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Old 06-03-2007, 05:23 PM   #346
anthonyjfuchs
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To Stern, Lily wrote
Yet again, you laugh too --
That's it Lily; don't answer my points. Dodge, duck, weave; answer those who respond to me. Just don't answer me, because you'll risk exposing the depths of your ignorance.

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Lily wrote
I suggest you read Acts...
Another piece of prose by that anonymous author who composed the biography attributed to "Luke." We don't take his word for the events of his "gospel"; why in Hades would we take his word for anything else?

atheist (n): one who remains unconvinced.
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Old 06-03-2007, 05:32 PM   #347
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Anyone who thinks that the God of the Bible is insubstantial and ill-defined has either not read the Bible or has not learned to read, period.
:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

Oh my! This must be satire!

Reality is not a belief. We do not take it on faith, it confirms itself whenever we see physics, chemistry, biology etc. working as predicted by their various empirically obtained rules. - Sternwallow
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Old 06-03-2007, 05:33 PM   #348
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Yet again, you laugh too soon, although laughing at Mad Tony is inevitable. I suggest you read Acts to see how the Apostles' message was received and how they went about making converts.

That goes for you, too, Irr.
Isn't the very existence of the apostles on flimsy historical ground as well?

"It's puzzling that Eden is synonymous with paradise when, if you think about it at all, it's more like a maximum-security prison with twenty-four hour surveillance." -Ann Druyan
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Old 06-03-2007, 05:45 PM   #349
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Of course not! Those four anonymous authors made it very clear that dozens of highly credible disciples were present for many momentus events that went entirely unrecorded by any known historian! And Saul wrote plenty of letters after he died that obviously prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Jesus was from Nazareth more than a hundred years before the town existed and wasn't just a fictional patchwork of pre-existing Mithrain, Osirian, and Dionysian mythology! How dare you ask for proofs to back up such a credible story!

atheist (n): one who remains unconvinced.
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Old 06-03-2007, 06:03 PM   #350
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Irreligious wrote
The day I become a Christian is the day you marry Osama bin Laden. Ain't never gonna happen.
That wasn't what I intended, although stranger things have happened. Acts will show you that the Apostles' message (story) was received with varying degrees of incredulity and hostility. How they went about making their case will give you some insight into why we think the evidence is sufficient to make that leap of faith.

Is Osama available?
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Old 06-03-2007, 06:12 PM   #351
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Yet again, you laugh too soon, although laughing at Mad Tony is inevitable. I suggest you read Acts to see how the Apostles' message was received and how they went about making converts.

That goes for you, too, Irr.
Isn't the very existence of the apostles on flimsy historical ground as well?
No.
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Old 06-03-2007, 06:15 PM   #352
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Yet again, you laugh too soon, although laughing at Mad Tony is inevitable. I suggest you read Acts to see how the Apostles' message was received and how they went about making converts.

That goes for you, too, Irr.
Isn't the very existence of the apostles on flimsy historical ground as well?
No.
I strongly disagree. I mean lets face it, most of their deaths are ridiculously apocryphal and the 4 gospels are in disagreement on who they actually are. You are going to have to do better than "no", Lily.

"It's puzzling that Eden is synonymous with paradise when, if you think about it at all, it's more like a maximum-security prison with twenty-four hour surveillance." -Ann Druyan
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Old 06-03-2007, 06:27 PM   #353
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Isn't the very existence of the apostles on flimsy historical ground as well?
No.
I strongly disagree. I mean lets face it, most of their deaths are ridiculously apocryphal and the 4 gospels are in disagreement on who they actually are. You are going to have to do better than "no", Lily.
I'm too sleepy, this has gone on too long and momma is just too old to keep up the pace (but, still, aren't you proud of having started so popular a thread? Of course, we did get a bit off track. But that is the way of the world).

If you are seriously interested, there are a ton of readable sources on the Internet. You might even start with Wikipedia. But I think you are in college, right? If so, you likely have access to online databases that will tell you a lot. I like the Britannica Online discussion of the New Testament. I imagine it would do a good job describing what we know and don't know about the Apostles.
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Old 06-03-2007, 06:42 PM   #354
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No.
I strongly disagree. I mean lets face it, most of their deaths are ridiculously apocryphal and the 4 gospels are in disagreement on who they actually are. You are going to have to do better than "no", Lily.
I'm too sleepy, this has gone on too long and momma is just too old to keep up the pace (but, still, aren't you proud of having started so popular a thread? Of course, we did get a bit off track. But that is the way of the world).

If you are seriously interested, there are a ton of readable sources on the Internet. You might even start with Wikipedia. But I think you are in college, right? If so, you likely have access to online databases that will tell you a lot. I like the Britannica Online discussion of the New Testament. I imagine it would do a good job describing what we know and don't know about the Apostles.
Lily, I sincerely think you don't have any real evidence. (And its not quite good enough to produce documents with the apostle's names, btw, you still have to connect them as these apostles. There was a Peter for example, but there is no evidence that he was an apostle.) Nearly all of what we know about the apostles is based on legend and tradition, and we have conflicting accounts. We know more about Lucretius than any of the apostles.

Take a look at any of these guys in wikipedia, St. Jude for example. For every part of their "life", its "tradition says". Does this sound historical?

"It's puzzling that Eden is synonymous with paradise when, if you think about it at all, it's more like a maximum-security prison with twenty-four hour surveillance." -Ann Druyan
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Old 06-03-2007, 07:18 PM   #355
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Wikipedia? Where the evangelists "John," "Mark," "Luke," and "Matthew" are listed without birth or death years? Where is the credibility of these writers when we have no conclusive indication of when they even lived? Where is the credibility of these writers when there is no mention of them by any known historian of the time? Where is the credibility of these writers when the only approximate date we have is a death date of 1,897 years ago (or somewhere betwee 104-114 years after the alleged birth of that patchwork savior character) for Johnny, meaning that he would have been born almost a decade after the supposed crucixion that is suspiciously unmentioned by any historian, poet, or legal scribe of the time.

atheist (n): one who remains unconvinced.
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Old 06-03-2007, 07:44 PM   #356
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anthonyjfuchs wrote
Wikipedia? Where the evangelists "John," "Mark," "Luke," and "Matthew" are listed without birth or death years? Where is the credibility of these writers when we have no conclusive indication of when they even lived? Where is the credibility of these writers when there is no mention of them by any known historian of the time? Where is the credibility of these writers when the only approximate date we have is a death date of 1,897 years ago (or somewhere betwee 104-114 years after the alleged birth of that patchwork savior character) for Johnny, meaning that he would have been born almost a decade after the supposed crucixion that is suspiciously unmentioned by any historian, poet, or legal scribe of the time.
Where is the credibility when it was common practice to put the name of a famous person on your writings to gain prestige and acceptance?
Signed, Alfred (don't sneeze or talk loud) Nobel

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Old 06-03-2007, 07:44 PM   #357
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Lily, I sincerely think you don't have any real evidence. (And its not quite good enough to produce documents with the apostle's names, btw, you still have to connect them as these apostles. There was a Peter for example, but there is no evidence that he was an apostle.) Nearly all of what we know about the apostles is based on legend and tradition, and we have conflicting accounts. We know more about Lucretius than any of the apostles.

Take a look at any of these guys in wikipedia, St. Jude for example. For every part of their "life", its "tradition says". Does this sound historical?
Mog, consult any good encyclopedia of your choice. Then we can talk.
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Old 06-03-2007, 07:52 PM   #358
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But only if you can properly understand what you read in said encyclopedia, Mog.

atheist (n): one who remains unconvinced.
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Old 06-03-2007, 08:05 PM   #359
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Yes. So? Is this supposed to be a revelation to me? (Pardon the pun.) And after all the gallons of cyber ink I have spilled? Of course, I think God guides history and men and so I find it no problem to accept the divine inspiration of the Bible.
What about the divine inspiration of the Iliad and the Odyssey? Afterall, there is more archeological evidence to support the Trojan War than any of the events in the bible. Or would you entertain the idea of the Koran being divinely inspired?

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I think this nit-picking is what bothers me the most about modern-day Christians. Although I don't like evangelicals at least they have the guts to be more-or-less consistent in what they believe. Catholics and liberals on the other hand go all over the place, picking out what they like while rejecting what they don't like. God's laws my ass. What good are god's laws if you are just going to nit-pick them?
:) Strawmen everywhere! I think some of this comes right out of your own background. You may think you have completely rejected your religious upbringing but I think you still conceive of the Bible as some sort of magic book. Evangelicals tend to read the scriptures more literally than is proper. Fundametalists really have a hard time accepting the historical development of the Bible. That is a real problem for Protestantism.
Just for your info, I was never a fundamentalist (and certainly not an evangelical). Even as a Christian I was a liberal one and never held to all the beliefs that were taught to me. In fact, it was when I realized the cherry-picking behavior of liberals (like myself) that I formally converted to atheism. I decided that to be consistent with myself I had to become either a fundamentalist or give up my faith, and I chose the latter (since choosing the former would mean complete and total disconnection from the real world).

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I have heard Lily and other Catholics saying that certain parts of the bible are historical, others are literal, others are only allegorical. And yet they have consistently failed to provide guidelines for deciding which is which.
There is nothing mysterious about it. You likely acquired all the basic tools of literary analysis by the time you finished high school. So when a book starts "once upon a time" you should be alerted to the fact that a story is about to follow. Likewise, when you see words in the center of the page surrounded by large white margins, you probably have a poem in front of you (Ok, that is a gross definition but ...:rolleyes:)

Now, of course, it is true that there is a little more too it than that and the further back in time you go, the more likely you are to encounter less familiar genres. But, if you pick the Bible up, it ought to be possible to figure out the more obvious genres. That still leaves understanding the historical situation, the cultural practices etc. to be dealt with but that is inevitable.
But that's just the problem. When I read the bible the only thing I see is folklore and myth. In fact, the late Alan Dundes, professor of folklore at UC Berkeley said in The God Who Wasn't There, "if you remove the folklore from the bible you don't have a heck of a lot left except begat, begat, begat, begat..." There's very little that you can attribute to anything else and, of course, nothing that can be attributed to the words of god. Richard Carrier once wondered how Chinese philosophers who wrote the secrets of life in the Tao Te Ching could write so much better, more concisely, and more elegantly than the prophets of the living god in the bible (if god had written the Tao Te Ching then maybe I'd be inclined to take god more seriously). Frankly, to even have the bible attributed to god is an insult to god.

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I guess it's based on whatever the prevailing concensus is at the time based on what people want to believe. Is this right Lily?
Partly, I think. The part I cannot concede is that the decision was based on what the people wanted to believe. But consensus was certainly part of the equation.

There were 4 properties or characteristics that a book had to have, in order to be included in the canon. 1). It had to be authoritatively asociated with an apostle; 2.) It had to teach true doctrine, 3) it had to be widely acknowledged (popular!) and it had to have been used in the liturgy (i.e. read aloud in worship). There were lots of books out there that exhibited one or two of these characteristics but the bar was set higher than that. There was a lot of backing and forthing over the validity of various books all during the opening centuries A.D. And, as you likely know, Luther rejected several books and kicked them out of the Protestant Bible.
Is it not true that Irenaeus chose four gospels because of "the four chief directions of the wind" and "the four zones in the world"? Is it not true that most, if not all of the gospels were written by anonymous authors and attributed to others later on? I also have reservations about the third criteron. As Richard Dawkins said, a democracy is no way to establish a truth. Undoubtedly the four gospels in the bible are much easier to read than the other gospels (having read the Gospel of Judas I can only say that I'm puzzled and confused) but that shouldn't really factor into what is authoritative or not.

Religion - it gives people hope in a world torn apart by religion.
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Old 06-03-2007, 08:46 PM   #360
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I can't do justice to this tonight. But a couple of remarks may suffice.

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Demigod79 wrote
What about the divine inspiration of the Iliad and the Odyssey? Afterall, there is more archeological evidence to support the Trojan War than any of the events in the bible. Or would you entertain the idea of the Koran being divinely inspired?
Do the Iliad and the Odyssey claim divine inspiration? Other than the muses, of course. Can you seriously believe that there is more archaeological evidence to support the Trojan war than any of the events in the Bible? Do you really believe that there was no Babylonian captivity of the Jews, that there was no King Xerxes or King Cyrus? Was the Temple not destroyed in the 1st Century? And so on, and so on.

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When I read the bible the only thing I see is folklore and myth. In fact, the late Alan Dundes, professor of folklore at UC Berkeley said in The God Who Wasn't There, "if you remove the folklore from the bible you don't have a heck of a lot left except begat, begat, begat, begat..."
I would agree with much of this. So what? If you take out all the references to magic in Harry Potter all you have left are the Dursleys, prepositions and articles.

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Richard Carrier once wondered how Chinese philosophers who wrote the secrets of life in the Tao Te Ching could write so much better, more concisely, and more elegantly than the prophets of the living god in the bible (if god had written the Tao Te Ching then maybe I'd be inclined to take god more seriously). Frankly, to even have the bible attributed to god is an insult to god.
It is hard to believe that Carrier could write something so fatuous. The Chinese were an ancient, highly developed civilization. Israel was a much less developed small tribe. Funny thing, though. God chose them.
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