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post #91 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shraka View Post
You're right, I've never been Christian, Hindu or Buddhist, and have never studied them. However, I have had extensive conversations on the matter, often with people who hold PhDs in the study of these religions. I have, on MANY occasions found that I know more about Christianity than someone saying they are a devout Christian. I've also had them try arguments on me that make no sense at all and fall appart before they even get started (Like: 'The bible is written by men inspired by god, so what is in it is true, and it tells me there is a god, so therefore god is real' I kid you not, I get it all the time). The very few intellectual people who can argue their religion without resorting to stupid circular logic tend to agree that Christianity is full of contradictions, and that if it is the work of god, man has messed that work up good and proper. They eventually jufst say that I might be right, but they like to think that god is real, and some of the bible is worth while so they will stay Christian. I'm okay with that, because they generally don't try to push their religion on me, and think ethical decisions through, rather than looking for passages in the bible to support their pre-conceived notions, prejudices and hatred.

No doubt about it, there are a lot of shitty Xns, just as there are a lot of shitty people of any kind. Well, we all suck to some extent, don't we? (Pardon the language. I need to get to bed.) I think that if you want to judge something well, you need (one needs) to judge it not just on it's worst practitioners but also on its best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shraka View Post
I'm being pushy because I don't like people who say things like this:
Just because we don't know something doesn't mean god did it. It's a possibility, but it's hardly the ONLY possibility.
I don't think blackplatano's argument rests on God doing what we don't know. But maybe it does. He's drawing from a tradition that goes back at least to Aristotle, who said that either all of existence is traced back to one source (linear causality starting with one "unmoved mover") or all of reality is cyclical. He thought the second was irrational. Xn theologians agreed and thought it supported and was supported by the stories of Genesis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shraka View Post
blackplatano asserted that he had proof. I have not seen any of this proof he apparently has.
Well, we can prove very little if anything that we think we know. I'm pretty sure that secular, non-believing historians of today believe Jesus the man existed around 2000 yrs ago. They would base that not only on the testimony of believers but also on the testimony of contemporary (nonXn and non-Jewish) Roman historians.[/quote]I'm willing to accept that he was a man that really existed, I just want to see the proof of it. I'm not asking for proof of him as the Son of God, because that is a waste of time as you wont be able to provide it to my satisfaction.[/quote]Why is proof so important to you? Do you really think that all you know is based on proof?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shraka View Post
Anyway, on the "Son of God" thing... aren't we all sons of god? It says that in the bible. So how is Jesus anything other than another man? Some say because he IS god, the physical embodiment of him... but I thought we all were made in god's image, and were all one with god.
Yes, we are all sons (or daughters) of God. But his divinity is by essence and ours is by gift. We were made in the image of God, but the image is not the thing itself. "Image" is a metaphor. The pt is that we share a likeness.

Personally, I believe in Jesus primarily bec. I think there is a great depth and wisdom to his teachings and actions. I wasn't always very religious, but life experience and study has again and again brought home to me the wisdom of Xy. True, Xns as individuals and as a group are not perfect, but what is? Xns and Xy are not what is to be worshiped. God is. And we should not confuse Xns image of God for God, imo.

[/quote]It looks to me like Jesus was just some guy who had some pretty neat ideas, which is kinda awesome in my book.[/quote]It is awesome. And what if he was/is more?
post #92 of 104
emptym's right. Don't focus on proof. Undoubtable proof may be an impossible standard. And it's surely a silly one outside of pure mathematics and logic.

When most people ask for proof, they're not expecting something painstakingly built from Cartesian-style demon-proof axioms. They just want evidence sufficient for knowledge. This is a lower and much more interesting standard.
post #93 of 104
Last I checked, scientist have not abandoned seeking reliable evidence for assertions. I am not suggesting a mathematical proof. Rather, as used in common understanding, I and the others on this thread are correct to challenge those who assert a proposition to be true to offer the evidence (proof) in support of that proposition. If the evidence is convincing, one ought be more likely to be persuaded.
post #94 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by emptym View Post
No doubt about it, there are a lot of shitty Xns, just as there are a lot of shitty people of any kind. Well, we all suck to some extent, don't we? (Pardon the language. I need to get to bed.) I think that if you want to judge something well, you need (one needs) to judge it not just on it's worst practitioners but also on its best.
I don't like churches for a verity of reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emptym View Post
I don't think blackplatano's argument rests on God doing what we don't know. But maybe it does. He's drawing from a tradition that goes back at least to Aristotle, who said that either all of existence is traced back to one source (linear causality starting with one "unmoved mover") or all of reality is cyclical. He thought the second was irrational. Xn theologians agreed and thought it supported and was supported by the stories of Genesis.
Just because things can be traced back to one source doesn't mean that source is god, or at least a god in the Christian sense. I think that if there WAS a god, it would be SO far outside our comprehension that there's no way we could ever get a handle on even a little bit of it, so there's not really any point in trying. Know it's there, live your life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emptym View Post
Well, we can prove very little if anything that we think we know. ... Why is proof so important to you? Do you really think that all you know is based on proof?
I already said that I'm willing to believe. My standard for proof is NOT the scientific one. I want to see blackplatano's evidence of the existence of Jesus as one man who did at least a portion of what the bible says he's done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emptym View Post
Yes, we are all sons (or daughters) of God. But his divinity is by essence and ours is by gift. We were made in the image of God, but the image is not the thing itself. "Image" is a metaphor. The pt is that we share a likeness.
Does it say that in the bible? If so, does Jesus make the distinction or was that made up later to turn him into a profit? Is he really saying he is special, or just saying that he is, like all of us, a son of god, and all in the same basket?

Quote:
Originally Posted by emptym View Post
Personally, I believe in Jesus primarily bec. I think there is a great depth and wisdom to his teachings and actions. I wasn't always very religious, but life experience and study has again and again brought home to me the wisdom of Xy. True, Xns as individuals and as a group are not perfect, but what is? Xns and Xy are not what is to be worshiped. God is. And we should not confuse Xns image of God for God, imo.
So what's wrong with Islam? Or Buddhism? Why Christianity? What makes it better enough to choose it over any other religion, or just calling yourself 'someone of faith' who doesn't ascribe to any particular church or belief system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by emptym View Post
It is awesome. And what if he was/is more?
Personally, I think he's MORE awesome if he's just a man. A man coming up with some of his ideas is totally AWESOME. He goes through so much, and yet he is just a man.

If he's one with god in some sense beyond what a normal person is, how is his suffering really that special? Who knows what is in his capacity? While his teachings might be from the mouth of god, this is the same god who in the old testament gets pissy and blows up whole cities because they didn't do what he says they should... even though he refuses to directly communicate with the citizens of said city to tell them they are doing the wrong thing.
post #95 of 104
Let us bow our heads, and pray.
post #96 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoSurface View Post
Let us bow our heads, and pray.


Our Father, Who art in Seattle, J be thy name. Thy Forum come, thy will be done, on the webz as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily threads, and forgive us our trolling, as we forgive them that troll against us. And lead us into temptation (to buy expensive clothes), but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, the Style, and the Forum, forever and ever, Jaymen.
post #97 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwilkinson View Post
Our Father, Who art in Seattle, J be thy name. Thy Forum come, thy will be done, on the webz as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily threads, and forgive us our trolling, as we forgive them that troll against us. And lead us into temptation (to buy expensive clothes), but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, the Style, and the Forum, forever and ever, Jaymen.

This is our Daily Prayer?!
post #98 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by emptym View Post
Well, we can prove very little if anything that we think we know. ... Why is proof so important to you? Do you really think that all you know is based on proof?

I'm not sure how far you would want to go with this line of reasoning. This strikes me as being a special pleading fallacy. For example, if someone claims you owe him or her a thousand dollars, aren't you going to require some kind of proof or a fairly high standard of evidence that the claim is true before you pay? Claims of the existence of the supernatural certainly don't warrant a lowered standard of evidence; if anything they require a very high standard of evidence because such claims are so extraordinary. After all, even most religionists themselves would probably require a very high standard of evidence if, for example, someone proclaims himself to be the Second Coming of Christ.
post #99 of 104
Good Qs., S. Here's my attempt to answer:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shraka View Post
Just because things can be traced back to one source doesn't mean that source is god, or at least a god in the Christian sense. I think that if there WAS a god, it would be SO far outside our comprehension that there's no way we could ever get a handle on even a little bit of it, so there's not really any point in trying. Know it's there, live your life.
I didn't claim that if there is one source then it must be God in Xn sense. I think that A (one source) = B (Xn God), but not that the existence of A proves B exists.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shraka View Post
I already said that I'm willing to believe. My standard for proof is NOT the scientific one. I want to see blackplatano's evidence of the existence of Jesus as one man who did at least a portion of what the bible says he's done.
Why are you willing to believe? What is your standard of proof?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shraka View Post
Does it say that in the bible? If so, does Jesus make the distinction or was that made up later to turn him into a profit? Is he really saying he is special, or just saying that he is, like all of us, a son of god, and all in the same basket?.
This link does a decent job of explaining the scriptural tradition of the term. Some people take scripture as a source of proof and separate it from tradition. I think it is part of tradition, but a previleged part based on its history, which includes the movements of grace.

Did Jesus claim he was special? In many places in the NT, however much you may value that, he does. I think the strongest evidence for this is that the main charge vs. Jesus (among many "reasons" or "causes") was that he identified himself with God in a way that he religious leaders of the time viewed to be a heretical offense worthy of death. In the face of such death he refused to recant.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shraka View Post
So what's wrong with Islam? Or Buddhism? Why Christianity? What makes it better enough to choose it over any other religion, or just calling yourself 'someone of faith' who doesn't ascribe to any particular church or belief system?
I've never claimed to have chosen Xy as a result of an exhaustive examination of other religions. I as born to a Xn family. There was a period in which I learned it w/o question, then a period in which I questioned it intensely and explored other rels to a very superficial degree. But it's like the air I breath. It's always there and at times more real than any other reality. It helps me to make sense of reality, particularly of its most important aspects -- of love, of loss, of justice, of longing.

For a time I had some intense experiences some, including myself, might call mystical (I think they're pretty common if not universal), I thought I might become a hermit. But then I realized that I needed the feedback, the push, the pull, the wisdom, the practices, the stories, the love of the community, a community that spans time and space and includes people far more loving, wise, hard-working, self-sacrificial, and holy, than I will ever be.

Quote:
If he's one with god in some sense beyond what a normal person is, how is his suffering really that special? Who knows what is in his capacity?
The popular understanding of the answer to this question is the one given by Mel Gibson's The Passion. Jesus was so tough he could take all the pain one could give him. His physical toughness, his endurance, came from his divinity. I think what was special about Jesus' suffering is more psychological (by which I do not mean bs). Jesus's divine, unlimited knowledge humanity enabled him to know the fullness of the harmful effects that sin has on our relationships with God, with each other, with ourselves, and with all creation. This knowledge combined w/ divine, unlimited love enabled Jesus to feel an unrestricted sorrow for these harmful effects of sin. This, I think, is the core of how Jesus' suffering was special.

Quote:
While his teachings might be from the mouth of god, this is the same god who in the old testament gets pissy and blows up whole cities because they didn't do what he says they should... even though he refuses to directly communicate with the citizens of said city to tell them they are doing the wrong thing.
The term "Bible" means something like "library." It's a collection of books. They are all good and hold truth, but they use different means to convey the truth. Some are literally true and some are not. Those who wish to think the Bible is completely and literally true--both fundamentalist Xns and dogmatic critics of Xn-- make the error of thinking it must all be literally true. It's not. It's a product of the imaginations, the cultures, the feelings, etc. of the people who wrote it. It is inspired, but God does not "use" a person, like a person uses a pencil. A person is not a pencil. We have hearts, minds, histories. God works with these things. Grace in general and inspiration in particular are cooperative events.
post #100 of 104
The rest of your post seems good, and I'm not going to argue anymore, even though I obviously don't agree on many points. We have different views on the world, that's fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emptym View Post
Why are you willing to believe? What is your standard of proof?
This is annoying though. First you pick at me for demanding proof, now you pick at me for being willing to believe? You seem to be being provocative for the sake of being provocative.

My standard of proof is my own. Once I see this evidence I'll judge that for myself. Without it I'm going to continue to believe what I have been told by many sources, and what I feel is logical: There is no proof that Jesus was a single person, and that he may well have been lots of people all written into one story to form a prophet to go into the bible.
post #101 of 104
Sorry about that. Sorry if it seems that way. Not trying to be provocative or mean. Just curious. Many people are not willing to believe. I was just wondering why you are willing.
post #102 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by emptym View Post
Sorry about that. Sorry if it seems that way. Not trying to be provocative or mean. Just curious. Many people are not willing to believe. I was just wondering why you are willing.

I'm willing to believe in things that have some evidence and seem logical. I'll believe Jesus was a real person when I see evidence to satisfy my level of requirement for 'proof'.

I still wont believe he was god, or that there even is a god. My world view is that there isn't, and I like it that way. I don't really want a big fluffy entity looking after me, I kinda like the world without it, as it makes you more responsible for your own actions. I could be wrong though, and I'm willing to change my mind on even that if I see enough evidence (of which I have seen very little, and all of that is very shaky at best).
post #103 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shraka View Post
I'm willing to believe in things that have some evidence and seem logical. I'll believe Jesus was a real person when I see evidence to satisfy my level of requirement for 'proof'.

Do you believe this about the thousands of other historical figures for whom we have only stories and statues but no DNA evidence. Who is to say that any of them ever existed, and that the writings attributed to the great ancient authors were even done by them?

Quote:
I still wont believe he was god, or that there even is a god. My world view is that there isn't, and I like it that way. I don't really want a big fluffy entity looking after me, I kinda like the world without it, as it makes you more responsible for your own actions. I could be wrong though, and I'm willing to change my mind on even that if I see enough evidence (of which I have seen very little, and all of that is very shaky at best).

Believing that there is no God because you like it that way, or because you don't want to believe in one seems to put you on foundation no less shaky than the most ardent theist.
post #104 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
Do you believe this about the thousands of other historical figures for whom we have only stories and statues but no DNA evidence. Who is to say that any of them ever existed, and that the writings attributed to the great ancient authors were even done by them?
Many historical figures have ledgers, logs, memoirs and stories written containing them. As I understand it, Jesus does not.

That's not even my point though, if you'd read through my posts (which I don't think you have). Apparently blackplatano has some evidence that Jesus exists. I simply want to see it, that's all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
Believing that there is no God because you like it that way, or because you don't want to believe in one seems to put you on foundation no less shaky than the most ardent theist.
It ALSO seems illogical to me to think there is one without a decent amount of evidence. The only evidence I've seen so far is people saying they spoke to him, which I don't give a great deal of weight to when stories of who god is conflict so much. Also, many things people have said were god have been scientifically explained away, which leads me to think god only exists as our explanation for the unexplained.
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