Why I Believe
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06-04-2017, 09:22 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 09:11 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  
(06-04-2017 03:15 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Okay then, apply that same reasoning to the Book of Mormon and the Quran. Then tell us how well it goes when you try to rectify the claims of mutual exclusivity.

I mean, cause if this line of reasoning is good enough for the Bible, why apply a different standard to the Book of Mormon or the Quran? What justification do you have to treat the Christian Bible so, but no other holy books? Have you even tried exploring other religions, or did you just default to the cultural norm?
You mean if I apply this reasoning to the bible I should apply it to other religious texts too?

Why wouldn't you?
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06-04-2017, 09:31 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 05:28 AM)Vera Wrote:  Sorry if it's been asked and answered already, but if the bible is god's own - infallible - word, why did it need to/why did he allow it to get edited? Couldn't he just come out and say, plain and simple, what he had to say?
I was told that God inspired men to write the text, so whilst it is God's word, it was penned by fallible men. They were inspired to put down what they felt inspired to put down. Something like that.

(06-04-2017 05:28 AM)Vera Wrote:  Like, not follow a measly middle eastern tribe around like a crazed stalked (complete with threats and the occasional genocide), but appear, to the whole world and say: Here I am. I made you and I expect* so and so from you. Here are my rules: don't kill each other, don't rape each other, don't have slaves, women and homosexuals, and black people are people, too. Be good to each other and not just to *your* tribe.
For this one, I was told that it would throw out the need for faith. I am sure there's a verse that says without faith it is impossible to please God. So we are to live our life by faith and in doing so, show God that we are prepared to trust Him.

(06-04-2017 05:28 AM)Vera Wrote:  So, how exactly do we go to heaven? 'cause all the Xtians I know have a different idea. Seems like the bible didn't do that good of a job with that either.
Agreed. For me, it was get baptised, believe in Jesus and try to live a Christ like life. Others will differ though, as you pointed out.

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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06-04-2017, 09:36 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 09:31 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  
(06-04-2017 05:28 AM)Vera Wrote:  Like, not follow a measly middle eastern tribe around like a crazed stalked (complete with threats and the occasional genocide), but appear, to the whole world and say: Here I am. I made you and I expect* so and so from you. Here are my rules: don't kill each other, don't rape each other, don't have slaves, women and homosexuals, and black people are people, too. Be good to each other and not just to *your* tribe.
For this one, I was told that it would throw out the need for faith. I am sure there's a verse that says without faith it is impossible to please God. So we are to live our life by faith and in doing so, show God that we are prepared to trust Him.

But why are we showing "god" that we trust he/she/it? What are we to trust them with? Have we left it the house keys whilst we go on summer vacation or something?

"I don't do magic, Morty, I do science. One takes brains, the other takes dark eye liner" - Rick
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06-04-2017, 09:37 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 09:31 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  
(06-04-2017 05:28 AM)Vera Wrote:  Sorry if it's been asked and answered already, but if the bible is god's own - infallible - word, why did it need to/why did he allow it to get edited? Couldn't he just come out and say, plain and simple, what he had to say?
I was told that God inspired men to write the text, so whilst it is God's word, it was penned by fallible men. They were inspired to put down what they felt inspired to put down. Something like that.

(06-04-2017 05:28 AM)Vera Wrote:  Like, not follow a measly middle eastern tribe around like a crazed stalked (complete with threats and the occasional genocide), but appear, to the whole world and say: Here I am. I made you and I expect* so and so from you. Here are my rules: don't kill each other, don't rape each other, don't have slaves, women and homosexuals, and black people are people, too. Be good to each other and not just to *your* tribe.
For this one, I was told that it would throw out the need for faith. I am sure there's a verse that says without faith it is impossible to please God. So we are to live our life by faith and in doing so, show God that we are prepared to trust Him.

(06-04-2017 05:28 AM)Vera Wrote:  So, how exactly do we go to heaven? 'cause all the Xtians I know have a different idea. Seems like the bible didn't do that good of a job with that either.
Agreed. For me, it was get baptised, believe in Jesus and try to live a Christ like life. Others will differ though, as you pointed out.

"I was told that God inspired men to write the text, so whilst it is God's word, it was penned by fallible men. They were inspired to put down what they felt inspired to put down. Something like that. "

Underlined the key phrase. You were TOLD this, but did anyone show you the evidence that validates it? How would one determine that the inspiration the authors received was divine and not from their imaginations?

"I was told that it would throw out the need for faith."

There is that key phrase again. You were TOLD something that doesn't make any sense.

"Agreed. For me, it was get baptised, believe in Jesus and try to live a Christ like life. Others will differ though, as you pointed out."

And what you have also told us explicitly is that FEAR is a primary factor too. It appears to be the driving factor. So fear of going to Hell is coupled to fear to not be "Christ-like." This is still fear-based belief.

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06-04-2017, 09:40 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 09:31 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  For this one, I was told that it would throw out the need for faith. I am sure there's a verse that says without faith it is impossible to please God. So we are to live our life by faith and in doing so, show God that we are prepared to trust Him.

Why would a god make creatures that can reason and then reward them for gullibility?

Faith is not a virtue. Faith is not a path to truth. There is absolutely nothing that you can't believe based on faith which makes it worthless.

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06-04-2017, 09:41 AM
RE: Why I Believe
I want to emphasize the problem with "I was told" as an excuse. I have been told many, many, many, stupid things. I have been told that crystals can be used to heal ailments through magic. I have been told that copper-infused braces and bracelets will have positive physiological effects on the human body. I have been told that the Earth is flat. I have been told that fossils were placed in the ground by the Devil to deceive us. I have been told that ghosts exist and that people have been abducted by extraterrestrial aliens. Being TOLD something doesn't mean that what is being TOLD is true. It might tell you that the person telling you something believes it is true, but that is meaningless in the context of objective truth about the universe. All that tells me is something about that person's brain, mental health, and/or imagination.

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06-04-2017, 09:46 AM
RE: Why I Believe
A point on the above:

Being told something means 0 things, it's how you process the information yourself. Obviously the silly part here is that we're "telling" you this, but Atheism encourages reasoning and research, and even welcomes people to say we're wrong, if you can prove it of course.

Having "faith" is basically like being blind. Why does a preacher have any more power on gods word than you do? You have the good book, I presume, so read it yourself. Preachers get there "power" from the church, but even in it's highest form, the church are human beings trying to figure stuff out.

Most Atheists have read the bible/and other holy texts cover to cover, for research purposes, and non of it makes sense at all. There are good things to take out of it, but the majority is total garbage.

"I don't do magic, Morty, I do science. One takes brains, the other takes dark eye liner" - Rick
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06-04-2017, 09:49 AM
RE: Why I Believe
The difference between a preacher telling you something and a sceptic is that a sceptic will always encourage you to go check out for yourself what they are telling you. They'll encourage you to look at a variety of sources, and to think it through. They'll help you find the evidence. A preacher just expects to be believed. In place of actual evidence are anecdotes, rationalizing faulty arguments and emotional manipulation. The last thing they want you to do is properly think it over.

A sceptic doesn't need you to believe it, either. It's about sharing the tools for finding things out.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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06-04-2017, 10:01 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 05:46 AM)unfogged Wrote:  If you aren't a biblical literalist then the argument that the bible is factually wrong won't carry any weight with you.
I've never really thought about it but I'd say I'm not a literalist.

(06-04-2017 05:46 AM)unfogged Wrote:  If you accept the bible as parables and allegories that were inspired by a god then the question I have is why would an omnipotent god choose to reveal himself in such an indirect and imperfect manner? The biblical stories can be interpreted in many different ways so the bible has generated more confusion than anything else. It simply makes no sense that the god that Christians typically envision would use that as the means of communicating.
This is a good point. The bible does take a lot of interpreting; I guess that's why we have over 30,000 different Christian denominations.

“And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen” (I Kings 4:26)

“And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen” (II Chronicles 9:25)


One passage tells of the number of horses while the other tells of the number of stalls for horses and chariots. They had ten horses and ten men per chariot.


(06-04-2017 05:46 AM)unfogged Wrote:  Well, except that both specifically say that they are numbering the stalls and the idea of 10 horses per stall really doesn't make sense since that's not how horses are typically kept. Neither makes much sense in terms of the ratio of horsemen to horses anyway. It's pretty obvious that a copyist error occurred somewhere along the line and at least one of the two is just wrong.
I think I agree with you here. I miss the 'stall's detail

(06-04-2017 05:46 AM)unfogged Wrote:  If you are willing to ignore the actual text in order to resolve discrepancies then I agree that there is nothing you can't patch up to make it seem consistent. It's like the two different genealogies of Jesus that both claim to go through Joseph and yet apologists say one is really through Mary. Not only does that claim not make sense since Mary's line would not have been meaningful, it explicitly says something else.
For this one, I read the following:

The Jewish levirate law states that when a man dies childless his widow - "shall not marry to another; but his brother shall take her, and raise up seed for his brother" (Deuteronomy 25:5).

The child of the second marriage is legally the child of the first (Deuteronomy 25:6).

Heli died childless. His widow became the wife of his brother Jacob, and Joseph was the offspring of the marriage. Naturally the son of Jacob, but legally the son of Heli. It is likely that Matthew gives the natural descendant and Luke the legal.

Or

Matthew and Luke's genealogies are arranged in two completely different manners for two completely different reasons. Both of them are thematic.

* Matthew: arranged in eleven groups of seven individuals, and Matthew has deliberately shuffled the data specifically in order to fit the schema (it's not a strict genealogy for purposes of identifying descent); individuals are selected in Matthew for theological reasons

* Luke: arranged in a simple and pedantic 'son of' genealogy but in reverse so that it ends in Adam, part of an extended theme across three chapters which culminates in the temptation; for Luke the entire point of the exercise is to show that Jesus was the son of God as Adam was, but that Christ succeeded where Adam failed (in Luke, Christ is introduced as the son of God in contrast with Adam, and Christ starts with a victory having been led into a wilderness for temptation and ends with a victory in a garden, whereas Adam started in a garden for temptation, and was driven into a wilderness as a result of failure)


SeaJay: Not sure I believe that though. It's possible, but no way of knowing.

(06-04-2017 05:46 AM)unfogged Wrote:  Then it should be easy to find historical backing that they fought 10 men per chariot... have you ever tried to find that? If not, why would you just assume that it must be so because if it weren't the bible would be wrong? Why not consider that perhaps there is a factual error in the text?
Don't think I have ever heard of a military tactic where they fought 10 men to a chariot. I don't think it's even possible.

James 2:24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.

James, is speaking of the sanctification element which is also a part of the salvation process. We are saved by faith alone, but faith is not alone. Real faith produces real works. If Christians do not have real works then they do not have real faith.


(06-04-2017 05:46 AM)unfogged Wrote:  Nice dodge, but it's pretty thin. Read up on the history of the early church. There were many different versions of Christianity including a major divide over whether Christians had to be Jews and follow Jewish laws or not. The "not" side eventually won out. Some threads of those early divisions can still be found in the texts and Christians have come up with a lot of fancy footwork to try to paper over the obvious differences.
Never considered that. Pretty solid explanation though

Galatians 2:16 Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

Paul in Galatians is speaking of the root or the initiation of salvation. We are saved (in this sense) by faith alone. Our works cannot bring us into that initial entrance of a relationship with Christ.


(06-04-2017 05:46 AM)unfogged Wrote:  Read some Bart Ehrman or Richard Carrier on early Christianity. They don't teach in church what the scholars (and most ministers) know about it.
Isn't Ehrman a Christian?

(06-04-2017 05:46 AM)unfogged Wrote:  Frankly, I don't see much value in it if you are willing to ignore the actual text and don't back up claims with extra-biblical references that can be verified. All apparent contradictions can be easily explained if you are allowed to say "what the writer REALLY meant was X and not what he actually wrote".

When faced with a contradiction it is not reasonable to simply resolve it according to what you already believe unless you can provide evidence to back up the claim.
Duly noted. I think the trouble with me thinking that it can all be explained away, is that we can claim the authors meant anything. It's unfalsifiable and that only shows a weakness in reasoning, not a strength.

Also, any opinions you have on my view of the two creation accounts in Genesis would be interesting too.

(06-04-2017 05:46 AM)unfogged Wrote:  I think they are easily explained as two popular creation myths being merged into one book and that trying to reconcile them results in a loss. Each needs to be read on its own to try to understand the thinking of the culture that created them.
And we now know for definite there were multiple authors of the first five books, not one.

SeaJay: EDIT: I'm honestly not trying to preach here, I am doing this for me to look at what I believe and see if it really stands up to scrutiny.

(06-04-2017 05:46 AM)unfogged Wrote:  But if you are doing that by seeing if you can find any way at all to twist things so that they can be accounted for by your beliefs then you will never really know, you will just continue to believe. Of course the bible can be read to be consistent with Christianity... it was compiled, edited and/or written by Christians over hundreds of years and only things that could be reconciled were kept.

The main point is that the bible is not the evidence, it is the claim. It is no more evidence for the Christian god than the Iliad is the evidence for Zeus.

I really suggest you read some of Bart Ehrman's books like Misquoting Jesus or Jesus, Interrupted for a better understanding of how the bible came to be.
I have that book (MJ), but I thought he was a Christian.

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06-04-2017, 10:02 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 09:31 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I was told that God inspired men to write the text, so whilst it is God's word, it was penned by fallible men.

What kind of idiot "god" would think this was a good idea.

"Tell you what, little primates: I'm going to give you the most important message you'll ever hear. The message that will save you and all of your descendants from eternal damnation. But I'm not going to make sure you get it right."

WTF?

(06-04-2017 09:31 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  For this one, I was told that it would throw out the need for faith. I am sure there's a verse that says without faith it is impossible to please God. So we are to live our life by faith and in doing so, show God that we are prepared to trust Him.

Explain the difference between faith and gullibility.

(06-04-2017 09:31 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  Agreed. For me, it was get baptised, believe in Jesus and try to live a Christ like life. Others will differ though, as you pointed out.

Without evidence, how do you determine who is correct?

Because the difference is whether you're in heaven toasting the marshmallows or in hell being the marshmallow.

I may be a poorly evolved primate, but I can come up with a better plan than that.

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