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Author Topic:   Who is really in charge of inspiration?
Nij
Member (Idle past 2968 days)
Posts: 239
From: New Zealand
Joined: 08-20-2010


Message 1 of 110 (587256)
10-18-2010 1:17 AM


A message by Nuggin in the now-closed "Is The Bible Authoritative and Truly Inspired?" thread reminded me of a more general theological question which on the surface, appears to have no reasonably stable and strong answer. Perhaps some of the more religiously-minded debators here can give it a shot.

For brief background: many if not all religions claim that their sacred texts and doctrines are inspired by the deity in question, divine in origin and worthy of the respect one gives to one's ultimate superior.

On the other hand, many of these religions also feature some form of personified evil e.g. Satan who is notorious for playing tricks on the faithful (and indeed anybody providing the opportunity) or trying to twist them into signing over their souls to evil. These tricks and plots are sometimes quite devious, which makes one wonder exactly what limits could be placed on something supposedly tough and smart enough to have challenged a god and not been annihilated immediately.

The question is this: how do the faithful know that their holy text is truly divine in origin, and not just the best trick ever devised by some evil god, demigod or other superbeing;
how do you tell who really inspired that scripture?

Discussion preferably limited to methods and/or facts which are involved in determining the being(s) responsible for the above, and criticisms of said methods and facts.
I'm guessing Bible A&I or Bible Study; whichever is more appropriate.

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Add one more blank line.


Replies to this message:
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 Message 57 by Buzsaw, posted 10-22-2010 6:38 PM Nij has not yet responded

  
AdminPD
Inactive Administrator


Message 2 of 110 (587405)
10-18-2010 5:53 PM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Who is really in charge of inspiration? thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
jaywill
Member (Idle past 19 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 3 of 110 (587520)
10-19-2010 10:34 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Nij
10-18-2010 1:17 AM


On the other hand, many of these religions also feature some form of personified evil e.g. Satan who is notorious for playing tricks on the faithful (and indeed anybody providing the opportunity) or trying to twist them into signing over their souls to evil.

Could you give me some examples ?

Though some popular fiction shows people "signing over their souls" ie. Faust, there is nothing much in the Bible about that.

One exeption could be that of Antichrist's followers receiving a mark on their foreheads or hand with his name of his number, 666. Apart from that I see no signing over one's soul, Faust style, to evil.

So what are your examples ? Give me your top five examples. And hopefully you can do so without injecting popular fiction like Faust into the respective texts.

It is often the case the people familiar with say, Dante's Divine Comedy or Milton's Paradise Lost assume they know a lot about the Bible because of this. Or some who know the story of Dr. Faust assume it embodies biblical concepts when they may be quite jaded with the imagination of the authors


These tricks and plots are sometimes quite devious, which makes one wonder exactly what limits could be placed on something supposedly tough and smart enough to have challenged a god and not been annihilated immediately.

I understand your challenge to be, "Well how do you know that your whole Holy Bible is not a trick of a devious being ?"


The question is this: how do the faithful know that their holy text is truly divine in origin, and not just the best trick ever devised by some evil god, demigod or other superbeing;
how do you tell who really inspired that scripture?

In the natural realm discernment and discrimination usually comes with growth and more maturity. A four year old may be deceived easier then a 16 year old. And a 16 year old may be deceived easier then a 25 year old.

With spiritual growth and experience encreased discernment comes, if all things are pretty normal.

As a Christian I was never absolutely alone. I was in a family. And early I prayed that God would lead me to other Christians who could help my faith. He was faithful to me. I was not always faithful but God was. And in the spiritual family life there is protection and models to follow. The truth can be made more and more clear. And by their fruits we know the genuine followers of Jesus.

We are not alone left to our own resources. God is our Father. And my experience is that the Father has kept me from many deceptions that I might have walked into had it not been for His protection.


Discussion preferably limited to methods and/or facts which are involved in determining the being(s) responsible for the above, and criticisms of said methods and facts.

The method for the follower of Jesus to encrease in discernment is to obey. When you obey the Father in the matter put before you now, encreased awareness and wisdom results. With deeper obedience comes deeper discernment.

God does not expect you to master all things of the spiritual walk immediately. Naturally growth takes time. Spiritually growth also requires time. If you believe and obey God in the matter in which He now speaks to you expressly, the result of your coming forward to Him will be encreased wisdom and the power to discriminate truth from error.

This is method.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.


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Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by Nij, posted 10-19-2010 9:56 PM jaywill has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 12175
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 4 of 110 (587525)
10-19-2010 10:56 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Nij
10-18-2010 1:17 AM


To Start With....
Lets assume, for a moment, that humans are influenced by words, sentences, and paragraphs that are able to convey a principle, a concept or a law in the form of a story, a parable, or narration of an actual historical event.

Given these guidelines, I can apply the Bible as a lesson in any way that I wish. I can tell you that the book is divinely inspired and that the SOURCE of this inspiration is God Himself. I can also do as others suggest and examine the CONTENT of the lesson and the CONTEXT and social setting preceding such lesson to give additional considerations to the INTENTION of the lesson.

Concerning good and evil, I feel that the overall lesson being taught is that obeying or conforming to good requires empathy, refutation of selfishness or greed, and oftentimes sacrifice. Evil, on the other hand, is simply actualization and pursuit of power regardless of the harm it may cause to others.

quote:
how do you tell who really inspired that scripture?

I believe that WE are responsible for how we interpret the scripture.
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1.61803
Member
Posts: 2817
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004


Message 5 of 110 (587526)
10-19-2010 11:01 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Nij
10-18-2010 1:17 AM


Papal infallibilty
The question is this: how do the faithful know that their holy text is truly divine in origin, and not just the best trick ever devised by some evil god, demigod or other superbeing;
how do you tell who really inspired that scripture?

This was addressed in Nicea in three hundreds. The Holy Roman Catholic church canonized the books that would be included in the bible and settle questions on various topics concerning the tenants of the faith. In other words started calling the shots.

Since there is no way to know whether the text is from a divine god, the church began the tradition of in the 1800 during The first Vatican council known as Papal infallibility, which concluded that when the Pope speaks "from the chair" His words are guided by the holy ghost and infallible. I know, I know the next question would be. " how do we know that that is truly the Holy ghost and not some demon?" The answer is simple.
Rule number 1. The pope guided by the Holy Ghost is in charge of inspiration.
Rule number 2. If one doubt that is in charge of inspiration see rule number one.

Edited by 1.61803, : spelling

Edited by 1.61803, : No reason given.


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Phat
Member
Posts: 12175
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 6 of 110 (587532)
10-19-2010 11:17 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by 1.61803
10-19-2010 11:01 AM


Re: Papal infallibilty
Rule#3: If uncomfortable, split from Catholic Church and declare the inspiration as originating from the scriptures rather than the guy in charge.

Inspiration
1.
a. Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity.
b. The condition of being so stimulated.
2. An agency, such as a person or work of art, that moves the intellect or emotions or prompts action or invention.
3. Something, such as a sudden creative act or idea, that is inspired.
4. The quality of inspiring or exalting: a painting full of inspiration.
5. Divine guidance or influence exerted directly on the mind and soul of humankind.
6. The act of drawing in, especially the inhalation of air into the lungs.

For some, belief in a living and active God comforts them, thus they attribute their own inspiration as coming directly from Him.

I maintain that we are still responsible how we apply the inspiration.

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.


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1.61803
Member
Posts: 2817
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004


Message 7 of 110 (587535)
10-19-2010 11:30 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Phat
10-19-2010 11:17 AM


Re: Papal infallibilty
Hi Phat, I agree with what you say. But it in no ways satisfies the OP question of how one can be certain the inspiration is truly from a benevolent God and not a demon etc... The bible was cannonized during the council of Nicea in the 300's. The Catholic church could not have the laity going believing, teaching and practicing what ever they wanted. Why? control of course. But I digress, the question of how one truly knows the text is truly divine was emphatically addressed and answered by the Catholic Church. The Church also went on to burn and destroy any text or churches that did not concur during the inquisitions. And to that end once and for all decreed anyone not onboard a heretic.
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ringo
Member
Posts: 16237
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 8 of 110 (587536)
10-19-2010 11:36 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Phat
10-19-2010 10:56 AM


Re: To Start With....
Phat writes:

Concerning good and evil, I feel that the overall lesson being taught is that obeying or conforming to good requires empathy, refutation of selfishness or greed, and oftentimes sacrifice.


If my name was Satan and I was writing a book to fool people into being evil, that's exactly what I'd do. I'd appeal to your innate sense of empathy and selflessness, then palm the pea, pull the old switcheroo and tell you that the only way to do good was to obey my book.

Then I could tell you any old nonsense about bashing babies' heads on rocks and you'd say, "Oh, this is a good thing because The Book™ sez so."


"It appears that many of you turn to Hebrew to escape the English...." -- Joseppi
This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Phat, posted 10-19-2010 10:56 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
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 Message 28 by Phat, posted 10-21-2010 11:37 AM ringo has responded

  
Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 110 (587555)
10-19-2010 1:13 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by ringo
10-19-2010 11:36 AM


Re: To Start With....
ringo writes:

If my name was Satan and I was writing a book to fool people into being evil, that's exactly what I'd do. I'd appeal to your innate sense of empathy and selflessness...

But aren't we supposed to have sinful natures, so that we would naturally gravitate toward sinful action?

Imagine this: The Old Testament God is the genuine god, and the New Testament where Jesus changes up the traditional hellfire and brimstone vengeful god thing is the fake by Satan. After all the entire story is a way to get around the judgment of God; a subversion of his will in essence. While Jesus's actions and philosophy might appeal to the human nature of us more than the Old Testament God, Christian ethics don't say that such a thing means they are good.

In one fell swoop Lucifer would have replaced the God of the Old Testament with a new replacement deity to worship, along with willing evangelicals to spread the false faith. After all there isn't any need for people to support what we would consider "evil" things like rape and murder, there is plenty of time for that once he gets us in hell. The most "evil" thing that can be done is to worship a different god, and by appealing to the human desire for fairness and escape from God's judgement that can be accomplished and damn people with the best of intentions.

Its an offer that is too good to be true; rather than constantly sacrificing to God to offset your sins, someone comes to you and says "Don't worry, I paid all your debts forever. Don't worry about it..." And people believed him! Simplest way to screw people over ever. Just add a healthy dose of self-deception to cover questions like "Why don't we see miracles anymore?" and you are home free.


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ringo
Member
Posts: 16237
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 10 of 110 (587565)
10-19-2010 2:00 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Phage0070
10-19-2010 1:13 PM


Re: To Start With....
Phage0070 writes:

But aren't we supposed to have sinful natures, so that we would naturally gravitate toward sinful action?


That's what The Book™ says but we know it isn't true, don't we? That's one of the first clues that the whole thing is just one of Satan's lies.

If we know that the New Testament is a lie and Christianity is nothing but a Satanic scam, then why would we think the Old Testament presented the One True Faith™?


"It appears that many of you turn to Hebrew to escape the English...." -- Joseppi
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Phat
Member
Posts: 12175
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 11 of 110 (587566)
10-19-2010 2:11 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by ringo
10-19-2010 2:00 PM


Re: To Start With....
Phage0070 writes:

But aren't we supposed to have sinful natures, so that we would naturally gravitate toward sinful action?

I agree that we have a propensity to do evil...just look at the history of humanity regarding wars.

We also have the ability to recognize good, in my opinion. Its just hard to do because it is often sacrificial. (Giving away spare change when you have nothing saved for retirement)


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Replies to this message:
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hooah212002
Member
Posts: 3183
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 12 of 110 (587568)
10-19-2010 2:15 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Phat
10-19-2010 2:11 PM


Re: To Start With....
I agree that we have a propensity to do evil...just look at the history of humanity regarding wars.

Yea, no kidding.....

"my invisible friend said this land belongs to me so now I will kill you and take it"

"my invisible friend says you are heathen swine because your invisible friend has a different name than him so now I will kill you"

"killing you will please my invisible friend"


"What can be asserted without proof, can be dismissed without proof."-Hitch.
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Phat
Member
Posts: 12175
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 13 of 110 (587570)
10-19-2010 2:25 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by hooah212002
10-19-2010 2:15 PM


Re: To Start With....
True enough, but if we got rid of religion we would not eradicate the propensity for evil. Switch "Invisible Friend" with "Will Of The People".
This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by hooah212002, posted 10-19-2010 2:15 PM hooah212002 has responded

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ringo
Member
Posts: 16237
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 14 of 110 (587572)
10-19-2010 2:34 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Phat
10-19-2010 2:11 PM


Re: To Start With....
OP writes:

The question is this: how do the faithful know that their holy text is truly divine in origin...?


Would The Real God™ be more likely to tell us to do good or evil? Would He be likely to inspire writers, copyists, redactors, apologists, etc. to pretend that genocide is His version of "good"?


"It appears that many of you turn to Hebrew to escape the English...." -- Joseppi
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hooah212002
Member
Posts: 3183
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 15 of 110 (587573)
10-19-2010 3:01 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Phat
10-19-2010 2:25 PM


Re: To Start With....
That doesn't work in this instance. Sure, you could say it was the will of the people....but only so because the people were driven by their holy book.

True enough, but if we got rid of religion we would not eradicate the propensity for evil.

So, you are saying people are inherently evil? Or do you ONLY say that because your holy book tells you that? Sorry I led us OT.


"What can be asserted without proof, can be dismissed without proof."-Hitch.
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