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ficino last won the day on April 18 2015

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About ficino

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  • Birthday February 26

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    New York, NY
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    literature, philosophy
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    ancient texts

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?

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  1. I said something like this the other day, how the dumbing down etc etc is impacting evangelicalism. Take a religion centered on the individual reading the Bible. What happens with people who no longer read?
  2. In Roman times, usually dawn was the first hour, and then they counted forward from there. So you'd think the sixth hour would be around noon.
  3. Sarah Beth Caplin talks about how one of the expectations in evangelical Christianity is that everyone will have a sense of certainty about whatever it is that the group thinks matters. Even lack of knowledge gets folded into bigger assertions of certainty, as in "I know that the Lord is in control and will show us this in His time". If you're uncertain, you're suspect, for the devil is the author of doubt and confusion. So someone's certainty about the interpretation of nuances of disputed Greek words in a 2000 year old text is supposed to provide a basis of denying legal rights to someone else.
  4. Strategies for debating Christians

    Sadly, I have to point out: yes, it was your fault. It is always your fault. It has always been your fault. That's what you must remember. /s Glad you're out of the cult!
  5. Strategies for debating Christians

    I remembered things a fellow student, who was an atheist, said when I was an on-fire Christian trying to convert other students. I didn't really have good rebuttals even at the time. I just sort of dismissed them. Later on the "seed" of unbelief got watered and sprouted, heh heh.
  6. Citsonga, I wish I could click 100 likes. a thousand. I am so glad that your kid is pushing forward and that you both as parents were there. One of my students had many troubles. Eventually she came out as he. I was just reading today a paper on ancient notions of gender. I have to say --- before Hellenistic Jewish philosophy and Christianity, I think the greco-roman world had a notion that gender is a continuum. But religionists wanted gender to be binary. A lot of people went under as a result. And for what? So glad that at long last we can be more attuned to the varieties of nature.
  7. God cant exist.

    I think "do anything" is too open-ended for this premise to do the work you need it to do. If we substitute "make a square triangle" for "do anything", then we are saying that something can be A and ~A under the same set of relations. We have annihilated all discourse, since from a contradiction it follows that all statements are true. I would limit the argument to proving that some set of attributes that entails a contradiction cannot be attributes of God. If you want to investigate further the entailments of God's being said to be omnipotent, I would do a lot more unpacking of "omnipotent" so that it's clear what qualifications attach to that term as you are using it. If "omnipotent" is going to be said to entail stuff like "will His own non-existence" I don't think your argument is going to gain much cred.
  8. Hi Seajay, this site is very good. I'm linking it in case you haven't investigated it. It's by the guy who wrote the How Things Work book/s. For example, consider how the stories of Santa Claus, Mormonism and Islam appear to people who are not already trained to accept them as the default reality. Then compare the Bible story. It will appear to the non-trained in the same way those stories appear to Christians! These systems are all human constructions, but to the person inculturated in one of them, that person's familiar system seems unique and seems to deserve to be the default.
  9. Hi Seajay, the above apologetic does not fly at all. There is ZERO plausibility in it. It is wrong because it removes the whole purpose of the Flood. In Genesis 6 we read that "the sons of god" had babies with human women. That's bad enough. Then "When the Lord saw how great was man's wickedness on earth, and how no desire that his heart conceived was ever anything but evil, he regretted that he had made man on the earth... I will wipe out from the earth the men whom I had created, but also the beasts ... for I am sorry that I made them." 6:5-7 "In the eyes of God the earth was corrupt and full of lawlessness. When God saw how corrupt the earth had become, since all mortals led depraved lives on earth, he said to Noah, 'I have decided to put an end to all mortals on earth; the earth is full of lawlessness because of them. So I will destroy them and all life on earth.'" "all mortals on earth" does not mean "only some mortals on earth." "All life on earth" does not mean "only some life on earth." This cannot apply only to, say, the humans living around the Black Sea. It applies to the entire planet. If God wanted to destroy only the people and animals in some localized area, then it makes no sense for Noah to be told to build an ark and put two of every species on it. Noah, like Abraham or Moses, should have simply led the righteous away from the habitation of the unrighteous. When are you going to call "bullshit" when you see it?
  10. Big hugs from me, Margee, friend of more than 10 years now. And tongue licks from Lita.
  11. Hi SeaJay, I think you've gotten some very good advice and perspective in responses people have given. I used to know someone who had been a Jehovah's Witness. This guy was very into it but later came to think it didn't hang together. He said that the JWs have people whose job it is to think up refutations of literally every piece of evidence or argument against their own position. He said he was told, "We have a refutation for everything." But other Christians who think the JWs are a heretical cult leading people to hell also have refutations for everything. And so it goes, group by group. Since a lot of this stuff is not falsifiable, a lot of these groups can give the impression that their teachings are inoculated against refutation. But if they all disagree, one may think that they are all equally human constructions. Still, as others have said, some of these refutations are strained enough that they lack credibility - taking words in bizarre, non-standard senses or introducing further, unevidenced assumptions. "Oh it looks like a contradiction, but it's really not because such and such really means "X" not "not-X" as the text seems to say." Or it could be true if such and such another thing were true. I think at some point you have to just say bullshit! There are a huge number of defeaters, even if you can't prove it false in the same way you can prove that an argument against the Pythagorean Theorem is false. --------------- Editing to add: SeaJay, I think it's also helpful to look at the way Christianity functions as a business that's trying to sell you a product. Because that's what it is. A lot of the stuff that goes on in churches becomes much more understandable when seen as the floundering business model that it has become at present. A good blog to get perspectives from this angle is Roll to Disbelieve:
  12. Hi SeaJay, forgive me if you've spoken to this before, but are you perhaps suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or some other form of illness like that? Would it help to see a non-religious therapist who has proper training? I know someone else who struggles in a way similar to the way you struggle. That person will research in depth, find an answer, but then come across another Christian claim and start the process and the agonizing worry all over again. There will always be yet one more argument or one more claim that religionists will make, and usually the claim is insulated against falsification, so you flail about trying to achieve a level of certainty about that one thing. I can see how hard it is to step away and look at the entire system from the POV of how it organizes itself to keep people under control. People who are OCD or bipolar or who face other kinds of illness can have a very hard time with religion because successful religions know how to package their spiel so it seems immune from falsification. No one would accept a scientific hypothesis that couldn't be falsified!
  13. They Told Me to Kneel, I Stood Up

    One of the ironies is that Stranger's version of Christianity, to the extent it is intelligible, is at variance with all the historic creeds.
  14. An observation: it merely creates confusion to use a term under one meaning and then in the very next sentence use it under another meaning. E.g. non-physical DNA and then physical DNA, w/ no hint to the reader that "DNA" is being used under different senses. On the other hand, if God's DNA is not some metaphorical sort of DNA but instead is physical, then we're back to God having a body. I Tim 1:17 says that God is invisible. So God's "form" is grasped by the intellect/faith, not by the senses. If Jesus' body is to be taken as "God's body" without qualification, then a lot of work needs to be done to demonstrate that the Father and the Holy Spirit also now have the body that Jesus in his human nature took on. Someone who wants to try to demonstrate the truth of heresies long since condemned needs to do more than throw around slogans like "Trinity". Such a person needs to be careful that all of reality doesn't wind up somehow becoming also God's body, if that person wants to claim he has God's material DNA. David of Dinant was condemned as a heretic for teachings kind of like this. His books were burned, and he managed to escape to a fate unknown. That was when the Church had real cojones and knew how to carry out true Christian love in action. Only problem was the police weren't quick enough.
  15. Yes, you're right, Prof. There is no Bible verse that articulates that doctrine. When I was in seminary, our NT prof told the following story (he was a full-bore inerrantist Calvinist). Erasmus, the famous Renaissance scholar, opponent of Luther, faithful but not hardcore Catholic, was editing a Greek New Testament. Erasmus said that the Latin Vulgate was mistaken when it presented a verse that basically states the Trinity doctrine. At I John 5:8, we read, "Because there are three witnesses, the Spirit and the water and the blood, and the three are of one accord." But before those words, the Latin had additional words: "Because there are three witnesses in heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. And there are three witnesses on earth, the Spirit, the water and the blood..." etc. Erasmus said the additional words in the Latin do not appear in Greek manuscripts, and he was not going to print it in his new edition unless a Greek manuscript attested them. He challenged his opponents to produce a Greek manuscript that contained them. But sure enough, after some months, ta da! - a Greek manuscript was produced that contained these words. The manuscript was written in a modern style of writing. Erasmus grumbled that obviously someone had quickly arranged for a Greek manuscript to be copied with those words translated from the Latin and inserted. But he had to stick with what he had said, so he printed his Greek NT with these words in it. They are known as the Comma Johanneum. No serious Bible prints them today, but they remain in old-style KJV Bibles.