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Author Topic:   Evidence For Belief
GDR
Member
Posts: 4986
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 14 of 46 (846192)
12-30-2018 7:21 PM


Subjectively understanding objective evidence.
I want to select this statement of Percy's last reply in rapture thread and reply to it. This seems to be a bit of a sticking point, so if I'm wrong, (just can't see that happening ), then I can learn from it.
Percy writes:

"Subjective conclusions?" That's the first time I think I've seen you say that...let me check. Well, way back in Message 419 you did say that "subjective reasoning and intuition are a big part of our conclusions." If you understand that your conclusions are subjective, why are you arguing that they're underpinned by objective evidence?


I contend that we objectively know that The Bible exists. We objectively know that the NT claims that Jesus was resurrected. We objectively know a fair bit about what has been written about the 1st century world that Jesus lived in. We objectively know that the Jesus movement spread beginning in that 1st century.

You and I can look at that objective evidence and form our own subjective conclusions about it. We can believe that it is all contrived. We can believe that some of it is accurate or we can even believe that God dictated it to the writers and it is 100 % accurate.

Incidentally in regard to my Anglicanism I am pretty much middle of the road. There is a very wide diversity of belief within the Anglican church and it seems the conservative branch think I'm liberal and the liberal branch think I'm conservative, which is not meant in any way to validate my views.


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


Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Straggler, posted 12-31-2018 1:59 AM GDR has responded
 Message 18 by Tangle, posted 12-31-2018 4:39 AM GDR has responded
 Message 19 by PaulK, posted 12-31-2018 5:11 AM GDR has not yet responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4986
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 16 of 46 (846202)
12-31-2018 3:10 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by Straggler
12-31-2018 1:59 AM


Re: Subjectively understanding objective evidence.
Straggler writes:

That there are lots of alternative and contradictory religious claims about which collection of writings/stories reveal the truth (bible, Koran, Torah, the vedas etc.) and that which one of these religious beliefs any given individual will claim as the truth is basically an accident of birth (if you had been born and raised in Ancient Greece you’d believe in Zeus, if you had been born on the Middle East you’d likely be arguing that the Koran is the book to follow, in 20th century Canada it happens to be Christianity that is the dominant religion)

Yes I am a Christian and certainly one of the reasons that I am is the culture I grew up in. However, there are people all over the world who adhere to religions that were not part of their culture. However, that does not exclude the possibility that Jesus was resurrected.

I also don't think that God didn't reach out to all cultures, and I am prepared to listen to and learn from holy books other than the Bible. However, each of the books you mentioned are quite different. The Koran is the creation of one man. This man had an estimated 25 wives, with the youngest being 9 or 10 when the marriage was consummated and when Mohammed was 53. Just the same is doesn't mean that there aren't things to be learned in the Koran.

The Torah as you know is part of the Christian Bible as well as being the sacred text for the Jewish faith. There are conflicting understandings of the nature of Yahweh in the Torah and as I have said elsewhere this understanding does narrow down to a large degree within the Hebrew Scriptures. Certainly we can learn from the Torah.

I don't know a lot about the Vedas except to say that it is a rather disconnected book of various material and dates back to about 1000BC when the book was compiled. I have only read about it, but I would not doubt that there is wisdom to be gained from reading that as well.

The Bible is obviously the book I am most familiar with. It contains the work of no doubt hundreds of authors in its 66 books. There is however a loose narrative that runs through all of it and climaxing in Jesus.

The various holy books aren't always conflicting. Yes there are always parts that will conflict, however as I posted earlier to Percy the Golden Rule is common to all of them.

Bottom line is is that I believe that the Bible is the book that best represents God and His desires for our lives, but I also have no problem with the idea that He can speak to the members of other faiths through their holy books as well.

Straggler writes:

That features of the Christian story (virgin birth, resurrection, ascending to heaven etc.) are similarly featured in various preceding myths.

Most of those myths existed well before the time of Jesus and weren't part of the Jewish culture. The Jesus story is a Jewish story and has to be understood within its Jewish context.

Straggler writes:

That dead people don’t come alive again.

They knew that as well as we do but they still vehemently claim that it happened, although not in a body that was subject to the entropy of this world but in a transformed body that seemed to move freely between God's universe and our own.

Straggler writes:

So I don’t agree that it’s all just subjective interpretation of the same facts. I’m pretty sure that my position incorporates far more of what we know objectively than your subjective beliefs do.

Well, not really. You have given an explanation as to why you reject the authenticity of the historical resurrection of Jesus. However, that is still your subjective conclusion. We are still left with the objective knowledge that the NT accounts exist and claim that Jesus was resurrected.

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 15 by Straggler, posted 12-31-2018 1:59 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by AZPaul3, posted 12-31-2018 3:44 AM GDR has responded
 Message 20 by Straggler, posted 12-31-2018 7:30 AM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4986
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 25 of 46 (846223)
12-31-2018 3:19 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by AZPaul3
12-31-2018 3:44 AM


Re: Subjectively understanding objective evidence.
AZPaul3 writes:

We are also left with the objective knowledge that Alice in Wonderland exists and its claim that the Cheshire Cat just fades away leaving only his smile behind.

Fiction is fiction.

That's pretty silly. Obviously A i W was written to be read as fiction. It is just as obvious that the NT wasn't.

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 17 by AZPaul3, posted 12-31-2018 3:44 AM AZPaul3 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by AZPaul3, posted 12-31-2018 4:16 PM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4986
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 26 of 46 (846224)
12-31-2018 3:25 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Straggler
12-31-2018 7:30 AM


Re: Subjectively understanding objective evidence.
Straggler writes:

But look at this without the blinkers of Christianity. Try to look at it from the point of view of an alien unfamiliar with any Earthly religion who deals only with the observable facts. What would they conclude? That the resurrection of Jesus is clearly superior to all those other religiious claims? Or that humans have a bewildering habit of really personally committing themselves to the various stories that they collectively create?


I would agree with all that except for one thing. It all hinges on whether or not the resurrection is an historical event. If it is trying to convey a truth through mythology or metaphor then I agree that you are correct. If however the physical resurrection of Jesus into a renewed physical form of life is historical, then that changes everything. My firmly held belief is that the resurrection is historical.

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 20 by Straggler, posted 12-31-2018 7:30 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by Straggler, posted 01-01-2019 6:28 AM GDR has not yet responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4986
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 29 of 46 (846246)
01-01-2019 2:08 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by Tangle
12-31-2018 4:39 AM


Re: Subjectively understanding objective evidence.
Tangle writes:

Had you been born in Bombay to Hindu parents you would not form the same subjective opinion of the bible. You would now be telling us of the objective truth contained within the Vendas and the importance of dharma and karma.

Quite possibly, but that doesn't tell us anything about the truth or falsehood of either belief, or for that matter, what truth is common to both faiths.

Tangle writes:

Your 'evidence' is therefore not merely subjective it's also temporal and spacial. Your current beliefs are very modern and very liberal. You simply could not have held them 300 years ago - there was no church to support them.

I would dispute the idea that there weren't people who studied the Scripture 300 years ago that couldn't have held my views but it isn't worth the time to argue about it. Actually my views that you call liberal are pretty middle of the road in Anglicanism. The Christian writers who have had the greatest influence on my thinking are all Anglican, (all Church of England for that matter). They are C S Lewis as a Christian philosopher, N T Wright as a New Testament scholar and John Polkinghorne as a scientist/theologian.

If you really want liberal read some of jar's posts.

Tangle writes:

To me it says that the belief is cultural - a learned tradition. It also says that if it is evidence of anything at all, it is only evidence of the power of conditioning and of a need within people in general to believe that they are special, not just another species that will live and die without further consequencies.

Certainly we are influenced by our cultures, but that doesn't mean that our conclusions are false. Also, I'm not sure what you mean by special. I suppose as we are all "I" then we consider are selves special. Personally I think that all of creatures are created by God and are special in their own right. I'm certainly no more special than an atheistic Brit.

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 18 by Tangle, posted 12-31-2018 4:39 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by Tangle, posted 01-01-2019 4:20 PM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4986
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 30 of 46 (846248)
01-01-2019 2:24 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by AZPaul3
12-31-2018 4:16 PM


Re: Subjectively understanding objective evidence.
AZPaul3 writes:

I submit your books were written as fiction, allegory or delusion, and most certainly not as objective reporting.

That is not a coherent thought. Fiction is quite differnt than allegory or delusion. Fiction is understood as a story to be read primarily for entertainment although there often is an underlying message, but it is not historical. An allegory, like a Biblical parable, is a story that is truthful but not in a historical sense but that it represents a literal truth. A delusion is is meant to be understood as truthful but where the author was duped. Of course it could also just be a lie.

The Gospels, as pointed out specifically by both Luke and John, were written to be accepted as truthful. That of course isn't evidence that they are historically accurate, but it is evidence that they were not written as fiction, but were written to convey an account of events, that were intended to be understood as historically accurate.


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 27 by AZPaul3, posted 12-31-2018 4:16 PM AZPaul3 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by Thugpreacha, posted 01-01-2019 3:02 PM GDR has responded
 Message 36 by AZPaul3, posted 01-01-2019 6:29 PM GDR has responded
 Message 40 by ringo, posted 01-02-2019 2:44 PM GDR has not yet responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4986
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 33 of 46 (846255)
01-01-2019 4:16 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by Thugpreacha
01-01-2019 3:02 PM


Re: Subjectively understanding objective evidence.
Phat writes:

People ask me why I don't consider a spaghetti monster as equally probable.

Dawkins came up with the FSM simply to ridicule religious belief. Even those who use the term recognize that there are no FSMians around but that there are millions of Christians.

I'd keep in mind that ridicule is not a convincing way to debate, and if anything demonstrates the lack of a cohesive argument for their position.


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 31 by Thugpreacha, posted 01-01-2019 3:02 PM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4986
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 35 of 46 (846257)
01-01-2019 5:40 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by Tangle
01-01-2019 4:20 PM


Re: Subjectively understanding objective evidence.
Tangle writes:

Oh but it does. It tells us that without further information, it's 50:50 whether your Christian or the Hindu belief is the 'truth'. And of course as there are many more claims to belief the odds worsen as we add them.

No. One could be 100% correct and the other 100% wrong, they could both be partly correct and they could both overlap which in fact they do.

Tangle writes:

As it's obvious that humans have had an almost unlimitted number of beliefs it's clear that none of them are correct.

That is your subjective belief.

Tangle writes:

As you say later, your views are Anglican, middle of the road CofE. They're the norm here in the UK. But the wide spread idea that non-Christians and even atheists - can also enter heaven is very modern amongst Christians. Religious ideas evolve, it's quite normal, if they didn't evolve to suit the culures they inhabit, they'd die. We can see that happening now with Catholicism in the developed world and with the extremist forms like Faith's and ICANT's that are nearing the end of their lives.

I've had maintained all along that our understanding of deity in general is a progressive revelation. As we interact with our neighbours either locally, in other cultures and religions or even here at EvC we gain understanding of our humanness which leads us to a closer understanding of God.

I believe that there is a modern reformation in the Christian church that is largely caused by going back into the world of Jesus and understanding Him from His historical context as fully man. The church has rejected that line of thinking for centuries I think partly because the church was afraid of it. In the end, you can't go wrong with the truth.

Tangle writes:

The fact that the culture changes the belief should tell us something don't you think.

Well for a start it should show that there is more to learn. I think in answered that in the last paragraph.

Tangle writes:

Special, as in different from all the rest of 'god's' creations.
You keep ignoring the trillions of creatures that this god of yours has killed and the trillions more that will die in the future. Including billions of humans and pre-humans. You have yet to reconcile your loving god with these facts of our lives.

You balk at the thought of your god commanding murder, so much so that you - correctly in my view - dismiss those events in the OT as myth. But you accept the fact of evolution.

That should be an enormous problem for you but it seems not. I don't think you fully understand the enormity of that. Evolution - in the eyes of a moral person - is the ultimate evil. Forget Hitler's genocides, forget ethnic cleansing, forget mass murder of an entire generation of all species by flood.

Evolution is the process for the total extermination of repeated generations of all living things AFTER they've been able to provide a new generation of organisms so that it can kill those too.

This means that your creator created organisms so that he could torture and kill them indefinitely. Additionally, he created a system where each organism must fight with all others just to stay alive long enough to be tortured and die. Most must kill others in order to stay alive long enough to strugglefor life and eventually die themselves.

In the meantime - before dying, usually in pain - while they live, they must also suffer from disease, famine, injury and more pain.

This is the proces you accept that has - you say - agency. And that agent is a loving god. Well you could have fooled me.

I think I'd rather see the truth - there's no god here. The alernative is that if there is a god that designed all this, he's the epitome of evil.

I have addressed this a number of times. I agree that as Christians it is the biggest problem we face. Those like Faith and ICANT address it easily, as there is no contradiction between suffering and a God that is prepared to command genocide. It is a much bigger issue for Christians like myself.

Yes, I have to rationalize suffering. I can partially answer it by the usual concept that we can not choose to have hearts that love, if we can't also have hearts that are all about the self. That explains suffering brought about by humans rejecting God's inner voice that calls us to follow the Golden Rule.

There is also the issue of creatures eating other creatures, suffering from natural disasters etc. (BTW, I do believe that as Christians we should be vegetarians but unfortunately that isn't happening in my life. )

The best I can do is this. Linear time for whatever reason has as a component;
entropy. The result of an entropic world is that natural disasters occur. God does though provide mankind with the motivation and the ability to mitigate the problems of those in distress from natural disasters.

As far as creatures eating creatures is concerned I have no answer except that ultimately the Bible says that the wolf will lay down with the lamb. Also as I said earlier I do believe that ultimately there will be perfect justice in a renewed creation. By faith I accept that things are the way they are because this is how it has to be. I realize that this isn't enough for you but I would like to add this.

Your rejection of a deity because of the suffering that exists in the world is more of a Christ like position than those who are prepared to accept a genocidal deity. I have to assume that as an atheist you also take the Christ like position of doing what you can to alleviate suffering.

Edited by GDR, : missed a word


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 34 by Tangle, posted 01-01-2019 4:20 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by Tangle, posted 01-02-2019 4:00 AM GDR has not yet responded
 Message 39 by Straggler, posted 01-02-2019 7:08 AM GDR has not yet responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4986
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 37 of 46 (846262)
01-01-2019 7:36 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by AZPaul3
01-01-2019 6:29 PM


Re: Subjectively understanding objective evidence.
AZPaul3 writes:

Ok, so, religio-nutcase gone wacko it is then.

There are a lot of us religio-nutcases gone wacko out there. Be very careful - we are watching you.

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 36 by AZPaul3, posted 01-01-2019 6:29 PM AZPaul3 has acknowledged this reply

    
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