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WalterP

Does this explain the impasse between Christians and no-Christians?

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46 minutes ago, Joshpantera said:

 

I haven't finished. We're at the beginning still. 

 

Josh, I really, REALLY don't want to antagonize you.  Please believe me. 

 

But I don't think you've fully grasped the full consequences of almost unrestrained personal interpretation in this forum.  It means that whatever words or definitions are used to describe almost anything related to scripture have become a matter of personal choice.  Two people can now disagree about almost anything and neither can expect or oblige the other to conform to an agreed standard, definition or meaning.    

 

So, you and I can disagree about Genesis and you can tell me what's literal about it and what isn't.  You can tell me what's exoteric or esoteric and what isn't.  You can tell me what is symbolic, what is suggested, where the contradictions arise and many other things.  But I'm under no obligation or expectation to accept them.  Why?  Because, if scripture can be used to support almost any belief, then it becomes a matter of personal choice as to how someone wants to interpret scripture.

 

You do see that, don't you?  

 

Almost everything has become relative and subjective and almost nothing remains objective.  So, while you and I can agree on what the words are, I don't have to accept any of your meanings of them.  None of your definitions.  None of your standards.  I can interpret them in my own way and you have no comeback on me.   

 

If you think I'm being unnecessarily difficult about this, please note that what I'm pointing out is actually happening, right now.  Certain religiously-minded members feel no obligation to abide by the definitions and terms used by other, non-religious members.  When the Bible is quoted at them and the contradictions of their beliefs are put under the spotlight, they shrug off these measures.  They cannot be held to account because they choose to interpret scripture in their own, personal and highly subjective way.  I surely don't have to give examples, because you'll know exactly who I mean.

 

Josh, if it's any help, I'm not going to be so awkward as I've described above.  I could be, now that LogicalFallacy has given me the green light.  But I won't go there.

 

46 minutes ago, Joshpantera said:

 

We have a story that is claimed as true. There's a literal reading. The days are literal. That's exoteric in orientation. We can break all interpretations down to two categories - exoteric / literal and esoteric / symbolic. I examine them both in all of their varieties. What you were trying to respond to was the classic exoteric, or literal interpretation. The surface story line taken at face value. It suggests a six day creation, literally. Contradictions arise immediately. 

 

Origen was of the symbolic, mystical, esoteric view of interpretation. This can take on any number of forms. But the story is interpreted as symbolic, not literal. But that comes with it's own problems. Some say that the days are "symbolic" for long epochs of time. So the days are symbolic, but the story is still true in some way. The question is true in what way? The same problems remain. It's true that entire epochs of time were going by before the existence of the sun, moon or stars? Three days means what? Three epochs of time that could be hundred, to thousands, to millions or billions of years? 

 

The actual order of the creation account is off no matter which direction we take, literal or symbolic. 

 

 

Incorrect, again. Not personal interpretation, mass group interpretation with a formal title of exoteric / literal interpretation. You seem to think this is easier to excuse than it actually is. That wave of the hand dismissal you tried comes from a foundation of taking LF completely out of context. 

 

 

Context, Walter. Context. You're stepping out of it in the above. This devils advocate thing is getting you pinned down pretty tight. 😂

 

LF said that the bible makes more than one claim in that specific case of revelation of god. And he mentioned that the bible contradicts itself by saying in some places that you can't know but in other places, like the end times, suggesting that you can know. He was of a variety of fundamentalists who believe that they are on the heels of the end times now. So they pick and choose the passages that say that you can know. 

 

All christians, to my knowledge, pick and choose their way through the bible. Conservatives, liberls, exoteric and esoteric thinkers alike. Because the bible self contradicts all over the place. If two people pick one of two sides of a contradiction and stick to one but ignore the other, then both parties are correct in terms of they're believing what the bible says. It says that you can't know, and it says that you can know. That's the point. 

 

The two creation accounts contradict each other. But what is common to all of these interpretations about both accounts is that none of them work out against knowable, observable reality. We're looking at a self contradiction, which people pick and choose their way through, which, doesn't seem to work out in any actual, real, or correct type of way. And it's claimed and hailed as, "The TRVTH!"

 

 

I can just as easily switch gears and look at eastern views, though. I am an advocate of Joseph Campbell's work on world mythology. Let's look at how he framed the situation. In the eastern traditions myths can be read a metaphorical. But metaphorical for what? Let's keep with Genesis 1 because it's simple and easy for a working example of possible interpretation. Campbell said that that myths are not lies, they are true in certain senses. He said, 'true as metaphorical of the human and cosmic mystery.' 

 

Origins are actually a mystery, we both understand and admit this. So we could say that a creation myth is metaphorical for the actual mystery of origins. Because origins is a mystery as of yet unknown, so the creation could only be a metaphor pointing us toward an unknown. But that admits that the creation myth doesn't tell us, truthfully, how the world or humanity came to be in any actual, or correct sense. True origins remain mysterious, and we take the creation myth as a metaphor or place holder for the actual mystery, which, the writers have not actually disclosed with their writing.

 

Or we fast forward to the new testament and we could look at the jesus myth and read it in an eastern mythological way as, "The zeal of eternity for incarnation in time. Which involves the breaking up of the one, into the many and accepting the suffering of the world." 

 

But these do not help the christian cause, at all. They don't point to the bible being "true" in terms of actually disclosing how the world came to be, or how humanity came to be within the world. We could grasp at straws over and over again, looking for an apologetic way to claim that the bible is "true," and continuously come up short handed. Western minded. Eastern minded. Whatever you prefer. It boils down to the same problem. We're not dealing in terms of actual, correct, rightful truth.

 

These are indirect asides apologetically claimed as "true," which don't finally amount to truth in any meaningful or substantial way with respect to the people who are claiming to have, "The TRVTH!"

 

 

Western, Eastern, it all comes back around to the same issue. Exoteric doesn't work out. Esoteric doesn't work out well either. What else? Do you have any more objections? Where were you trying to take it? Metaphor? I've looked at that.

 

What are you proposing the box is and what are you proposing is outside of that box? 

 

 

 

 

Josh, all I know at the moment is that a box seems to exist and I call that box the Western tradition.  As I mentioned earlier, I'm a child of the Western tradition, just as you seem to be.  Like you I can see that this tradition is hugely successful, but I also worry that it might carry with it certain problems.  

 

If I were to give you an analogy, it might be this.  In experimental quantum physics the act of measuring a photon disturbs it, so we can never really know its exact properties.  We can only assign probabilities to its energy and its direction.  So, the act of investigating becomes and act of disturbance.  

 

This is how I think the Western tradition might be, when it's used to investigate things from other non-Western systems of thought.  It disturbs them and what we discover in our investigations is not a true picture of what they actually are, but an image that's gone through the distorting lens of exclusively Western thinking.

 

A while back you praised me for trying to be careful.  Thank you for that.  Hand on heart, that's exactly what I'm trying to be here and now.  I hope you can see and appreciate that.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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For anyone who might be interested, I've started a new thread in the Colosseum on the topics of truth, knowledge, and belief. Please participate if you'd like. I'm hoping that we can have a robust discussion.

 

 

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5 hours ago, florduh said:

Prove your god exists and we'll go from there, it is you making a positive claim. For now, I don't have a reason to believe your assertion. For lack of evidence I must come to the conclusion that you offer an unverified claim with no reason for me to agree with you. I am not asserting there are no gods, nor can I make a negative argument to prove nonexistence. I state only that evidence has not been provided for your god. That is not the same as "believing there is no god." But again, I'm sure that nuance is lost in the static. 

 

It not mistaken, you are the one making the positive claim that the world is evil, so wouldn't it be up to you to prove this is a evil world since I am not making any assertion that the world is either good or evil. But really, I think it is transparent that you don't even have the intellectual integrity to abide by your rules you set. 


As one poster stated in another thread, you are ex-Christians because you are no longer Christians.  And you were Christians because the best bait to use to catch liars is a lie, so you admitted being sinners and whosoever sins is of the devil who was a liar who abode not in the truth from the beginning.  So whether you claim you lied when you admitted to being a sinner or whether you admitted being a sinner

 

I don't have to prove the LORD exists since if he had any desire to prove anything to you he would do it himself.  So lets just I believe you when say your world is evil, you don't have to prove your right.

,  

 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Justus said:

 

It not mistaken, you are the one making the positive claim that the world is evil, so wouldn't it be up to you to prove this is a evil world since I am not making any assertion that the world is either good or evil. But really, I think it is transparent that you don't even have the intellectual integrity to abide by your rules you set. 


As one poster stated in another thread, you are ex-Christians because you are no longer Christians.  And you were Christians because the best bait to use to catch liars is a lie, so you admitted being sinners and whosoever sins is of the devil who was a liar who abode not in the truth from the beginning.  So whether you claim you lied when you admitted to being a sinner or whether you admitted being a sinner

 

I don't have to prove the LORD exists since if he had any desire to prove anything to you he would do it himself.  So lets just I believe you when say your world is evil, you don't have to prove your right.

,  

 

 

 

So perhaps you're implying that there is not evil in the world? I think there is due to the obvious examples of war, slavery, child abuse, etc. Maybe you don't see these things as evil. That is your prerogative. As far as the LORD existing, that is your claim, is it not?

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6 hours ago, Justus said:

 

You sure about that?  Seems like death is less scary than death with hell would be but then again death means it really doesn't matter since life goes on except for the dead.  So if one gets sent to hell then at least they are still alive, and with life there is hope.   

What's your point here?

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12 hours ago, Justus said:

 

So can you define your belief that there is no God without proving that you don't have any belief that God doesn't exist if it seems to you that if a person who can't  define what they believe don't really have any belief .  So let's hear what you believe when you say defining one beliefs.  Then prove it, unless you claim that proving it wasn't what you required. :liar:

I have a belief that the Flying Spaghetti Monster doesn't rule the world with his noodly appendages. I have a belief that The Grimm doesn't control our every movement and thought and that we don't have any free will. I have a belief that the Purple Piper did not divinely inspire and write the Purple Creed, by which we should abide, or we will end up in a lake of fire. I have endless beliefs in the non existence of any possible entity that could ever be imagined. 

 

You need to put more thought and learning into what actually constitutes a belief. 

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15 hours ago, WalterP said:

Almost everything has become relative and subjective and almost nothing remains objective.  So, while you and I can agree on what the words are, I don't have to accept any of your meanings of them.  None of your definitions.  None of your standards.  I can interpret them in my own way and you have no comeback on me.   

'

Try me. Let's stick with Genesis 1 as the working example. Interpret it as creatively as possible and I will come back at whatever you produce. We can further demonstrate how many ways this can go. 

 

15 hours ago, WalterP said:

If you think I'm being unnecessarily difficult about this, please note that what I'm pointing out is actually happening, right now.  Certain religiously-minded members feel no obligation to abide by the definitions and terms used by other, non-religious members. When the Bible is quoted at them and the contradictions of their beliefs are put under the spotlight, they shrug off these measures.  They cannot be held to account because they choose to interpret scripture in their own, personal and highly subjective way.  I surely don't have to give examples, because you'll know exactly who I mean.

 

Again, you're new and trying to get oriented to the goings on. I get that. It seems that you are trying to make sense out of what you're seeing. And to make sense of it you are under the impression that anyone expects that religiously minded members will be held to account. They rarely, rarely ever are. Not impossible, but it's a long stretch if you expect such a thing. Why do we hammer away at them anyways? As Geezer said, it's pointless really. The only reason for most of the arguments is to try and see how christians will try and respond to a certain argument. What come backs they will attempt. And then how to readily refute whatever it is they try and come up with. Seeing which arguments push them so far into a corner that lashing out is the only option left. The bible false from it's beginning can do that. And they don't care at all for the accusation of being low rung on the world spiritual latter, either. Both arguments are pretty strong with solid citation and explanation behind them. I'm sure there's a lot more. 

 

The problem here is that we live in a christian dominant society where these bluffs and blow hards have had the power and authority to bully everyone around for centuries. You know this. I know this. With the internet, those bluffs are becoming increasingly difficult. Regardless of whether or not anyone actually does concede the point, the audience can weight out which arguments seem stronger or weaker to the audience. Audiences of modern, mainly western thinking people. Of course the purely subjective arguments of christians don't stand very tall. That's why they're losing their kids to non-belief. The kids are not stupid these days. They have access to all variety of information and fact checking. And a lot of them do. It's not as easy now to fool people with blow hard bluffing like it once was. Claims are challenged. Not so much accepted at face value. 

 

Why care? Because it doesn't sit well with me to let these frauds go unchecked, that's why. I chose to keep the pressure on them. As futile as that may look. Old generations die out, and new generations grow up familiar with newer ways of thinking, basically. 

 

15 hours ago, WalterP said:

Josh, all I know at the moment is that a box seems to exist and I call that box the Western tradition.  As I mentioned earlier, I'm a child of the Western tradition, just as you seem to be.  Like you I can see that this tradition is hugely successful, but I also worry that it might carry with it certain problems.  

 

If I were to give you an analogy, it might be this.  In experimental quantum physics the act of measuring a photon disturbs it, so we can never really know its exact properties.  We can only assign probabilities to its energy and its direction.  So, the act of investigating becomes and act of disturbance.  

 

15 hours ago, WalterP said:

This is how I think the Western tradition might be, when it's used to investigate things from other non-Western systems of thought.  It disturbs them and what we discover in our investigations is not a true picture of what they actually are, but an image that's gone through the distorting lens of exclusively Western thinking.

 

A while back you praised me for trying to be careful.  Thank you for that.  Hand on heart, that's exactly what I'm trying to be here and now.  I hope you can see and appreciate that.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter

 

Maybe, Walter. I'm not closed to your argument. I'm just trying to understand where you're taking it. You have to keep in mind that we don't care very much about being at an impasse with christians. In fact, when I tried to be nice to some visiting apologist's the whole thing blew up. No one wanted to be nice to them. And they didn't want to be nice to us either. That's just not what we have going on here. That has to factor in to this impasse situation somewhere, doesn't it? 

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19 hours ago, WalterP said:

LogicalFallacy, with all due respect, do you really mean that last sentence?  I ask, not to be awkward or combative, but to advise you that this 'almost anything goes' take on scriptural interpretation has possibly unhelpful consequences.  As I will now show.

 

"almost anything goes" is an observation after 31 years as a Christian, not a take on scriptural interpretation. You have Christians both proclaiming God loves gays, God will burn gays. Whose right? Using your legalistic interpretation of the bible says stone gays you'd be right, using an interpretation that it was for a time and place and God has moved us to a new age in love I'd be right. Like I said, almost anything goes.

 

I've also observed peoples' God and his nature and thoughts on subjects tends align closely with theirs. Get a kind, loving empathetic person and their god will (surprisingly) tend to be the say. Get judgmental bigoted people... and their god is the same... which btw aligns more closely with the OT god which may say something about the people of the time.

 

 

19 hours ago, WalterP said:

You cannot use scripture to tell me anything.  My personal interpretation of scripture was just as valid as yours. 

Again, that's your personal interpretation.  Mine was just as valid.

Ditto.

Ditto.

Ditto.

 

No, you just aren't guided by the holy spirit. (Tongue in cheek)

 

19 hours ago, WalterP said:

You see, LF?  Whatever you cite from the Bible or claim about scripture, I can turn around and use your own 'almost anything goes' standard against you.  The genie is now out of the bottle and won't be put back.  Whenever you try to hold any Christian to account, they can neutralize you by quoting your words.

 

One of the great things about scripture is that it can be used to support near any belief. 

 

It's a great thing for the Christians, but not a great thing for us Ex-Christians.  :(

 

Respectfully,

 

Walter.

 

Walter, Congratulations! I think you just made a great case against Christianity. I'm not arguing with you on this as I agree. Between Christians this is what happens. And it's similar to stuff they pull on us, if I go back to the topic of evasion. It playing chess with a pigeon.  

 

Is your point about using scripture to debate against Christians to show them their understanding is wrong? If so I find this mode of discussion generally unhelpful for the very reason we have so effectively pointed out.

 

I generally like to ask what the Christian believes, what their interpretation of scripture is, and then point out flaws using logic, science, critical thinking etc. I don't say to a YEC that his interpretation is wrong because the account is allegory for example (I personally believe that the writers intended it be literal. Ken Ham is closer to a correct interpretation than Dr W L Craig imo.)

 

However if you want to argue scripture with a Christian knock yourself out. BAA used to do this, his MO was rather effective and he had knowledge and patience second to none here.

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20 hours ago, Justus said:

Oh, another disciple of Dr. House. :yelrotflmao:  You do know he wasn't a real person don't you?

 

Noooo, that's not true. He is real. I feel it in my heart. :D 

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10 hours ago, WalterP said:

Almost everything has become relative and subjective and almost nothing remains objective.  So, while you and I can agree on what the words are, I don't have to accept any of your meanings of them.  None of your definitions.  None of your standards.  I can interpret them in my own way and you have no comeback on me.   

 

If you think I'm being unnecessarily difficult about this, please note that what I'm pointing out is actually happening, right now.  Certain religiously-minded members feel no obligation to abide by the definitions and terms used by other, non-religious members.  When the Bible is quoted at them and the contradictions of their beliefs are put under the spotlight, they shrug off these measures.  They cannot be held to account because they choose to interpret scripture in their own, personal and highly subjective way.  I surely don't have to give examples, because you'll know exactly who I mean.

 

Walter, again I agree and you've summarized religion rather nicely above. There is no objective standard, the religious don't play by the same epistemological rules they use in all other matters of life.

 

I'm surprised that you seem surprised that 10 Christians can argue about scripture and you end up with 12 interpretations. As I told you I came from an 'interesting' fundy branch of the Christian tree, and within that rather small (worldwide comparatively speaking) the number of different mutually exclusive interpretations was staggering... and that was ONE tiny sector of Christianity.

 

To be honest I'm a bit confused as to what you are trying to achieve here? 

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On 11/2/2019 at 4:34 AM, WalterP said:

If you read what LogicalFallacy wrote in answer to my questions, when he was a Christian he expected God to completely reveal Himself.  Which would mean that he would then know everything that God knew.  Such is the nature of a complete revelation.  Anything less cannot be granted as 'complete'.  If God revealed only what LF needed to know as a human being, then God wouldn't be completely revealing Himself, would he?  Complete means nothing less than complete.  

 

This does not follow. My father can completely reveal himself to me (hopefully not literally!) without me needing to know everything he knows. Maybe we have crossed our wires by failing to define what we mean by complete understanding. I'm thinking in terms of when I was a Christian and that we needed a full revelation of God before the end times started. What full revelation of God entails I don't really know. But we used the phrase that we would like mini Gods because god would dwell in us... or something like that. Maybe that entailed knowing everything god knows? Who knows? It was just Christian clap trap with no warrant for accepting as true.

 

On 11/2/2019 at 4:34 AM, WalterP said:

But LF's used to think that way, when he was a Christian.  So, up until today he'd have been entirely justified in expecting the Christians in this forum to believe the same thing.  And so that expectation would figure prominently in the way he questions them.  He would have used his old mindset to guide his questioning.  That's what playing Devil's Advocate is all about.  Thinking like others.  

 

Sorry Walter, but you are wrong here and I'm calling you out on it. As pointed out in replies to other posts (they should be above this reply) I am well aware that Christians have views as different as chalk and cheese. I knew this when I was a Christian. It's one of the arguments against Christianity. There is no way anyone can be justified in today's world to expect Christians to believe the same things as we used to. That's why I try when possible to get whoever I'm talking with to state what THEY believe, and what THEIR definitions are. (Assuming you can peg a Christian down that far.)

 

The mindset I use to question Christians today I try and base on logic, reason and critical thinking (Which I sometimes suck at... cause I'm human) Were I questioning Christians when I was a Christian I'd have engaged them similar to how our discussion about complete understanding is playing out.

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10 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

'

Try me. Let's stick with Genesis 1 as the working example. Interpret it as creatively as possible and I will come back at whatever you produce. We can further demonstrate how many ways this can go. 

 

 

Again, you're new and trying to get oriented to the goings on. I get that. It seems that you are trying to make sense out of what you're seeing. And to make sense of it you are under the impression that anyone expects that religiously minded members will be held to account. They rarely, rarely ever are. Not impossible, but it's a long stretch if you expect such a thing. Why do we hammer away at them anyways? As Geezer said, it's pointless really. The only reason for most of the arguments is to try and see how will christians will try and respond to a certain argument. What come backs they will attempt. And then how refuted those come backs can go. Which arguments push them so far into a corner that lashing out is the only option left. 

 

The problem here is that we live in a christian dominant society where these bluffs and blow hards have had the power and authority to bully everyone around for centuries. You know this. I know this. With the internet, those bluffs are becoming increasingly difficult. Regardless of whether or not anyone actually does concede the point, the audience can weight out which arguments seem stronger or weaker. Of course the purely subject arguments don't hold nearly the punch. That's why they're losing their kids to non-belief. The kids are not stupid these days. They have access to all variety of information and fact checking. And a lot of them do. It's not as easy now to fool people with blow hard bluffing like it once was. 

 

Why care? Because it doesn't sit well with me to let these frauds go unchecked, that's why. I chose to keep the pressure on them. As futile as that may look. Old generations die, and new generations grow up familiar with the new way of thinking, basically. 

 

 

 

Maybe, Walter. I'm not closed to your argument. I'm just trying to understand where you're taking it. You have to keep in mind that we don't care very much about being at an impasse with christians. In fact, when I tried to nice to some visiting apologist's the whole thing blew up. No one wanted to be nice to them. And they didn't want to be nice to us either. That's just not what we have going on here. That has to factor in to this impasse situation somewhere, doesn't it? 

 

Josh, I appreciate the effort you're putting in about the 6 day creation narrative in Genesis.

 

However, I need to inform you that I actually agree with you about its internal inconsistencies and how it cannot be reconciled with what we observe in reality.  I'm a child of the Western tradition, remember?  I've dissected it long ago, using the tools you've mentioned and arrived at the same conclusions you have.  So, there's no real need for us to spend any time doing it again.  If you look at my level of understanding in the Failed Cosmology of WLC thread, you'll see that I can readily apply myself to these matters.  Therefore, please do not re-plough this field.  Is that ok by you?

 

I raised the subject of the 'almost anything goes' approach to Biblical interpretation because I wasn't sure that LogicalFallacy had realized the full import of his words.  Now I know better.  He knew full well that Christians take the almost anything goes approach and can never really be held to account by quoting scripture at them.  They will just shrug it off.  LF, knows this too.  It looks like my concern was unfounded.  So, my intentions were noble and good (the well being of the forum) but I need not have worried. 

 

(If LF's reading this, I hope you receive my message of reconciliation, loud and clear.)

 

Now Josh, your final paragraph does cause me a little concern.  It seems that Christians and Ex-Christians not being nice to one another is the norm around here.  In my naivety I had hoped that this would not be the case.  But, if that is how it is, then I will just have to adapt accordingly. 

 

In case you look at what I've written to Edgarcito and think that I've not been nice to him, please understand this.  What shocked and appalled me about him wasn't his religion, so much as his lack of simple humanity.  I don't think I could have been 'nice' to anyone who expresses such callous indifference to suffering, be they Christian, Ex-Christian or anything else.  I hope you can understand that.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

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4 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 

Walter, again I agree and you've summarized religion rather nicely above. There is no objective standard, the religious don't play by the same epistemological rules they use in all other matters of life.

 

I'm surprised that you seem surprised that 10 Christians can argue about scripture and you end up with 12 interpretations. As I told you I came from an 'interesting' fundy branch of the Christian tree, and within that rather small (worldwide comparatively speaking) the number of different mutually exclusive interpretations was staggering... and that was ONE tiny sector of Christianity.

 

To be honest I'm a bit confused as to what you are trying to achieve here? 

 

LogicalFallacy,

 

If you read what I've just written to Josh you'll see why I did what I did.  The end I was trying to achieve was to draw your attention to the leeway you were granting Christians in their interpretation of scripture.  But now i see that you were fully aware of what you were doing and so I needn't have worried about it.

 

I hope this clears the air between us and resolves any confusion.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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3 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 

This does not follow. My father can completely reveal himself to me (hopefully not literally!) without me needing to know everything he knows. Maybe we have crossed our wires by failing to define what we mean by complete understanding. I'm thinking in terms of when I was a Christian and that we needed a full revelation of God before the end times started. What full revelation of God entails I don't really know. But we used the phrase that we would like mini Gods because god would dwell in us... or something like that. Maybe that entailed knowing everything god knows? Who knows? It was just Christian clap trap with no warrant for accepting as true.

 

Yes LF.  We were getting our wires crossed as to what constituted God revealing himself completely to humans.  Perhaps we should have checked what each other meant.  

 

3 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 

Sorry Walter, but you are wrong here and I'm calling you out on it. As pointed out in replies to other posts (they should be above this reply) I am well aware that Christians have views as different as chalk and cheese. I knew this when I was a Christian. It's one of the arguments against Christianity. There is no way anyone can be justified in today's world to expect Christians to believe the same things as we used to. That's why I try when possible to get whoever I'm talking with to state what THEY believe, and what THEIR definitions are. (Assuming you can peg a Christian down that far.)

 

The mindset I use to question Christians today I try and base on logic, reason and critical thinking (Which I sometimes suck at... cause I'm human) Were I questioning Christians when I was a Christian I'd have engaged them similar to how our discussion about complete understanding is playing out.

 

I see that now, LF.    Thank you for clarifying.  

 

All the best.

 

Walter.

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2 minutes ago, WalterP said:

Now Josh, your final paragraph does cause me a little concern.  It seems that Christians and Ex-Christians not being nice to one another is the norm around here.  In my naivety I had hoped that this would not be the case.  But, if that is how it is, then I will just have to adapt accordingly. 

 

Look back at @Christforums and observe how the interaction devolved. He invited us to his forum. Some of us went. He started out treating us like honored guests. The point was to discuss potential debates. I raised the Genesis 1 debate and started in on christianity as lacking in spiritual scope and depth. He quickly got weird. He announced that we should not speak in public forums anymore. Then went on a tirade of misogyny and assorted narcissism here at our forums. That's what I got for trying to be nice while obliging a request to debate. You can look at LuthAMF too. See how the interactions devolved. 

 

Our regular members were mostly of the mind set of screw the guys. They're the same old personalities that we've left behind, so to speak. The same type of jerks who caused people a lot of grief when they were christians. And I agree. We may as well not pursue the idea that we'll be able to keep it friendly with these guys and gals. I still like to at least start out civil and try and remain so, allowing the christians to take the lower ground if they so choose. 

 

10 minutes ago, WalterP said:

In case you look at what I've written to Edgarcito and think that I've not been nice to him, please understand this.  What shocked and appalled me about him wasn't his religion, so much as his lack of simple humanity.  I don't think I could have been 'nice' to anyone who expresses such callous indifference to suffering, be they Christian, Ex-Christian or anything else.  I hope you can understand that.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

I was being friendly with Edgarcito. I think I understand his indifference. I'm not mad about it. It just sort of it what it is. All we can do is point out what wrong with it so people have a working example of the back and fourth to read through and consider for themselves. 

 

But, I do think I get where you're going about how you choose to argue. Why you don't engage about WLC's religious belief. It's a safe area to argue from. Craig makes claims concerning science, and you show where those scientific claims are untenable. Religion is not brought into it. So subjective interpretations are not brought into it. The same with the fine tuning arguments. They can be addressed purely from a scientific stance, never allowing the apologist to pull you into any subjective religious content during the argument. 

 

What I like to do is survey all of the arguments. The ones that are purely scientific as well as the one that delve into beliefs that set forward and then followed through to logical conclusions. Altogether they point at the weaknesses of the christian claims. I only have a problem with the christian claims because they are false claims, evidently false in all of these cases we outline. The scientific and biblical claims. 

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6 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

Look back at @Christforums and observe how the interaction devolved. He invited us to his forum. Some of us went. He started out treating us like honored guests. The point was to discuss potential debates. I raised the Genesis 1 debate and started in on christianity as lacking in spiritual scope and depth. He quickly got weird. He announced that we should not speak in public forums anymore. Then went on a tirade of misogyny and assorted narcissism here at our forums. That's what I got for trying to be nice while obliging a request to debate. You can look at LuthAMF too. See how the interactions devolved. 

 

Our regular members were mostly of the mind set of screw the guys. They're the same old personalities that we've left behind, so to speak. The same type of jerks who caused people a lot of grief when they were christians. And I agree. We may as well not pursue the idea that we'll be able to keep it friendly with these guys and gals. I still like to at least start out civil and try and remain so, allowing the christians to take the lower ground if they so choose. 

 

I will do as you suggest, Josh.  Up to now the bulk of my reading of previous threads has been largely confined to BAA's contributions.  But I shift my focus to how things have gone down between Christians and Ex-Christians, here.  I don't think I'll visit Christforums, though.  There's just too much going on here to spread myself that thinly.  Hope you understand.

 

6 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

 

I was being friendly with Edgarcito. I think I understand his indifference. I'm not mad about it. It just sort of it what it is. All we can do is point out what wrong with it so people have a working example of the back and fourth to read through and consider for themselves. 

 

But, I do think I get where you're going about how you choose to argue. Why you don't engage about WLC's religious belief. It's a safe area to argue from. Craig makes claims concerning science, and you show where those scientific claims are untenable. Religion is not brought into it. So subjective interpretations are not brought into it. The same with the fine tuning arguments. They can be addressed purely from a scientific stance, never allowing the apologist to pull you into any subjective religious content during the argument. 

 

Yes, I see what you mean here.  I did that when relying to Eoywnesque.  I used BAA's scientific groundwork as a starting point and then outlined why fine-tuning is wrong, using nothing more than science.  As you say, no need for any subjectivity.

 

6 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

What I like to do is survey all of the arguments. The ones that are purely scientific as well as the one that delve into beliefs that set forward and then followed through to logical conclusions. Altogether they point at the weaknesses of the christian claims. I only have a problem with the christian claims because they are false claims, evidently false in all of these cases we outline. The scientific and biblical claims. 

 

I do plan for us to look closely at WLC's religious beliefs, Josh.  But, if you don't mind, we have other ground to cover first.  The next step is to look at the cosmological constant and later on, examine the philosophical problems I think I see in the way he uses science to 'confirm' his theology.  As far as I can see, moving on to his religious beliefs at that point would be a natural and appropriate thing.

 

That sound good to you?

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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8 hours ago, WalterP said:

 

LogicalFallacy,

 

If you read what I've just written to Josh you'll see why I did what I did.  The end I was trying to achieve was to draw your attention to the leeway you were granting Christians in their interpretation of scripture.  But now i see that you were fully aware of what you were doing and so I needn't have worried about it.

 

I hope this clears the air between us and resolves any confusion.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

No problems. It was an interesting discussion, if somewhat head scratchy in parts.

 

But we seem to have come to an understanding which is good.

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1 hour ago, WalterP said:

I don't think I'll visit Christforums, though.  There's just too much going on here to spread myself that thinly.  Hope you understand.

 

I just meant the interactions with William here. But that may still be spreading yourself thin. 

 

1 hour ago, WalterP said:

I do plan for us to look closely at WLC's religious beliefs, Josh.  But, if you don't mind, we have other ground to cover first.  The next step is to look at the cosmological constant and later on, examine the philosophical problems I think I see in the way he uses science to 'confirm' his theology.  As far as I can see, moving on to his religious beliefs at that point would be a natural and appropriate thing.

 

That sound good to you?

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

That sounds very interesting. I look forward to seeing where you go with it. 

 

 

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I wonder what ol' christfuckems is up to these days. 

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16 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 

Noooo, that's not true. He is real. I feel it in my heart. :D 

 

Only in syndication .....:beer:

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1 hour ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

I wonder what ol' christfuckems is up to these days. 

 

God knows.

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On 10/31/2019 at 9:39 AM, WalterP said:

Without saying anything for or against either side, I'd just like to draw your attention to the pattern of communication (or miscommunication) that I think I see here.  The non-Christians try to pin the Christians down to specifics, asking them specific questions about specific things.  The Christians seem to find it difficult to answer the questions in ways that satisfy the specificity desired by their questioners.  Please note that I do not lay any kind of fault or blame at the Christians door for the difficulties they seem to have here.  I simply see a certain pattern.

 

However, when questions appear to be repeatedly evaded, tempers become frayed on both sides and the thread doesn't go anywhere.  You'll note that I've said that questions appear to be evaded.  From the non-Christian p.o.v., the failure to specifically answer what seems to be an easy question often appears as evasion.  But this need not be so.  What if the Christians simply cannot give a specific answer, because there is a mutual incomprehension at work here?  What if the questions that are asked simply cannot be answered in the specific terms that the non-Christians desire?  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There has been some great discussion in this thread, but there is something that I think has been lurking just under the surface the entire time and it relates to the above quoted paragraphs specifically.  I haven't been very active for the last few years here, but I would like to share something that I have noticed happening in the Lion's Den, both during the time that I was more active and over the last few years when I was mostly lurking here.

 

This impasse that you talk about frequently seems to have a really simple cause.  Warning:  I am about to generalize, which is something that I usually try to avoid, but I think is warranted in this case.  There is one thing that religious people seem to have a very hard time doing that skeptics usually don't and that is saying three simple words:  "I don't know".

 

Christians, and occasionally believers of other varieties, come here to discuss their faith all the time.  We like to ask them questions to get them to explain their beliefs, problems that we perceive with those beliefs, and whether they can offer any good evidence to convince us to share their beliefs.  Occasionally, those questions get very uncomfortable, for reasons that most or all of us can understand, since there was a good chance that we found ourselves in a similar position when we were believers.  There don't seem to be good answers, and for a good answer not to be readily available feels like a failure on the part of the believer, one who should be " always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;" (1 Peter 3:15).  What happens is the believer in question finds themselves in a position of not being able to give an answer that sounds satisfying even to them, so they evade, attack a strawman, or they engage in blatant logical fallacies even as they (occasionally) accuse us of the same behavior.

 

The simple fact is, saying "I don't know" is often the only intellectually honest answer and I have seen  that answer avoided at all costs by believers.  They seem to think that saying that is a far larger defeat, the conceding of far more ground in a debate than it really is.  This is were we get in impasse, if more believers were willing to admit ignorance on questions that they genuinely don't have answers to, it would lead to far more meaningful discussions when we would then be able to move on to other matters.

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1 hour ago, WarriorPoet said:

There has been some great discussion in this thread, but there is something that I think has been lurking just under the surface the entire time and it relates to the above quoted paragraphs specifically.  I haven't been very active for the last few years here, but I would like to share something that I have noticed happening in the Lion's Den, both during the time that I was more active and over the last few years when I was mostly lurking here.

 

This impasse that you talk about frequently seems to have a really simple cause.  Warning:  I am about to generalize, which is something that I usually try to avoid, but I think is warranted in this case.  There is one thing that religious people seem to have a very hard time doing that skeptics usually don't and that is saying three simple words:  "I don't know".

 

Christians, and occasionally believers of other varieties, come here to discuss their faith all the time.  We like to ask them questions to get them to explain their beliefs, problems that we perceive with those beliefs, and whether they can offer any good evidence to convince us to share their beliefs.  Occasionally, those questions get very uncomfortable, for reasons that most or all of us can understand, since there was a good chance that we found ourselves in a similar position when we were believers.  There don't seem to be good answers, and for a good answer not to be readily available feels like a failure on the part of the believer, one who should be " always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;" (1 Peter 3:15).  What happens is the believer in question finds themselves in a position of not being able to give an answer that sounds satisfying even to them, so they evade, attack a strawman, or they engage in blatant logical fallacies even as they (occasionally) accuse us of the same behavior.

 

The simple fact is, saying "I don't know" is often the only intellectually honest answer and I have seen  that answer avoided at all costs by believers.  They seem to think that saying that is a far larger defeat, the conceding of far more ground in a debate than it really is.  This is were we get in impasse, if more believers were willing to admit ignorance on questions that they genuinely don't have answers to, it would lead to far more meaningful discussions when we would then be able to move on to other matters.

I would say, based on recent readings, that for many belivers, religion offers the very potent drug of certainty, which non believers seem to try to take away so they enter in survival/ withdrawl mode. It is not, I think, about mere intelle tual honesty, but of psychological addiction. And when I say potent drug I am not making a metaphor. Ron Burks, cult counselor and former cultish church member saud this in a podcast with Rachel Bernstein, Indoctrination, which I recommend by the way, that certainty releases dopamine, as pornography and hard drugs. There is a verifiable withdrawl syndrom with bodily symptoms ranging from anxiety to sweating to insomnia etc when trying to give up certainty. This IS what I suspect with the whole PC identity politics crowd, which has the same black and white low tolerance for ambiguity kill the heretics mentality going on. Many are officiallly non religious by the way. 

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3 hours ago, Myrkhoos said:

I would say, based on recent readings, that for many belivers, religion offers the very potent drug of certainty, which non believers seem to try to take away so they enter in survival/ withdrawl mode. It is not, I think, about mere intelle tual honesty, but of psychological addiction. And when I say potent drug I am not making a metaphor. Ron Burks, cult counselor and former cultish church member saud this in a podcast with Rachel Bernstein, Indoctrination, which I recommend by the way, that certainty releases dopamine, as pornography and hard drugs. There is a verifiable withdrawl syndrom with bodily symptoms ranging from anxiety to sweating to insomnia etc when trying to give up certainty. This IS what I suspect with the whole PC identity politics crowd, which has the same black and white low tolerance for ambiguity kill the heretics mentality going on. Many are officiallly non religious by the way. 

Agree with it all besides the statement on the PC crowd. Imo that's a generalization. In many cases those who use "PC" language have concerns over inclusion, in some cases over groups of people who have horrifically been marginalized and discriminated against. And I see no reason to call that black and white thinking so when you talk about PC language that's a sweeping generalization as PC language can mean different things to different people. 

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37 minutes ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

Agree with it all besides the statement on the PC crowd. Imo that's a generalization. In many cases those who use "PC" language have concerns over inclusion, in some cases over groups of people who have horrifically been marginalized and discriminated against. And I see no reason to call that black and white thinking so when you talk about PC language that's a sweeping generalization as PC language can mean different things to different people. 

Well, when talking about religion in general one does exactly that, generalises. It is by default that you include that fact when saying general statements. Not all people fit neatly in any category. That is a given  And not all religious people think in black and white for example. I personally know many who do not.

        The fact that people have genuine concern, while that may or not be true, does not mean they do not have black and white thinking. Many people who join cults join for some version of we are going to save the world stuff. That does mean their ideology or actions are sound while acting from that point of view. 

         And there many examples of the PC/ identity politics gone too far. Advocate magazibe called Peter Thiel not gay for supporting the republican party. Evergreen students became violent towards their teachers and Bret Weinstein, hardly a racist, had to resign. Comics refuse to play college campuses. Even Jerry Seinfeld, one of the most clean comics in terms of language.

           Lenin may have had genuine concern. The nine eleven bombers may have had genuine concern. Genuine concern is not a guarantee of rational  behaviour. Not in the least. 

       And come on, seriously, extreme identity politics are the champions of simplifying generalisations. And seriously my grandfather suffered physical and psychological abuse and the hands of those fighting for the liberation of the working class opressed by rich capitalists. Go figure , my granfather was a lowly peasant, as millions in the Eastern bloc. So yeah maybe you are not living in the aftermath of what genuine concern for the opressed can lead to but I am, along with my whole nation. So I am really not all impressed with " compassionate inclusivity discourse" by itself. 

       And black people, by the way, were opressed and are oppresed by other black people way before the colonization in the late medieval era. Aztecs were sacrificing their neighbours in human sacrifice long before the conquistadors. And more women probably died at childbirth than killed by their husbands. That narrative of the white man oppressor is nothing less than ignorant of history and psychology, or some kind of traumatic projection. Humans torment other humans, that is the ugly truth. No race or sex or other has the upper hand, there are only differences in degrees and historical times of hegemony. What Europeans had, was , in my mind, a lot to do with germs and guns. As in diseases they gave to colonised people, and better updates in war technology, strategy and general statecraft. But they were also the progenitors of human rights. Yes the same white educated men. Without white educated men there would be no civil rights movement at all in the last hundreds of years.  No democracy. Go to the middle east and see what it is without those " white " inventions. 

       There are rationally inclined people on the left, there are rationally inclined people on the right, on religions, in sciences, and wackos in all. 

       I recommend Douglas Murray Madness of Crowds on the subject. 

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