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Posted

Gah, I accidentally deleted a whole post. Try again.

You claim there are 2,000 fulfilled prophecies. Name them, please. And what is the source of that quote?

Bear in mind that for a prophecy to be considered "successful" by reasonable people, it needs to have a certain degree of specificity. So-called "prophecies" that are so vague or general as to yield virtually any conclusion are useless. If I myself "prophesied" that tomorrow there will be weather, and tomorrow there is indeed weather, I'm afraid I have not made a very impressive "prophecy."

In that connection, we should also note that Jesus specifically is qutoed in the NT as saying that he would return within the lifetime of those listening to him speak. He did not, and so demonstrably spoke a falsehood.

Ah, but since those who listened to him now live forever, one could argue that Jesus will return within their lifetime, even if he doesn't return for another billion years.

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@ The Heretic.

Not going to lie, you've really lost me. I have very little idea what you're talking about. I haven't really studied "religious language" at all. I'm not in Uni or College for studying this kind of stuff. Sorry.

Well, I doubt you have to tell people how to argue here, but thanks.

I might write more on this later, but one glaring fact is always omitted. Don't you think a "secular" historian would have written about the resurrection? A lot of people were crucified too, a listing of names means not much.

Of course there is validity in the Bible and some of the history, I doubt anybody would refute that.

It is the claims of miracles and prophecy that fall flat unless you reference the Bible to itself.

Um, so Plato's works are considered to be "true", what happens if they weren't? What happens if it was some other guy or a woman? Would it change the works and information? Would it with the Bible?

Just because somebody wrote something down and then copied it a bunch of times, doesn't mean it wasn't a story, or wasn't written by a lot of different people. The books in the bible were chosen from a lot of other manuscripts, why aren't those other manuscripts included if they came from the same place? Because it was chosen as most appropriate for consistency from many other stories? Why?

-Scott

No actually, I really don't think someone who didn't believe in Christ would have reported His resurrection. If you were trying to quell a bunch of people who were getting upset over the death of a man they viewed as a public enemy, would you say he'd come back to life? If Plato's works weren't true, then we would know about it. No it wouldn't change the works or the information. yes the Bible was written by many people over many years; does this negate it as a historical source? I don't believe so. The Bible wasn't chosen out of other manuscripts, it was recreated out of manuscripts of itself from preceding years. Yes, it was found alongside other works; this also happens in a library. We wouldn't combine a bunch of documents not pertaining to the same subject right?

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Posted (edited)

@Maddog,

The Existence of God perhaps?

Which God did you have in mind?

How to discern whether or not religions are true?
That depends on the religion, and the claims made for it by its believers. You are the one who is a Christian and proposes to discuss Christianity. There are many varieties; which specific type do you want to talk about?

Why Christianity? Like I said, This isn't supposed to really be powered by me as much as it is all you.
You proposed a discussion of Christianity. Which one would you like to talk about?

#537

I believe the only God is the God of the Bible, the Triune God Almighty, Creator of all, etc.

Okay, so this is the God you want to talk about, answer questions about. First question: What are the characteristics of this God, such that it is identifiable as God? What method do you use to go about determining whether a God with those specific characteristics actually existed or exists?

there are many branches of Christianity that focus on different aspects of Jesus' teaching, but only one Type or variety.

As to the first part of your statement, yes, I noted as much. that is why I asked you which particular variety you hold to be true. There are hundreds if not thousands of denominations of Christianity, which make different claims, many of which are inconsistent or incompatible. Which particular Christianity do you contend is true, and how do you determine that the claims of other Christianities are not true? Underlying both questions (does God exist? which Christianity is true?) is the fundamental problem: how does one go about establishing that something is true? What process do you use?

As for which discussion, let's talk about validity of the Bible. Not as in Who can prove the other wrong, but what are the facts, and what do they mean.

So, if you would be so kind, allow me to start off with evidence for the validity of the Bible.

I'll object to this as a bait and switch. That is not the question I asked. You invited us to ask the questions, and you volunteered to answer the questions we asked. I asked about the existence of God, including your definition of the God you propose. You want to talk about Christianity, and to answer questions about Christianity, but because there are so many Christianities, as you yourself acknowledge, it is important to know which one we are talking about. That starts with the definition of which God you mean, and then what makes that particular God the Christian God.

The rest of your wall of text about the Bible is irrelevant to these questions.

#542

Edited by maddog

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Posted

@ The Heretic.

Not going to lie, you've really lost me. I have very little idea what you're talking about. I haven't really studied "religious language" at all. I'm not in Uni or College for studying this kind of stuff. Sorry.

snapback.pngScotty, on 22 November 2011 - 05:34 AM, said:

Well, I doubt you have to tell people how to argue here, but thanks.

I might write more on this later, but one glaring fact is always omitted. Don't you think a "secular" historian would have written about the resurrection? A lot of people were crucified too, a listing of names means not much.

Of course there is validity in the Bible and some of the history, I doubt anybody would refute that.

It is the claims of miracles and prophecy that fall flat unless you reference the Bible to itself.

Um, so Plato's works are considered to be "true", what happens if they weren't? What happens if it was some other guy or a woman? Would it change the works and information? Would it with the Bible?

Just because somebody wrote something down and then copied it a bunch of times, doesn't mean it wasn't a story, or wasn't written by a lot of different people. The books in the bible were chosen from a lot of other manuscripts, why aren't those other manuscripts included if they came from the same place? Because it was chosen as most appropriate for consistency from many other stories? Why?

-Scott

No actually, I really don't think someone who didn't believe in Christ would have reported His resurrection. If you were trying to quell a bunch of people who were getting upset over the death of a man they viewed as a public enemy, would you say he'd come back to life? If Plato's works weren't true, then we would know about it. No it wouldn't change the works or the information. yes the Bible was written by many people over many years; does this negate it as a historical source? I don't believe so. The Bible wasn't chosen out of other manuscripts, it was recreated out of manuscripts of itself from preceding years. Yes, it was found alongside other works; this also happens in a library. We wouldn't combine a bunch of documents not pertaining to the same subject right? They were put together because they were seen as part of the same writing.

DavidM

Yes, I did see it, thanks. And I responded to it. I said that your explication of the God of Pascal's Wager makes God sound like a stalker. We could compare his behvaior to that of a person in every day life. A man might say to a woman that he has stalked, for instance: "I have given you every chance to love me, and you failed to do so. Therefore, although I am stabbing you, it is really you yourself who are wielding the knife.

Once more, I must impress upon you the fact that God doesn't send us anywhere after we die; He allows us to go where our actions have dictated. It isn't His choice where we go, because He gave us free will. We decide in earth where we go when we die. Not a difficult concept to grasp, but difficult to accept, because then we have to accept responsibility for our actions.

God is omnipotent. he created everything through Willpower. He came back to life through His power. Death itself could not hold Him

Omniscience, yes. he exists outside of space and time. Knowing all that was to pass through our history and our future, he created a people who would cause Him more pain than joy. He came to earth knowing He would die, and be mocked and scorned. He knows our history's ending whenever it will occur. He even sees all the possible futures and pasts we had. He is omniscient.

Morally perfect; Where has he ever done Wrong? in creating everything we see? In allowing humans to live in perfect harmony with Him? In enacting His word when Man fell, when man knew the penalty? When He gave all humanity a way out through the sacrifice He made for us, even though he knew that many would reject Him? In allowing us the full weight of our choices?

Evil exists as a result of God's creation rebelling against Him. Satan used the free will given to all creations to attempt to overthrow God. God is so morally perfect that He will not be near sin. So Satan and the one third of the angels who rebelled along with him were cast away, creating Hell. Adam and Eve knew the consequences when they took the Fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, yet did it anyway. Whose parents would instate a punishment for poor behaviour then not follow through? That would be terrible parenting. Finally, as previously stated, God does not punish anyone, He allows our actions to determine the outcome of our lives. Really fair when you think of it. Crime in humanity does not go unpunished. Your argument is unstable because it assumes evil is God's fault.

Because God did not create evil, He is still perfect. Because we chose evil, he refuses to remove it from earth because it is a consequence of our actions, and God gave us free will to decide for ourselves how we would live. Thus, God cannot be disproved by the existence of evil, for without evil how would we know good?

You also say Jesus lied. Give me the book, chapter and verse. I believe I know where you are referencing, but I wish to be clear. Here is the reference as to prophecy being fulfilled. It's a Christian website, so I doubt you'll really take it to hart but here goes. http://www.faithfacts.org/search-for-truth/maps/fulfilled-prophecy-as-evidence And yes, DaveT, I will look deeper into that and get you a list asap.

I have some comments to make on your lengthy post, if I may humble myself to beg your permission to make them.

I'll assume I have your permission.

With regards to Tacitus and Suetonius, I remain unconvinced that their writings are proof of the existence of Jesus as the son of God or part of the Holy Trinity. Whether or not their writings are proof that Jesus existed as a man is irrelevant, for it is the God that is the subject of theological debate, not the man.

One can tell by the dates of Tacitus's and Seutonius's writings that they were not writing when Jesus was alive, nor indeed for some time after he had died. They both, therefore, must have used sources (verbal or written) which need to be verified (or falsified) before one can determine how valid the writings related to Jesus were in the works of these Latin historians.

Since you have decided to use Wikipedia (although I do hope that you cross-checked the information there with more reliable sources), I shall endeavour to use that same website from which to take a counterpoint. As Wikipedia points out, what the passage about Jesus in Tacitus proves is debatable, for the origin of Tacitus's information is unknown; whence his primary source? If it was word of mouth of the Christians, or a Christian source, one would be justified in claiming bias and falsehood in order to spread a myth and convince the wider populace that what the Christians believed was true. If it was an official or scholarly source, the author of which had no need to utilise any such bias or falsehood, why was Pontius Pilate incorrectly labelled as a procurator, rather than the prefect that he was?

Here I include the passage from Tacitus that gives mention of Jesus:

Nero fastened the guilt of starting the blaze and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians [Chrestians] by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilate, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.

If one can provide an argument or evidence that Tacitus's source/s were reliable, it still doesn't really prove anything, because the passage in Tacitus only states that a man named Christ existed, but it gives us absolutely nothing to suggest that this Christ was a divine power. At best, one can conclude that a man named Christ existed, he had followers that had a wont to engage in riotous behaviour, and he was executed.

As for Seutonius, all he said was this:

As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome.

which is even more unreliable than what we have from Tacitus as a piece of evidence for the existence of Jesus the God, partially for the last reason given regarding the passage in Tacitus, and partly because the passage is so vague that it doesn't even give any indication as to whom this "Chrestus" was.

As Scotty, pointed out, whether Plato actually wrote the works of Plato, or whether certain events in them actually happened matters not, as it is the messages and philosophical arguments given that are of importance. A similar example would be the famous fables of Aesop. What should concern us is not whether a fox spent a whole afternoon trying to get grapes before finally realising, "Hang on, I'm a fox; I don't even eat grapes!" but that there was a moral message in the story along the lines of, "If you happen to be a fox, remember you're a carnivore before wasting a whole afternoon trying to eat fruit." The same can be said of Plato. Whether or not Socrates and Euthyphro, for example, had their debate is of no significant consequence: that the work provided us with a valid philosophical and theological dilemma (and an answer to the question of God's supposed benevolence vis-a-vis existing evil) is.

The Bible, however, is different, in that it is not merely the moral messages that the Christian must hope are true and/or valid, but also the events described. While it doesn't really matter whether or not Socrates did have a debate with Euthyphro, it matters a lot to the Christian whether or not Christ was resurrected, and a lot of events in the Bible matter to everybody, because if they didn't happen then it is merely a book of myths and legends, mingled with history (the accuracy of which is disputable, though I hasten to add that I am quite certain that there are events described in the Bible that did happen), and including what the writers considered to be moral messages on which to build a society, but it is not proof of God. If, however, significant events in the Bible were true, I'm going to Hell.

In closing, I will make a suggestion. Perhaps you would like to start a new thread in which to give us some lessons in logic. We would do well to read them, they will facilitate our ability to argue effectively with you in this thread, and it will help in keeping your own posts in this thread concise (which will save you time), since you won't have to repeatedly explain the rules of logic to us here when we forget or are unaware of them.

You are right; I was not really focused when I found those sources, but I do know of a few others that I will dig up for you. You say that whether or not Plato wrote his works is unimportant; it's the content that matters. I'm saying almost the same thing. God did not physically write the Bible, He orchestrated events so men would write down what He wished them to. The content is what is important. You can do research on these significant events, such as the resurrection, and I will try and aid you, but I on't do all the work for you. I will certainly start a new forum on the basics of logic, and I hope you find it instructive. Again; I'm not here to make you accept or agree with anything, only attempt to provide you with a useful alternative worldview, and hope you can take something away. I'll be starting the new forum on Logic ASAP so stay posted

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Posted

@Maddog,

The Existence of God perhaps?

Which God did you have in mind?

How to discern whether or not religions are true?
That depends on the religion, and the claims made for it by its believers. You are the one who is a Christian and proposes to discuss Christianity. There are many varieties; which specific type do you want to talk about?

Why Christianity? Like I said, This isn't supposed to really be powered by me as much as it is all you.
You proposed a discussion of Christianity. Which one would you like to talk about?

#537

I believe the only God is the God of the Bible, the Triune God Almighty, Creator of all, etc.

Okay, so this is the God you want to talk about, answer questions about. First question: What are the characteristics of this God, such that it is identifiable as God? What method do you use to go about determining whether a God with those specific characteristics actually existed or exists?

there are many branches of Christianity that focus on different aspects of Jesus' teaching, but only one Type or variety.

As to the first part of your statement, yes, I noted as much. that is why I asked you which particular variety you hold to be true. There are hundreds if not thousands of denominations of Christianity, which make different claims, many of which are inconsistent or incompatible. Which particular Christianity do you contend is true, and how do you determine that the claims of other Christianities are not true? Underlying both questions (does God exist? which Christianity is true?) is the fundamental problem: how does one go about establishing that something is true? What process do you use?

As for which discussion, let's talk about validity of the Bible. Not as in Who can prove the other wrong, but what are the facts, and what do they mean.

So, if you would be so kind, allow me to start off with evidence for the validity of the Bible.

I'll object to this as a bait and switch. That is not the question I asked. You invited us to ask the questions, and you volunteered to answer the questions we asked. I asked about the existence of God, including your definition of the God you propose. You want to talk about Christianity, and to answer questions about Christianity, but because there are so many Christianities, as you yourself acknowledge, it is important to know which one we are talking about. That starts with the definition of which God you mean, and then what makes that particular God the Christian God.

The rest of your wall of text about the Bible is irrelevant to these questions.

#542

There is ONE body of Christianity, with many differentiating beliefs. No matter the denomination, we all believe in the same God. This is a defining aspect of Christianity.

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Posted

@Maddog,

The Existence of God perhaps?

Which God did you have in mind?

How to discern whether or not religions are true?
That depends on the religion, and the claims made for it by its believers. You are the one who is a Christian and proposes to discuss Christianity. There are many varieties; which specific type do you want to talk about?

Why Christianity? Like I said, This isn't supposed to really be powered by me as much as it is all you.
You proposed a discussion of Christianity. Which one would you like to talk about?

#537

I believe the only God is the God of the Bible, the Triune God Almighty, Creator of all, etc.

Okay, so this is the God you want to talk about, answer questions about. First question: What are the characteristics of this God, such that it is identifiable as God? What method do you use to go about determining whether a God with those specific characteristics actually existed or exists?

there are many branches of Christianity that focus on different aspects of Jesus' teaching, but only one Type or variety.

As to the first part of your statement, yes, I noted as much. that is why I asked you which particular variety you hold to be true. There are hundreds if not thousands of denominations of Christianity, which make different claims, many of which are inconsistent or incompatible. Which particular Christianity do you contend is true, and how do you determine that the claims of other Christianities are not true? Underlying both questions (does God exist? which Christianity is true?) is the fundamental problem: how does one go about establishing that something is true? What process do you use?

As for which discussion, let's talk about validity of the Bible. Not as in Who can prove the other wrong, but what are the facts, and what do they mean.

So, if you would be so kind, allow me to start off with evidence for the validity of the Bible.

I'll object to this as a bait and switch. That is not the question I asked. You invited us to ask the questions, and you volunteered to answer the questions we asked. I asked about the existence of God, including your definition of the God you propose. You want to talk about Christianity, and to answer questions about Christianity, but because there are so many Christianities, as you yourself acknowledge, it is important to know which one we are talking about. That starts with the definition of which God you mean, and then what makes that particular God the Christian God.

The rest of your wall of text about the Bible is irrelevant to these questions.

#542

There is ONE body of Christianity, with many differentiating beliefs. No matter the denomination, we all believe in the same God. This is a defining aspect of Christianity.

Some Christians believe in three gods, and some only one. Some believe that God predestines, and some do not. Some believe in the divinity of Jesus, some do not. HOWEVER, taking your claim at face value that there is one and only one Christian God, the question still stands:

What are the defining characteristics of this God?

corollary question: Once you have defined the God that you mean, what method do you use to demonstrate the actual existence of such a God?

#543

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Posted

Some Christians believe in three gods, and some only one. Some believe that God predestines, and some do not. Some believe in the divinity of Jesus, some do not. HOWEVER, taking your claim at face value that there is one and only one Christian God, the question still stands:

I think you are referring to the trinity (trinity - three in one)

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Posted (edited)

Some Christians believe in three gods, and some only one. Some believe that God predestines, and some do not. Some believe in the divinity of Jesus, some do not. HOWEVER, taking your claim at face value that there is one and only one Christian God, the question still stands:

I think you are referring to the trinity (trinity - three in one)

Yes. Some Christians are trinitarians (three gods or three-in-one gods) and some are unitarians (only one god, no trinity, no three-in-one). It becomes difficult to see how both kinds of Christians believe in the same God under those circumstances.

And if one of the defining characteristics of the God proposed by a particular Christian is a "three in one" type of God, then it is up to the proponent to explain, as to that single characteristic of the claimed God, how 3 = 1.

Then there are all the other attributes and characteristics which also must be included to define that God.

As noted,

the question still stands:

What are the defining characteristics of this God?

corollary question: Once you have defined the God that you mean, what method do you use to demonstrate the actual existence of such a God?

#544

Edited by maddog

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Posted

DavidM

Yes, I did see it, thanks. And I responded to it. I said that your explication of the God of Pascal's Wager makes God sound like a stalker. We could compare his behvaior to that of a person in every day life. A man might say to a woman that he has stalked, for instance: "I have given you every chance to love me, and you failed to do so. Therefore, although I am stabbing you, it is really you yourself who are wielding the knife.

Once more, I must impress upon you the fact that God doesn't send us anywhere after we die; He allows us to go where our actions have dictated. It isn't His choice where we go, because He gave us free will. We decide in earth where we go when we die. Not a difficult concept to grasp, but difficult to accept, because then we have to accept responsibility for our actions.

You should stop pretending to "impress upon" me facts that are not facts. You have not even begun to demonstrate the actual existence of this entity that you worship. Begin with that. Second, my point is simply this: if the above-described entity of Pascal's Wager exists, then it has the morality and characteristics of a sociopath and a stalker. You seemed to have missed my point. Your God is exactly after the fashion of someone who stalks a woman who repeatedly rejects his advances. Analogous to your cliam that your God doesn't actually send anyone to hell, but that the person's own choice dictates that he goes to hell, is the stalker telling his victim: "Although I am stabbing you, :stab: it is really you who is wielding the knife, because had you accepted my love, you would not have been stabbed. So it is really you stabbing yourself." Again, I trust you will understand how wicked, evil and monstrous your (non-existent) entity seems to rational people.

Now, you are going on about free will. And there is an entire thread about this. Have you read it? I will repeat. Your claims are these:

1. God is omniscient

2. God is omnipotent

3. God is morally perfect (omnibenevolent)

4. Man has free will

5. Man brought evil into the world.

6. God punishes man for bringing evil into the world by sentencing him to an eternity of hell.

Are these your claims? Because in the other thread I logically demonstrated how these six claims form a logically inconsistent set of propositions. Do I have to repeat the argument here? Or will you be good enough to study the extant thread and attempt a rebuttal of my arguments? If the above six claims constitute the properties of the Christian God, then ipso facto this God does not exist.

More: You have failed to address another key point that I brought up with respect to Pascal's Wager: that no one can actually choose one's beliefs. I do not "choose" to believe, for instance, that tomorrow it will rain; I can't choose beliefs as I can choose brands of soda. One does, or does not, believe a proposition, based on evidence. Where is your evidence that the Christian God exists, or is even a coherent concept?

Will you address these points or ignore them? If you wish to be taken seriously here, I suggest you get cracking and address them.

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@ The Heretic.

Not going to lie, you've really lost me. I have very little idea what you're talking about. I haven't really studied "religious language" at all. I'm not in Uni or College for studying this kind of stuff. Sorry.

Me too. Since u are an apologist as shown by your previous posts then there's nothing more to say.

To TGLers: I am also interested in developing a philosophy of religion without the intrusion of recalcitrant theology. A post-metaphysical odyssey if u will, that takes us into the future beyond the trappings of theology and humanism. :twisted:

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Here is another point for you to address, Alexander: suppose a person leads a morally upright existence by all the supposed standards of Christianity (though it must be pointed out that Christians are often in wild disagreement among themselves about proper moral behavior. How inconvenient!). But suppose that this person, through no fault of his own, lacks a belief in your God. For that reason alone, this person goes to Hell? Have we got you right there?

@ The Heretic.

Not going to lie, you've really lost me. I have very little idea what you're talking about. I haven't really studied "religious language" at all. I'm not in Uni or College for studying this kind of stuff. Sorry.

Me too. Since u are an apologist as shown by your previous posts then there's nothing more to say.

To TGLers: I am also interested in developing a philosophy of religion without the intrusion of recalcitrant theology. A post-metaphysical odyssey if u will, that takes us into the future beyond the trappings of theology and humanism. :twisted:

Steer the thread in that direction, Heretic, :yes: it will only benefit the thread, which as of now is nothing more than the same lame apologetics discredited ad nauseum.

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Can God, if He so should wish, actually be surprised when his mates throw Him a surprise birthday party, given that He is both omnipotent and omniscient?

@Cam, I wouldn't call him an apologist. Rather, just a typical mid-teen who heard some questions about the Bible in class that he'd not heard before and determined he was as wise as the great thinkers of old.

Personally, I blame the teachers who bastardise and oversimplify their philosophies.

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There is ONE body of Christianity, with many differentiating beliefs. No matter the denomination, we all believe in the same God. This is a defining aspect of Christianity.

I'll bite.

First, I'll lead in with a little bit on transworld identity.

Suppose there is an alternate world in which a possible version of you exists. This version is exactly like you, or was, until its 5th birthday, when it inherited a large sum of money. Umpteen years later, and U2 is rich, famous, and has dyed his hair.

Is U2 identical to you? Is it acceptable to say that U2 is a possible version of you, or has U2 now become a different entity? At what point might/did U2 become a different entity?

Now, onto God.

Different denominations within Christianity have different views of God. How far removed from each other must these views be before they stop referring to the same God? To give an example, Gnostic Christians believe that Yahweh is actually Yalbadoath, an arrogant deceiver who plunged the Judeo-Christian faith into spiritual darkness. How, since Orthodox Christians believe Yahweh to be the Father of the Christ, can you so categorically state that all Christians believe in the same God, since the Gnostic view of the Orthodox God not only differs from the Orthodox view; it completely contravenes it?

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Now I shall proceed to deconstruct the following incorrect claim, staring with point No. 1 of the alleged two "mistakes."

The statement that "there are no moral absolutes" contains two mistakes:

The declaration itself is an absolute statement, it contradicts itself.

Propositional Truth Under a well-known (though admittedly not universally accepted) theory of truth-making, the bearers of truth are abstract entities called propositions. These entities describe states of affairs about the world. As abstract entities, they do not exist anywhere in particular in space or time (though nominalists reject such entities) and are omnitemporally true. As an example, it is omnitemporally true that “JFK was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963.” This and similar propositions are said to be truth-valued. That is, they are either true, or false. If a proposition is false, it does not describe the actual world, though it does describe a possible world. The proposition, “JFK was NOT assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963,” is truth-valued and returns the value “false.” Nevertheless, it could have been a true proposition, just in case JFK had NOT been assassinated on that date.

Some propositions, however, are necessarily false. Thus, the propositions, “There are married bachelors,” or, “There are four-sided triangles” are false at all possible worlds and hence cannot logically ever be true propositions.

Truth-valued propositions are said to have their truth values grounded by the reality of the world. In the case of JFK, the fact that he was actually killed on Nov. 22, 1963, is said to ground the truth of,, or else provide the truth grounds for, the propositions that “JFK was killed on Nov. 22, 1963.” Notice, then, the key difference between propositions and facts: Propositions are abstract entities that describe (not prescribe) facts about the world; and facts are concrete and not abstract.

Now let us consider the propositions, “There are no moral absolutes.”

This statement is either true or false (excluded middle) and it cannot both be true and false (non-contradiction). However, Alexander claims that the propositions contradicts itself. This is demonstrably false.

For Alexander has mixed up descriptive propositions with prescriptive statements. The two are not the same. Here are some examples of prescriptive, or normative, statements:

  1. One should never, under any circumstances, kill another person.
  2. One should never, under any circumstances, steal from another person.
  3. One should never, under any circumstances, fail to honor one’s mother and father.

And so on. I think we recognize these statements from a text under consideration.

But notice that these statements, unlike propositions, do not describe reality; they tell us what we should do. That is what makes them prescriptive, or normative.

Now we can readily see why the proposition, “There are no moral absolutes” is not, as Alexander claims, self-contradictory. It would only be self-contradictory if it constituted a moral prescription. But it does not. It is, rather, a putative description of reality. As a description, it is truth-valued: either true or false. What would be a contradiction would be a proposition of the following kind: “It is absolutely true that there are no absolutely true propositions about the world.” Not only is THAT sort of statement self-contradictory, it is refuted by plain logic: the proposition “There are no four-sided triangles” is absolutely true because it is necessarily true (i.e., a necessary truth of logic).

So now the proposition, “There are no moral absolutes,” merely makes the following prediction. If true, it predicts that statements of the following nature:

  1. One should never, under any circumstances, kill another person.
  2. One should never, under any circumstances, steal from another person.
  3. One should never, under any circumstances, fail to honor one’s mother and father.

… are all FALSE. They are false, the statement predicts, because there are no moral absolutes. In case there ARE moral absolutes, then the prescriptive statements above might in fact all be true, while the proposition “There are no moral absolutes” would be truth-valued and return the value “false.”

Now that I have demonstrated Alexander’s error of logic, I trust that he will drop this claim from his apologetic. Of course, by the time we are done, he will be obliged to drop ALL the claims of his apologetic.

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Some Christians believe in three gods, and some only one. Some believe that God predestines, and some do not. Some believe in the divinity of Jesus, some do not. HOWEVER, taking your claim at face value that there is one and only one Christian God, the question still stands:

I think you are referring to the trinity (trinity - three in one)

Yes. Some Christians are trinitarians (three gods or three-in-one gods) and some are unitarians (only one god, no trinity, no three-in-one). It becomes difficult to see how both kinds of Christians believe in the same God under those circumstances.

And if one of the defining characteristics of the God proposed by a particular Christian is a "three in one" type of God, then it is up to the proponent to explain, as to that single characteristic of the claimed God, how 3 = 1.

Then there are all the other attributes and characteristics which also must be included to define that God.

As noted,

the question still stands:

What are the defining characteristics of this God?

corollary question: Once you have defined the God that you mean, what method do you use to demonstrate the actual existence of such a God?

#544

Alright, characteristics of God;

Triune. God has three aspects. Father, Son an Holy Spirit. However, all of these aspects are part of one Being.

Holy; God has no sin, no defect in character or action.

Just; God is the giver of life, He is the creator of all, and He is the final Judge.

Loving; He created humans to have relationship with Him, and to relate with one another.

Merciful/ benevolent; God only wishes what is best for Humankind. Despite any apparent evidence otherwise, this is the case.

All knowing; God is the creator of wisdom, and all knowledge and wisdom is under His grasp. he knows the thoughts and actions of everyone, and knows all the possible actions or thoughts we could have.

Omnipotent; God is all powerful, He created all things, and has mastery over them.

Omnipresent; God is everywhere, all the time, from beginning to end. this is because he exists outside of time.

Seeing as God is ageless and timeless, the birthday concept falls a bit flat, but I think it is possible.

Also, I already stated that I am nowhere near a theologian or apologist or any of that. In truth this is an exercise for me to build my mental capacity.

DavidM, yes actually, the Bible states that works alone can not save us. So living a good life doesn't merit eternal salvation. Plain and simple.

Big Blooming Blighter, the whole transworld idea is merely conjecture, and it doesn't hold any weight to what we are discussing.

Finally, Gnostics are not Christians. The basic theology differs too much between the two. yes, Christians believe in the same God, because our definition of God in fact is a defining factor of Christianity. However, the way different Christians explain or represent God is different.

DavidM, Send me the link to your post and I'll gladly read it. However, I'm going to use the three main rules of logic to asses it, not any "evidence" outside of that.

Also, as I stated earlier, this isn't about proving Christianity right or wrong. I'm trying to reach out to people seeking answers to Christianity. At first, I deviated into the whole proving Christianity segue, but I'm going back to the original statement I made. I'm done with trying to prove Christianity because no one here is going to accept it if they don't want to. So if you're on this thread to prove or disprove Christianity, please find another thread. thank you for your time and comments. Also, yes I'm only 16 so if you feel successful for finding a question I couldn't clearly define, congratulations! You stumped a neophyte in the fields of Theology, Logic, and Philosophy! Go feel good about yourself and challenge someone more mature in understanding than I.

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You're clearly not versed in the standard philosophical method of discussing truth, falsehoods, and possibilia.

Any discussion involving hypotheticals, or the way things could be, or could have been, or must be, cannot prima facie rule out transworld issues as mere 'conjecture'.

On your second point, you need to revise the No True Scotsman Fallacy.

You also need to be aware that there are many deities in the Bible, and that there have been many takes on Christianity. Many of them, now, are obsolete, but they existed, and they did not bear many congruencies. One, for instance, doctrined that Judas was the most important disciples, whilst two others had conflicting views on the worth of women. Guess which one favoured Mary Magdalene and bombed on the grounds that it didn't promise any afterlife? Guess which one was advocated by St Paul?

Also, please don't use Matrix latin until you're sure it means what you think it means.

Also, as I stated earlier, this isn't about proving Christianity right or wrong. I'm trying to reach out to people seeking answers to Christianity. At first, I deviated into the whole proving Christianity segue, but I'm going back to the original statement I made. I'm done with trying to prove Christianity because no one here is going to accept it if they don't want to. So if you're on this thread to prove or disprove Christianity, please find another thread. thank you for your time and comments. Also, yes I'm only 16 so if you feel successful for finding a question I couldn't clearly define, congratulations! You stumped a neophyte in the fields of Theology, Logic, and Philosophy! Go feel good about yourself and challenge someone more mature in understanding than I.

The Existence of God perhaps? How to discern whether or not religions are true? Why Christianity?

How did you expect people to interpret these questions?

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Now I shall proceed to deconstruct the following incorrect claim, staring with point No. 1 of the alleged two "mistakes."

The statement that "there are no moral absolutes" contains two mistakes:

The declaration itself is an absolute statement, it contradicts itself.

Propositional Truth Under a well-known (though admittedly not universally accepted) theory of truth-making, the bearers of truth are abstract entities called propositions. These entities describe states of affairs about the world. As abstract entities, they do not exist anywhere in particular in space or time (though nominalists reject such entities) and are omnitemporally true. As an example, it is omnitemporally true that “JFK was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963.” This and similar propositions are said to be truth-valued. That is, they are either true, or false. If a proposition is false, it does not describe the actual world, though it does describe a possible world. The proposition, “JFK was NOT assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963,” is truth-valued and returns the value “false.” Nevertheless, it could have been a true proposition, just in case JFK had NOT been assassinated on that date.

Some propositions, however, are necessarily false. Thus, the propositions, “There are married bachelors,” or, “There are four-sided triangles” are false at all possible worlds and hence cannot logically ever be true propositions.

Truth-valued propositions are said to have their truth values grounded by the reality of the world. In the case of JFK, the fact that he was actually killed on Nov. 22, 1963, is said to ground the truth of,, or else provide the truth grounds for, the propositions that “JFK was killed on Nov. 22, 1963.” Notice, then, the key difference between propositions and facts: Propositions are abstract entities that describe (not prescribe) facts about the world; and facts are concrete and not abstract.

Now let us consider the propositions, “There are no moral absolutes.”

This statement is either true or false (excluded middle) and it cannot both be true and false (non-contradiction). However, Alexander claims that the propositions contradicts itself. This is demonstrably false.

For Alexander has mixed up descriptive propositions with prescriptive statements. The two are not the same. Here are some examples of prescriptive, or normative, statements:

  1. One should never, under any circumstances, kill another person.
  2. One should never, under any circumstances, steal from another person.
  3. One should never, under any circumstances, fail to honor one’s mother and father.

And so on. I think we recognize these statements from a text under consideration.

But notice that these statements, unlike propositions, do not describe reality; they tell us what we should do. That is what makes them prescriptive, or normative.

Now we can readily see why the proposition, “There are no moral absolutes” is not, as Alexander claims, self-contradictory. It would only be self-contradictory if it constituted a moral prescription. But it does not. It is, rather, a putative description of reality. As a description, it is truth-valued: either true or false. What would be a contradiction would be a proposition of the following kind: “It is absolutely true that there are no absolutely true propositions about the world.” Not only is THAT sort of statement self-contradictory, it is refuted by plain logic: the proposition “There are no four-sided triangles” is absolutely true because it is necessarily true (i.e., a necessary truth of logic).

So now the proposition, “There are no moral absolutes,” merely makes the following prediction. If true, it predicts that statements of the following nature:

  1. One should never, under any circumstances, kill another person.
  2. One should never, under any circumstances, steal from another person.
  3. One should never, under any circumstances, fail to honor one’s mother and father.

… are all FALSE. They are false, the statement predicts, because there are no moral absolutes. In case there ARE moral absolutes, then the prescriptive statements above might in fact all be true, while the proposition “There are no moral absolutes” would be truth-valued and return the value “false.”

Now that I have demonstrated Alexander’s error of logic, I trust that he will drop this claim from his apologetic. Of course, by the time we are done, he will be obliged to drop ALL the claims of his apologetic.

Yes. My mistake. I was mixed up as to that. I was thinking you meant there were NO absolutes. However, morals still stand, and if one adheres to morals, they do their best to live as they are absolute.

Without an absolute moral standard, logically, you should be fine with people killing your relatives, stealing your possessions, etc. Clearly, morals have value. There are exceptions; If you are in a situation where you are going to be killed unless you defend yourself, killing in self defense is accepted. Stealing to supply for those unable to provide for themselves is justifiable. We don't build a rule based on exceptions. We build a rule upon the general assumption of normal circumstances.

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Relativists don't have an absolute moral standard.

Are they fine with people killing their sex dolls, buggering their pets and stealing their relatives?

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thats what i just said....

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You're wrong.

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Ok. This thread is doing the the exact same thing as the Pascal's Wager Thread. We are bashing each others beliefs when really we should just be learning and asking questions. It is not necessary to turn every thread into a big debate in which we are destroying each other simply because we don't all have the same beliefs. This thread was not meant for that. We need to be open minded when people state their opinions. Instead of going on about how wrong they are and listing the reasons why, we should read what they have to say with an open mind. Some people are close minded and refuse what others have to say.

I am sure some of you are going to tear apart what I just said saying that I am wrong and you are being open minded, but you aren't. I am reading through what people have to say, taking to mind their opinion, but not thinking of ways I can destroy their belief.

That is all I have to say and I hope maybe you guys can change what is happening not just on this thread, but on the whole site.

:alvira:

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No actually, I really don't think someone who didn't believe in Christ would have reported His resurrection. If you were trying to quell a bunch of people who were getting upset over the death of a man they viewed as a public enemy, would you say he'd come back to life?

Well, no way to prove much of anything then is there? Do we have some other source of the miracles besides the Bible? Are other stories from the past (like Mithra that match Jesus's story in many ways) true because they are written down? What makes something a myth and what makes it true? Obviously not just writing it down.

If Plato's works weren't true, then we would know about it.

I don't understand that answer. Written down in a book does not mean it is true. My point is that somebody else could have written Plato's work and he could have just been a figment of somebody's imagination.

No it wouldn't change the works or the information. yes the Bible was written by many people over many years; does this negate it as a historical source? I don't believe so.

I never said it negated anything as a historical source. But it doesn't mean the entire book is true either.

The Bible wasn't chosen out of other manuscripts, it was recreated out of manuscripts of itself from preceding years. Yes, it was found alongside other works; this also happens in a library. We wouldn't combine a bunch of documents not pertaining to the same subject right?

You misunderstand. Within manuscripts that they took that were all written together and were part of the Bible at one point in time. They removed books. My question is, why? Was that God's will that after a while some books were removed? King James did a lot of editing. :)

None thread related note, but I suspect you might like to understand things.

I am not a Christian, but was one for many years. What set me on the path away was reading the Bible when I was 12. Instead of following the Bible study plan, I read it straight through. That was a disturbing read. The old testament is a rough ride.

What I didn't understand until later, was how misogynistic the new testament is. Women are property, there is no getting around it (and yes, I have known smart women, who are Christians and don't like that, but are still Christians).

For me, the death and hatred in the old testament combined with the misogynistic new testament is enough for me not to want to follow the Bible at all.

Plus, almost nobody follows everything in the Bible anyway. Maybe it had its time and we moved on? We used it, then come up with our own ideas? That would be dismissing God though wouldn't it?

Shouldn't people now, as they did in the past, write new passages in the Bible? Update it to modern standards? Get rid of pieces that really don't work today?

But it wouldn't work today would it? Would you trust _anybody_ to make changes to the Bible? Strikes an interesting perspective doesn't it? We should have pious enough people today that should be able to add to the Bible, add more books, show more miracles. I suspect we don't.

-Scott

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Who gave you lot permission to have fun without me? :x

Thank you in advance for the logic thread, Alex, I look forward to reading it and educating myself.

Going through the prophecies on that website (and analysing them) will take some time, so I'll post my opinions on that in a later post. For now, however, I will just say that the Muslims make similar claims regarding the Qur'an -I do not know if you are aware of the "Science in the Qur'an" arguments used by some Muslim scholars, but they're in a similar vein to the arguments for Biblical prophecies- and that you have piqued my interest with the resurrection of Christ. Clearly, there are many who believe that Christ was not resurrected (assuming, for argument's sake, that he did exist), which is evident from the fact that not everybody is a Christian. The Muslims, for example, believe that Christ (or Isa, as they call him) was sentenced to be executed, but (thanks to a cunning plan) another died in his place, which allowed Jesus to be miraculously "resurrected." He never died.

That is the Muslim interpretation of the events, and it's not one I agree with, but I am using it as an example to demonstrate how there are many people who remain unconvinced by the claims of Jesus's resurrection. If you wanted to convince people of that event, how would you begin, or where would you suggest they begin their research?

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Who gave you lot permission to have fun without me? :mad:

Thank you in advance for the logic thread, Alex, I look forward to reading it and educating myself.

Going through the prophecies on that website (and analysing them) will take some time, so I'll post my opinions on that in a later post. For now, however, I will just say that the Muslims make similar claims regarding the Qur'an -I do not know if you are aware of the "Science in the Qur'an" arguments used by some Muslim scholars, but they're in a similar vein to the arguments for Biblical prophecies- and that you have piqued my interest with the resurrection of Christ. Clearly, there are many who believe that Christ was not resurrected (assuming, for argument's sake, that he did exist), which is evident from the fact that not everybody is a Christian. The Muslims, for example, believe that Christ (or Isa, as they call him) was sentenced to be executed, but (thanks to a cunning plan) another died in his place, which allowed Jesus to be miraculously "resurrected." He never died.

That is the Muslim interpretation of the events, and it's not one I agree with, but I am using it as an example to demonstrate how there are many people who remain unconvinced by the claims of Jesus's resurrection. If you wanted to convince people of that event, how would you begin, or where would you suggest they begin their research?

:clap2:

Good open mindedness. :D

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Ok. This thread is doing the the exact same thing as the Pascal's Wager Thread. We are bashing each others beliefs when really we should just be learning and asking questions. It is not necessary to turn every thread into a big debate in which we are destroying each other simply because we don't all have the same beliefs. This thread was not meant for that. We need to be open minded when people state their opinions. Instead of going on about how wrong they are and listing the reasons why, we should read what they have to say with an open mind. Some people are close minded and refuse what others have to say.

You're partly right and partly wrong.

You're right that we should be more tolerant of differences of beliefs, that they're not really based on rational grounds, that we should welcome difference and be more tolerant of new ideas and thoughts. We could do better by asking others what they think and why they think so, and offer speculation. More to the point: we are not our ideas. We are not our beliefs. We are individuals first with our own passions and perspectives and should be respected as individuals, rather than dismissed as a member of a group.

But you're wrong to call analysis and critique as bashing. This is a philosophically oriented site where no idea is worth its salt unless it has survived scrutiny and investigation. Uncritical ideas will be exposed. Dogmas will not be accepted without adequate warrant or justification. Moreover, it is arrogant to join a site and tell people what to do as if one already had all the answers and the regulars are to play passive sheep and accept the answers.

It is better to discuss ideas while at the same time avoiding from identifying with them and take disagreement or criticism personally.

Who's with me? :mrgreen:

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