains in being from moment to moment everything that exists.With that, we can eliminate all pantheistic, polytheistic and deistic alternatives to Christianity, and we can see that the god of Christianity is perfectly consistent with the god toward which reason points us. Now sure, Christianity isn't the only religion consistent with such a conception of god -- Judaism and Islam (inter alia) are consistent with such a god -- but the options availabe to us are considerably narrowed.It's from here that I would begin to make the move from the god of the philosophers to Christianity. (Keep in mind, I haven't made the case above; rather, I've sketched the course such a case would follow). So, as I hope I've made clear above, it's not at all as if I'm moving from some vague "creative force that might be responsible for our universe" to full blown Catholicism!"What if I'm right, and you just cannot see it due to a blind spot caused by Pride?"You may be, Brian, and if you are, I hope I learn it as soon as possible.
The comment on whether we take the same view of ancient history as we do Christian mythology probably is just a red herring. But on the off chance that it isn't, I'd have to say, yes. Unverifiable claims from the distant past that lack corroboration via alternative streams of evidence (like archeology for example) have to be tempered. Like science, one of the best ways to do that is to use the tests of plausibility and consistency. Are the claims plausible based upon what we know and are they consistent with the existing body of knowledge or strong theories. So if some account includes our hero slaying a dragon, well, we tend to discount it because there is no evidence to support the actual existence of dragons and the dragon body form is absent everywhere else in nature. And if accounts include whoppers like dragons, or magic swords we tend to be more skeptical of associated claims.It's logical.
"The comment on whether we take the same view of ancient history as we do Christian mythology probably is just a red herring."Not at all, Pliny. Christianity is an *historical* religion, i.e. it is premised on specific historical claims. This is why it is eminently falsifiable."Unverifiable claims from the distant past that lack corroboration via alternative streams of evidence (like archeology for example) have to be tempered. Like science, one of the best ways to do that is to use the tests of plausibility and consistency. Are the claims plausible based upon what we know and are they consistent with the existing body of knowledge or strong theories."As the history of science itself shows, consistency and plausibility are often overruled by criteria like explanatory power and explanatory scope. But a further problem is that what is or isn't 'plausible' is determined precisely by what you take the 'existing body of knowledge' to be. If, as I do, you think that there are strong reasons for thinking that theism is true (note, not Christianity, but theism), you're going to approach the issue of what is or isn't plausible very differently from someone who things that there are strong reasons for thinking that naturalism is true. (N.B. both theism and naturalism are philosophical positions about the nature of reality as such, and hence are not scientific positions.)
"So if some account includes our hero slaying a dragon, well, we tend to discount it because there is no evidence to support the actual existence of dragons and the dragon body form is absent everywhere else in nature. And if accounts include whoppers like dragons, or magic swords we tend to be more skeptical of associated claims."I agree. But I certainly hope that we can agree that we have much better reasons for concluding that there is a god than we do for thinking that magic swords or dragons exist. (I know, you were illustrating the point with this example, but some of the time people confuse the illustration and the issue, e.g. placing Santa Claus (or dragons) and god in the same category *with* the illustration, etc.)
Oops, I forgot one:So, we can know by reason that there exists (1) one (2) metaphysically simple (3) immaterial (4) eternal (5) uncaused (6) perfectly good (7) omnipotent (8) omniscient (9) necessarily existing (10) personal entity (11) causes and (12) sustains in being from moment to moment everything that exists.
You may be, Brian, and if you are, I hope I learn it as soon as possible.-----------------Me too.
So, we can know by reason...-------------------You have a funny idea of reason. It would seem that you can 'reason' just about anything into being. Very specific. Why not have god wearing pink sneakers? When I do the 'reason' thingy, I get 'we cannot know, not yet.' I think you've given your reason, a reason, not to be reasonable. It's called 'belief' and it kills reason every fucking time.
So, we can know by reason that there exists (1) one (2) metaphysically simple (3) immaterial (4) eternal (5) uncaused (6) perfectly good (7) omnipotent (8) omniscient (9) necessarily existing (10) personal entity (11) causes and (12) sustains in being from moment to moment everything that exists. And this, my Liege, is how we know the earth to be banana shaped.
If it's all a never-ending natural cycle of some kind, your reason is wrong...And if it's all like a mind, all consciousness, then your 'reason' is tossed into a cocked hat. It seems that you start the reasoning process at 'if there is a god like the christian god, then...' I start it at 'What can all of this be, and does it mean anything at all?' I do not consider deities unless reality seems to need one. And I haven't found a reason why it does yet. Certainly none of yours apply.
Your reason is wrong, because it is not based on deductive logic. It is not based in the idea of the scientific method. You have introduced your desires and beliefs into it. Which invalidated it completely.
So, we can know...We most certainly can not and if you think you actually know that then you are delusional.Eric, when I read you, have to make a special effort to be charitable, mainly because 1) you are so uncharitable in you reading and 2) believe you use the charity principle (in others) to your advantage by vacillating between what you actually mean, (possibly unconsciously, I suppose).So with that said I'm going to assume you meant "we can reasonable speculate that this is the case even though there are strong arguments to the contrary.Know... My foot!
Ryan is of course, dead-on. But I do like to hear you 'reason,' Eric. Got any more for us?
We most certainly can not and if you think you actually know that then you are delusional.--------------Ryan, shhhh... it's called 'religious.' The two words are cognates, though.
Almost all of the spectacularly delusional people are religious. Mental hospitals are full of them. So are the prisons. If you want a person to deny reality, give them another version to believe in, and tell them they're fucked if they don't... A datum, to be sure.
"You have a funny idea of reason. It would seem that you can 'reason' just about anything into being. Very specific. Why not have god wearing pink sneakers?"Well, show me the argument for the god wearing pink sneakers, and we can compare notes..."Your reason is wrong, because it is not based on deductive logic. It is not based in the idea of the scientific method. You have introduced your desires and beliefs into it. Which invalidated it completely."No, what 'invalidates' a line of reasoning is a logical fallacy (formal or informal), a false premise, or some other approach (e.g. showing that the conclusion logically entails a false proposition, or strong evidence that the conclusion is false, etc.). "So with that said I'm going to assume you meant "we can reasonable speculate that this is the case even though there are strong arguments to the contrary."No, I meant 'know' in the everyday sense of the term, which does not require 100% certainty. This should be obvious from the *context*, Ryan. See, it's not as if this is our first discussion, and I've said many times that I don't think that the arguments I defend are rationally coercive (which is to say, that the conclusions of the arguments can only be denied on pain of irrationality, given the force of the arguments; so, some mathematical arguments *are* rationally coercive, but few, if any, philosophical arguments or scientific arguments are). Hence, what I mean by 'know' should be more or less obvious. "Almost all of the spectacularly delusional people are religious. Mental hospitals are full of them."I think that you may have it exactly backwards. Here's Chesterton:"Let us begin, then, with the mad-house; from this evil and fantastic inn let us set forth on our intellectual journey. Now, if we are to glance at the philosophy of sanity, the first thing to do in the matter is to blot out one big and common mistake. There is a notion adrift everywhere that imagination, especially mystical imagination, is dangerous to man's mental balance. Poets are commonly spoken of as psychologically unreliable; and generally there is a vague association between wreathing laurels in your hair and sticking straws in it. Facts and history utterly contradict this view. Most of the very great poets have been not only sane, but extremely business-like; and if Shakespeare ever really held horses, it was because he was much the safest man to hold them. Imagination does not breed insanity. Exactly what does breed insanity is reason. Poets do not go mad; but chess-players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom. I am not, as will be seen, in any sense attacking logic: I only say that this danger does lie in logic, not in imagination...Poetry is sane because it floats easily in an infinite sea; reason seeks to cross the infinite sea, and so make it finite. The result is mental exhaustion, like the physical exhaustion of Mr. Holbein. To accept everything is an exercise, to understand everything a strain. The poet only desires exaltation and expansion, a world to stretch himself in. The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits."
This should be obvious from the *context*, Ryan.No way to tell with you.
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