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Discussion for Christian perspectives on ethical issues such as abortion, euthanasia, sexuality, and so forth.
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Turgonian
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#31

Post by Turgonian » Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:57 am

identity_in_development wrote:Example, I say (in somewhat of a syllogistic fashion): “Things of a destructive nature are morally wrong; murder destroys life; hence murder is morally wrong.” And essentially this argument can be broken down to its tiniest intricacies and in fact, there are flaws in the logic because, if one were inclined, one could reduce this to the point of it being completely absurd. So on that front, I have no logical approach besides countering every reduction with exceptions to the rule. However, the same could be applied to Christianity and I could apply the same circular logic to the Bible's commandments regarding right and wrong. In a similar syllogistic fashion: “God says what is morally right and wrong; God says murder is wrong; hence murder is morally wrong.” Either approach can be clobbered by a reductionist, and either could be discarded with similar circular logic.
Execution is not murder, nor is killing in self-defence or war. 'Murder' would be allowed to rescue another life. However, revelation is not to be treated syllogistically, but with regard to the circumstances. The thing is that there is an objective moral law, so that morality rests on something and not on man-made notions like 'things of a destructive nature are wrong'. The problem with man's notions (without revelation) is that they are no more valid than another man's notions, and eventually persons (not everyone, but a number) go down the path of 'There is no good and evil -- there is only power and those too weak to seek it.'
And what someone called A.H. rises up and says, 'The existence of Jews is of a destructive nature'?
identity_in_development wrote:Biblical context claims to be objective, but all interpretation is thusly subjective — consequently furthering a subjective morality and not an objective one.
That's not true. Goodness is in God; therefore, either an action corresponds to that goodness or it doesn't, in which case it is more or less evil. But without this rooted, immutable goodness to correspond to, evil does not exist. You say that all is subjective, and you have denied that the Holocaust was evil.
The Bible teaches that God does not want us to be Kantian moralists who do not look at situations. (Interestingly, it was Kant who philosophically denied revelation.) He desires mercy and love above all else; this may overrule other commands. However, when all is subjective, there is no basis to propose that mercy and love should be esteemed in the first place.
identity_in_development wrote:Look for something similar and apply to said new topic. Why is that method better than considering all facts and the potentially detrimental effects before determining whether something is correct action? Your answer, I would suppose, is: “Human's are flawed and will make a mistake.” My answer: “Humans are capable of more than mistake, and with the understanding that those before us have come victim to their own fallibility, we consider carefully the repercussions of our actions and look beyond the immediate gains for any long-term deficits.” Which is the more optimistic philosophy? Which is better for looking forward to a better humanity?
Which is more fuzzy, utopian, dreamlike and unrealistic?
Dostoyevsky has shown us persons of flesh and blood who earnestly desire to do good, because they are convinced that they should and it will make everyone better -- but they can't. Irrationality takes over and people do no longer listen to the mind. Do you never have that kind of thing? I do.
What makes you think that humans will always carefully weigh every decision before they act? The notion seems to be outdated a few centuries...
And more importantly, why should they? Why should they plan and take thought for others rather than be 'authentic'?
identity_in_development wrote:We DO in fact do for ourselves what we need. You cited relationships as an example — that's a good one to use — would you have me believe that you are in a relationship to fulfill your partner's needs and ONLY your partners needs? That you have no personal interest in having a relationship? That having a relationship helps you in no way?
Or is one characteristic of a good relationship that you are happy when the other is, and even happier when you are the cause of that happiness?
identity_in_development wrote:A theistic being or metaphysical explanations are only necessary as far as we have no physical or historical explanation for an event.
Explain the Fine-Tuning of the Universe. Good luck.
identity_in_development wrote:Any number of events that were attributed to divine providence, or divine inspiration, or divine origin centuries ago, have now been found to be very concrete and very NOT divine. Consider pathology and treatment, astrology (our place in the universe) and cosmology, anatomy and physiology...
Of course, if everything was already laid out in eternity, then everything (including all the things you mention) does fall under divine providence. The ingenuity of man by no means cancels out God, but rather glorifies Him all the more. So 'weather, disease, plague, volcanic eruption, victory in battle' were indeed commanded by God, but through means -- His usual working method, as far as we know.
identity_in_development wrote:. . . . so what I'm trying to say is this: a deity is only necessary for those things which we have no “natural science” ontological, cosmological, or epistemological explanation.
Explain Jesus Christ. And the Resurrection.
identity_in_development wrote:This is starting to change in relation to the brain — just wait until neurophysiology can explain the pathways of emotion, desire, and certain mental phenomena . . . wait . . . it pretty much can! And after we determine the limited influence of a “single, all-powerful guiding force behind the universe” then we evaluate the options — what's left? I'd say humanity, but I'm optimistic.
Humanity? When you've reduced everything to matter? :lol: Conditioned animals, you mean.
Anyway, you're behind. Materialism is crumbling under the pervasive influence of quantum physics. See Glenn Miller's Evidence for the Soul.
identity_in_development wrote:The historical context of Jewish thought on mortality and immortality, the theme of messages presented by the Old Testament on immortality versus the theme of messages presented in the NT on immortality. The historical and social context of such beliefs and how they influenced Biblical characters such as Moses.
Why Are Afterlife Ideas Missing from the OT?
identity_in_development wrote:The historical context of Jesus along side the historical context of other “great religious or historical figures.” How the story of Jesus can be compared to other stories, in regard to something known as the “the rites of passage” schema (originally proposed by Arnold von Gennep and later worked on by Victor Turner): <i>preliminal, liminal, postliminal</i> (<i>Limin</i> is Latin for Threshold.) Von Gennep argued that the way of moving to each stage is done through a market three part progression. The first step is pre-threshold: The person is immature. Then there is a ritual that separates them from the initial pre-threshold state to the threshold state — the middle stage - A period of tests and trials, where ones character and ones motivation is tested.
You're probably a mythical figure, since you passed through the stages of childhood, adolescence and adulthood.
It's very easy to draw parallels between stories by making vague generalizations.
identity_in_development wrote:Secondly, it's a period of confused identity, and thirdly, it's a period when secret knowledge is imparted. Then there is another ritual that gradually allows for movement into post-liminal or post-threshold life. Every great religious hero had a great and unlikely beginning as a child, followed by trials and tests where knowledge was imparted as an adult and identity is confirmed. Research the stories of heroes such Jesus, Krishna, and the Buddha as religious examples or Gilgamesh, Hercules, and Prometheus as non-religious examples.
Yes, do so. Start here: Confronting the Copycat Thesis.
'In spite of having been pronounced dead even by intelligent skeptics, the thesis that Judaism and Christianity consist merely of stolen pagan myths and ideas continues to be promulgated by the uncritical and accepted by the gullible.'
Essays on Krishna (Part I, II), Buddha (Part I, II), Prometheus, Hercules and many more. As far as I know, Gilgamesh has never been put forward even by the most paranoid as a copycat saviour. The Epic is more linked to Genesis.
identity_in_development wrote:Consider how Jewish tradition admits the temptation of semi-deifying Moses had he made it into the Promised Land. Jewish tradition states: “Sin is the human desire to become divine.” Since the right mediated category is the entire Jewish community and not an individual's life, and though Moses was a great single individual, the story reveals to Jews and Judaism what authentic reality is: Human beings attempt to attain divine status; they must resist that temptation; God himself has chosen the way by which he wishes to impart blessing to humanity and it is through the Jewish COMMUNITY. . . not through an individual. The New Testament, Jesus Christ, and Christianity (which claims Jesus as the Messiah) go against the Jewish tradition and teachings of immortality.
And how do you think sins are forgiven, then? By the Jewish community?
Christian Thinktank offers some articles on Judaism (homepage, on the right). One of those is Messianic Expectations in 1st-Century Judaism, which takes a hard look at what the Messiah should look like. (There is definitely a promise of a Messiah in the OT.)
identity_in_development wrote:Albert Schweitzer's <i>“The Quest of the Historical Jesus” </i>(1906).
You think a book from 1906 has never been refuted? * sighs *
There is overwhelming historical evidence that Jesus existed, claimed to be God's Son and was not a liar or lunatic, but the Lord.
Also, Christianity could never have survived unless it could prove the Resurrection by incontrovertible eyewitnesses' testimony. See The Impossible Faith.
identity_in_development wrote:The conclusion by the Council of Nicea of what books to include and which to exclude.
Canon Fire!
identity_in_development wrote:Events that are not historically plausible within the New Testament: specifically in two stories. Beginning with the start of Jesus' life and ending with his death. Not disputing the basic accuracy of the stories; Jesus obviously WAS born, and he did die, but the accounts are plagued with historical problems:

One Example: Jesus' death:
As an aside, the Roman was called Pilate, not Pilot.
But see The Easter Challenge for a harmonization of the Resurrection accounts.
identity_in_development wrote:The point is that these two narratives are fairly different in the way they set up the trial. In one, they're all in one place, in the other, Pilot has to go back and forth. You can reconcile them by saying that Mark just simply didn't mention a few facts (that Pilot had to go back and forth, and Jesus gave two long speeches), and it's a common way to reconcile differences in the Bible — that they are both right, insofar as they narrate what they do, or that they happened at different times.
Correct. Writing material was sparse and there was no point in mentioning things people already knew.
identity_in_development wrote:The problem is that there are differences between the two: in particular there is a discrepancy in WHEN this event takes place. When did Jesus die? Both Mark and John indicate that Jesus died during the feast of the Passover; the annual festival celebrated by Jews to commemorate the exodus. The festival had at its background the story of God's deliverance of the people of Israel from their slavery in Egypt through Moses (as recorded in the Book of Exodus). In Jesus' day, the festival was a major event. Jews came from around the world to celebrate the feast in Jerusalem. They would arrive a week in advance to undergo a ritual of purification that would allow them to eat the meal. The ritual took a week, so they would come a week early. The afternoon before the Passover meal was eaten, Jews would bring a lamb which was to be eaten as part of the celebration, to the temple so that it could be sacrificed by the priests. The rest of the day was spent in preparing the meal for the feast; that day was called “the Day of Preparation for the Passover.” Both Mark and John give precise information as to when Jesus was crucified. Mark, the earlier account, has Jesus dying on the day after the Passover Meal in the morning. But John's account has him crucified in the afternoon on the day of preparation. In John's gospel, Jesus was executed before the meal even began.
Do the Gospels disagree on the day of Jesus's crucifixion?
identity_in_development wrote:It is probably impossible to reconcile this discrepancy if you want to claim that both accounts are historically accurate.
Seems you did the wrong kind of research. ;)
identity_in_development wrote:One other account has to do with Jesus' birth: between Mathew and Luke. Which I won't go into — but they are almost completely different — making the nativity story we know now a combination of both stories.
Nativity and Nitpicking

You see, these doubts are not 'original', and reasonable answers are provided...
The real problem is to explain why Jesus wasn't divine.
identity_in_development wrote:Does any of this help you understand the small amount of doubt I have in the NT?
It does -- but it isn't incurable... ;) At least you have something to read, these coming days! Unless you don't like cognitive dissonance, of course... :lol:
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

Michelle
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#32

Post by Michelle » Thu Dec 21, 2006 5:57 am

Turgonian wrote:
identity_in_development wrote:Example, I say (in somewhat of a syllogistic fashion): “Things of a destructive nature are morally wrong; murder destroys life; hence murder is morally wrong.” And essentially this argument can be broken down to its tiniest intricacies and in fact, there are flaws in the logic because, if one were inclined, one could reduce this to the point of it being completely absurd. So on that front, I have no logical approach besides countering every reduction with exceptions to the rule. However, the same could be applied to Christianity and I could apply the same circular logic to the Bible's commandments regarding right and wrong. In a similar syllogistic fashion: “God says what is morally right and wrong; God says murder is wrong; hence murder is morally wrong.” Either approach can be clobbered by a reductionist, and either could be discarded with similar circular logic.
Execution is not murder, nor is killing in self-defence or war. 'Murder' would be allowed to rescue another life. However, revelation is not to be treated syllogistically, but with regard to the circumstances. The thing is that there is an objective moral law, so that morality rests on something and not on man-made notions like 'things of a destructive nature are wrong'. The problem with man's notions (without revelation) is that they are no more valid than another man's notions, and eventually persons (not everyone, but a number) go down the path of 'There is no good and evil -- there is only power and those too weak to seek it.'
And what someone called A.H. rises up and says, 'The existence of Jews is of a destructive nature'?
identity_in_development wrote:Biblical context claims to be objective, but all interpretation is thusly subjective — consequently furthering a subjective morality and not an objective one.
That's not true. Goodness is in God; therefore, either an action corresponds to that goodness or it doesn't, in which case it is more or less evil. But without this rooted, immutable goodness to correspond to, evil does not exist. You say that all is subjective, and you have denied that the Holocaust was evil.
The Bible teaches that God does not want us to be Kantian moralists who do not look at situations. (Interestingly, it was Kant who philosophically denied revelation.) He desires mercy and love above all else; this may overrule other commands. However, when all is subjective, there is no basis to propose that mercy and love should be esteemed in the first place.
identity_in_development wrote:Look for something similar and apply to said new topic. Why is that method better than considering all facts and the potentially detrimental effects before determining whether something is correct action? Your answer, I would suppose, is: “Human's are flawed and will make a mistake.” My answer: “Humans are capable of more than mistake, and with the understanding that those before us have come victim to their own fallibility, we consider carefully the repercussions of our actions and look beyond the immediate gains for any long-term deficits.” Which is the more optimistic philosophy? Which is better for looking forward to a better humanity?
Which is more fuzzy, utopian, dreamlike and unrealistic?
Dostoyevsky has shown us persons of flesh and blood who earnestly desire to do good, because they are convinced that they should and it will make everyone better -- but they can't. Irrationality takes over and people do no longer listen to the mind. Do you never have that kind of thing? I do.
What makes you think that humans will always carefully weigh every decision before they act? The notion seems to be outdated a few centuries...
And more importantly, why should they? Why should they plan and take thought for others rather than be 'authentic'?
identity_in_development wrote:We DO in fact do for ourselves what we need. You cited relationships as an example — that's a good one to use — would you have me believe that you are in a relationship to fulfill your partner's needs and ONLY your partners needs? That you have no personal interest in having a relationship? That having a relationship helps you in no way?
Or is one characteristic of a good relationship that you are happy when the other is, and even happier when you are the cause of that happiness?
identity_in_development wrote:A theistic being or metaphysical explanations are only necessary as far as we have no physical or historical explanation for an event.
Explain the Fine-Tuning of the Universe. Good luck.
identity_in_development wrote:Any number of events that were attributed to divine providence, or divine inspiration, or divine origin centuries ago, have now been found to be very concrete and very NOT divine. Consider pathology and treatment, astrology (our place in the universe) and cosmology, anatomy and physiology...
Of course, if everything was already laid out in eternity, then everything (including all the things you mention) does fall under divine providence. The ingenuity of man by no means cancels out God, but rather glorifies Him all the more. So 'weather, disease, plague, volcanic eruption, victory in battle' were indeed commanded by God, but through means -- His usual working method, as far as we know.
identity_in_development wrote:. . . . so what I'm trying to say is this: a deity is only necessary for those things which we have no “natural science” ontological, cosmological, or epistemological explanation.
Explain Jesus Christ. And the Resurrection.
identity_in_development wrote:This is starting to change in relation to the brain — just wait until neurophysiology can explain the pathways of emotion, desire, and certain mental phenomena . . . wait . . . it pretty much can! And after we determine the limited influence of a “single, all-powerful guiding force behind the universe” then we evaluate the options — what's left? I'd say humanity, but I'm optimistic.
Humanity? When you've reduced everything to matter? :lol: Conditioned animals, you mean.
Anyway, you're behind. Materialism is crumbling under the pervasive influence of quantum physics. See Glenn Miller's Evidence for the Soul.
identity_in_development wrote:The historical context of Jewish thought on mortality and immortality, the theme of messages presented by the Old Testament on immortality versus the theme of messages presented in the NT on immortality. The historical and social context of such beliefs and how they influenced Biblical characters such as Moses.
Why Are Afterlife Ideas Missing from the OT?
identity_in_development wrote:The historical context of Jesus along side the historical context of other “great religious or historical figures.” How the story of Jesus can be compared to other stories, in regard to something known as the “the rites of passage” schema (originally proposed by Arnold von Gennep and later worked on by Victor Turner): <i>preliminal, liminal, postliminal</i> (<i>Limin</i> is Latin for Threshold.) Von Gennep argued that the way of moving to each stage is done through a market three part progression. The first step is pre-threshold: The person is immature. Then there is a ritual that separates them from the initial pre-threshold state to the threshold state — the middle stage - A period of tests and trials, where ones character and ones motivation is tested.
You're probably a mythical figure, since you passed through the stages of childhood, adolescence and adulthood.
It's very easy to draw parallels between stories by making vague generalizations.
identity_in_development wrote:Secondly, it's a period of confused identity, and thirdly, it's a period when secret knowledge is imparted. Then there is another ritual that gradually allows for movement into post-liminal or post-threshold life. Every great religious hero had a great and unlikely beginning as a child, followed by trials and tests where knowledge was imparted as an adult and identity is confirmed. Research the stories of heroes such Jesus, Krishna, and the Buddha as religious examples or Gilgamesh, Hercules, and Prometheus as non-religious examples.
Yes, do so. Start here: Confronting the Copycat Thesis.
'In spite of having been pronounced dead even by intelligent skeptics, the thesis that Judaism and Christianity consist merely of stolen pagan myths and ideas continues to be promulgated by the uncritical and accepted by the gullible.'
Essays on Krishna (Part I, II), Buddha (Part I, II), Prometheus, Hercules and many more. As far as I know, Gilgamesh has never been put forward even by the most paranoid as a copycat saviour. The Epic is more linked to Genesis.
identity_in_development wrote:Consider how Jewish tradition admits the temptation of semi-deifying Moses had he made it into the Promised Land. Jewish tradition states: “Sin is the human desire to become divine.” Since the right mediated category is the entire Jewish community and not an individual's life, and though Moses was a great single individual, the story reveals to Jews and Judaism what authentic reality is: Human beings attempt to attain divine status; they must resist that temptation; God himself has chosen the way by which he wishes to impart blessing to humanity and it is through the Jewish COMMUNITY. . . not through an individual. The New Testament, Jesus Christ, and Christianity (which claims Jesus as the Messiah) go against the Jewish tradition and teachings of immortality.
And how do you think sins are forgiven, then? By the Jewish community?
Christian Thinktank offers some articles on Judaism (homepage, on the right). One of those is Messianic Expectations in 1st-Century Judaism, which takes a hard look at what the Messiah should look like. (There is definitely a promise of a Messiah in the OT.)
identity_in_development wrote:Albert Schweitzer's <i>“The Quest of the Historical Jesus” </i>(1906).
You think a book from 1906 has never been refuted? * sighs *
There is overwhelming historical evidence that Jesus existed, claimed to be God's Son and was not a liar or lunatic, but the Lord.
Also, Christianity could never have survived unless it could prove the Resurrection by incontrovertible eyewitnesses' testimony. See The Impossible Faith.
identity_in_development wrote:The conclusion by the Council of Nicea of what books to include and which to exclude.
Canon Fire!
identity_in_development wrote:Events that are not historically plausible within the New Testament: specifically in two stories. Beginning with the start of Jesus' life and ending with his death. Not disputing the basic accuracy of the stories; Jesus obviously WAS born, and he did die, but the accounts are plagued with historical problems:

One Example: Jesus' death:
As an aside, the Roman was called Pilate, not Pilot.
But see The Easter Challenge for a harmonization of the Resurrection accounts.
identity_in_development wrote:The point is that these two narratives are fairly different in the way they set up the trial. In one, they're all in one place, in the other, Pilot has to go back and forth. You can reconcile them by saying that Mark just simply didn't mention a few facts (that Pilot had to go back and forth, and Jesus gave two long speeches), and it's a common way to reconcile differences in the Bible — that they are both right, insofar as they narrate what they do, or that they happened at different times.
Correct. Writing material was sparse and there was no point in mentioning things people already knew.
identity_in_development wrote:The problem is that there are differences between the two: in particular there is a discrepancy in WHEN this event takes place. When did Jesus die? Both Mark and John indicate that Jesus died during the feast of the Passover; the annual festival celebrated by Jews to commemorate the exodus. The festival had at its background the story of God's deliverance of the people of Israel from their slavery in Egypt through Moses (as recorded in the Book of Exodus). In Jesus' day, the festival was a major event. Jews came from around the world to celebrate the feast in Jerusalem. They would arrive a week in advance to undergo a ritual of purification that would allow them to eat the meal. The ritual took a week, so they would come a week early. The afternoon before the Passover meal was eaten, Jews would bring a lamb which was to be eaten as part of the celebration, to the temple so that it could be sacrificed by the priests. The rest of the day was spent in preparing the meal for the feast; that day was called “the Day of Preparation for the Passover.” Both Mark and John give precise information as to when Jesus was crucified. Mark, the earlier account, has Jesus dying on the day after the Passover Meal in the morning. But John's account has him crucified in the afternoon on the day of preparation. In John's gospel, Jesus was executed before the meal even began.
Do the Gospels disagree on the day of Jesus's crucifixion?
identity_in_development wrote:It is probably impossible to reconcile this discrepancy if you want to claim that both accounts are historically accurate.
Seems you did the wrong kind of research. ;)
identity_in_development wrote:One other account has to do with Jesus' birth: between Mathew and Luke. Which I won't go into — but they are almost completely different — making the nativity story we know now a combination of both stories.
Nativity and Nitpicking

You see, these doubts are not 'original', and reasonable answers are provided...
The real problem is to explain why Jesus wasn't divine.
identity_in_development wrote:Does any of this help you understand the small amount of doubt I have in the NT?
It does -- but it isn't incurable... ;) At least you have something to read, these coming days! Unless you don't like cognitive dissonance, of course... :lol:




If execution is not murder then how do you explain the actions of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, or that of the Chinese government after the Tiananmen Square massacre? They termed what they did as executions yet the people they killed were innocent. Just a point I thought I would bring up. :)


Also I have numerous books on ancient cultures and myths as part of an interest in history. I have a copy of The Epic of Gilgamesh myself, and I think what "identity_in_development" is referring to with every great hero is how Gilgamesh was the son of a Goddess and a mortal King (Lugalbanda). The story of Jesus divinity in reverse. Instead of God being the father in the Gilgamesh legend it is a Goddess. Aside from that there is the legend of the flood. However if people took the time to actually read the story they would find that the story itself is quite different. That is until one gets to the part about the Tavern keeper instructing Gilgamesh to build a boat. That is very similar to Genesis. It seems they hear the word flood mentioned in a myth and assume that the Genesis story is taken from it.


I noticed too that when trying to provide information to chew over for "identity_in_development" you only gave one link. I went there and would like to point out that the person concerned although correct about some people being gullible should research his knowledge about myths and history a bit more. I have a suggestion for "identity_in_development". Read the book of Genesis then get yourself a copy of "The Epic of Gilgamesh" by Andrew George and take notes comparing the two stories. Do not listen nor take notice of anything anyone else says about them both unless you are are certain beyond any doubt that they themselves have actually read and studied both legends. Many times people have read just portions of both stories and end up making wrongful assumptions.

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Turgonian
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#33

Post by Turgonian » Thu Dec 21, 2006 9:22 am

Michelle wrote:If execution is not murder then how do you explain the actions of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, or that of the Chinese government after the Tiananmen Square massacre? They termed what they did as executions yet the people they killed were innocent. Just a point I thought I would bring up. :)
The government can be unjust, as it was in Sodom. 'Justice stumbles on the streets'... And even with a reasonably just government, the reason for execution can still be unjust. However, just execution certainly exists, like justified killing exists.
Michelle wrote:I noticed too that when trying to provide information to chew over for "identity_in_development" you only gave one link. I went there and would like to point out that the person concerned although correct about some people being gullible should research his knowledge about myths and history a bit more. I have a suggestion for "identity_in_development". Read the book of Genesis then get yourself a copy of "The Epic of Gilgamesh" by Andrew George and take notes comparing the two stories. Do not listen nor take notice of anything anyone else says about them both unless you are are certain beyond any doubt that they themselves have actually read and studied both legends. Many times people have read just portions of both stories and end up making wrongful assumptions.
I didn't give a link to anything about the Epic of Gilgamesh, I believe. IID was bringing up the issue of 'copycat saviours', mythical figures with a history somewhat similar to Jesus's -- but Gilgamesh isn't one of those.
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

identity_in_development
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#34

Post by identity_in_development » Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:14 am

Well, I read all your "sources" and I'm not impressed. For the most part, the websites you referred me to and the guys writing are years behind scientific knowledge when addressing scientific issues, and when addressing philosophical and theological issues, they address the correct ideas but ask/answer the wrong questions! Most of the questions they advocate for the “other side” are <i>NOT</i> even the questions being asked! Of course, when they frame absurd questions, the “other side” seems absurd — and it's barely worth my time to address their inaccuracy <b>here</b> because of how much they have wrong — I would basically need to send the authors entire essays in return, telling them everything they have wrong! So with that, here are my rebuttals to you:
Turgonian wrote:
identity_in_development wrote:Example, I say (in somewhat of a syllogistic fashion): “Things of a destructive nature are morally wrong; murder destroys life; hence murder is morally wrong.” And essentially this argument can be broken down to its tiniest intricacies and in fact, there are flaws in the logic because, if one were inclined, one could reduce this to the point of it being completely absurd. So on that front, I have no logical approach besides countering every reduction with exceptions to the rule. However, the same could be applied to Christianity and I could apply the same circular logic to the Bible's commandments regarding right and wrong. In a similar syllogistic fashion: “God says what is morally right and wrong; God says murder is wrong; hence murder is morally wrong.” Either approach can be clobbered by a reductionist, and either could be discarded with similar circular logic.
Execution is not murder, nor is killing in self-defence or war. 'Murder' would be allowed to rescue another life. However, revelation is not to be treated syllogistically, but with regard to the circumstances. The thing is that there is an objective moral law, so that morality rests on something and not on man-made notions like 'things of a destructive nature are wrong'. The problem with man's notions (without revelation) is that they are no more valid than another man's notions, and eventually persons (not everyone, but a number) go down the path of 'There is no good and evil -- there is only power and those too weak to seek it.'
And what someone called A.H. rises up and says, 'The existence of Jews is of a destructive nature'?
You conveniently left out my caveat that: <i>Either approach can be clobbered and either could be discarded based on the same logic. I'd prefer not to do that because essentially, there is no purely objective format for determining the <u>rightness of an action</u> <b>except by purposing that either there is a higher standard we all must agree on (authority), or because it simply is the case that some things are wrong (common sense).</b></i> And you completely ignored where I said that reducing those syllogisms would get us nowhere because both Christian morality and the kind of <i>realist philosophy</i> I use, in an attempt to find the objective (judgments dealing without independent existence — in science, objectivity is found in observations which, given any person with normal perception who was in the same place at the same time, would every person to arrive at the same observation.), must disregard the subjective (judgments affected by personal views, experience, or background — characteristic of <b>all</b> other ways of knowing based on “authority” — such as religion, politics, nationalism, or whatever.). <b>But even if a source is truly objective, an individual viewing the source can still view it subjectively</b> (via interpretation: “Was this meant metaphorically or categorically?”), thus removing the potential objectiveness. That's my <u><b>POINT</b></u>. You can't escape subjectivity unless the phenomena are available to anyone — thus science is the only way of knowing that cannot deal with phenomena that only one person or a few people can observe. And once again this fact distinguishes science from all other systems of knowledge. Despite Christians (i.e, YOUR) claim to the contrary, there is an objective reality, but only in science which is remarkably free from parochialism, precisely because it deals only with those phenomena that are available to any person. The litmus test to determine <i>false</I>-objectivity (subjectivity) is this: When looking at a source, is it open to interpretation? Can people look at the same thing yet walk away with different understandings? The answer in regard to the bible: Obviously the bible is NOT objective!
Turgonian wrote:
identity_in_development wrote:Biblical context claims to be objective, but all interpretation is thusly subjective — consequently furthering a subjective morality and not an objective one.
That's not true. Goodness is in God; therefore, either an action corresponds to that goodness or it doesn't, in which case it is more or less evil. But without this rooted, immutable goodness to correspond to, evil does not exist. You say that all is subjective, and you have denied that the Holocaust was evil.

The Bible teaches that God does not want us to be Kantian moralists who do not look at situations. (Interestingly, it was Kant who philosophically denied revelation.) He desires mercy and love above all else; this may overrule other commands. However, when all is subjective, there is no basis to propose that mercy and love should be esteemed in the first place.
To re-quote you:
Turgonian wrote: Goodness is in God; therefore, <b>either an action corresponds to that goodness or it doesn't, in which case it is more or less evil.</b>
No doubt I'll get another link to <I>Apologetics Ministries</I> but here's a rhetorical question for you: Why the major difference between the God shown in the Old Testament and the God in the NT? God is eternal and never changes, right? Go dig up that link for me; I'd prefer to get a response from YOU though.

It's never surprising when people don't leave room for “grey area.” It almost instantly shows their incongruity with reality, their advocacy for absolutist philosophy (which is quite intolerant), and an inflexibility (usually seen as “weakness” by comrades). And clearly murder is one of those instances where no room between black and white exists:
Turgonian wrote: Execution is not murder, nor is killing in self-defence or war. 'Murder' would be allowed to rescue another life.


I would argue that <i>not</i> <b>all</b> war is justifiable and that there are always two sides or ideologies to a war such as stances taken by either aggressor or defender. Are both sides justified or only one side? What about aggression in response to aggression? Are lines blurred there? If so, then not all war is justified because it depends solely on the position you take as aggressive or defensive — which raises a-whole-nother batch of questions about “What authority determines the rightness of the war?” Is the defense always in right? Is the aggressor always in the wrong? Is retaliation always justifiable?

The point of these questions is for you realize there isn't really a simple “right or wrong” when it comes to war, EVEN when <i>some</i> authority defines the rightness of one sides' position. This is, in fact, a very complicated argument!
Turgonian wrote: But without this rooted, immutable goodness to correspond to, evil does not exist. You say that all is subjective, and you have denied that the Holocaust was evil.
Actually, here is yet another point I'm trying to make: Your “immutable goodness” depends on your authority. What's good for one may not be good for another. Christians (Pentecostals - for the most part) claim to have every right answer; but so did Catholics (Orthodox - I don't need even touch this, do I?), and so does every other sect of Christianity — if EVERY sect of Christianity thinks they are RIGHT, despite conflicting doctrines between, then there <i>IS NO IMMUTABLE “RIGHT”</i>, only human arrogance.
Turgonian wrote:
identity_in_development wrote:Look for something similar and apply to said new topic. Why is that method better than considering all facts and the potentially detrimental effects before determining whether something is correct action? Your answer, I would suppose, is: “Human's are flawed and will make a mistake.” My answer: “Humans are capable of more than mistake, and with the understanding that those before us have come victim to their own fallibility, we consider carefully the repercussions of our actions and look beyond the immediate gains for any long-term deficits.” Which is the more optimistic philosophy? Which is better for looking forward to a better humanity?
Turgonian wrote:
identity_in_development wrote:We DO in fact do for ourselves what we need. You cited relationships as an example — that's a good one to use — would you have me believe that you are in a relationship to fulfill your partner's needs and ONLY your partners needs? That you have no personal interest in having a relationship? That having a relationship helps you in no way?
Or is one characteristic of a good relationship that you are happy when the other is, and even happier when you are the cause of that happiness?
Yeah, that's definitely a characteristic of a good relationship, but it could be argued that just this simple characteristic is fulfilling a personal need — to feel valued. Consider Maslow's hierarchy of human needs (this is my rendition):
<img src="http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r93/ ... erachy.jpg">
Turgonian wrote:
identity_in_development wrote:A theistic being or metaphysical explanations are only necessary as far as we have no physical or historical explanation for an event.
Explain the Fine-Tuning of the Universe. Good luck.
Ok. No problem — you referenced me to your source, I'll reference you to mine (it's a bit thicker though).

<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Blind-Watchmaker- ... ooks">"The Blind Watchmaker”</a> by Richard Dawkins

If I thought you'd actually read it, I'd order you a copy and have it shipped to you. But seeing that your 16(?), I'd say this book is quite a bit over your head.
Turgonian wrote:
identity_in_development wrote:Any number of events that were attributed to divine providence, or divine inspiration, or divine origin centuries ago, have now been found to be very concrete and very NOT divine. Consider pathology and treatment, astrology (our place in the universe) and cosmology, anatomy and physiology...
Of course, if everything was already laid out in eternity, then everything (including all the things you mention) does fall under divine providence. The ingenuity of man by no means cancels out God, but rather glorifies Him all the more. So 'weather, disease, plague, volcanic eruption, victory in battle' were indeed commanded by God, but through means -- His usual working method, as far as we know.
Yeah, that's pretty much an un-arguable point. I can't prove a negative.
Turgonian wrote:
identity_in_development wrote:. . . . so what I'm trying to say is this: a deity is only necessary for those things which we have no “natural science” ontological, cosmological, or epistemological explanation.
Explain Jesus Christ. And the Resurrection.
Cognitive dissonance and 70 years of verbal stories before the books were written down — believers in Jesus needed something to set him apart from the rest of the “sons of gods” and thus the resurrection. John says so himself (him or Peter, maybe Paul. . . I don't feel like looking it up), “if it weren't for the resurrection of Jesus, Christianity would be a dead faith.”
Turgonian wrote:
identity_in_development wrote:This is starting to change in relation to the brain — just wait until neurophysiology can explain the pathways of emotion, desire, and certain mental phenomena . . . wait . . . it pretty much can! And after we determine the limited influence of a “single, all-powerful guiding force behind the universe” then we evaluate the options — what's left? I'd say humanity, but I'm optimistic.
Humanity? When you've reduced everything to matter? :lol: Conditioned animals, you mean.
Anyway, you're behind. Materialism is crumbling under the pervasive influence of quantum physics. See Glenn Miller's Evidence for the Soul.
“Lol” back at you <i>ad infinitum y ad libitum</i>. Your “source” is TEN YEARS behind the latest neuroscience research. Read and learn something about cells (especially neurons), then come back to me with any questions you have. Every disorder he lists is explained by cellular degeneration in a particular location of the brain. EVERY SINGLE ONE.
Turgonian wrote:
identity_in_development wrote:The historical context of Jewish thought on mortality and immortality, the theme of messages presented by the Old Testament on immortality versus the theme of messages presented in the NT on immortality. The historical and social context of such beliefs and how they influenced Biblical characters such as Moses.
Why Are Afterlife Ideas Missing from the OT?
This essay is a case of the author asking, and answering, the wrong questions with the right information and not addressing the right questions.
Turgonian wrote:
identity_in_development wrote:The historical context of Jesus along side the historical context of other “great religious or historical figures.” How the story of Jesus can be compared to other stories, in regard to something known as the “the rites of passage” schema (originally proposed by Arnold von Gennep and later worked on by Victor Turner): <i>preliminal, liminal, postliminal</i> (<i>Limin</i> is Latin for Threshold.) Von Gennep argued that the way of moving to each stage is done through a market three part progression. The first step is pre-threshold: The person is immature. Then there is a ritual that separates them from the initial pre-threshold state to the threshold state — the middle stage - A period of tests and trials, where ones character and ones motivation is tested.
You're probably a mythical figure, since you passed through the stages of childhood, adolescence and adulthood.
It's very easy to draw parallels between stories by making vague generalizations.
You obviously don't understand what is involved in the creation of myths and what qualifies a “story” as such. Search an encyclopedic source?

Turgonian wrote:
identity_in_development wrote:Secondly, it's a period of confused identity, and thirdly, it's a period when secret knowledge is imparted. Then there is another ritual that gradually allows for movement into post-liminal or post-threshold life. Every great religious hero had a great and unlikely beginning as a child, followed by trials and tests where knowledge was imparted as an adult and identity is confirmed. Research the stories of heroes such Jesus, Krishna, and the Buddha as religious examples or Gilgamesh, Hercules, and Prometheus as non-religious examples.
Yes, do so. Start here: Confronting the Copycat Thesis.
'In spite of having been pronounced dead even by intelligent skeptics, the thesis that Judaism and Christianity consist merely of stolen pagan myths and ideas continues to be promulgated by the uncritical and accepted by the gullible.'
Essays on Krishna (Part I, II), Buddha (Part I, II), Prometheus, Hercules and many more. As far as I know, Gilgamesh has never been put forward even by the most paranoid as a copycat saviour. The Epic is more linked to Genesis.
Well, as per Michelle's advice, I ordered the Epic from Amazon and read it in its entirety. The epic concerned the Flood (known in the Epic as the “Deluge”), actual conversation with Noah — known by a different name — and the conclusion of the book concerning immortality and man's place on earth. Which seems fairly damn important since this was written 1900 years before the Bible (~2700 BC). Basically, the Epic concludes that the search for immortality is fruitless — which not surprisingly — is EXACTLY the same position that old Judaism held. And as far as your suggestion (or the authors of these essay's suggests) that Christianity has not stolen pagan myths, symbols, or ideas, well, that's just laughable — READ SOME HISTORY.
Turgonian wrote:
identity_in_development wrote:Consider how Jewish tradition admits the temptation of semi-deifying Moses had he made it into the Promised Land. Jewish tradition states: “Sin is the human desire to become divine.” Since the right mediated category is the entire Jewish community and not an individual's life, and though Moses was a great single individual, the story reveals to Jews and Judaism what authentic reality is: Human beings attempt to attain divine status; they must resist that temptation; God himself has chosen the way by which he wishes to impart blessing to humanity and it is through the Jewish COMMUNITY. . . not through an individual. The New Testament, Jesus Christ, and Christianity (which claims Jesus as the Messiah) go against the Jewish tradition and teachings of immortality.
And how do you think sins are forgiven, then? By the Jewish community?
Christian Thinktank offers some articles on Judaism (homepage, on the right). One of those is Messianic Expectations in 1st-Century Judaism, which takes a hard look at what the Messiah should look like. (There is definitely a promise of a Messiah in the OT.)
I don't know. I'm simply stating the position that Jewish tradition holds. Refer back to my comment regarding the Epic of Gilgamesh and the old understanding of a human's place on earth.

<center><b> **The rest of the questions posed by Turgonion have been ignored due to their ignorance. In an attempt to save time, I'm skipping his “revelations” **</b></center>
Turgonian wrote:
identity_in_development wrote:One other account has to do with Jesus' birth: between Mathew and Luke. Which I won't go into — but they are almost completely different — making the nativity story we know now a combination of both stories.
Nativity and Nitpicking

You see, these doubts are not 'original', and reasonable answers are provided...
The real problem is to explain why Jesus wasn't divine.
No. . . the need to “prove” rests on Christians, not the other way around. Once again, I can't prove a negative; I can only give the most parsimonious response (the simplest explanation): Which is that Christians needed to set Jesus apart from the rest of the potential <i>Christ's</i>. The simplest explanation is usually closer to the truth.
Turgonian wrote:
identity_in_development wrote:Does any of this help you understand the small amount of doubt I have in the NT?
It does -- but it isn't incurable... ;) At least you have something to read, these coming days! Unless you don't like cognitive dissonance, of course... :lol:
Sorry, my framework is still very much intact and with the research I've done, reading your sources, reading sources of my own, and so on, I'm even more secure in my positions. Thanks for the interesting discussion; not bad for a 16(?) year old.

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#35

Post by Canuckster1127 » Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:08 am

Identity_in_development,

Thanks for your interaction on this thread. I'm sorry I haven't been able to be as involved although I'm interested in a lot of the subject matter. I'm neck deep in a Master's Thesis and time is limited.

Reviewing your contributions to the board as well as your sources, which are as revealing to us as you apparently believe some of Turgonian's to be to you, I'm going to suggest again that you review the Discussion Guidelines and Board Purpose and determine if this is the appropriate place for you to be interacting. Other sites exist for straight debate and arguments as to the validity of authority or sources.

We are a Christian board and exist for Christians and honest seekers to interact. It appears clear to me that you've made clear decisions as to the validity and truth of Christianity, the Bible and that you do not fall within the scope of the board's purposes in that regard.

For now I'm leaving the choice to you. Should this trend continue, I or one of the other moderators will intervene.

Thanks,

Bart
Dogmatism is the comfortable intellectual framework of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is more decadent than the worst sexual sin. ~ Dan Allender

//bartsbarometer.com/

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#36

Post by identity_in_development » Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:36 pm

Hey there Bart,

No need to intervene. I'm neck deep in life stuff also, it works fine for me to leave the board.

Take care.

Edit: Also, reading back through the board purpose I'm realizing how much leniency I was allowed. Was it my mention of the Blind Watchmaker that crossed the line?

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#37

Post by Canuckster1127 » Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:43 am

No. It is the preponderance of your interaction and the evidence that your purpose in being here does not match the purpose of this board.

Thank you for understanding, and should your mindset adjust to where you are willing to work within those guidelines then you are welcome to return.
identity_in_development wrote:Hey there Bart,

No need to intervene. I'm neck deep in life stuff also, it works fine for me to leave the board.

Take care.

Edit: Also, reading back through the board purpose I'm realizing how much leniency I was allowed. Was it my mention of the Blind Watchmaker that crossed the line?
Dogmatism is the comfortable intellectual framework of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is more decadent than the worst sexual sin. ~ Dan Allender

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#38

Post by Turgonian » Mon Feb 05, 2007 10:59 am

identity_in_development wrote:Sorry, my framework is still very much intact and with the research I've done, reading your sources, reading sources of my own, and so on, I'm even more secure in my positions. Thanks for the interesting discussion; not bad for a 16(?) year old.
You got my age right. I see you're leaving the board. May I suggest something? The forum TheologyWeb allows a VERY broad range of discussion topics and exists for all kinds of people. You'll find people there who are not only intelligent, but mature and educated as well. ;) Arguing by weblink isn't allowed and there are many debates on a higher level than the one here!
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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