2 questions to ask a theist.
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01-10-2012, 01:29 PM
RE: 2 questions to ask a theist.
(01-10-2012 01:11 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  
(01-10-2012 01:00 PM)Idiot for Christ Wrote:  Nice, I'll add him to the list. So there, another external validation of Jesus. or at least someone called Christ.

Though i may say, that perhaps a reason people DON'T include it is because the quote doesn't say Jesus...only Christ.

However, I'll take it as additional external evidence, thanks!

Christ is not a name. It's a title. Christos is the Greek translation for the Hebrew word Messiah, meaning Anointed One, sent by YHWH for some holy mission. Many people were called messiah or Christ so a single reference to Christ does not imply anything about a man named Yeshua bar Yosef having ever existed.


Which then answers Bucky question (and supports my statement above) as to why Christian's DON'T use it as evidence of Jesus....it DOESN'T SAY Jesus. Only Christ.

But, hey, if Bucky wants to say it SHOULD BE included, I will, though it's not needed.

thanks for making my point!
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01-10-2012, 01:31 PM
RE: 2 questions to ask a theist.
(01-10-2012 01:29 PM)Idiot for Christ Wrote:  
(01-10-2012 01:11 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  Christ is not a name. It's a title. Christos is the Greek translation for the Hebrew word Messiah, meaning Anointed One, sent by YHWH for some holy mission. Many people were called messiah or Christ so a single reference to Christ does not imply anything about a man named Yeshua bar Yosef having ever existed.


Which then answers Bucky question (and supports my statement above) as to why Christian's DON'T use it as evidence of Jesus....it DOESN'T SAY Jesus. Only Christ.

But, hey, if Bucky wants to say it SHOULD BE included, I will, though it's not needed.

thanks for making my point!

The Buckminster should have known that. Drinking Beverage

It just goes to show that there is no contemporary extra-Biblical evidence for the existence of Jesus.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
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01-10-2012, 01:49 PM
RE: 2 questions to ask a theist.
(01-10-2012 01:31 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  
(01-10-2012 01:29 PM)Idiot for Christ Wrote:  Correct!

Which then answers Bucky question (and supports my statement above) as to why Christian's DON'T use it as evidence of Jesus....it DOESN'T SAY Jesus. Only Christ.

But, hey, if Bucky wants to say it SHOULD BE included, I will, though it's not needed.

thanks for making my point!

The Buckminster should have known that. Drinking Beverage

It just goes to show that there is no contemporary extra-Biblical evidence for the existence of Jesus.

We were all typing at once. I said that above.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
"And you quit footing the bill for these nations that are oil rich - we're paying for some of their *squirmishes* that have been going on for centuries" - Sarah Palin
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01-10-2012, 03:58 PM
RE: 2 questions to ask a theist.
(27-09-2012 05:08 PM)Idiot for Christ Wrote:  Without getting into the Genesis set up (thus detracting from our original discussion here) I will say that the set-up are NOT meant to be parallels. Genesis is it’s own, and the Parable is AFTER the fall – dealing with CURRENT times. So that is part of the issue, they are separate and not comparable in that regard.

Quote:If the analogy leaves out details like the set-up that allowed us to sin in the first place, I cannot consider the parable to be anything but a misrepresentation.

The reason the "set-up" is left out is because it's UNDERSTOOD. These people knew the history, knew the "set-up". The set up had been taught to them since they were young...thus completely unecessary to discuss the "set-up." Again, the point of the parable is to point to the NATURE and HEART of God.

Quote:Correct the younger son doesn’t accurately rep. human kind as a whole, as he is meant ONLY to represent a certain GROUP of human kind. Certainly, he isn’t meant to rep. Adam and Eve – again the parable is dealing with CURRENT time (as it was then, and still is) - that is AFTER the fall. So, yes, to an extent the PS doesn’t rep. human-kind (in whole) because he’s only to rep. human-kind IN PART.

Quote:Adam and Eve are included in the period of time known as "after the fall", so I don't see how they're irrelevant.

They aren't irrelevant. Never said they were. Read again what I wrote above. The younger son is only meant to rep. a certain GROUP of human kind. ALL human kind are subject to the fall, like Adam and Eve. Whom Jesus is speaking to, is a PART of the overall group of human kind.

Quote:The father isn’t to represent the whole 3-in-1. But a certain nature of God (which I will get into).

Quote:Why only a certain nature - why not all of God? Why can't this character represent all aspects of God? Or rather, why doesn't he? The OT side of God isn't irrelevant. The punishing side of God isn't irrelevant. It's all relevant, so why doesn't this character represent all aspects of God?

The character CERTAINLY COULD! but then it would be a different story. As you want the "punishing" side of God? (just like older brother wants as well - the younger brother punished). The father represents the FORGIVING and LOVING aspect of God.

However, parables were never meant to be ALL ENCOMPASSING. Each parable taught a SPECIFIC lesson. Also, I would include (and didn't before, sorry) that the story also teaches about the heart of man via the older brother. (but we can leave that aside for the moment).

Besides, again, the folks that he is talking to - KNOW the OT. they were TAUGHT the OT. This is not "hidden" or "unknown" information to them. The parable is told withing that knowledge context.

Quote:If I were to tell someone that I am always a calm, friendly guy who enjoys video-games, yet keep from them the fact that when I play video-games I become irritable and abusive, I would be misrepresenting myself by saying I'm always calm and friendly. For me to accurately represent myself, I'd need to detail all aspects of my personality, not just one part. This analogy also applies to the next thing I'm going to address.

Again, the people that Jesus was speaking to, KNEW the OT.

Quote:Remember, this is a story that Jesus is telling to every day, downtrodden, run of the mill, salt of the earth people – so, it’s purpose is to pack as much punch as simply as possible. So the father NOT being a COMPLETE representation of God is okay, because the purpose of the father is to HIGHLIGHT the nature of God.

Quote:"every day, downtrodden, run of the mill, salt of the earth people" Laughat

To me, that's a polite way of saying "dumb people". People who were too low in the social hierarchy to get an education. The idea of a "simplified" (vague and all too general) analogy is indicative of misrepresentation. An analogy for the positions of God and sinners is, to me, something that can only warrant a complex explanation that takes into account the actions of God and man before the fall (which is only the first few chapters of Genesis - why such a small portion of the Bible would be ignored is curious, no?).

Some dumb, some smart, etc. a true cross section of people - I should have clarified. What they WEREN'T were religious elites. Again, a parable is to TEACH something. It's not a misrepresentation to leave out KNOWN contexts, it's BECAUSE the context is known that the teaching is so 1) contraversial to the elite, 2) "wonderful" to those that hear it.

Quote:This is analogous of a scientist telling someone that "we evolved from monkeys" so that us salt-of-the-earth people could 'understand'. Only, in order to understand what the scientist means by that, we'd need an academic who's studied evolution and can explain to us that by "evolution", the scientist means a slow process of change over time via mutations in our DNA. They'd also need to explain that we didn't really evolve "from" monkeys, rather that we share a common ancestor with apes. They'd then need to explain why apes and monkeys are different, by which point the analogy is shown to be completely flawed; thus the scientist who gave the analogy has explained nothing, but misrepresented everything.

I'm not debating evolution, so I won't here. But again, the CONTEXT was KNOWN to these people.

Quote:I personally find it quite condescending that such a simplified analogy would be used to explain such complex things.

that's because you missed the point of the parable. I explained it, but you didn't catch it. Just wanted to reply and take issue with some aspects.

I said the father represents a NATURE of God - what type of nature? You didn't say, you just went on to say that it misrepresents him. But that's false because as I stated, these people KNEW the OT and it's within THAT context that the parable is so strong.

Quote: The condescension is only amplified by the God-getting-down-to-our-level-to-beg-us thing.

Ah, but that's a matter of perspective and opinion. I find it quite poetic.

Quote: As if humans all squalor in the dirt, helpless. If that were the case, what about the civilizations that existed on earth, to the complete ignorance of the West and Middle-East?

Who said we were helpless? Never my argument, why bring it up here? Certainly there were other civilizations that thrived (the Bible even says so!) apart from God. And I know of noone that would argue differently. Completely off point and not germain to our discussion of the parable.

Quote: The Japanese got along quite well without the Abrahamic God, for instance.

Never said they didn't. Again, off topic of the meaning of the parable.

Quote:There are other things that are designed to pack punch for the salt-of-the-earth people; those things are tabloid head-lines. Catch my drift?

Yep. However, they didn't have tabloids or headlines back then. A lot couldn't read, etc. No Fox, MSNBC, etc.

BUT - Jesus DID accomplish the tabloid headlines (in a way) with the parables BECAUSE of the context and knowledge that the folks had of the OT.

(27-09-2012 05:08 PM)Idiot for Christ Wrote:  There are actually four characters in this story, however, only three are spoken of.

1. the father (God)
2. the younger son (sinners, etc)
3. the older son (the religious leaders)
4. society at large – setting (religious rules of the day)

Quote:Out of interest, if there is a fourth character that isn't explicitly mentioned in the parable, how are the dumb people (by which I mean, the "every day, downtrodden, run of the mill, salt of the earth" people) supposed to get such a subtle detail that requires apologists to find and explain?

I didn't say they were dumb, so I'm sorry if that was implied. Second, did you read/watch the Ortberg? We know about their culture through a variety of ways - this isn't a novel thing. Through other Jewish writings for example. IE Josephus.

Second, they would KNOW the culture - it's THEIRS.

You know YOUR culture don't you?

Does every moral lesson that you find told to you have to include YOUR culture in it's telling? Of course not, it's implied. Because if it doesn't apply to YOUR culture, it wouldn't make sense to you at all, and you would miss key elements.

Does a man running mean anything to you? Not really.

Back then, men didn't run - especially showing their ankles.

so the fact that the father RAN toward the son means a bit more in that context than it does to us today.

Quote: Did Jesus fail in his intention of providing an insightful and punchy parable?

No, in fact, it was his parables and teaching that got the religious elite at the time riled up. This parable packs a punch and still does, especially when we understand the context of when it was told.

(27-09-2012 05:08 PM)Idiot for Christ Wrote:  Again, the youngest son is NOT meant to represent man-kind as a whole, but as a part – sinners, or those who have been outcast, deemed “not worthy”, or believe themselves to be as such. And us – for those who fall into those “categories.”

Quote:So wait, when you say "us" - do you mean the son represents a part of all human-kind? Or a part of some of human-kind? Because, to me, "us" sounds like you mean everyone (since you're "saved" and I'm not), whereas earlier you said: "he is meant ONLY to represent a certain GROUP of human kind."

A part of ALL human kind, that find ourselves in his position. As the older brother is a part of ALL human kind in THAT position.

Quote:The eldest son, represents those who believe themselves righteous and holy and blameless, etc. (of which I’m sure you agree we still see this segment of Christianity today)

Quote:Tell me about it. I was watching a documentary by Louis Theroux last night (Behind Bars), and there was a segment in which Louis went into the prison yard to talk with some convicts. There were to guys who confessed to the crime of "allowing Satan to take control of their bodies", or some nonsense like that. You find out a few minutes later that it was highly likely that they were paedophiles, but wouldn't take responsibility for it.


As so you accept this def. for a character in the parable with no issue - just the others. Cherry picking only what we find agreeable with our prior disposition are we? JK.

Quote:Society at large represents the religious and cultural rules of the day. It’s the setting and backdrop. It’s not OVERTLY stated in the parable, because it’s a known factor at that time. Jesus is telling the story in THAT TIME, during THAT culture. (important point to remember – it doesn’t change the story, but highlights it even better)

Quote:If it doesn't change anything, why is it worth pointing out? The message should be equally relevant and highlight-able, no matter the era in which it's told, no? If we need to contextualise moral teachings... well...

By not changing the story, I mean its not being MENTIONED doesn't change the story. It's the known setting. The fact that Jesus doesn't mention it blatantly doesn't change the story. If it was mentioned blantantly or not, the context is still the same, thus doesn't change the story.

If I told you what I did yesterday, do I have to tell you the cultural context of the story - if it's known that I'm the USA? Of course not. Does my NOT telling it or my including it change the story in anyway?

Quote:Dad doesn’t care what the son did, where he’s been, how much – if any of the money he has left (which is clearly none) – all Dad cares is that his son has RETURNED.

Quote:Out of interest, consider this:

The son takes his father's money and runs off with it, but instead of living riotously, he invests the money in the poor in order to help them build better homes and attain easier access to vital resources. His father wouldn't care? That wouldn't mean anything? Well, perhaps if the son came back. But what if the son didn't come back? What if the son never returned, but helped people anyway?

Well, he'd be condemned to Hell, wouldn't he?

Some points.
1) it would be a different parable. What you have done changes the story COMPLETELY and thus becomes and different story altogether.
2) if Jesus DID tell the story in such a way, it would be to highlight a different point.
3) changing the parable, doesn't change the meaning of the original parable. Only makes it so YOU can make your point. But that's a faulty argument because as I showed, changing the story makes it a different story. Parables are SPECIFIC.
4) no he wouldn't be condemned to hell. Was there a point in the story that the son was NEVER allowed back home? Nope. He always was welcomed home. The father waited and waited, etc. No where in the story did dad ever say: if he doesn't come back soon, he can NEVER come back.
5) you missed a central part of the story.

Quote: A place that hasn't really been mentioned at all in this analogy. You may argue that Hell is the place away from God, but how does that apply to the real world... or even the analogy? It's not like the prodigal son died, and then returned to his father. It's not like I, in my sinful disbelief, am typing up this response to you from the depths of a sulfurous lake. Damnation comes after life. Damnation is eternal. Once more, this is a misrepresentation.

Ah, so now we are getting to the root of the question!

But as I showed above, it's not misrepresentation.

Quote:I also think it's incredibly contrived that the son spends riotously in the parable - as if that was the only way he could or would spend it, when away from his father.

See? You missed the point again! Read the story again - what does the son say when he asks for the money?[/quote]

that's all I can get to at the moment, I will get back to the rest of your reply - so please try to wait until then.

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02-10-2012, 09:48 AM (This post was last modified: 02-10-2012 10:26 AM by TheBeardedDude.)
RE: 2 questions to ask a theist.
“However, regardless of what I would have believed or where I have lived says NOTHING to my current belief being correct or not. Sure I might have grown up muslim, but the fact that I didn't says nothing about if my belief is TRUE only explains a possible reason WHY I believe it.”

Precisely. What you actually believe and want to believe has no bearing on the truth or reality. Which is more likely, that you just happened to be born in the right period to the right people in the right area to have the right system, or that none of them are correct because they are all man-made? I would argue the latter. That of course does not mean it is so. It could be that only one of them is correct. If that is the case, then god is not all-powerful because his message appears to be very easy to ignore. Or god is indifferent to humans and cares not one way or the other, as such, he is not worthy of my worship.

“Speculative at best about your outcome - and of course neither provable or disprovable. Again, says nothing about the validity of the belief though. As for the disagreement with historians - I suspect we can argue as to what "doing well" and "not doing" well means. Sure, I'll side with the historians and clarify what I meant - Christianity was around, while small, it was strong and (as I said) Rome certainly helped, but it wasn't needed.”

It isn’t speculative, we see many examples of small death-cults (worship of the crucifixion of Jesus counts as a death-cult, I mean the cross is a torture-device worn around the neck) that are but mere blips in human history because they remained obscure and in the fringes of belief. Name one of the major religions that wasn’t spread by the adoption of a country or government? Buddhist? Check. Hindu? Check. Islam? Check. Judaism? Check. Astrology? Check.
Now think of the systems that were in place but were composed of scattered sects that were later invaded by those with an organized religion. Paganism of the native American? Now a fringe religion. Druids? Making a fringe recurrence in the modern as paganism. Wiccan? The same. The only reason voodoo persists is because it combined with Christian elements.

“Again, debateable there as there are several schools of though re: Constatine problem is? Neither of us can prove either.

But let's go with he DID do it to expand power - does this negate the validity of Christianity?


Constantine adopted it and it expanded thanks to the vast Roman network. Is it simply coincidental that this adoption coincided with its expansion? Seems like special pleading to not draw the correlation. Does the adoption of the religion by a Roman emperor looking to expand his power make it untrue? No. But it certainly doesn’t lend it any validity.

“But what about PRIOR to Constatine?
Certainly other were "similar" to Jesus - but where are they now? Where are their followers? what happened to their faithful? How did this small band of Christians (or goat herders as some folks incorrectly call them) spread THEIR message over the others? They didn't use ROMAN tactics - no, they used small bands of folks and preached the Gospel - unless you can point to some other ACTUAL reason beyond speculation one is reasonable to assume the growth PRIOR to Rome WAS because of the message, Jesus.
And this message spread, also, without the help of printing press or large empires FORCING people into it.
Again, we could speculate where it would be now had Rome NOT chosen Christianity - but we would be doing just that: SPECULATING.
But as I stated, PRIOR to Constatine it was spreading (and despite heavy persecution it was still around) and why did it spread? The message; Jesus.

If you believe otherwise, I'm interested to hear it.”

Even the Roman polythesistic religion traces its heritage back to the Greeks. The only reason it faded into the realm of being an obvious myth is because the leader of the country that used it as its fundamental religion switched religions. It would be like the pope converting to Islam, the subsequent blow to the Catholic Church would be catastrophic if he were to maintain the authority to convert the whole of Vatican City to Islam.
The other travelling preachers similar to Jesus never shared in the luck of having their cult being adopted by a powerful and well-connected country. It also can’t be ruled out that their stories didn’t get incorporated into the myths related to Jesus. The gospels of Jesus’ life weren’t written until at least a full generation after his death (at least 70 CE). A lot can spread by word of mouth at that time and rumors spread like wildfire, aided by the network of roads built and maintained by…Rome.
Sure the Christian message was spreading, but so is the Scientology message today, and the Mormon. Just because it captivates people and they spread it, doesn’t mean it’s true. Heck the myth of Santa has roots in the Norse mythology. It has spread worldwide because it captivates people. It did not need printing presses to do so either.
This brings up another question now that I think about it.
11) Why are there so many Pagan symbols within Christianity and why do they occur at the same times as the Pagan holidays and festivals that all predate Christianity? (such as the timing of Christmas and the winter celebration of the Norse, trees, wreaths, mistletoe, a guy giving presents, a feast. What about Easter? Still names after Eostre no less, a fertility goddess for the Spring fertility festival. I mean what could be better symbols of fertility than eggs and rabbits?)

"There's evidence Caesar crossed the Rubicon - however, there is NO PROOF of this - do you believe it though?

There is evidence of God existence - however does it PROVE God? Nope.

Evidence provides the ability to assert whether or not something likely exists or occurred. Evidence must be testable, verifiable, and falsifiable. What evidence is there that links itself to a god? For instance, let’s say Jesus did come back to life 3 days after his crucifixion, how does that prove a god? Where is the connection?
My point is this, if something happens and we lack an explanation that does not mean the answer is a supernatural one. We need to be able to evaluate that claim and that means we must be able to test it. That necessitates that it must also be falsifiable. If the claim is that resurrection is only possible through a god, then we can potentially test that by bringing someone back from the dead. We do that with defibrillators on a daily basis. If the claim is that only someone dead 3 days can be brought back by a god, then we would need to test that too. Has that ever been done? Is our inability to bring them back related to our technological limits? As far as we understand it, brain cell death would have already occurred, meaning that nothing of that person’s individuality is left. If we can resurrect the cells, we would still be unable to revive the person. That is because there is no such thing we know of as a soul. What proof of this exists?

“Correct, however as I stated there is evidence for God - we can discuss WHY it's evidence. But it's far from "I don't know."”
Going to have to show me this evidence it seems.
“Glad you're not into question begging.

Anyhow, you are in the same position. You can hardly say with more certainty that God doesn't exist than I can that he does. You and both have the same sample sets of a universe. You can't compare it either, etc.”

I try not to question beg. I do not assert that god does not exist, you are trying to shift the burden of proof here. My position is that there is no evidence to support the claim that a god(s) exist, and as such, I reject the claim that one or more exist. My assertion is the same as a “not guilty” verdict handed down by a jury. “Not Guilty” does not mean innocent, but we do not determine innocence in a courtroom because that is not what is being proven or disproven. We are interested in guilt. A “guilty” verdict would mean god exists, “innocent” would mean nonexistence and my ruling is “not guilty” based on a lack of evidence. I can’t evaluate the certainty of the claim as to its nonexistence as I can never prove the nonexistence of anything, and no one can.

“Please point them out.”

You have actually already realized the logical fallacy of wanting something to be true in an above post. Basically, your desire to believe has no bearing on truth. What is true is true, even if no one believes it. What is false is false, even if everyone believes it. Could Christianity be correct? I do not know. Could it be false? Yes, absolutely. The reason for the difference in my assertion is because no evidence has been presented to suggest the validity of the first claim, but the mere existence of other religious ideas suggests the latter.

“First, none of what you present PROVES my wife loves me. It's evidence that she does, however deep inside she may hate me. hate, we know, is a bond as well.

Remember I said that there is no SURE FIRE way to convince EVERYONE that God exists - no matter what, there will be people that won't/don't - even if we could give them better evidence than for their own existence.”

It depends on what you define as love I suppose. Perhaps the line between hate and love is very fine indeed. It is evidence for it, and while it may not be positive proof, we could evaluate the response in her brain towards you and towards other people and see the differences and similarities. My point remains this, your wife is a known quantity (at least if I knew her she would be) and I can see her, speak to her, and test aspects of her emotions. I can’t do anything of the sort with a god. I have nothing to test and I have no claims that are falsifiable.
As for the next lines, there would certainly be proof that would necessitate belief. Any one of the times god spoke to people through a burning bush or through the heavens or sent angels to talk to people would certainly be pretty dadgum good evidence. I mean, why not just send down angels to every city and say “God is real. He is right there” then they point upwards and god parts the clouds and says “Hi.” That would convince me. And it isn’t like he isn’t supposed to have already done this.

"Well, there is a challenge of supernatural from natural. By it's very nature NATRUAL is "less than" SUPERNATURAL - I'm sure you would agree. Thus, being that WE are within the confines of the natural world - it is quite hard to for us bring IN (so to speak) the supernatural. We don't have that power. Like a fish in a fish bowl can't show that there are snakes out in the grass - beyond it's possible scope.

But again, we assert our belief based on evidence: philsophical, logical, scientific, historical, personal experiences, etc."

We can’t evaluate any supernatural claim until we can determine whether or not supernature exists. We haven’t, so any claim deemed supernatural is on par with saying it is fantasy and myth. The first step towards using supernatural explanations must therefore be to demonstrate evidence of supernature.
Do you think you have a choice in your beliefs? You say we assert them. I want to believe in alien life and Santa, but my current knowledge and experience negate my desire to believe. I can no more assert my beliefs in those realms than I can assert that there is a penny on the surface of Pluto. I don’t assert my disbelief in god, I question it daily. I remain skeptical and uncertain. That allows me to evaluate the validity of any claim put forth in front of me either way. I do not have a dogmatic belief system that necessitates that I look for evidence to support my claim only, that would be confirmation bias.
I’m not going to repost you comments on Santa. What evidence exists against Santa? Santa is supposed to be magic, so any claim you make about it being unlikely, impossible, or that we have never seen him, these can all be negated using the tactic “Well Santa is magic, so…” The same thing people say with god. “God exists outside of our universe so of course you can’t prove him. You just have to believe.”

“Lack of evidence is ONLY good evidence against something if we can establish that we should see MORE evidence of it. So I agree with you, lack of evidence is NOT sufficient to demonstrate nonexistence - HOWEVER this is the basis of many atheists on here.

The most common answer for Why don't you believe in God is: no evidence.

Not: "because of the overwhelming evidence AGAINST God"

But: "no evidence."

However, as you yourself pointed out - that SOLEY is INSUFFICIENT to reject such a claim for existence.

It's only when we ALSO mount evidence AGAINST said being's existence is when we become more secure and rational in our belief of it's non-existence.”

Any evidence for would be good, but here again, we lack any. Shifting of the burden of proof again. You can’t assert evidence against something for not existing. No evidence is the same reason I lack a belief in BigFoot, the Loch Ness monster, Alien abductions, etc. Is it more rational to hold those beliefs with a lack of evidence than not? Doing so results in confirmation bias, where I assert that I have the answer and then I begin looking for “evidence” to confirm it while ignoring anything to the contrary. The first is confirmation bias, the second is special pleading.

“Ah, yes, but you have to admit - science is behind reality, that is, there still could be life, we just don't have a way to find it yet.

Being the case, neither pro/con position has much to stand on - however, there isn't a default position to take either.

And I would argue much the same with God. Neither theism or atheism is a default position. As atheism as a default makes the mistake of NOT taking into consideration the reality that all is NOT KNOWN.

Sure on your first point, but saying it may be possible isn’t the same as asserting it exists. Even if the only limiting factor is our technology, we still don’t assert through science that other life exists elsewhere.
Science doesn’t stand on either the pro or con side. It stands on the neutral side of “we don’t know but the only way to find out for sure is to look for evidence for it.” It is the same case here as I have discussed above. We lack evidence at the moment and we therefore do not assert it exists. We also can’t prove it doesn’t through a lack of evidence, so we remain netural.
What is the default position then? Would any person born need to learn of a god through other people in order to maintain that position, or if they were never introduced to the idea would they remain in the position of god-neutrality and therefore lack a belief in one (aka atheist)? The fact that people born in Muslim areas are more likely to become muslim, people born in christian areas are more likely to be Christian, etc. suggests people are certainly not born theist, meaning it must be a learned trait. What then would be the default? Atheism.

That got quite lengthy.


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02-10-2012, 12:16 PM
RE: 2 questions to ask a theist.
Caff - (reply part II)

Quote:I also think it's incredibly contrived that the son spends riotously in the parable - as if that was the only way he could or would spend it, when away from his father.

This is because it's making a POINT. If the son DIDN'T spend the money the way he had, it would be a different story.

Remember, each part of the story is for a specific REASON.

The Son told the father, "you're dead to me" (walking away from God), and then lives his life the way HE (the son) wants to - on himself, and in his riotously way. It's BECAUSE the son does this that the forgiveness of the father is so great. WE KNOW what the son did, father doesn't - nor does the father care.

It's not contrived, it's to illustrate the point.

The son returned home with NOTHING - and what did the father do? Gave him MORE.

Quote:THAT is the nature of God that Jesus is highlighting in the parable. God DOESN”T CARE about your sins, what you did, didn’t do, where you were, etc. He cares that you RETURNED. And upon your return he will rejoice as such of the father did in the parable. THAT”S how much God loves us.

Quote:God loves us so much that even if I do good, He doesn't care and will condemn me to Hell. Is this where the argument that humans can't do good without God comes in? Well, that's demonstrably bullshit.

I'm begining to think you didn't read the parable before we started - to refresh you mind of it.

Where in my point do I say ANYTHING near what you just typed? I said it points to how God loves us NO MATTER WHAT we do. Just like the son, spent it all, returned home (thinking he would just be a worker in his father's field) yet is treated like he never left, if not better! The parable has NOTHING to do with 'human's can't do good without God' - nor IS that an argument that Jesus ever makes. Not sure where you came up with that.

Quote: Tbh, I find more reasons to do good (which, to me, includes speaking out against religions), than I find reasons to care about some angels having a party over me.

Okay, but this is off topic of discussin the parable, darn near close to a rant as with the quote above - bringing in an "argument" I didn't make.

Quote:All he had to do was return home. No coercion (as we saw the father GAVE the son what he wanted).

Quote:Coercion is evident. We know this because of the drought that convinced the prodigal son to return - the drought was the coercion.

The father didn't cause the drought. REGARDLESS of how the son would have spent the money ( or saved it) the drought was going to occur. This wasn't the father's doing, thus no coercion.

Rather, as you missed, HOW the son ended up DURING the drough was a RESULT of his own actions.

Noone made the drought happen, thus no coercion.

Quote: It wouldn't have been coercion if the prodigal son had never experienced a drought. But he did, due to the way God set things up. Had the son never left his father, would he have experienced a drought? No, because the drought took place in another land, far away from the father.

God didn't "set things up" - you are forgetting here this is a PARABLE. God is the FATHER in the story, thus what the father DOES/GOD DOES. What the father DOESN'T DO/GOD doesn't. God, in the parable DOESN'T CAUSE the drought. The drought happened - look at the wording: it says it happend to the whole country. Go back and read it.

Certainly had the son not left the father he wouldn't have experienced the drought (famine) but then if he had not been so careless with his money - he might have survived it okay too.

The famine would have happened in any event.

No coercion - but I know you want there to be.

Son still had a choice, he was free to make it, and NOBODY ELSE in the PARABLE was coercing him in any direction.

Quote:As God will do for us. If we wish to be apart from him, he will grant us that. No blackmail, the father didn’t say “I’ll forgive you if….” Or to the oldest say, “you better join the party or else….”

Quote:That's explicit blackmail, I said implicit. Implicit blackmail goes hand-in-hand with coercion.

Wrong, it's not, I'll show you further...

Quote: Say the prodigal son missed his brother while he was off spending on himself/others, yet couldn't bring himself to want to return to his father?

Again, you are changing the story and thus missing the point.

Second, as we see - IT DIDN'T MATTER to the father did it? He welcomed his son home WITHOUT KNOWING what the son had been doing - it didn't matter to him.

So again, even in your flawed changing of the story, the SON HIMSELF is keeping himself from going home - NOT the father blackmailing him.

Quote: The scenario is similar to that of a hostage situation, where, unless the son returns to the father, the son will never be able to see his brother again in the after-life. It's not said out-right, no: it's implicit. This goes back to the prodigal son being a misrepresentation of people - his character doesn't pay attention to any of the complexities of human-kind.

Let me ask you this: did the other brother go look for the younger son?


the only thinkg keeping the son AWAY from the father, the family, was himself. Noone else.

Remember, the father gave the son EXACTLY what he asked for and let him go. God does the same, as we have our free will to do so.

Quote:As for the societal aspect, God will humble himself to OUR level to reach us, to get to us, to beg us…however, before you think this is a sign of weakness upon his part, it does the opposite and highlights his strength. Because one HAS power, does not mean one MUST use it at all times. (we see this with parents and children all the time, parents humbling themselves to their child’s level to benefit the child – are they less powerful? of course not.)

Quote:I would argue that if you need to beg your kids to do things, you've failed as a parent.

Boy you don't think poetically at all. What an odd view of the world you seem to have.

Quote: Furthermore, if your children are grown adults, you don't get to tell them what to do or believe - they're not your peons. Begging them to believe as you do is insulting.


If this then in the case - how did the father coerce the son? He didn't he LET THE SON do what the son wanted to do.

But again, you have a very interesting way of looking at the world and not seeing something beautiful when it's right before you.

Quote:I don't like the comparison between children and grown adults, either. I don't see many children with Large Hadron Colliders. I don't see many children building robots and then launching them to the surface of Mars. It reminds me of that stupid picture that's shared by theists on Facebook who think that embryos are comparable to thinking human beings. Ugh.

Again, that you jump to this and not take a moment to "see" the beauty of God humbling himself says a lot about how you view the world in general.

Which is perhaps one reason that you can't see the beauty of the parable.

this was fun, thanks![/b]
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02-10-2012, 12:51 PM
RE: 2 questions to ask a theist.
It would seem the god described in the parable and the actions of the god in the bible as a whole are in conflict with each other.

But it is a nice piece of literature.

If Jesus died for our sins, why is there still sin? If man was created from dust, why is there still dust? If Americans came from Europe, why are there still Europeans?
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02-10-2012, 01:07 PM
RE: 2 questions to ask a theist.
A response to that would take more time than I'm willing to give. I feel like the points I was making were missed, so I'm out. Thanks for your time.
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02-10-2012, 01:28 PM
RE: 2 questions to ask a theist.
IfC is typing for Jesus Tongue That's why you can't keep up.
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02-10-2012, 02:52 PM
RE: 2 questions to ask a theist.
Nice piece of literature?
It's a story, told to make people belief in there own guilt and uselessness.
To make a long story short, you can not be a happy person without daddy.
This is disgusting.
You know whats good literature means?
The Lord of the Rings
And talking about the three book's, remember?
Each one thick as a brick and full of adventures and love and hate and ideals, like friendship and kindness and sacrifices.
What about Goethe and his famous book Faust?
You ever read it?
You should, because it deals with the human nature and the influence of good and evil.
What about Shakespeare? He was the master of telling storys and teaching morals to the listeners.
And the reason why we didnt swallow these cheesy little story as a masterpiece that it is'nt, is the fact, that nearly each sentencs leaks the putrid sweet moral of a deity how cant stand it if one didnt kiss his ass twice a day.

If atheism is a religion, then not playing football is an Olympic discipline.
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