I as a believer have the facts that support my belief, but these facts are unique to my own experience and cannot be used to convince anyone else.
What if the Jesus stories are myth (or, at least, legend)?
Believers, being unable to meet the criteria of objective evidential support, would tend to support their belief systems with "facts" that are unique to their own experience. These "facts" (read, subjective inferences) would lead to numerous religious denominations each espousing mutually contradictory religious "truths".
Such believers would be compelled to devise strained and convoluted rationalizations in order to mentally reject objective evidence which threatens their belief system.
Adherents would be required to ignore or rationalize the literary and historical evidence which indicates that their religious texts were not divinely inspired and/or preserved.
Such belief systems would require that adherents rely on such unsupportable concepts as "faith" to maintain their faith. Any alleged adherent suspected of harboring doubt regarding said faith would be made to feel guilty, dirty or deceived.
Buildings would be erected in which to hold organized pep rallies at which adherents would provide/receive mutual assurance that other people believe this stuff also.
Anyone in a professional field (such as archaeology) that uncovers evidence contrary to any given belief system would be assumed to be in a conspiracy to maliciously destroy that belief system. [As in: he really knows the belief system is true but he'll do anything to destroy it because he's evil].
When the occasion arises that they are forced into facing hard, objective evidence contrary to their beliefs, adherents would retreat to vague references about "higher truths", "God testing us", "uncomfortable accomodations in hell", etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum . . .
quote:Originally posted by Phatboy, RE: Is.14:12-15
This title (Helal) is addressed to the king of Babylon, not so much as a specific human individual (like Belshazzar, for example), but as a representative or embodiment of Satan . . .
This is very weak exegesis based on little more than presumption. Most certainly the comparison made between the king of Babylon and the "day star" (Venus) is borrowed from Ugaritic mythology which originated from the apparent celestial motion of Venus.
This fact alone explains the nature of these (metrical) verses and it is only later stories (and the circular, retroactive attribution of the name "lucifer" to satan) that would allow it to appear otherwise.
Yet, not only is this a weak and circular exegesis, but we are also explicitly informed as to the nature of the personage in question.
You stopped your quote at the end of verse 15. And yet the very next verse says:
Is. 14:16 "They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying; Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake the kingdoms"
Thus, it can be shown that:
1) Your interpretation of Is. 14:12-15 is a very weak exegesis (more accurately, "eisegesis"). The adversary was never named "lucifer" and the verses are simply meant to compare the aspirations of the Babylonian king to the (mythological) celestial aspirations of Venus.
2) Is. 14:4 explicitly states that this poetic taunt is directed against the king of Babylon.
3) Is. 14:16 explicitly states that the recipient of the taunt is a man.
4) Is. 14:18-20 further describes the fact that the king of Babylon will not even be given the honor of "lying in state" as the kings of other nations do in their own house. But, rather, because he has caused the destruction of his own people and his own land, he will not join them (the other kings) in honorable burial but will be trodden as a carcass under foot.
So, since your exegesis of verses 12-15 can be demonstrated to be erroneous and virtually all of the surrounding context states explicitly that the subject of this taunt is, a man, a king, a carcass that won't get a royal burial, etc., it would seem quite apparent that the "devil" or "Satan" is not being referred to here.