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Author Topic:   The Marketing Of Christianity
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 361 of 467 (792163)
10-06-2016 12:57 PM
Reply to: Message 360 by Tangle
10-06-2016 12:43 PM


Re: God and suffering
Tangle writes:

He was a man and a god and he sometimes knew the future and sometimes not, depending on whether it's convenient or inconvenient for the story. When he performed miracles it wasn't him it was god etc etc etc. All of this is just a bunch of stories that can be used to rationalise any incident to suit the occasion. With this setup you can make anything up and make it work for you.

Well if it works then maybe that's because I'm right. I don't see Jesus as having supernatural knowledge of the future. I see Him predicting future events and believing certain things on faith through prayer, observation and the scriptures. I do believe that He was incarnated or embodied with the perfect nature of God.

If Jesus was not resurrected then I am in agreement with you that they are just made up stories, although there is absolutely no reasonable explanation of why they would choose to do that. It led to nothing but pain and sacrifice and certainly not to wealth or power.

If though, as I believe, Jesus was resurrected then we have to give credibility to the stories, and work out what that means to our world and our lives and that is what Christians have been doing over the centuries.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 360 by Tangle, posted 10-06-2016 12:43 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 362 by Tangle, posted 10-06-2016 1:18 PM GDR has responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4768
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 362 of 467 (792164)
10-06-2016 1:18 PM
Reply to: Message 361 by GDR
10-06-2016 12:57 PM


Re: God and suffering
GDR writes:

Well if it works then maybe that's because I'm right...

The problem with this is that there's no way of ever knowing whether it's right or not, stuff is just being made up on the fly to support whatever argument you wish to make. Jesus is your flexible friend; he can be made to fit any circumstance - one minute a miracle worker and prophet, the next no more able to predict the days events than the next man. And that's ok apparently.

But yet again, there's no answer to the unavoidable reality of how we are forced to live in the objectively obscene world of necessary violent competition. This is not a matter of historic speculation on primitive belief systems, nor an issue of free will. What's the answer?


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 361 by GDR, posted 10-06-2016 12:57 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 363 by GDR, posted 10-06-2016 2:06 PM Tangle has responded

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


Message 363 of 467 (792167)
10-06-2016 2:06 PM
Reply to: Message 362 by Tangle
10-06-2016 1:18 PM


Re: God and suffering
Tangle writes:

The problem with this is that there's no way of ever knowing whether it's right or not, stuff is just being made up on the fly to support whatever argument you wish to make. Jesus is your flexible friend; he can be made to fit any circumstance - one minute a miracle worker and prophet, the next no more able to predict the days events than the next man. And that's ok apparently.

I agree that it can't be proven by any scientific method, mathematically or otherwise. It isn't something though I've made up on the fly. I have spent considerable time researching the subject and my views have been formed over time. My understanding is actually consistent, which I agree does not necessarily make it right.

Tangle writes:

But yet again, there's no answer to the unavoidable reality of how we are forced to live in the objectively obscene world of necessary violent competition. This is not a matter of historic speculation on primitive belief systems, nor an issue of free will. What's the answer?

Certainly that is the toughest issue a Christian has to deal with and I know I have no answer that will satisfy you. I continue to maintain if mankind is unable to choose evil then he would be unable to choose goodness or love.

There of course is the other issues such why natural disasters. As I see a loving God in Jesus I have to assume that for whatever reason, in a universe where time only flows in one direction and entropy is the norm, natural disasters are an inevitable outcome.

As far as the violent competition is concerned it seems that in order to survive life needs to digest other cellular life. Why that is I don't know but I can only assume that there wasn't a better option and that the plan is that when this world is renewed, and we are not subject to time and entropy then it will no longer be an issue.

I do know though that as humans, whether from a Christian or humanist poit of view we are called to mitigate the suffering that results from all of this.

If these things really trouble you that much then IMHO you may well be closer to the heart of God than many of us Christians.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 362 by Tangle, posted 10-06-2016 1:18 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 364 by Tangle, posted 10-06-2016 2:58 PM GDR has responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4768
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 364 of 467 (792168)
10-06-2016 2:58 PM
Reply to: Message 363 by GDR
10-06-2016 2:06 PM


Re: God and suffering
GDR writes:

My understanding is actually consistent, which I agree does not necessarily make it right.

If by consistent you mean you say the same stuff repeatedly, I agree. If you mean internally consistent - that it makes objective sense - it plainly doesn't. It's just a well spun story that suits your beliefs and has been adapted over time.

Certainly that is the toughest issue a Christian has to deal with and I know I have no answer that will satisfy you. I continue to maintain if mankind is unable to choose evil then he would be unable to choose goodness or love.

I can't seem to get this point across. I'm not talking about the problem of suffering - you and nobody else has an answer to that. It's not a philosophical question I'm asking, it's a practical and pragmatic one. Why make life on earth competive and survival based? He had choices, he chose cruelty and crude survival over what any fair reading of 'what would Jesus do?'


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 363 by GDR, posted 10-06-2016 2:06 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 365 by GDR, posted 10-07-2016 1:47 AM Tangle has responded

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


Message 365 of 467 (792179)
10-07-2016 1:47 AM
Reply to: Message 364 by Tangle
10-06-2016 2:58 PM


Re: God and suffering
Tangle writes:

If by consistent you mean you say the same stuff repeatedly, I agree. If you mean internally consistent - that it makes objective sense - it plainly doesn't. It's just a well spun story that suits your beliefs and has been adapted over time.

You are an atheist but let's assume that you look at the Gospel accounts and you come to the conclusion that Jesus was resurrected. He died and returned in the manner told in the Gospels.

How would you then understand the Scriptures? What would that do to your beliefs about the world itself?


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 364 by Tangle, posted 10-06-2016 2:58 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 366 by Tangle, posted 10-07-2016 4:07 AM GDR has responded
 Message 367 by ringo, posted 10-07-2016 11:40 AM GDR has responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4768
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 366 of 467 (792185)
10-07-2016 4:07 AM
Reply to: Message 365 by GDR
10-07-2016 1:47 AM


Re: God and suffering
GDR writes:

You are an atheist but let's assume that you look at the Gospel accounts and you come to the conclusion that Jesus was resurrected. He died and returned in the manner told in the Gospels.

What's the point of that? I HAVE read the gospel and I coclude that it's a total fabrication. What's more I've read history and science so I know the evidence not just the propaganda.

How would you then understand the Scriptures? What would that do to your beliefs about the world itself?

You have a multitude of different real life examples of what Christians believe as a result of reading and believing the bible, they can't agree to the extent that they split into thousands of different groups.

This need to speculate and hypothesise is a core part of the problem. (Sermons routinely extrapolate from a biblical verse into crazy personal fantasies.) People just pick a variant of a Christian belief that suits their personal needs then justify the choice by quoting, interpreting, 'putting in context' and reading the works of your favourite apologetics (who have no more knowledge of god and his intent than I have.)

The other side of this need to fantasise is the avoidance of difficult questions - like why choose competion for survival as your means of creating us? What possible reason could there be for this, given the fundamental Christian idea of a loving god? It's a fatal flaw in the core argument that's just shoved to one side so that the business of belief can be go on with.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 365 by GDR, posted 10-07-2016 1:47 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 369 by Phat, posted 10-08-2016 11:32 AM Tangle has responded
 Message 372 by GDR, posted 10-09-2016 6:06 PM Tangle has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 13194
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 367 of 467 (792213)
10-07-2016 11:40 AM
Reply to: Message 365 by GDR
10-07-2016 1:47 AM


Re: God and suffering
GDR writes:

You are an atheist but let's assume that you look at the Gospel accounts and you come to the conclusion that Jesus was resurrected.


Nobody who reads the gospels objectively is going to reach that conclusion. The resurrection is one of the red flags that tells us the story is fiction. Like the talking snake in Genesis, you might as well have a flashing neon sign to tell you not to take it literally.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 365 by GDR, posted 10-07-2016 1:47 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 368 by Phat, posted 10-07-2016 11:43 PM ringo has responded
 Message 373 by GDR, posted 10-09-2016 6:23 PM ringo has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 9432
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 368 of 467 (792307)
10-07-2016 11:43 PM
Reply to: Message 367 by ringo
10-07-2016 11:40 AM


Fact or Fiction?
GDR,to ringo writes:

You are an atheist but let's assume that you look at the Gospel accounts and you come to the conclusion that Jesus was resurrected.

ringo writes:

Nobody who reads the gospels objectively is going to reach that conclusion. The resurrection is one of the red flags that tells us the story is fiction. Like the talking snake in Genesis, you might as well have a flashing neon sign to tell you not to take it literally.

I object!

Are you saying that only atheists/critical thinkers read objectively? In this case, objectivity equates with unbelief. Some folks cant see the forest for the trees.
I did not reach my conclusion regarding belief simply by reading. I would also argue in favor of selective bias...from everyone.

The bottom line is either you believe or you don't. Neither decision makes you superior to the other guys.

A person sees what they want to see. Some see Paul as a guy who is selling his product. Others,upon reading the texts, conclude that Paul was a man changed by an unexplained experience.

Some see Jesus as simply a good teacher. Others see in Jesus confirmation of their belief/faith.

He who has an ear let him hear. He who has an opinion should simply write it down, I suppose.

I recommend that everyone look at the big picture. There is no definite conclusion regarding interpretation of the Bible nor is there any agreement on what a Christian actually is and what they are expected to do. I saw an answer in the Big Picture. Others may see only questions or inconclusive interpretation. Still others may have reached a conclusion different from mine.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.~Proverbs 28:26

This message is a reply to:
 Message 367 by ringo, posted 10-07-2016 11:40 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 370 by ringo, posted 10-08-2016 11:57 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 9432
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 369 of 467 (792384)
10-08-2016 11:32 AM
Reply to: Message 366 by Tangle
10-07-2016 4:07 AM


Re: God and suffering
Tangle writes:

I HAVE read the gospel and I conclude that it's a total fabrication. What's more I've read history and science so I know the evidence not just the propaganda.

Then you are without excuse.

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.~Proverbs 28:26

This message is a reply to:
 Message 366 by Tangle, posted 10-07-2016 4:07 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 371 by Tangle, posted 10-08-2016 2:33 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply
 Message 380 by Aussie, posted 10-11-2016 9:48 AM Phat has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 13194
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


(1)
Message 370 of 467 (792387)
10-08-2016 11:57 AM
Reply to: Message 368 by Phat
10-07-2016 11:43 PM


Re: Fact or Fiction?
Phat writes:

Are you saying that only atheists/critical thinkers read objectively?


Well, objective reading and critical thinking are pretty much hand-in-glove.

I'm saying that people who read objectively are not going to conclude that the resurrection is real because objectively resurrections don't happen. It may be possible for theists to read objectively in some cases but if they conclude that the resurrection is real, they're not.

Phat writes:

In this case, objectivity equates with unbelief.


Yes, exactly, in every case.

Phat writes:

I did not reach my conclusion regarding belief simply by reading.


That's what I said. What's your objection?

Phat writes:

The bottom line is either you believe or you don't. Neither decision makes you superior to the other guys.


I didn't say it does. I said that belief without evidence is not objective. Why are you guys so in love with objectivity that you want to claim you have it when you don't?

Phat writes:

He who has an ear let him hear.


That applies to believers too.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 368 by Phat, posted 10-07-2016 11:43 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4768
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


(1)
Message 371 of 467 (792393)
10-08-2016 2:33 PM
Reply to: Message 369 by Phat
10-08-2016 11:32 AM


Re: God and suffering
Phat writes:

Then you are without excuse.

For what, rejecting obvious bollox when I see it?


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 369 by Phat, posted 10-08-2016 11:32 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

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


Message 372 of 467 (792418)
10-09-2016 6:06 PM
Reply to: Message 366 by Tangle
10-07-2016 4:07 AM


Re: God and suffering
Tangle writes:

What's the point of that? I HAVE read the gospel and I coclude that it's a total fabrication. What's more I've read history and science so I know the evidence not just the propaganda.

I have read both as well and it is clear that the Gospel writers believed what they wrote to be essentially accurate. The question is whether or not they got it right.

Tangle writes:

You have a multitude of different real life examples of what Christians believe as a result of reading and believing the bible, they can't agree to the extent that they split into thousands of different groups.

This need to speculate and hypothesise is a core part of the problem. (Sermons routinely extrapolate from a biblical verse into crazy personal fantasies.) People just pick a variant of a Christian belief that suits their personal needs then justify the choice by quoting, interpreting, 'putting in context' and reading the works of your favourite apologetics (who have no more knowledge of god and his intent than I have.)

The other side of this need to fantasise is the avoidance of difficult questions - like why choose competion for survival as your means of creating us? What possible reason could there be for this, given the fundamental Christian idea of a loving god? It's a fatal flaw in the core argument that's just shoved to one side so that the business of belief can be go on with.

All religion comes from basically one of two perspectives. One, is that religion comes from some one or some group wanting to serve their own needs, or the desires of their specific tribe. The second is from those genuinely attempting to understand the divine and how that belief is to effect their lives. Also of course religion is often a blend of the two and sits somewhere in the middle.

Christianity is based on the resurrection of Jesus, which then leads into an understanding of His life and His message. So sure, it isn't absolute knowledge and there are going to be differences. I have though read the historical arguments on both sides of the question regarding the resurrection. Basically the argument against is that we know it can't have happened so anything else makes more sense. The argument for is that the NT writers simply wrote the accounts of what happened to the best of their knowledge, with some details not being consistent, with no motivation to fabricate anything. Read the debates between NT Wright and either Marcus Borg or Dom Crossan. I find the argument for the resurrection far more compelling than the argument against.

Also, the resurrection is the only thing that really makes sense of the rise of the Christian church.

Yes, I believe in a loving God. I understand His loving nature as we see it embodied in Jesus. So yes, I take on faith that the world has to be the way it is and that ultimately things will be put right. If I am wrong I would choose to serve a God of love and be wrong, as opposed to one that wants me to annihilate those whom I deem to be enemies and be right. In the end it is about worshiping the nature of God as we understand Him.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 366 by Tangle, posted 10-07-2016 4:07 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 376 by Tangle, posted 10-10-2016 3:00 AM GDR has responded

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


(1)
Message 373 of 467 (792419)
10-09-2016 6:23 PM
Reply to: Message 367 by ringo
10-07-2016 11:40 AM


Re: God and suffering
GDR writes:

You are an atheist but let's assume that you look at the Gospel accounts and you come to the conclusion that Jesus was resurrected.

Ringo writes:

Nobody who reads the gospels objectively is going to reach that conclusion. The resurrection is one of the red flags that tells us the story is fiction. Like the talking snake in Genesis, you might as well have a flashing neon sign to tell you not to take it literally.

Your answer is a cop-out and obviously doesn't answer the question I asked. Christianity is built around people from the time of the first Jesus followers to today, working out what God is telling us through the the life of Jesus and His resurrection. I simply asked what conclusions Tangle might come to if he actually, which he doesn't, believed that Jesus was resurrected.

Frankly, I objectively, after reading both the pros and cons, came to the conclusion that the most reasonable conclusion was that Jesus was resurrected.

Tangle likes to use the British term bollox when it comes to the belief in the resurrection.

I consider it bollox to believe that life has come about by the chance combination of mindless particles, mindlessly forming atoms, mindlessly combing into incredibly mindless cells, mindlessly forming life of any kind and mindlessly evolving into sentient life capable of understanding right and wrong. I contend that the likelihood that the processes that have resulted in life as we know it, are far more likely to have an intelligent root than a mindless root.

This being the case then it is not unreasonable to accept that just possibly, this intelligent prime mover could have resurrected the man Jesus to point the way to the life as He wants us to live it, and to demonstrate where this world is ultimately headed.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 367 by ringo, posted 10-07-2016 11:40 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 374 by Phat, posted 10-09-2016 8:39 PM GDR has responded
 Message 382 by ringo, posted 10-11-2016 11:41 AM GDR has not yet responded

    
Phat
Member
Posts: 9432
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 374 of 467 (792431)
10-09-2016 8:39 PM
Reply to: Message 373 by GDR
10-09-2016 6:23 PM


Objectivity and Subjectivity
I thought I would focus on these two term for a moment.

ringo writes:

Nobody who reads the gospels objectively is going to reach that conclusion....


GDR writes:

Frankly, I objectively, after reading both the pros and cons, came to the conclusion that the most reasonable conclusion was that Jesus was resurrected.

Difference Between Objective and Subjective

quote:
Objective is a statement that is completely unbiased. It is not touched by the speaker’s previous experiences or tastes. It is verifiable by looking up facts or performing mathematical calculations.
Subjective is a statement that has been colored by the character of the speaker or writer. It often has a basis in reality, but reflects the perspective through with the speaker views reality. It cannot be verified using concrete facts and figures.

Based on that definition, belief should only be subjective. If a large group of individuals share a subjective belief, however, it would be under consideration as an objective (Object of our Faith=Jesus)


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.~Proverbs 28:26

This message is a reply to:
 Message 373 by GDR, posted 10-09-2016 6:23 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 375 by jar, posted 10-09-2016 9:35 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply
 Message 378 by GDR, posted 10-10-2016 3:40 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply
 Message 383 by ringo, posted 10-11-2016 11:48 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
jar
Member
Posts: 29035
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


(1)
Message 375 of 467 (792440)
10-09-2016 9:35 PM
Reply to: Message 374 by Phat
10-09-2016 8:39 PM


Re: Objectivity and Subjectivity
Phat writes:

If a large group of individuals share a subjective belief, however, it would be under consideration as an objective (Object of our Faith=Jesus)

Good God that is embarrassing total misuse of language in an attempt to play with meanings.

Why do so many Christians seem their sole goal is to make Christianity look stupid and dishonest?


My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios     My Website: My Website

This message is a reply to:
 Message 374 by Phat, posted 10-09-2016 8:39 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
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