The Problem With Prophecy
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11-05-2013, 02:02 PM
The Problem With Prophecy
One of the most common proofs used by Christians/Muslims/Sometimes Jews, is that of Divine Prophecy Fulfillment.

Once we debunk/Confirm the prophecies themselves (won't get into that, there are literally hundreds of websites devoted to both sides of the debate), we run into a another problem. Each book of the Bible was written by a different guy, in a different place, in a different time (usually).

Therefore, even if we proved without a doubt that, say, Ezekiel was inspired by God, this would do nothing towards proving Matthew, hundreds of years later.

One book could be the holy and eternal word of YHWH, while another might be the effects of too much Absinthe, if a Prophecy is proven correct, it proves that book only, and none of the others.
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11-05-2013, 02:12 PM
RE: The Problem With Prophecy
Well, you do have a point -- Christians tend to think that if you can prove some part of the bible to be true, then that must mean we have to accept the rest of it as true also (committing the fallacy of composition). But let's be realistic -- if a part of the bible really did show itself to be prophetic, we'd probably give Christians the benefit of the doubt about the rest... if they could ever demonstrate fulfilled prophecy that didn't so closely resemble horoscope catch-all predictions.

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11-05-2013, 02:16 PM
RE: The Problem With Prophecy
(11-05-2013 02:12 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  Well, you do have a point -- Christians tend to think that if you can prove some part of the bible to be true, then that must mean we have to accept the rest of it as true also (committing the fallacy of composition). But let's be realistic -- if a part of the bible really did show itself to be prophetic, we'd probably give Christians the benefit of the doubt about the rest... if they could ever demonstrate fulfilled prophecy that didn't so closely resemble horoscope catch-all predictions.

Why? Think of all the Christians that believe in Fulfilled Prophecy, they certainly don't give the Apocrypha the benefit of the doubt, despite the fact that many Catholics and other denominations accept them as scripture.
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11-05-2013, 02:20 PM
RE: The Problem With Prophecy
(11-05-2013 02:16 PM)TheLastEnemy Wrote:  Why? Think of all the Christians that believe in Fulfilled Prophecy, they certainly don't give the Apocrypha the benefit of the doubt, despite the fact that many Catholics and other denominations accept them as scripture.

Are you saying that Christians believe that parts of the Apocrypha contain fulfilled prophecy?

I know that Christians play by double-standards, and that's illogical. It's equally illogical for us to "give them the benefit of the doubt". BUT I was conceding that we probably would do that, if their holy book really did appear to contain something supernatural. Let me give you an analogy -- if aliens visited Earth with the technology to heal cancer, we would probably believe their claims that they could time travel, even if they didn't demonstrate such a power.

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11-05-2013, 07:29 PM
RE: The Problem With Prophecy
Actually that's not the "problem with prophesy".
If you were taking a final exam in Biblical Studies 101, at any mainline university,
and a question on the test was :

True or False
The role of a prophet in Hebrew society was to foretell future events,

and you marked : "True",

you would get it marked wrong.

Soothsaying, and fortune telling was an abomination, forbidden in Levticus. The entire business of "prophets telling the future" was a late development, when apocalypticism became popular around the 1st Century.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...#pid257278
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John 15:16 : "You did not choose me, I chose you, so that you might go and bear fruit--fruit that will last"

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12-05-2013, 12:21 AM
RE: The Problem With Prophecy
(11-05-2013 07:29 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Soothsaying, and fortune telling was an abomination, forbidden in Levticus. The entire business of "prophets telling the future" was a late development, when apocalypticism became popular around the 1st Century.

Just because it was wrong didn't mean that Jews didn't do it -- they committed other sins, too. There are parts of the bible that clearly attempt to predict the future, such as the book of Isaiah, which begins this way:

Quote:The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

...and contain the prophecies that I love to cite, the future destruction of Damascus and Babylon, among others.

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12-05-2013, 12:30 AM
RE: The Problem With Prophecy
(12-05-2013 12:21 AM)Starcrash Wrote:  
(11-05-2013 07:29 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Soothsaying, and fortune telling was an abomination, forbidden in Levticus. The entire business of "prophets telling the future" was a late development, when apocalypticism became popular around the 1st Century.

Just because it was wrong didn't mean that Jews didn't do it -- they committed other sins, too. There are parts of the bible that clearly attempt to predict the future, such as the book of Isaiah, which begins this way:

Quote:The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

...and contain the prophecies that I love to cite, the future destruction of Damascus and Babylon, among others.

The People he was talking to was the people of HIS OWN TIME. He had no idea that at at a future date a scroll he was writing would be included in a set of books that became the Bible, or that his "vision" would be used to validate the authority of anything.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein Certified Ancient Astronaut Theorist & Levitating Yogi
John 15:16 : "You did not choose me, I chose you, so that you might go and bear fruit--fruit that will last"

Lots of fruits in beligion.
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12-05-2013, 12:36 AM
RE: The Problem With Prophecy
(12-05-2013 12:30 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The People he was talking to was the people of HIS OWN TIME. He had no idea that at at a future date a scroll he was writing would be included in a set of books that became the Bible, or that his "vision" would be used to validate the authority of anything.

Of course he was talking to the people of his own time... that doesn't mean that he wasn't talking about future events. You're slightly straw-manning my argument. Whether or not he saw his words becoming part of the bible, it isn't relevant to whether or not he thought he was predicting future events.

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12-05-2013, 01:09 AM
RE: The Problem With Prophecy
You are no scholar, and I'm not going to argue with someone who has no knowledge of the texts. He (actually it was THEY, as every scholar knows Isaiah was a combo job of at least 3 different people), were simply giving advice. "Do thus and so, or thus and so may happen". Not, "I will be proven right if something happens". The role of a prophet was not to predict the future. It became that much later. Have you even ever taken a intro course to the Bible ?

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein Certified Ancient Astronaut Theorist & Levitating Yogi
John 15:16 : "You did not choose me, I chose you, so that you might go and bear fruit--fruit that will last"

Lots of fruits in beligion.
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12-05-2013, 02:12 AM
RE: The Problem With Prophecy
(12-05-2013 01:09 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  You are no scholar, and I'm not going to argue with someone who has no knowledge of the texts. He (actually it was THEY, as every scholar knows Isaiah was a combo job of at least 3 different people), were simply giving advice. "Do thus and so, or thus and so may happen". Not, "I will be proven right if something happens". The role of a prophet was not to predict the future. It became that much later. Have you even ever taken a intro course to the Bible ?

Can you hold an argument with someone without insulting them? I know it's common here to put down your opponent, and even applauded often, but it's bad form in a debate. Perhaps I ought to say "I'm not going to argue with someone who doesn't know how to argue properly". But that would be as irrational as putting down someone's argument because they are "no scholar"... I'm not citing myself as an authority, so my own scholarship isn't at issue here.

Of course I've taken intro courses to the Bible. Stop being condescending. Are you even willing to entertain the idea that you might be wrong about a held belief?

Isaiah was only one example. There are several examples of "prophets" who made claims about what would happen in the future, even if "their role" was not to do that. "My role" as a maintenance worker by trade is not to discuss atheist issues, and yet I clearly do it.

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