We can't judge god by our standards.
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28-11-2013, 09:47 PM
RE: We can't judge god by our standards.
(28-11-2013 09:21 PM)Chas Wrote:  Comparing theology to discussing fiction is silly. No one claims to believe that the witches in Macbeth are real, but people do claim religious belief systems as reality. What's more, they claim knowledge that they cannot possibly have.

And when you enter into theological debate--e.g. Is Yahweh always benevolent?--you are suspending your disbelief and acting as if it is reality in the same way that you do when you discuss any other fiction.

The obvious question here is why does Cathy want to engage in a theological debate?

Quote:What I contend is that theological discussion is pointless.

Yes so why not make your point explicitly to Cathy and just say "Why the fuck are you engaging in theological debate?" rather than dancing around the issue.

Quote:Discussion of religious texts as cultural artifacts is one thing, but discussion of their portraying reality is absurd.

Yeah just keep making the same idiotic point. The norms and canons of discussing literature apply also to a discussion of the narrative of the OT/NT regardless of whether you believe in it or not.

You are dodging the issue. Fiction can be coherent and it can be meaningfully discussed. According to the OT and literally thousands of years of Jewish tradition Yahweh is always good, right and just and He is so by virtue of His role in the narrative. That is the narrative and it is argued about in yeshivahs all around the world every day (except the Sabbath). Yahweh doesn't need to be real to have a coherent discussion about him and neither does Superman, Spiderman, Gandalf or Wonderwoman.
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28-11-2013, 09:59 PM
RE: We can't judge god by our standards.
(28-11-2013 09:31 PM)Chas Wrote:  What do you mean by 'legitimate'?

Hermeneutically warranted.

There is no privileged way to read the Bible such that Protestnaism becomes "false" and Roman Catholicism "true". It is an ambiguous book and the multiplicity of Jewish and Christian denominations is evidence of that. In the absence of any knowledge of authorial intent there is no final determinant of its meaning. There is a Biblical basis for both Calvinism and Arminianism for example and that dispute can't be definitively settled.
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28-11-2013, 10:03 PM
RE: We can't judge god by our standards.
(28-11-2013 09:45 PM)Julius Wrote:  
(28-11-2013 09:26 PM)Chippy Wrote:  Again that is besides the point and in any event that doctrine does have a Biblical basis. There is no authoritative interpretation of the Bible and your comment implies that such a thing exists...


Bull Shit. Utter Bull Shit. You can't show me the Biblical Passage and I never implied anything.

You are either a Troll or an Idiot. Which one is it Mother Fucker?

Why are you making appeals to what is in the Bible? The implication is that your understanding of the Bible and theology is superior to every theologian in the Protestant tradition.

You are the idiot.
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28-11-2013, 10:23 PM
RE: We can't judge god by our standards.
(28-11-2013 09:59 PM)Chippy Wrote:  
(28-11-2013 09:31 PM)Chas Wrote:  What do you mean by 'legitimate'?

Hermeneutically warranted.

There is no privileged way to read the Bible such that Protestnaism becomes "false" and Roman Catholicism "true". It is an ambiguous book and the multiplicity of Jewish and Christian denominations is evidence of that. In the absence of any knowledge of authorial intent there is no final determinant of its meaning. There is a Biblical basis for both Calvinism and Arminianism for example and that dispute can't be definitively settled.

Warranted, ok. Legitimate, not so much.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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28-11-2013, 10:31 PM
RE: We can't judge god by our standards.
Once you jump onto the 'we can't judge god' train of thought, then you are at a dead-end. If we cannot use our flawed limited means to judge a god for his moral failings, then we conversely cannot also use those same flawed limited means to judge him morally good or superior either. At that point god is simply amoral, and worshiping him is about as pointless as worshiping a tornado or hurricane.

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28-11-2013, 10:49 PM
RE: We can't judge god by our standards.
(28-11-2013 10:31 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Once you jump onto the 'we can't judge god' train of thought, then you are at a dead-end. If we cannot use our flawed limited means to judge a god for his moral failings, then we conversely cannot also use those same flawed limited means to judge him morally good or superior either. At that point god is simply amoral, and worshiping him is about as pointless as worshiping a tornado or hurricane.

God can only be perfect in every way relative to something which is not. Therefore, God created imperfection, and that begs the question; Why?

Like the good-looking girl who goes out dating with her ugly friend.
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28-11-2013, 10:53 PM
RE: We can't judge god by our standards.
(28-11-2013 10:23 PM)Chas Wrote:  Warranted, ok. Legitimate, not so much.

Legitimate is the correct word in this context. A reading of a text can be said to be legitimate or illegitimate.

The narrative is what the adherents say it is. It doesn't matter whether it derives partly or entirely from scripture or from tradition. Both Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox Church believe things that aren't in the Bible and that they do is entirely irrelevant to the legitimacy of their narrative. There is no privileged position from which to decide that their narratives are illegitimate.

When you decide to quibble about the details of a religious narrative what you are doing is essentially the same as quibbling about the details of any other narrative. That the narratives don't "touch" reality is besides the point. If the absence of factuality and historicity is troubling then why engage in the discussion about the narrative in the first place? This thread makes no sense. But the senselessness is taken a step further in this instance in that a separate narrative is being invented and quibbled about.

Spiderman shoots webs because Stan Lee says Spiderman shoots webs. That is part of Stan Lee's narrative about Spiderman. Telling Stan Lee that Spiderman doesn't shoot webs is meaningless in relation to Stan Lee's narrative. We can make the statement that the Marvel Universe doesn't exist but that is quite distinct from altering the narrative about the Marvel Universe which is what we would be attempting.

Arguing that Yahweh is not all good, right and just is just as absurd as arguing that Speiderman doesn't shoot webs. The Jewish narrative is the that Yahweh is all good, right and just so Yahweh is good, right and just. It is as simple as that. You can't alter their narrative any more than you can alter Stan Lee's. If you do alter their narrative then you are telling your own story rather than listening to theirs; just as you would be if you made Spiderman not shoot webs.

From the perspective of atheism there is absolutely no good purpose to be found in theological debate.
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28-11-2013, 10:56 PM
RE: We can't judge god by our standards.
(28-11-2013 10:31 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Once you jump onto the 'we can't judge god' train of thought, then you are at a dead-end. If we cannot use our flawed limited means to judge a god for his moral failings, then we conversely cannot also use those same flawed limited means to judge him morally good or superior either.

But a Calvinist would have no problem with that. You judge Him morally good because He says He is morally good.
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28-11-2013, 11:04 PM
RE: We can't judge god by our standards.
(28-11-2013 10:56 PM)Chippy Wrote:  
(28-11-2013 10:31 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Once you jump onto the 'we can't judge god' train of thought, then you are at a dead-end. If we cannot use our flawed limited means to judge a god for his moral failings, then we conversely cannot also use those same flawed limited means to judge him morally good or superior either.

But a Calvinist would have no problem with that. You judge Him morally good because He says He is morally good.


That might fly for a Calvinist, but that's not good enough for myself (a rational skeptic).

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28-11-2013, 11:10 PM
RE: We can't judge god by our standards.
(28-11-2013 10:53 PM)Chippy Wrote:  
(28-11-2013 10:23 PM)Chas Wrote:  Warranted, ok. Legitimate, not so much.

Legitimate is the correct word in this context. A reading of a text can be said to be legitimate or illegitimate.

The narrative is what the adherents say it is. It doesn't matter whether it derives partly or entirely from scripture or from tradition. Both Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox Church believe things that aren't in the Bible and that they do is entirely irrelevant to the legitimacy of their narrative. There is no privileged position from which to decide that their narratives are illegitimate.

When you decide to quibble about the details of a religious narrative what you are doing is essentially the same as quibbling about the details of any other narrative. That the narratives don't "touch" reality is besides the point. If the absence of factuality and historicity is troubling then why engage in the discussion about the narrative in the first place? This thread makes no sense. But the senselessness is taken a step further in this instance in that a separate narrative is being invented and quibbled about.

Spiderman shoots webs because Stan Lee says Spiderman shoots webs. That is part of Stan Lee's narrative about Spiderman. Telling Stan Lee that Spiderman doesn't shoot webs is meaningless in relation to Stan Lee's narrative. We can make the statement that the Marvel Universe doesn't exist but that is quite distinct from altering the narrative about the Marvel Universe which is what we would be attempting.

Arguing that Yahweh is not all good, right and just is just as absurd as arguing that Speiderman doesn't shoot webs. The Jewish narrative is the that Yahweh is all good, right and just so Yahweh is good, right and just. It is as simple as that. You can't alter their narrative any more than you can alter Stan Lee's. If you do alter their narrative then you are telling your own story rather than listening to theirs; just as you would be if you made Spiderman not shoot webs.

From the perspective of atheism there is absolutely no good purpose to be found in theological debate.

le·git·i·mate
1. conforming to the law or to rules.
"his claims to legitimate authority"
synonyms: legal, lawful, licit, legalized, authorized, permitted, permissible, allowable, allowed, admissible, sanctioned, approved, licensed, statutory, constitutional;

So, no, not legitimate in the context you used it. If one Catholic is arguing with another Catholic, they can argue over legitimacy with respect to Catholic dogma. But the Catholic can't say that the JW interpretation is not legitimate.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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