Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:33 pm

1) Theres books written about it, some of which were written by witnesses.
Can you cite some, other than the Bible? Can you verify the accuracy of these accounts?
2) Theres millions of his followers (believers) around the world who go to multiple different faith churches.
Not evidence.

As far as the divinity of Jesus, according to Biblical scripture and the tests therein, he was a false prophet. He made a claim in the name of God (Matthew 16:28) and that prediction did not come to pass. We've since had 2000 years of "any day now."
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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Fallakin Kuvari » Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:21 pm

Jesus Predicts His Death
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”

Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.
Bolded line at the end is Matthew 16:28.

Couldn't that be translated as Jesus telling them that some of them shall see him after he has risen? Personally, that is my understanding of it.

Other translations have it as such:
‘Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.’
And according to Jesus the Kingdom of God could come to all people through spiritual rebirth and doing the will of God. It was a "kingdom that will be inherited by the righteous".
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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:33 pm

Couldn't that be translated as Jesus telling them that some of them shall see him after he has risen? Personally, that is my understanding of it.
The fact that the Bible (and all religious texts) must be "interpreted" does little to help claims of its divinity. Quite the contrary. The Bible is incoherent, contradictory, and flat-out wrong on numerous scientific and historical claims. It pretty much reads as the confused writings of bronze-age civilizations who had absolutely no understanding of how the natural world works, who basically made shit up as they went along.

I understand you aren't necessarily arguing for Biblical inerrancy. But if the Bible is demonstrably wrong in multiple locations, how can any of it be trusted as accurate? Especially those claims that contradict with established natural law (I.E. miracles)?
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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:40 pm

Fallakin Kuvari wrote:Couldn't that be translated as Jesus telling them that some of them shall see him after he has risen? Personally, that is my understanding of it.

Other translations have it as such:
‘Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.’
And according to Jesus the Kingdom of God could come to all people through spiritual rebirth and doing the will of God. It was a "kingdom that will be inherited by the righteous".
Actually Fallakin... wouldn't it be more intellectually honest to say that "according to the interpretation made from Greek to English from selected texts chosen by commitee, you beleive that the interpreation made from Greek to English and told to you by a comittee (and passed down through the atew by other committees), could possibly mean what you think it means?"

And thats one of the points of this authors arguments. I mean, how many of us have taken the time to read the original books in Greek, and in the context of the time period? Even if 100 of us did, we'd come up with at least 100 different interpretsations of the real meaning of the author...who is human and fallible themselves.
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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Fallakin Kuvari » Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:16 am

^
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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Ddrak » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:57 am

And the logical contradictions espoused by many religions (Omnibenevolence + Eternal torment) are flat-out insulting nonsense.
I don't know of any religion that preaches omnibenevolence.

Your criticisms of Christianity need work. Most of them are strawmen.

"The Bible is contradictory" - so what? Doesn't invalidate the christian faith.
"The Bible is ramblings from bronze age civilizations" - uh, no. The key parts are from around AD 40-ish, which is not "bronze age" and are all pretty coherent. Paul and Luke in particular were very literate.
Clever constructions on "omnipotence" - being able to destroy yourself doesn't mean you're not omnipotent. You'd have to be able to destroy yourself *without meaning to* in order to not be omnipotent. In any case, I don't care - there's enough logical contradictions in other places in Christianity (free will vs. predestination) to pick on without resorting to silliness on omnipotence.

Seriously, you can do waaaay better than the "gotcha" style arguments you've been presenting.


@Embar:

Which "contradicting biblical tenets" does the author suggest Christianity is founded on? Just curious.

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:30 am

I don't know of any religion that preaches omnibenevolence.
Does the Bible not say God is infinite in his love and compassion?
The key parts are from around AD 40-ish, which is not "bronze age" and are all pretty coherent.
Yes, I'm well aware that the Bible isn't entirely from the bronze age. As for the coherency of the gospels...I disagree completely. How many people were present at Jesus' tomb on the day of resurrection?
"The Bible is contradictory" - so what? Doesn't invalidate the christian faith.
I don't recall saying it did, nor do I believe that Biblical contradictions invalidate Christian faith. I believe Biblical contradictions invalidate the Bible.
Clever constructions on "omnipotence"
That's not a criticism of Christianity specifically, though it does apply to Christianity. :P
You'd have to be able to destroy yourself *without meaning to* in order to not be omnipotent.
Why is lack of intent a qualification for lack of omnipotence?
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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:49 am

Jarochai Alabaster wrote:
The fact that the Bible (and all religious texts) must be "interpreted" does little to help claims of its divinity. Quite the contrary.
Technical specifications are open to interpretation but that doesn't take anything away from their validity. All web browsers are built to follow the same specifications so that means they all function the same, right? No, because different companies interpret the specs differently.

We could all read game of thrones and come up with different interpretations. Life is interpretive, which is where wisdom and experience come in.

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:07 pm

@Dd

Interestingly enough, he makes a pretty good argument using biblical citations that there is no such thing as free will, as it pertains to, and in the context of, the Christian religions. That's a heavy blow. If you accept his argument, then Christianity becomes somewhat meaningless, wouldn't you agree? The concept of free will is one of the bedrock beleifs of the Christian religions.

Its a dirty little secret that the Jews have been struggling with this for a long time too. At least according to author.

Also please know that I haven't read the book yet. This is just from interviews I've listened to. However, it has me so intrigued that I think I'm going to get the book and read it.
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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Kulaf » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:51 pm

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/parallel-universes/

We covered this. If one accepts that God has the ability to see the outcomes of all choices then God know what you will do in this universe. It doesn't really change anything from your perspective. You make your choices......but in this particular universe those choices are basically predetermined and the other choices exits in another universe.

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:30 pm

I always took Einstein's famous comment of "God doesn't play dice" to mean that he didn't believe in free will either.

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Ddrak » Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:02 am

Jarochai Alabaster wrote:Does the Bible not say God is infinite in his love and compassion?
Not that I know of, but not really the point I guess because you could probably assume that he was perfect in both those traits. However, neither of those are at odds with eternal punishment for people that choose not to accept his love and compassion (which again leads to questions on free will).
As for the coherency of the gospels...I disagree completely. How many people were present at Jesus' tomb on the day of resurrection?
A fairly small number that's pretty consistent with eyewitness accounts you'll find in any court of law, especially given the confusion that must have gone on at the time.
I don't recall saying it did, nor do I believe that Biblical contradictions invalidate Christian faith. I believe Biblical contradictions invalidate the Bible.
No more than having Quantum Mechanics and Relativity in the same Physics text invalidate the entire text, or having multiple eyewitness accounts agreeing for the most part but varying on fine detail invalidate the agreement. They certainly cast questions on the conflicting sections, but not the entirety of the Bible.

My personal view on hell is that it's the absence of God. A true Christian would have to figure that as eternal torment. I wouldn't trust the Bible to be purely objective on that matter. Sometimes I have to wonder if the afterlife is a bit like Pratchett's theory of it being what you believe it is, but for me it's not really a serious issue - I've got better things to think about given I believe I know where I'm going.
Why is lack of intent a qualification for lack of omnipotence?
Because, if you were omnipotent then you couldn't be destroyed by accident. You'd have to exercise your own omnipotence to overcome itself.


As to free will vs the omniscience of God, I'm just happy to leave it as a paradox, which shouldn't be a problem for an omnipotent entity to deal with.

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:05 am

Ddrak wrote:As to free will vs the omniscience of God, I'm just happy to leave it as a paradox, which shouldn't be a problem for an omnipotent entity to deal with.

Dd
Well... that one of the issues he addresses. The general position that most Christians would just rather accept flat out contradictions than actually find the answers as to why there is a contradiction. But we see this behaviour every day, usually in people that get taken by one of those "too good to be true" scams. And when you think about it, Chritianity has a lot in parallel with one of those scams. Its an entire industry built around a text and history full of contradictions and logical fallacies, but because the perceived "pay-off" is so wonderful, people choose to ignore the contradictions and embrace the product (religion).

Edit: Here's the author writing a little about what's in the book.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/bugliosi01.htm
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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Ddrak » Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:08 pm

Reading that link, I'm confused by this statement:
We can know that the Christian God cannot exist. If he is all-powerful and all-good, as Christians maintain, there would not have been, for instance, the Holocaust. This is an inherent self-contradiction.
For someone so quick to point out non-sequiturs, he's made an awfully big one here. An all-good, all-powerful god does NOT have to be an interventionist god. Is it really for the greater good to deny people free will?

Then again, I get the feeling he's referring to the God that TV Evangelists talk about rather than the one the Bible talks about here. The book looks like it might be an interesting read, but I am concerned it may be cherrypicking quotes just as much as it claims other are.

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Taxious » Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:36 am

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:40 pm

Can Jesus microwave a burrito so hot that not even he could eat it? That's what we should be asking ourselves.

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Ddrak » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:52 am

Uh, St. Augustine already dealt with that one!

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:39 pm

Ddrak wrote:Reading that link, I'm confused by this statement:
We can know that the Christian God cannot exist. If he is all-powerful and all-good, as Christians maintain, there would not have been, for instance, the Holocaust. This is an inherent self-contradiction.
For someone so quick to point out non-sequiturs, he's made an awfully big one here. An all-good, all-powerful god does NOT have to be an interventionist god. Is it really for the greater good to deny people free will?

Then again, I get the feeling he's referring to the God that TV Evangelists talk about rather than the one the Bible talks about here. The book looks like it might be an interesting read, but I am concerned it may be cherrypicking quotes just as much as it claims other are.

Dd
You miss his point.

His point is that a god cannot be All-Good and be All-Powerful and let the holocaust happen (unless the holocaust was good). If a god is all good and all powerful, how can that god let something contrary to the will of that god happen? Wouldnt an all good and all powerful god do everything that god could do to make sure that all His creation was all-good? And if he doesn't, what's the point in being a god?

Unless god has a gambling addiction, why take inject uncertainty and free will into your idea of a perfect universe? Or maybe.. just maybe... god can't concieve of a perfect universe. Does god understand perfection? Is he perfect himself? If a god understand perfection and is perfect himself, why do we see disorder inthis universe? Is it becausew disorder is part of perfection?
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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Ddrak » Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:53 pm

I still think it's a non-sequitur. Just because God is all-good and all-powerful doesn't mean he has to intervene, even if it means evil occurs. God allows man to have free will (at least according to Christianity), so either he allows men to commit evil acts of their own free will or he has the equivalent of a bunch of mindless robots.

It's not a new question and it's been answered (not necessarily to the questioner's satisfaction) time and time again. In fact, I think you'll find that question is as old as religion itself.

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