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Author Topic:   Catholics & Inerrancy
Trae
Member (Idle past 1655 days)
Posts: 442
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 06-18-2004


Message 61 of 89 (615729)
05-16-2011 3:48 AM
Reply to: Message 59 by GDR
05-13-2011 11:00 AM


That post was not a comment specifically about the Bible (though it would encompass the writers of the Bible if we assume they're no better connected than currented followers). Dogmafood suggested that God might find it difficult to communicate with his followers.

A problem with this line of thought is clearly that Gods current followers fare poorly in communicating a consensus of messages by any reasonable objective standard. So either the communication is incredibly rare, or the current communication is incredibly flawed. If Gods message is this poorly discerned then it seems to me silly for anyone to say that they actually know Gods message. If the Bible is demonstratively errant and if modern followers cannot demonstrate they are actually in communication with God, then it seems frankly evil to claim what God wants.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 59 by GDR, posted 05-13-2011 11:00 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 63 by GDR, posted 05-16-2011 11:39 AM Trae has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 62 of 89 (615748)
05-16-2011 11:30 AM
Reply to: Message 60 by Trae
05-16-2011 2:58 AM


Re: Authority?
Trae writes:

Love your neighbor isnt really a lengthy laundry list of morals. The writers of the new testament give additional moral teachings. If the Bible is not inerrant why should anyone believe that the Bible writers are passing along a message from God, rather than their own beliefs?

Love your neighbour, love your enemy, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, humbly love kindness and do justice are all from the Bible and in one way or another they all say the same thing.

I agree that it's simple and basic, but how well are any of us, or for that matter how is the world doing? It may be simple in theory, but in practice - not so much.

Sure there are inconsistencies even in the NT, but it is like 5 people describing a car accident. Their stories may differ slightly but they are all in agreement that there was an accident. The Gospel writers may remember things in a slightly different order etc but they all agree that Jesus was crucified, buried and then appeared again with a new kind of physicality.

Once again the Bible in total is the story of the people that God chose to bring his message to the world. It tells of when they got it right, and when they got it wrong. I'd point out that the God who desires that we love our neighbour, and even love our enemies, is very different than the gods we find amongst the pagan neighbours of the early Jews. I'd say that the world is still a very long way from perfect but it is a better world now, than the world we see depicted by any of the historians, including those who wrote the OT. God is making progress with us even if it's a long, difficult and irregular process.

Edited by GDR, : No reason given.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by Trae, posted 05-16-2011 2:58 AM Trae has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by Trae, posted 05-19-2011 5:38 AM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 63 of 89 (615751)
05-16-2011 11:39 AM
Reply to: Message 61 by Trae
05-16-2011 3:48 AM


Trae writes:

A problem with this line of thought is clearly that Gods current followers fare poorly in communicating a consensus of messages by any reasonable objective standard. So either the communication is incredibly rare, or the current communication is incredibly flawed. If Gods message is this poorly discerned then it seems to me silly for anyone to say that they actually know Gods message. If the Bible is demonstratively errant and if modern followers cannot demonstrate they are actually in communication with God, then it seems frankly evil to claim what God wants.

But you keep insisting that the Bible be read in the same way that a Christian who insists that the Bible be read like a science text does. It isn't that kind of collection of books. It's a narrative of God working in the world. God wants us to freely choose unselfish love. If God were to supernaturally make everything crystal clear we would no longer be able to choose unselfish love.

You also seem to be able to identify evil. How do you know what evil is? How do you know it even exists? If evil exists the so must goodness. I think both of us know the difference between good and evil. I'm suggesting that the Bible tells the story of God, by working through His created beings, to bring goodness to the world and eradicate evil.

Edited by GDR, : No reason given.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by Trae, posted 05-16-2011 3:48 AM Trae has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by Trae, posted 05-19-2011 5:49 AM GDR has responded

    
Trae
Member (Idle past 1655 days)
Posts: 442
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 06-18-2004


Message 64 of 89 (616045)
05-19-2011 5:38 AM
Reply to: Message 62 by GDR
05-16-2011 11:30 AM


Re: Authority?
GDR writes:

Sure there are inconsistencies even in the NT, but it is like 5 people describing a car accident. Their stories may differ slightly but they are all in agreement that there was an accident. The Gospel writers may remember things in a slightly different order etc but they all agree that Jesus was crucified, buried and then appeared again with a new kind of physicality.


So ignore inconsistencies as a problem by saying theyre not the important parts, but that agreement is proof of the miraculous? Why not believe all the stories of which there is but one account? Since they cannot be inconsistent with their own telling?

GDR writes:

Once again the Bible in total is the story of the people that God chose to bring his message to the world. It tells of when they got it right, and when they got it wrong.


Can you clarify this? How can we know which parts are right and which are wrong?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by GDR, posted 05-16-2011 11:30 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 66 by GDR, posted 05-20-2011 7:09 PM Trae has acknowledged this reply

  
Trae
Member (Idle past 1655 days)
Posts: 442
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 06-18-2004


Message 65 of 89 (616047)
05-19-2011 5:49 AM
Reply to: Message 63 by GDR
05-16-2011 11:39 AM


What I am saying is that it seems objectively correct that that there is no message or that there is no objective way to ferret out which messages or of God. This being the case there is no discernable way to determine between a flawed Bible inspired by God and a flawed Bible which is not inspired by God.
GDR writes:

If God were to supernaturally make everything crystal clear we would no longer be able to choose unselfish love.


But yet that is exactly what were told he does do. Miracles to some and not others. Grace to some and not others. Messengers to some and not others. Born in Christian countries to some and not for others.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by GDR, posted 05-16-2011 11:39 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by GDR, posted 05-20-2011 7:42 PM Trae has acknowledged this reply

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 66 of 89 (616310)
05-20-2011 7:09 PM
Reply to: Message 64 by Trae
05-19-2011 5:38 AM


Re: Authority?
Trae writes:

So ignore inconsistencies as a problem by saying theyre not the important parts, but that agreement is proof of the miraculous? Why not believe all the stories of which there is but one account? Since they cannot be inconsistent with their own telling?

As I pointed out earlier, we are dealing with different authors several years after the event. Frankly if they all described the events with the same exact detail I would give them less credibility - not more. In my view they are clearly writing events in the way that they remember them or else in the way it was told to them.

They are all clear though on the centrality and certainty of the resurrection to the entire narrative.

I've written on other threads that I believe that mankind is evolving in a spiritual sense in that we are gradually, over time but inconsistently, becoming more like the creatures that God intends us to be. The Bible chronicles the story of God interacting with His creation to move that evolution along. The Bible tells that story up to the end of the NT era.

Trae writes:

Can you clarify this? How can we know which parts are right and which are wrong?

I realize that I'm becoming repetitious but I again suggest that you are insisting the Bible be read in the same way a Biblical literalist does. It isn't that kind of book.

At its most basic the Bible tells us two things.

First it tells us what God wants of us which is to love humbly and unselfishly. Secondly the Bible tells us that it is God's plan to redeem this world when time comes to an end, (not tomorrow by the way ),so that what we do now to care for God's creation including the planet and all life on it matters eternally.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by Trae, posted 05-19-2011 5:38 AM Trae has acknowledged this reply

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 67 of 89 (616317)
05-20-2011 7:42 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by Trae
05-19-2011 5:49 AM


Trae writes:

What I am saying is that it seems objectively correct that that there is no message or that there is no objective way to ferret out which messages or of God. This being the case there is no discernable way to determine between a flawed Bible inspired by God and a flawed Bible which is not inspired by God.

Sure. I wouldn't dispute that. Amongst Christians there is disagreement on that matter. There is no proof of any of it. I know that the Bible is true, not like I know that 2 plus 2 make 4, but like I know that my wife loves me.

The Bible makes sense to me. It makes sense of my world and my life. In addition in my Christian walk I have experiences that appear to me to be outside of what I would expect.

Frankly the uncertainty in and of itself makes sense as I pointed out earlier. If there was certainty then unselfish love becomes essentially impossible. We are to love unselfishly for its own sake not for reward.

Trae writes:

But yet that is exactly what were told he does do. Miracles to some and not others. Grace to some and not others. Messengers to some and not others. Born in Christian countries to some and not for others.

Again, I think that you are making the mistake that some fundalmentalists do. Those that are blessed with miracles, messengers and a Christian environment are blessed with the vocation of spreading God's truth, forgiveness, mercy and restorative love to the world. I realize that when you look at the church you would very often suggest that I would have to be kidding.

Two points on that. Firstly what makes the news is the church screwing up while the many good things that are done go unnoticed. Secondly Jesus said in Matthew 9:

quote:
9 As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector's booth ; and He said to him, "Follow Me!" And he got up and followed Him. 10 Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, "Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners ?" 12 But when Jesus heard this, He said, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. 13 "But go and learn what this means : 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

In other words we should expect the church to be made up of people like myself - imperfect sinners. We aren't perfect and maybe even, heaven forbid, more flawed than most.

New creation, whenever it happens, is for those that ultimately choose unselfish love over selfish love regardless of their theology. Grace is offered to all who choose it.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by Trae, posted 05-19-2011 5:49 AM Trae has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 68 by crashfrog, posted 05-21-2011 12:18 PM GDR has responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 68 of 89 (616396)
05-21-2011 12:18 PM
Reply to: Message 67 by GDR
05-20-2011 7:42 PM


Love is about evidence
I know that the Bible is true, not like I know that 2 plus 2 make 4, but like I know that my wife loves me.

You know that your wife loves you because of the evidence she loves you. She says she does (evidence.) She expends effort to do things that only benefit you (evidence.) She spends money to buy you things she thinks you'll like (evidence.) She swore an oath and bears a ring testifying to her love for you (evidence.) She forsakes all others for you (evidence.)

Your belief that you are loved by your wife isn't based on faith, it's based on evidence. If all that evidence changed - if your wife stopped wearing her wedding ring, if it seemed like she stopped thinking about you if you weren't in the room, if all of a sudden you only ever got to see the movies she liked, if she started sleeping with another man - then you would rapidly lose confidence in your belief that you were loved by your wife. Obviously - you would be a fool not to. People stop loving each other sometimes. It happens. I hope not with you and your wife, of course, but it could happen, and if it did it would be a lot better for the two of you to have the ability to recognize it than to persist in the deluded belief that your marriage was still working because you were still in love.

Love isn't faith, love is evidence. There would be no such phrase as "token of your affection" if love wasn't fundamentally an evidence-based process. It's not at all a mystery - people know they are loved by other people because of the evidence those people present for their love. Nobody takes love on faith.

And nobody should take the Bible, nor any other book, on faith either. Nobody should take anything on faith - faith is a form of self-delusion. It's just a jump to whatever conclusion you feel is the most satisfying.

In other words we should expect the church to be made up of people like myself - imperfect sinners.

If the church cannot perfect sinners, then what use is it?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by GDR, posted 05-20-2011 7:42 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 69 by GDR, posted 05-21-2011 1:21 PM crashfrog has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 69 of 89 (616403)
05-21-2011 1:21 PM
Reply to: Message 68 by crashfrog
05-21-2011 12:18 PM


Re: Love is about evidence
crashfrog writes:

And nobody should take the Bible, nor any other book, on faith either. Nobody should take anything on faith - faith is a form of self-delusion. It's just a jump to whatever conclusion you feel is the most satisfying.

But we take all sorts of things on faith. It can be as simple as having faith that the chair I am sitting on is going to continue to support me. I spent a career in aviation and every time I took off I had faith that the technology and the maintenance of that aircraft would allow me to get from A to B. I have faith that I have been created with purpose and by a loving creator. I have faith that I am called to reflect that love into creation.

It is easy to put it down as to what is most satisfying, but frankly there have been times in my life when to repudiate my Christian faith would have been easier and possibly even more satisfying.

crashfrog writes:

If the church cannot perfect sinners, then what use is it?

Like I have said many times - being a Christian isn't necessarily going to make me a better kinder person than my atheistic next door neighbour, but it should make me a better kinder person than I had been previously.

The church, including myself, is charged with reflecting God's love, mercy, forgiveness, justice etc into the world. That isn't to suggest that it does it well but sometimes it does. Sometimes it does just the opposite. We all have our failings regardless of our beliefs.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 68 by crashfrog, posted 05-21-2011 12:18 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 72 by crashfrog, posted 05-21-2011 10:13 PM GDR has responded

    
ScientificBob
Member (Idle past 1611 days)
Posts: 48
From: Antwerp, Belgium
Joined: 03-29-2011


Message 70 of 89 (616411)
05-21-2011 5:49 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by GDR
05-10-2011 10:15 AM


GDR writes:

Well seeing as how it's the largest selling book of all time I think we can assume it's relevant.

Argument ad populum? Really? So... we should trust the bible because "a lot of people believe it"? Seriously?

Sales of Mein Kampf have also been through the roof you know... so, according to your logic, what should we conclude from that?

GDR writes:

You can't prove your wife loves you

If she didn't, she wouldn't be concerned with me and leave.

GDR writes:

You can't prove that the world is 14 billion years old

That's because it isn't. The world is 4.6 billion years old, which CAN be proven. The universe is at least 13.7 billion years old, which can ALSO be proven.

GDR writes:

You can't prove that evolutionary theory is correct

Evolution is a FACT. Common ancestry is a FACT. The phylogenetic tree is a testament to that fact.
Natural selection is the theory, which CAN be demonstrated to be a viable mechanism (genetic algoritms and stuff).

Evolution theory is as proven as a scientific theory can be.

GDR writes:

You just look at what evidence there is and draw your own conclusions.

*ahum* TESTABLE conclusions.

GDR writes:

Well I did have an apparent reason. I explained how I had come to the conclusion about the resurrection.

Yes, by saing that you simply "believe" it. And from that point on, you started treating it as a fact. Which it most certainly isn't. Facts are verifiable.

GDR writes:

I didn't claim that I could prove it as fact but that was my conclusion. Based on the conclusion that I came to I assumed it to be true and went on from there

It amazes me that you can say this and even seem to be proud of it. You really don't see anything wrong with such reasoning? You just "assume" it was true and went from there? Come on now...
Talk about a priori conclusions...

GDR writes:

As you reject the idea that the resurrection ever happened you would then presumably come to the conclusion that the rest would be rejected as well.

I reject the claim of resurerection because there is not a shred of evidence for it. There isn't even a shred of evidence that jezus, the human, ever even existed. And when we look around in nature, we never see dead things come back alive days after dieing.

The rational position here is obviously to reject the claim.

GDR writes:

You choose not to believe in God or gods. (I'm assuming your atheist based on your statements.)

Maybe you can "choose" what undefendable things you believe, but I can't do that. I can only believe what convinces me.
There is nothing convincing to me about any religion.

GDR writes:

Any time you vote in an election you choose to believe that one party or individual is a better choice than another.

This is a seriously flawed analogy. My political preference is a subjective personal choice and has NOTHING to do with claims about reality, history, etc.

GDR writes:

Would that be like the blind faith that the material world is all there is and that there is no god(s)?

1. Please don't strawman me.
2. non-existance is assumed until existance is demonstrated. That is the rational way to reason.

Consider this: I claim there is an invisible rock in the middle of the high way. Will you slam your breaks? Off course, you won't. So you will just drive on, assuming no such rock is there. Disbelief is the default position.

I do not claim that no gods exist. However, nobody seems to be able to prove that gods do exist. Hence, I operate under the assumption that they don't. Just like you would not slam your breaks on the highway.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by GDR, posted 05-10-2011 10:15 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 71 by GDR, posted 05-21-2011 6:47 PM ScientificBob has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 71 of 89 (616414)
05-21-2011 6:47 PM
Reply to: Message 70 by ScientificBob
05-21-2011 5:49 PM


SB writes:

Argument ad populum? Really? So... we should trust the bible because "a lot of people believe it"? Seriously?

I didn't say that was a reason to believe it. I only said that it makes it relevant.

SB writes:

If she didn't, she wouldn't be concerned with me and leave.

Maybe she stays for some reason other than love. You choose to believe she stays because she loves you.

SB writes:

That's because it isn't. The world is 4.6 billion years old, which CAN be proven. The universe is at least 13.7 billion years old, which can ALSO be proven.


Actually I knew that. I wrote world when I should have written universe. I agree with both of your statements.

SB writes:

Evolution is a FACT. Common ancestry is a FACT. The phylogenetic tree is a testament to that fact.
Natural selection is the theory, which CAN be demonstrated to be a viable mechanism (genetic algoritms and stuff).

Evolution theory is as proven as a scientific theory can be.

I have no disagreement with any of that either except to say that in the end believing in evolution, even though all the evidence we have points in that direction, is still not the same as believing that 2 + 2 = 4. I would call myself a theistic evolutionist but that would be giving me far too much credit. I accept evolutionary theory based on the arguments and opinions of people that actually have studied biology and actually know what they are talking about.

SB writes:

*ahum* TESTABLE conclusions.

None of our beliefs about god(s) or lack of god(s) are testable but we all come to some conclusion.

SB writes:

It amazes me that you can say this and even seem to be proud of it. You really don't see anything wrong with such reasoning? You just "assume" it was true and went from there? Come on now...
Talk about a priori conclusions...

In the example that you are referring to, I did look at the case that was being made for the resurrection and believed it to be true. In the scientific sense it couldn't be proven, but as I just said, it can't be disproven either. One of us is right and one of us is wrong. I believe it's me that is right and you believe it's you, and we carry on from there.

SB writes:

I reject the claim of resurerection because there is not a shred of evidence for it. There isn't even a shred of evidence that jezus, the human, ever even existed. And when we look around in nature, we never see dead things come back alive days after dieing.

The rational position here is obviously to reject the claim.

The Bible is an ancient text. Somebody, or for that matter, several somebodies wrote it. They say that the resurrection happened. That is evidence. They may be mistaken, they may be lying or they may be writing about what really happened. So we do have evidence which we can choose to accept or reject as you have done.

I agree that in nature once something is dead it stays dead other than if life is resuscitated. The Christian belief is that the resurrection was a once only occurrence that was outside the bounds of what we consider to be natural.

SB writes:

Maybe you can "choose" what undefendable things you believe, but I can't do that. I can only believe what convinces me.
There is nothing convincing to me about any religion.

But I do find the case for my faith convincing. I don't think for one minute that I will convince you but that's ok by me. I guess I'm not convinced that the only thing that can be considered as evidence is that which is testable.

1. Please don't strawman me.
2. non-existance is assumed until existance is demonstrated. That is the rational way to reason.

That's not a strawman. The material world does exist and we know a great deal about how it exists, but there remains the big philosophical question, which is why does it exist at all. Why is there something instead of nothing?

SB writes:

I do not claim that no gods exist. However, nobody seems to be able to prove that gods do exist. Hence, I operate under the assumption that they don't.

You may not claim that no god(s) exist but it seems to me that you are claiming that if they do that we can't know anything about them. I believe that we can. If you want to consider my position irrational that is fine by me.

I agree that I am unable to come up with any irrefutable proof or argument that will change your mind. That proof or argument doesn't exist but neither does it exist for what you believe.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 70 by ScientificBob, posted 05-21-2011 5:49 PM ScientificBob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 84 by ScientificBob, posted 05-25-2011 11:04 AM GDR has responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 72 of 89 (616428)
05-21-2011 10:13 PM
Reply to: Message 69 by GDR
05-21-2011 1:21 PM


Re: Love is about evidence
But we take all sorts of things on faith.

No, we take things on trust. Allow me to explain how that's different.

It can be as simple as having faith that the chair I am sitting on is going to continue to support me.

That's not faith. When you believe that something that has not let you down before is probably not going to let you down in the future, that's trust. Every time you sit in a chair and it doesn't break, that's evidence for your belief that chairs are a good place to sit.

But if a certain brand and model of chair collapsed every time you put your weight on it, you would rapidly come to the conclusion that this was a brand and model of chair that you couldn't trust. You would have no "faith" in its ability to take your weight.

When evidence of prior performance guides your belief about the reliability of future performance, that's not faith. That's trust.

I have faith that I have been created with purpose and by a loving creator.

Your beliefs about your creation and purpose are qualitatively different than your beliefs about whether your wife loves you or whether you can trust airplane technology. You trust that airplanes work and that your wife has affection for you, because you have ample evidence that both are true.

But you have faith in your divine purpose in spite of ample evidence to the contrary. That's why it's faith. And that's why it's an unreasonable belief, while belief in your wife's affections and the technology of flight are both very reasonable. The difference is that there's evidence for those two, but not for God.

Like I have said many times - being a Christian isn't necessarily going to make me a better kinder person than my atheistic next door neighbour, but it should make me a better kinder person than I had been previously.

Then why doesn't it ever do that? Why doesn't the church seem to be any more effective than the general rate that people improve all on their own?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by GDR, posted 05-21-2011 1:21 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 73 by GDR, posted 05-21-2011 11:00 PM crashfrog has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 73 of 89 (616430)
05-21-2011 11:00 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by crashfrog
05-21-2011 10:13 PM


Re: Love is about evidence
crashfrog writes:

That's not faith. When you believe that something that has not let you down before is probably not going to let you down in the future, that's trust.

I agree with you completely and I agree that trust is a better word for what we are talking about. As far as my beliefs are concerned, my trust is in my Christian God as revealed to us in Jesus Christ. I trust that what he wants of me is that I humbly love kindness and justice. I trust that these are His own qualities and I trust that in the end there is an ultimate restorative justice for all of creation.

crashfrog writes:

But you have faith in your divine purpose in spite of ample evidence to the contrary. That's why it's faith. And that's why it's an unreasonable belief, while belief in your wife's affections and the technology of flight are both very reasonable. The difference is that there's evidence for those two, but not for God.

This is where we run into difficulty. You aren't going to accept what I see as evidence as being any kind of evidence at all. I see a beautiful universe as being evidence, I see the rationality of our natural world as evidence, I see the Bible as evidence, I see the fact that mankind is capable of unselfish love as evidence, and I even see the fact that I exist at all as evidence.

For me the Christian narrative makes more sense than any other answer to that evidence. But you are right, it is an issue of trust and I probably do use the word faith many times when I should use the word trust. Thanks for that.

crashfrog writes:

Then why doesn't it ever do that? Why doesn't the church seem to be any more effective than the general rate that people improve all on their own?

It does appear to me that in comparison to the general population the church does do commit to more charitable work. Most of the overseas NGO's are run by Christians including many by the fundamentalists whose theology I have a great deal of trouble with.

I do know my life changed and has continued to do so since I became a Christian and that is the only case that I am able to attest to. (I've ended two sentences in a row with a preposition. I'm going to have the grammar police down on me as well. )

Cheers


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by crashfrog, posted 05-21-2011 10:13 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 74 by crashfrog, posted 05-22-2011 11:23 AM GDR has responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 74 of 89 (616453)
05-22-2011 11:23 AM
Reply to: Message 73 by GDR
05-21-2011 11:00 PM


Re: Love is about evidence
As far as my beliefs are concerned, my trust is in my Christian God as revealed to us in Jesus Christ.

Now we're getting somewhere.

As far as trust goes, you agree, I presume, that trust can be misplaced? That someone can trust in something that, in fact, is not worthy of their trust? That an individual makes an error, for the most part, when they place their trust in something they have ample evidence is not trustworthy?

This is where we run into difficulty. You aren't going to accept what I see as evidence as being any kind of evidence at all.

Well, you don't know that. I was a Christian once myself, there's no telling what kind of evidence I might accept.

But the fact that you have this suspicion indicates that, at some level at least, you understand that there's something fishy going on here. After all what kind of evidence depends on who is hearing it? That's not a feature of legitimate evidence.

After all, there's nothing that's so special about you that allows the standard rules of reason to be suspended when evidence is presented to you, but not when its presented to me. And if, I suspect, you wouldn't find your own encounters with the divine to be particularly compelling when informed of them happening to someone else, what's so special about you that when it happens to you, you're convinced?

If you would explain the Muslim's brush with Allah as a delusion, or as socialization, or even as a misinterpreted brush with "real" (Catholic) divinity, then why not explain your own personal account that way, as well?

What's so special about you? We shouldn't unjustly privilege the truth of personal stories just because they happened to us and not somebody else.

I've ended two sentences in a row with a preposition.

Contrary to most reflexive grammarians, as well as to the hated and incredibly erroneous Strunk and White, a preposition is a perfectly natural thing to end a sentence with.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 73 by GDR, posted 05-21-2011 11:00 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 75 by GDR, posted 05-22-2011 7:09 PM crashfrog has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 75 of 89 (616481)
05-22-2011 7:09 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by crashfrog
05-22-2011 11:23 AM


Re: Love is about evidence
crashfrog writes:

As far as trust goes, you agree, I presume, that trust can be misplaced? That someone can trust in something that, in fact, is not worthy of their trust? That an individual makes an error, for the most part, when they place their trust in something they have ample evidence is not trustworthy?

Of course trust can be misplaced and I can't prove that my trust in God isn't. As far as trust in the Christian God is concerned it seems to me that it is pretty basic. Back to my favourite verse which is Micah 6:8.

quote:
And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God ?

Sure as a Christian there is a lot more that I believe, but essentially that statement covers all of what God is asking of us.
I contend that there is evidence that leads us to the conclusion that the verse I just quoted is something worthwhile on which to base our lives, whether we be Christian, Muslim, Atheist or anything else.

crashfrog writes:

But the fact that you have this suspicion indicates that, at some level at least, you understand that there's something fishy going on here. After all what kind of evidence depends on who is hearing it? That's not a feature of legitimate evidence.

After all, there's nothing that's so special about you that allows the standard rules of reason to be suspended when evidence is presented to you, but not when its presented to me. And if, I suspect, you wouldn't find your own encounters with the divine to be particularly compelling when informed of them happening to someone else, what's so special about you that when it happens to you, you're convinced?

I agree that I'm not special nor particularly bright. I don't believe that I have been specifically chosen, and I agree that it has to do with being exposed to Christians both in my personal life and in the literature I've read that espouse what is in my view thoughtful Christianity. I think if I was of the belief that to be a Christian I had to accept the OT as some of our fundamentalist friends read it I would have to reject it.

I think too that what is implicit in your post is the idea that my theological views make me right with God, and the fact that as you don't hold those views you are doomed for eternity. I don't see it that way at all. This is from Matthew 7.

quote:
21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles ?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'

If as a Christian I do really trust in God to be the centre of my life to the point that I do more perfectly live a life based on His truth, love, mercy, forgiveness, justice etc then yes, when time ends, (glad it wasn't yesterday because I was really busy), I will be with Him. That does not mean though that my atheistic neighbour, my Muslim neighbour or my Samaritan neighbour won't be there as well. (There being God's recreated heaven and earth, which means we have to take good care of this earth in the mean time.)

crashfrog writes:

What's so special about you? We shouldn't unjustly privilege the truth of personal stories just because they happened to us and not somebody else.

THis from Matthew 9.

quote:
13 "But go and learn what this means : 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

I'm not a Christian because I'm special but because I'm a sinner. I also don't believe that it confers special privilege on me. It only means that I have the job of reflecting God's love and justice to the world with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, scripture and all mankind. (I have learned more about God on this forum from Atheists than I have from Christians.)

crashfrog writes:

If you would explain the Muslim's brush with Allah as a delusion, or as socialization, or even as a misinterpreted brush with "real" (Catholic) divinity, then why not explain your own personal account that way, as well?

I don't try to explain other people's experience of God under any name except to say that if it isn't consistent with the message of God's desire that we love unselfishly, then I would have to question it.

crashfrog writes:

Contrary to most reflexive grammarians, as well as to the hated and incredibly erroneous Strunk and White, a preposition is a perfectly natural thing to end a sentence with.

You can't be too careful on this forum.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 74 by crashfrog, posted 05-22-2011 11:23 AM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 76 by crashfrog, posted 05-22-2011 10:41 PM GDR has responded

    
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