Virgin Birth: Failed Prophecy
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04-12-2014, 01:32 PM
RE: Virgin Birth: Failed Prophecy
(04-12-2014 12:03 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Why can't atheists make up their minds as to whether Isaiah 7 is a failed prophecy regarding a virgin birth or a prophecy regarding a "young woman"? I mean, really.

Why can't Christians make up their minds whether people should be baptized as infants or not? I mean, really.

See, this is what happens when you take an entire group composed of different people with different opinions and complain about the group in aggregate as though it is somehow engaging in hypocrisy. You'd have a point if you found a particular person advocating both stances simultaneously.
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04-12-2014, 02:51 PM
RE: Virgin Birth: Failed Prophecy
Believers are generally shitheads.

They believe whatever they are told....whether it makes sense or not.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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04-12-2014, 03:05 PM
RE: Virgin Birth: Failed Prophecy
(04-12-2014 01:32 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(04-12-2014 12:03 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Why can't atheists make up their minds as to whether Isaiah 7 is a failed prophecy regarding a virgin birth or a prophecy regarding a "young woman"? I mean, really.

Why can't Christians make up their minds whether people should be baptized as infants or not? I mean, really.

See, this is what happens when you take an entire group composed of different people with different opinions and complain about the group in aggregate as though it is somehow engaging in hypocrisy. You'd have a point if you found a particular person advocating both stances simultaneously.

I would say, touché and well done, Robby. You are a heck of a thinker. This is like something I would say to you! Smile

However, I feel obliged to remind you that if I cannot say that some are correct and some are incorrect regarding baptism, you cannot say that anyone is correct or incorrect regarding the interpretation of Isaiah, or whether the prophecy was fulfilled or unfulfilled or whether anyone at this forum is an atheist or not.

But I'll let you off the hook here--I can advocate both stances simultaneously. It's called "grace" and "tolerance". You want to baptize your infant, fine. I wouldn't. Neither baptizing or not baptizing a child saves the adult or the child...

My point stands. Either say Jesus wasn't born of a virgin or that it's a young woman but not both. There, we certainly agree. Again, I wish atheists would make up their collective mind rather than saying "if EITHER premise is true, the Bible is untrue." That's "swinging both ways," isn't it?

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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04-12-2014, 03:10 PM
RE: Virgin Birth: Failed Prophecy
(04-12-2014 03:05 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Either say Jesus wasn't born of a virgin or that it's a young woman but not both. There, we certainly agree. Again, I wish atheists would make up their collective mind rather than saying "if EITHER premise is true, the Bible is untrue." That's "swinging both ways," isn't it?

No, it is simply saying that no matter how you look at it, it is wrong.

By the way, atheists are individuals. There is no "collective mind", you're thinking of a theistic approach there.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
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05-12-2014, 01:20 AM
RE: Virgin Birth: Failed Prophecy
(03-12-2014 08:55 AM)JonDarbyXIII Wrote:  Anyone else ever notice this?
You are not supposed to notice that. If you do then you blaspheme and you will go to hell.Banana_zorro

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05-12-2014, 05:05 AM
RE: Virgin Birth: Failed Prophecy
(04-12-2014 03:05 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  My point stands.

You have no point. It can neither stand nor fail.

(04-12-2014 03:05 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Either say Jesus wasn't born of a virgin or that it's a young woman but not both.

Yeah, we get that Fundies NEED above all to squeeze Reality into their little pre-ordained boxes in order to understand Realty in a simple-minded way. It's what Fundie evangelicals NEED (above all) to do. It's a mental illness.

(04-12-2014 03:05 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  There, we certainly agree. Again, I wish atheists would make up their collective mind rather than saying "if EITHER premise is true, the Bible is untrue." That's "swinging both ways," isn't it?

Alrighty then. When we have the our "collective atheist" conference call this morning we'll take a vote on our position, and get back to you.

Weeping

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05-12-2014, 05:54 AM
RE: Virgin Birth: Failed Prophecy
(04-12-2014 03:05 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(04-12-2014 01:32 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  Why can't Christians make up their minds whether people should be baptized as infants or not? I mean, really.

See, this is what happens when you take an entire group composed of different people with different opinions and complain about the group in aggregate as though it is somehow engaging in hypocrisy. You'd have a point if you found a particular person advocating both stances simultaneously.
My point stands. Either say Jesus wasn't born of a virgin or that it's a young woman but not both. There, we certainly agree. Again, I wish atheists would make up their collective mind rather than saying "if EITHER premise is true, the Bible is untrue." That's "swinging both ways," isn't it?

I lost valuable brain cells reading this post. How about neither is true? Since ya know, it didn't really happen. I wish theists would make up their minds on what parts of the bible are legit or not so we wouldn't have to deal with 100 different types of Christians so if any collective minds need to get their stuff together its you guys.

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05-12-2014, 07:44 AM
RE: Virgin Birth: Failed Prophecy
(04-12-2014 03:05 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  However, I feel obliged to remind you that if I cannot say that some are correct and some are incorrect regarding baptism, you cannot say that anyone is correct or incorrect regarding the interpretation of Isaiah, or whether the prophecy was fulfilled or unfulfilled or whether anyone at this forum is an atheist or not.

But I'll let you off the hook here--I can advocate both stances simultaneously. It's called "grace" and "tolerance". You want to baptize your infant, fine. I wouldn't. Neither baptizing or not baptizing a child saves the adult or the child...

No, this isn't the same thing. If it doesn't matter when a person is baptized, then both answers are neither correct or incorrect. If it does matter, then only one of those stances can be correct, given that they're mutually exclusive. I suppose a third option is "it's different depending on the person", and since we were given no directive on how to make that distinction, anything that follows would be just guessing.

Anyway, if it doesn't matter, then both sides are wrong for advocating a narrower-than-necessary stance as "true". If it does matter, then, yes you cannot determine who is and isn't correct, but someone still is, regardless. It's just another artifact of an annoyingly vague Bible.


(04-12-2014 03:05 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  My point stands. Either say Jesus wasn't born of a virgin or that it's a young woman but not both. There, we certainly agree. Again, I wish atheists would make up their collective mind rather than saying "if EITHER premise is true, the Bible is untrue." That's "swinging both ways," isn't it?

No, the problem is, you're conflating different rhetorical approaches. One is to approach the issue from the stance that certain words in the Bible may be interpreted incorrectly over the years, and the other is to grant certain assumptions for sake of discussion. If you read other threads here, you'll find plenty where an atheist grants the existence of God and other such things just set a common framework for discussion. It's how these things work when people don't agree.

Also, I'm pretty sure not a single atheist actually believes that Jesus was born of a virgin. So, there you go. That's probably pretty close to a collective belief. Any time an atheist does assume virgin birth for a discussion, it's no different than them assuming God or unicorns in a different discussion.
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05-12-2014, 07:59 AM
RE: Virgin Birth: Failed Prophecy
Blink They consider the thing they have no evidence at all happened except the same book that has the prophecy in it as one of their greatest examples of prophecy?

Isn't that kind of like claiming the people at Disney have prophetic powers because Maleficent says Aurora will prick her finger and then it happens?

Popcorn I put more thought into fiction than theists put into reality.
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05-12-2014, 09:25 AM (This post was last modified: 05-12-2014 09:52 PM by docskeptic.)
RE: Virgin Birth: Failed Prophecy
Sorry for the cut and paste, but I talked about this very topic in detail elsewhere and thought it might be germane to the issue:

The context of Isaiah 7 involves a war between the southern kingdom of Judah and an alliance between the northern kingdom of Israel and the Syrian kingdom of Aram. Hearing of the alliance, King Ahaz and his people become afraid. Isaiah the prophet then presents himself to King Ahaz and tries to calm his fears by announcing that the Lord has spoken to him saying, "It will not take place, it will not happen" (meaning, of course, the destruction of Judah). He then goes on to pronounce the famous virgin passage in Isaiah 7:14-17, "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign, the almah [literally `young woman' or `maid,' not betulah, `virgin'] will be with child and will call him Immanuel. He will eat curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right. But before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste. The Lord will bring on you and your people and on the house of your father a time unlike any since Ephraim broke away from Judah-he will bring the king of Assyria."

What is Isaiah telling King Ahaz here? He is claiming that God will intervene in the coming war and ensure that the dreaded outcome of the destruction of Judah by Israel and Syria will not come to pass. He also is saying that before a child now in the womb of his mother grows old enough to know the difference between right and wrong (variously estimated as between two and five years of age), both attacking kingdoms will be destroyed by Assyria, who incidentally would also overpower Judah and make it a vassal state. It is the age of the child, not his virgin birth, that is the important factor.

What was the actual historical result of the confrontation? We find that out not in Isaiah but in 2 Chronicles 28:5-8 where we read that, for his wickedness in leading the people of Judah astray, King Ahaz was given over by God (the same God who promised him deliverance from these very same antagonists) to the king of Aram, who took many of his people captive to Damascus. He was also defeated by the king of Israel, who killed 120,000 Judean soldiers, killed Maaseiah (the king's son) and other high officials, and captured 200,000 women and children (the improbably large numbers are another issue altogether). Of what use then was the Lord's promise that the threatened invasion "will not take place, it will not happen"? If the prophecy's immediate application was invalid, how can the distant application pertaining to the birth of Christ hold true?

In Isaiah 8:1-3, the very next chapter, we read the following: "Then [Isaiah] went to the prophetess [presumably his second wife], and she conceived and gave birth to a son. And the Lord said to [Isaiah], `Name him Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. Before the boy knows how to say "My father" or "My mother," the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria will be carried off by the king of Assyria.'" This is evidently a continuation of the prophecy in the previous chapter, since it refers to the same players and events and has the same poetic phrasing. Maher-Shalal-Hash- Baz appears then to be the young boy earlier talked of. However, he was most definitely not born of a virgin, in which case how can the distant application of the prophecy refer to the virgin birth of anybody?

We see, therefore, that Matthew plucked this section of Isaiah entirely out of context, perhaps to enhance Jesus's status as a deity by ascribing to him a virgin birth. This would then put Jesus on a par with other virgin-born gods, such as Dionysus, Herakles, Perseus, Mithra, and Horus, with whom Matthew's readers would have been extremely familiar. Without special credentials, the chances of Jesus's entry into a crowded deity market would have been doubtful, thus requiring Matthew to pull out all the stops.

Regards,

Doc
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