Why I Believe
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23-04-2017, 06:45 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(20-04-2017 03:40 PM)SeaJay Wrote:  Do I believe Jesus was crucified by the Romans/Jews?
Evidence: There are documented records the Romans carried out crucifixions, and I've stated above I believe Jesus existed in a historical sense.

Decision: I believe this claim is true

Do you make a distinction between believing that something is true and believing that something could be true?

In the case here it being true requires the prior beliefs that there was a Jesus preaching in the area and that he attracted sufficient attention from the Romans to be crucified. Neither of those claims may be outlandish but they are also not very well documented outside the contradictory claims of the gospels. For me, the uncertainty of each claim is at least added, if not multiplied, so that by the time you get all the way to the crucifixion we have something that may be plausible but isn't actually believable.

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23-04-2017, 07:04 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(23-04-2017 06:45 AM)unfogged Wrote:  Do you make a distinction between believing that something is true and believing that something could be true?
I do, yes

(23-04-2017 06:45 AM)unfogged Wrote:  In the case here it being true requires the prior beliefs that there was a Jesus preaching in the area and that he attracted sufficient attention from the Romans to be crucified. Neither of those claims may be outlandish but they are also not very well documented outside the contradictory claims of the gospels. For me, the uncertainty of each claim is at least added, if not multiplied, so that by the time you get all the way to the crucifixion we have something that may be plausible but isn't actually believable.
I think you might be talking about the Slippery Slope fallacy, where you build on the previous claim until you arrive at an outlandish where without the intervening steps, you'd never arrive at the final claim.

There are degrees to what I consider 'evidence' for sure, and I can see that for all I know, Jesus did not exist and if so, then all subsequent points are irrelevant. It might just be the case that I haven't delved enough into the Historical Jesus claims yet.

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23-04-2017, 07:16 AM
RE: Why I Believe
Every follower of every religion, be it Christianity or Islam or Jewish or Buddhist or Hindu and all the sects of the world's religions, everyone who follows a holy writing or holy person or buys into a sect, has a reason "why". That means nothing.

The real challenge is self introspection which most don't want to face. The real question the follower of any religion should ask themselves isn't "why" but "Why do I feel the need to buy this?"

If you are simply making an apology, you are not being objective, you are looking for a reason, that is not objective, that is simply looking for an excuse.

If you ask yourself "Why do I feel the need to buy this" is a much harder question to ask yourself.

Does the follower think if they leave their position for another club that they will suddenly burst in flames? If not then why do you feel the need to buy your position? If you can see others who hold other positions as also being good and doing good, then again, why do you feel the need to hold your position and not the position of others? I am not aiming that challenge at only Christians, but all followers of all religions, Muslims and Jews and Hindus and Buddhists ect ect ect....

Maybe humans need to consider those ideas are merely things they find comfort in. Maybe it is simply something you like and allowed your emotions to draw you in.

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23-04-2017, 07:30 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(23-04-2017 07:04 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I think you might be talking about the Slippery Slope fallacy, where you build on the previous claim until you arrive at an outlandish where without the intervening steps, you'd never arrive at the final claim.

There are degrees to what I consider 'evidence' for sure, and I can see that for all I know, Jesus did not exist and if so, then all subsequent points are irrelevant. It might just be the case that I haven't delved enough into the Historical Jesus claims yet.

Sort of... It's more that I consciously sort claims into true, probably true, plausible, implausible, probably false, and false categories. Where you said that you believed that the crucifixion happened I was just wondering if you meant that you actually do believe it happened, that it probably happened, or that it was plausible. Things that are plausible (for me) are believable but not believed until more evidence comes along.

It just seems to me that if you aren't convinced of the historicity of the Jesus character then you can't really believe that he was crucified. The best you can say is that that part of the story is plausible.

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23-04-2017, 08:25 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(23-04-2017 07:16 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  The real challenge is self introspection which most don't want to face. The real question the follower of any religion should ask themselves isn't "why" but "Why do I feel the need to buy this?"
It is also, in my experience, often a matter of "how do I avoid being uncomfortable or uncertain or struggling with difficult moral conundrums?" That is definitely the case with religious teaching on morality, that it is handed down from on high, springing whole, as it were, from god's forehead, and you simply have to obey. This avoids any moral ambiguity (well, not really, but at least relatively so), so that one doesn't have to encounter something new to them (say, two homosexuals who want to marry) and giving any thought to what would be best / most beneficial to the couple or to society or even to the ponderer. One simply looks it up, finds it listed under "abomination", and done. From that point on, it doesn't matter what net human suffering is inflicted, how the decision and its knock-on effects impact liberty, self-determination or self-actualization for anyone. It doesn't matter that you can present simple facts such as "you can continue to be attracted to, and marry, persons of the opposite gender, can have 1940s notions of masculinity and femininity and gender roles if you wish, have your women barefoot and pregnant and your children homeschooled if you wish, and refuse to perform marriages or otherwise sanction anything that doesn't fit your religious faith-based beliefs, if you wish. You can present studies that show that no, in fact, gay couples tend to make BETTER parents than heterosexual ones (if only because it's a far more considered decision motivated by a far more ardent desire to be a parent). You can present studies that show that no, in fact, gay couples, when afforded equal marriage rights ARE in fact quite capable of stable, lasting relationships. You can point out that, in fact, any difficulties their children face is because of bigoted attitudes like yours, not because of anything inherently disadvantageous in same-sex marriage. You can go on and on, and it just doesn't matter ... despite that there's a huge upside for gay couples and an utterly negligible downside for heterosexual couples who are interested in minding their own business and raising children who aren't bigoted ... all that matters is "god said it's an abomination, the end".

And that is just one example (homosexuality) in one subject (marriage) in one area (morality). Religious faith, particularly the conservative monotheisms, are just a giant prepackaged simplification for those who wish others to just tell them what to do / think / feel and what is right / just / approved.

Unfortunately a lot of people who aren't particularly authoritarian / certainty-seeking in their personalities are caught up in the controlling web of those who are. If you're born into this, and see that it's bullshit, even subconsciously, you know that you will pay a heavy price in loss of social support / reciprocity / status, very often including many members of your immediate family, up to and including partial or total shunning -- and may well rationally choose to go along to get along because even living a lie (particularly when it's often fairly easy to go through the motions to be accepted) can be seen as better than the relatively sparse and often low-quality substitutes for community and belonging that exist outside of the organized majority religion.

This Hobson's choice reinforces the central value proposition of religion's main product: faux certitude, reinforced by a shared commitment to an illusion, cemented by an implicit threat that you will be marginalized and a third-class member of society if you don't play along.
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23-04-2017, 08:48 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(23-04-2017 07:30 AM)unfogged Wrote:  Sort of... It's more that I consciously sort claims into true, probably true, plausible, implausible, probably false, and false categories. Where you said that you believed that the crucifixion happened I was just wondering if you meant that you actually do believe it happened, that it probably happened, or that it was plausible. Things that are plausible (for me) are believable but not believed until more evidence comes along.
That's a good way of looking at things, so:

Do I believe that 2000 years ago there was a Jew called Jesus in the Holy Land?
Evidence: Plenty of Jews were called Yahshua in those times.

Decision: True

Do I believe there was a Jew called Jesus who said he was the son of God and taught belief in him was the path to salvation?
Evidence: Sparse

Decision: Plausible (whether Jesus' claims are true or not is another question).

Do I believe Jesus was crucified by the Romans/Jews?
Evidence: There are documented records the Romans carried out crucifixions but (I think) none document Jesus. Also, the historical records about Jesus are not that convincing

Decision: Implausible

Do I believe Jesus rose from the dead 3 days later?
Evidence: None outside the bible records

Decision: Implausible

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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23-04-2017, 08:49 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(23-04-2017 07:16 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  Every follower of every religion, be it Christianity or Islam or Jewish or Buddhist or Hindu and all the sects of the world's religions, everyone who follows a holy writing or holy person or buys into a sect, has a reason "why". That means nothing.

The real challenge is self introspection which most don't want to face. The real question the follower of any religion should ask themselves isn't "why" but "Why do I feel the need to buy this?"
Could you rephrase this question please, I'm not sure I fully understand it.

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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23-04-2017, 08:50 AM
RE: Why I Believe
Personally, I have no church that I am affiliated with, nor do I have any peer pressure to believe/do this and/or that.

I've always maintained that fear is preventing me from fully looking at the question of why I believe this. This isn't something I can simply step over either, it's strange but it's like, no, I LITERALLY cannot look at that question due to the anxiety and fear. It's as if it's beyond my capabilities to do so.

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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23-04-2017, 08:58 AM
RE: Why I Believe
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23-04-2017, 09:26 AM
RE: Why I Believe
I think I would like to study a book dealing with whether or not Jesus existed. There are a few out there but some of them are not well researched. I'd prefer a good scholarly book. It all hinges on this for me for obvious reasons. If Jesus never existed, like this website claims: http://www.godlessgeeks.com/JesusExist.htm

Then that's it.

Can anyone recommend a book please?

Thank you

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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