Here you go optimist
Not sure my motivation...my instinctive need to stick up for the underdog...my secret desire to be one day honoured rightfully with the role of Forum moderator (expecting a call any day)...
But anyway I couldn't help but read your troubles on another thread...unfortunately I found myself siding with everyone's posts...other than your own...except for the part where you were told you can't post here!
So I put my low IQ mind to coming up with a solution that suits all...and here it is...a safe place if you like
You can post anything you like about your beliefs...and no one has to read it unless they want! Easy peasy...
maybe you could even get Jesus, fat Buddha, Mohammed, and friends to converse in adult conversation here
Solving the world problems, one at a time...call it taking a shovel as a way of moving that mountain
All the best...brother
PS...I actually was born again once, but I grew up, and grew a brain of my own...and realised it was all a load of shit!
Upnorth, thanks for unpacking that. Seems like a really beautiful moment for you.
FR, I've re-read my posts and can't see any obvious circularity, but perhaps I'm reading what I meant to say rather than what I did. Can you point out where I've gone wrong?
Cromwell, what are your thoughts on the societal problems that a lack of free will brings, e.g. how can the legal/justice system work - how can someone be held responsible for doing something that they were constrained/determined/compelled to do and could not have done otherwise?
Optimist, yeah good advice. Luke's a good one; he reports to have actually set out to document an accurate history. Then you've got Acts, written by the same author; Luke/Acts is really one two-volume book.
Balance, you don't come across as a dumbass. You've asked some interesting questions and made some interesting comments. I suspect that you're right that the truth is ultimately beyond our comprehension (in this life anyway), but I do think we can uncover bits and pieces.
Pupkin, I'd have to confess to not having actually read any of Camus' works. I've read about them, but never got around to reading them. Pretty sure my brother left some on his shelf when he went overseas; where would you recommend I start?
An anonymous author made this striking comparison.
“Socrates taught for 40 years, Plato for 50, Aristotle for 40 and Jesus for only 3. Yet the influence of Christ’s 3-year ministry infinitely transcends the impact left by the combined 130 years of teaching from these men who were among the greatest philosophers of all antiquity.
“He painted no pictures, yet some of the finest paintings of Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci received their inspirations from Him. Jesus wrote no poetry, but Dante, Milton and scores of the world’s greatest poets were inspired by Him.
“He composed no music, still Haydn, Handel, Beethoven, Bach and Mendelssohn reached their highest perfection of melody in the hymns, symphonies and oratorios they composed in His praise. Every sphere of human greatness has been enriched by this humble carpenter of Nazareth.
“His unique contribution to the race of men is the salvation of the soul! Philosophy could not accomplish that. Not art. Not literature. Not music. Only Jesus Christ can break the enslaving chains of sin and Satan. He alone can speak peace to the human heart, strengthen the weak and give life to those who are spiritually dead.”
I'll try Pops, but I strongly suspect it won't be fruitful.
Instead I'd like to go back to the issue of epistemic humility, the fact of competing religions and the nature of God.
You said plurality is a nonsense, right? Words to that effect. Not every religion can be right. Yes?
Which means you believe, that Christianity is right and a majority of the worlds population, now and through the entire history of humanity is wrong.
How do you square that with epistemic humility? With respect, isn't that the exact opposite?
For a non believer it looks like the most breath-taking epistemic arrogance, even if that arrogance is unintentional.
Thats one objection to religious belief per se.
Two, you say the greatest possible good is getting to know God.
But for the majority of the worlds population- who believe in a religion which you claim is not the pathway to God, this then becomes an impossibility.
What kind of God would foster this?
A God who refuses to bestow grace on the majority of the Worlds population who mostly happen to be Asian/Middle eastern and non-white?
That stretches credulity to the absolute maximum.
A far more likely hypothesis there is that religions are man-made artifices, they develop in different areas, at different times based on fundamental human psychological needs which arose from the evolutionary development of self-consciousness.
Your hypothesis: that God bestowed his Grace and the pathway to knowledge of him (and thus ultimate good) on Christian nations (mostly white) is a hypothesis that I find disturbing.
Religious beliefs and organised religious structures I understand as competing cultural artefacts, throughout history they have sought to vanquish each other and claim territory and maintain their existence through time.
Thats a historical understanding that seems hard to refute, unless you dismiss vast swathes of human history.
Pops I think you are making the same “mistake” as free ride. You are the combination of your genetics and your environment. There is no other you, no little man sitting inside who could be treated unfairly. The reality is that the justice system, apart from extreme case of mental illness, holds us responsible for our actions even when there are clear social and genetic factors driving the criminality. My view doesn’t change anything,
FR, I'll answer as best I can...
"How do you square that with epistemic humility? With respect, isn't that the exact opposite?" I try my best to remain open to being convinced that I am wrong. Having a conviction that your beliefs are correct surely does not equate to arrogance, unless you refuse to listen or weigh up competing beliefs. I'm truly sorry if I've come across as arrogant in any way. I hope that by being as open an welcoming of interrogation as I am that I'm showing myself to be open to/accomodating of other ideas even though I have a firm conviction.
"But for the majority of the worlds population- who believe in a religion which you claim is not the pathway to God, this then becomes an impossibility.
What kind of God would foster this?"
Some thoughts on this:
1. Christianity in fact does hold that it is possible to attain eternal life (note that life has a curious meaning in "christianese"; life = relationship with God) even for someone who has never heard of the abrahamic god or of christ. The letter to the Romans teaches that all are held to account on the basis of their response to revelation that they've been given of god. This isn't pluralism, because the mechanism by which they are saved is the penal subsitution of christ, even though they don't know it.
2. You seem to be implicitly assuming that God could actualise any world he wished, including one in which an arbitrarily large number of people freely choose to seek him. As I've argued earlier, even God cannot actualise a logical impossibility (because there is no such thing). I.e. a married bachelor, four sided triangle, or someone being compelled to make a free choice. So it's possible that by desiring both the for people to have free will and for the greatest feasible number of people to freely seek him, this is the best world that God could in fact actualise, even though there are so many people who would ultimately be lost by their own free choice.
I suspect we may be shooting past each other here because it seems that I hold to libertarian freedom (true free will), and you hold to strict determinism, in which case you chop my argument off at the knees.
" that God bestowed his Grace and the pathway to knowledge of him (and thus ultimate good) on Christian nations (mostly white) is a hypothesis that I find disturbing."
That is not the hypothesis to which I hold; see point 1 above. Salvation is accessible to the person outside of christianities reach (by dint of his place in time and space) who sees the limited revelation of God in the world/in nature and responds to that, etc. We are only held to account for our response whatever revelation has been given to us.
I don't deny your last point, though I don't think that is the entire picture.
Cromwell, so effectively you're saying that self is illusory, and that the justice system is (for want of a better term) unjust, but because all is determined we just have to accept that? Or that because there really isn't any self it doesn't matter?
I'm curious; do you live your life as though your self is real, in denial of what you believe?
(edit, not trying to attack your position, just trying to understand it)
Pops, what we feel as our “self” is the character formed by a combination of genetics and our early environment. This is usually considered to have been formed by the age of 3 and is much less susceptible to change after that. If you consider human personality and character to be an illusion unless based on some immortal essence, that is your right. In terms of justice, if your character forms in the direction of criminality then there is an element of unfairness, but we already know that. There is a particular gene variant that, in combination with an abused childhood, leads to a very high risk of violent criminality. I have no problem with finding such people guilty of their crimes. I suspect such cases cause more problems for your point of view since God has obviously been unjust to such people.
Thanks Pops, appreciate the good faith replies.
So, if God is not omniscient or maybe even omnipresent.....then I still fail to see the logical, rational underpinnings of your belief.
If God was omniscient or omnipresent he would circumvent "compelling people to make a free choice"......he would simply reveal himself to the World.
The further you go on, the more it looks like simply a matter of taste.
You choose Christianity because the story appeals to you.
You haven't done a good job of explaining to me why belief in Christianity is more rational than belief in Buddhism.....or Islam, or Zoroastrianism.
Buddhism, as far as I can see it, having no theistic structure, is by far the most rational religious belief.
The most compelling evidence you've presented has been personal revelation.
But then we are back at religion as pure psychological phenomenon.
I'm not dismissing religious belief. It's utility for individuals is clearly demonstrated.
Since the birth of self consciousness, when humans became aware that they and their loved ones were going to die, a concomitant desire for meaning- that seems to be absent in animals (who have no or limited self consciousness)- has been a constant feature of human societies.
It's utility for societies or human beings as a species more generally is far less clear cut.
It seems unable to answer existential threats which we may have to face in the near future.
" If you consider human personality and character to be an illusion unless based on some immortal essence, that is your right."
That's not my claim, it's what I thought yours was, based on "There is no other you, no little man sitting inside who could be treated unfairly."
So you think the self is real, but determined?
"I suspect such cases cause more problems for your point of view since God has obviously been unjust to such people."
1. My position entails libertarian freedom. While I acknowledge that nature & nurture do have a powerful effect, I maintain that there is true free will.
2. Perhaps if you had a generic deist view of God and denied free will, then yes you could argue injustice in such a case (since both the crime and the human punishment are determined). But with free will and a god who has offered to take ultimate punishment upon himself as a substitution for the person (who has made a free choice to perform whatever act he has done) - how could that be said to be unjust towards the person? If the person accepts that offer, then justice has been discharged (upon the substitution/proxy), yet the person in question has been saved from punishment.
"So, if God is not omniscient or maybe even omnipresent.....then I still fail to see the logical, rational underpinnings of your belief.
If God was omniscient or omnipresent he would circumvent "compelling people to make a free choice"......he would simply reveal himself to the World."
I'd maintain the omniscience and omnipresence of God. Don't think I've denied that?
Given that people are free agents, even if God did reveal himself that does not necessarily mean that all people would necessarily accept him - people are free to choose not to. Besides, it would seem possible that God prefers a world in which people seek him out. He could have created a world without free agents, in which all people were compelled to find him, sure, but it does seem that he values freedom of the will. Is someone choosing to love you not preferable to someone being compelled to do so?
"You choose Christianity because the story appeals to you."
With respect, I chose christianity because I found the evidence rendered it more plausible than any alternative that I'd investigated. In my own case, personal revelation didn't come until after that process.
"You haven't done a good job of explaining to me why belief in Christianity is more rational than belief in Buddhism.....or Islam, or Zoroastrianism." I haven't attempted to do so. All I've tried to do is to show that there can be a rational underpinning of christian faith, in opposition to the standard claim that faith and reason stand in opposition.
And just because two views compete does not necessarily mean that one is rational and one is irrational.
"Buddhism, as far as I can see it, having no theistic structure, is by far the most rational religious belief."
One thought on that... As far as I am aware, Buddhism postulates a co-eternal, past-infinite (in time) coexistance of nature and consciousness? One immediate problem with that is that a past-infinite sequence of events is mathematically/logically impossible. Just as you cannot count up to a true-infinite (aleph0), you can't count back to a negative true-infinite.
"It seems unable to answer existential threats which we may have to face in the near future." If christianity is true, such threats do have an answer, though perhaps not one that you'd like. They will come, and the world will end; though we don't know when, and a new, perfected world will come.
And FR, (and cromwell and everyone else who's contributed here), I really do appreciate that we've been able to have a proper discussion here. Thanks so much for all your critiques, insights and questions, and the ideas you've put forward.
Pops I was just about to post the same comment on quantum mechanics.....to argue in the other direction. One of the interesting things about the free will issue is that it goes back so far and that Christian beliefs have encompassed both sides. Was it the Calvinists who believed that salvation and damnation were a predetermined part of God’s all embracing plan and could not be influenced by prayer or good deeds? And yes, a very civilised discussion.
Well I guess I learnt 2 things about God today...
Maybe if you love a fellow man, in a sexual type way, you will burn in hell for all eternity...but young children, not so much
And he definitely voted remain
Consult History before you name drop.
Christianity borrowed from Judaism and was promoted most successfully by St Paul to service his needs.
Just as Islam has been promoted by various leaders for their own benefits too.
Did you know that for many centuries Islam was far superior in art , science , architecture and society to any 'European/Western/Christian" civilisation.
Times change eh.
Worth researching as it truly opens your mind and eyes.
Read the new testament Balance and you'll know what God thinks. I can assure you its nothing like the way the Vatican behaves....Jesus said regarding His representatives.."By their fruit shall you know them"...Good tree.. good fruit. Bad tree ..bad fruit. Not hard to figure out who's who.
Sorry that I didn't reply; thread must have been buried before I saw your post.
"One of the interesting things about the free will issue is that it goes back so far and that Christian beliefs have encompassed both sides."
Absolutely; it's been debated for millenia. There's some really interesting arguments on all sides.
"Was it the Calvinists who believed that salvation and damnation were a predetermined part of God’s all embracing plan and could not be influenced by prayer or good deeds?"
Yep, though the act of prayer would also have been understood as predestined. And note that all schools of reformed theology would say that salvation cannot be influenced by good deeds; that's not unique to Calvin. No-one is able to be good enough, salvation is only accessible through the mechanism of subsitutionary propitiation/atonement (i.e. Christ acts and is punished as proxy and representative for anyone who would accept him as such. Justice is discharged on him. At the same time, his righteousness is appropriated to the acceptor by dint of the same proxy/representative relationship).
Calvin also would say that God can and does overwhelm the will of man; he'd have different ways of answering the various objections we've discussed above.
I prefer the Molinist take; that God has perfect foreknowledge and middle-knowedge (knowledge of all true counterfactuals; knowledge of what someone in some context *would* freely choose to do), and so prior to the beginning of the world knew what any given person would freely choose to do in any given context. Using that knowldege He then placed all people who might have chosen to accept salvation into contexts in which they would do so; in that sense they are "predestined"/"elected", yet without breaching their free will.
Sorry; that got a bit wordy.
@Balance, I wouldn't draw any conclusions about God from a human trial.
"promoted most successfully by St Paul to service his needs."
Not sure what you mean by that? By all accounts Saul/Paul went from having a reasonably comfortable life for the times prior to his conversion (high status in Jewish society plus enjoying the privelages of being a Roman citizen), to constant strife, trouble and persecution and ultimately a pretty grim death afterwards, almost entirely due to his "mission". Not sure how that could be construed as servicing his needs?
This young guy has an incredible voice...Good Easter song.
Pops, I have been reading the new Hilary Mantel novel. It is the third in the series starting from Wolf Hall. If you haven’t read them already I think you would find them interesting.
Just read the synposis; sounds interesting, I'll add it to my list :)
Is that what inspired the Thomas Cromwell alias?
Pops some days I feel like Thomas, who was executed by a king but others I feel like Oliver who executed a king. Make sure you start with Wolf Hall. It is set in plague times so has additional relevance.
I like that. Well said.
For a while I was musing that you were aiming to abolish christmas ;)
I celebrate the solstices and equinoxes, like every good pagan, We really should move our main celebration to the winter solstice though, which has always been the tradition. Do Roman records record the time of year of Christ’s birth, it was in the middle of a census or something wasn’t it? Or is that later embellishment?
Luke records it as taking place during a census. Can't remember if it was Roman or Jewish-specific; I think Roman, under Augustus? And off the top of my head there might have been a couple of censuses relatively close together, which makes it hard to date exactly. Josephus mentions one, though it doesn't seem to correlate to the one Luke mentions; they're around a decade apart. And I don't think we have an accurate record of the time of year the census(es) took place.
The adoption of December 25th to celebrate Christ's birth came much later, during Constantine's time, re-contextualising the pagan solstice festivals.
Somehow I don’t like my chances of persuading the Catholics. The evangelicals, maybe. Until then we continue with our own celebrations.
Jesus was born "when shepherds watched their flocks by night", which was the spring lambing season in Israel. Quite relevant when Jesus was known as "The Lamb of God" who would take away the sin of the world.
.........which makes it around Easter I think. So if we move Christmas to Easter, should we have Easter at Christmas? What season was the crucifixion?
Easter is one that we know with a bit more certainty - it was at the time of the Jewish Passover festival.
It's still loosely fixed to that (which is why it shifts around; the Jews used a lunar/solar calendar). Though the two aren't quite aligned due to adoptions of different calendars etc (similarly orthodox/eastern churches celebrate at a different time due to using a different calendar).
Quite amazing that your in-depth research of organised religion has completely overlooked the fact that every important event on the religious calendar has been usurped from pagan religions , then recast and reappropriated as Christian etc.
Easter was a celebration for Millenia before the Jesus fiction was superimposed over the traditional ritual.
Historical records for this abound .
“ recontextualising the pagan rituals “ that’s a very fancy way of saying that they were stolen and then retrofitted to a narrative more conducive to selling the Christian product line.
Personally I take no offence at the Christians adjusting their celebrations to the pagan traditions. In fact I heartily endorse any celebration of the solstices and equinoxes likely to lead to intoxication and licentiousness.
They didn’t adjust their celebrations. They stole the pagan celebrations.
It’s like taking a Hilux , prizing off the Toyota badge and putting a Nissan badge on it.
It’s not “ recontextualising “ , it’s stealing.
I make no pretense that the church didn't rebadge various pagan celebrations, particularly from Constantine's time onwards. It was done in a very deliberate way to appease the pagan masses as christianity(ish) was adopted as the official religion of late period Rome.
But re Easter, only looking to the pagan equinox celebrations misses the Jewish context of the Passover, which is what the very early celebrations of Easter were tied to. The equinox feast bells-and-whistles were added later.
You guys are still mixing up the fact that the Holy Roman empire that made the changes to the dates is NOT the true Christian church but a melt of Roman Paganism as well to keep the Idolatrous Romans happy back in the day. Hence all the idols and extra rules and queen of heaven crap etc etc.
The words "Christian Church" and Roman Catholic ( Catholic Meaning World) church should never be mixed up. They are not the same thing and I get tired of saying it. Our guys used to get burned at the stake for reading the bible and telling the pope and his fake church to rack off.
I am sure the world’s Catholics will be disappointed that ypu would demote them from Christianity but they survived Dostoevsky’s similar criticisms and so will probably survive yours. No worries though, we pagans would welcome them back into the fold if they were struggling. It is interesting that you mention Catholics burning non-Catholics when it was a popular sport on both sides. The Tudors were keen on burning Catholics. Just another reason to stay well clear of the whole business, I think.
Real Christians aren't allowed to hurt anyone. We only have 2 rules and that's one of them. You don't believe any of it anyway so stop trolling about.
As you like, though my interest in the history is genuine.
Optimist, while real christians ought not hurt anyone, history is unfortunately littered with examples where they've failed in that obligation.
I do tend to agree that catholicism has distorted the core ideas of christianity by importing pagan practices, and itself became highly corrupt as it grew in influence.
I wouldn't go so far as to say that catholics cannot be christian though (as you seem to be implying).
Pops, a ride into the depths of the discussion about determinism.
Happy Easter everyone.
Today on Good Thursday at 3pm (the ninth hour) while the Prince of peace was nailed to a tree, the world would never be the same again. He Died then, the Creator of all things taking the punishment for the created. Blood for blood, Life for life. Sinless for sin. The Lamb of God sacrificed for all that was, that is and will be. Greater love hath no man than this..than he lay down his life for his friends.
That's my God, He doesn't think like me, I could never understand how or why He does things the way He does, but He is an Impressive character and even though far superior in every way, connected and relevant to what He created, the free thinking and free choosing human race. Give Him a thought this Easter, His life with us, His death on the cross, His 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth doing goodness knows what in the realm of departed spirits. Then Sunday morning the victory, the resurrection, the new body, the first of its kind, a taste of whats to come for us. Have a Happy Easter, May God touch you in some way and bless your families and friends as we sit isolated and contemplating life's bigger picture.
.....and may the Easter Bunny deliver its bounty of chocolate and increase your fertility. Oh and, timely reminder, the bottle shops are shut tomorrow. The equinox should be celebrated with libations offered to Hughie for a bountiful crop of waves in the coming season.
Any of you guys take an interest in the book of revelation, or have a depth of knowledge on it
Anything in there that could be linked to this situation...it's feeling more and more like a major event in history to me
I said to my brother it must be the biggest event since what? WW2, the moon landing...WW1 or the Spanish flu...he said he can only go as far as the biggest since Scott and Charlenes wedding, at this stage. I reluctantly agreed
My brother pointed out this to me the other day, which made us both laugh
Corona 6 letters
I'll let you do the addition.
PM: Church is now an 'Essential workplace' for resurrecting Cardinals.
Moses parts the sea for hordes of parishioners to 'work' the collection Bowls.
Big Fat Greek Gay Weddings will soon again prop up Oz economy.
Happy Easter to Essential Sunday Surf School workers...nice "WORK" if you can get it!
The Lord removes boundaries in mysterious ways...Enjoy yer en masse Massive Masses!
PS: Christians are spreading COVERT-19 thru our Mail Boxes.
Yes! Idiots think it's fun to palm of their Corona virus in the name of religion.
tbb prays that over Easter these Christians will halt diabolical world extermination plot.
The Supremacy of the Son of God... ( By St Paul in Colossians chapter 1)
15 The Son is the visible image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[g] your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant....
(And from Hebrews 1)
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
Hebrews 1:3 NIV
By far the most morbid, alarming & depressing passage tbb has ever read!
Feel utterly lifeless now! Lost count of how many times tbb just died then. (Horrid!)
PM: Tongues Testament
10/4/2020 The Supremacy of [COVERT-19] [M1] (Cardinal's Resurrection Blitz)
News: ['God's Easter Lockdown bosses Corona Lockdown']
PM: 'Meek non believers shall stay the fuck in their Rape Dungeons'.($1m fines.)
News:11th hr Christian volunteer work pass gets waved thru by hand of God.
Miracles do Happen! The chosen few see the light + wine'n'dine + go surfing.
Christians enjoying a pantomime while chaining up Oz without food and services
God's plan of torture & cruelty upon fellow man is celebrated by Team Christians.
Volunteer tbb selfishly requests for any spare spat out Hot Cross bun raisins.
Flock keeps hounding tbb for Xmas Fruit Mince Pies secret recipe.
Easter Sunday, The Christ is Risen and in a brand new type of body. The first of its kind. Its the first resurrected human body and a whole new life form. More powerful and eternal as well. Its a big day for the human race thanks to Jesus our Creator, Saviour and King. We are truly honored to have someone up there who cares about our loose cannon free thinking selves. I know I sure am. Seeing as its Sunday and we are stuck at home, can't go to an Easter service, a decent preacher should be selected. Here is the late great Billy Grahams final sermon before he died. Its only 8 minutes and worth a watch....Have a happy and very blessed Easter ....
Best Easter wishes to you optimist, and everyone else
No lie, my son sent me a video this morning of my first an only grand daughter, just under 11 months old, taking her first steps
I guess she figured if Jesus can walk out of his tomb...the least she could do is take half a dozen wobbly steps into her proud dad's arms
Easter miracle? I guess not, but very cool
If your stuck at home and not going anywhere don't worry, just sit in your favorite chair, close your eyes and picture yourself in your exact spot on the earth. Then really see yourself in your chair travelling through space around the sun at 107,000klm per hour. That's a rush right there.
Now I have been around Lakeside raceway at over 200kph and that was fast but this is something else. An even more amazing thing is, that the area you cover during any given period is exactly the same formula for all orbiting bodies. Yes, God has made one simple maths formula for all orbiting things. Even comets obey the same laws and cover the same amount of area per time period regardless of where they are on the ellipse of an orbit. (See Keplers Law of Harmonies). 4000 years ago when the book of Job was written, God speaks to Job about Arcturus and "its bodies" or "Sons" that no one could even see until the invention of the modern telescope. He also mentions "the treasures of the snow" (Job 38) which was nonsense until the modern microscope was invented thousands of years later. Life is full of mystery and hidden treasure including Gods love for His free thinking and free choosing people that He created.