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rxwine
rxwine
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October 24th, 2011 at 8:48:51 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

I think the staying power of Christianity is also something to marvel at. My argument is that the spread and continuing hold of Christianity around the globe is unique and quite extraordinary. .



St Nicholas apparently turned people from meat pies, back into the living. No wonder Santa a has big separate following, absent Jesus. Seems like a bigger miracle than plain old rising from the dead.
Quasimodo? Does that name ring a bell?
MathExtremist
MathExtremist
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October 24th, 2011 at 8:49:42 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

I think the staying power of Christianity is also something to marvel at. My argument is that the spread and continuing hold of Christianity around the globe is unique and quite extraordinary. I think it speaks something about its truthfulness and value. The stories about a sun-god that prepare the way and have now fallen to the wayside is a good example of how quickly falsehood retreats when the light of truth shines upon it.


Well, slow down a bit. The sun-god mythos was thousands of years old before it fell out of favor, and it is scientifically disprovable that the Sun revolves around the Earth. Notwithstanding, Galileo, the major proponent of heliocentrism and one of the greatest scientific minds of his time, was branded a heretic (by your Church). But the larger point is that the sun-god theory is disprovable. The New Testament is not -- either you believe the accounts in the Gospels or you don't, but you can't prove them either way because they make no independently verifiable scientific claims (meaningful aspects of the faith that could be archaeologically or geologically verified, etc.). The Qu'ran is equivalent in that regard -- one cannot disprove the revelations in the Qu'ran either. If anything, I don't understand how one would rationally choose between the New Testament and the Qu'ran, given that both sets of documents contradict each other in important ways (e.g. Jesus was a divine part of the Trinity vs. Jesus was just another prophet of Allah). In other words, a true believer cannot simultaneously hold both the New Testament and the Qu'ran as true -- therefore one must be false -- but neither has quickly retreated in view of the other. Indeed, the bidirectional criticisms between Christianity and Islam are a fascinating study in and of themselves. Islam denies the Incarnation, Christianity denies the primacy of Islam, Islam denies Original Sin, Christianity denies the Islamic tenet of Biblical corruption, etc.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
Nareed
Nareed
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October 24th, 2011 at 9:09:13 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

It does my heart good to hear you using this argument for the existence of Abe Lincoln, because this is what I was trying to demonstrate in concern to the existence of God and more specifically Jesus Christ in many previous posts. Your quote about things you cannot know of your own first-hand experience and our need to depend on credible witnesses who did have first hand experience is beautiful!



Thanks.

You're very persistent. I'll give you that. it's a compliment. Persistence is a trait I much admire.

However, there are times when persistence can be a bad thing. Like when the gambler persists with a system hoping, or knowing, it will pay off eventually. No amount of persistence will make a negative expectation game pay off, as you and I know but the faithful gambler doesn't. In this analogy I'm the house and you're the gambler, I'm afraid.

Let's take Lincoln, as he's a very good example. I don't know much about the man, but what I know is consistent with the actions common to human beings. True, he was perhaps more courageous and more noble than is common for politicians, but such traits are not unheard of in politicians and certainly not in regular people.

Now, no one claims, say, that Lincoln freed the slaves with a miracle, or that he smote the Confederate armies with a mighty thunderbolt, or that he rose from the dead after being gunned down by Boothe. You get where I'm going. if there were a group of devoted followers, call them the Lincolni (with apologies to J. Michael Straczynski*) who claimed such things, and more, I wouldn't believe them. No matter how devoted they were or how much they swore, on a stack of Bibles if you want, that they have experienced the Great Emancipator in their hearts.

I would dismiss their claims as faith. I might demand evidence, too. The poor Lincolni wouldn't much care for me. I'd still believe Lincoln existed, and he was the president of the USA at the time, and that he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, and the he preached the sermon at Gettysburg (if I may take some poetic license), and I would have my opinions on the man, too.

As I've said before, there is no doubt a man named Jesus did exist around the time the Bible claims he did. There are independent sources. I'm willing to believe he did many of the actions ascribed to him, minus the miracles he's supposed to have worked (he might have used what we would call stage magic techniques these days to appear to work some kind of miracles, but that's impossible to say; magicians rarely reveal their tricks), and I'm willing to believe he said many of the things he's supposed to have said, or words that were close enough in meaning.

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Billions more people attest to have had experiences of God or the divine than can attest to knowing honest Abe.



Maybe. And billions more can attest to having experienced ghosts, goblins, faeries, assorted spirits, poltergeists, etc etc. give it time, and you'll have billions attesting to anal probing on a spaceship by little grey aliens with big eyes, too.

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Do you really think that the entire world would have been changed by a made up story about a carpenter who died by crucifixion and rose from the dead?



No need to speculate: the world has been changed by a made up story about a carpenter who was executed and is claimed to have risen from his grave.

It's no more unbelievable than to think that, say, the world could be changed by a couple of misguided German philosophers with a radical agenda and a deep misunderstanding of economics.


Quote:

How long would that fly with the people who knew him, placed guards at his tomb, and desperately wanted to keep the news about Him quiet.



Oh, but that gives them an incentive to invent the resurrection story! Who'd follow a god, or a man claiming to be the son of god and god (or however that works), if mere mortal Roman soldiers could easily humiliate and kill him? I'm willing to bet they expected Jesus to free himself and strike the Romans down. It's too bad for them that Houdini was born many centuries later, or perhaps not so bad.

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Much less how could that news be accepted and believed by Romans and other pagans whose images and understanding of God is radically different than a God who becomes one of us in a humble stable in Bethlehem.



Please? the Romans believed in gods that were very human. For all purposes the Roman gods are Greek gods renamed. They fight among themselves, are vain, seduce men and women, etc, and they have histories of not dying or of coming back from being killed (the gods only, not the Heroes or mere heroic mortals). Of course those Romans receptive to Jesus' message would eat his story with a big spoon.

It would be a lot more believable than the contemporary Jewish belief in an invisible, intangible god who remains aloof from human affairs, except when he needs to strike down someone. Not to mention that he also lays down onerous rules which are nearly impossible to follow, not if you also want to have a life.

But we've been over this before.

Anyway, you're welcome to keep trying, if you don't mind the 100% house advantage. I don't even give out comps.

* Sorry for the obscure reference. It involves an episode of Babylon 5 where someone makes up an alien official with the unlikely name of Abramo Lincolni.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
HotBlonde
HotBlonde
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October 24th, 2011 at 9:37:01 PM permalink
Boy, it's hard keeping up with these threads over the last day or two.

I could go on and on commenting on everything that strikes me, but for now I'd just like to address this:

Quote: FrGamble

Because no one is attested to more, talked about more, nor debated about more than Jesus Christ in the history of the world. Do you really think that the entire world would have been changed by a made up story about a carpenter who died by crucifixion and rose from the dead?

You have to realize that the phenomenon that is Jesus is not simply cuz the story of his existence has carried through all this time. The reason he is as talked about and discussed as much as he is has a lot if not everything to do with the fact that his story comes with the threat that IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN HIM YOU WILL BURN IN HELL FOR ALL OF ETERNITY. What could be a worse punishment? Who wouldn't be scared sh**less over this? So everyone at some point in life hears this story and has to decide whether they will buy into the bull crap or dismiss it and take the chance that it's just some made up story that's been passed along through thousands of years fueled by fear.

So this story grabs people by the balls. Believe that this is true or suffer.
OFFICIALLY and justifiably reclaimed my title as SuperHotBlonde!
zippyboy
zippyboy
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October 24th, 2011 at 9:44:52 PM permalink
Quote: HotBlonde

....the fact that his story comes with the threat that IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN HIM YOU WILL BURN IN HELL FOR ALL OF ETERNITY. What could be a worse punishment? Who wouldn't be scared sh**less over this?


The weak-minded, easily-duped sheeple, that's who.
"Poker sure is an easy game to beat if you have the roll to keep rebuying."
FrGamble
FrGamble
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October 24th, 2011 at 9:57:43 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

Now, no one claims, say, that Lincoln freed the slaves with a miracle, or that he smote the Confederate armies with a mighty thunderbolt, or that he rose from the dead after being gunned down by Boothe. You get where I'm going. if there were a group of devoted followers, call them the Lincolni (with apologies to J. Michael Straczynski*) who claimed such things, and more, I wouldn't believe them. No matter how devoted they were or how much they swore, on a stack of Bibles if you want, that they have experienced the Great Emancipator in their hearts.

I would dismiss their claims as faith. I might demand evidence, too. The poor Lincolni wouldn't much care for me. I'd still believe Lincoln existed, and he was the president of the USA at the time, and that he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, and the he preached the sermon at Gettysburg (if I may take some poetic license), and I would have my opinions on the man, too.



I know you don't like predictable arguments but you almost lead right into one that forces us to wrestle with the fact that you only have a few opinions to choose from when it comes to Jesus. Unlike the good old honest Abe, Christ seems to force our hands in regards to what we believe about him and his followers. You either have to see him as a liar who knew He was not God yet he and his simple followers hatched an evil plan that tricked the whole world into believing he was the incarnate and resurrected Son of God, or you can see him as a crazy person who somehow got everybody to believe in Him, or finally the only truly logically choice in my opinion - that as amazing as it might be He was who He said He was and who others around the globe came to believe that Jesus was indeed the Savior of the World. While you are thinking about that answer I think we need to revisit exactly how radical the change that this man Jesus brought to the world, check out this famous reflection:
One Solitary Life

He was born in an obscure village
The child of a peasant woman
He grew up in another obscure village
Where he worked in a carpenter shop
Until he was thirty

He never wrote a book
He never held an office
He never went to college
He never visited a big city
He never travelled more than two hundred miles
From the place where he was born
He did none of the things
Usually associated with greatness
He had no credentials but himself

He was only thirty three

His friends ran away
One of them denied him
He was turned over to his enemies
And went through the mockery of a trial
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves
While dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing
The only property he had on earth

When he was dead
He was laid in a borrowed grave
Through the pity of a friend

Nineteen centuries have come and gone
And today Jesus is the central figure of the human race
And the leader of mankind's progress
All the armies that have ever marched
All the navies that have ever sailed
All the parliaments that have ever sat
All the kings that ever reigned put together
Have not affected the life of mankind on earth
As powerfully as that one solitary life
(Dr. James Allen Francis, 1926)
FrGamble
FrGamble
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October 24th, 2011 at 10:11:41 PM permalink
Quote: zippyboy

The weak-minded, easily-duped sheeple, that's who.



That is a baaaaahd post, bro.
Nareed
Nareed
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October 24th, 2011 at 10:23:07 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

You either have to see him as a liar who knew He was not God yet he and his simple followers hatched an evil plan that tricked the whole world into believing he was the incarnate and resurrected Son of God, or you can see him as a crazy person who somehow got everybody to believe in Him,



I wouldn't go quite that far. A man can be delusional yet otherwise sane. But if it comes to that, there is ample evidence of liars, con-men and deluded and insane individuals. The existence of such people can be proven and it's well-documented. There's a saying, I'm told, in medical schools and teaching hospitals: "when you see hoof-prints, think of horses rather than zebras." In the case of Jesus, I'd amend it to say "When you see hoof-prints, think of horses or zebras rather than unicorns."

Quote:

or finally the only truly logically choice in my opinion - that as amazing as it might be He was who He said He was and who others around the globe came to believe that Jesus was indeed the Savior of the World.



I wouldn't call the only impossible alternative, the one backed by nothing but blind faith and contrary to all evidence, the logical one.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
zippyboy
zippyboy
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October 24th, 2011 at 10:35:54 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

That is a baaaaahd post, bro.


Forgive me, Father.....for I know not what I do.
"Poker sure is an easy game to beat if you have the roll to keep rebuying."
MrV
MrV
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October 24th, 2011 at 11:57:00 PM permalink
Christianity, Judaism, Islam ... bah, a pox upon all their houses!

Were that people all believed in nothing ... ah, what a world that would be.
"What, me worry?"

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