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.'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.
And what someone called A.H. rises up and says, 'The existence of Jews is of a destructive nature'?
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.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.
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.
Which is more fuzzy, utopian, dreamlike and unrealistic?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?
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'?
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: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?
Explain the Fine-Tuning of the Universe. Good luck.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.
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: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...
Explain Jesus Christ. And the Resurrection.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.
Humanity? When you've reduced everything to matter? Conditioned animals, you mean.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.
Anyway, you're behind. Materialism is crumbling under the pervasive influence of quantum physics. See Glenn Miller's Evidence for the Soul.
Why Are Afterlife Ideas Missing from the OT?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.
You're probably a mythical figure, since you passed through the stages of childhood, adolescence and adulthood.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.
It's very easy to draw parallels between stories by making vague generalizations.
Yes, do so. Start here: Confronting the Copycat Thesis.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.
'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.
And how do you think sins are forgiven, then? By the Jewish community?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.
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.)
You think a book from 1906 has never been refuted? * sighs *identity_in_development wrote:Albert Schweitzer's <i>“The Quest of the Historical Jesus” </i>(1906).
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.
Canon Fire!identity_in_development wrote:The conclusion by the Council of Nicea of what books to include and which to exclude.
As an aside, the Roman was called Pilate, not Pilot.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:
But see The Easter Challenge for a harmonization of the Resurrection accounts.
Correct. Writing material was sparse and there was no point in mentioning things people already knew.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.
Do the Gospels disagree on the day of Jesus's crucifixion?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.
Seems you did the wrong kind of research.identity_in_development wrote:It is probably impossible to reconcile this discrepancy if you want to claim that both accounts are historically accurate.
Nativity and Nitpickingidentity_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.
You see, these doubts are not 'original', and reasonable answers are provided...
The real problem is to explain why Jesus wasn't divine.
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...identity_in_development wrote:Does any of this help you understand the small amount of doubt I have in the NT?