September 2016

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30  

Subscribe

« We Aren't at War | Main | Morally Velocitized »

November 27, 2007

Comments

>>According to my smartypants explanation of everything you already have adopted view...you just don't know it.

???

Thank you for letting me clarify. It seems I stumbled there.

According to my view a multiplicity of worlds is manifested in the culture, institutions, roles, and specific practices of each individual in that world.

You are in an apologetic Christian world. You are fulfilling a role for which you look to your predecessors to define and carry on.

You just think that your world is the only "true world" or should be the only world. That is your mistake. You cannot imagine a thing responsible for all worlds and all cultures.

This takes alot of explaining...and it takes alot more work to understand than memorizing all the Christian apologetics. I've done that too...it's not that hard.

So I don't expect to completely explain everything here...just clue you in.

>>I like the atheist track record of Pol Pot, Mao, Lenin, Stalin, Krushchev, and Brezhnev.

I wouldn't call myself an "atheist"...becuase I still recognize the mysterious...and the sacred...and that its possible to profane the sacred.

I would call myself a Secularist, or even an Anti-Clericalist, because I don't think we need the institutions of the monotheist churches. We could simply do without them...find another reason to gather together.

Just because monotheists have failed to produce a peaceful world should we turn to other despotic dictators.

We can spot bad government when we see it.

In other words...appealing to atheists or murderers does not negate the fact that religions define the borders of civilizations and insofar as they are exclusivist, rather than pluralist, they will conflict, and give fanatics their own "just" cause for killing fellow human beings.

Tom,

I ask two questions and you respond as if you know a number of things about me.

Guessing is one thing but knowing and betting your life or whatever you hold near and dear are two completely different things.

Moreland is wrong so he loses his authority - that's all? - he's bet his whole life on his big word and he's bet his religion. His authority isn't much to lose but then authority might be something near and dear to you. I wonder what he would say?

>>Think of the social consequences if you give up your paradigm.

What social consequences? Hmmm, I would miss a lot of great folks that is true, but then I could go to the Humanist Center and visualize whirled peas.

>>Think of the cognitive dissonance.

I haven't heard that one since Mktg 3013. Are we talking about buying a car?

>>Think of the anxiety of being left without a religion...without a smartypants explanation for everything? What would you be?

Anxiety? Is that what you feel?

Smartypants? I am assuming that you are choosing what you post carefully, so did someone hit a nerve? What smartypants explanation have I posted here? I haven't heard "smartypants" since grade school :-) And I would be me, just like I am now.

>>You would have to do good for goodness sake. Your only reward would be your sense of satisfaction, not a promise of a continued existence.

Is that why I do what I do?

Have you ever loved? Do you have children? Ever have to tell a child that he/she is dying from cancer? Death comes to us all, only the time and the circumstances vary. Perhaps you would advocate telling that child something quick and to the point like "Sucks to be you!"

>>You couldn't go on any more campaigns and show off your knowledge. Nobody would look up to you as a "spiritual leader".

Campaigns? You have me confused with someone else. People either look up to me or they don't and if they don't the sky won't fall.

>>Could you live without knowing where we came from and where we are going?

If you are asking if I would I choose to be ignorant, then I would rather not be. I would rather not be driven by the wind.

I think the reply you posted to my two questions contains much of the authentic Tom. And if I, as a consumer in the market place of ideas were to buy what you are advocating, I would have an extraordinary amount of cognitive dissonce to deal with. You and others posting here offer rebuttal but what is it you have offered beyond rebuttal?

Your position is that the orthodox Christian world-view is incorrect, or maybe even wrong but the body of work or knowledge or the car you offer or advocate in place of the orthodox Christian world-view is what? If what you are you offering is the world according to Tom then I must ask: Should I really bet my life on Tom's world-view?


I mock smartypantses like you because I am one too, I admit.

The point is elite knowledge of history as a justification for religious "belief" is not necessary. The point is it is not an "intellectual process" at all. Anyone who thinks it is, memorizes arguments and histories, and turns it into an intellectual process of induction, which is logically uncertain, and therefore cannot lead to "faith" if faith is defined as a kind of "certainty". But most Historicist christians don't argue against all doubt...just reasonable doubt...and make "faith" into a process of picking between rationiales...and the one that seems most probable is the one they would "bet on" or "buy" as if buying a car.

>>What social consequences? Hmmm, I would miss a lot of great folks that is true, but then I could go to the Humanist Center and visualize whirled peas.

It wouldn't be that easy and you know it. "Visualize whirled peas" is funny.

>>And if I, as a consumer in the market place of ideas were to buy what you are advocating, I would have an extraordinary amount of cognitive dissonce to deal with.

That's what I said!

>>Have you ever loved? Do you have children? Ever have to tell a child that he/she is dying from cancer? Death comes to us all, only the time and the circumstances vary. Perhaps you would advocate telling that child something quick and to the point like "Sucks to be you!"

Now you're getting it. Anyone who has loved a child has "faith" because they are absolutely certain that they would DO anything for them...no matter what. Anyone who has loved a child has been "transformed". The child determines what it makes sense to do for everything relates to the child.

What do you say to a dying child? Are you positing a hypothetical situation here or are you speaking from experience?

No I haven't had to tell a dying child what's going to happen next.

But my Uncle just laid to rest his daughter, my cousin. I was a palbearer. He claimed scriptures of healing, claiming that a good, all-powerful god, would not deny a supplicant who had worshipped perfectly all his life, who had raised his daughter to believe in Jesus, who could work miracles.

He said, at one point, as she was in and out of consciousness from the pain of the cancer that she would "why me" and "where's Jesus?" He said they prayed together there with her husband and one year old baby girl for "immediate" healing during her cries.

I wouldn't know what to say.

But see how her real father fought ever battle with her, comforted her. What did her "heavenly father" do?

The point is the "heavenly father" is a theoretical construct, a product of imagination, and what matters is what "real" people do in "real life".

He comforted her until she drew her last breath. Imagine his pain. Imagine his "cognitive dissonance". He was on the verge of throwing all his sermons away, throwing it all away. Even in his eulogy in church he said he still "has questions" about God, and whether the "whole thing" was constructed.

If you want to follow a complicated argument you might read Schliermacher...a 19th century, german theologian. He understood that our "beliefs" are really our "practices" or are manifested in our "practices". He made our "practices" central rather than, say, making our "thoughts" central. That beliefs are just expressions of our values that come out in our practices.

However cultural relativists will piont out that other cultures have different values and therefore different practices when it comes to caring for our children.

It is no coincidence that the religion of Jesus stresses the importance of "fidelity" in marriage, in a complete and utter devotion to a friend, just as Jesus says is the "greatest love" that you would die for them. We treat our children similarly...as objects of devotion such that we would give our life for them.

Everyone who has been "transformed by love" has "Christ in you". They are absolutely certain that no matter what they will do whatever they have to do. They fight for something. That is to be "christian".

As Nietzsche says...True Christianity is at all times possible. People in other cultures who love their wives and children, but have different "gods", and who have been determined by them, understand "true christianity" too.

It boils down to a way of acting...not a way of thinking.

Now we secularists, we anti-clericalists, we existentialists...whatever you want to call it...don't need the Bible's answers either to understand love and devotion...nor do we need to believe in a "heavenly father" who left us down here and didn't even say why. You can see why other explanations to the story of Jesus, as a myth, seem more plausible than to believe that this god could do something for a dying child.

>>Aah…now Aaron…keep it winsome or else I might start to think you have not been transformed into a loving person and don't have "Christ in You" and do now know Jesus or understand Chritianity…and have just memorized the arguments for political purposes.

Sorry Tom, I forgot you don't find humor winsome :)

Well, for many good reasons, I still reject your distortion of history and Pauline theology. Not that you've ever really listened to them - any internal textual evidence which contradicts your revisionist understanding was illicitly dismissed with a lot of unsupportable "that could have been later additions" hand-waiving.

>>That they systematically destroyed all competing documents is enough to raise "reasonable doubt".

If this is true, how in the world would we still have gnostic texts and know what they taught?

>>the printed material claiming to be from Matthew and John cannot be used as their testimonies

Which is where another discipline, that of textual criticism, comes into play. If you throw out the claims to authenticity made in this way, you may as well stop making any kind of historical claims (which you are quite fond of doing) altogether.

>>In other words...appealing to atheists or murderers does not negate the fact that religions define the borders of civilizations and insofar as they are exclusivist, rather than pluralist, they will conflict, and give fanatics their own "just" cause for killing fellow human beings.

Fair point. MY point is that it is human nature to rule poorly and committ atrocities. That's the common denominator, so to pick on monotheists as the ones to blame in this arena ignores the rest of the human race.

>>Sorry Tom, I forgot you don't find humor winsome :)

Just because you put a parentheses-smileyface at the end doesn't mean you're joking.

>>I still reject your distortion of history

And I reject your distortion of history. So what do we do now?

>>Not that you've ever really listened to them - any internal textual evidence which contradicts your revisionist understanding was illicitly dismissed with a lot of unsupportable "that could have been later additions" hand-waiving.

I agree that the "could have been added later" can never rise to argument status. We can only show that it has occured...such as the ending of Mark...and that it warrants suspicion.

Are you saying the Bible was not edited by the Romans to suit their purposes of global domination? Are you saying they did not kill people who thought "this is not an eyewittness account". Are you going to kill me because I reasonably disagree? Are you saying they did not attempt to systematically destroy all other religious books in their empire?

Who was the genius that asked about how we have gnostic texts nowadays? Oh..it was you!

It is because they were found in a cave in 1945...after being hidden for ~2000 years.

That's the problem with basing your spiritual descriptions on literal history...you never know what they're going to dig up next! As Soren Kierkegaard says...the historical enterprise is "always unfinished"...always waiting for the "last paragraph to be written" because you never know what documents they might dig up next!

>>If you throw out the claims to authenticity made in this way, you may as well stop making any kind of historical claims (which you are quite fond of doing) altogether.

Thats my point! You can't base your spiritual "beliefs" on surviving copies of written anything.

It gets a little more complicated since the Jesus story can still be understood as a symbolic narrative, its vocabulary still used to describe "spiritual" (psychological) phenomena.

Other groups understood it this way. To recover their understanding of the dying god-man myth as an alternative to a literal, historicistic interpretation would certainly be "revisionist" relative to the "history" the Catholics have bequeathed us.

But the point is...this is a reasonable way of positing "reasonable doubt". Here at STR the emphasis is on reason. I've done nothing illegal in positing this alternative history...in fact...I've gone further in explaining MORE source documents than the Christian explanation can handle. It is a "reasonable" alternative...so what can STR say about that!

Well, they posit the dying child scenario...which is way outside the bounds of "rationality" and "reason' and betrays their "objectivity".

This is not the first time I've had to adress the dying child scenario. What, do you think that children don't die in other cultures...in other religion...and their parents don't comfort them by telling them that their god will take care of them?

You're obsessed witht the afterlife. And if I've made any one point let it be this...it is THIS life that matters! After that...who knows. And I would be wary of following someone who says they know. I find meaning in my life in the REAL relationships...not the hypothetical ones with theoretically constructed literary characters. I can wait to find out what happens after my last breath, but I still cannot ignore the relationships in THIS life, in THIS world, that are the source of meaning my life.

>>Which is where another discipline, that of textual criticism, comes into play.

Are you saying that through another "discipline" we can get these documents admitted into court? Are you saying that there is another discipline that can put those words undistorted in Matthew's mouth? I think you see the point.

Or are you ready to admit that these documents cannot be regarded, or throught of, or "used" as "eyewitness testimony" and this is where the "rules of evidence" analogy fails.


Of course you can "treat" it as if it were eyewitness testimony...and then you get your brand of religion...but notice that you leap over the first "rule of evidence"...and are therefore not following your own rules and contradicting yourself. Everyone can see that except you.

As I said before...you historicist christians are bad scholars (thinkers) and bad lawyers.

Do you still want to take over the world with your pseudo-fact? The proceeding of the court are meant to "establish the facts". That means you are arguing to establish your facts as facts. They are not really facts until the court proceeding are over...but your case can't even get off the ground.

Tom said: "Of course I understand ad hominem...do you think I'm stupid or something?"

No, I think you are rude and your arguments, such as they are, suffer for it.

That was a joke. Don't you get it?

You just think I'm rude cause I'm right and sassy about it.

>>Just because you put a parentheses-smileyface at the end doesn't mean you're joking.

That (the smileyface) was a joke. Don't you get it?

You just think I'm rude cause I'm right and sassy about it.

(Just in case...that was also a joke)

>>I agree that the "could have been added later" can never rise to argument status.

Good. Then please stop using it as such.

>>We can only show that it has occured...such as the ending of Mark...and that it warrants suspicion.

Actually, the fact that we CAN show that it has occured is exactly the reason we can trust the rest. Textual criticism has it's advantages. See the fine work of Mark D. Roberts (a real scholar, much moreso than myself) for more on this.

>>Are you saying the Bible was not edited by the Romans to suit their purposes of global domination?

Yes.

>>Are you saying they did not kill people who thought "this is not an eyewittness account".

Yes. Or at least not early enough to make a difference in the textual evidence.

>>Are you going to kill me because I reasonably disagree?

No, silly.

>>Are you saying they did not attempt to systematically destroy all other religious books in their empire?

Who, when and where?

The whole question of the gnostic texts and the actual history of what happened to them is more than I want to bother with tonight. Maybe later, 'kay? I'm going to bed. My wife is waiting. Good night, Tom.

Tom,
No, you have mistaken for someone else because I am not smartypants.


Death is a fact that everyone faces with only the timing and circumstances changing. Is the death of an eight year old more tragic than the death of an eighteen or eighty year old?

How we respond to the death of a loved one says much about who we are and the nature of our character. We can lash out and be angry, and let that be our rule of life going forward, or we can choose another path.

I have sat for hours in a hospital room while chemo drugs were administered, I have stayed behind to keep the job and the home fires burning and take care of other kids while my wife and daughter traveled miles from home for a bone marrow transplant.
And after the transplant failed, I kept watch by that eight year old’s bed as she passed over from life to life after death. Her mother and I did have something to say to her the day we were told by her oncologist that there was nothing else that could be done for her. And hopefully you will too, one day.

You wrote that you observed your uncle fight every battle for his daughter and then asked what her heavenly father did. How do you know her heavenly father didn’t provide your uncle with the strength to carry on when he didn’t feel like carrying on?

I have expectations of you; you don’t fulfill them, so what? Does that mean you don’t exist? My expectations of you don’t define who you are or determine what you will or will not do anymore than your or my expectations of God determine who He is or what He will do.

“Oh but God has made promises, why didn’t he heal your daughter” you might ask. I don’t have all of the answers or some of them so I don’t claim smartypants. While I have no reason to doubt God’s promises, I also know that the God of the Bible isn’t a genie in a bottle subject my whims. And I certainly don’t have any reason to be angry. My daughter was not my property to begin with.

Faith is trust based upon evidence of reliability. It’s pretty easy to trust when things are in plain view but the real faith comes into play when things are out of sight or not clear.

I’ll still take the orthodox Christian world-view over what you have attempted to offer.

I have much less cognitive dissonance with a God who created the world and “it was good”; who gave man a choice of paths to take (life or the knowledge of good and evil). Even after man had chosen the knowledge of good and evil God gave him an opportunity to come clean (where are you Adam?). At the right time God sent his Son who experienced all of the highs and lows we can experience, even the death of a loved one (Lazarus). Jesus took man’s place on that cross and paid in full the sin debt that man had incurred with God. Jesus broke the bonds of death (Oh death where is thy victory, Oh death where is thy sting?) when he came forth from the tomb and ascended to His Father’s right hand, waiting for to return to the earth. The season of Advent is a time to focus on that return (Sleepers awake!). Yes, this has less cognitive dissonance than “Who knows”.

You view that of some others posting here isn’t new. It is an ancient view point – “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die” or something similar to it. It’s the world’s view on things.

That's all for now.

Tom said: "You just think I'm rude cause I'm right and sassy about it."

Which leads me to believe that you don't understand the term ad hominem and it is why I have yet to pay much attention to the quality of your arguments. I think if you wish to be taken seriously it would help if you lose the "sassy".

If you are joking, the emoticon is a useful tool in electronic messages.

If you are actually looking to explore and find the truth with those who participate here, I think this advice might help.

William...So do you have an answer to the problem that these ancient source documents cannot be used as "eyewittness testimony" or are you going to keep going off on your own ad hominem.

The joke was funny because it domanstrates an understanding of ad hominem and shows you are doing it too...attacking the person instead of the argument!

Touche'. You've been had.

Don't you think that others here on this board post in sarcastic or ironic tones? Don't you read what other's write here? Who are you to decide what is sassy and what is rude?

If there's an argument in there, its probably just sassy, and I don't mind dealing with other sassy people as long as there is an argument buried somewhere in their jibe. It's actually kind of funny and entertaining…for those of us who do appreciate humor.

If you were actually looking to explore and find the truth here you would address the arguments, you would be able to separate the arguments from the "trash-talk" and address them instead of questioning someone on basics like informal fallacies, insulting their intelligence, with the intention of obfuscating.

Can these document be used as "eyewittness testimony" in a court of law (with its rationally deduced rules of evidence)? The answer is NO.

In a courtroom you would be forced to answer. But here, keep obfuscating. You might get everyone here to forget the original question, but not me, I see you're ducking it.

The comments to this entry are closed.