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In response to a YEC

#31bfslick50Posted 9/16/2013 5:39:28 PM
DarkContractor posted...
No one here, as far as I can tell, has ever said that. They just complain about the inaccuracy of Genesis. I trust you'll realize that you attacked a strawman and will never do that again. ...

If your going to respond to my post take the time to read it and understand it. If I presented things unclearly, ask for clarification. It's not a strawman because someone here has made that argument, me. It's not a strawman because it's not a counter-argument; it's an argument. I'm establishing that there is no need for God to be highly accurate on that part.

Yes, because blatantly false information makes the message SO much clearer.

So you're saying you never played the game telephone because understanding that is an important part of my post which you conveniently cut out. Again, if you don't understand my post ask for clarification.

This is all presupposing some sort of end goal of following the Bible. You said that you have never converted anyone before. This is because your goal is to provide evidence, not to get us to ignore our natural vices. Most of us are former repentant Christians, but even if we were absolutely addicted to sin, there is still zero reason to be a Christian. And we understand quite well where the Earth is in relationship to the Sun, and we understand quite well that the Earth is round.

And you lecture me on strawmen? I also said I'm not trying to convert anyone nor have I ever tried to convert anyone. No this is because my goal is not to provide evidence of Christianity. I very clearly established my motives for posting in this topic. Seriously, what is the point of this post and telling me there is no reason to be a Christian? Does it make you feel smart to tell others they're wrong? Although I am proud of you for understanding that the Earth is round and that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Those are important fundamentals. Astronomy leads to one of my favorite counter arguments against YEC in that we shouldn't be able to see other galaxies if the universe was only 6,000 years old.
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#32bfslick50Posted 9/16/2013 6:13:09 PM
JonWood007 posted...
So why trust it? I just wanted clarification, because I just don't "get" it when people can claim the Bible has so many factual errors but still got its central message right....doesn't its central message depend on the information it has gotten so wrong? When I see an error ridden book, that seems like its an indication it wasn't written nor inspired by a divine being, but instead of a very imperfect and human idea. If it gets the facts that we can verify wrong, why trust it on things that can't be verified?

First off, thank you for being respectful. It was very hard for me to not be more sarcastic in my post to that other fella, but Christians are already starting out below the bar in any YEC topic. Well for starters, I put a lot more stake in the New Testament than the Old Testament. And the New Testament wasn't written by a divine being. At best, the gospels were written by people who heard the apostles speak after Jesus death. Jesus message of peace and love is a good one. Think of going to church as a scheduled time where you force yourself to think about others, and the world would be a lot better off if everyone did that more frequently be at church or not. As for Jesus' divinity, it's difficult for me to put into words, but I do believe. I have a good story that I like to tell of dumb luck that saved me from spending a night alone in the woods in January in Massachusetts that I like to claim as divine intervention but that's not the core of why I believe. My wife is a strong believer and that helps.

To go into my history, I recently graduated from a catholic university with a master's degree, but lost my faith soon afterwards....I just don't see how the christian message can jive with that which can be known through science and other academic disciplines.

I mean, try to take the outsider's test for your views. Basically, try to view Christianity as you would view every other religion that you don't believe in...is there really anything special about it? I've come to the conclusion that the answer to this question is likely a big, resounding "no!". We don't believe in Zeus because Zeus seems too outrageous to be true....but is Christianity any different? Honestly? Considering how many things its wrong about, I think it's quite clear we can consider the Bible myth.

That's a good question. The new testament speaks nothing on science or how the world works and so by de-emphasizing the old testament which I view as a collection of lessons told as stories from a specific culture then there is less of an issue with regards to science. I really like how Christianity is opened up to everyone. The Hebrews with all their hardships had to believe they were special but it seems weird from a divine perspective for God to favor one culture over another.

The ancient Greek world is a cruel one. I have to believe that if there is a God that he is benevolent. But at times I do worry that I am wrong. I worry that when I deny my vices I am causing self suffering for nothing although now that I'm older and married my wife certainly likes me better for it. Now religion is far from the only reason that stops me from sinning, morality exists without religion but religion does help me feel more guilt. Religion has very rarely been the reason for me to pre-emptively stop, usually it's other things such as love for my wife or crippling shyness when I was single but religion does help me be more reflective afterwards, hence the more guilt and hopefully a course correction that will limit that behavior in the future. I haven't researched other faiths and I certainly wasn't very religious in college but Catholicism works for me. I've always been a if it ain't broke don't fix it kind of guy. I hope it's true and I see long term benefits in my own life from practicing so why not?
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"Something's wrong! Murder isn't working and that's all we're good at." ~Futurama
#33JonWood007Posted 9/16/2013 7:04:07 PM

First off, thank you for being respectful. It was very hard for me to not be more sarcastic in my post to that other fella, but Christians are already starting out below the bar in any YEC topic.


yeah, tensions can run high when debating politics or religion or other topics like this.

Well for starters, I put a lot more stake in the New Testament than the Old Testament. And the New Testament wasn't written by a divine being. At best, the gospels were written by people who heard the apostles speak after Jesus death.


Yeah, and from what I heard, that "at best" is very iffy. Mark was the first gospel written about 30-40 years after his death, and the others were written even later. We know nothing of Jesus before Mark, and just looking in the written records, we can already see the myth getting bigger with every telling. Mark had the most down to earth Jesus, while John, the last one, was a lot higher christologically (more miracles, more divinity in the story). The second century non canonical gospels, which were actually followed by many in their time, became even stranger and more outrageous at time went on. Idk....in that 30-40 years, it's highly likely that the gospel were based on mere rumors, rather than fact. It's also noteworthy that most scholars agree the gospels were written anonymously. So that "at best" actually gets very tenuous when placed within the greater context of the situation.

Jesus message of peace and love is a good one. Think of going to church as a scheduled time where you force yourself to think about others, and the world would be a lot better off if everyone did that more frequently be at church or not.


Yes, Jesus had a lot of good ideas. I'd be hesitant to consider him the ultimately authority on morality, since I think even his ideas are imperfect, but he had some good ones. He did have some strange ideas...and took them to the extremes. Some interpretations of his writings would include the fact that you must abandon your life, live pretty much like an ascetic, give all money to the poor, etc. in order to follow him. And I kind of have issues with this. If everyone lived like this, society would be unsustainable as no one has any money since everyone is giving it away to everyone else. Progress would come to a screeching halt as funding and resources for technological improvements, including medicine, would fall apart. I've actually heard of his philosophy of self sacrifice called a "philosophy of death" before, and I think that at least some of these criticisms have merit. Not to mention, I can't imagine humanity in general being...well...happy....if they always live in poverty and in service of everyone else. Rather, I think it's better to balance one's interests with everyone else's.

Then there's stuff like the whole hell thing which I just find horrendously immoral

As for Jesus' divinity, it's difficult for me to put into words, but I do believe. I have a good story that I like to tell of dumb luck that saved me from spending a night alone in the woods in January in Massachusetts that I like to claim as divine intervention but that's not the core of why I believe. My wife is a strong believer and that helps.


I can't comment on your experience, but I still say I stand by what I said above about the jesus story likely being exaggerated, and I will also mention that my experiences show me the opposite, that even the most extraordinary events, when looked at critically, are much more likely to boil down to random chance than to be the product of the supernatural. Live just makes more sense from a secular perspective IMO.
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#34JonWood007Posted 9/16/2013 7:04:20 PM
That's a good question. The new testament speaks nothing on science or how the world works and so by de-emphasizing the old testament which I view as a collection of lessons told as stories from a specific culture then there is less of an issue with regards to science. I really like how Christianity is opened up to everyone. The Hebrews with all their hardships had to believe they were special but it seems weird from a divine perspective for God to favor one culture over another.


While it expands beyond its original culture, it's still tied to it. The law that we supposedly violate in sinning is, to my understanding, the hebrew one, and if we are not saved, we are held under such a law.

It does seem strange God would favor a whole culture, and quite frankly, if you read my other topics sometimes, you'll see I often attack the OT on moral grounds....I mean, I've studied morality in grad school a bit, and one common issue with genocide is a favoring of one culture over another and a dehumanizing of the exterminated population...when you really look at the OT in this sense....yeah.....all these non jews being killed for being of a different religion? The dehumanization? The whole narrative just seems so...immoral. Christianity definitely improved on this to a large degree in the new testament.


The ancient Greek world is a cruel one. I have to believe that if there is a God that he is benevolent. But at times I do worry that I am wrong. I worry that when I deny my vices I am causing self suffering for nothing although now that I'm older and married my wife certainly likes me better for it. Now religion is far from the only reason that stops me from sinning, morality exists without religion but religion does help me feel more guilt. Religion has very rarely been the reason for me to pre-emptively stop, usually it's other things such as love for my wife or crippling shyness when I was single but religion does help me be more reflective afterwards, hence the more guilt and hopefully a course correction that will limit that behavior in the future. I haven't researched other faiths and I certainly wasn't very religious in college but Catholicism works for me. I've always been a if it ain't broke don't fix it kind of guy. I hope it's true and I see long term benefits in my own life from practicing so why not?


Well if you believe it improves your life, then that's your prerogative. I just don't think it's true, and I know in its application to my own life, it's lead to a lot of problems and had the opposite effect. It's enabled me to make bad decisions about my future I'm now paying for and the introspection drove me insane....heck, that introspection was what ultimately killed my faith, since it led me to question, and that questioning led me to my agnostic atheist belief system I have now. While Christianity certainly has some good messages, I can't in good conscience see it as perfect, or divine, or anything else.
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#35DarkContractorPosted 9/22/2013 4:08:03 PM
If your going to respond to my post take the time to read it and understand it. If I presented things unclearly, ask for clarification. It's not a strawman because someone here has made that argument, me. It's not a strawman because it's not a counter-argument; it's an argument. I'm establishing that there is no need for God to be highly accurate on that part.


Fair enough, I apologize. But there's no need to fully explain everything, regardless. Instead of a long truth that covers everything, why not a short truth that covers a little bit of truthful stuff? God doesn't need to be thorough, sure, but he's God and all and if the Bible is his divine revelation I do suppose all of it is accurate.

So you're saying you never played the game telephone because understanding that is an important part of my post which you conveniently cut out. Again, if you don't understand my post ask for clarification.


You're Catholic, right? For a tradition based denomination it's hilarious you use the telephone game. I also assume the theology of the Bible didn't get affected by the telephone game, I'm sure God had total sovereignty on that one. Trust me, we completely agree the Bible has been affected by the 'telephone game'. I just don't stop when I get to the theology.


And you lecture me on strawmen? I also said I'm not trying to convert anyone nor have I ever tried to convert anyone. No this is because my goal is not to provide evidence of Christianity. I very clearly established my motives for posting in this topic. Seriously, what is the point of this post and telling me there is no reason to be a Christian? Does it make you feel smart to tell others they're wrong? Although I am proud of you for understanding that the Earth is round and that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Those are important fundamentals. Astronomy leads to one of my favorite counter arguments against YEC in that we shouldn't be able to see other galaxies if the universe was only 6,000 years old.


Are you going to respond to anything I said or simply ad hominem me?

I am arguing that 1)Bible should be accurate and 2) we should not take things on faith either
#36bfslick50Posted 9/27/2013 6:29:11 PM
Are you going to respond to anything I said or simply ad hominem me?

I am arguing that 1)Bible should be accurate and 2) we should not take things on faith either

And I'm arguing 1) against YEC, and 2) Christianity and science don't have to be in conflict. You don't seem to be challenging either of those points so I don't see the point in debating you. I have very little interest in having the debate you're looking for on the validity of Christianity.

why not a short truth that covers a little bit of truthful stuff? God doesn't need to be thorough, sure, but he's God and all and if the Bible is his divine revelation I do suppose all of it is accurate.

You're Catholic, right? For a tradition based denomination it's hilarious you use the telephone game. I also assume the theology of the Bible didn't get affected by the telephone game, I'm sure God had total sovereignty on that one. Trust me, we completely agree the Bible has been affected by the 'telephone game'. I just don't stop when I get to the theology.

Old testament vs. new testament. Thousands of years of oral tradition vs. tens of years of oral tradition. You want to have a serious debate, yet you're ignoring a fairly obvious distinction that I've clearly outlined? Let's be honest, you came into a YEC topic to mock Christians not to have a debate.
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"Something's wrong! Murder isn't working and that's all we're good at." ~Futurama
#37JonWood007Posted 9/27/2013 8:43:16 PM
Decades is enough for rumors to develop, especially in a time where good records were not kept, and the population was a lot more superstitious and gullible than it is today. "Elvis never did no drugs!"
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#38Faust_8Posted 9/27/2013 8:52:11 PM
Yeah, decades are an eternity when it comes to rumors.

Not only are there those silly rumors about Elvis, but even in this day and age, you can troll people into thinking a celebrity has died and hundreds of people can get caught up in it until FINALLY the celebrity or a publicist comes forward and says no, I/he/she is very much alive. I remember it happening a few years ago with some actor.

And yet 30-40 years of word of mouth among ignorant and illiterate peasants and farmers hearing everything from "a friend of a friend" isn't enough to spin grandiose tales?

It's like Terry Pratchett says in one of his books; the main character manages to kill 7 bandits on his way to a city, and by the time he gets there, the story is he killed 30 men and a dog.
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I'm not against religion. I'm against all bad ideas, held for bad reasons, prompting bad behavior.
#39bfslick50Posted 9/27/2013 8:59:09 PM(edited)
JonWood007 posted...
Decades is enough for rumors to develop, especially in a time where good records were not kept, and the population was a lot more superstitious and gullible than it is today. "Elvis never did no drugs!"


Yea it is, which is why the different gospels have minor differences when talking about the same event. But they are consistent enough to get the picture. But you can't pretend that changing the amount of time that passed by 2 orders of magnitude will have no significant difference.

Also you give the people of today too much credit.
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"Something's wrong! Murder isn't working and that's all we're good at." ~Futurama
#40JonWood007Posted 9/27/2013 9:49:27 PM
I got news for you. Three of the gospels have a lot of the same information because they copied off of one another. Mark + other sources -> Matthew and Luke. Even then, there are still inconsistencies throughout, enough to bring the events into question. Put in a greater context, it becomes apparent the story of Jesus is one massive game of telephone, getting more massive as it goes on. Going just from Mark to John is a major difference, and the second century gospels get really outlandish. Do you really think that even the synoptic gospels preserve the events accurately? That takes a lot of *chuckles* faith to believe.
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