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Should theistic fact claims be subjected to the same standards of scrutiny as other fact claims?
Posted: 29 August 2013 12:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]
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Lily, you still haven’t answered my question about the Jewish people wandering the desert for 40 years. This is a fact claim, yet there is no physical evidence to substantiate it.

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Posted: 29 August 2013 12:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]
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“if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea’, and it will be done”

I tried this once, it didn’t work.

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Posted: 29 August 2013 12:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]
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Lausten - 29 August 2013 11:00 AM

But I live in a world where the man who came who close to being the leader of the free world came from an organization that until very recently held as doctrine that races should be kept separate and not equal. I care about my fellow humans and my planet enough to make a statement about the dangers of belief.

Then understand that the concept of race is an invention of the Enlightenment and had its beginnings in the 17th century.  That concept and the idea of eugenics, a side effect of Darwinian Evolution, infiltrated the churches and corrupted those which felt the need to compromise with “scientific” knowledge.  Liberal churches were swayed, but the fundamentalist who stood by Biblical teaching understood that all men were the creation of God and equal in the sight of God.  Prior to that time men were unified and judged by their beliefs, not some perception of “race.”

“For the medieval followers of occidental, monotheistic religions, the primary boundaries among humans lay between believers and non-believers, with the implicit assumption among Christians and Muslims that any human being was capable to being converted into the fold of believers.”

“A New Division of the Earth” by Francois Bernier (1625–1688) is what initiated the philosophical concept of race.  “But while Bernier initiated the use of the term “race” to distinguish different groups of humans based on physical traits, his failure to reflect on the relationship between racial division and the human race in general mitigated the scientific rigor of his definition (Bernasconi and Lott 2000, viii). Central to a scientific concept of race would be a resolution of the question of monogenesis versus polygenesis. Monogenesis adhered to the Biblical creation story in asserting that all humans descended from a common ancestor, perhaps Adam of the Book of Genesis; polygenesis, on the other had, asserted that different human races descended from different ancestral roots. Thus, the former position contended that all races are nevertheless members of a common human species, whereas the latter saw races as distinct species.”

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/race/

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Posted: 29 August 2013 12:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]
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DarronS - 29 August 2013 12:18 PM

Lily, you still haven’t answered my question about the Jewish people wandering the desert for 40 years. This is a fact claim, yet there is no physical evidence to substantiate it.

There has been no evidence to prove this didn’t happen and there are questions about the route taken by the Jewish people.  Is the route and Mt. Sinai in the Sinai Peninsula, or was it through Arabia?  If the route was through Arabia that would be modern day Saudi Arabia and it hasn’t been open to investigation.  Archeologists may be looking in the wrong place.

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Posted: 29 August 2013 12:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]
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Exodus 19:5-6
New International Version (NIV)
5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you[a] will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

So, I think you missed the parts about some people getting special treatment.

And, as aside, before the enlightenment, how did Christians justify slavery? And in the Old Testament why were the rules for Jewish slaves different than the rules for slaves from other nations?

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Posted: 29 August 2013 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]
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LilySmith - 29 August 2013 12:44 PM
DarronS - 29 August 2013 12:18 PM

Lily, you still haven’t answered my question about the Jewish people wandering the desert for 40 years. This is a fact claim, yet there is no physical evidence to substantiate it.

There has been no evidence to prove this didn’t happen and there are questions about the route taken by the Jewish people.  Is the route and Mt. Sinai in the Sinai Peninsula, or was it through Arabia?  If the route was through Arabia that would be modern day Saudi Arabia and it hasn’t been open to investigation.  Archeologists may be looking in the wrong place.

National Geographic on Biblical Archeaology

And monkeys might fly out of my butt someday, but for now I’m considering it proven that it will never happen.

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Posted: 29 August 2013 01:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]
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There has been no evidence to prove this didn’t happen and there are questions about the route taken by the Jewish people.

This is an example of the argument from ignorance fallacy, and also proof that you need to learn something about how archaeology works. archaeologists root through sites with human refuse, garbage, and ruins. If you think a mass of people as large as the Tribes of Israel could wander through the desert for 40 years and leave absolutely no trace of their existence…anywhere….then you have no grasp of reality at all.

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Posted: 29 August 2013 02:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 83 ]
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Lausten - 29 August 2013 12:50 PM

Exodus 19:5-6
New International Version (NIV)
5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you[a] will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

So, I think you missed the parts about some people getting special treatment.

And, as aside, before the enlightenment, how did Christians justify slavery? And in the Old Testament why were the rules for Jewish slaves different than the rules for slaves from other nations?

Reread your verse in Exodus?  What is the requirement to become a kingdom of priests and a holy nation?  Answer:  Obedience to God.  It is because of Abraham’s faith he was chosen in the first place.  “And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith.” Genesis 15:6

Through Christ the same promise has been given to the Gentiles, “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.”  Ephesian 3:6

Which leads Peter to write to all those in Christ, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9

This was prophesied long ago, “And now the LORD says, ‘It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.’” Isaiah 49:6

Slavery had a long existence in human history, but it was based on class, not race.  Christianity led Europe to outlaw slavery based on the teaching that one Christian could not own another as a slave since they were brothers.  In the US, poor whites received passage to America as indentured servants.  When a slave ship came to America, those on board were also treated as indentured servants and received their freedom in 3 to 7 years of work.  Ironically, Antony Johnson, a freed slave himself and landowner, was the first to go to court to enslave a fellow African for life.  The American slave trade turned horribly wrong from there.  After 80 years as a nation, American slavery was ended but not without the racial division we see today.  Racial division does not have its roots in Christianity.  The Second Great Awakening in America was the catalyst to end slavery.

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Posted: 29 August 2013 02:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 84 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 29 August 2013 01:33 PM

There has been no evidence to prove this didn’t happen and there are questions about the route taken by the Jewish people.

This is an example of the argument from ignorance fallacy, and also proof that you need to learn something about how archaeology works. archaeologists root through sites with human refuse, garbage, and ruins. If you think a mass of people as large as the Tribes of Israel could wander through the desert for 40 years and leave absolutely no trace of their existence…anywhere….then you have no grasp of reality at all.

No, it raises the possibility that archeologists are looking for Israelite garbage in the wrong place.  Paul, writing to the Galatian Church, indicates that Mt. Sinai may be in Arabia rather than the Sinai Peninsula where the archeologists are looking for 3500 year old garbage.

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Posted: 29 August 2013 02:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 85 ]
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LilySmith - 29 August 2013 12:10 PM
CuthbertJ - 29 August 2013 10:35 AM

Do you theist believe your God will spare your life if you jump off this bridge, or if He doesn’t, He’d have good reason not to (thereby still allowing you to go to Heaven even though you’ve apparently just committed suicide)?

If you truly believe (i.e. are willing to act as if your beliefs are true) what you say about God and His love for you, you will jump off the bridge.  If you DON’T truly believe, and basically you’re just fooling yourself about a so-called god for psychological reasons, then you won’t jump.

Now I’m sure there are some who would actually jump right off.  But my guess is, put to a real test of beliefs like I’ve suggested, most “believers” would not follow through. (And I personally wouldn’t want them to.)

Your premise is flawed.  God never promised those who believe in Him that if they jump off a bridge he will spare their lives.  That’s not what Christians “truly believe in.”  In fact, God isn’t going to spare our lives at all.  We will all die.  The promise is that there is an eternal existence beyond this temporal world, and those who believe in Jesus as the Christ will be given eternal life.

“On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever.”

“When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’”

You skirted my question.  How do YOU know what God chooses to think or chooses to promise at the time of you being on the bridge? Are you saying God is constrained to do exactly as prescribed in an old human written book (even if it was inspired by Him)?  How about answer my question? How do you know God Himself isn’t waiting to see how you answer it?

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Posted: 29 August 2013 02:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 86 ]
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LilySmith - 29 August 2013 02:00 PM

The Second Great Awakening in America was the catalyst to end slavery.

So, just to clarify, these things are okay with you?

When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished.  If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.  (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.—Paul, on behalf of Jesus

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Posted: 29 August 2013 03:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 87 ]
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LilySmith - 29 August 2013 07:55 AM
GdB - 29 August 2013 05:28 AM

Theists however have captured the word ‘belief’ for their purposes, and I think that explains the aversion atheists have against the word ‘belief’.

This made me laugh.  Christians have been using the word belief for two thousand years.  We haven’t “captured” anything.  Since belief an integral part of our faith, atheists want nothing to do with it and go to extreme lengths to insist they have “no beliefs.”  This was the first conversation I had when I came to this board and was called a troll for saying atheists do have a belief, they believe there is no God.  I think you can put atheism in box 4 as well. 

Atheists have contorted the English language in their zeal to reject religion and that leads to discussions like this where simply words like belief are said to no longer mean what everyone knows it means.  It’s been “captured” by the overwhelming majority of people speaking the language who happen to be theists, including those who write the dictionaries.

A small observation;

To speak of believing in God is really a non sequitor, a vague (unexplainable) assertion which identifies (speculates) only an unknown original causality and has no implications in reality and does not belong in the physical sciences, as it lies outside of the physical world. This why there will never be consensus about the nature (and the necessity) of God among theists themselves.

Christians “accept Christ” in their heart and IMO, that might be a valid “lifestyle” if practiced in accordance with the best of Christian teachings. But that is a personal (internal) emotion and behavior. It belongs in the disciplines of psychology and philosophy. In principle there is nothing wrong with being a Christian and practicing Christian morality.

I am a humanist who employs some of Christ’s teachings, but I also embrace the teachings of other great philosophers. This does not make me a theist or religious, but a believer in secular (non controversial) morality. To learn wisdom from others is useful and productive to one’s lifestyle.

IMO, the main objection of atheists is not to Christianity (except for the son of god thing), but to the hubris of the declaration that God exists, without defining any aspect of such a supernatural being. It is a meaningless assertion, especially if it is accompanied by prayer and ritual, which have no value except as reinforcement of a belief system (conditioning).

Unfortunately, these two are always lumped together and atheists have no option but to address the God aspect, which is then viewed by Christians as an attack on Christianity.

[ Edited: 29 August 2013 04:12 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 29 August 2013 04:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 88 ]
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Lausten - 29 August 2013 02:58 PM
LilySmith - 29 August 2013 02:00 PM

The Second Great Awakening in America was the catalyst to end slavery.

So, just to clarify, these things are okay with you?

When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished.  If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.  (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.—Paul, on behalf of Jesus

Exodus is the law given to the nation Israel as they lived in the land God promised them.  It was a Theocracy and dealt with the times in which they lived.  It is not Christian law.  Christians live by the covenant through Christ, not Moses.  Paul’s admonishment to slaves is to Christian slaves who lived under the laws of Pagan Rome where slavery was legal.  Jesus didn’t come to judge anyone, including Rome, but to bring a kind of amnesty—the forgiveness of sins—to the dismay of many Jews living under Roman law.  Christians, including slaves, are taught to obey earthly authorities over them, but to understand that they are serving God and he will reward them for the good they do.  Again, our reward has always been in the World to Come, not this one and judgment will come at the end of the age.

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Posted: 29 August 2013 05:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 89 ]
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CuthbertJ - 29 August 2013 02:34 PM

You skirted my question.  How do YOU know what God chooses to think or chooses to promise at the time of you being on the bridge? Are you saying God is constrained to do exactly as prescribed in an old human written book (even if it was inspired by Him)?  How about answer my question? How do you know God Himself isn’t waiting to see how you answer it?

Yes, I’m saying God will not contradict the promises he’s made in the Bible, which was written through the inspiration of His Spirit. This question has been answered by the example of Jesus:

“Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. ‘If you are the Son of God,’ he said, ‘throw yourself down. For it is written: “He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”’  Jesus answered him, ‘It is also written: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”

Your question of whether I should jump off a bridge to prove God will save me has been answered—Do not put the Lord your God to the test.  Christians don’t test God, we have faith.

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Posted: 29 August 2013 05:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 90 ]
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Write4U - 29 August 2013 03:58 PM

A small observation;

To speak of believing in God is really a non sequitor, a vague (unexplainable) assertion which identifies (speculates) only an unknown original causality and has no implications in reality and does not belong in the physical sciences, as it lies outside of the physical world. This why there will never be consensus about the nature (and the necessity) of God among theists themselves.

Christians “accept Christ” in their heart and IMO, that might be a valid “lifestyle” if practiced in accordance with the best of Christian teachings. But that is a personal (internal) emotion and behavior. It belongs in the disciplines of psychology and philosophy. In principle there is nothing wrong with being a Christian and practicing Christian morality.

I am a humanist who employs some of Christ’s teachings, but I also embrace the teachings of other great philosophers. This does not make me a theist or religious, but a believer in secular (non controversial) morality. To learn wisdom from others is useful and productive to one’s lifestyle.

Agreed, although believing in God for me has implications in reality.

IMO, the main objection of atheists is not to Christianity (except for the son of god thing), but to the hubris of the declaration that God exists, without defining any aspect of such a supernatural being. It is a meaningless assertion, especially if it is accompanied by prayer and ritual, which have no value except as reinforcement of a belief system (conditioning).

Unfortunately, these two are always lumped together and atheists have no option but to address the God aspect, which is then viewed by Christians as an attack on Christianity.

Actually I think it’s the dragging us into court, mocking Christian beliefs and Christians, being offended by our beliefs and bullying our children in school that are perceived as attacks on Christianity.

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